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Teran Tense, Quiet, After Week of Protests


IRAN: Iran's capital appears tense but quiet Sunday, with no reports of large-scale protests after a week of sometimes violent demonstrations against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's disputed election victory. But state-run television is reporting Sunday that 13 people were killed in clashes with police during protests Saturday. A mosque was set ablaze during the protests.
On the streets of Tehran Saturday, thousands of Iranians clashed with police, in defiance of a warning by the country's supreme leader to halt demonstrations about the disputed June 12th elections.

IRAN-REACT: U.S. President Barack Obama has urged Iran's government to "stop all violent and unjust actions against its own people." In his strongest response to Iran's post-election unrest, Mr. Obama said the Iranian government must understand that the world is watching. He called on Iran to "govern through consent, not coercion." Mr. Obama made his comments Saturday, following reports of violent clashes between Iranian authorities and demonstrators in Tehran. And, in Jerusalem Sunday, Israeli President Shimon Peres praised Iran's pro-reform demonstrators, saying he hopes for an end to Iran's current government. Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in the U.S. cities of New York, Washington and Los Angeles Saturday to show support for Iran's opposition groups.

IRAQ: Iraqi police and rescue crews are searching through the rubble of a mosque and nearby homes for bodies and possible survivors of a suicide bombing that killed at least 72 people. The bombing Saturday near a Shi'ite mosque in northern Iraq wounded some 200 people. The attack near the city of Kirkuk came just 10 days before U.S. forces are scheduled to pull out of Iraq's urban areas. The suicide bomber set off explosives in a truck as worshippers left a mosque following midday prayers in Taza, a mainly Turkmen town south of Kirkuk. Dozens of homes were destroyed. Medical officials say women and children are among the dead.

AFGHANISTAN: NATO says two soldiers were killed, and six other personnel were wounded, in an indirect fire attack on the main U.S. base in Afghanistan early Sunday. Bagram Air Field is located in Kapisa province, north of the capital, Kabul. A NATO statement says those wounded in the attack on Bagram are receiving medical treatment. NATO does not release the nationalities of causalities. The statement also said it was not immediately known if any Afghan civilians living near the air field were harmed in the attack. In a separate statement, NATO said three Afghans were killed and about 17 others were wounded Saturday in (the Pech District of) the eastern province of Kunar. It said they were caught in the crossfire of an unprovoked insurgent attack on an Afghan National Army outpost.

REPORTER-TALIBAN: A New York Times reporter who was kidnapped and held in the mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan is safe and in good health after escaping from his Taliban captors. The newspaper said Saturday that 41-year-old David Rohde and Afghan reporter Tahir Ludin scaled the wall of the compound where they were being held Friday night in the North Waziristan region of Pakistan. The two reporters and their driver, Asadullah Mangal, were kidnapped outside Kabul last November and had been held hostage for the past seven months. Mangal did not escape with the two journalists, but details were not immediately available. After leaving the compound, the Times says Rohde and Ludin found a Pakistani soldier who led them to freedom.


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