Guatemalan Inmates

Escape From Prison

GUATEMALA CITY -- At least 20 Guatemalan inmates escaped from a high-security prison through a 390-foot tunnel Saturday, authorities said. Some of the escapees were accused of kidnapping, murder, and rape, Interior Secretary Minister Carlos Vielman said.

It was the latest embarrassment for the Guatemalan prison system, following deadly riots at other facilities that left 35 people dead.

The escape took place in a prison known as "Little Hell," 50 miles south of Guatemala City.

The prison's director and several guards were detained under suspicion they helped in the escape. Francisco de la Pena, the director of Guatemala's prison system, was fired.


* LAHORE, Pakistan -- A Pakistani woman who won international fame but irked the government for speaking out about her gang rape left for the United States to receive an award for her courage. Mukhtar Mai, 36, has been declared Woman of the Year 2005 by Glamour, an American women's magazine. She's due to receive the award with a $20,000 cash prize Nov. 2 in New York.

Mai braved social stigma by going public over her June 2002 assault, which was ordered by a village council in retaliation for her brother's alleged affair with a woman from a higher-caste family.


* ALEXANDRIA, Egypt -- Thousands of police manned barricades around Christian churches in Egypt's second-largest city a day after Muslim rioters attacked churches and shops, leaving four people dead in Egypt's worst religious violence in five years.

Egypt's top Muslim and Christian leaders appealed for calm as tensions simmered in Alexandria, where some 5,000 Muslim rioters rampaged through two predominantly Christian neighborhoods.

Clashes killed two rioters and two policemen, police and hospital officials said. At least 90 people were injured. The violence followed a week of protests over the distribution of a video of a play deemed offensive to Muslims. St. George's Coptic Church, where the play was performed two years ago, was one of the seven churches attacked Friday.


* WARSAW -- Poles vote Sunday in a close presidential run-off pitting free-market enthusiast Donald Tusk against Lech Kaczynski, a conservative bent on restoring some of the welfare protection lost since the fall of communism in 1989.

-- From News Services