- The Washington Times - Monday, August 13, 2007

IRAQ

Assassinations raise fear of Shi’ite war

BAGHDAD — Residents of Diwaniya said yesterday they feared all-out war among Shi’ite factions after the governor and police chief were assassinated.

Diwaniya Gov. Khalil Jalil Hamza and police chief Maj. Gen. Khaled Hassan were killed on Saturday when their convoy was struck by a roadside bomb.

“This could burn down the city completely,” said retired civil servant Akram Adel. “It will not be limited to Diwaniya but would extend to all of Iraq, becoming a Shi’ite-Shi’ite war, and God knows when it would end.”

IRAN

Ultra-hard-line group will run elections

TEHRAN — Ultra-hard-liners were appointed to a panel monitoring Iran’s next legislative elections, raising fears of a mass disqualification of candidates for the race, as was the case in 2004.

Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati and three other arch-conservatives were appointed as members of the panel monitoring legislative elections in March, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported yesterday.

The four will steer a committee that oversees the elections.

BRITAIN

Brown gets bounce on back of crises

LONDON — British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has led his Labor Party to its biggest election lead over the opposition since before the Iraq war, a survey showed yesterday.

The 10-point lead over the Conservative Party, reported in a YouGov poll for the Sunday Times, will fuel speculation that Mr. Brown will call an early election later this year.

Mr. Brown won approval for his handling of a recent outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease among cattle.

AFGHANISTAN

Musharraf concedes problems on border

KABUL — Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf acknowledged yesterday that Afghan militants are operating from Pakistani soil.

The declaration was made at the close of a four-day council, or jirga, of Afghan and Pakistani politicians and tribal elders that was arranged in Washington last year.

“The joint peace jirga strongly recognizes the fact that terrorism is a common threat to both countries and the war on terror should continue to be an integral part of the national policies and security strategies of both countries,” said a declaration to which about 700 delegates agreed.

SENEGAL

Circumcision fighters win top aid award

DAKAR — A small African aid group credited with starting a grass-roots campaign to abolish female circumcision in West Africa has been awarded the world’s largest humanitarian prize, jurors said yesterday.

The Senegal-based Tostan, which means “breakthrough” in the local Wolof language, has been chosen for the $1.5 million Hilton Prize, whose past winners include the hospice movement Doctors Without Borders.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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