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8/01/06 World News in Lao: Fierce Battles Between Israeli Troops, Hezbollah Guerillas


Israel-Lebanon: Israeli troops and Hezbollah guerrillas are locked in fierce fighting today (Tuesday), after Israel's government approved an expansion of its ground offensive in southern Lebanon.
Arabic television stations quoted Hezbollah sources as saying three Israeli soldiers were killed in clashes near the border village of Aita al-Shaab.
Israeli military has not confirmed the claim. Military officials say at least 20 guerrilla fighters have been killed or wounded in clashes just north of the Israeli-Lebanese border

Cuba Castro: Cuba's President Fidel Castro has fallen ill and handed power to his brother, but the Cuban government says he is only stepping aside temporarily. Mr. Castro's spokesman read a statement Monday, saying the president was undergoing surgery for gastrointestinal bleeding caused by stress. The statement said he is expected to recover within several weeks.

Iraq: Iraqi authorities say a string of bomb attacks across the country today (Tuesday) have killed at least 50 people and wounded scores of others. The attacks apparently were aimed at Iraqi soldiers. North of Baghdad, at least 23 soldiers died and more than 35 others were wounded when a roadside bomb ripped through a bus carrying Iraqi troops.

Japan- Iran: Japan says its two billion dollar project to develop an oil field in Iran will not stop Tokyo from pushing Tehran to stop enriching uranium. Japan's top government spokesman, Shinzo Abe, said today (Tuesday) the oil development project in Azadegan is important for Japan's energy security, but it will not affect the country's stance on Iran's nuclear program.

Koreas Gunfire: Military officials in Seoul say North Korean and South Korean soldiers exchanged gunfire across their heavily militarized border late Monday -- the first border clash this year. A spokesman for South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff says North Korean fired first, aiming two shots at a South Korean guard post (in the eastern part of the Demilitarized Zone, near Yanggu). One bullet hit the guard post (at 7:35 p.m., local time / 1035 UTC Monday), but no one was wounded.

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