Mon, Aug 08, 2005 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take


■ Indonesia
End of war celebrated

Traditional drummers were to lead more than 1,000 war-weary people across Aceh Province late yesterday to celebrate an agreement to end three decades of fighting. Marchers were leave from a mosque in the capital Banda Aceh, traveling across the province's northern tip until they reached the town of Pereulak, a journey that will take all night and day. They will be led by 288 drummers beating wooden barrels covered with cow and goat leather, an instrument known as "rapa i pase," which Acehnese have for centuries used to mark the end of a war. The Indonesian government and rebels agreed last month signed an accord to end the fighting that has killed more than 15,000 people, mostly civilians, since 1976. "We will beat the drums for 24 hours to demonstrate how happy we are that the fighting will finally come to an end," organizer Syamsudin Djalil said.

■ Afghanistan

Taliban militants killed

Eight suspected Taliban militants were killed and three captured as Afghan and US-led troops raided their hideouts in southeastern Afghanistan. The raids by Afghan security forces, supported by members of the US-led coalition, were conducted on Saturday in Zabul province.

■ Hong Kong

Disney worried about dogs

Hundreds of wild dogs are roaming around Hong Kong Disneyland's grounds a month before the park opens, raising concerns that guests and staff could be attacked. Park officials are seeking advice from animal experts -- including the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals -- on how to clear out the dogs, which haven't attacked anyone. Packs of dogs surface by the hundreds from neighboring hills after dark and pester staff. The dog issue came under scrutiny two weeks ago when it was reported that Disneyland staff were using the animals as guard dogs, which were later rounded up and killed. Hong Kong's conservation department confirmed 45 dogs had been caught around Disneyland since May, and some had been euthanized.

■ China

Zoo deaths a concern

Zookeepers from a private wildlife park in Beijing are fretting about the conditions of animals they donated to Kabul Zoo after at least two of them died. The Chinese embassy in the Afghan capital said a bear named Shenshen died of renal failure due to the poor conditions at the zoo while a donated deer died after being fed the wrong food. Wang Wei, deputy general manager of the Badaling Wildlife Park, said, "Only after we can make sure of the safety of the donated animals will we continue to send animals to Afghanistan."

■ Indonesia

Six arrested in ritual killing

Police arrested six people over the killing and mutilation of a man and a young boy for a grisly tribal ritual on the island of Seram. The six men, members of the Naulu tribe, killed the two, cut out their hearts and chopped off their heads, tongues and fingers for use in a ritual linked to the swearing in of a new tribal chief. The tribesmen, who lived in the thick inland jungle, had ambushed a 30-year-old man and his eight-year-old nephew who were spearing fish in a river. Villagers found their remains; the body parts to be used in the ritual were found stored in a thick bamboo grove as tradition required.

■ Sudan
Newspapers banned for day

Sudanese authorities suspended two newspapers for one day for their coverage of riots in the capital, editors of the papers said on Saturday. The al-Wan and al-Watan newspapers both said state security forces took copies of their newspapers from their printing presses early in the morning and prevented them from being distributed. Riots erupted in Khartoum for three days after the official announcement of the death of former rebel leader and First Vice-President John Garang last Monday.

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