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Priest remarks labeled anti-Semitic, stir flap

WARSAW, Poland (AP) -- A Polish priest and media mogul has sparked an uproar in Poland by calling the country a totalitarian state that "hasn't been ruled by Poles since 1939" -- a statement many interpret as code for saying Jews are secretly running the country.

The Rev. Tadeusz Rydzyk, who has previously been accused of fomenting anti-Semitism through his politically influential, ultra-Catholic radio station Radio Maryja, made the comments last week at the European Parliament.

Poland's Foreign Ministry sent a diplomatic note to the Vatican on Saturday accusing Rydzyk of "harming the image of Poland abroad," the first-ever such complaint by the Polish government to the Holy See. The Vatican is the supreme authority for Rydzyk's Redemptorist order.

Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi told Polish news agency PAP on Monday that Rydzyk speaks in his own name and his statements do not involve the Holy See or Poland's Catholic Church. Jerzy Buzek, head of the EU Parliament and former prime minister, called Rydzyk's remarks "scandalous and unacceptable."


Taliban chief killed; taught suicide bombers

DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan (AP) -- Gunmen on Monday killed a senior Pakistani Taliban commander who helped train and deploy the group's suicide bombers, Pakistani intelligence officials said.

Shakirullah Shakir was riding a motorcycle near Miran Shah, the main town in the North Waziristan tribal area, when gunmen in a car with tinted windows shot him, officials said.

Shakir was a senior commander and spokesman for the Fidayeen-e-Islam wing of the Pakistani Taliban.

He once claimed in a local newspaper that his group had trained more than 1,000 suicide bombers at camps in North Waziristan.

No group has claimed responsibility for his killing.

Both North Waziristan and South Waziristan are key sanctuaries for the Pakistani Taliban, which has declared war on the U.S.-allied Pakistani government.

Meanwhile, suspected U.S. drone-missile strikes killed 20 alleged militants elsewhere in the northwest.

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