- - Monday, June 6, 2011

SYRIA

Armed gunmen kill 120 security forces

BEIRUT — Armed men killed 120 Syrian security forces and torched government buildings Monday in a northern region where troops have unleashed deadly assaults on protesters for days, Syria said.

The government vowed to respond “decisively,” hinting at an even more brutal crackdown by a regime known for ruthlessly crushing dissent.

If confirmed, the attack in the north would be a turning point in what so far has largely been a peaceful uprising threatening the 40-year rule of President Bashar Assad and his family.

Opposition activists were skeptical of the official casualty toll, saying the authorities were setting the stage for a new onslaught. But even they acknowledged there was fighting, although it was not clear who was involved.

UNITED NATIONS

Ban Ki-moon seeking second term as U.N. chief

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced Monday that he will seek a second term as head of the United Nations, pledging to keep leading the world body as a “bridge-builder” at a time of unprecedented global change. His re-election is virtually assured.

The former South Korean foreign minister finally made public what has been the U.N.’s worst kept secret — that he wants a second term — at a news conference to discuss his recent trips to Europe and Africa. In his virtually nonstop travels around the globe, he has been quietly lobbying world leaders for support.

Mr. Ban said he had sent letters to the 15-member Security Council and 192-member General Assembly “humbly” offering himself for consideration for a second five-year term. His current term ends Dec. 31.

INDIA

Cabinet approves deal for U.S. military planes

NEW DELHI — India’s Cabinet has approved a proposal to buy 10 American C-17 military aircraft for more than $4 billion, the largest defense deal between the two nations, a defense official said Monday.

The deal requires the aircraft maker, Boeing Co., to invest 30 percent of the $4 billion in defense-related industries in India, said the official, who could not be named because he wasn’t authorized to discuss the subject.

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