Tuesday, September 1, 1998

Some 70,000 Iranian troops begin exercises nr. the Afghanistan border. The Taliban fears an attack. Up to 11 Iranian diplomats are believed dead after disappearing during the Taliban's takeover of the n. Afghan city of Mazar-e Sharif on 8/8. (NYT, WP, WT 9/2; MEI, MM, NYT, WT 9/4; WP, WT 9/5; NYT 9/6; MM 9/7; MM, WP 9/8; MM 9/9; GIU 9/11)

New Jordanian press law goes into force. Critics fear it will be a "penal code" for journalists, forbidding any criticism of the government. Optimists hope that the Royal Press Commission will use the vague language of the law to allow "soft interpretation" of restrictions. (JT 9/2 in WNC 9/3; al-Dustur 9/2 in WNC 9/9) (see 4/18)

Abdullah Ocalan, head of the Turkish separatist group the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), declares an unconditional, unilateral cease-fire with Turkey, which Turkey rejects. (MED Television 9/11 in WNC 9/16; MM 10/7; MEI 10/16; MED Television 10/19 in WNC 10/22)

In s. Lebanon, Hizballah attacks an IDF convoy, injuring 1 soldier. Israeli retaliatory shelling injures 1 civilian. (RL, VOL 9/1 in WNC 9/2)