President Bush says the United States is committed to rebuilding Afghanistan and is confident terrorist Osama bin Laden will be brought to justice. During a surprise visit to Kabul today (Wednesday), Mr. Bush said the United States, Afghanistan and Pakistan are working together as partners in an alliance to fight terrorism. Speaking to reporters at a news conference in the Afghan capital, with President Hamid Karzai at his side, Mr. Bush said the three countries' forces are "on the hunt" for Osama bin Laden and other members of the al-Qaida terror network.
Iraq: Iraqi police say at least 23 people were killed and more than 35 others wounded by bomb attacks in Baghdad today (Wednesday). Multiple explosions ripped through different parts of the sprawling city in the space of about one hour.
The worst was a car bomb that killed at least 20 people in a Shi'ite Muslim neighborhood. Today's carnage followed an even bloodier day of violence on Tuesday, when a series of bombs killed 68 people across Baghdad -- mostly at religious sites.
Thailand-Thaksin: Thailand's top military commander is dismissing speculation about a possible coup, as embattled Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra begins his fight to keep his job ahead of next month's snap election. Supreme Commander General Rueangrot Mahasaranon said today (Wednesday) the military will not interfere in the political conflict. Meanwhile, Mr. Thaksin said he will hold his first rally Friday in the runup to the elections set for April 2nd. His rally (on Sanam Luang field) near the royal palace will take place two days ahead of the next major protest against him, scheduled for the same site.
Philippines Unrest: President Gloria Arroyo says she plans to lift a national state of emergency at the earliest possible time, and has ordered a review of the country's security situation. Ms. Arroyo said today (Wednesday) that the defense and justice secretaries, and the national police chief, are to submit reports to her within 72 hours. She said the emergency measures will be lifted once all three departments convince her the government is in control.
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