IRAQ: The U.S. military says American and Iraqi forces carried out dozens of raids across Iraq today (Wednesday), killing at least eight insurgents and detaining scores of suspects. The military said the insurgents were killed near the town of Amiriyah, in the restive Al Anbar province. It said five insurgents were wounded during a five-hour gunbattle with Iraqi police and U.S. Marines. In Ramadi, Iraqi police confiscated several weapons caches and detained more than 45 suspects during a 10-hour operation.
PAKISTAN-JUSTICE: Several hundred members of Pakistan's legal profession, political opposition and other activists are holding another day of demonstrations against President Pervez Musharraf's removal of the country's chief justice. Protests are reported today (Tuesday) in the cities of Lahore and Islamabad. Activists have held almost daily protests since General Musharraf suspended the chief justice of the Supreme Court, Iftikhar Chaudhry, more than a week ago. The president says Chaudhry was removed for abuse of power.
NOKOR-NUCLEAR: Six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear program in Beijing remain stalled today (Wednesday), as Pyongyang refuses to take part until it receives 25 million dollars frozen in a Macau bank. U.S. nuclear envoy Christopher Hill says the transfer of the money to North Korea has not been completed. He says Pyongyang has made clear it will not engage in substantive talks on nuclear disarmament until it gets the funds.
THAILAND-UNREST: Thai Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont is making a one-day visit to southern Thailand to discuss how authorities should respond to growing insurgent violence in the region. General Surayud arrived in Pattani province today (Wednesday) on his fifth trip to the Muslim-majority south since he was appointed prime minister by military coup leaders last September. In the latest violence, Thai officials say militants ambushed an army patrol before dawn today in Narathiwat province. They say the attackers killed one Thai soldier and wounded two others.
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