Red Cross Ferry Evacuates 161
In Sri Lanka as Supplies Fade
By Shimali Senanayake
THE NEW YORK TIMES COLOMBO, SRI LANKA
A ferry for the International Committee of Red Cross evacuated 161 people, mostly citizens of other countries, trapped in heavy fighting in northern Jaffna peninsula on Sunday, as aid workers warned of a dwindling supply of food, water and medicine in the area.
Jaffna, the strategic peninsula that the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam claim as the ethnic Tamil homeland, has been cut off by air, land and sea from the rest of the country for three weeks as the worst fighting since a February 2002 cease-fire has raged between rebels and government forces. More than 200,000 people are estimated by the U.N. refugee agency to have been displaced by the last four months of fighting, and officials said on Sunday that food was in very short supply in the area.
The ferry transported foreign aid workers to Trincomalee, an eastern port city, said Davide Vignati, the aid group spokesman in Colombo. Most of those evacuated on the ferry were brought by bus here to the capital.
Baghdad Museum Head Resigns,
Cites Political Threat
By Edward Wong
THE NEW YORK TIMES BAGHDAD, IRAQ
The director of the Baghdad Museum has resigned and moved to Syria because he felt under threat from fundamentalists with ties to the Shiite-led government, a Western diplomat said Sunday. The director, Donny George, is known as a prominent advocate for the preservation of antiquities in Iraq.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, which is in charge of the museum, confirmed that George resigned earlier this month and left Iraq a few days ago. “We think he left Iraq to eventually try to go to the United States or a European country,” said the spokesman, Abdul Zahra al-Talaqani.
The Western diplomat, who has some expertise in antiquities, said in a telephone interview on Sunday evening that George had recently told people close to him that he felt threatened. George was a midlevel official in the Baath Party under Saddam Hussein’s government and may be the target of a revenge campaign by Shiites, said the diplomat, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Violence Erupts After Rebel Tribal
Leader is Killed
By Carlotta Gall
THE NEW YORK TIMES ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN
Violent protests broke out in the southern Pakistani province of Baluchistan and in the city of Karachi on Sunday after the killing of a prominent rebel tribal leader in a fierce battle with the army.
Anticipating unrest, the government put the army on alert on Saturday night after the death of the leader, Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti, 79, who had dominated the Baluch political scene for more than 50 years. The police closed the main highways from three provinces into the provincial capital, Quetta, and imposed a curfew at 1 a.m.
But protesters defied the curfew, burning tires, ransacking shops and government buildings and setting fire to buses in the city.
Gunfire broke out, and at least three people, including a police officer, were reported killed. A bomb exploded at a government registration office in Qalat, a town just south of Quetta, but no one was reported injured.
Violence broke out across the province during the day, and the police detained 450 people, news agencies reported.
President Pervez Musharraf called a meeting of senior Cabinet ministers and law enforcement agencies, and his spokesman announced soon after that Bugti’s body would be handed over to relatives for burial as soon as it could be retrieved from the rubble of the cave where he died.