Pakistan Deports Brother of Ex-Leader

LAHORE, Pakistan -- The brother of deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif was deported to Saudi Arabia Tuesday little more than an hour after he landed in Pakistan from more than three years in exile.

Shahbaz Sharif had flown into the eastern city of Lahore aboard a scheduled flight from Abu Dhabi in a challenge to President Pervez Musharraf, the general who overthrew Nawaz Sharif in a bloodless coup in 1999.

Pakistan's information minister, Rashid Ahmed, said that in deporting him the government was sticking to a pact with the Sharif family in 2000 that it would remain in exile for 10 years.

Hundreds of police were deployed to Lahore in an attempt to stifle rallies to welcome Shahbaz Sharif back to Pakistan. They fired tear gas and used batons against hundreds of people who joined the rally. Dozens of opposition activists were detained.

Analysts saw Shahbaz Sharif's arrival as a bid by his family to reenter Pakistani politics while Musharraf is seeking to unite disparate factions of the Muslim League, one of the country's two main political parties, to build a power base.


* AMSTERDAM -- The Netherlands is reviewing its participation in the U.S.-led occupation force in Iraq after a Dutch soldier was killed in a grenade attack, the prime minister said.

Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said the death of the soldier Monday, the first casualty among the 1,300 Dutch troops in southern Iraq, was not by itself a reason to leave the country. "Reconstruction will go on, with all the sorrow of today. The forces of terrorism will not win," Balkenende said on national television.

But he said the Dutch would weigh a future deployment based on an expanded U.N. role, and said a new Security Council resolution regarding the occupation forces would be "desirable."

The Defense Ministry said assailants on a scooter threw a grenade at four Dutch soldiers patrolling a bridge over the Euphrates River in the city of Samawah Monday night. Two soldiers were injured and taken to a field hospital where one later died.


* PANAMA CITY -- Panama will allow U.S. officials to board Panamanian-registered ships and search them for weapons of mass destruction, as concerns mount that terrorists could take advantage of lax security on the high seas, a Panamanian official said.

The agreement, to be signed Wednesday in Washington, is similar to an accord the State Department reached in February with Liberia, the world's No. 2 shipping registry. Panama is the largest.

The accord expands a pact signed in February 2002 that allows the Coast Guard to board Panamanian-flagged ships in search of illegal drugs.

If the United States wants to charge someone on the ships with a crime, however, it would have to submit a formal extradition request to Panama, said David Salayandia, a Panamanian Justice Ministry spokesman.

About 10,400 vessels, including 5,700 cargo ships, are registered in Panama, the country's maritime authority said.


* MOGADISHU, Somalia -- Twenty-three people were killed and 20 were wounded as rival militias clashed in southern Somalia, while the heaviest fighting in months broke out between rival warlords in Mogadishu, the capital, residents said.

Most of the dead in the apparently unrelated clashes were civilians. Residents and witnesses said the assailants were motivated by revenge, extortion and arguments over control of bus routes.

Seven of the 23 were killed in fighting Saturday near the town of Mandera on the border with Kenya. Residents said militias from the Marehan subclan were fighting for control of a toll bridge on the Somali side of the town, which straddles the border.

Residents said the heaviest fighting in months broke out in north Mogadishu Tuesday between the militias of warlords Muse Sudi Yalahow and Mohammed Dheere. There were no immediate reports of dead or wounded.

-- From News Services