2A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, March 10, 2005
Women, children among corpses
found by security forces in Iraq
NEWS IN BRIEF I
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gunman blast hotel.
wound 30 Americans
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Iraqi
authorities found 41 decomposed
bodies - some bullet-riddled, others
beheaded - at sites near the Syrian
border and south of the capital, and
said yesterday they included women
and children who may have been
killed because insurgents thought
their families were collaborating with
In Baghdad, a suicide bomber
driving a garbage truck loaded with
explosives and at least one other gun-
man shot their way into a parking lot
in an attempt to blow up a hotel used
by Western contractors. At least four
people, including the attackers and a
guard, were killed.
The U.S. Embassy said 30 Americans
were among 40 people wounded in the
blast. No Americans were killed. In an
Internet statement, al-Qaida in Iraq pur-
portedly claimed responsibility for the
attack on the Sadeer hotel, calling it the
"hotel of the Jews."
While Sunni Arab insurgents have
repeatedly targeted Westerners in
Iraq, Shiite Muslims, top Iraqi offi-
cials and civil servants, even Muslim
women are no longer safe.
Decapitated bodies of women have
begun turning up in recent weeks,
a note with the word "collaborator"
usually pinned to their chests. Three
women were gunned down Tuesday in
one of Baghdad's Shiite neighborhoods
for being alleged collaborators. And in
the northern city of Kirkuk, a woman
identified as Nawal Mohammed, who
worked with U.S. forces, was killed in
a drive-by shooting, police said.
The decomposed bodies were
found Tuesday after reports of their
stench reached authorities.
Twenty-six of the dead were dis-
covered in a field near Rumana, a
village 12 miles east of the western
city of Qaim, near the Syrian border.
Each body was riddled with bullets.
The dead were found wearing civilian
clothes and one was a woman, police
Capt. Muzahim al-Karbouli said.
The other site was south of Baghdad
in Latifiya, where Iraqi troops found
15 headless bodies in a building at an
abandoned army base, Defense Min-
istry Capt. Sabah Yassin said.
The bodies included 10 men, three
women and two children. Their iden-
tities, like the others found in western
Iraq, were not known, but insurgents
may have viewed them or their rela-
tives as collaborators.
Jericho handover remains unresolved
Israeli and Palestinian security commanders failed in two meetings to reach
agreement yesterday on the handover of this West Bank town to Palestinian
The dispute, which threatens to deal a setback to a Feb. 8 truce agreement, cen-
ters on the scope of the Israeli pullback, particularly whether Israel would remove
the main army checkpoint at the entrance of town. With a new envoy heading to the
region, an American official raised the possibility of U.S. intervention.
Plans to hand over Jericho and the town of Tulkarem in the coming days were
announced Tuesday, after a late-night meeting between Israeli Defense Minister
Shaul Mofaz and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.
Security commanders met for just 20 minutes yesterday to discuss the details of
the Jericho handover. Ismail Jaber, the Palestinian commander, said disagreements
remained, and that negotiations would continue. A second meeting broke up at
nightfall with no agreement.
Israeli forces had rarely operated in Jericho and Tulkarem in recent months. The
Palestinians want surrounding areas to be included as well, but Israel has balked at
removing major army checkpoints on the outskirts of these towns.
BELFAST, Northern Ireland
U.S. envoy to IRA: It is time to disband
In its bluntest criticism yet of the Irish Republican Army, the Bush administra-
tion told the IRA it should disband following the outlawed group's offer to shoot
four men - including two recently expelled members - responsible for killing
a Catholic civilian.
Yesterday's call from the U.S. envoy to Northern Ireland, Mitchell Reiss, came a
week ahead of St. Patrick's Day when, for the first time in a decade, leaders of the
IRA's Sinn Fein party will not be guests of the White House.
This year, the invitations are going elsewhere - to the five sisters of the IRA's most
recent victim, Robert McCartney, a 33-year-old forklift operator and nightclub bouncer.
"It's time for the IRA to go out of business. And it's time for Sinn Fein to be able
to say that explicitly, without ambiguity, without ambivalence, that criminality will
not be tolerated," Reiss said.
He particularly questioned Sinn Fein's claim that most IRA activities -
including robbing banks and shooting petty criminals in the limbs - should not
be considered crimes.
Louise Fawcett, right, of Bettendorf, Iowa, embraces her boyfriend, Army com-
bat engineer, Pfc. Sean Frantz, 19, of Davenport, Iowa, Sunday.
a-- - - a a - - -
Pro-Syrian official to forSOLebaneseWoscow
PgovtBasayev may undermine chance for peace
0 Unofficial vote gives
former premier Karami
backing of legislature
BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) - Leba-
non's pro-Syrian prime minister, who
was forced to resign last week by oppo-
sition protests, was virtually assured of
being asked to form the next govern-
ment after a majority of lawmakers
backed him yesterday.
An unofficial count gave Omar
Karami more than half the votes in
the 128-member legislature. A formal
announcement by President Emile
Lahoud, who consulted with legisla-
tgrs is expected very soon.
By early evening, 70 of the 78
legislators who met with Lahoud
advised him to restore Karami,
according the legislators as they left
the presidential palace.
Opposition lawmakers only sent
two representatives and did not put
forward a name when they met with
Lahoud. Instead, they reiterated their
demands for the new government: the
complete withdrawal of Syrian troops
and intelligence officials from Leba-
non, the resignation of Lebanese secu-
rity officials they deem as negligent
and a thorough investigation into the
Feb. 14 assassination of former Prime
Minister Rafik Hariri.
Nominating Karami again as prime
minister is sure to enrage the opposi-
tion, who led weeks of protests against
Syria. Karami has been leading a care-
taker government since then.
Damascus is eager to keep its hold
on the Lebanese leadership as it pulls
its forces back to the Bekaa Valley, near
the Syrian border, and negotiates with
the government in Beirut on the troops'
"Nobody can get Syria out from Lebanon's
heart and mind."
- A banner at the protest rally in Beirut, Lebanon
In Damascus, tens of thousands of
people took over the main streets, sing-
ing national songs and proclaiming their
loyalty to President Bashar Assad. One
banner addressed to the president read:
"We are all with you, who makes the
Thousands of Syria's red, white and
black flags with its two green stars
streamed in the wind. "We sacrifice obr
blood and our souls for you, oh Bashar!"
chanted marchers in the upscale Mez-
"Nobody can get Syria out from Leb-
anon's heart and mind," a banner read.,
"No for antagonist pressures against
Syria," another said.
The rally came a day after Syria's
allies in Lebanon made a thundering
show of their strength, with hundreds of
thousands turning out for a protest orga-
nized by the Shiite Muslim Hezbollah
guerrilla group to denounce pressure
from the United States, France and the
The redeployment was the first phase
of a plan announced Monday by Assad
and Lahoud. The 14,000 Syrian troops
in Lebanon are to pull back to the east-
ern Bekaa Valley, then to the border
before both sides work out their depar-
ture from Lebanon.
The killing of top Chechen rebel Aslan Maskhadov leaves the insurgency
largely in the hands of Shamil Basayev, the most brutal of the warlords - a
development that could undermine any chance of peace even as the Kremlin
celebrates a success in the long conflict.
Yesterday, there was uncertainty over what the death might mean, with Russia
facing the fundamental question of how much an insurgency depends on its leaders
- a dilemma faced by Israel in the targeted killings of key Palestinian militants
and the United States in the hunt for the top men in al-Qaida.
Russia hopes the Chechen insurgency might be hobbled, with a series of militant
leaders systematically eliminated over the years.
SANTA MARIA, Calif.
Accuser testifies against Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson's young accuser took the witness stand yesterday, facing the
singer in court for the first time as he described looking at pornography with the
pop star accused of molesting him.
With an expression that appeared to verge on a sneer, the young cancer survivor said
yes when District Attorney Tom Sneddon asked him if he recognized the defendant.
The 15-year-old accuser followed his 14-year-old brother, who testified he saw
Jackson grope his sibling in 2003.
The boy gave the same account his brother had of looking at sexually explicit Web
sites on their second night at Neverland after their parents gave them permission to
sleep in Jackson's room. He said it was Jackson's idea that they sleep in his room.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports
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