Morocco's Deportation Efforts Nearly Complete
OUJDA, Morocco -- Morocco flew 102 Africans to Mali on Friday, nearing the end of a massive deportation of illegal immigrants who had tried to use the North African country as a stepping stone to get to Europe.
This week there have been 11 special flights out of Oujda, on the border with Algeria. More than 1,500 of the immigrants have been deported back to their home countries.
Many of the immigrants had tried in vain to reach the Spanish enclaves of Melilla and Ceuta in northern Morocco but were pushed back from the barbed wire fence.
A Moroccan Interior Ministry official, Ahmed Faouzi, said the government has spent $84 million looking after the clandestine immigrants and shipping them home.
* THE HAGUE -- Police detained seven people in raids and placed a protective cordon around parliament and other government buildings in an operation to disrupt an alleged plot to attack politicians and public buildings.
Among those reportedly seized in the sweep in three cities was a young Dutch-Moroccan who had been acquitted of terrorism-related charges earlier this year.
The raids, staged just weeks before the first anniversary of the killing of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh by an Islamic radical, underscored what officials believe to be an ongoing threat by cells of extremists targeting prominent Dutch personalities.
* AMSTERDAM -- The International Criminal Court in The Hague unsealed its first arrest warrants, targeting five leaders of Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army, a rebel group notorious for a 19-year campaign of brutality.
* MOSCOW -- Jailed Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky has been sent to a prison camp in the Volga region of Saratov to serve his eight-year sentence for fraud and tax evasion, Interfax news agency reported.
The tycoon's whereabouts have been the subject of intense speculation since he was transferred from his remand jail in Moscow almost two weeks ago, with prison officials refusing to say where he was.
* SALAMANCA, Spain -- U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan appealed for aid for Haiti's reconstruction at the start of a 22-nation summit of Latin American, Spanish and Portuguese leaders.
Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas, is struggling to hold its first elections since President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was ousted in February 2004 but has had to postpone the polls.
* MANAGUA, Nicaragua -- Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega announced that he has broken a political pact with opponents of President Enrique Bolanos, a move that could end a political crisis that threatened the country's presidency.
* MANTA, Ecuador -- An exiled former president who was ousted from office returned to Ecuador in a bid to regain power, but he was arrested moments after his plane landed. About 15 heavily armed police boarded the chartered aircraft when it rolled to a stop in the Pacific coast city of Manta. Lucio Gutierrez, who was forced from office in April by Ecuador's Congress, remained calm as he was taken off the aircraft and led to another plane.
-- From News Services