US-IRAQ: President Bush is meeting with Congressional leaders this (Wednesday) morning to discuss his new strategy for Iraq, before announcing the much anticipated plan in a nationally televised address. During his speech (Wednesday night), Mr. Bush is expected to call for 20-thousand additional U.S. troops to be sent to Iraq, most of them going to Baghdad and some to the volatile western Anbar province. News reports say the first wave of troops are to be sent by the end of the month.
SOMALIA: Somali officials say gunbattles have erupted in the capital,
Mogadishu, as militants attacked an area housing Ethiopian and Somali troops. The officials say at least one person was killed in the fighting today (Wednesday) in the capital's southern K4 neighborhood. On Tuesday, assailants attacked Ethiopian and Somali government troops in the same area with rocket-propelled grenades.
BANGLADESH POL: Bangladesh's interim government has begun deploying the army to maintain security ahead of the disputed January 22nd elections. Some 60-thousand soldiers are to be deployed across Bangladesh from today (Wednesday) until election day. The opposition alliance, led by the Awami League, has vowed to boycott the poll, accusing the interim government of failing to provide conditions for a free and fair vote.
MALAYSIA-THAILAND: Malaysia's Defense Ministry says four soldiers have been wounded in a grenade attack at an army camp near the Thai border. A ministry spokeswoman said unidentified attackers threw two hand grenades at a security outpost in the northern state of Kedah before dawn today (Wednesday). She said Malaysian and Thai authorities are investigating the incident.
BIRD FLU: An Indonesian hospital official says a teenager has died of bird flu, raising the country's death toll to 58. Indonesian officials said the 14-year-old boy died today (Wednesday), four days after being admitted to a Jakarta hospital.
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