- The Washington Times - Monday, May 8, 2006

IRAQ

Car bombs kill, maim in two major cities

BAGHDAD — Two car bombs rocked northern Baghdad within a span of a half-hour yesterday while a third struck a Shi’ite holy city to the south, officials said. At least 16 persons were killed and dozens were wounded.

The worst attack in Baghdad — a suicide car bombing — targeted an Iraqi army patrol as it left a base in the northern neighborhood of Azamiyah. Ten persons died and 15 were wounded, most of them Iraqi soldiers.

About 30 minutes earlier, a car bombing in the capital missed a police patrol but killed a civilian near the offices of the state-run Al-Sabah newspaper.

IRAN

Regime renews warning to pull out of NPT

TEHRAN — Iran said yesterday that it will reject any U.N. resolution seeking an end to the country’s atomic fuel work and renewed a threat to follow North Korea in quitting the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The Iranian parliament, meanwhile, said in a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan that it would force the government to withdraw from the NPT if the United States and its allies kept pressuring Tehran to suspend uranium enrichment.

A draft U.N. Security Council resolution, fashioned by Britain and France and backed by the United States, seeks to pressure Iran to suspend its uranium-enrichment activities.

IRELAND

Cheney reiterates criticism of Putin

SHANNON — Vice President Dick Cheney took Russia to task again yesterday as he ended a tour of former communist states making the transition to democracy.

Heading home from visits to Lithuania, Kazakhstan and Croatia, Mr. Cheney told reporters aboard Air Force Two that he had heard repeated concerns about Russia’s “internal developments” as well as its use of energy resources to “obtain leverage” over its neighbors.

Mr. Cheney insisted, however, that Russia had nothing to fear from NATO. He maintained that Moscow needed to understand that “the best neighbors that Russia can have are good, strong democracies.”

AFGHANISTAN

Enemy fire ruled out in helicopter crash

KABUL — U.S. commanders yesterday “ruled out” hostile fire as the cause of a military helicopter crash that killed 10 American soldiers during a combat operation in eastern Afghanistan.

The CH-47 Chinook crashed Friday night in a remote ravine near Afghanistan’s border with Pakistan.

Authorities said the dead were from Fort Drum, N.Y., home base of the Army’s 10th Mountain Division. About half of the roughly 18,000 U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan are from the 10th Mountain Division.

VENEZUELA

Chavez may purchase Russian warplanes

CARACAS — Venezuela is considering the purchase of Russian Sukhoi airplanes, President Hugo Chavez said yesterday, after U.S. efforts to prevent Venezuela from buying military aircraft from other countries.

Mr. Chavez has accused the United States of blocking the sale of replacement parts for Venezuela’s F-16 fighter jets, and U.S. authorities have moved to block military sales to Caracas from Brazil and Spain.

A Defense Ministry representative said he had been to Russia to fly Sukhoi aircraft, but he did not mention specific models or quantities that Venezuela would purchase.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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