India Curtails Plans to Open
Kashmir Border to Deliver Aid
MUZAFFARABAD, Pakistan -- India on Saturday sharply curtailed plans to open its Kashmir frontier with Pakistan to aid earthquake survivors, a setback for the disaster diplomacy that has brought the nuclear-armed rivals politically closer.
Meanwhile, forecasts of snow on the Pakistani side of the disputed Himalayan territory added to the ordeal for hundreds of thousands of survivors still without shelter nearly a month after the massive quake, as the United Nations and other aid agencies struggled with limited funds to deliver help before winter.
After the Oct. 8 quake killed about 80,000 people across Pakistan and Kashmir, India and Pakistan reached a breakthrough agreement to open five border crossings beginning Monday.
But India said Saturday that only one of four planned crossings would be ready.
ASIA AND THE PACIFIC
* PESHAWAR, Pakistan -- A blast possibly caused by mishandled explosives ripped through a suspected militant compound in northwestern Pakistan, killing at least five men and a woman, a Pakistani army official said.
The explosion occurred in a mud-walled compound in the tribal village of Mosaki, about 12 miles east of Miran Shah, the main town in North Waziristan. The army official said that the site was being used for making "improvised explosive devices" and that the blast could have been a result of an accident. Mosaki residents said the suspected militants, who appeared to be Arabs, rented the compound and had been staying there for several months.
* SYDNEY -- Australia has warned its citizens against traveling to Indonesia, saying it has credible evidence that terrorists are in the "advanced stages" of plotting an attack before the end of the year.
In a travel advisory issued late Friday, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it continued "to receive a stream of credible reporting suggesting that terrorists are in the advanced stages of planning attacks against Western interests in Indonesia."
Four Australians were among the 23 people killed by suicide bombers on the popular resort island of Bali on Oct. 1, and 88 Australians were killed in the October 2002 Bali nightclub bombings. The Australian Embassy was also targeted by suicide bombers in September 2004; 11 people died, none of them Australian.
* MANILA -- Security forces captured a leader of a Philippine Muslim extremist group who also was wanted by the United States for attacks against Americans, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo announced.
Radulan Sahiron, said to be the Abu Sayyaf's chief of staff, was on a U.S. list of wanted terrorists, and authorities have linked him to several kidnappings, including the April 2000 abduction of 21 Western tourists and Asian workers from Malaysia.
* MANILA -- Activists called for the scrapping of an agreement allowing joint exercises between Philippine and U.S. troops after a Filipino woman said she was raped by six Marines.
Five of the six accused -- part of a contingent that took part in recent joint counterterrorism exercises -- have been barred from leaving the country. Authorities have been unable to identify the sixth suspect. The alleged attack occurred Tuesday at the former U.S. navy base at Subic Bay near Manila.
* CARACAS, Venezuela -- Authorities ordered the arrests of four people, including an outspoken journalist, an opposition-aligned businessmen and a Cuban dissident, saying they orchestrated the 2004 assassination of a leading prosecutor.
A Caracas court ordered them held without charges, a statement from the Information Ministry said.
Danilo Anderson, a prosecutor who supported President Hugo Chavez's government, was killed Nov. 18, 2004, when a bomb exploded in his sport-utility vehicle in Caracas.
He had been preparing a case against nearly 400 people who backed a short-lived coup against Chavez in 2002.
Among the four accused of orchestrating his killing is Patricia Poleo, the director of El Nuevo Pais newspaper, who has been a vocal critic of Chavez and was investigating allegations that Anderson had links to an extortion network with other authorities.
Also accused was Nelson Mezerhane, a co-owner of private broadcaster Globovision, which is closely aligned with the anti-Chavez opposition; Salvador Romani, a Cuban dissident based in Venezuela; and Eugenio Anez, a retired Venezuelan army general.
-- From News Services