IRAN-SUICIDE BOMB: Iranian state media say several senior officers of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards are among at least 20 people killed in a suicide bomb attack Sunday in southeastern Iran. The attack took place during a meeting between the Revolutionary Guards and tribal leaders. The state-run Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) says a man wearing an explosive vest blew himself up at the meeting. Iranian media say at least five senior commanders were killed in the attack. Gen. Noor Ali Shooshtari, the deputy commander of the Revolutionary Guards, and Rajab Ali Mohammad-Zadeh, the chief provincial commander, were among the dead. Details of Sunday's events are still sketchy. Iran's Press TV Online says there were two separate terrorist explosions. One was at the meeting, while another targeted the Revolutionary Guards traveling in a convoy nearby.
PAKISTAN: Pakistani forces exchanged heavy fire on Sunday with militants
defending their heartland in the mountains of the South Waziristan
tribal region bordering Afghanistan. Pakistani troops, backed by fighter jets, continue to advance into the
main sanctuary of militants, on the second day of a full-scale ground
offensive against Taliban and al-Qaida insurgents. Officials say 60 militants and five Pakistani soldiers have been killed in the first 24 hours of the operation. A Pakistani army spokesman (Major General Athar Abbas) said
some 30,000 soldiers moved into the insurgent stronghold from three
directions Saturday to take on some 10,000 militants and foreign
The military says soldiers captured a Taliban mountain base Saturday around Spinkai Raghzai.
AFGHANISTAN: Global pressure continues to mount Sunday on Afghan President Hamid
Karzai to accept a possible runoff in Afghanistan's disputed election. Senior foreign officials have urged Mr. Karzai to accept the findings
of a fraud investigation by a U.N.-backed panel that could decide
whether the nation's disputed election goes to a runoff. French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, U.S. Senator John Kerry and
former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad met with Mr.
Karzai in Kabul Saturday ahead of the long-delayed announcement by the
Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC).
Senator Kerry said (in an interview with CNN) it would be irresponsible for the United States to send more troops to Afghanistan when the outcome of the Afghan election is not clear. Preliminary results released last month gave Mr. Karzai 54 percent of the vote. His main challenger, former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah, had 28 percent. But if the EEC discards enough ballots to drop Mr. Karzai's total below 50 percent, a second round of voting will be necessary.
BRAZIL-VIOLENCE: Many residents of some of Rio de Janeiro's worst slums are fleeing their homes to escape a drug war that has left part of the Brazilian city in ruins, and killed a dozen people. Smoke rose from the smoldering wreckage of a police helicopter shot down by drug gangs Saturday, while eight buses burned and gunfire filled the air in the slum of Morro dos Macacos. Police say the fighting broke out early Saturday when one of the city's three main drug gangs invaded the area in an attempt to expand its territory. Ten suspected gang members were killed in subsequent gunbattles with police. Several people were injured. Two police officers riding in the helicopter were killed. Police say the aircraft exploded on a football field after the pilot tried to make an emergency landing with the aircraft in flames. Four people on the helicopter managed to escape the flames.
SUDAN-HOSTAGES: A Sudanese governmant official says two kidnapped aid workers were released Sunday after spending more than three months in captivity in the volatile Darfur region. A Sudanese government official says the aid workers are now free and are in good health. Sharon Cummins of Dublin and Hilda Kawuki of Uganda, were taken from their compound in north Darfur by a group of armed men in July. Both women work for the Irish humanitarian group GOAL.