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Opposition demands government resign



Published: Mon, February 18, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Opposition demandsgovernment resign

KATMANDU, Nepal -- Parliament members knocked down a podium, scuffled with guards and shouted for the government to resign today for failing to prevent a rebel attack that killed 129 people, most of them police officers and soldiers.

The melee by the opposition lawmakers broke out after a governing Nepali Congress party member, representing the remote area where Sunday's attack took place, said the government had not responded to warnings of a pending assault.

The Maoist rebels attacked a district headquarters and a nearby airport in northwestern Nepal on Sunday, killing 76 policemen, 48 soldiers, an intelligence officer and four civilians. The attack was the deadliest since the rebels began fighting to topple the constitutional monarchy in 1996 from remote mountain areas in this Himalayan land of exquisite beauty but violent politics.

As the bodies of the dead were being flown back to the capital, Katmandu, for cremation, the army sent hundreds of reinforcements by helicopter to the stricken district, Mangalsen, 375 miles to the northwest.

No one was injured in the brief scuffle in Parliament, which had gathered to consider a proposal by Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba to extend the three-month national emergency.

Police: Extremistsbehind church attack

BANGALORE, India -- About 50 Hindu hard-liners attacked a Roman Catholic church in southern India on Sunday and injured several worshippers, police said.

V.V. Bhaskar, the police chief in the city of Mysore, declined to say how many people were hurt in the attack, which happened on the outskirts of the city.

The assailants threw stones at the church before forcing their way inside, breaking furniture, smashing windows and attacking worshippers.

The men demanded the priest end what they said were efforts to convert local villagers, who are mainly Hindu, Bhaskar said.

Christians make up only a tiny fraction of India's 1 billion-plus population. About 80 percent are Hindus.

Some Hindu extremist groups have accused church officials of trying to attract poor Hindus with promises of money and jobs.

The worst attack against Christians in India took place in 1999, when an Australian missionary and his two children were burned alive by a mob.

Former SLA memberreleased on bond

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- One of five former Symbionese Liberation Army members charged with killing a woman in a 1975 bank robbery posted bond Sunday.

Emily Harris, 54, was released after posting $1 million bail, said her lawyer, Stuart Hanlon. Sacramento County Jail officials confirmed Harris was no longer in custody.

"She was feeling great," Hanlon said. "She was very thankful there was family and friends who raised this money for her. Her full-time job is now to prove what they have been saying about her for all these years is not true."

He said his client is now spending time with her friends and family at a Sacramento hotel.

Harris and her ex-husband, 56-year-old William Harris, are awaiting trial for the murder of 42-year-old Myrna Opsahl during a bank robbery. Opsahl was depositing a church collection during the SLA's April 21, 1975, robbery of the Crocker National Bank.

Charles Bourdon, who represents William Harris, said his firm still is trying to raise money to meet the $1 million bail for his client.

Sentenced to lashing

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia -- A Saudi court has sentenced a man to six years in prison and 4,750 lashes for having sex with his wife's sister, a newspaper reported Sunday.

The woman involved in the case was sentenced to six months in jail and 65 lashes, the paper Al-Eqtisadiah reported, though the court found she had not consented to the relationship. She had also reported the affair to the police.

Having a relationship with one's in-law is considered a serious offense under the strict Islamic judicial code that Saudi Arabia follows.

The court, in the port city of Jiddah, ordered that the lashes be administered to the man at a rate of 95 at a time.

Lashes are often handed out by Saudi courts, although rarely in such large numbers.

The court also ruled he was not eligible for a pardon "because of the ugliness and seriousness of his crime."

Associated Press




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