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China: Suspected Terrorist Attack Kills 16 Police in Xinjiang


CHINA-ATTACK: Chinese state media say suspected terrorists attacked a group of policeman in Xinjiang today (Monday), killing at least 16 officers.

The attack in the Muslim-populated northwest region comes just days before the opening of the Beijing Olympics.

The official Xinhua news agency says two attackers drove a dump truck into the station, threw two home-made explosives and hacked at police with knives before being arrested.

The report linked the attack to an alleged plot by the East Turkistan Islamic Movement, a group dedicated to gaining independence for Xinjiang.

Xinhua quotes police in Xinjiang as saying the group planned to launch attacks in the days before the Olympics.

BUSH-ASIA: U.S. President George Bush leaves Washington today (Monday) for a trip to Asia, where he will attend the opening of the Summer Olympics in Beijing.
The president and first lady Laura Bush will stop in the far northwestern U.S. state of Alaska today, where the president will speak (today/Monday) to U.S. troops. He then heads to South Korea.
White House officials say Mr. Bush and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak will meet Tuesday to discuss trade and military relations.
Also Tuesday, Mr. Bush travels to Thailand to celebrate the 175th anniversary of U.S.-Thai relations. The U.S. president is scheduled to meet in Bangkok with aid organizations involved in post-cyclone relief efforts in Burma.

ISRAEL-PALESTINIANS: Israel says it will transfer dozens of Palestinian Fatah members who fled deadly fighting in the Gaza Strip to the West Bank, because they face danger if returned to Gaza.
The decision reverses a previous request by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to return the 180 Fatah members to Gaza. The Fatah members had escaped Gaza Saturday after clashes with rival Hamas members left 11 people dead.
The Israeli Defense Ministry says it halted the return of Fatah members when Israel discovered they faced immediate danger if returned to Gaza. Hamas forces detained many returned Fatah members.

AFGHAN-VIOLENCE: Afghan officials say NATO and Afghan troops killed 17 militants during a joint operation in the country's south.
The Defense Ministry says (today/Monday) the fighting took place Sunday in Helmand province.
In other violence, Afghan officials say four policemen were killed Sunday when Taliban militants ambushed a police station in central Ghazni province.
The French news agency quotes a local official as saying dozens of Taliban fighters were killed in an ensuing battle.

SOLZHENITSYN OBIT : Nobel prize winning Russian novelist Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who was forced into exile for books strongly critical of the Soviet government, has died at 89. His son said Sunday Solzhenitsyn died of heart failure. Solzhenitsyn was an iconic symbol of the fight against censorship and oppression in the Soviet Union. In 1945, he was sentenced to eight years in prison camps, and was later exiled to Kazakhstan for sending a friend a letter critical of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.

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