- - Tuesday, June 22, 2010

IRAQ

5 killed by bombs targeting officials, allies

BAGHDAD | Bombs targeting Iraqi officials and al Qaeda foes killed at least five people Tuesday and wounded more than 13 in separate attacks in Baghdad and beyond the capital, officials said.

Government officials and employees, as well as members of Iraq’s security forces have been targeted frequently by insurgents seeking to destabilize the country as U.S. forces prepare for a full withdrawal from Iraq by the end of next year.

The violence began Tuesday with an 8 a.m. roadside bomb in the mainly Sunni area of Dora, a former insurgent stronghold in southern Baghdad, that was aimed at a convoy of a senior Transportation Ministry official. It missed its target and killed two bystanders.

Abdullah Loaebi, the director-general of the ministry’s private transportation department, was unharmed, but police and hospital officials said that along with the two killed, eight others were wounded.

In Diyala province north of Baghdad, bombs attached to cars belonging to members of an anti-al Qaeda Sunni group killed two of its leaders in separate attacks.

PAKISTAN

Taliban wants exchange of prisoners

PESHAWAR | The Pakistani Taliban on Tuesday threatened to kill 33 soldiers they say have been captured in the country’s lawless northwest unless the government releases detained Taliban fighters.

A Taliban spokesman told Reuters by telephone that the soldiers had been seized during various raids.

“We want our men back and if they don’t free them, they’ll lose their soldiers,” spokesman Ikramullah Mohmand said.

About 40 paramilitary soldiers went missing after the Taliban overran their post near the Afghan border last week. Fourteen were found later in Afghanistan and flown home.

It was not clear if the missing soldiers were the ones in Taliban custody.

ISRAEL

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