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8/20/2006 World News: Gunmen Kill 16 Shi'ite pilgrims in Baghdad


Iraq: Iraqi officials say gunmen have killed at least 16 Shi'ite pilgrims as they gathered for a major religious event in Baghdad.
They say more than 200 people were wounded when gunmen fired on pilgrims as hundreds of thousands of people marched to a Shi'ite shrine (in Kazimiyah).
Iraqi officials say police captured at least three gunmen.
Today's (Sunday's) pilgrimage commemorates the death of eighth-century Imam Moussa Kadhim. He is buried in a tomb in Kazimiyah.
Iraqi authorities banned vehicles from Baghdad streets until after the pilgrimage ends this evening to try to stop Sunni insurgents from targeting Shi'ites with car bombs.

Israel – Lebanon: Lebanon's defense minister says the government will deal decisively with any group that fires rockets at Israel in violation of a U.N.-backed ceasefire.
Elias Murr said today (Sunday) that anyone who carries out a rocket attack would be considered a traitor for giving Israel a pretext to strike at Lebanon. Murr says militants who violate the truce will be arrested and tried by a military court.
The Lebanese defense minister did not direct his warning specifically at Hezbollah. In the past, Palestinian militant groups in Lebanon have also fired rockets at Israel, but on a smaller scale than Hezbollah.
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Saturday he is "deeply concerned" about an Israeli commando raid in eastern Lebanon earlier in the day, calling it a violation of the ceasefire that went into effect Monday.

Afghanistan: Afghan officials say NATO forces have killed more than 70 Taleban insurgents in a battle in southern Afghanistan.
The Kandahar provincial police chief (Niaz Mohammad Sarhadi) said today (Sunday) that four policemen were also killed in the clash in the district of Panjwayi, southwest of Kandahar city.
The fighting began when scores of Taleban militants launched an attack late Saturday. Police fired back, aided by NATO aircraft.
In other incidents Saturday, a bomb struck U.S.-led forces in eastern Kunar province, killing three American troops. And, one U.S. soldier and an Afghan soldier were killed in heavy fighting with Taleban insurgents in the central province of Uruzgan. An Afghan police officer was killed in a separate incident in southern Zabul province.

Koreas Flood Aid:

South Korea says it will provide 230 million dollars in emergency humanitarian aid to North Korea to help the country recover from devastating floods.South Korea's Unification Ministry announced today (Sunday) it will give the North 100 thousand tons of rice, 100 thousand tons of cement and 80 thousand blankets, along with dump trucks, construction equipment and medical supplies.
North and South Korean Red Cross officials helped negotiate the aid package at the North's Diamond Mountain resort Saturday.
South Korean independent aid groups have also pledged more than 10 million dollars in emergency aid to help flood victims.

Listen to our World News for details.

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