UK Sends Taskforce to Sierra Leone A New British Taskforce Is to Be Sent to Sierra Leone to Shore Up United Nations Peacekeeping Forces in the Country, It Emerged Yesterday

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UK sends taskforce to Sierra Leone

A new British taskforce is to be sent to Sierra Leone to shore up United Nations peacekeeping forces in the country, it emerged yesterday.

Defence secretary Geoff Hoon is expected to order helicopter carrier HMS Ocean back to the region tomorrow. The ship will carry about 500 troops from 42 Royal Marine Commando. Two other warships and support vessels will also be dispatched.

Defence sources stressed the force would stay offshore and would not get involved in fighting.

Jet bomb arrests

CANADIAN police yesterday arrested two Sikh men and charged them with murdering 329 people in the 1985 bombing of an Air India jet which exploded off the coast of Ireland.

Air India flight 182 was travelling from Montreal to New Delhi with a planned stop in London when it went down on 23 June 985.

Ripudaman Singh Malik, 53, and Ajaib Singh Bagri, 51, have also been charged with killing two baggage handlers at Tokyo airport. They died when a bomb intended for an Air India flight from Tokyo exploded prematurely hours before the destruction of flight 182.

New fear over CJD

THE death of a 74-year-old man from variant CJD has raised new fears about a disease previously thought to have affected mainly the young. The pensioner was at least 20 years older than previous victims of the human form of mad cow disease.

Zo Jeffries, 14, of Wigan, Greater Manchester, became the latest victim of the illness when she died yesterday.

Serb stay-away

KOSOVO'S 900,000 ethnic Albanians voted for new council members yesterday, but most Serbs kept away from the polls.

Only 1,001 of the province's 80,000 Serbs registered to take part in the municipal elections. Many feared the vote would reinforce Albanian control in Kosovo.

United Nations and Nato-led peacekeepers stood guard at 1,464 polling stations while 5,500 foreign and local observers monitored the vote to try to prevent fraud.

Heavy weather ahead

BRITAIN prepared for more flooding yesterday as forecasters predicted heavy rain and storm-force winds.

Heavy rain and gales are set to hit Wales, the south-west and the south coast today. …