Monday, September 12, 2005

Protestant Rioting Continues in Belfast

BELFAST -- Protestant extremists, angry that police had prevented a march, rioted for a second night Sunday, attacking police and burning cars in some of the most widespread street violence that Belfast has experienced for a decade.

Police advised drivers to avoid several working-class Protestant parts of the city, where thousands of men and youths blocked roads and lobbed homemade grenades, gasoline bombs and other makeshift weapons at police.

Chief Constable Hugh Orde, commander of Northern Ireland's mostly Protestant police, blamed the Orange Order brotherhood for inspiring the riots and said the outlawed Ulster Defense Association and the Ulster Volunteer Force helped orchestrate the attacks. The violence began Saturday when police prevented Orangemen from parading near a hard-line Catholic part of west Belfast. Orde said 32 officers were wounded Saturday and early Sunday.

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· KABUL, Afghanistan -- Soldiers who fired at the defense minister's convoy Saturday were not trying to assassinate him, but were shooting at other troops they were angry with, a government spokesman said.

"It was not an assassination attempt on the defense minister," Gen. Mohammed Saher Azimi, a Defense Ministry spokesman, said at a news conference. "It was just a clash between soldiers." .


· KIGALI, Rwanda -- A Belgian priest accused of inciting people to participate in Rwanda's 1994 genocide told a gacaca , or traditional people's court, that he was innocent.

Rwandan authorities on Tuesday arrested Guy Theunis, a member of the Catholic order of the White Fathers and a missionary in the central African country from 1970 until 1994, as he waited for a flight to Belgium.

He is the first European arrested by Rwanda on genocide accusations but not the first to be charged in the 1994 slaughter of 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus by extremist Hutus.

Theunis heard more than 20 people testify against him in the court, a community-based justice system set up to clear a backlog of genocide cases.


· MANAGUA, Nicaragua -- The lights went out in the Nicaraguan capital this weekend when the Spanish utility Union Fenosa began rationing electricity throughout the country after the Supreme Court forbade it from raising fees. As the first outages hit Managua, police prepared for a rise in crime while hospitals feared their patients would be endangered.

· MANAGUA, Nicaragua -- The United Nations said it would send emergency food aid to thousands of Miskito Indians threatened with famine in a remote region near the border with Honduras after a plague of rats plundered their crops.

"At the moment the crops are affected by a plague of rats, which have destroyed 100 percent of the rice crop, 50 percent of the maize crop and some manioc," said Krystyna Bednarska of the World Food Program.

-- From News Services

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