- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 20, 2003

U.S. soldiers, girl hurtin 'bomblet' mistake
BAGHDAD Four U.S. soldiers on patrol were wounded yesterday when an Iraqi girl handed them an explosive and it blew up, American military officials said.
Col. Michael Linnington, commander of the 101st Airborne's 3rd Brigade, said one soldier's leg was amputated and the girl, believed to be about 7 years old, suffered a hand injury.
Col. Linnington said the girl approached one of the soldiers with an M-42 "bomblet," a canister-size piece of a cluster bomb, and it went off. He said an Iraqi man was killed Friday and three U.S. soldiers wounded when an M-42 "bomblet" exploded under similar circumstances.
Residents of the Daura neighborhood in southeastern Baghdad have been trying to negotiate their way through what appear to be U.S. cluster pieces scattered through the area, including some found hanging in trees.

Vet's death linked to bird flu virus
AMSTERDAM A Dutch veterinarian has died of pneumonia after catching the poultry disease bird flu, officials said yesterday, raising fears that a mutated version of the virus could cause a SARS-type epidemic in people.
The 57-year-old man died Thursday in the southern city of Den Bosch, the Health Ministry said. He fell ill two days after working on a farm infected with bird flu, or avian virus.
The Dutch have been grappling for a month to contain the bird flu outbreak that has spilled into Belgium and is nearing Germany. Belgian authorities said yesterday they had spotted a second possible outbreak of the disease in poultry.

U.S. cautions Pakistan on Kabul's stability
KABUL The U.S. special representative to Afghanistan told Pakistan yesterday after talks on border clashes that anything that undermines the Afghan government's stability is a challenge to U.S. interests.
Zalmay Khalilzad said Washington wants good relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan, and that the consolidation of the U.S.-backed government of President Hamid Karzai is in Pakistan's interests. He was speaking in Kabul after talks with Pakistani officials in Islamabad.

Support for Chirac, Raffarin slips in poll
PARIS Satisfaction with the French government, which gained popularity at home last month with its stand against the U.S.-led war in Iraq, slipped slightly in April, a monthly poll to be published today showed.
Pollsters Ifop found 65 percent of those surveyed were satisfied with President Jacques Chirac, compared to 67 percent in March, and that only 50 percent were satisfied with Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin, down from 52 percent last month.
Of the 1,846 persons polled between April 10 and April 18, 27 percent said they were unhappy with Mr. Chirac as head of state, the same number as a month ago.

At least 11 killed as tourist boat sinks
RIO DE JANEIRO A tourist schooner carrying 58 persons sank yesterday morning in a canal east of Rio de Janeiro, killing at least 11 persons, local authorities said.
Police and fire brigade teams were searching for survivors inside and around the sunken vessel, an official said. The schooner Tuna Galo was carrying passengers, mainly Brazilians, on a day trip to Parrot Island when it sank about 500 yards off the Cabo Frio coastline, 60 miles east of Rio de Janeiro.

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