AFGHAN BLAST: Afghan officials say a suicide bomber blew himself up outside the Interior Ministry in Kabul today (Saturday), killing 12 people, including a child. The attacker detonated explosives strapped to his body as Interior Ministry staff reported to work. Nearly 50 people were wounded by the blast. The explosion destroyed several nearby shops. The bomb attack is the fifth this month in the capital, which was relatively safe a year ago.
IRAQ: The U.S. military in Iraq says coalition troops have captured a suspected al-Qaida terrorist during a raid on a senior Sunni Arab politician's Baghdad home. The military says the man was detained at the residence of Adnan al-Dulaymi and is a member of the politician's security detail. U.S. military officials say the man is suspected of planning car bomb attacks on Baghdad's Green Zone, which houses diplomatic and military offices. Officials say the man was detained late Friday, around the time Iraqi authorities imposed a curfew on Baghdad. But it is not clear if the curfew was related to the raid or bomb attack the suspect is accused of planning.
US-IRAQ-TORTURE: The U.S. ambassador to Iraq says the United
States may cut funding for Iraq's police because of their failure to punish those responsible for torture. Zalmay Khalilzad said in an interview with The New York Times newspaper that U.S. officials are reviewing some programs because of a U.S. law that bans funding security forces that violate human rights. But Khalilzad says he hopes Iraqi Interior Minister Jawad al-Bolani does punish those responsible to keep the funding.
BURMA-UN: The United States says it wants a U.N. Security Council resolution that would pressure Burma to end its repressive policies. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., John Bolton, made the comment Friday after the Security Council held its first official session on Burma. Bolton said Washington is working to introduce a resolution by the end of this year, citing Burma as a threat to regional peace. But he says the measure will be withheld pending the outcome of U.N. Undersecretary-General for Political Affairs Ibrahim Gambari's upcoming visit to the reclusive country.
BURMA-US: Burma's military government is rejecting a U.S. State Department report that slams Burma for restricting religious activities. The annual report was issued earlier this month and lists countries, including Burma, Iran and China, as nations "engaged in or tolerating particularly severe violations of religious freedom." Burma's Foreign Ministry said today (Saturday) that the allegations were politically motivated and unjustified. It said no serious problems exist among religious groups in Burma.
RUSSIA-GEORGIA: Russia says it has temporarily suspended its
planned troop withdrawal from two Soviet-era military bases in Georgia, as tensions mount between the two countries over allegations of espionage by Moscow. Russian Defense Ministry officials said today (Saturday) the decision was made because the troops' safety could not be guaranteed as they crossed Georgian territory. Russia has agreed to withdraw its troops from the two military bases by 2008. The crisis began Wednesday when Georgia arrested five Russian army officers for allegedly spying.
INDIA-PAKISTAN: Indian police say they have evidence that Pakistan's military intelligence agency masterminded the July 11th train bombings in Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay) that killed nearly 200 people and wounded more than 800 others. At a news conference today (Saturday), Mumbai's police chief (A.N. Roy) said the attacks were planned by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence Agency and carried out by the Pakistan-based Islamist militant group Lashkar-e-Toiba.
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