- - Tuesday, September 7, 2010

IRAQ

Iraqi soldier kills 2 U.S. troops

BAGHDAD | An Iraqi soldier opened fire on U.S. troops and killed two on Tuesday, U.S. and Iraqi officials said. They were the first American servicemen killed since the U.S. declared an official end to combat operations in the country last week.

The Americans were among a group of U.S. soldiers meeting with Iraqi security forces at an Iraqi army compound near the city of Tuz Khormato, about 130 miles north of Baghdad. The assailant was shot and killed.

The attack demonstrated the danger U.S. troops continue to face even after President Obama officially declared an end to U.S. combat on Aug. 31 as part of his plan for withdrawing all U.S. forces by the end of 2011. Despite the declaration, U.S. forces continue to be drawn into the fighting in Iraq.

The Americans attacked Tuesday were providing security for a U.S. commander who was meeting with Iraqi forces at the compound. Nine U.S. soldiers were wounded, a military statement said.

The deaths raise to at least 4,418 the number of U.S. military personnel killed in Iraq since the war began in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.

The U.S. military has reduced its footprint in Iraq from a one-time high of 170,000 troops to just under 50,000 troops as of Aug. 31.

PAKISTAN

Car bomb kills 16, including women, kids

PESHAWAR | A car bomb ripped through a police compound in a northwestern Pakistani city on Tuesday, killing 11 women and children and five officers, the latest in a string of attacks proving that Islamist militants remain a potent force in the country.

The dead were the wives and children of police officers, said Khalid Omarzai, the city’s top government official. Another 60 people were wounded.

The complex in the garrison city of Kohat houses officers’ homes, a training facility and a commercial area.

EUROPEAN UNION

EU approves financial supervision deal

BRUSSELS | European Union nations agreed to create new financial oversight institutions on Tuesday, hoping to prevent a repeat of the government debt crisis that nearly left Greece bankrupt and brought the European banking system to its knees.

The union’s 27 finance ministers also agreed to give Greece the next chunk of its bailout funds but failed to find common ground on the introduction of a levy on banks or on a new tax on financial trading.

The ministers — called Ecofin — decided to establish a new supervisory board over the financial industry and demand a more transparent sharing of government budgetary information — a move prompted by the dubious accounting practices in Greece over the last few years.

MOZAMBIQUE

Government reverses bread-price increase

MAPUTO | Mozambique’s government is reversing bread and water price increases that had touched off deadly riots, the planning minister said Tuesday.

Protests last week in the capital, Maputo, over increases in the cost of bread, water and electricity turned violent, with demonstrators clashing with police. The health department put the death toll at 13.

Planning Minister Aiuba Cuereneia told reporters after a Cabinet meeting that the 20 percent increase in the government-set price of bread — which had followed a year of steady increases on the staple in this impoverished country — that went into effect Monday would be reversed. He said an increase in the price of water also would be reversed, but that higher electricity tariffs were being maintained.

BRITAIN

Police likely to quiz aide over hacking

LONDON | A key aide to Prime Minister David Cameron will be questioned by police over allegations a major British tabloid illegally eavesdropped on politicians and celebrities — including the British princes, a senior Scotland Yard officer said Tuesday.

Assistant police Commissioner John Yates told a parliamentary committee that Mr. Cameron’s communications director, Andy Coulson, the newspaper’s former editor, is expected to meet with investigators after they look into new allegations made by an ex-reporter.

Mr. Coulson quit as editor of the 3-million-circulation weekly News of the World in 2007 after the newspaper’s royal reporter was convicted of hacking phone voice-mail messages and jailed, along with a private investigator.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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