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World in brief

Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published September 12, 2002

Putin threatens to attack Georgia

MOSCOW -- President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday threatened to order military strikes in the former Soviet republic of Georgia, saying that Russia had a right to defend itself from what he called terrorist attacks launched from Georgian territory.

Putin sharply criticized Georgia for failing to root out hundreds of insurgents from the Russian republic of Chechnya and warned that if Georgia did not do more, Russia would conduct raids in Georgia to crush the fighters' strongholds.

36 North Koreans escape to the South

INCHEON, South Korea -- In the biggest one-day exodus of asylum-seekers from China, 36 people holed up in a German school and the South Korean Embassy arrived in South Korea today. Their arrival pushed to 729 the number of North Koreans who have defected to South Korea this year, 146 more than the number who defected in 2001.

Milosevic prosecutors finish Kosovo phase

THE HAGUE -- After 95 days of testimony, 300 exhibits and 124 witnesses, prosecutors in the U.N. war crimes trial of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic on Wednesday rested their case dealing with the massacres and deportation of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo in 1998 and 1999.

Despite the absence of a "smoking gun" -- evidence directly linking Milosevic to atrocities -- prosecutors and some trial-watchers contend that a compelling case has been constructed that he was not only aware of a high-level Yugoslav campaign to "ethnically cleanse" Kosovo of its Albanian population, but that he participated in a later coverup.

The trial now moves to earlier events in Bosnia and Croatia.

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