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NORTH KOREA

Congressman slams N. Korea bank deal

Rep. Ed Royce, California Republican, has sent a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice expressing “grave concern” about reports that the Wachovia Corp. is considering accepting $25 million in North Korean funds linked to money-laundering from a Macao bank.

By asking Wachovia to deposit the money in an effort to clear the way for the closure of the North’s main nuclear reactor, the State Department is trying to “unravel” the Treasury Department’s decision to ban U.S. banks from dealing with Macao’s Banco Delta Asia, wrote Mr. Royce, who is a member of the House Financial Services and Foreign Affairs Committees.

“I have little confidence that this transfer of illicitly obtained assets would advance an acceptable resolution of the nuclear crisis,” he said.

SUDAN

U.N.: Forces killed civilians in Darfur

GENEVA — Sudanese security forces took part in a series of attacks on villages in the Darfur region in which more than 100 people, including civilians, were killed, according to a U.N. report yesterday.

Even though no evidence was found that the attackers were operating under the direct command of President Omar al-Bashir’s government, the report by the office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights said it was the government’s duty under international human rights law to investigate the incidents and act to protect civilians from attacks.

AFGHANISTAN

14 Taliban killed in air strikes

KABUL — Air strikes targeted a convoy of suspected Taliban militants who had left a meeting in western Afghanistan, killing 14 and wounding 10, a provincial governor said yesterday.

The Taliban had met Thursday to appoint a leader in western Farah province, Gov. Muhaidin Baluch said. As they left the meeting in Bakwa district, air strikes hit seven of their vehicles, he said.

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