- The Washington Times - Friday, June 6, 2008

SPAIN

Judge charges 11 in bomb plot

MADRID | A Spanish judge charged 11 suspected Islamic extremists Thursday with plotting suicide attacks against the public transport network in Barcelona.

The indictment says the cell had planned to carry out several bombings in Spain’s second-largest city in January. The suspects are nine Pakistanis, one Indian and one whose nationality was not given.

Ten of the suspects were arrested Jan. 19 in the Raval neighborhood of Barcelona, which has a large Pakistani community. One of the indicted men remains at large, and the judge issued an international warrant for his arrest.

TURKEY

Iran joins in raids on Kurdish rebels

ANKARA | Turkey and Iran have been carrying out coordinated strikes against Kurdish rebels based in northern Iraq, a top general said Thursday in the first military confirmation of Iran-Turkey cooperation in the fight against separatists there.

Gen. Ilker Basbug, Turkey’s land forces commander, said the two countries have been sharing intelligence and planned more coordinated attacks in the future against the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, and PEJAK, the group’s Iranian wing.

In recent months, the Turkish military has launched several air strikes on Kurdish rebel targets in northern Iraq. In February, it staged an eight-day, ground offensive. Iran also has shelled northern Iraq. On Thursday, Tehran said 12 “terrorists” and four border guards were killed in a clash near the Iraqi border.

UNITED NATIONS

Summit pledges to ease food crisis

ROME | World leaders at a U.N. summit pledged Thursday to reduce trade barriers and boost agricultural production to combat a food crisis that is spreading hunger and violent unrest across the world.

After three days of wrangling, delegates from about 180 countries approved a declaration resolving to ease suffering caused by soaring food prices and step up investment in agriculture.

A few Latin American countries raised strong objections to the declaration. Cuba was disappointed the document didn’t blast the long-standing U.S. embargo against the Communist-run island, and Argentina said it was unhappy over the trade-barrier language.

IRAQ

UAE to name first Arab ambassador

BAGHDAD | The United Arab Emirates said Thursday it would name an ambassador to Baghdad in the coming days, making it the first Arab country to restore a full diplomatic mission to Iraq since Saddam Hussein’s ouster.

UAE Foreign Minister Sheik Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan announced the decision on a visit to Baghdad. Many countries in the region have diplomatic offices in Baghdad but only Iran and Turkey have ambassadors.

Washington has pushed Iraq’s neighbors to restore ties with the fledgling country, but security fears and mistrust of the Shi’ite-led government in Baghdad have prevented many of the Mideast’s Sunni Muslim-led governments from doing so.

GAZA STRIP

Tit-for-tat attacks kill man, girl

GAZA CITY | Palestinian mortar fire killed a man at a factory in southern Israel on Thursday, prompting an Israeli reprisal air strike that apparently missed its target and killed a 6-year-old girl in the Gaza Strip.

The bloodshed came a day after moderate Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called for renewed dialogue with Hamas, whose gunmen seized control of Gaza a year ago in fighting with Mr. Abbas’ security forces.

SUDAN

U.N. Council visits Darfur

EL FASHER | The U.N. Security Council got a firsthand look Thursday at the worsening conflict in Darfur, which has killed up to 300,000 people and forced 2.5 million to flee their homes.

Facing one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises, the council delegation met with officials from the U.N.-African Union peacekeeping force that has struggled to get up to its full strength of 26,000 troops since its January launch. The force now stands at 9,000 troops.

The delegation also toured Zamzam camp near El Fasher, housing tens of thousands of Darfurians displaced by the violence.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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