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Rwandan rebels kill 17, rights worker reports

By TIMES WIRES
Published May 28, 2007


KINSHASA, CONGO

Rwandan rebels attacked villagers in neighboring eastern Congo on Sunday, killing 17, wounding 28 and taking up to a dozen hostages, a local rights worker said. The attackers, who are based in Congo, descended on the village of Kanyola in the middle of the night, rights worker Constantin Charondagwa said. Charondagwa said he visited Kanyola and interviewed people who escaped the attack. A motive was not immediately clear. The U.N. mission in Congo could not confirm the attack, but a spokesman said a team had been dispatched to the area.

MANAGUA, NICARAGUA

Tainted Chinese toothpaste seized

Nicaraguan police seized 6, 000 tubes of a Chinese-made toothpaste suspected of containing a chemical that killed at least 51 people in nearby Panama last year, the health minister said Sunday. All U.S. imports of Chinese toothpaste were halted last week to test for diethylene glycol, a chemical commonly used in antifreeze and brake fluid. Nicaraguan Health Minister Maritza Cuan told Channel 8 that the seized toothpaste had been smuggled in from Panama. Panama ordered the toothpaste pulled from shelves there earlier this month after finding it contained diethylene glycol.

TRIPOLI, LIBYA

Medical workers cleared of slander

Five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor convicted of infecting about 400 Libyan children with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, were cleared Sunday of defamation charges in a related case. The proceedings in the HIV case have generated international criticism of Libya, including from the United States and European Union. The medical workers, who deny infecting the children, were condemned to death in December at the end of a retrial. During the retrial, the workers said the confessions used by the prosecution had been extracted under torture and named a Libyan police officer, Jumaa al-Mishri, and a doctor, Abdul-Majid al-Shoul. They later filed the defamation claim. The court did not explain its ruling to acquit.

Elsewhere

Taliban releases hostages: The Taliban on Sunday released three Afghan aid workers from the French group Terre d'Enfance who had been kidnapped nearly two months ago.

Venezuelans protest TV shutdown: Thousands of protesters gathered in Caracas on Sunday in competing demonstrations over President Hugo Chavez's forced shutdown of Radio Caracas Television, the sole opposition-aligned TV station with nationwide reach. It was to go off the air at midnight.

China fire: A fire that raged through a restaurant Saturday in Chaoyang killed 11 people and injured 16 others, state media said Sunday.

Syrian elections: Syrians voted Sunday in a referendum to endorse President Bashar Assad - the only candidate - for a second term. The country's tiny opposition boycotted.