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Wednesday, December 15, 2004; Page A25

U.N. Troops Try to Take Control of Haitian Slum

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -- Hundreds of U.N. peacekeeping troops stormed a stronghold of ousted president Jean-Bertrand Aristide's supporters on Tuesday, seeking control of areas that have become flash points for violence. At least four people were killed.

Shooting broke out between residents and U.N. troops who rolled into Cite Soleil before dawn, said Damian Onses-Cardona, a spokesman for the U.N. mission.

Indian soldiers and volunteers seek survivors in the collision of two trains in Khanpur, in India's northern Punjab province. Thirty-one people were killed. (AP)

Those shot in the slum included a 26-year-old woman, a 16-year-old boy and a 13-year-old boy, all injured during gunfire exchanges between peacekeepers and residents.

Cite Soleil, a gritty slum outside Port-au-Prince, has been a center of violence since September, when Aristide loyalists increased protests to demand his return from exile in South Africa. More than 100 people have died in political violence since Sept. 30.


NYALA, Sudan -- About 360,000 needy people in Sudan's Darfur region are out of reach of the World Food Program because of fighting, officials said.

The U.N. agency previously said poor security in North Darfur state had cut off 200,000 people who fled their homes. Officials now say recent fighting in South Darfur has put 160,000 more people out of reach of food supplies.


MADRID -- Spanish police have arrested five men suspected of links to Islamic militant cells that planned to bomb the High Court and Real Madrid's Bernabeu soccer stadium, the Interior Ministry said.

The ministry identified the men as three Algerians, a Moroccan and a Spaniard of Moroccan origin. The arrests were part of Operation Nova, aimed at militants police believe were planning a truck bomb attack on the High Court, the special crimes court that is conducting at least nine separate investigations into armed Islamic groups.

The middle east

CAIRO -- Egypt, Israel and the United States reached an agreement that allows Egyptian industry to sell products with Israeli parts duty free in the United States. The accord is the first between Egypt and Israel since their peace treaty in 1979.

The Egyptian foreign trade and industry minister, Rashid Mohamed Rashid, along with his Israeli counterpart, Ehud Olmert, and U.S. Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick signed the accord in Cairo. It established seven industrial zones in Cairo, Alexandria and Port Said whose Israeli-Egyptian products will not be subject to U.S. import duties.


KHANPUR, India -- Soldiers pulled bodies from the crushed cars of two trains that collided in northern India, killing 31 people. The railway minister said the crash was "nothing less than a brutal murder."

At least 50 people were injured -- with 16 of them in serious condition -- in the crash in rural northern Punjab state, railway officials said.

A "communications snag" between stationmasters at two stations apparently led to the crash, with an express train and a local train allowed to travel toward each other on the same track.

The two stationmasters, as well as an engineer who allegedly did not prevent the two trains from moving on the same track, were fired and will face criminal charges of culpable homicide, an official said.

-- From News Services

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