- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 24, 2007

IRAQ

Iran to be given proof of role

BAGHDAD — The United States will present evidence of Iranian agents’ hostile activities in Iraq soon and hopes arrests of Iranians will push Tehran to change its diplomatic ties with Iraq, U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad said yesterday.

A number of Iranian officials have been detained in three U.S. raids in the past month. Mr. Khalilzad told reporters that details of the accusations against them would be made public in the coming days.

Mr. Khalilzad said one of the Iranians detained by U.S. forces in Iraq during two raids over the past month was the director of operations for Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Quds faction, the organization responsible for funding and arming Iraqi militants.

SUDAN

Foreign aid worker raped in Darfur

KHARTOUM — An international aid worker was raped in Darfur, a French aid agency said yesterday. It was the first such reported assault in Sudan’s west and the latest in a wave of attacks against the world’s largest humanitarian operation.

Action Contre La Faim, which fights malnutrition in the vast region, said one employee was raped, others were sexually assaulted and there was a mock execution during an attack on their compound last month in rebel-controlled Gereida town.

SOMALIA

U.S. conducts second air strike

MOGADISHU — The United States has conducted a second air strike in Somalia, U.S. officials said yesterday, as the top U.S. envoy in East Africa met an ousted Islamist leader to press for reconciliation with the government.

The new air strike came two weeks after an AC-130 plane killed what Washington said were eight al Qaeda-affiliated fighters hiding among Islamist remnants pushed to Somali’s southern tip by Ethiopian and Somali government forces.

One official said the targets this week were from the Somalia Islamic Courts Council, a militant group defeated by government troops with Ethiopian military backing in a two-week war started before Christmas. A second source said the target was an al Qaeda operative.

GREECE

Militants claim attack on U.S. Embassy

ATHENS — A Greek militant group has claimed responsibility for a rocket attack on the U.S. Embassy in Athens earlier this month, blaming U.S. policy in Iraq and the Middle East for the strike.

The far-left group Revolutionary Struggle issued a statement to the weekly Pontiki newspaper, its publisher Dimitris Benekos said yesterday. Police said forensic specialists were examining the document.

“It is a five-page statement which explains why it chose the embassy as a target, linking [the attack] with U.S. foreign policy in various parts of the world — Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Palestine and so on,” Mr. Benekos said.

COLOMBIA

Drug dog sniffs on despite death threats

LETICIA — Agata, a 5-year-old golden Labrador who is one Colombia’s best drug-sniffing dogs, has had a $10,000 bounty on her head and a 24-hour guard monitors her food for poisoning since police intercepted a message from drug traffickers more than two years ago revealing a plan to poison her.

The 80-pound retriever, who investigates about five cargo planes and one passenger flight every day in the southern Amazon River border town of Leticia, has helped authorities confiscate more than 660 pounds of cocaine and 44 pounds of heroin since 2003.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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