About forty veiled men threw Molotov cocktails at a security patrol on Friday night causing their car to catch fire and burn, yet no policeman was injured, reported the Saudi-owned newspaper Al Hayat in quoting Bahraini authorities. "The terrorists planned to kill the two policemen in the car," said the Police Acting Director General in the Northern Province. The official pointed out that the patrol was at the entrance to Duraz, a village west of the capital Manama. He added that the patrol car was completely burnt, but the two policemen managed to leave the car safely. "An investigation into the incident is under way to arrest the perpetrators of this cowardly terrorist act and bring them to justice," he said. Duraz has recently been the scene of clashes between demonstrators and riot police, reported Al Hayat.
The Jordanian newspaper Al Rai carried an opinion article by Fuad Hussein who wrote about the Western viewpoint towards the Holocaust and the sanctity of the prophets, decrying the biased attitude in favour of the former. "This policy is erratic; it gives ground for the Israeli media to lash out in blasphemy against Jesus and Mary in response to statements by a priest questioning the scale of the Holocaust. Reactions of this kind by Israelis were expected because the Christian West itself has created the sacred aura of the Holocaust, yet failed to treat religions and prophets with a similar degree of sacred respect. This has persisted as the West tolerated on many occasions offences against other people's religions. Such behaviour contradicts the freedoms of belief and opinion that the West claims to advocate."
The Qatar-based Al Raiya carried a lead editorial that commented on new developments in the political scene in Somalia which is marked by unilateral ceasefire announced by President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed who also agreed to implement Sharia law as part of his effort to achieve national reconciliation. "The president's call for reconciliation should receive support from the opposition because their rejection of the present government is baseless. Restoring political and security stability in Somalia is a shared responsibility by all ends of the political spectrum. The two main opposition factions must back the new government and cease fire immediately," the paper commented.
"By the same token, the opposition should work hand in hand with the government and respond positively to the wise advice offered by Muslim scholars. Furthermore, they should come to understand the fact that it is pointless to continue fighting on the grounds of resisting Ethiopian troops while they have already left the country and the remaining troops are African peace forces." The newspaper called for the international community to play a greater role to help Somalia recover from its ordeal.
The Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika erased all debts, valued at $560 million, owed by farmers to the state, reported the London-based daily Al Sharq al Awsat. "We decided to write off all farmers' debts owed to the state and the Treasury will accordingly re-purchase them. We aim through this decision to promote the rural sector which we expect will invest more to increase production," Bouteflika announced in a speech.
The agriculture sector has registered a steady annual growth since 2000 which coincided with the launch of a national campaign aimed at promoting the rural areas. The plan has allowed for expanding agricultural land to more than 500 thousand hectares and providing one million direct and indirect job opportunities. * Digest compiled by Mostapha El Moulouda firstname.lastname@example.org