Iraqi security officials say mortar attacks have killed at least five people and wounded 15 others in Fallujah, west of Baghdad. Officials say the mortar rounds today (Wednesday) apparently targeted a U.S. military base, but landed in residential areas instead. In Baghdad's mainly Shi'ite Sadr City neighborhood, coalition forces detained six suspects believed to be members of a cell involved in importing roadside bombs and weapons from Iran. Meanwhile, Iraq's Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari says Tuesday's abduction of five British citizens in Baghdad was most likely the work of the Shi'ite Mahdi Army militia, probably assisted by local police.
Iran's top nuclear negotiator has ruled out halting Tehran's uranium enrichment work, saying that "suspension is not a way" to resolve Iran's nuclear standoff with the West. Ali Larijani spokes reporters at Tehran airport today (Wednesday) before departing for Spain for another round of nuclear talks with European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana. They are to meet in Madrid on Thursday.
BUSH-WORLD BANK: President Bush is expected to nominate former U.S. Trade Representative and Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick today (Wednesday) to be the new president of the World Bank. Zoellick is expected to replace Paul Wolfowitz, the embattled World Bank president who is stepping down after a scandal involving a pay raise and promotion for his girlfriend, who is a bank employee. Wolfowitz announced earlier this month that he will leave June 30th.
THAILAND POL: Thailand's Constitutional Tribunal has acquitted the country's oldest political party of election fraud charges. The court read its verdict on national television today (Wednesday), as thousands of troops stood ready to control any demonstrations in Bangkok. The Democrat Party had been accused of conspiring with smaller parties to accept illegal funding from the rival Thai Rak Thai party during last April's general elections. It was also accused of slandering deposed Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra of the Thai Rak Thai party during the election campaign.
INDONESIA-DRUG CHARGES: Seven men have been sentenced to death by an Indonesian court for producing the illegal drug Ecstasy. The Supreme Court of Indonesia sentenced five Chinese men, a Dutch man and a French man to death after authorities raided a drug factory west of Jakarta. The factory produced the drug in pill form and is believed to be one of the largest plants in the region.
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