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"What do you want?" Mexican newspaper asks border drug gangs

Mexico City

Newspaper addresses drug gangs

It was at turns defiant and deferential, part plea and part complaint, a message as much to the drug gangs with a firm grip on Ciudad Juarez, the bloodiest city in Mexico's drug battles, as to the authorities and their perceived helplessness. "We want you to explain to us what you want from us," the front-page editorial in El Diario in Ciudad Juarez, across from El Paso, Texas, asked the leaders of organized crime. "What are we supposed to publish or not publish, so we know what to abide by. You are at this time the de facto authorities in this city because the legal authorities have not been able to stop our colleagues from falling."

El Diario's open letter to the city's drug lords and the authorities it believes have failed to protect the public ran Sunday, the day after the funeral of Luis Carlos Santiago, 21, a photography intern at the paper who was shot dead while leaving a shopping mall. A car drove up, and there was a barrage of bullets. Santiago, shot in the head, died instantly while another intern, who was wounded, dragged himself to safety in the mall and is recuperating.

MOSCOW

23 are killed in attack on Tajikistan troops

Tajikistan on Monday blamed Islamic militants, some with ties to Afghanistan and Pakistan, for an assault on a military convoy that left at least 23 soldiers dead over the weekend. The Tajik government has long voiced concern about the rise of Islamic militancy in the impoverished, mostly Muslim, country, which shares a long border with Afghanistan. Faridun Makhmadaliyev, a spokesman for the Tajik Defense Ministry, said that some of the gunmen were "mercenaries" from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Chechnya.

Cairo

Kuwait, Bahrain crack down on Shiites

Kuwait: The gulf Arab state revoked the citizenship of a hard-line Shiite scholar on Monday, accusing him of trying to stir up discord among Muslims by describing the Prophet Mohammed's wife as an "enemy of God." The Interior Ministry of predominantly Sunni Kuwait made the decision after Yasser al-Habib attended an event in London dedicated to attacking the prophet's wife, Aisha. Such remarks are considered blasphemous by Sunnis, who revere Aisha as being the most beloved to him.

Bahrain: The emir warned that mosques would be key targets in sweeps against suspected Shiite dissent in his tiny Sunni gulf nation, which is a vital U.S. ally. The first blow was a big one: stripping the citizenship of Ayatollah Hussein al-Najati, a powerful Shiite cleric with close ties to Iraq, before next month's parliamentary elections. Shiites, a majority in Bahrain, say they are the targets of discrimination for their ancestral bonds with the Shiite centers Iran and Iraq.

HAVANA

Workers summoned for briefings on layoffs

Cuba is calling workers across the island to special meetings so labor leaders can brief them on half a million government layoffs coming in the next six months and suggest ways that those fired can make a living. The "workers' assemblies" that began on Wednesday include hundreds of meetings with state employees in union halls, government auditoriums and even basements or garages of state-run companies, according to a report Monday in the state-run labor union newspaper Trabajadores.

Elsewhere

BERLIN: A woman who went on a shooting rampage at a hospital in southwest Germany, killing a male nurse before being shot dead during a gunfight with police, had allegedly killed her estranged husband and five-year-old son at a nearby apartment shortly before, authorities said Monday.

Times wires

"What do you want?" Mexican newspaper asks border drug gangs 09/21/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 21, 2010 12:17am]

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