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State TV: Sri Lankan Rebel Leader is Dead


SRI LANKA: Sri Lanka's state television station has announced that Tamil Tiger rebel leader Velupillai Prabhakaran is dead.
Earlier media reports said Prabhakaran was killed while trying to flee the war zone early Monday in an ambulance. Military officials say Prabhakaran died along with his two top deputies (who were known as Soosai and Pottu Amman).
A source in President Mahinda Rajapaksa's office, speaking to VOA on condition of anonymity, said a formal announcement will come after positive identification is made. Sri Lanka's army chief announced Monday the end of combat operations, putting the entire nation under government control for the first time since 1983.

KOREAS TENSIONS: South Korea's unification minister has urged North Korea to return to negotiations and stop threatening to close a joint industrial complex just north of their border. Unification Minister Hyun In-taek told an academic seminar Monday that the Kaesong industrial zone is in crisis.
The North announced Friday it is canceling contracts for South Korean companies operating at the Kaesong factory park, and that it will write new rules governing wages, rent and taxation. Pyongyang said the South must accept the new terms or pull out of the zone.


BURMA-SUU KYI: An attorney for Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says her trial on charges of violating conditions of her house arrest has ended for the day and will resume on Tuesday. Aung San Suu Kyi and two assistants were accused after an American intruder swam across a lake and sneaked into her residence. If convicted, she faces up to five years in prison. Before the trial Monday, officials tightened security around the notorious Insein Prison as dissidents gathered for peaceful protests in front of the facility.

IRAQ POL: Iraq's next election will be held January 30, 2010. The deputy speaker of parliament (Khalid al-Attiya) said Monday the country's Federal Court set the date in response to a request from the 275-member legislative body.
The upcoming national election will be Iraq's second since the fall of Saddam Hussein six years ago. Iraq's last general election was held in December, 2005, when voters placed a broad coalition of Shi'ites in most of the seats.

AFGHANISTAN: A brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai says he survived an attack Monday on his motorcade that killed one of his bodyguards. Ahmad Wali Karzai said he was traveling from eastern Afghanistan to the capital of Kabul at the time of the attack.
It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack, but the country is in the middle of a growing Taliban insurgency. Afghan authorities said militants attacked a police post and killed six officers Sunday in southern Helmand province.

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