Israel - Lebanon:
Israeli warplanes today (Thursday) struck Hezbollah targets on the outskirts of Beirut as well as Lebanon's eastern Bekaa Valley, along the border with Syria. At least four explosions rocked Beirut's southern suburb (Dahieh), a Shi'ite Muslim district that Israel has bombed repeatedly. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told an Italian newspaper the military offensive is close to achieving its goal and he believes the United Nations will vote on a cease-fire resolution next week. Israel wants to disarm Hezbollah and push the guerrillas out of southern Lebanon.
Malaysia-OIC-Mideast: The world's largest bloc of predominantly Muslim nations
has demanded the U.N. Security Council enforce an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon. A statement released today (Thursday) by the Organization of the Islamic Conference says Israel should be held accountable for alleged violations of human rights in its military offensive. Senior officials of 17 O.I.C. member nations held an emergency meeting on the Mideast crisis today in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur.
Sri Lanka: Military officials in Sri Lanka say 10 civilians have been killed by an artillery attack in the country's volatile northeast. The civilians were killed today (Thursday) when a shell hit a school where they were sheltering in the town of Mutur, just outside Trincomalee district. It is not clear if Sri Lanka's military forces or Tamil rebels fired the shell.
Afghan Violence: NATO officials in Afghanistan say a roadside bomb has killed one
of its soldiers, the fourth NATO soldier killed since the alliance took control of security in the country's violent south. One other NATO soldier was wounded during the predawn attack today (Thursday) in Kandahar province.
Iraq: The chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff -- General Peter Pace -- says an increased American military presence in Baghdad will help Iraqi authorities deal with escalating violence. General Pace and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld discussed security in Iraq at the Pentagon Wednesday, following word that the United States is transferring several thousand troops (from elsewhere in Iraq) to the capital.
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