5 U.S. soldiers killed in attack
BAGHDAD — Insurgents carried out a deadly coordinated attack on an American combat patrol, detonating a roadside bomb, then firing guns and rocket-propelled grenades at the soldiers, the U.S. military said yesterday. Five troops were killed.
Seven soldiers were wounded in the attack Thursday in southern Baghdad and were evacuated to a military hospital; one has since returned to duty, the military said.
3 die as troops fire on civilians
BEDDAWI — Lebanese troops fired at Palestinian civilians, demanding to return to their homes, at a besieged refugee camp yesterday, killing three protesters and wounding 50, witnesses and hospital sources said.
The witnesses said the soldiers opened fire first into the air as hundreds of refugees, including women and children, tried to storm through an army checkpoint and head to Nahr al-Bared camp, the scene of nearly six weeks of intense fighting between the army and the al Qaeda-inspired Fatah Islam militants.
President resigns avoiding rape charges
JERUSALEM — Israeli President Moshe Katsav resigned yesterday as part of a much-criticized plea bargain that voided planned rape charges and the threat of jail time.
His resignation — two weeks before his seven-year term was to expire — takes effect tomorrow and clears the way for his indictment on lesser charges of indecent acts, sexual harassment and obstruction of justice.
The plea deal Katsav signed Thursday was a dramatic reversal by Attorney General Meni Mazuz, who had announced in January that he planned to try the president on charges of rape and other sex crimes — counts that could have landed him in prison for 20 years.
Island peaceful as poll commences