Taliban Leader Urges

Escalation of Violence

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan -- The leader of Afghanistan's Taliban insurgents has called on Afghans to unite and join in a holy war against U.S.-led forces in the country.

Mohammad Omar, in a statement faxed to news organizations, said the Taliban would intensify its war against foreign forces.

"The people of Afghanistan and the Taliban should unite against U.S. and allied forces and intensify their jihad against the foreign occupiers," Omar said in the statement.

The statement was issued Friday, apparently to mark the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Taliban officials, contacted about its veracity, said it was genuine.

Omar's whereabouts have been a mystery since the U.S.-led invasion that ousted the Taliban in late 2001.

More than 1,100 people have been killed in violence this year, including more than 50 U.S. soldiers.


* BOGOTA, Colombia -- Colombian troops and police captured a man wanted by the United States for selling cocaine to buy guns for Marxist guerrillas, the army said. Farouk Shaikh Reyes, a member of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, was arrested Saturday, an army spokesman said. He was described as the group's main cocaine salesman for U.S. markets.

* SANTIAGO, Chile -- Fugitive former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori defied an international arrest warrant Sunday and flew to Chile, saying he intended to return to Peru and again seek its top office.

Peru's ambassador asked that Fujimori, who fled to Japan in 2000, be arrested while the government prepared a formal extradition request. Months ago, Peru asked Interpol to arrest the former leader should he travel, but Mariela Gomez, the head of the Chilean section of the international police agency, said the warrants were not valid in Chile.


* MANILA -- The Philippine police chief said that an arrested man whom President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo identified as a top Muslim extremist leader was not the rebel and apologized for the mistaken arrest. Arroyo ecstatically announced on government television Saturday that Radulan Sahiron, the alleged chief of staff of Abu Sayyaf, had been captured. Police Director General Arturo Lomibao, however, said the man was not Sahiron and apologized for the mistake.


* ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia -- Major Western donor nations issued a fresh appeal to Ethiopia's government and opposition forces to end the worst political unrest in months. The government dismissed the plea as unacceptable meddling.

Addis Ababa was quiet Sunday after five days of unrest in which at least 46 people have been killed. Police said there were no reports of violence.

-- From News Services