Patterns of Global Terrorism: 1998
Two Yemeni tribesmen kidnapped three South Korean citizens, including the wife and daughter of the First Secretary of the Korean Embassy, in Sanaa. The hostages were released on 9 January.
Two Swedish missionaries were kidnapped in Makhackala. An anonymous telephone caller claiming to represent the Dagestani kidnappers stated the hostages had been moved to Chechnya. The hostages were released on 24 June 1998.
A boobytrapped videocassette exploded at the Israel-Lebanon border crossing near Metulla, injuring three Israelis and three Lebanese, including the man who carried it. The Amal claimed responsibility, stating that the intended target was a senior Israeli intelligence officer.
Armed tribesmen abducted two engineers in two separate incidents. The tribesmen released the hostages, one German and one Chinese, the next day.
Heavily armed masked militants attacked four Hindu families in Wandhama, on the Pakistani side of the Kashmir Line of Control, killing at least 23 men, women, and children. A lone survivor described the militants as Urdu-speaking foreigners, who first took tea with the Hindu families before opening fire. The militants also set fire to a Hindu temple and some homes.
Five armed members of a Chadian opposition group kidnapped four French nationals in Manda National park in Moyen-Chari Prefecture, releasing them unharmed on 8 February. The Union of Democratic Forces (UFD) claimed responsibility.
Bombs detonated at two McDonald's restaurants in the Halandri and Vrilissia suburbs of Athens, causing extensive damage. Authorities suspect anarchists carried out the attacks in retaliation for the arrest of the alleged leader of the Fighting Guerrilla Formation (MAS).
Yemeni tribesmen kidnapped a Dutch tourist in Sanaa. The kidnappers demanded the release of three members of their clan who had been arrested for stealing a United Nations vehicle. The hostage was released on 25 February.
Armed supporters of late Georgian president Zviad Gamsakhurdia abducted four United Nations military observers from Sweden, Uruguay, and the Czech Republic. On 22 February one Uruguayan military observer was released. The remaining hostages were released after President Shevardnadze met with the Gamsakhurdia opposition on 25 February. Eight of the kidnappers were captured. (The leader, a key figure in the assault on 9 February on President Shevardnaze's motorcade, remained at large until Georgian authorities tracked him to western Georgia and killed him in a shootout on 31 March.)
Yemeni al-Hadda tribesmen kidnapped a Dutch agricultural expert in Dhamar. The kidnappers demanded development projects in their area and released the hostage the next day.
Unidentified gunmen killed two Iranian engineers near the Iranian Cultural Center in Karachi. The shooting may have been conducted to mark the anniversary of the attack on 20 February 1997 on the Iranian Cultural Center in Multan.
An armed group kidnapped an Austrian national as she traveled from Gode to Denan, according to press reports. The Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) claimed responsibility. The ONLF released the hostage 23 March after announcing on a radiobroadcast its intent to release her.
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas kidnapped two French businessmen in Meta Department, according to press accounts. The hostages are brothers who run a hotel in the department. One hostage was released shortly after the abduction with a huge ransom demand by the rebels for his brother's release.
FARC rebels kidnapped a US citizen in Sabaneta. According to multiple media sources, the hostage was released to the International Red Cross on 6 September 1998.
Gunmen kidnapped six French and two Italian nationals in the Tibesti region. Chadian forces freed all but one hostage within hours. A group called the National Front for the Renewal of Chad (FNTR) claimed responsibility in a statement to the press, saying it would release the remaining hostage on the condition that French troops withdraw from Chad and that Western oil companies halt exploration and exploitation of all resources in Chad. On 27 March, Chadian security forces freed the last hostage.
Rebels from the Front for the Liberation of the Cabinda Enclave-Cabinda Armed Forces (FLEC-FAC) abducted two Portuguese citizens in Cabinda. The victims are employed by Mota & Company, a Portuguese construction company. The FLEC-FAC demanded $500,000 in ransom, the intervention of Portuguese authorities, and negotiations for the withdrawal of Portugal from Angola. On 24 June the FLEC-FAC released the hostages. It is not known if a ransom was paid.
FARC rebels killed three persons, wounded 14, and kidnapped at least 27 others at a roadblock near Bogota. Four US citizens and one Italian were among those kidnapped, as well as the acting president of the National Electoral Council (CNE) and his wife. On 25 March the rebels released the CNE president and his wife. The rebels released nine of the Colombian hostages two days later. On 2 April one of the US hostages escaped his captors. On 25 April the last two hostages were released.
At the British Petroleum oil field in Cupiagua, a bomb blast injured one US citizen and two British workers. At least one bomb was placed near the oil workers' sleeping trailers and detonated around midnight. Police blame the attack on the National Liberation Army.
An armed Islamic group killed 10 Moroccans near the border town of Oujda in early April, according to news reports.
The US Embassy reported that bombs exploded at two restaurants in Kampala, killing five persons--including one Swedish and one Rwandan national--and wounding at least six others. The restaurants, the Nile Grill and the cafe at the Speke Hotel, are within walking distance of the US Embassy and the Sheraton Hotel. A Ugandan Government official reported to local press that the Allied Democratic Forces may be responsible.
Two Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) members on a motorcycle threw a bomb into a park near the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, according to press reports. The explosion injured two Indian tourists, one New Zealander, four Turkish civilians, and two Turkish soldiers. On 12 April authorities arrested the two PKK members involved in the attack.
Multiple media sources reported that militiamen abducted nine Red Cross and Red Crescent workers at an airstrip north of Mogadishu. The hostages included a US citizen, a German, a Belgian, a French, a Norwegian, two Swiss, and one Somali. The gunmen are members of a subclan loyal to Ali Mahdi Mohammed, who controls the northern section of the capital. On 24 April the hostages were released unharmed, and no ransom was paid.
Approximately 60 armed suspected Khmer Rouge militants attacked two fishing villages on the Tonle Sap lake in Kampong Chhnang Province, killing 21 persons and wounding at least nine others, according to press accounts. Twelve of the victims were Vietnamese nationals. The attack occurred in the early morning when the victims were asleep.
Press reported that tribesmen kidnapped a British Council official, along with his wife and son, as they traveled from Aden to Sanaa. The kidnappers released the hostages on 3 May.
Muslim militants attacked Barankot village in Udhampur district, Kashmir, killing 29 persons, according to press reports. Lashkar-i-Taiba claimed responsibility for the massacre.
Unidentified Colombian guerrillas kidnapped a Venezuelan cattleman in Los Flores hacienda. On 23 April the Venezuelan Directorate of Intelligence and Prevention Services rescued the hostage.
Suspected secessionists from the Front for the Liberation of the Cabinda Enclave abducted a Portuguese citizen and nine Angolans in Cabinda, according to press reports. The victims are employed by Mota & Company, a Portuguese construction company. The Portuguese hostage was released unharmed on 24 June.
A gunman shot and killed an Iranian clergyman and injured his two companions in An Najaf, according to press reports. No one claimed responsibility for the attack.
A police officer from the Al-Marakesha tribe kidnapped a Ukrainian citizen on his way to Sanaa and handed him over to the tribe, according to press reports. Tribesmen released the hostage the next day.
A bomb exploded in the courtyard of the Al-Kheir mosque after midday prayers in Sanaa, according to US Embassy reporting. The explosion killed two persons and wounded 26 others, including two United States citizens, one Canadian, one Libyan, and several Somalis.
FARC guerrillas kidnapped a Palestinian connected to the Palestine Liberation Organization in Bogota. The victim is a Colombian citizen who has resided in Colombia for the past 20 years. On 17 July the FARC rebels released the hostage, reportedly at the request of the International Red Cross and of a special envoy of the Palestinian Authority.
Militants thought to be from the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) abducted a Portuguese couple involved in trading, according to the press. An administrative source told the Angolan Press Agency that the abduction occurred after 150 armed men occupied the commune of Ebanga. UNITA does not have a history of kidnapping foreigners, and the motive is unclear.
A bomb exploded under a crowded bus in Shupiyan, injuring six persons, according to press reports. Muslim militants are suspected.
Near Manchar, east of Jammu, Kashmir, police reported that suspected Muslim militants killed four members of a village defense committee, four other villagers and one police officer.
Armed Islamic militants reportedly entered a home in Surankote, north of Jammu and killed four persons.
Suspected Muslim militants killed five Hindu family members during a funeral procession outside the town of Punch, Kashmir, according to US Embassy reports.
Six unidentified heavily armed men kidnapped an Italian engineer near Medellin. The engineer, who was overseeing the construction of a tunnel, was taken from his car and forced to enter a taxi with the gunmen, according to police reports. Police said it was unclear whether the kidnappers were leftist guerrillas.
In Binola Chuora village, Kashmir, militants killed at least seven persons. According to press accounts, the victims were former militants who had become police informants or members of village defense groups opposed to the militants.
Armed assailants attacked a marked United Nations vehicle at Calandula, killing one Angolan interpreter working for the UN and wounding two other UN employees and one Angolan police officer. A UN spokesperson blamed UNITA.
Guerrillas from the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) abducted a British contractor for the World Food Program (WFP) and held him for ransom in an SPLA-controlled area of southern Sudan, according to official sources. The victim is employed by Terra Firma and was on a survey mission for WFP when he was abducted. SPLA demanded $58,000 and 125 drums of diesel fuel. The contractor was released on 19 June.
A provincial legislator, his driver, a bodyguard, and three others were injured seriously when a bomb detonated on the outskirts of Srinagar, according to police reports. Their armored car was totally destroyed. Pakistani-supported Muslim militants are suspected.
Three armed FARC guerrillas kidnapped a Venezuelan engineer in La Victoria. On 18 June the rebels released the engineer and gave him money to travel home. The hostage told authorities that the FARC stated they intended to kidnap a businessman from that area but took him by mistake.
In Santa Marta, 20 National Liberation Army (ELN) rebels bombed the offices of a subsidiary of the US-owned Dole company. The guerrillas overpowered the guards, gagged the employees, and destroyed files before detonating four bombs, partially destroying the headquarters. The rebels painted graffiti accusing the company owners of assisting paramilitary groups in the region. The rebels opened fire on the police as they escaped.
Local press reported that a bomb exploded at a busy market in the heart of Jammu, Kashmir, killing one child and injuring 19 other persons. At least 10 shops were damaged. Indian officials suspect that Muslim militants are responsible.
A bomb exploded at an Army base in Jammu, Kashmir, killing two civilians and damaging the Army's intelligence wing. Indian officials suspect that Muslim militants are responsible.
Armed PKK militants kidnapped a German tourist and a Turkish truck driver at a roadblock in Agri, according to press reports. The German tourist was found unharmed the next morning near the kidnapping site, but the truck driver still is missing.
Police reported that a bomb ripped through an 18-car passenger train en route from Karachi to Peshawar, killing 23 persons and wounding at least 32 others, and destroying one railcar. Pakistan blames India's Research and Analysis Wing for the bombing. Indian officials deny the accusation.
Unidentified assailants shot and killed an Iranian Shiite cleric, two of his relatives, and his driver. The victims were driving back to An Najaf after a pilgrimage to a shrine in Karbala'.
Tribesmen kidnapped nine Italian tourists and their Yemeni driver in Husn al-Ghurab in the Bir Ali area of Mayfaah District. The tribesmen demanded the government pay them 800,000 riyals that were pledged to them in a previous agreement, compensation for a car lost in the civil war in 1994, and construction of a school and health facility in their region. The kidnappers released two elderly women and the driver on 19 June and the remaining seven hostages on 21 June.
Five armed militants attacked Hindu villagers in Champnari village in Jammu's Doda District, killing at least 25 persons and injuring seven others, according to police reports. The victims were members of two wedding parties. Indian officials blame Pakistani-backed Muslim militants.
Unknown assailants fired four rocket-propelled grenades in the direction of the US Embassy in Beirut. The rockets exploded immediately after being launched, missing the Embassy.
A remote-controlled bomb exploded under the Delhi-bound Shalimar Express in Kashmir, injuring at least 35 of the 2,000 passengers and derailing seven cars, according to press reports. A police spokesperson stated that Muslim militants are suspected.
Six staff members of the International Committee of the Red Cross were abducted when they were traveling from Gode to Degeh Bur in three marked vehicles. The ICRC members include one Swiss national and five ethnic Somalis. On 3 July the Islamic group al-Ittihad al-Islami claimed responsibility, stating that the hostages were under investigation for spying. On 10 July the hostages were released.
FARC rebels kidnapped a Canadian, a Bolivian, and a Colombian citizen in Santander Department. The Bolivian citizen works for a Colombian-German firm, while both the Canadian and Colombian work for a Canadian mining company. The three men were kidnapped while driving on a rural road.
According to press reports, a bomb hidden in a lunchbox detonated in Achaval Gardens, a popular picnic site in Anantnag, Kashmir. Two persons were killed and at least fifteen persons were injured in the blast.
A United Nations World Food Program (WFP) worker was killed instantly when guerrillas from the Uganda National Rescue Front II fired a rocket-propelled grenade at his WFP truck.
FARC rebels kidnapped an Ecuadorian citizen near Medellin. The victim, a US resident, was enroute to visit his family in Ecuador when he was abducted. The FARC demanded $1 million for his release.
An unidentified militant threw a grenade in the Jehangir Chowk area in Srinagar, Kashmir, injuring 13 persons, according to press accounts. A police official stated that the grenade was thrown at a Border Security Force post but exploded in the road instead. No one claimed responsibility, but police believe that Muslim militants are behind the attack.
The Indigenous Defense Front for Pastaza Province (FDIP) kidnapped three employees of an Ecuadorian pipeline maker subcontracted by a US oil company in Pastaza Province. The group accuses the company of causing environmental damage in its oilfield developments. On 28 July the FDIP released one hostage, and it released the remaining two hostages the next day.
Unidentified assailants ambushed and killed four members of the United Nations Mission of Observers in the Tavildara area. The victims included military observers from Poland and Uruguay, a Japanese Civil Affairs officer, and a Tajikistani interpreter.
An assailant possibly associated with the Abu Nidal organization murdered an Egyptian citizen in Sanaa. The victim, Muhammad Salah Sha'ban, was the Imam of al-Husayni Mosque in Sanaa. The motive for the murder of Sha'ban--reportedlya member of the Egyptian al-Gama'at-al-Islamiyya--is unclear.
A bomb exploded near the railroad tracks moments after the Shalimar Express passed by in Jammu and Kashmir, killing one soldier and injuring two civilians. Indian officials believe that Muslim militants are responsible.
A Yemeni shot and killed three Catholic nuns, one Filipino, and two Indians in the Red Sea port city of Al Hudaydah. Press reports stated that the assailant considers himself a Muslim fundamentalist and that he trained in Bosnia as a fighter, but Yemeni officials described him as "deranged."
A bomb exploded on an empty bus parked at the interstate bus terminal in New Delhi, killing two persons and injuring at least eight others, according to police reports. The bomb destroyed the bus and caused major damage to six others.
According to police reports, suspected Muslim militants killed ten villagers in a predawn attack northwest of Doda, Kashmir. Five persons are reported missing.
In Doda, Kashmir, suspected Muslim militants killed at least eight members of two Hindu families and wounded three others. Eyewitnesses reported that the gunmen lined up the victims and shot them at point blank range.
Northern Ireland4 August
A 500-pound car bomb exploded outside a shoe store in Banbridge, injuring 35 persons and damaging at least 200 homes. Authorities had received a warning telephone call and were evacuating the area when the bomb went off. The Real IRA, the Republic of Ireland-based military wing of the 32 County Sovereignty Council, claimed responsibility.
Suspected militants from the Harakat ul-Mujahidin (HUM) gunned down 19 persons near Surankot, Kashmir, according to the Indian Border Security Force and press reports. Two survivors traveled six hours on foot to report the attack to authorities. The victims were family members of a rival group that reportedly had been collaborating with Indian security forces.
Unidentified assailants with automatic rifles opened fire on a group of sleeping laborers at a remote construction site in Himachal Pradesh, killing 26 persons and wounding eight others. As the militants headed back to Kashmir they attacked a second group of workers, killing eight persons and wounding three others. Authorities suspect Pakistani-backed militants.
According to eyewitness reports, militants detonated a grenade in a crowded marketplace in Lal Chowk, Srinagar, Kashmir, injuring seven persons.
A bomb exploded at the rear entrance of the US Embassy in Nairobi, killing 12 US citizens, 32 Foreign Service Nationals (FSNs), and 247 Kenyan citizens. Approximately 5,000 Kenyans, six US citizens, and 13 FSNs were injured. The US Embassy building sustained extensive structural damage. The US Government is holding terrorist financier Usama Bin Ladin responsible.
Almost simultaneously, a bomb detonated outside the US Embassy in Dar es Salaam, killing seven FSNs and three Tanzanian citizens, and injuring one US citizen and 76 Tanzanians. The explosion caused major structural damage to the US Embassy facility. The US Government holds Usama Bin Ladin responsible.
Unidentified assailants threw a grenade and fired automatic weapons into a crowded bus in Anantnag, Kashmir, killing four persons and injuring seven others, according to police reports. Authorities suspect Pakistani-backed separatists.
Democratic Republic of the Congo14 August
Suspected former Rwandan soldiers abducted six tourists--one Canadian, two Swedes, and three New Zealanders--after the tourists crossed into the Congo from Uganda. Two of the New Zealanders escaped one week later, and the Canadian was released on 19 August with a statement from a previously unknown group called People in Action for the Liberation of Rwanda. The group claimed responsibility and stated that the remaining captives would be freed if a message from the group was read over BBC broadcasts in Africa. The remaining hostages reportedly were sighted in the forests in eastern Congo.
Sri Lanka15 August
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) seized a Dubai-owned cargo ship and abducted 21 crew- members, including 17 Indian nationals. The LTTE evacuated the crew before the Sri Lankan Air Force bombed and destroyed the ship, on the suspicion that the vessel was transporting supplies to the LTTE. The 17 Indian hostages were released to the International Committee of the Red Cross on 19 August. The LTTE continues to hold four Sri Lankans hostage.
Northern Ireland25 August
A 500-pound car bomb exploded outside a local courthouse in Omag's central shopping district, killing 29 persons and injuring more than 330. Authorities were in the process of clearing the shopping area around the courthouse when the bomb exploded. On 17 August authorities arrested five local men suspected of involvement in the bombing. The Real IRA claimed responsibility.
Separatist guerrillas threw a grenade at a vehicle carrying security personnel in Srinagar. According to police, the grenade missed its target and exploded in the crowded street, injuring 12 persons.
Police reported that unidentified militants threw a grenade in downtown Srinagar, killing one civilian and injuring 11 others.
A bomb exploded in the Planet Hollywood restaurant in Capetown, killing one person and injuring at least 24 others--including nine British citizens--and causing major damage. The Muslims Against Global Oppression (MAGO) claimed responsibility in a phone call to a local radio station, stating that the bomb was in retaliation for the US missile attacks on terrorist facilities in Sudan and Afghanistan. Police believe that People Against Gangsterism and Drugs (PAGAD) are responsible.
Arsonists firebombed a McDonald's restaurant in Puurs, destroying the restaurant and causing up to $1.4 million in damage. The Animal Liberation Front (ALF) claimed responsibility for the attack.
Police reported that Muslim militants detonated a landmine under a bus carrying troops from Jammu to Punch, killing the civilian driver and seriously injuring 15 soldiers.
Approximately 30 suspected Muslim militants armed with rifles and grenade launchers abducted an Italian priest and 12 Filipinos from a cooperative store in the parish church. The Filipino hostages were released the next day, but the priest still is being held. No ransom has been demanded. Police suspect either the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) or the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
Suspected ASG members kidnapped three Hong Kong businessmen in Mindanao. The victims are employed by the Jackaphil Company. No ransom demand has been made. On 23 December the three kidnapped victims were released unharmed.
Unidentified assailants opened fire on a bus in Sukhumi, wounding three UN military observers and one other UN mission employee, according to UN officials. The injured include two Bangladeshis and one Nigerian.
Suspected FARC members kidnapped a Japanese businessman from his farm in Bogota.
Police and doctors reported that unidentified gunmen shot and wounded a French tourist near the Jama Masjid mosque in Srinagar. Witnesses said that two assailants fired at the victim. Muslim guerrillas are suspected.
A bomb exploded at the Ecuadorian Bishops' Conference, injuring one Spanish missionary and causing major damage. The explosion released leaflets calling for improved cost of living and utility services. Police believe the bombing is linked to a national strike protesting the economic package implemented by the Ecuadorian President.
On 3 October 1998 in Groznyy, Chechnya, 20 unidentified armed assailants kidnapped three Britons and one New Zealander. On 8 December partial remains of the hostages were discovered on a roadside.
Three employees of the Santa Fe Oil Company, two US citizens and one Ecuadorian, were kidnapped, according to local press accounts. One US citizen escaped the next day.
According to police reports, suspected Muslim militants threw a bomb at a vehicle carrying a prominent former militant in Tral, Kashmir, killing him and 10 others.
According to police officials, Muslim militants threw a grenade at a police post in Srinagar, Kashmir, injuring five civilians, four police officers and four soldiers.
Police reported that Muslim militants detonated a bomb near the state secretariat building in Srinagar, Kashmir, injuring 13 persons and causing minor damage.
Police reported that unidentified assailants opened fire on the Iranian Cultural Center in Multan, killing one Pakistani security guard and wounding another.
People's Liberation Army (EPL) rebels kidnapped 20 persons, including four foreigners at a road block on the Northeastern Highway. The rebels burned three cars and released two hostages to report the situation to the media.
A bomb exploded on the Ocensa pipeline in Antioquia Department, killing approximately 71 persons and injuring at least 100 others. The explosion caused major damage when the spilled oil caught fire and burned nearby houses in the town of Machuca. The pipeline is jointly owned by the Colombia State Oil Company Ecopetrol and a consortium including US, French, British, and Canadian companies. On 19 October the ELN claimed responsibility.
Guerrillas abducted a Danish engineer and two Colombians at a roadblock in San Juan. Local authorities suspect the FARC or ELN is responsible. (On 21 January 1999 in Carmen de Bolivar EPL rebels freed the Danish hostage. There have been no reports on the two Colombians.)
Armed tribesmen in the Mahfad region kidnapped two Belgian citizens, demanding the release of a tribesman sentenced to death by a Yemeni court. On 29 October tribesmen released the hostages.
In Lunde Norte Province at least 50 armed assailants attacked a Canadian-owned diamond mine, killing one Portuguese national, two Britons, three Angolans, and wounding 18 others. The assailants also took four workers hostage, including one South African, one Briton, and two Filipinos. Angolan officials blame the attack on UNITA. The secretary general of UNITA claimed responsibility for the attack but denied taking hostages.
In Budgam, near Srinagar, Kashmir, a police spokesman reported that militants threw a grenade near a telephone booth, seriously injuring one person.
Police reported an explosion at a taxi stand near Srinagar that injured four persons and damaged four vehicles.
Armed assailants followed a US businessman and his family home in Cundinamarca Department and kidnapped his 11-year-old son after stealing money, jewelry, one automobile, and two cell phones. The kidnappers demanded $1 million in ransom.
On 21 January 1999 the US Embassy reported that the kidnappers released the boy to his mother and uncle in Tolima Department. It is not known if any ransom was paid. The kidnappers claim to be members of the Leftist Revolutionary Armed Commandos for Peace in Colombia.
Sierra Leone authorities report that rebels led by Sierra Leone's ousted junta leader, Solomon Musa, kidnapped an Italian Catholic missionary from his residence. Musa leads a faction of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council. Musa demanded a satellite telephone, medical supplies, and radio contact with his wife for release of the priest. His wife, Tina Musa, was arrested in September and is being detained in Freetown.
According to press reports, a bomb exploded outside a Citibank branch in Athens, causing major damage. An unidentified telephone caller to a local newspaper claimed the attack was to protest against arrests made during a student march.
A bomb exploded near the Madana bridge in Surankot, Kashmir, killing four persons and injuring several others, according to press reporting. Muslim militants are suspected.
Press reported a bomb detonated near a crowded bus stand in Anantnag, killing three persons and wounding 38 others.
Police reported Muslim militants detonated a grenade in Anantnag, killing three persons and injuring 35 others.
A car bomb exploded near the German Embassy in Sanaa, killing two persons and injuring several others, according to reports from German and Yemeni officials. The German Embassy confirmed that no Germans were killed or injured.
In Handwara, Kashmir, police reported that Muslim militants threw a grenade at a wedding party, injuring 11 persons.
Ugandan officials state that 30 Lord's Resistance Army rebels attacked a World Food Program (WFP) convoy, killing seven persons and wounding 28 others. An eyewitness reported the rebels also abducted five persons believed to be WFP officials, and one other person.
Guerrillas kidnapped one German citizen and two Colombians from a bus at a false roadblock in Cauca Department. The guerrillas set the bus on fire and dynamited a tollbooth after stealing the money. Authorities suspect the FARC or ELN is responsible. On 8 January the ELN released the German citizen unharmed.
Local press reported that armed tribals kidnapped four German tourists in Sanaa, demanding $500,000 ransom and improvements to local health and educational facilities. On 30 December the guerrillas released the hostages.
During the week of 7 December the ALF sent panettone cakes laced with rat poison to two branches of the Italian news agency ANSA. Two Italian subsidiaries of Swiss Nestle were forced to halt production, costing the company $30 million. According to Italy's ALF founder, the poisoned cakes were sent to protest Nestle's genetic manipulation of food.
A Spanish newspaper reported that FARC guerrillas kidnapped one Spanish citizen and three Colombians. No ransom demands have been made.
A bomb exploded in a shop in the Punch District of Kashmir, wounding the shopkeeper. Police suspect Muslim militants are responsible.
In Bandipura, Kashmir, local press reported that Muslim militants threw a grenade at a group near a bus station, killing three persons and injuring 20 others.
In Sanaa, Yemeni passengers on a chartered Egyptian airliner demanded to be flown to Libya. The Egyptian pilot landed the plane in Tunisia and told the 150 passengers he could not fly the plane to Libya due to the UN sanctions. The plane and passengers remained on the ground for 15 hours before returning to Yemen.
Muslim militants forced their way into three homes in three separate villages in Kulham District, Kashmir, killing nine persons, according to police reports. The victims were all close relatives of former militants who now support the pro-Indian government militia. Kashmir authorities blame the attacks on the Hizbul Mujahidin.
United Nations officials report that a transport plane carrying 10 UN officials and four crew members was shot down over an area of intense fighting between UNITA rebels and government troops. National Radio Services state that UNITA shot down the plane. A UN rescue team arrived at the crash site on 8 January 1999, reporting that no one survived the crash and that the bodies of all 14 persons aboard the plane were accounted for.
Armed militants kidnapped a group of tourists traveling on the main road from Habban to Aden. The victims included two US citizens, twelve Britons, and two Australians. On 29 December Yemeni security forces undertook a rescue attempt, during which three Britons and one Australian were killed, and one US citizen was injured seriously. Yemeni officials reported that the kidnappers belong to the Islamic Jihad, but the investigation is ongoing.
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