Pakistani police have detained opposition politician Imran Khan just as he emerged from hiding to join a student rally against emergency rule. Police said there was a detention order against Khan and that it was served as he arrived for a protest at Punjab University campus in the eastern city of Lahore today. Khan, who heads a small opposition party, went into hiding soon after Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf declared a state of emergency nearly two weeks ago.
PAKISTAN - US: President Bush has expressed hope that Pakistani
President Pervez Musharraf will lift emergency rule, while remaining a staunch ally in the war against terrorism. Mr. Bush told the Fox Business Network Tuesday he believes General Musharraf understands the stakes of the war and the importance of democracy. Earlier, U.S. State Department spokesman Tom Casey said Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte will go to Pakistan later this week to urge the Pakistani leader to end emergency rule and hold free and fair elections.
AFGHANISTAN: The U.S. military says Afghan and U.S.-led coalition forces have killed dozens of Taliban fighters in southern Uruzgan province. The military said the fighting (near the Deh Rawod district) erupted after a large group of insurgents ambushed a coalition patrol with rocket-propelled grenades and small-arms fire Tuesday. A military statement says the insurgents moved into a nearby compound after the fighting began, causing women and children to flee the area. It said four separate precision air strikes eliminated insurgents who were trying to reinforce the enemy positions.
IRAQ: Iraqi security officials say two civilians have been killed in a
roadside explosion near a U.S. military patrol outside Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone, where the U.S. embassy and several Iraqi government offices are located. Witnesses say at least one U.S. military vehicle was hit in this morning's blast, but it was not clear if there were American casualties. The blast also wounded three people. Separately, the U.S. military reported the deaths of three American soldiers, who were killed Tuesday in separate incidents in northern Iraq.
US - BLACKWATER: A report in today's "The New York Times" says U.S. government investigators have concluded the shooting deaths of at least 14 Iraqi civilians by guards working for a private U.S. security firm were unjustified. A total of 17 Iraqis were killed when guards with Blackwater USA opened fire in Baghdad on September 16th while guarding a U.S. diplomatic convoy. The company says its guards fired in self-defense after coming under attack. But the "Times," quoting anonymous civilian and military officials, says FBI agents have found no evidence to support Blackwater's assertions.
BURMA: United Nations special envoy Ibrahim Gambari says Burma's
military government has taken some positive steps since his visit last week, but not as many as he had hoped. In a briefing Tuesday with members of the Security Council (in New York), Gambari noted the lifting of curfews, withdrawal of visible military presence from the streets, and release of many detained protesters. He also mentioned that the military government had appointed a liaison who has met with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. But he said his trip did not produce all of its objectives, such as the lifting of restrictions on Aung San Suu Kyi.
CAMBODIA - KHMER ROUGE: Former Khmer Rouge head of s tate Khieu Samphan was admitted to a hospital in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh today after suffering health problems. Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen told reporters today he dispatched a helicopter to Khieu Samphan's home in the northwestern part of the country to fly him to a hospital in the capital of Phnom Penh. It was not immediately clear what had happened to the former Khmer Rouge leader. On Monday, two of Khieu Samphan's former colleagues were arrested by a U.N.-backed genocide tribunal and charged with crimes against humanity.
THAILAND - MEKONG: Conservationists in Thailand are warning that
six proposed dams on the Mekong River could displace up to 75-thousand people and harm hundreds of species. The director of the Bangkok-based environmental group TERRA (Premrudee Daoroung) urged members of the four-nation Mekong River Commission to reconsider their support for the dam projects when the panel meets Thursday in Cambodia. The Commission is made up of Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos. The proposed dams would be built in Laos, Thailand and Cambodia.
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