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Since 1st March, 1999
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War Briefs

Gujarat support for Bush

Ahmedabad, April 8 (PTI): A city-based NGO today held a rally “in support of the US in its fight against terrorism”.

“The support to the US in its attack against the Saddam Hussein regime stems from the optimism that the superpower, in its tirade to quell the menace of global terrorism, will help India get free from the evil being fomented by neighbouring Pakistan,” convener of Alliance Against Terrorism Nagesh Bhandari said. Several members of the organisation shouted slogans condemning Saddam and Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf as they pledged support to the US and Britain.

Chemical tests

Near Karbala (Reuters): New US tests indicate that substances found at sites in central Iraq are not chemical weapons agents as first suspected, US military sources said. “The latest tests turned out negative,” one source said. US military officers had said initial tests on substances found near the central Iraq town of Hindiya suggested the presence of nerve agents sarin and tabun and the blister agent lewisite. Military sources said it was not yet clear what the substances were.

Vienna (Reuters): The Iraq war has so far produced only a handful of refugees, but it is too early to rule out a humanitarian crisis like the one sparked by the 1991 Gulf War, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Ruud Lubbers said. There were more Iraqi refugees in the industrialised world than from any other single country, having already fled the rule of Saddam Hussein before the war began, he said.

Warship siege

Sydney (Reuters): Anti-war protesters stopped an Australian warship leaving Sydney Harbour for Iraq by attaching themselves to the ship with mountain climbing gear and laying an underwater object in front of the vessel. They surprised the water police as the guided-missile frigate HMAS Sydney steamed towards Sydney Harbour. Television footage showed one protester attaching himself to the bow of the ship and unfurled a “No War” banner. Greenpeace said in a statement that it had stopped the ship.

First Pak strike

Peshawar (Reuters): Shops and businesses were closed in some Pakistani cities on Tuesday in the first strikes by traders against the war on Iraq. The stoppages, called by several traders’ groups and backed by hardline Islamic groups, were partly observed in Karachi and some other cities.

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