WW4 Report

BJP exploits backlash violence in India?

Following the July 5 attack by presumed Islamic militants at the disputed Indian holy site of Ayodhya, protests have broken out throughout India. Over 2,000 were arrested in Delhi, where police used tear gas, and critics charge the protests have been particularly violent in states controlled by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

New armed group attacks in southern Mexico

A previously unknown armed group, the Fatherland is First Popular Revolutionary Command (Comando Popular Revolucionario La Patria es Primero), has claimed responsibility for the July 6 assassination of former Guerrero state government secretary Ruben Robles Catalan, whose driver was also killed in the attack.

Iraq: acid attacks on "immodest" women

A particularly chilling story from Iraq. From the UN news agency IRIN, and available on the website of the Women's International League for Peace & Freedom (WILPF), July 4:

IRAQ: Acid attacks on "immodest" women on the rise
For Sumeya Abdullah, a 34-year-old primary school teacher in the capital Baghdad, life will never be the same again. In late June she had her legs burned by corrosive acid in a street attack because, she believes, she was not wearing her veil and the traditional 'abaya' covering common in many Middle Eastern countries.

Central Asia alliance demands timetable for US withdrawal

Meeting in Astana, Kazakhstan, July 5, the regional grouping known as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) issued a statement that called on the US to establish a timetable for withdrawal of its forces from Afghanistan and elsewhere in Central Asia. Led by Russia and China, the grouping also includes Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

New violence at Ayodhya

Six were killed today as unidentified militants attacked the bitterly contested holy site of Ayodhya in India's Uttar Pradesh. First, a likely suicide bomber in a jeep blew up an outer security wall; then a group of five others posing as tourists in a taxi stormed the complex, sparking a gunbattle with police in which all the attackers were killed. The site has occasioned much violence in the past, beginning in December 1992, when the Babri mosque that had stood there since the Mogul era was destroyed in a mass action by Hindu militants, who claimed it was built atop an ancient temple marking the birthplace of the god Rama. The question again exploded into violence in February 2002 when a train carrying Hindu militants from the site, where they had rallied for rebuilding the temple, was attacked by Muslim militants in Gujarat state, leaving 59 dead and sparking weeks of retaliatory violence in which over 1,000 Muslims were killed. Excavations are currently underway to determine if in fact the temple had existed, and a makeshift Hindu shrine has been erected there.

US kills more civilians in Afghanistan: provincial governor

Claims of civilians wiped out in US air raids, journalists detained by security forces, GIs missing in combat. My, things just look better and better in Afghanistan. Thanks to Lebanon's Daily Star for this report which, while compiled from wire services, is more comprehensive and realistic than most of what we're getting in the US press.

Dagestan: next Caucasian domino?

Is the Russian province of Dagestan going the way of neighboring Chechnya? This July 2 AFP account (online at Qatar's The Peninsula) makes a disturbingly good case:

200,000 march in Edinburgh

Some 225,000 came out for the Make Poverty History march in Edinburgh July 2, on the eve of the G8 summit about to open at the Gleneagles resort outside the city, as Live8 concerts echoing the demand for action against poverty in Africa and elsewhere were held in London's Hyde Park and other venues around the globe. Only one arrest was reported, but many activists complained of being photographed by police, both on the march and at road stops and train stations en route to Edinburgh. Police are also said to be concerned about an "Anarchist Carnival" scheduled for this evening in Edinbugh. (BBC, July 2) Anti-war themes were prominent in the Edinburgh march, but another action by the UK's Stop the War Coalition is scheduled for tomorrow, with a blockade of the nearby Faslane Naval base scheduled for Monday the 4th.

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