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Israel PM Says Gaza Campaign Will Continue


ISRAEL-PALESTINIANS: Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says Israel's military is fulfilling its goals in Gaza, but will continue the offensive against Hamas until troops have completely halted rocket attacks on southern Israel.
Mr. Olmert said today (Sunday) in a Cabinet meeting that for Israel to stop now would be wasting its efforts with success in sight.
Gaza medical officials say about 850 Palestinians have died in the Gaza Strip in the 16 days since Israel's military offensive began.
Witnesses say Israeli tanks and warplanes pounded the outskirts of Gaza City today (Sunday), while Hamas militants fired anti-tank missiles at the advancing forces. Several Palestinians were killed in today's fighting in northern Gaza.
Hamas and Israel continue to disregard international appeals for a cease-fire in Gaza.

PAKISTAN-AFGHANISTAN: Military officials in Pakistan say six soldiers and 40 militants were killed overnight (Saturday-Sunday) in an attack on a paramilitary fort near the border with Afghanistan.
Pakistan's military said most of the attackers came from the Afghan side of the border, and were joined by local Taliban fighters in the northwestern Mohmand tribal area, a center of Taliban and al-Qaida activity.
Security officials say fierce gun battles raged for several hours before the attackers fled the scene. Officials estimated estimated that about 600 militants took part in the attack.

RUSSIA-EUROPE GAS: Russia and Ukraine have reached an agreement with the European Union that officials say will allow Russia to resume natural gas shipments to Europe.
The two countries signed an agreement with EU officials Saturday laying out terms under which independent observers will monitor the flow of Russian gas in Ukrainian pipelines.
Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency, helped broker the deal Saturday. He says "nothing now stands in the way from Russia resuming gas supplies to Europe."
Officials did not say exactly when supplies will restart. Russia supplies one-quarter of all gas consumed in EU countries

THAILAND ELECTION: Thais voted today (Sunday) under heavy security in the first by-elections since a new government took power following months of political unrest.
Voters in 22 provinces chose 29 lawmakers to fill seats vacated after a court ruling dissolved two of the country's political parties late last year.
Thirteen of the seats belonged to members of the now-defunct People's Power Party of exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. The other 16 seats belonged to members of their allies in the Chart Thai party.
INDONESIA FERRY: Indonesian officials say a ferry carrying around 250 passengers and at least 17 crew members sank in heavy seas off Sulawesi island today (Sunday).
Maritime officials say at least 18 people have been rescued. They said a search was underway, but did not say whether they expected to find any more survivors.
Authorities say the ferry sank on its way from the island of Sulawesi to Kalimantan, the Indonesian half of Borneo.

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