NATO officials say enemy fire may be responsible for bringing down a NATO helicopter in southern Afghanistan, killing seven troops -- five Americans, one Briton and one Canadian. The officials say the Chinook transport helicopter crashed late Wednesday in a hostile area in Helmand province, near the town of Kajaki. The Taleban says it shot down the helicopter.
PAKISTAN-VIOLENCE: Pakistani officials say suspected pro-Taleban
militants have stormed the house of a government official in northwestern Pakistan, killing 13 people and wounding two others. Authorities say the militants used rifles and rockets to attack the house in Tank district before dawn today (Thursday). The house belongs to (Pir Attique Gilani,) an Islamic cleric and his brother (Ameerud Din,) who is a top administrator of a tribal region (Khyber) in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province.
AUSTRALIA-PHIL.:Australia and the Philippines have signed a defense agreement that will allow them to hold joint counter-terrorism exercises. Philippine President Gloria Arroyo and Australian Prime Minister John Howard signed the agreement today (Thursday) in the Australian capital, Canberra. Ms. Arroyo says the deal will help "modernize" Philippine forces in their battle against Islamist militants and communist rebels in the country's south.
INDONESIA-BIRD FLU: Indonesian
health authorities say a man has died of bird flu in the central province of Java. They said the 45-year old man had been in contact with infected birds. If confirmed by the World Health Organization, his death would be Indonesia's 78th bird flu fatality. The bird flu virus has hit Indonesia harder than any other country. Ninety-eight people have been infected by the disease and thousands of birds have died or been killed as a result.
UN-LEBANON-HARIRI: The U.N. Security Council has created an international tribunal to try suspects in the murder two years ago of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Ten council members voted Wednesday for a resolution to create the tribunal -- one more than needed for adoption. Permanent Security Council members Russia and China, in addition to Qatar, Indonesia and South Africa, abstained.
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