World briefs 1/12/04

Monday, January 12, 2004

Search for clues continues at bombed Indonesia cafe

JAKARTA, Indonesia -- Forensic crews picked through debris Sunday after the bombing of a karaoke bar on Indonesia's Sulawesi island that killed four people and wounded three. The blast -- the latest explosion to hit the world's most populous Muslim nation -- occurred Saturday night in the town of Palopo in South Sulawesi province, deputy local police chief Maj. Wisnu Widarto said. Parts of Sulawesi island were wracked by violence between Muslims and Christians in 1999 and 2000, but Widarto said "it was too soon" to link the blast to religious militants. No one claimed responsibility.

Pakistan arrests nine in assassination plot

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- Police arrested nine people believed linked to the planners of last month's assassination attempt against President Gen. Pervez Musharraf, a security official said Sunday. The suspects, including some students, were detained during a raid Saturday on an Islamic school in the eastern city of Lahore, the official said on condition of anonymity. He refused to give any more details. Meanwhile, Pakistan toughened its punishments for terror financiers, raising the maximum jail term from five to 10 years, and banning them from posting bail, Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said.

Milosevic's party won't assign parliamentary seat

BELGRADE, Serbia-Montenegro -- Former President Slobodan Milosevic, who remains jailed by the U.N. war crimes tribunal, won't get a parliamentary seat despite winning enough votes for one in last month's elections, the deputy leader of his party said Sunday. The Socialist Party's main board decided not to assign Milosevic a seat because he would not be able to attend the first parliamentary session, which is required for the mandate to be verified, Socialist Party deputy leader Ivica Dacic told The Associated Press. Milosevic, who is on trial in The Hague, Netherlands, is still the party's top leader.

Freeze on nuke program N. Korea's olive branch

SEOUL, South Korea -- A day after showing American delegates its "nuclear deterrent," North Korea marked the anniversary Sunday of its expulsion of U.N. weapons inspectors by resolving to bolster its self-defense against a possible U.S. nuclear attack. Yet as the isolated communist North kept up its typically harsh anti-American rhetoric, North Korea's official KCNA news agency also urged Washington to accept Pyong-yang's offer of a freeze on its program as a first step toward resolving the crisis over its atomic weapons programs.

Colombia seeks top drug lord from Panama

PANAMA CITY, Panama -- Panamanian police have captured a top Colombian drug kingpin believed responsible for "huge volumes" of narcotics entering the United States, and Colombian officials said Sunday they will seek his extradition. Panamanian officials early Saturday reported the capture of Arcangel de Jesus Henao Montoya in a remote part of southern Panama. Colombia's attorney general said he will seek the extradition of Henao Montoya, believed to be a top leader of one of Colombia's most powerful cartels, the Norte de Valle. The ring operates out of the southwestern Colombian city of Cali.

-- From wire reports

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