Mon, 15 Dec 2003

Persija claims Bang Yos Golden Trophy: The Capital city's soccer club, Persija, won the 2003 Bang Yos Golden Trophy after defeating Surabaya-based Persebaya 4-1 in a penalty shootout in Bung Karno Stadium, Jakarta, on Sunday. Persija's Elie Aiboy, who was later awarded as the tournament's best player, delivered the last goal and brought his club entitled of a total prize money of Rp 200 million (US$23,600). The match was ended with no goals before entering extra-time and continued with the shoot-outs. The countries' eight top clubs participated in the mini-tournament held by Jakarta Governor Sutiyoso, who often referred as Bang Yos, from Dec. 6 to 14.

Blast in Rawalpindi after Musharraf's car passes: An explosion ripped up a section of road in the northern Pakistani city of Rawalpindi on Sunday shortly after President Pervez Musharraf's car had passed by, but no one was hurt, officials said. A military spokesman called it a "terrorist act" but added it was too early to say if it was an attempt on the life of Musharraf, who has enraged Muslim radicals by backing the U.S.-led "war on terrorism". "The president's motorcade passed a minute before the blast," a military spokesman, Major General Shaukat Sultan, said. "He is safe and sound." "It is a terrorist act," Sultan said. "Whether it was an assassination attempt or not can be said until after the investigations." -- Reuters

At least 70 killed in weekend fighting in Nepal: Fighting between Maoist rebels and security forces left at least 70 people dead over the weekend, officials and media reports said on Sunday. The clashes were some of the bloodiest in months and underscored the severity of the seven-year insurgency. In the worst fighting, security forces attacked a rebel hideout Sunday in Dailekh district, 360 kilometers (225 miles) west of Katmandu, killing at least 35 insurgents, state-run Radio Nepal said. Fighting erupted when the rebels attacked an army patrol near Piyakolek, in the same district, the radio report said. Security forces retaliated and chased the guerrillas to their hideout. There were no reports of army casualties. -- AP

Too early to talk about Osama after Saddam, says Kabul: Afghanistan welcomed news of Saddam Hussein's capture on Sunday, but said it was too early to say if it might lead to stepped up efforts to find elusive al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. The whereabouts of bin Laden, the man accused of masterminding the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, are not known, but Pakistani and Afghan officials have said he may be hiding in rugged border regions. Asked to comment on a U.S. announcement of Saddam's capture near his hometown of Tikrit, Afghan government spokesman Javid Loodin said: "It is positive news. It's a positive development. The capturing of Saddam Hussein has been one of the primary objectives of the war in Iraq. -- Reuters