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World in brief: Fischer buried in private ceremony

Tue., Jan. 22, 2008, midnight

Reclusive chess genius Bobby Fischer was buried Monday in a private ceremony at a churchyard in southern Iceland, a television station reported.

Fischer, who died of kidney failure on Thursday at the age of 64, was interred at Laugardaelir church outside the town of Selfoss, Iceland’s Channel 2 reported, citing the parish priest.

The Rev. Kristinn Agust Fridfinnsson told the TV station that arrangements were so hasty he did not arrive until after the ceremony was over.

The funeral was attended by a handful of people, including Fischer’s longtime companion, Miyoko Watai, and friend and spokesman Gardar Sverrisson, the TV station reported.

Fisher gained global fame in 1972 when he defeated the Soviet Union’s Boris Spassky in Reykjavik to become the first officially recognized world champion born in the United States.

GOMA, Congo

Accord may end year of fighting

Government negotiators and rebel groups reached a deal to end fighting in the vast country’s restive east, where 800,000 people fled their homes in the past year, officials said Monday.

All parties agreed to the accord and scheduled a formal signing for today, Vital Kamerhe, the president of Congo’s national assembly, announced.

At a meeting in this eastern city late Monday, a representative from each negotiating delegation publicly voiced acceptance of the accord, with no one speaking against.

Among those accepting were representatives for militia fighters known as the Mai Mai, who had been among the last holdouts and had walked out on earlier negotiating sessions.

MONROVIA, Liberia

Ex-rebel general admits killings

One of Liberia’s most notorious rebel commanders, known as Gen. Butt Naked for charging into battle wearing only boots, has returned to confess his role in terrorizing the nation, saying he is responsible for 20,000 deaths.

Joshua Milton Blahyi, who now lives in Ghana, returned last week to face his homeland’s truth and reconciliation commission, this time wearing a suit and tie.

Other former warlords, though, have refused to ask forgiveness, dismissing a commission many in Liberia see as toothless. Blahyi is urging other former killers to come forward as the country founded by freed American slaves in 1847 struggles to recover from past horrors.

The civil war, which killed an estimated 250,000 people in this nation of 3 million, was characterized by the eating of human hearts and soccer matches played with human skulls.

Drugged fighters waltzed into battle wearing women’s wigs, flowing gowns and carrying dainty purses stolen from civilians.


 

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