NEW DELHI: The Indian government took the first steps towards a Parliamentary probe into illegal Payments made by a Swedish company to secure a billion dollar Howitzer deal.

LONDON: World oil prices surged to almost 21 dollars a barrel today on market fears the deaths of Iranian pilgrims in Saudi Arabia could usher in a new and more dangerous phase of the gulf war. “We’re worried about war, total war”, said one international trader.

MANILA: The Philippine military today announced it was launching tough antiterrorist measures after the assassination of a government minister and said Communist rebels may have been responsible for the attack.

A massive manhunt is under way for the gunmen who ambushed and shot dead local governments Secretary Jaime Ferrer last night in the first assassination of a Cabinet official in Philippine history.

LONDON: Iran warned all vessels to stay out of its territorial waters in the gulf and the sea of Oman for three days during naval man oeuvres from midnight tonight, Tehran radio said. The radio said all civilian and military aircraft must also avoid overflying the area of the exercise. The radio also said Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khomeini, said Iran held the United States responsible for the deaths of Iranian pilgrims in Mecca.

TUNIS: Bombs exploded in four Tunisian hotels, injuring 13 people, the Interior Ministry said. The bomb went off during the night at the hotels in the eastern coast tourist resorts of source and monastir.

LONDON: Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, said Iran held the United States responsible for the deaths of Iranjan Moslems in Mecca, Tehran radio said.

Khomeini, quoted by the radio, monitored by the British broadcasting corporation, said Iran would deal the United States “at the opportunity time”.

NEW DELHI: Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat today opposed an Jranian call for overthrowing the Saudi royal family after a blood: bath in Mecca that followed a demonstration by Iranian pilgrims.

Arafat, who is on a three day visit to New Delhi, told a news conference he was surprised by the Iranian call and it amounted to direct intervention in Arab affairs.

NEW DELHI: Japanese Foreign Minister, Tadashi Kuranari is expected to make a two-day official visit to India on August 10, a Japanese Embassy spokesman said.

He told Reuters Kuranari would meet Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Minister of State for External Affairs Natwar Singh. Gandhi also holds the External Affairs portfolio.

WASHINGTON: Congressional probers ending three months of public hearings into the Iran Contra Affair have blamed the scandal on arrogant White House staffers who sidestepped President Reagan, his Cabinet and Congress.

Article extracted from this publication >>  August 7, 1987