ລິ້ງ ສຳຫລັບເຂົ້າຫາ

Mumbai Siege Ends, Indian Forces Kill Last Militants


INDIA ATTACKS: Indian officials have brought a terrorist attack on the city of Mumbai to an end, killing the last militants inside a luxury hotel that was the final battleground of a terrorist siege. Security forces are going through the badly-damaged Taj Mahal hotel room by room to make sure it is safe, and to evacuate any remaining guests. Combat operations ended at the Taj hotel today, more than two days after groups of militants launched coordinated attacks against multiple targets across the city. Nearly 200 people were killed in the attacks, including at least 22 foreigners. On Friday, Indian commandos ended two other standoffs with militants at the Oberoi-Trident hotel, as well as at the Chabad House Jewish center.

INDIA ATTACKS SDBR - PAKISTAN: Pakistan's government says it is prepared to deepen its engagement with India on counter-terrorism, but says it is important for India to avoid the "blame game" In a statement issued late Friday, Pakistan's Foreign Office said Pakistan has strongly condemned the horrific terrorist attacks in Mumbai. Earlier on Friday, both Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani pledged their support for India, during separate phone calls to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Pakistani leaders also said they would send a representative from the country's intelligence agency to India to help in the investigation into the attacks.

THAILAND - PROTEST: Anti-government protesters occupying Thailand's international airport forced police to abandon a checkpoint today, in a confrontation that ended without violence. At least one thousand People's Alliance for Democracy demonstrators moved in on the checkpoint near Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi international airport, forcing the much smaller police contingent to leave. Thailand's Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat said Friday that security forces will use peaceful means to end the crisis after thousands of protesters occupied two major airports in Bangkok. Mr. Somchai said authorities will use negotiations and other means appropriate to the situation.

CHINA - ESPIONAGE: The United States and the European Union have condemned China's execution of scientist and businessman Wo Weihan on charges of spying for Taiwan. A spokeswoman for the U.S. Embassy in Beijing said the U.S. government was deeply disturbed and dismayed by Friday's execution, the date of which had not been previously announced. The European Union also condemned the execution, which took place as EU and Chinese officials held a human rights dialogue in Beijing. News of Wo's execution was first reported by his daughter, Ran Chen, who is an Austrian citizen. She said she was shocked when Austrian embassy officials notified her on Friday of the execution.

AFGHANISTAN: Afghan and U.S.-led coalition forces have killed a Taliban commander who was dressed as a woman during operations targeting militants in central Afghanistan. The U.S. military released a statement Friday saying troops killed Haji Yakub along with three other militants in Ghazni province. The statement says military forces were questioning a group of women, when they discovered a male dressed in a burqa. The man was killed when he attempted to engage the troops. He was later identified as Yakub. The military says Yakub had directed suicide bombings and other attacks in the region.

IRAQ: A rocket attack near a U.N. compound in the Iraqi capital has killed at least two foreign workers and wounded at least 14 others. A U.N. official says the rocket struck inside Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone today. The nationalities of those killed and wounded were not immediately reported. The United Nations has reduced its presence in Iraq since a suicide bomber struck the organization's headquarters five years ago, killing 22 people. On Friday, Iraqi police say a suicide bomber killed 12 people and wounded 15 others at a Shi'ite mosque south of Baghdad.

US - LIBYA: The U.S. State Department has appointed an ambassador to Libya for the first time in 36 years, further normalizing relations between the two countries. In a statement released Friday, U.S. officials said the appointment of career diplomat Gene Cretz ensures that U.S. interests are well represented in Libya during a very important period in the history of the countries' relationship. The U.S. Senate confirmed Cretz as ambassador last week, and officials say he will be sworn into his position on December 17th. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met with the son of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi on the same day as the Senate confirmation of Cretz.

BURMA POL: Burma's top military leader says plans for elections in 2010 under a controversial roadmap to democracy are well underway. The state "New Light of Myanmar" newspaper quoted Senior General Than Shwe today as saying the seven-step road map is the only way to smoothly transition to democracy. The paper said Than Shwe was speaking Friday to annual meeting of the Union Solidarity and Development Association. Authorities say about half the country's population belong to the pro-military social organization. (News Updates)

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