The U.S. military in Iraq has confirmed that a body pulled from the Euphrates River Wednesday was one of three U.S. soldiers missing for nearly two weeks. A military spokeswoman (Lieutenant-Colonel Josslyn Aberle) said today (Thursday) that the body has been identified as Private First Class Joseph Anzack Jr. (from Torrance, California). Anzack and two other soldiers are believed to have been captured by al-Qaida-linked terrorists, after their patrol was ambushed south of Baghdad on May 12th. The attack in an insurgent stronghold known as the "Triangle of Death" triggered a massive search operation.
Israeli forces have arrested more than 30 Palestinian politicians from Hamas in the occupied West Bank -- stepping up a crackdown against the group for firing rockets into Israel from the Gaza Strip. Palestinian Education Minister Nasser Shaer, several lawmakers, mayors and one former cabinet minister were arrested early today (Thursday) during raids in the towns of Nablus, Qalqiliya and Beita. Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz says the detentions send a message to Hamas that Israel will not tolerate the rocket attacks.
LEBANON: Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora has vowed to eradicate terrorism after fierce fighting between the Lebanese army and militants in a Palestinian refugee camp. In a nationally televised speech today (Thursday), Mr. Siniora said the Lebanese army had been a victim of a "terrorist organization." He said -- in his words -- "we will work to eradicate terrorism, but we will protect our Palestinian brothers."
SRI LANKA: Tamil rebels have attacked a Sri Lankan naval base on
the island of Delft, off the country's northern Jaffna peninsula, killing several sailors. The rebels say they overran the base today (Thursday) and killed 35 sailors, but Sri Lanka's military says fewer than 10 sailors were killed. The military said it killed 18 rebels and that it sank four rebel boats off Delft island.
An international rights group says Thailand's military-backed government is undermining free political debate and barring access to many political Web sites. Human Rights Watch issued a statement today (Thursday) saying Thai authorities are delaying the country's return to democracy by silencing cyber critics and dissidents.
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