- The Washington Times - Friday, October 1, 2004

GAZA STRIP

U.S. urges restraint as Israel attacks

JABALIYA — Seven Palestinians were killed during a massive Israeli incursion into the northern Gaza Strip yesterday, as Washington urged Israel to use restraint.

The deaths came after Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon ordered the army to step up a raid started Tuesday aimed at stopping rocket attacks on Israel.

Forty-five Palestinians have been killed over the past three days along with two soldiers and a woman settler in one of the bloodiest battles since the Palestinian uprising started four years ago.

“There continues to be ongoing violence. We’ve always said Israel has the right to defend itself, but it’s also important to keep in mind the impact of those decisions,” White House spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters in Washington.

LEBANON

Car bomb wounds ex-minister, kills driver

BEIRUT — A remote-controlled Beirut car bomb wounded a prominent Lebanese opposition politician and killed his driver yesterday, weeks after the former minister quit the government in protest at Syria’s grip on Lebanon.

The target of the attack, Druze parliamentarian Marwan Hamadeh, resigned as economy minister last month to protest against parliament’s extension of Syrian-backed President Emile Lahoud’s term by three years.

The attack came as Druze leader Walid Jumblatt, who has called on Mr. Lahoud to resign and denounced the extension of his mandate as unconstitutional, was trying to put together an opposition front with anti-Syrian Christian politicians.

SUDAN

Khartoum accepts peacekeeping troops

NAIROBI, Kenya — Sudan has agreed in principle to an African Union (AU) proposal to deploy a force of more than 3,000 troops to stop atrocities in the troubled Darfur region, the pan-African body said yesterday.

The AU since Thursday has been meeting with a high-level delegation from Khartoum to discuss the AU’s peacekeeping operations in Darfur, said Said Djinnit, the AU’s peace and security commissioner.

“We received a formal message that the government agrees on the strengthening of the mission in Sudan,” Mr. Djinnit said by phone from Addis Ababa.

IRAN

Inspectors plan visit to suspect nuke site

VIENNA, Austria — Inspectors from the U.N. nuclear watchdog will soon visit the Parchin military complex in Iran, where the United States suspects Tehran has been conducting secret atomic weapons work, Western diplomats said yesterday.

IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei said last month that there were no indications that Parchin was a nuclear weapons site, but U.S. officials said Mr. ElBaradei was not qualified to make such a statement without having inspected the site.

Last month, a prominent nuclear expert said analysis of recent satellite images showed that Parchin, 18 miles southeast of Tehran, could be a site for research, testing and production of nuclear weapons and should be closely inspected.

JAPAN

U.S. Navy deploys destroyer for patrols

TOKYO — Amid heightened concerns of a North Korean missile test, a U.S. destroyer has started patrolling the Sea of Japan/East Sea in what officials say is a first step toward creating a shield to protect the United States and its allies from a foreign missile attack.

U.S. Navy officials confirmed that the USS Curtis Wilbur, one of three ships in the U.S. 7th Fleet tasked with the patrols, left its base just south of Tokyo earlier this week.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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