2 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, November 15, 2005
U.S. may have freed ordan bomber NEWS IN BRIEF,
Kajm sw ami s~mu __ lilom m HADLN S. RO ARUD E O
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Ahead of a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, a Jordanian official is reflected in a broken mirror yesterday as he views the devastated
site of the wedding hall at the Radisson SAS hotel, where one of the three bombings took place in Amman, Jordan Wednesday.
Suicide bombs target peacekeepers
Suicide bombers rammed cars filled with explosives into NATO peacekeepers in
two attacks in the Afghan capital yesterday, killing a German soldier and an Afghan
child and wounding at least a dozen other people - the first major assault on foreign
troops in Kabul in more than a year.
Troops thwarted a suspected third bombing by shooting dead three people in a car
racing toward the scene of the blasts. Such seemingly coordinated attacks are unprec-
edented in Afghanistan, and reinforced fears that Taliban insurgents are copying tactics
used in Iraq. The bombings occurred within 90 minutes of each other on a 500-yard
stretch of road near the headquarters of Afghan-U.N. election organizers. In each case,
the attackers rammed their cars into NATO vehicles.
After the first attack, the body of the German soldier lay on the ground under a
crumpled armored Mercedes military vehicle. Troops carried a wounded German sol-
dier to an ambulance on a stretcher. Bits of a Toyota Corolla sedan that the attacker used
were strewn across the road.
The blasts underscore the challenges facing the U.S.-backed president, Hamid Kar-
zai, as he struggles to shore up his nation's fledgling democracy. The attacks came two
days after officials released results from legislative elections in September, showing a
win for Karzai's supporters.
Negotiators 'very close' to settlement
A top Mideast envoy expressed disappointment and frustration yesterday
at what he described as Israeli and Palestinian foot-dragging in closing a deal
on border crossings and other details that would show momentum toward a
Former World Bank President James Wolfensohn said he could give up and go
home after months of negotiations if both sides refuse to cooperate.
"If you want to blow each other up, I have a nice house in Wyoming, and in New
York and in Australia and I will watch with sadness as you do it," Wolfensohn said
at a conference in Jerusalem.
As he spoke, negotiators for both sides met intermittently at the Jerusalem hotel
where Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice stayed an extra night in hopes of help-
ing to broker a deal. Rice rearranged her schedule yesterday, saying a bargain was
"in sight," but hours passed with no word of progress.
Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said late yesterday that the sides are "very
close" and that he was hopeful a solution would be reached.
Japan earthquake causes minor tsunami waves
A powerful earthquake shook northern Japan early today, and small tsunami
waves struck coastal towns about 200 miles from the epicenter. There were no
immediate reports of damage or injuries.
The quake, with a preliminary magnitude of 7.1, hit at 6:39 a.m. (4:39 p.m.
Monday EST) and was centered just below the ocean bottom off the east coast of
Japan's main island of Honshu, Japan's Meteorological Agency said.
Small tsunami waves measuring 12 and 20 inches hit the coastal city of Ofunato
and smaller waves hit at least four other towns. Tsunami waves - generated by
earthquakes - are often barely noticeable in the ocean but can rise to great heights
once they arrive at shore.
Ross Stein, a geophysicist with the USGS in Menlo Park, Calif., said the swell
amounted to "a surfable tsunami."
AMMAN, Jordan (AP) - The U.S. military
announced Monday it arrested and later released an
Iraqi whose name matches that of one of the Ammam
hotel suicide bombers, saying there was no "compel-
ling evidence" that he posed a security threat.
The American military command could not con-
firm if the man it arrested last year, identified as
Safaa Mohammed Ali, was among the three al-Qaida
in Iraq militants who carried out the attacks Wednes-
day on the Radisson SAS, Grand Hyatt and Days Inn
hotels. The blasts killed 57 other people.
The statement came as Jordanians - from the
groom whose bombed wedding turned into a night-
mare to local shopkeepers - voiced anger and joy
at the capture and riveting televised confession of a
would-be fourth Iraqi bomber, wife of one of the sui-
Many even doubted Sajida Mubarak Atrous al-
Rishawi, 35, had anything to do with bombing the
Radisson wedding party, saying her version of
events contradicted accounts given by Jordanian
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met Jordan's
King Abdullah to offer condolences over the attacks,
which killed three Americans.
"There is no justification for the wanton killing of
innocents, and we stand in solidarity with the people
of Jordan, the people around the world who have suf-
fered similar tragedies, and we will stand firm," Ripe
said during a tour of the Radisson.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas also vis-
ited the Radisson, where he said the suicide bombers
"deserve all of God's wrath."
The questioning of al-Rishawi was going slowly,
apparently because she was suffering from the shock
of the attacks and her arrest, a security official said.
But police believe al-Rishawi, from the volatile
western Iraqi city of Ramadi, may provide vital clues
to al-Qaida in Iraq and possibly the whereabouts of
its fugitive Jordanian-born leader, Abu Musab al-
Jordanian officials say al-Rishawi has provided no
motive for her involvement. She said in her televised
confession that her husband brought her to Jordan
and equipped her with a 22-pound explosives belt.
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Two U.S. Marines
were killed and seven
were wounded in
BAGHDAD (AP) - U.S. and Iraqi
troops launched a fresh attack yes-
terday against an insurgent strong-
hold near the Syrian border despite
calls by Sunni Arab leaders to halt
such operations to encourage a big
turnout in next month's election. The]
U.S. command said about 50 insur-
gents were killed.
Two U.S. Marines were killed and
at least seven were wounded in the
fighting in the border town of Obei-
di, according to a New York Times
reporter embedded with the Marines.
A Marine spokesman told The Associ-
ated Press that he cannot report casu-
alties until 24 hours after they occur.
In Baghdad, a car bomb explod-
ed near the main gate to the heav-
ily guarded Green Zone, killing two
South Africans and wounding three
other people. The victims worked for
State Departmentsecurity contrac-
tor DynCorp International, the U.S.
The U.S.-Iraqi attack against Obei-
di was the latest stage of an offensive
to clear al-Qaida-led insurgents from
a string of towns and cities in the
Euphrates River valley near the bor-
der with Syria and seal off a major
infiltration route for foreign fighters
sneaking into Iraq.
"Approximately 50 insurgents are
estimated to have been killed in spo-
radic but heavy fighting," a U.S. state-
ment said. Most of the insurgents died
in at least five U.S. airstrikes.
Earlier this month, U.S. and Iraqi
forces overran two other towns in
the area - Husaybah and Karabilah.
Unlike in previous sweeps in the area,
the Americans and their Iraqi allies
plan to establish a long-term presence
to prevent insurgents from returning.
U.S. officials have said the Euphra-
tes Valley campaign is also aimed at
encouraging Sunni Arabs there to vote
in the Dec. 15 parliamentary elections
without fear of insurgent reprisals.
The Bush administration hopes that a
successful election with strong Sunni
Arab participation will encourage
many in that community to abandon
That in turn would make it possible
for U.S. and other international troops to
begin heading home next year. Iraqi Presi-
dent Jalal Talabani said Monday in Vien-
na, Austria, that talks on a withdrawal
schedule could begin late next year.
President Bush hurled new criticism at Iraq war critics yesterday as he
headed for Asia, accusing some Democrats of "sending mixed signals to
our troops and the enemy."~
"That is irresponsible," Bush said in prepared remarks he planned to
deliver to U.S. forces during a refueling stop in Alaska. Excerpts were
released by the White House as Bush flew to Elemendorf Air Force Base
on the initial leg of an eight-day journey to Japan, South Korea, China and
Mongolia. Bush had hopes of improving his image on the world stage.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports
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