Pakistani Says Detainee

May Be Madrid Suspect

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- Police captured an Arab man suspected of belonging to al Qaeda and killed another during a shootout this week in the southwestern city of Quetta, authorities disclosed Thursday.

The Associated Press reported that an unnamed senior government official had raised the possibility that the captured man was a Syrian linked by media reports to the 2004 commuter train bombings in Madrid that killed 191 people. The United States has offered a $5 million reward for the capture of the Syrian, Mustafa Setmarian Nasar, 47, a Spanish citizen by marriage.

Pakistan's information minister told the Geo television network that he could not confirm the report. A U.S. Embassy spokesman said he had no information on the arrest.

Authorities said the man was captured during a police raid Tuesday at a shop in Quetta that serves as the office of an Islamic charity tied to a radical group, the AP reported. A third man with links to a Pakistani extremist group was also reportedly detained.

-- John Lancaster


* BELFAST -- Northern Ireland police charged a man with the $47 million robbery of a Belfast bank last December. Four others have been arrested in the case in the last four days. The robbery was widely blamed on the Irish Republican Army, which has denied having any part in it.

* ROME -- Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said in a published interview that a suicide bomber was plotting to blow him up at a soccer match, and accused his political rivals of exposing Italy to terrorist attacks by questioning his word.

Berlusconi -- who owns AC Milan, a top soccer club, and sometimes watches matches at Milan's San Siro stadium -- did not say when the plot was discovered or if it was a current threat.

* COLCHESTER, England -- A judge dismissed charges against seven British soldiers accused of murdering an Iraqi civilian, ruling that some Iraqi witnesses lied and that there was insufficient evidence to proceed.

* COPENHAGEN -- Denmark plans to boost its security police by about 40 percent as part of anti-terrorism efforts, an official said, days after six terrorism suspects were detained.


* BEIJING -- The next round of talks over North Korea's nuclear weapons programs will begin Wednesday in Beijing, the Chinese government said, appealing to the participants to be ready to make progress in the slow-moving negotiations.

* CANBERRA, Australia -- Parliament passed urgent amendments to anti-terrorism laws, making it easier for police to arrest suspects, a day after Prime Minister John Howard warned of a possible terrorist threat.

* MANILA -- Five U.S. Marines who participated in counterterrorism exercises were barred from leaving the Philippines after being accused of raping a woman at a former U.S. naval base, officials said.


* PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -- Haiti's interim government filed a civil lawsuit accusing former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide of embezzling tens of millions of dollars of public funds and said it would pursue criminal prosecution. Aristide's attorney called the accusations baseless.

-- From News Services