News briefs from 1997

How religious, political and ideological beliefs spark violence, intolerance and falsehoods

(News briefs abridged from various news server articles)

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News: Algerian Killings Claim 72 Lives

ALGIERS, Algeria-- The beginning of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan brought more bloodshed to Algeria, where raiders wielding knives and guns and attackers disguised as police killed 72 people.

The death toll in the past 10 days is estimated at more than 300 -- victims in a surge of violence blamed on Islamic insurgents that has marked Ramadan in Algeria for the past several years.

The Islamic militants seek to establish a government based on a strict interpretation of Koranic law, which would require women to cover their heads, ban alcohol and institute compulsory Koranic education.

Source: Associated Press, 30 Dec. 1997

 

News: N. Ireland Protestants Kill Guard

Northern Ireland Protestant Paramilitary Group Claims Responsibility for Killing Catholic Security Guard in Retaliation for Assassination of Their Commander.

Politicians warned that the resumed bloodshed is a trap to derail already shaky peace talks on the future of the British-ruled province.

Seamus Dillon, a 45-year-old Catholic security guard, was shot to death when he confronted two gunmen from the outlawed pro-Protestant Loyalist Volunteer Force outside a rural hotel late Saturday.

The masked killers wounded two other bouncers and a 14-year-old bar worker as they shot up the Glengannon Hotel, which was packed with young people at a dance club.

His successors said his death makes it necessary for them to resume killing Catholics. Ordinary Protestants and Catholics once again share a fear of being caught in the cross-fire.

Source: Associated Press, 28 Dec. 1997

 

News: Kids fighting for the Lord Jesus Christ

Child soldiers -- both abductees and volunteers -- are serving in 32 conflicts around the world, most of them in Africa, according to a report in late November by the Swedish chapter of the humanitarian group Save the Children.

Armies and rebel groups use child soldiers to clear land mines, to spy and to conduct dangerous missions that older soldiers want to avoid.

These days many child soldiers are involved in fighting in Uganda in East Africa. Researchers from several human rights groups figure about half the estimated 3,000-4,000 guerrillas in the Lord's Resistance Army are abducted children and teen-agers.

``Those who are responsible for this terrorism -- the Lord's Resistance Army -- and their Sudanese backers destroy villages,''U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said. ``They abduct and enslave children too young to know what death is. And they have massacred thousands of men, women and children.''

``Commanders were telling us that we were fighting in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, but they were not behaving like Christians,'' said Richard Okello, 19. ``They were always putting on rosaries and praying whenever they were planning a battle.''

The Lord's Resistance Army was founded in late 1986 by spirit medium Alice Auma Lakawena. It attracted support from the northern Acholi people in reaction to the victory of southerner Yoweri Museveni and his National Resistance Army over Acholi forces, who had more or less controlled Uganda since independence in 1963.

Source: Associated Press, 22 Dec. 1997

 

News: Four Algeria Attacks Leave 75 Dead

ALGIERS, Algeria-- Armed men massacred 31 people, including 13 children, just south of Algiers, the bloodiest of four attacks that left 75 people dead, according to reports Saturday.

The attackers, believed to be Islamic insurgents, used explosives to blow out doors of homes Friday in Laarba, 22 miles south of the capital, residents told The Associated Press.

Many of the victims had their throats slit, and the attackers injured 17 people and kidnapped two young women, the residents said on condition of anonymity.

Brutal massacres have become the trademark of the Islamic insurgency as it enters its sixth year in January. The Armed Islamic Group has claimed responsibility for some of the massacres.

An estimated 75,000 people have been killed over the past six years.

Source: Associated Press, 20 Dec. 1997

 

News: Canada Church Leader Admits Doubts (Good news for a change! Ed.)

TORONTO-- The Christmas season has been a time of debate and division for Canada's largest Protestant denomination, shaken by its new leader's admission that he has doubts about the divinity of Jesus.

The Rev. Bill Phipps, elected in August as moderator of the United Church of Canada, has startled the faithful with frank comments questioning core Christian beliefs, including whether Jesus was resurrected.

His words unleashed a torrent of reaction -- positive as well as negative -- from church leaders, members and the general public. Newspapers, magazines and radio and television stations across Canada have featured the debate.

He said he does not know whether heaven and hell really exist and does not assume the Bible contains only literal truth and historical fact.

Critics from across Canada have come down hard on Phipps. The 47 congregations in Halifax, Nova Scotia, voted to dissociate from his views. Half a dozen Ontario congregations called on him to resign.

Source: Associated Press, 18 Dec. 1997

 

News: Minister Found Guilty of Hit-Man Hire

SANFORD, Fla.-- A jury found a former televangelist guilty Saturday of trying to hire a hit man to kill his arch-rival, whose extranged wife he was having an affair with.

The ordained minister was accused of hiring an undercover agent from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to ``do something about'' George``Butch'' Waldo.

The preacher, 56, admitted to having an extramarital affair with Waldo's estranged wife Madeline.

Prosecutors say Waldo, also an ordained minister, retaliated by harassing Crossley by calling him at home, calling managers at the central Florida television and radio stations where he worked and contacting his advertisers to tell them about the affair.

Sentencing has been set for Feb. 2.

Source: Associated Press, 13 Dec. 1997

 

News: Egyptian Militants Attack Police

CAIRO, Egypt-- Suspected Muslim militants attacked a police patrol in southern Egypt, leaving two dead, including one officer.

It appeared to be the second insurgent attack since Muslim extremists fired on a group of tourists last month in Luxor, killing 62 people.

Since rebels began fighting in 1992 to overthrow Egypt's secular government, more than 1,200 people have died in the violence.

Source: Associated Press, 13 Dec. 1997

 

News: UN: Hutu Rebels Kill 200 Tutsis

KIGALI, Rwanda-- Suspected Hutu rebels attacked a camp for Tutsi refugees in northwestern Rwanda today, killing as many as 200 people, the U.N. refugee agency said. The Rwandan military put the toll at 230.

It was the second attack on Mudende camp since August, when more than 100 refugees were hacked or shot dead during a raid blamed on Hutu rebels.

Source: Associated Press, 11 Dec. 1997

 

News: Sri Lanka Deaths Rise to 350

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka -- The number of soldiers and rebels killed in one of the fiercest recent battles in Sri Lanka's civil war is estimated to have risen to 350, with a similar number wounded, military and relief officials said today.

Source: Associated Press, 06 Dec. 1997

 

News: 250 Said Dead in Sri Lanka Fighting

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka-- Heavy fighting between army forces and Tamil Tiger guerillas in northern Sri Lanka has left more than 250 people dead, military officials and aid workers said Friday.

Tamil rebels have been fighting since 1983 to carve out an independent ethnic homeland in northern and eastern Sri Lanka, a conflict that has killed 50,000 people. The rebels say Tamils are discriminated against in predominately Sinhalese Sri Lanka.

[Note, the Tamils represent a Hindu sect and the Sinhalese, a Buddhist sect.]

Source: Associated Press, 05 Dec. 1997

 

News: Algerian Muslim Fighting Kills 250

ALGIERS, Algeria-- Battles between Muslim militant factions have killed 250 fighters south of the capital, independent Algerian newspapers reported today.

Eight civilians also died in attacks this week, the reports said.

On Sunday and Monday, the Islamic Salvation Army, the military wing of the Islamic Salvation Front, attacked the Armed Islamic Group when it was surrounded by army troops, the daily Le Matin reported. The Armed Islamic Group is the most violent faction in Algeria's nearly 6-year-old Muslim insurgency.

Source: Associated Press, 03 Dec. 1997

 

News: 61 Die in India Caste Violence

LAKSHMANPUR, India-- Wailing with grief, low-caste Hindu families crowded around mud huts in this poor village Tuesday as police collected the bodies of 61 residents slaughtered in the dead of night.

Police blamed the massacre on the Ranbir Sena, an illegal militia of mostly of upper-caste landowners who terrorize villagers who dare question their supremacy.

India's caste system is an age-old Hindu social structure that can determine anything from where a lower-caste person works to where he lives, worships or drinks water. Though India's constitution outlaws discrimination by caste, the system remains prevalent in rural areas.

Source: Associated Press, 02 Dec. 1997

 

News: 14 Die in Hindu-Muslim Clashes

NEW DELHI, India-- Police fired into a rioting mob and killed two people Monday, bringing the death toll in Hindu-Muslim clashes in southern India to 14, news agencies reported.

Twelve people were killed in daylong clashes Sunday between Hindus and Muslims in the city. Trouble broke out after two men belonging to a radical Muslim group allegedly killed a Hindu policeman when he stopped them for a traffic violation Saturday.

Source: Associated Press, 01 Dec. 1997

 

News: Islamic Group Blamed in Massacre

The GIA, as it is commonly called, started as a multitude of groups that came together to rival the more organized Islamic Salvation Army in the insurgency that began in 1992. Its main base of operations is the Mitidja Plain, just south of Algiers.

Algerians who volunteered to fight with the Afghan Mujahedeen against the Soviet Army in the 1980s are said to make up the hard core of GIA ranks. Some massacre survivors say their killers wore Afghan-style garb.

What no one can explain is the GIA's leap from combat to carnage, or how it justifies its actions in the name of Islam. Rare communiques make clear the GIA seeks to topple the military-backed government and install an Islamic state but do not define a program.

``The explosions in their homes and fortified cities, the continuous massacres and the blood flowing everywhere ... is a grace from God,'' reads one GIA communique.

Source: Associated Press, 28 Nov. 1997

 

News: 290 Killed in Clash in Rwanda

KIGALI, Rwanda-- Hutu rebels trying to free their comrades attacked a prison in northwestern Rwanda and burned down a courtroom, killing nearly 300 people, a military spokesman said Thursday.

At least 200 rebels, 88 prisoners and two soldiers died in Monday's clash at Giciye, about 40 miles northwest of Kigali, army spokesman Richard Sizibera said.

The attacks occurred in an area where Hutu rebels have repeatedly attacked Tutsi soldiers and survivors of a 1994 Hutu-led genocide in which more than 500,000 people were killed. Most victims were minority Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

Source: Associated Press, 20 Nov. 1997

 

News: At Least 70 Dead in Egypt Attack

LUXOR, Egypt-- Gunmen opened fire on tourists outside a 3,400-year-old temple in southern Egypt today, and then battled police in a three-hour firefight. At least 70 people, including 60 foreigners, were killed in the deadliest attack on tourists in Egypt.

The assailants, who the government and police say were Islamic militants, burst into the courtyard of the Hatshepsut Temple in a desert outside Luxor and fired a hail of bullets at dozens of tourists who had just gotten off a bus, police said.

Militants who have staged previous attacks have sought the imposition of Islamic law, including a ban on alcohol, the veiling of women and a tax on religious minorities. The militants consider it their religious duty to fight a government that does not impose such law, called Sharia.

Source: Associated Press, 17 Nov. 1997

 

News: Serb Confesses to Some 80 Killings

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia-- Police arrested a bitter former Serb soldier Thursday after he told reporters he killed up to 80 Croats and Muslims, decapitating some and selling their ears as souvenirs.

Slobodan Misic said he came forward because he ``had enough of the lies'' that Serbia was not fighting its neighbors.

Nicknamed ``Cannon,'' the 50-year-old Misic was quoted as saying that he volunteered to join regular troops from Serbia who fought in Croatia, and later moved on to Bosnia. He said he killed 70 to 80 people, including women and captured soldiers, while fighting around the besieged eastern Croatian town of Vukovar and in the Bratunac-Srebrenica area of eastern Bosnia.

``It's like a drug,'' Misic said. ``It enters your blood and brain, and you simply can't live without it.''

He said he decapitated two Muslims in Bosnia and stuck their heads on a wooden fence, then killed six Muslims who came to collect the heads that night. He was quoted as saying he sold the ears of his victims as souvenirs for $30 each.

[Note: Bosnia's three factions include the Eastern Orthodox Christian Serbs, Roman Catholic Croats, and the Sunni Muslims]

Source: Associated Press, 06 Nov. 1997

 

News: Army: Burundi Rebels Kill 16

BUJUMBURA, Burundi-- In Burundi's latest ethnic violence, Hutu rebels killed 16 people and injured nine in an attack south of the capital, an army spokesman said Monday.

At least 150,000 people -- both Tutsis and Hutus -- have been killed since Tutsi soldiers kidnapped and killed the county's first democratically elected president, a Hutu, in October 1993.

Source: Associated Press, 03 Nov. 1997

 

News: Sri Lanka Jets Destroy Rebel Ship

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka-- Sri Lankan jets bombed and destroyed a large Tamil rebel ship that was unloading ammunition Sunday off the northeast coast, military officials said.

The rebels, who are fighting for a homeland for the minority Tamils, say the majority Sinhalese deny the Tamils education and jobs. Tamils make up 18 percent of the population of Sri Lanka, an island formerly known as Ceylon off the southern tip of India.

More than 50,000 people have been killed since the war began in 1983.

[Note, the Tamils represent a Hindu sect and the Sinhalese, a Buddhist sect.]

Source: Associated Press 02 Nov. 1997

 

News: Report: 13 Killed in Burundi

BUJUMBURA, Burundi-- Hutu rebels killed 13 people and injured four others in an attack outside Burundi's capital, state-run radio reported today.

Ethnic violence has killed at least 150,000 people -- both Tutsis and Hutus -- in Burundi since October 1993, when Tutsi soldiers killed the country's first democratically elected president, a Hutu.

Although Tutsis make up just 14 percent of Burundi's 6 million people, they have ruled the small central African nation since independence in 1962 for all but the four months when President Melchior Ndadaye was in office. Hutus make up 85 percent.

Source: Associated Press, 01 Nov. 1997

 

News: Gunmen Attack Shiite Muslim Mosque

KARACHI, Pakistan-- Gunmen opened fire on a Shiite Muslim mosque, killing an elderly cleric and injuring his companion, police said today.

No one has claimed responsibility for the killing. Police and Shiite leaders said they suspected rival Sunni Muslims.

Pakistan has been wracked by violence between Sunni and Shiite Muslims. Most of the attacks in recent months have occurred in Pakistan's eastern Punjab province, the country's richest and most populous province. But there has also been sporadic violence in the southern port city of Karachi.

Source: Associated Press, 31 Oct. 1997

 

News: 16 Reported Dead in Algeria

ALGIERS, Algeria-- Assailants slaughtered 16 people and kidnapped four others in a village south of the capital, an Algerian newspaper reported today.

No one claimed responsibility for the massacre in Oued Djer. Le Soir d'Algerie newspaper said the attackers slit their victims' throats. It was not clear when the killings took place.

Such attacks are often blamed on the Armed Islamic Group, a Muslim organization that seeks to overthrow the government.

An estimated 75,000 people have been killed since Islamic militants began an insurgency in 1992 after the military canceled legislative elections Muslim fundamentalists were set to win.

Source: Associated Press, 28 Oct. 1997

 

News: 19 Civilians Die in Burundi

BUJUMBURA, Burundi-- At least 10 civilians were killed Monday in shelling between Burundi and Tanzania apparently sparked by tensions between the two countries over teeming Hutu rebel camps along the border.

Also on Monday, nine civilians were killed and 47 injured in north-central Burundi when a truck that was taking them to work at a tea plantation drove over an anti-tank mine and blew up.

Burundi and Tanzania frequently clash over the border camps that are packed with Hutu rebels fleeing fighting in Burundi. Earlier this month, Tanzania expelled about 2,000 Burundian refugees. Tens of thousands more remain in camps around Kigoma, just over the Tanzanian border. Burundi claims the camps serve as safe havens for the rebels.

More than 150,000 people on both sides have been killed since the 1993 slaying of Burundi's first democratically elected president, a Hutu, by Tutsi paratroopers in a failed coup.

Source: Associated Press, 27 Oct. 1997

 

News: 1 Dead in Ireland Car Bombing

BELFAST, Northern Ireland-- A small bomb hidden beneath a car killed a Protestant man today in the first political killing in Northern Ireland in three months.

Source: Associated Press, 25 Oct. 1997

 

News: Doomsday didn't occur!

According to some Christians, the world should have ended yesterday on October 23rd, at noon, based on Biblical calculations of Archbishop James Ussher. But NOTHING HAPPENED!

Ussher said the world was created at noon on October 23rd, 4004 B.C. Since 6000 years should elapse from the "creation" to the start of the new millennium (doomsday), the end of the world should have ended this October 23rd.

The implications for Christians are staggering: Not only Ussher, but all the doomsday believers got it wrong; this means the Bible is fallible and the bedrock prophesy of Christianity has been proven wrong. No rapture. No second coming of Jesus. No Gabriel's trumpet. No Heaven. No Hell. No Paradise restored.

Atheists and unbelievers and freethinkers rejoice; you will not burn in Hell forever. The Christian doomsdayers will have the rest of their lives to live this down.

October 24, 1997

 

News: THE WORLD WILL END ON OCTOBER 23RD, AT NOON!

In the year 1650, Archbishop James Ussher calculated that the "creation" began at noon on 4004 B.C. There are some Christians who predict that exactly 6000 years will elapse from creation to the end of the world. That means that if Ussher got it right, doomsday and the start of the new millennium should occur on October 23rd 1997 at noon.

Source: Questioning the Millennium, by Stephen Jay Gould, Harmony Books, 1997

 

News: 100 Die in Sea Battle off Sri Lanka

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka-- Navy gunboats attacked a convoy of rebel boats Sunday off Sri Lanka's northeastern coast, killing more than 100 Tamil insurgents, a military official said.

The casualties were aboard seven rebel boats that were sunk in a five-hour battle, 170 miles northeast of Colombo, the Sri Lankan capital, said Maj. Kumara Dewage.

Rebel suicide bombers later crashed two explosive-laden boats into a crippled navy boat, killing two government sailors and leaving seven missing, Dewage said.

The 14-year war has left 50,000 people dead and caused widespread economic hardship in this island nation of 18 million people off the southern tip of India.

[Note, the Tamils represent a Hindu sect and the Sinhalese, a Buddhist sect.]

Source: Associated Press, 19 Oct. 1997

 

News: Sri Lanka Rebels Kill 8

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka-- Two attacks by rebels of Sri Lanka's Tamil minority killed eight police and soldiers in the northeast today, military officials said.

The 14-year-old war for a Tamil homeland in the northeast has claimed over 50,000 lives. Tamils say they are discriminated against by the majority Sinhalese, who dominate the government and the military.

[Note, the Tamils represent a Hindu sect and the Sinhalese, a Buddhist sect.]

Source: Associated Press, 18 Oct. 1997

 

News: 18 Die in Sri Lanka Capital

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka-- Separatist rebels loosed an audacious attack on Sri Lanka's capital Wednesday, blasting a luxury hotel with a truck bomb, seizing a newspaper office and touching off gun battles that killed 18 people. The government said it would press ahead with reforms that the separatists have already rejected.

At least seven Americans were among more than 100 people injured in the day of violence by Tamil rebels, who want an independent nation in the north of Sri Lanka -- formerly Ceylon -- which lies at the southern tip of India. The capital has been struggling to portray itself as businesslike and peaceful.

President Chandrika Kumaratunga has proposed constitutional changes that would give more autonomy to all of Sri Lanka's provinces, including those dominated by the Tamil minority. But her offer falls short of the independence Tamil militants demand and it has been criticized as too generous by some Sinhalese.

More than 50,000 people have been killed since the Tamil separatist war began in 1983.

[Note, the Tamils represent a Hindu sect and the Sinhalese, a Buddhist sect.]

Source: Associated Press, 15 Oct. 1997

 

News: 43 Civilians Slain in Algeria

ALGIERS, Algeria-- Attackers set up a fake roadblock in a small Mediterranean fishing port in western Algeria, slashing to death 43 civilians who had stopped there, hospital sources said Monday.

The news came on the heels of an unprecedented admission by the Algerian government that the rebellion, which has claimed 75,000 lives, was far from crushed.

There was no claim of responsibility, but suspicion fell on Muslim militants fighting to topple the military-backed government of President Liamine Zeroual.

Source: Associated Press, 14 Oct. 1997

 

News: Bomb Kills Seven in Algiers Mosque

ALGIERS, Algeria-- A bomb exploded in an Algiers mosque at Friday prayer, killing seven people and injuring up to 20 others, said residents of the neighborhood where the mosque is located.

There were no firm details on the attack, which was not confirmed by authorities, and no claim of responsibility.

Last month, a gun attack killed a prayer leader inside his mosque in the eastern city of Constantine. The victim was a candidate of the moderate Muslim fundamentalist party Ennahda in local elections, scheduled for Oct. 23.

There has been little recent violence inside Algiers, but hundreds of people have been killed in massacres just outside the capital. The radical insurgency organization the Armed Islamic Group has claimed responsibility for the killings, justifying the deaths as necessary to its holy war. The group seeks to destabilize the military-backed government and create a state based on Koranic law.

An estimated 75,000 people have been killed since the start of the Islamic insurgency waged since the army canceled January 1992 legislative elections to thwart a victory by a Muslim fundamentalist party.

Source: Associated Press, 10 Oct. 1997

 

News: 180 Reported Dead in Tamil Attack

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka-- Several hundred Tamil Tiger rebels stormed a military base in northern Sri Lanka, sparking a three-hour battle that left more than 184 people dead and 262 injured, the military said today.

The rebels have been fighting for an independent Tamil homeland since 1983. The war has has claimed nearly 50,000 lives.

[Note, the Tamils represent a Hindu sect.]

Source: Associated Press, 06 Oct. 1997

 

News: 54 Dead in Latest Algeria Massacre

ALGIERS, Algeria-- Algeria's almost daily insurgent violence claimed another 54 lives, as assailants slit the throats of 48 adults and six children in three separate attacks, witnesses and hospital sources said today.

The North African nation's Muslim insurgency has left an estimated 75,000 people dead since 1992 and killed hundreds in the latest wave of violence, many of the victims women and children.

Source: Associated Press, 06 Oct. 1997

 

News: 105 Killed in Algerian Massacre

ALGIERS, Algeria-- Algeria's bloody insurgency shows no sign of abating despite one militant group's cease-fire, with witnesses Saturday reporting 105 people killed in a 48-hour spree of massacres and bombings.

Four days after the Islamic Salvation Army began its truce, attacks characteristic of the rival Armed Islamic Group targeted schools, apartment buildings and a wedding, with dozens of children among the victims.

Source: Associated Press, 04 Oct. 1997

 

News: 84 Slain in New Algerian Massacres

ALGIERS, Algeria-- Attackers armed with knives and guns slaughtered 52 members of a family, including an infant, and killed 32 others in separate raids in Algeria, witnesses and hospital sources said today.

The latest violence in Algeria's ongoing Islamic insurgency followed bloody weekend attacks, including 11 teachers who were slain while students watched in horror.

Hundreds of civilians in the past month have died in bombings and massacres blamed on the Armed Islamic Group.

Source: Associated Press, 30 Sept. 1997

 

News: Woman convicted of killing lover's wife

VENTURA, Calif., Sept. 26-- A woman who allegedly dabbled in witchcraft and was accused of killing her lover's wife as a sacrifice for his birthday has been convicted of kidnapping, conspiracy and murder charges.

A Ventura County jury found 36-year-old Diana Haun guilty of first- degree murder with the special circumstances of lying-in-wait and committing a murder for financial gain, making her eligible for the death penalty.

Source: United Press International, 26 Sept. 1997

 

News: 200 Killed in Algeria Violence

ALGIERS, Algeria-- Attackers shot or stabbed to death at least 200 people and wounded 100 more early today, taking their time plundering homes before retreating, survivors and hospital sources said in describing the latest violence in Algeria.

Nobody claimed responsibility for the attacks. The Bentalha neighborhood is considered a stronghold for Islamic militants close to the Armed Islamic Group, a group often blamed for massacres and one of the most violent Muslim organizations trying to overthrow Algeria's military-backed government.

Islamic militants began their insurgency in 1992 after the army canceled a parliamentary vote that the fundamentalists were poised to win. More than 60,000 people have died in five years of fighting.

The militants want to establish a government based on a strict interpretation of Koranic law, which would require women to cover their heads, ban alcohol and make Koranic education compulsory.

Source: Associated Press, 23 Sept. 1997

 

News: 72 Die in Algeria Violence

Algiers, ALGERIA-- An armed group killed 53 civilians in a bloody nightime raid and then mutilated and burned the bodies in the latest violence in Algeria, a newspaper said Sunday.

In other violence, Algerian security forces killed 19 armed Islamic militants in several search and destroy missions, witnesses and independent newspapers reported Sunday.

There was no claim of responsiblity for the massacre. Such killings are often attributed to Islamic militants seeking to overthrow the military-backed government.

Islamic militants launched an insurgency in 1992 after the Algerian army canceled legislative elections Islamic fundamentalist parties were poised to win. The fighting has left more than 60,000 people dead.

Source: Associated Press, 21 Sept. 1997

 

News: Seven Charged With Abusing Students

TORONTO-- Seven former employees of a Catholic boarding school were charged Thursday with sexually and physically abusing Cree Indian students decades ago in northern Ontario.

The charges resulted from a five-year investigation into horrific allegations of abuse at St. Anne's Residential School in the remote community of Fort Albany, on the western shore of James Bay. The school closed in 1973.

Former students told investigators of being raped by priests, lashed with wire whips and receiving shocks while strapped into a homemade electric chair.

St. Anne's opened in 1903 and was run by the Roman Catholic church on behalf of the federal government.

Source: Associated Press, 18 Sept. 1997

 

News: Chronology of Egypt Terror Attacks

Chronology of fatal attacks on foreigners by Muslim militants:

Oct. 21 -- British nurse dies when bus attacked near Dairut in southern Egypt.

Feb. 26 -- Bomb goes off at popular coffee shop on Cairo's downtown Tahrir Square, killing a Swede, a Turk and an Egyptian. Eighteen others are injured, including two Americans.

Oct. 26 -- A lone gunman kills two Americans and a Frenchman and wounds three other foreigners inside a luxury Cairo hotel and later tells police he was avenging the killing of Muslims in Bosnia. The attacker was sent to a mental institution.

March 4 -- Machine-gun fire at a Nile cruise ship at Sidfa in southern Egypt wounds a German woman, who later dies.

Aug. 26 -- 13-year-old Spanish boy is killed and three other people are wounded when suspected extremists fire at tourist bus near Nag Hamadi in southern Egypt.

Sept. 27 -- A German tourist and two Egyptians are killed when suspected extremist opens fire in downtown square in Hurghada, a Red Sea resort city. Second German later dies of wounds.

Oct. 23 -- A British man is killed and a British woman, two British men and their driver are wounded when suspected extremist opens fire on van near Naqada in southern Egypt.

April 18 -- Gunmen open fire with automatic rifles at Europa Hotel near Pyramids in Cairo, killing 18 Greek tourists and wounding 16 others. An Egyptian is also wounded.

Sept. 18 -- Attackers throw firebombs and open fire on a tourist bus outside the Egyptian Museum in downtown Cairo, killing ten people, many of them German tourists. Police say three foreigners and 15 Egyptians are wounded.

Source: Associated Press 18 Sept. 1997

 

News: 22 More Die in Algeria Violence

ALGIERS, Algeria-- Masked attackers slit the throats of 11 civilians, and 11 Islamic militants died in clashes with government forces in the latest flurry of bloodshed in Algeria. Attackers killed seven people Sunday, including five members of one family, near the city of Saida, 220 miles southwest of Algiers, according to hospital workers who spoke on condition of anonymity.

In a separate attack, four civilians died after their throats were cut near Medea, about 62 miles south of Algiers, the hospital workers said. The victims' bodies were mutilated and burned.

No one claimed responsibility for the killings, but suspicion fell on Islamic militants, whose 5 1/2 year insurgency has left more than 60,000 people dead, including hundreds killed in similar attacks throughout the summer.

Source: Associated Press, 15 Sept. 1997

 

News: Israeli Attacks Kill 7 in Lebanon

SIDON, Lebanon-- Israeli military aircraft rocketed Lebanese army positions near an occupied border enclave in southern Lebanon late Friday, killing six soldiers and a civilian woman, the Lebanese military said.

The raids came several hours after clashes between Israeli forces and Iranian-backed Hezbollah guerrillas on the edge of the Israeli-occupied zone.

Hezbollah has been fighting to oust some 1,500 Israeli soldiers and the 2,500 militiamen of the Israeli-backed South Lebanon Army from the occupied zone. Israel set up the zone in 1985 as a buffer against guerrilla attacks on its northern territory.

Source: Associated Press, 12 Sept. 1997

 

News: Rebels Kill 32 in Sri Lanka

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka-- Rebel gunboats attacked and set ablaze a cargo ship off Sri Lanka's northeastern coast early today, killing at least 32 people and injuring 26, the government said.

The Tamil rebels claim they are discriminated against by the majority Sinhalese, who control the government and military. More than 50,000 people have been killed since the war began in 1983.

[Note, the Tamils represent a Hindu sect and the Sinhalese, a Buddhist sect.]

Source: Associated Press, 09 Sept. 1997

 

News: 150 Killed in Algeria Violence

ALGIERS, Algeria-- Hatchet-swinging attackers descended on a secluded neighborhood outside Algiers, kicking open doors and slitting the throats of entire families, survivors said Saturday. At least 80 died in the nighttime massacre.

The massacre was the deadliest since an Aug. 29 rampage in the village of Rais, south of Algiers, where attackers killed up to 300 people.

More than 60,000 Algerians have been killed since the start of the nation's Islamic insurgency, triggered when the army canceled 1992 parliamentary elections that an Islamic group was poised to win.

Source: Associated Press, 06 Sept. 1997

 

News: Jerusalem Bombs Kill 7, Wound 192

JERUSALEM-- Bombs exploded -- once again -- in the heart of Jerusalem on Thursday, spraying rusty nails into a crowd of shoppers and late-summer tourists on the city's main pedestrian walkway.

The blasts, claimed by the Islamic militant group Hamas, killed seven people -- including three suicide bombers -- and struck a new blow to peacemaking just as hopes for improvement were rising. At least 192 people were wounded.

Source: Associated Press, 04 Sept. 1997

 

News: 300 Killed in Algeria

ALGIERS, Algeria-- Attackers massacred at least 300 villagers early today, slitting their throats, decapitating many of them and then burning their bodies in the worst attack since an Islamic insurgency began five years ago, witnesses and hospital workers said.

The heads of some victims were placed on the doorsteps of their homes in the village of Rais in the Sidi Moussa region just 15 miles south of the capital.

About 1,500 people have been killed in attacks attributed to Islamic insurgents since early June, when the military-backed government swept Algeria's first-ever multiparty elections with promises to crush the bloody insurgency.

Muslim militants have been trying to overthrow the government since the army canceled the last parliamentary vote in 1992, when it appeared the now-banned Islamic Salvation Front -- a coalition of religious parties -- would win. The insurgency has left more than 60,000 people dead.

Source: Associated Press, 29 Aug. 1997

 

News: 64 Killed in Algeria Massacre

ALGIERS, Algiers-- Armed attackers killed 64 residents of a mountain village Tuesday, slitting their throats in the latest massacre in the North African nation, witnesses said.

More than 100 people have been killed since Friday in massacres or bombings. All the attacks are believed to be the work of Islamic militants.

The recent surge of violence began after the June 5 parliamentary elections. More than 1,000 people have been killed since then. The June vote was the first since the army canceled 1992 elections to block a probable victory by Muslim fundamentalists -- a move that triggered the uprising. More than 60,000 people have died in the insurgency.

Source: Associated Press, 26 Aug. 1997

 

News: U.N.: 107 Tutsis Refugees Killed

KIGALI, Rwanda-- Assailants believed to be Hutu insurgents attacked a camp for Tutsi refugees in northwestern Rwanda early today, killing 107 and wounding 30, a U.N. refugee agency said.

The attack was the most lethal reported in the area since members of the former Hutu-dominated Rwandan Armed Forces began large-scale incursions following the return of hundreds of thousands of Hutu refugees from the former Zaire in November.

In 1994, at least a half-million Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus were killed in a militant Hutu government-orchestrated slaughter that lasted from April to July.

Source: Associated Press, 22 Aug. 1997

 

News: Israel Retaliates for Rocket Attack

JIYE, Lebanon-- Stepping up hostilities in a week of escalating violence, Israeli jets struck deep inside Lebanon on Wednesday, bombing a guerrilla base and a power plant in retaliation for rocket attacks on northern Israel.

The only known casualties in Wednesday's raids were two children, injured when the roof of their house collapsed under Israeli bombardment in eastern Lebanon. The attack was the latest in a series of violent exchanges that have killed at least nine Lebanese civilians and wounded dozens of people in southern Lebanon and northern Israel since Monday. It marked the first time this week that Israeli forces have retaliated directly, rather than their allies in southern Lebanon.

The tit-for-tat exchanges started Monday when the Israeli-backed South Lebanon Army shelled the southern port of Sidon to avenge a roadside bomb attack that killed two children of an SLA commander. Six people died in the Sidon shelling, including a mother and her month-old baby. Thirty-five others were wounded.

Lebanon is still rebuilding from its 1975-90 civil war, which devastated the country.

Source: Associated Press, 20 Aug. 1997

 

News: Fighting Kills 57 in Sri Lanka

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka-- Government jets and artillery pummeled rebel positions in northern Sri Lanka in fierce fighting that killed dozens of combatants Tuesday. About 20,000 troops met resistance from Tamil Tiger guerrillas while en route to Puliyankulam, a town on the road from government-controlled areas to the isolated northern Jaffna Peninsula. The war zone is 135 miles north of Colombo, the Sri Lankan capital.

Seven soldiers and more than 50 rebels were killed, the military said in a statement. At least 40 soldiers were wounded. The battle broke a lull in the fighting that had held since Aug. 6, when two columns of 10,000 soldiers linked up a mile south of Puliyankulam.

The peninsula was the guerrillas' stronghold for nearly a decade, before the military captured Jaffna in May 1996 in a bloody battle that cost 2,500 lives. The rebels are fighting for a homeland for minority Tamils, who account for 18 percent of Sri Lanka's 18 million people. They allege discrimination by the majority Sinhalese, who control the government and military. The war has killed nearly 50,000 people since it began in 1983.

[Note, the Tamils represent a Hindu sect and the Sinhalese, a Buddhist sect.]

Source: Associated Press, 19 Aug. 1997

 

News: Violence on Pakistan Anniversary

KARACHI, Pakistan-- Evoking a peaceful future after a bloody past, Pakistan's prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, marked the nation's 50th anniversary Thursday by urging an end to fighting with neighboring India and among the country's own warring political and religious factions. But in violence starkly symbolic of Pakistan's troubled history, the independence ceremony at the tomb of national founder Mohammed Ali Jinnah turned deadly when police fired on the surging crowd, killing two men.

Sharif noted that many believe the country's 140 million people have little to celebrate. A quarter of the population is desperately poor and two-thirds can't read; thousands live without basic sanitation or access to health care; corruption is rampant.

Sharif urged an end to political and religious violence, which as killed almost 400 people this year. Pakistan and India have fought three wars since the two countries gained independence from Britain 50 years ago. The border between them remains one of the world's tensest, and both countries spend more than one-third of their national budgets on defense.

Both countries claim the former Himalayan kingdom, the only predominantly Muslim state in largely Hindu India and the flash point of two wars.

Source: Associated Press, 14 Aug. 1997

 

News: 15 Killed in Sri Lanka

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka-- Sri Lankan warships attacked a Tamil Tiger rebel convoy off the northeastern coast today, killing 15 guerrillas and sinking two boats, the military said.

Tamils account for 18 percent of Sri Lanka's 18 million people. The rebels claim they are discriminated against by the Sinhalese, who control the government and military. Almost 50,000 people have been killed since the civil war began in1983.

[Note, the Tamils represent a Hindu sect and the Sinhalese, a Buddhist sect.]

Source: Associated Press, 14 Aug. 1997

 

News: 12 Injured in India Temple Clash

HYDERABAD, India-- Rival groups of Hindus clashed with each other and police over control of a small temple, police said today. Twelve people, including a 5-year-old boy, were injured.

The two groups began fighting and then attacked police who were called in to break them up.

Managers of Hindu temples often have access to large amounts of money and jewelry offered by devotees, in addition to the social prestige and local clout the office brings.

Source: Associated Press, 11 Aug. 1997

 

News: Israelis Strike Lebanon

JERUSALEM-- Israeli warplanes attacked suspected guerrilla bases in eastern Lebanon today, a day after Israeli jets raided a Palestinian guerrilla base just south of the Lebanese capital, Beirut.

State-run Beirut Radio reported that one person died and three were injured in today's raid. The two days of raids, which include Israel's retaliatory attack Friday on a Palestinian guerrilla base deep in Lebanon, made for a violent prelude to today's latest U.S. mission to the Middle East.

The latest attacks came as U.S. envoy Dennis Ross was heading to the region to try to get Israeli-Palestinian peace talks started again.

Source: Associated Press, 09 Aug. 1997

 

News: Islamic Militants Kill 20

ALGIERS, Algeria -- Four attacks this week blamed on Islamic militants left at least 20 villagers dead, including a pregnant woman and three children, hospital officials and independent newspapers reported Thursday. Algerian security forces, meanwhile, killed nine suspected militants as part of a government initiative to end civilian massacres.

Islamic militants have been waging an insurgency since 1992, when the government canceled elections that the fundamentalist Islamic Salvation Front was poised to win. More than 60,000 people have been killed since.

Source: Associated Press, 07 Aug. 1997

 

News: 10 Killed in Pakistani Muslim Violence

LAHORE, Pakistan- Three separate attacks Monday in Pakistan's eastern Punjab province left 10 people dead in what police believed was violence between rival Muslim sects.

Most of Pakistan's 140 million people are Sunni Muslims who live peacefully alongside the minority Shiite community. But violent clashes between extremist Shiite and Sunni Muslim groups in Punjab have killed almost 200 people this year.

Source: Associated Press, 04 Aug. 1997

 

News: 8 Killed in Senegal Last Week

DAKAR, Senegal-- Vigilante mobs convinced that foreign sorcerers can shrink a man's genitals with a mere handshake have killed eight people in Senegal in the past week.

Attackers killed five people at Ziguinghor in southern Senegal after a man accused one of them of making his penis shrink, newspapers reported Friday. At least three other people were killed in the West African nation's capital, Dakar.

More than 30 other people have been seriously injured in the mob attacks, in which vigilantes have beaten, stabbed and in at least one case burned their victims.

Belief in black magic and evil spells runs strong in West Africa, and the rampant rumors have created a ``collective psychosis'' leading to mob attacks, said Dakar psychologist Mamadou Mboj.

Source: Associated Press, 04 Aug. 1997

 

News: Sri Lanka Fighting Kills 67

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka-- Sri Lankan troops launched a fresh attack to capture a key northern highway today, but ran into fierce resistance by Tamil Tiger rebels, the defense ministry said. At least 67 people were killed.

The rebels are fighting for a homeland for minority Tamils, who account for 18 percent of Sri Lanka's 18 million people. They allege discrimination by the majority Sinhalese, who control the government and military. The war has killed more than 48,000 people.

[Note, the Tamils represent a Hindu sect and the Sinhalese, a Buddhist sect.]

Source: Associated Press, 01 Aug. 1997

 

News: Islamic Militant Group Claims Bombing

JERUSALEM -- Carefully synchronizing their attacks, two men carried briefcases packed with explosives and nails into the heart of Jerusalem's most crowded outdoor market Wednesday and blew themselves up, sending body parts and blood-soaked vegetables flying.

The double blasts killed 14 people -- including the two bombers -- and injured more than 150, striking at the teetering Mideast peace process at a time when renewed progress seemed plausible.

Source: Associated Press, 30 July 1997

 

News: 72 Killed in Algeria Attacks

ALGIERS, Algeria-- Suspected Muslim militants stormed two separate neighborhoods and began shooting people, slitting their throats and blowing up houses. When the violence ended, 72 people lay dead and 103 were wounded, hospital officials said today.

Muslim militants have been trying to overthrow the government since the army canceled 1992 parliamentary elections that Islamic fundamentalist parties were poised to win. The insurgency has left more than 60,000 people dead. The militants often attack civilians, apparently hoping to coerce the population into backing Islamic forces and weaken support for the government, which stages unpopular retaliations.

Almost 500 people have been killed in attacks attributed to the Islamic insurgentssince early June, when the military-backed government held the first legislative elections in five years.

Source: Associated Press, 29 July 1997

 

News: 13 Killed in Algeria Massacre

ALGIERS, Algeria-- An armed group swept through a small village south of the Algerian capital, killing 13 people and leaving 20 injured, hospital officials said Sunday.

There was no claim of responsibility for Saturday's dawn raid on Sidi Salem, 60 miles from Algiers, but suspicion fell on Muslim militants involved in a bloody five-year insurgency in this North African country.

Muslim militants have been trying to overthrow the government since the army canceled 1992 parliamentary elections that Islamic fundamentalist parties were poised to win. The insurgency has left more than 60,000 people dead.

Source: Associated Press, 27 July 1997

 

News: Irish-Priest Molester Gets 12 Years

DUBLIN, Ireland-- A pedophile priest whose case brought down the Irish government and forced the Roman Catholic Church to confront its own sex scandals has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for sexually abusing children over a 36-year period.

Judge Cyril Kelly said Friday he had taken into account the Rev. Brendan Smyth's guilty plea to 74 offenses but remained fearful that he would ``seriously sexually abuse'' children again.

Source: Associated Press, 26 July 1997

 

News: Jurors find Catholic diocese negligent of priest child molester

DALLAS-- Jurors have ruled that the Dallas Roman Catholic Diocese was ``grossly'' negligent in its supervision of a priest accused of sexually molesting young boys for more than a decade.

The jury of 10 women and two men today awarded multi-million dollar damages to the 11 plaintiffs, most of them men who allege they were molested by the Rev. Rudolph ``Rudy'' Kos as young boys between 1981 and 1992.

The exact amount of the damages has not been determined. The plaintiffs are seeking a total of $146.5 million. Because the jury ruled that the diocese was ``grossly negligent,'' there will be another trial on punitive damages.

The plaintiffs allege the diocese covered up more than a decade of sexual abuse by Kos, who was a priest at four Dallas-area churches. Kos has already been held liable as a defendant in the lawsuit. Plaintiff attorney Windle Turley said, ``Today's verdict is a sound of greater hope for the safety of children entrusted to the care of institutions in this state and across the land.''

Turley said sexual abuse of children by priests and ministers is a ``widespread problem'' around the world and he urged victims to come forward and hold institutions accountable.

Source: United Press International, 24 July 1997

 

News: 32 more killed in Sri Lanka

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka-- With jet fighters attacking rebel positions, government forces battled a separatist army over a key highway in northern Sri Lanka. The military said Thursday that at least 32 guerrillas and four soldiers were killed.

The rebels have been fighting since 1983 for a homeland for the minority Tamils, who account for 18 percent of Sri Lanka's 18 million people. They allege discrimination by the majority Sinhalese, who control the government and military. More than 48,000 have been killed in the fighting.

[Note, the Tamils represent a Hindu sect and the Sinhalese, a Buddhist sect.]

Source: Associated Press, 24 July 1997

 

News: 6 Policemen Killed in Egypt

ASSIUT, Egypt-- Suspected Muslim extremists opened fire on a car carrying policemen in southern Egypt today, killing six officers and wounding two bystanders, the Interior Ministry said.

Muslim extremists have been waged a violent campaign since 1992, trying to overthrow Egypt's government and replace it with strict Islamic rule. At least 1,100 people have died.

Source: Associated Press, 22 July 1997

 

News: Vatican held Nazi loot

WASHINGTON -- The Vatican held for safekeeping about 200 million Swiss francs plundered from Serbs and Jews by the Nazi puppet government of Croatia after World War II, according to a newly declassified U.S. document.

The latest discovery is the first credible evidence of Vatican involvement in the Nazi gold controversy.

Source: Associated Press 21 July 1997

 

News: Hamas Backers Protest Israel Peace

HEBRON, West Bank-- Thousands of Hamas supporters demonstrated today against peace with Israel in one of the largest of recent shows of strength by the militant Islamic movement. Some 15,000 joined the protest, which reflects the growing strength of the Palestinian opposition as Yasser Arafat's peace process with Israel remains mired. Peace talks have been frozen since March, when Israel broke ground for a new Jewish neighborhood in east Jerusalem, where the Palestinians want to set up a capital.

Source: Associated Press 19 July 1997

 

News: 77 more killed in Sri Lanka

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka-- A Tamil rebel attack on government troops along a key stretch of highway in northern Sri Lanka killed at least 77 people from both sides, the military spokesman said today.

The rebels are fighting for a homeland for Sri Lanka's Tamil minority, which claims discrimination by the Sinhalese majority. In 14 years of war, more than 48,000 people have been killed in this Indian Ocean island nation.

[Note, the Tamils represent a Hindu sect and the Sinhalese, a Buddhist sect.]

Source: Associated Press 17 July 1997

 

News: Eleven dead in Sri Lanka fighting

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka-- Fighting between government troops and separatist Tamil rebels killed at least 11 people in two incidents, the military said Sunday.

Tamil rebels on Saturday attacked a police post at Sinnawatte, killing a civilian and a policeman, a military official said. The village is about 131 miles east of the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo.

Elsewhere, government troops on Saturday shot dead nine rebels in northern Sri Lanka, near Periyamadhu, about 141 miles north of Colombo.

The rebels are fighting for a homeland for minority Tamils, who account for 18 percent of Sri Lanka's 18 million people. The rebels claim Tamils face discrimination by the majority Sinhalese, who control the government and military.

The war, which began in 1983, has killed more than 48,000 people.

[Note, the Tamils represent a Hindu sect and the Sinhalese, a Buddhist sect.]

Source: Associated Press 13 July 1997

 

News: Congo killings

UNITED NATIONS-- The killings of Rwandan refugees in Congo were apparently so massive and systematic that they can be considered crimes against humanity and possibly genocide, U.N. investigators said in a report Friday.

Investigators said they received reports on 134 alleged massacres committed by Kabila's army and allied Banyamulenge militias -- made up of ethnic Tutsis who have long lived in Congo. The March report put the figure at 50. They also received reports of 33 human rights violations by the Zairian armed forces and its allies, and 19 violations by former Rwandan soldiers and ethnic Hutu militiamen.

Retaliation against the Hutu fighters was a driving force in the alleged massacres. Hutu extremists killed at least 500,000 Tutsis in Rwanda, before fleeing into Zaire and hiding among the refugees. Kabila's army includes many ethnic Tutsis.

Source: Associated Press 11 July 1997

 

News: The power of faith

SEOUL, South Korea -- North Korea has networks of tunnels and is stockpiling weapons, the country's highest-ranking defector said Thursday in a warning the North may start a war to head off starvation and despair.

``They believe that war must be waged. This is a firm policy of North Korea,'' Hwang said in his first public appearance following 80 days of interrogation by South Korean and U.S. intelligence officials.

``The North has only two options: to surrender or to start a war,'' Hwang told a news conference. ``It is their unshakable faith that they must fight a war, once and for all.''

The Korean peninsula was partitioned into the communist North and the capitalist South in 1945. They are still technically at war since no peace treaty was signed at the end of the 1950-53 Korean War.

Source: Associated Press 10 July 1997

 

News: Violence across Northern Ireland

LONDONDERRY, Northern Ireland (AP) -- Fresh violence erupted across Northern Ireland early today with fires and riots in retaliation for Britain's decision to allow Protestant marchers through a Catholic neighborhood.

A policeman was shot and wounded on a Catholic enclave; a Protestant man in north Belfast was wounded in a burst of gunfire from the Catholic Ardoyne neighborhood; rioters in Strabane threw gasoline bombs, a Protestant militant died in southwest Belfast.

Nationalists in the predominantly Catholic northern town of Londonderry warn that the crisis has yet to end. ``You ain't seen nothing yet!'' an older man cackled as he watched youths lob stones at British troops protecting shops in Londonderry's historic walled city.

Source: Associated Press 08 July 1997

 

News: Bosnia's tensions continue

PALE, Bosnia-Herzegovina-- Bosnia's peace is imperiled now more than at any time since the end of fighting in late 1995. This time, it is because of an intra-Serb feud about corruption and Bosnia's future between war crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic and his successor.

There are still huge problems between Muslims and Croats. But it is largely the Serbs, who instigated Bosnia's war and now are resisting the Dayton deal, who will determine whether there is lasting peace.

Source: Associated Press 06 July, 1997

 

News: Muslims threaten suicide bombings for insults to Mohammed.

HEBRON, West Bank-- Muslim militants on Sunday threatened to resume suicide bombings against Israel, in a fierce response to a flier that insulted Islam and its prophet, Mohammed.

The Islamic Jihad group -- responsible for several of the past years' deadly suicide bombings in Israel -- warned in a leaflet that "If the sword of Zionist oppression ... strikes at the honor of the Prophet Mohammed and our Holy Koran, we turn ourselves into human bombs.''

Source: Associated Press, 29 June 1997

 

News: Muslims fighting in the Phillippines

COTABATO, Philippines- Some 300 families returned to their villages in the southern Philippines Saturday after more than a week of fighting that has killed over 80 people, officials said.

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has cancelled talks on a possible cease-fire, originally scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, saying the situation was not conducive to negotiations.

Military officials said 76 guerrillas and seven soldiers had died in the fighting that began on June 16. The MILF put its losses at 12 dead.

The MILF is the biggest of three groups fighting for an Islamic state on Mindanao island, which Muslims in this largely Christian country regard as their ancestral homeland.

Source: Associated Press, 28 June 1997

 

News: Buddhists and Hindus fight each other

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka -- With warplanes and artillery pounding Tamil rebel positions, government troops on Tuesday marched into a strategic guerrilla-held town in northern Sri Lanka, military officials said. The rebels admitted that 11 guerrillas -- 10 women and a man -- were killed. . .

The rebels are fighting for a homeland for minority Tamils, who account for 18 percent of Sri Lanka's 18 million people. They claim discrimination by the majority Sinhalese, who control the government and military. The war has killed more than 48,000 people.

[Note, the Tamils represent a Hindu sect and the Sinhalese, a Buddhist sect.]

Source: Associated Press, 24 June 1997

 

News: Protestant marchers cause tension

Belfast-- Rows of riot police blocked three Protestant marches from confronting Catholic protesters Sunday. These marches occur more than 2000 times each summer to celebrate the Protestant majority's traditional dominance in Northern Ireland.

Source: Miami Herald Wire Services, 23 June 1997

 

News: The violence in Ireland continues

London: The latest act of savagery in Northern Ireland, the murder of two police officers by the Irish Republican Army, has sparked fears of a return to all-out warfare in the province and has drawn fierce condemnation from London and Washington.

The concern of British and Northern Ireland authorities is that the killings will trigger retaliatory violence by Protestant paramilitary groups. They said they believe that was the IRA motive in gunning down the police officers.

[Religious beliefs. What better way to justify a good kill?]

Source from the Chicago Tribune, 18 June 1997

 

News : Jerusalem-- Ultra-Orthodox Jews pelted men and women with stones and bags of excrement Wednesday for praying together near the Western Wall.

A group of Conservative and Reform Jews carried a Torah scroll to the wall to mark Shavuot, the holiday commemorating Moses' receiving of the Ten Commandments. Their presence angered untra-Orthodox Jews, who believe men and women must not worship together.

[The violence derived from belief strikes again.]

Story from the Miami Herald, 12 June 1997

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