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WORLD IN BRIEF

Saturday, October 2, 2004; Page A18

Peru Announces Arrest in U.S. Of Suspects in Crime Network

LIMA, Peru -- Peru and the United States have intercepted a criminal network with possible al Qaeda links that smuggled Arabs into America after getting them false papers in Lima, Interior Minister Javier Reategui said on Friday.

"This is an international mafia," he told reporters. "The most dangerous thing is that some of them could be linked to al Qaeda."

After eight months of investigations in the United States and Peru, authorities detained three U.S.-naturalized Iraqis in Detroit and one Jordanian in Lima on Sept. 7 and another four Jordanians in Lima on Sept. 23.

Reategui said it was hard to determine if the Arabs had links to the terror group "because al Qaeda disguises itself."

THE AMERICAS

UNITED NATIONS -- Haiti and Grenada need $59 million in humanitarian aid immediately to cope with the destruction wrought by fierce storms last month, said Jan Egeland, the top U.N. relief official.

The storms, Tropical Storm Jeanne and Hurricane Ivan, have left about 300,000 people in Haiti and nearly all of Grenada's 100,000 people in urgent need, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said.

At a conference of donors Friday, the United States pledged $50 million in emergency and reconstruction aid for the Caribbean region as a whole, on top of previous commitments, Egeland said. The European Union pledged $10 million, and Japan, Singapore and several European nations also made pledges.

BOGOTA, Colombia -- Police have smashed a ring feeding $2.6 million a month from cocaine sales to paramilitary outlaws, in one of the biggest blows against money laundering in Colombia for years, detectives said.

Police arrested 14 money launderers funding far-right militiamen with cash from smuggled narcotics, said the operational director of Colombia's DAS detective force, Jacqueline Sandoval.

EUROPE

LONDON -- Prime Minister Tony Blair arrived home after a successful procedure to correct an irregular heartbeat, and doctors expected him to make a rapid and complete recovery with a very low risk of recurrence. Blair's condition -- supraventricular tachycardia -- is caused by rapid electrical activity in the upper parts of the heart and results in a sometimes irregular, rapid heartbeat.

Aides said Blair will be back at his desk Monday and intends to go ahead with a planned trip to Africa on Tuesday.

• MADRID -- Despite vociferous opposition from the Roman Catholic Church, Spain's cabinet proposed legislation giving homosexuals the right to marry and adopt children.


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