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19Y m.&assa%..cd near California resort
EL SAUZAL, Mexico (AP) --Gunmen apparently
sent by a drug lord yanked three families from their
beds before dawn yesterday, lined them up against a
wall and killed at least 19 men, women and children
near a popular Baja California resort.
At least one person was seriously wounded. Police
have a witness in protective custody, a 15-year-old girl
who hid under a bed during the slaughter, The
Associated Press has learned.
The attorney general of Baja California estate,
Marco Antonio de la Fuente Virrarreal, said the head
of one of the households grew marijuana for the
Arellano Felix drug-smuggling gang, the government
news agency Notimex reported.
He said the man, Fermin Castro, oversaw the
Arellano Felix's marijuana plantations nearby. Castro
wasn't killed in the attack, but was in very serious
condition with a bullet wound to the head, health offi-
Police said the attack took place at 4:30 a.m. in
El Sauzal, a suburb of the resort town of
Ensenada, a popular beach destination for
Californians that's only a 1 1/2-hour drive from
The victims appeared to be asleep when the gun-
men showed up; most of the bodies were wearing
pajamas - or nothing at all - and the beds in at least
one of the houses were unmade, as if sleeping people
had been pulled from them.
Television images showed the victims lined up in a
pool of blood in front of a wall. A television reporter
said. one woman was clutching a baby in her arms;
"It appears they rounded them all up, lined them up
and gunned them down."s
- Jose Ramon Espinoza
Ensenada Judicial Police officer
AROUND THE NATION
Jewish leaders mull division of funds
NEW YORK - In thousands of synagogues around the world, Yom Kippur, the
Jewish day of atonement, will be marked this month with solemnity and prayer as
it has for centuries.
At the same time, rabbis from Brooklyn to Brisbane will be asked to depart from
tradition by reading a letter during the services that is in part a celebration an(
plea for patience.
The letter is from the committee of lawyers who negotiated the historic agee-
ment requiring two Swiss banks to pay $1.25 billion to settle a suit filed by
Holocaust survivors and their heirs.
The missive is the first public step in what will be an extraordinary and compli-
cated process of distributing assets held by the banks for more than half a century
- the first such restitution achieved through a U.S. court.
It is an unprecedented task, underlined not only by the politics of repentance but
by the perception of fairness as people who have undergone historic suffering wait
to receive funds long denied.
Key participants stress that they want to get the first chunk of funds - $250 mil-
lion - distributed within a year. But since thousands of potentially eligi*
claimants - both Holocaust survivors and the heirs of those murdered - are scat-
tered around the world.
both were dead.
The director of the Red Cross in Ensenada,
Eugenio Carrillo, said the victims were the resi-
dents of three neighboring houses. He said the dead
included nine adults, two teen-agers, six children
and a baby.
A 15-year-old girl hid under a bed and escaped
notice by the attackers, and police were questioning
her about what she saw, a judicial police officer told
The AP on condition of anonymity. He did not elabo-
rate and the report could not be confirmed indepen-
Children's toys littered the yard outside one house,
according to the television footage. The yard was
filled with broken glass and chairs were overturned on
the porch, indicating a struggle. Turkeys cackled in the
Dozens of bullet casings surrounded the bodies,
and the Televisa television network said most were
from a Kalashnikov assault weapon, although
some were from smaller-caliber weapons and
Ensenada Judicial Police officer Jose Ramon
Espinoza said the victims were members of three fam-
ilies: the Flores family and two families that both had
the last name Castro. It was unclear whether the three
families were related.
"It appears they rounded them all up, lined them
up and gunned them down," Espinoza said. lie said
he had no information on suspects or a possible
The drug gang led by the Arellano Felix brothers is
based in Tijuana, 60 miles to the north.
The brothers, once known for the violence with
which they controlled their territory, had recently been
settling into a quieter, more businesslike style after
making themselves famous for shootouts in broad
But Mexican authorities suspect the Arellano Felix
brothers were behind the slaying of a rival last week in
Ciudad Juarez, just across the border from El Paso,
Rafael Munoz Talavera, considered a front-runner
to succeed deceased Juarez cartel leader Amado
Carrillo Fuentes, was found shot to death in the back
seat of an armored Jeep Cherokee.
Analysts said the killing might signal a shift back to
the violence of the past.
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West Bank killing
House moves to
avert govt. shutdown
WASHINGTON - Signaling that
Republicans want no part of an elec-
tion-season government shutdown,
the House voted unanimously yester-
day to keep federal agencies open
next month despite raging budget
fights between Congress and
Lawmakers voted 421-0 to let agen-
cies function through Oct. 9 to give
Congress and the president more time to
complete their budget work. Fiscal year
1999 begins Oct. 1, but so far legislators
have sent Clinton just one of the 13
annual spending bills needed for the new
The Senate was expected to whisk
the stopgap measure to the presi-
dent's desk as early as last night.
Democrats said Clinton would sign
With Election Day seven weeks
off, the vote underlined how eager
Republicans are to preclude letting
Clinton shift the focus from
impeachment talk. Democrats went
along after concluding that with the
exhaustive media coverage of
Clinton's affair with Monica
Lewinsky, the former White House
intern, a noisy fight on the uncontr
versial stopgap bill would ha
received little attention.
Early settlers may
have hunted clams
WASHINGTON - Many of
America's earliest settlers may have been
digging clams and netting fish rather
than throwing spears at mammoths.
About 12,000 years ago, the re
dents of a pair of coastal communitie
in what is now southern Peru were
exploiting the ocean for a living -
feasting on fish, seabirds and shellfish
- in the earliest evidence of maritime-
based societies in this hemisphere,
according to two studies appearing in
today's edition of the journal, Science.
"It could change the view of what the
earliest Americans were really like,"
said geologist Avid Keefer. 0
BEITUNIA, West Bank (AP) - -
Tensions between Israel and the
Palestinians soared yesterday with a
Palestinian teen-ager's shooting death,
apparently by Israelis who opened fire
from a car on high school students
heading home from class.
The attack, coupled with an
announcement by Israel to expand a
Jewish settlement, came while Israel
was on high alert, bracing for possible
attacks by militants before the Jewish
The incident also occurred as
President Clinton's peace envoy
wrapped up an unsuccessful effort at
completing a deal to end months of
stalemate between the two sides over a
long overdue Israeli troop withdrawal.
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat
called the shooting "another crime as
part of the continued conspiracy by the
settlers against our people."
The fatal shooting happened in the
West Bank village of Beitunia, and
police said they were questioning an
"A 35-year-old male from a Jewish
settlement in the area turned himself
into the police. ... He is being held for
questioning," Israeli police spokesper-
son Linda Menuhin said.
The shooting took place around noon
when about 12 Palestinian high school
students were walking along the vil-
lage's main road on their way back from
A car with Israeli license plates
pulled up next to them, the passen-
gers rolled down their windows and
started shooting from a pistol and an
assault rifle, said one of the students,
Raed Abdel Rahman. "Everybody
started to jump and take cover," he
Two of the teen-agers were wounded
in the stomach and taken to nearby
Ramallah Hospital, where 17-year-old
lyad Ilashem later died. The second
boy was in stable condition.
AROUND THE WORLD
611 Church Street
(734) 665-9200 - (fax) 9302800
t .. Irr.
Taliban said to have
PESHAWAR, Pakistan - Refugees
fleeing an Afghan city recently con-
quered by the Taliban say troops with
the ultra-orthodox religious army
slaughtered thousands of civilians
when they took the town last month.
The refugees, who are arriving here
each day on foot from the northern
Afghan city of Mazar-e-Sharif, say
Taliban fighters focused exclusively on
an ethnic minority known as the
Hazaras, picking them for their distinc-
tive Mongolian features.
Many refugees say they fled a city
littered with corpses, some of them
machine-gunned, others with their
throats cut, others blown to pieces by
missiles and grenades.
"There were bodies in the streets,
in the city and in the markets," said
Mohammad Rasool, a Hazara shop-
keeper who fled with his family and
walked for a week to the Pakistani
frontier. "All of them were civilians.
The ones with weapons fled long
The refugees' statements are the
first concrete evidence of what hap-
pened when Taliban forces captured
Mazar-e-Sharif on Aug. 8.
Taliban, which has been fighting
lengthy civil war against the country's
other main ethnic groups, has sealed
off the city and barred any indepen-
TIRANA, Albania - Albania@
tered on the brink of chaos yesterday
after another day of protests in which
former President Sali Berisha called on
his supporters to defy a government
ban and stage the biggest demonstra-
tions in the country's history.
In a speech to about 2,000 supporters,
Berisha told backers to march peacefully
throughout the country today. But
Albania is awash in weapons looted from
armories last year, and diplomats who
are trying to resolve the crisis feaO
repeat of last weekend's street battles.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports.
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