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Angolan army says it killed rebel leader



Published: Sat, February 23, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Angolan army says it killed rebel leader

LUANDA, Angola -- Jonas Savimbi, leader of the rebel group that has fought the government and frustrated peace efforts for nearly three decades, was killed Friday in a military attack on UNITA forces in southeast Angola, the army and government said.

The armed forces said Savimbi, 67, died around 3 p.m. in an offensive in Moxico province.

There was no independent confirmation of the claim. UNITA officials, who are hiding in the Angolan bush, were not available for comment.

Savimbi was a key U.S. ally during the 1980s as the United States sought to counter Soviet advances in Africa. His influence waned, however, as the Soviet Union came apart and U.S. relations with Angola improved over the past decade.

If confirmed, Savimbi's death could open the way for long-lasting peace in the southwest African country where civil war has raged off and on for 27 years.

Half a million people are believed to have died because of the war, though there are no confirmed figures. About 4 million people -- roughly one-third of the population -- have been driven from their homes by the fighting.

Colombian troopsattack rebel stronghold

SAN VICENTE DEL CAGUAN, Colombia -- Colombian paratroopers and counterinsurgency forces stormed rebel territory Friday, launching an offensive to reconquer an area twice the size of New Jersey after a 3-year-old peace process failed.

Hundreds of soldiers recaptured an old army base outside the main rebel town of San Vicente Del Caguan on the zone's western fringe, raising the Colombian flag and singing the national anthem.

U.S.-made Black Hawk helicopters ferrying the troops came under rebel fire. Three soldiers were wounded and three choppers were hit, Armed Forces chief Gen. Fernando Tapias said.

As many as 5,000 guerrillas were believed to be inside the zone but most of the top rebel commanders have left the area, he said. Colombia mobilized 13,000 troops for the operation.

Shopper chargedin attack on customer

LOWELL, Mass. -- A shopper accused of beating another customer for bringing too many items into an express checkout line surrendered Friday, but her lawyer said she was only defending herself.

The lawyer said the other customer swore at Karen Morgan, then spit in her face and lunged at her outside the Market Basket grocery store. Police say Morgan, 38, was the aggressor.

The Feb. 10 dispute began when the 51-year-old woman, who was not identified by police, brought 13 items into a 12-items-or-fewer checkout lane.

The woman said Morgan got in line behind her, complained she didn't know how to count, then swore at her. She said that as she walked home with the groceries, Morgan drove up and the two exchanged words.

"Then she got out of the car and commenced a whooping on me,"' the woman told The Sun of Lowell.

Police say Morgan pulled the victim's hair and hit her hard enough to knock her to the ground, then kicked her in the head. The woman took down the car's license-plate number, and it was traced to Morgan's address.

Morgan was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon -- her shod foot. She faces up to 10 years in prison.

Psychiatrist testifies

HOUSTON -- Andrea Yates believed demons surrounded her and she was fulfilling a prophecy by drowning her five children last June, a jail psychiatrist testified Friday.

"She believed that the children would be tormented and perish in the fires of hell unless they were killed," Dr. Melissa Ferguson testified, saying Yates was "one of the sickest patients I have ever seen."

The testimony came as Yates' lawyers began making their case to jurors that she is innocent of capital murder by reason of insanity. Yates, 37, faces the death penalty if convicted.

Ferguson, recounting notes she made at the Harris County Jail June 21, a day after the children were drowned in a bathtub, said Yates screamed to her, "I was so stupid.

"Couldn't I have killed just one to fulfill the prophecy?" Yates asked. "Couldn't I have offered Mary?"

Associated Press




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