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ON SC RI PT I SU B TUESDAY, APRIL 26, 2011 Two shot dead, scores hurt at huge Yemen demos 40 PAGES NO: 15070 150 FILS 8 JAMADI ALAWWAL 23, 1432 AH WikiLeaks reveals US blunders at Guantanamo Organizer of India’s Commonwealth Games arrested Insects: The answer to global malnutrition? 28 10 17 25 killed as Syrian storm Daraa tanks Bodies sprawled in streets • US mulls sanctions Bahrain players held, clubs shut UAE arrests activists MANAMA: Three players from Bahrain’s national football team have been detained and six clubs have withdrawn from domestic leagues following widespread, anti-government protests, the Bahrain Football Association said yesterday. Meanwhile, the pro-democracy group Youth of Feb 14 Revolution has launched a Facebook campaign calling on Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone not to reschedule the Bahrain Grand Prix “until basic human rights and freedoms are restored.” Bahrain has until May 1 to decide if it wants to reschedule the race which was canceled March 13 due to the unrest. The moves are the latest illustration of the effects on sport of the anti-government protests that began Feb 14 and have left 30 people dead. The action against the footballers is part of a widespread government crackdown on dissent following protests that have resulted in journalists, bloggers, doctors, lawyers and activists being detained. More than 150 athletes, coaches and referees also have been suspended since April 5 for their Continued on Page 13 DARAA, Syria: This video image taken from amateur video shows a man throwing an object at a tank yesterday. — AP NATO forces strike Gaddafi compound TRIPOLI: NATO forces flattened a building inside Muammar Gaddafi’s Bab AlAziziyah compound early yesterday, in what his officials said was a failed attempt on the Libyan leader’s life. NATO said the attack was on a communications headquarters used to coordinate attacks on civilians. A Libyan spokesman said Gaddafi was unharmed and state television showed pictures of him meeting people in a tent, which it said were taken yesterday. Firefighters were still working to extinguish flames in part of the ruined building a few hours after the attack, when foreign journalists were taken to the scene in Tripoli. A press official, who asked not to be identified, said 45 people were hurt in the strike, 15 of them seriously, and some were still missing. That could not be independently confirmed. Gaddafi’s son Saif Al-Islam said the Libyan government would not be cowed by such attacks. “The bombing which targeted Muammar Gaddafi’s office today ... will only scare children. It’s impossible that it will make us afraid or give up or raise the white flag,” he was quoted as saying by the Jana state news agency. “You, NATO, are waging a losing battle because you are backed by traitors and spies. History has proved that no state can rely on them to win.” Continued on Page 13 in the news BB limits next week DUBAI: Emirati authorities seeking greater control over smartphone data are pushing ahead with plans to impose tighter restrictions on the most tough-tomonitor BlackBerry service next week, according to a senior telecom executive. The proposed new rules, outlined earlier this month, have renewed questions about how far the United Arab Emirates is willing to go in allowing highly secure communications within its borders. Osman Sultan, chief executive of the telecommunications firm Du, told reporters yesterday the latest policy ordered by regulators will go into effect May 1. He said he doesn’t expect the shift to cause problems for customers, who will still have access to email, Web browsing and instant messaging. (See Page 27) TEHRAN: Iran has been hit by a second computer virus, a senior military official said yesterday, suggesting it was part of a concerted campaign to undermine the country’s disputed nuclear program. Gholam Reza Jalali, the head of an Iranian military unit in charge of combatting sabotage, said that experts discovered the “espionage virus”, which he called “Stars”. “The Stars virus has been presented to the laboratory but is still being investigated,” Jalali said in a report posted yesterday on his organization’s website, “No definite and final conclusions have been reached.” He did not say what equipment or facilities the virus targeted, or when experts first detected it. (See Page 27) Taleban free inmates in brazen jailbreak KANDAHAR: While ground fighting eased during the long Afghan winter, insurgents in the former Taleban headquarters of Kandahar were apparently busy underground. The Taleban say they spent more than five months building a 320-m tunnel to the main prison in southern Afghanistan, bypassing government checkpoints, watch towers and concrete barriers topped with razor wire. The diggers finally poked through Sunday and spent the night ferrying away more than 480 inmates through that same tunnel without a shot being fired, according to Afghan officials and the Taleban. Most of the prisoners were Taleban militants. The extraordinary prison break, following a recent wave of assassinations here, underscores the weakness of the Afghan government in the south despite an influx of international troops, funding and advisers. It also highlights the spirit and resourcefulness of the Taleban despite months of battlefield setbacks. Officials at Sarposa prison in Kandahar city, the onetime Taleban capital, say they discovered the breach at about 4 am yesterday, a half-hour after the Taleban say they had gotten all the prisoners safely to a house at the other end of the tunnel. Government officials corroborated parts of the Taleban account. They confirmed the tunnel was dug from a house within shouting distance of the prison and that the inmates had somehow Continued on Page 13 DAMASCUS: Thousands of Syrian troops backed by tanks stormed the flashpoint town of Daraa yesterday killing at least 25 people, witnesses said, as a leading rights activist accused Damascus of opting for a “military solution” to crush dissent. Troops also launched assaults on the Damascus suburbs of Douma and AlMaadamiyeh, witnesses said, as the head of the UN human rights agency slammed what she called the security forces’ disregard for human life. The United States, which has repeatedly denounced Syria’s repression of the protests, was considering sanctions against Damascus, an official in Washington said. Amman said Syria yesterday closed its border with Jordan in a statement quickly denied by Syrian customs chief Mustapha Bukai. Activist Abdullah Abazid told AFP by telephone from Daraa that Syrian forces were pounding the southern town near the border with heavy artillery and that “at least 25 martyrs have fallen”. “There are still bodies sprawled in the streets,” he said, with the sound of loud explosions and gunfire in the background. A group of activists said in a statement to media that “more than 25 people fell but no one could reach them because of the heavy shelling” and that only seven bodies were retrieved. They were identified by name and included a father and his two sons, said the statement which accused Syrian troops of firing indiscriminately with anti-aircraft guns. “The commander of the Third Army Corps, Kamal Ayyash, a citizen of Daraa, was arrested because he Continued on Page 13 Panel slams ‘illegal’ transport jets deal Global wins $300m KUWAIT: Dubai appeals court yesterday ordered a UAE bank to repay a deposit worth $250 million plus interest to Kuwait’s Global Investment House, ending a long dispute, the Kuwaiti firm said. The dispute dates back to Aug 2008 when Global placed the deposit at the Dubai branch of National Bank of Umm Al-Qaiwain (NBQ), the company said in a statement. The court also ordered NBQ to pay $54.6 million in interest and expenses, the statement said. Global chairwoman Maha Al-Ghunaim said the “recovery of this long overdue deposit along with interests will strengthen the company’s financial position.” (See Page 21) Iran uncovers new attack TRIPOLI: Libyan soldiers walk past damaged offices of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi after they were hit by NATO bombs in the Bab Al-Aziziyah district yesterday. — AFP Max 34 Min 23 Low Tide 00:20 : 12:03 High Tide 07:12 & 17:22 KANDAHAR: An Afghan policeman takes a look at the opening of a tunnel at the main prison through which prisoners escaped yesterday. — AP MPs blast Syrian ‘massacres’ By B Izzak KUWAIT: The head of the National Assembly’s public funds committee MP Musallam Al-Barrak said yesterday that certain procedures involving the planned purchase of two transport planes by the defense ministry are “wrong and illegal”, saying the panel will summon the defense minister over the issue. Barrak said that certain quarters are pushing to accelerate the procedures of the deal so it can be concluded before any action is taken. The planned deal was highlighted by several MPs in the past. The lawmakers said that the defense ministry was planning to purchase the two planes from a local company owned by an influential personality for KD 131 million. Negotiations for the purchase have been ongoing for several months although the Kuwaiti Air Force has never asked to buy the two planes. Barrak said that with every meeting, the committee discovers fresh details on the planned deal which necessitates summoning new sides to hear their views. The lawmaker described the deal as “clinically dead”, adding that the report on the issue will contain plenty of details and name those responsible, and criticized the government for creating an additional allocation worth KD 131 million as the expected price of the two planes. The committee also discussed a number of controversial issues including a Kuwaiti loan to Russia in 1990 and alleged violations in Kuwaiti investments. In another development, two Islamist MPs strongly condemned the Syrian army attacks and “brutality” against Continued on Page 13

26 April

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