2A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, November 21, 2005
U.S. may have killed Al-Zarqawi
Terror leader Abu
Musab al-Zarqawi may
be counted among dead
BAGHDAD (AP) - U.S. forces
sealed off a house in the northern
city of Mosul where eight suspected
al-Qaida members died in a gunfight
- some by their own hand to avoid
capture. A U.S. official said yester-
day that efforts were under way to
determine if terror leader Abu Musab
al-Zarqawi was among the dead.
Insurgents, meanwhile, killed an
American soldier and a Marine in sepa-
rate attacks over the weekend, while a
British soldier was killed by a roadside
bomb in the south.
In Washington, a U.S. official said the
identities of the terror suspects killed
was unknown. Asked if they could
include al-Zarqawi, the official replied:
"There are efforts under way to deter-
mine if he was killed."
The official spoke on condition of
anonymity because of the sensitivity of
American soldiers maintained con-
trol of the site, imposing extraordinary
security measures, a day after a fierce
gun battle that broke out when Iraqi
police and U.S. soldiers surrounded a
house after reports that al-Qaida in Iraq
members were inside.
Three insurgents detonated explo-
sives and killed themselves to avoid
capture, Iraqi officials said. Eleven
Americans were wounded, the U.S.
The U.S. soldier killed yesterday near
the capital was assigned to the Army's
Task Force Baghdad and was hit by
small arms fire, the military said. The
Marine, assigned to Regimental Com-
bat Team 8, 2nd Marine Division, died
of wounds suffered the day before in
Karmah, a village outside Fallujah to
the west of the capital.
Their deaths brought to at least 2,093
the number of U.S. service members
who have died since the war began in
March 2003, according to an Associ-
ated Press count.
In the southern city of Basra, a roadside
bomb killed a British soldier and wound-
ed four others, the British Ministry of
Defense said. The ministry said 98 British
soldiers have died in the Iraq conflict.
The U.S. military also said yester-
day that 24 people - including another
American Marine and 15 civilians -
were killed the day before in an ambush
on a joint U.S. Iraqi patrol in Haditha,
140 miles northwest of Baghdad in the
volatile Euphrates River valley.
According to the U.S. statement, the
attack began Saturday with a roadside
bomb detonating next to the Marine's
vehicle, followed by a heavy volley of
fire from insurgents.
"Iraqi army soldiers and Marines
returned fire, killing eight insurgents and
wounding another," the statement said.
Meanwhile, four women were killed
yesterday night when gunmen stormed
their home in a Christian district of
eastern Baghdad, police said, add-
ing that valuables were stolen and the
motive for the attack appeared to have
The latest deaths occurred at the en
of a violent three-day period in whicha
least 140 Iraqi civilians died in a serie
of bombings and suicide attacks - mos
targeting Shiite Muslims.
The victims included 76 people wh
died Friday in near-simultaneous sui
cide bombings at two Shiite mosques i
Khanaqin and 36 more killed the nex
day by a suicide car bomber who deto
nated his vehicle amid mourners at
Shiite funeral north of the capital.
In Washington, Defense Secretar
Donald Rumsfeld said yesterday o
ABC's "This Week" that command
ers' assessments will determine th
pace of any military drawdown. Abou
160,000 U.S. troops are in Iraq as th
country approaches parliamentary
elections Dec. 15.
The Pentagon has said it plans t
scale back troop strength to its pre
election baseline of 138,000, depend
ing on conditions. Rumsfeld said th
U.S.-led coalition continues to mak
progress in training Iraqi securit
forces, which he placed at 212,000.
Bush: OK to oppose his war strategy
After fiercely defending his Iraq policy across Asia, President Bush abruptly
toned down his attack on war critics yesterday and said there was nothing unpatri-
otic about opposing his strategy.
"People should feel comfortable about expressing their opinions about Iraq,"
Bush said, three days after agreeing with Vice President Dick Cheney that the crit-
ics were "reprehensible."
The president also praised Rep. John Murtha, (D-Pa.), as "a fine man" and a
strong supporter of the military despite the congressman's call for troop withdraw-
al as soon as possible.
Bush brought up the growing Iraq debate when he met reporters after inconclu-
sive talks with President Hu Jintao about friction in U.S.-China relations. Bush tan
into stiff resistance from the Chinese to his call for expanding religious freedom
and human rights.
He also reported no breakthroughs toward reducing China's massive trade sur-
plus, overhauling its currency system or protecting intellectual property rights.
The president took satisfaction simply in the fact that Hu mentioned human
rights when the two leaders made joint statements to the press. "Those who watch
China closely would say that maybe a decade ago, a leader wouldn't have uttered
those comments," Bush said. "He talked about democracy."
Gunman fires shots in Tacoma mall
Six injured in random shooting
and two or three may have been
taken hostage by assailant
TACOMA, Wash. (AP) - A gunman opened fire
inside a busy shopping mall yesterday and was believed
to have taken two or three people hostage inside a
music store, authorities said.
At least six people were injured, one critically, as
shoppers and store clerks scrambled for cover.
"We're being held hostage," an employee who
answered the phone at the Sam Goody store in Tacoma
Mall said, identifying himself as Joe Hudson. He said
little else but could be heard telling others that he was
talking to The Associated Press. Then he hung up.
Tacoma Police spokesman Mark Fulghum told
Northwest Cable News that officers were trying to
make contact with the suspect, who was believed to
have two to three hostages.
Stacy Wilson, 29, of Bonney Lake, said she was
walking from J.C. Penney when she heard a popping
noise and turned around.
"I saw the gunman randomly shooting. I ran with a
group of women to Victoria's Secret," Wilson said. She
said they crouched behind a wall in the store, and when
the shooting stopped, an employee ran out and closed a
security gate at the front.
Wilson said she heard 15 to 20 shots.
"He was walking backward and shooting. I couldn't
see his face," she said. "Everyone was running and
Authorities got a call about 12:15 p.m. that shots had
been fired inside the mall, Tacoma Fire Department
Deputy Chief John Lendosky told CNN. State Patrol and
police units from nearby agencies were clustered around
an entrance at the south end of Tacoma Mall.
Betz Dejarnatt, who works at the J.C. Penney store,
said she heard three shots. She said some of the workers
were herded into dressing rooms and offices, then police
took them outside to a parking lot.
Six people were taken to hospitals, most with minor
injuries, Lendosky said. He couldn't confirm whether
any of them had been shot. One person was in criti-
cal condition at Tacoma General Hospital, spokesman
Todd Kelley said.
4 <. r..
f s 4. °. S
e TEHRAN, Iraq
y Stakes raised in Iranian nuclear saga
Raising the stakes before a key vote by the U.N. nuclear agency, lawmakers
approved a bill yesterday requiring the government to block inspections of atomic
facilities if the agency refers Iran to the Security Council for possible sanctions.
The bill was favored by 183 of the 197 lawmakers present. The session was
broadcast live on state-run radio four days before the International Atomic Energy
Agency board considers referring Tehran to the Security Council for violating a
nuclear arms control treaty. The council could impose sanctions.
When the bill becomes law, as expected, it likely will strengthen the government's
hand in resisting international pressure to permanently abandon uranium enrich-
ment, a process that can produce fuel for either nuclear reactors or atomic bombs.
The United States accuses Iran of trying to build a nuclear weapon. Iran says its
program is for generating electricity.
Sharon quits Likud Party for new movement
Israel's dovish Labor Party voted Sunday to pull out of Prime Minister Ariel
Sharon's government, and Sharon reportedly decided to quit his Likud Party to set
up a new movement - beginning a campaign for elections expected in March.
Sharon is expected to take several prominent Likud Cabinet ministers with
him to his new party, along with some from Labor - possibly including its
ousted chairman Shimon Peres.
Advancing Israel's election from the original November 2006 date would
likely sideline Mideast peace moves and counter whatever momentum was
gained from Israel's withdrawal from Gaza and part of the West Bank, com-
pleted in September.
Gov't report: Crimes prevalent in schools *
One in 20 students was a victim of violence or theft at school in 2003,
the government said in a report that shows school crime rates about were
half what they were 10 years earlier.
Yet the school crime rate essentially has leveled off, showing no change
since 2000, according to a report Sunday from the departments of Educa-
tion and Justice.
There were about 28 crimes of rape, sexual assault, robbery and physi-
cal assault for every 1,000 students in 2003, compared with 59 per 1,000
a decade earlier. The study looked at crimes against the 26.4 million stu-
dents who were 12 years old to 18 years old in 2003.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports
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Police SWAT team members walk through the parking lot of the Tacoma Mall, yesterday In Tacoma,
Wash., where an armed man took hostages shortly after noon.
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