INDIA - ATTACKS: Indian security forces say they have made progress against the last of
the heavily-armed Islamist militants who staged multiple attacks
against the city of Mumbai.
Today Indian commandos reported they took control
of the Oberoi-Trident hotel, killing two militants inside, and freeing
hostages who had been trapped in the building since the attacks began
But a standoff continues at the Taj Mahal Palace hotel and at a
building belonging to a Jewish group. Militants are believed to be
holding hostages at both locations.
Groups of militants staged coordinated attacks on targets across Mumbai
late Wednesday, killing at least 140 people and wounding more than 300.
INDIA SDBR - TERROR: India has been hit by many deadly bomb attacks in recent years, and
police have blamed Islamist militants intent on destabilizing the
largely Hindu country.
Since October 2005, at least 700 people have died in the bombings. And
since May, a little-known militant group calling itself the Indian
Mujahideen has taken credit for a series of blasts that have killed
more than 130.
Earlier this month, more than 80 people died in coordinated bomb
attacks in the far-northeastern state of Assam. Police said they
believe several different militant groups might have been involved,
although the Indian Mujahideen claimed responsibility.
INDIA ATTACKS - ISRAEL: Israeli officials say gunmen in Mumbai are holding at least 10 Israelis
hostage at a Jewish center.
Indian commandos were dropped by helicopter today to try and
free hostages and clear the center, known as Chabad House, of militants. Gunfire and explosions were heard at the
building late Thursday and into today.
An orthodox Jewish group that runs the
center says a rabbi and his wife are among those being held hostage by
gunmen who seized the building late Wednesday.
A female cook employed by the center escaped from the building Thursday
morning with the rabbi's two-year-old son. The boy was unharmed, but
his clothes were soaked with blood, apparently from victims inside.
IRAQ: Iraqi police say a suicide bomber has killed nine people and wounded 15 others at a Shi'ite mosque south of Baghdad.
They say the bomber set off his explosives during prayers today.
The attack comes a day after Iraq's parliament approved a security deal
with the United States that extends the U.S. troop presence in the
country until 2011.
Iraq's main Sunni faction backed the security deal in return for
Shi'ite parties agreeing to put the accord to a national referendum by
the end of July. Shi'ite parties also accepted Sunni demands for
political reforms to give minority Sunnis a greater say in government.
SOMALIA - ETHIOPIA: Ethiopia says it will withdraw its troops from Somalia by the end of the year.
A Foreign Ministry spokesman said today that his
government has already informed United Nations Secretary-General Ban
Ki-moon and the chairman of the African Union Commission (Jean Ping) of the decision.
Ethiopia sent thousands of troops to support Somalia's Western-backed
government, which has been fighting Islamist insurgents for two years.
The Islamists had taken over much of southern Somalia before they were
ousted in 2006. They regrouped and launched the insurgency in early
THAILAND - PROTEST: Thailand's prime minister has removed the country's police chief, one day after ordering the police to end a stand-off with anti-government protesters occupying the capital's two major airports. The move by Thai Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat today comes hours after riot police arrived at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi international airport. Earlier, police officials said they had started negotiations with the protesters. They said the goal was to end the occupation without violence, but warned they would take action if the talks fail. Protesters have said they will not leave until the prime minister resigns.
KOREAS - TENSIONS: South Korea says today a cargo train and a sightseeing tour have made what could be their last trips to the North. The two ventures are the latest casualties in the worsening relationship between the two cold war rivals. Both sides are preparing for this coming Monday (December 1st), when the North has vowed to enforce a complete border closure. South Korean Unification Ministry spokesman Kim Ho-nyoun says hundreds of South Koreans workers at an industrial park in Kaesong, on the North Korean side of the border, are also preparing to return home. The park hosts nearly 90 South Korean companies with more than 33-thousand North Korean employees.
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