- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 8, 2005

BANGLADESH

Suicide bomber on bike kills 6

NETROKONA — A suicide bomber on a bicycle rode into a crowd and detonated his explosives yesterday, killing six persons and wounding dozens, police and witnesses said.

Police said a second bomber who failed to detonate his explosives was among the wounded.

Police officials blamed the attack on Jumatul Mujahideen Bangladesh, a banned Islamic militant group implicated in a string of recent blasts. The explosion brought the death toll from the bombings in the past two weeks to 21.



ISRAEL

2 militants, Israeli killed in flare-up

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Israel killed two militants in a Gaza air strike yesterday in an escalating military response to a suicide bombing, and a Palestinian fatally stabbed an Israeli at a checkpoint in the occupied West Bank.

Israel also suspended talks with the Palestinians on allowing bus convoys between Gaza and the West Bank, key to a deal brokered by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that was seen as crucial to peace hopes.

Widening its response to a bombing that killed five persons at an Israeli shopping mall Monday, Israel told Washington it was quitting the negotiations until Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas acted against militants, political sources said.

LEBANON

FBI chief brings $1 million in aid

BEIRUT — FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III marked the first visit to Lebanon by a serving chief of the U.S. law-enforcement agency with a donation of $1 million in equipment and a promise of training, the U.S. Embassy said yesterday.

The FBI said it is donating the equipment to Lebanon’s forensic laboratories as part of Washington’s cooperation on security with the Arab country.

AFGHANISTAN

NATO approves force expansion

BRUSSELS — NATO foreign ministers approved plans yesterday to send up to 6,000 troops into southern Afghanistan, a major expansion of the alliance’s peacekeeping mission into some of the most dangerous parts of the country.

The deployment next year of mostly European and Canadian troops will free up U.S. forces to focus on counterinsurgency operations against Taliban and al Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan’s volatile south and east.

CANADA

Liberals promise ban on handguns

TORONTO — Canada’s ruling Liberals, under pressure to clamp down on gun violence in big cities, will move to ban all handguns if they win the Jan. 23 election, Prime Minister Paul Martin said yesterday.

Canada already has restrictive firearms legislation, but under the Liberal proposal only police and some security officers would be allowed to carry handguns.

About 50 young men, most of them black, have been fatally shot this year in Toronto. Some government officials say part of the blame must be put on the smuggling of handguns from the United States.

PAKISTAN

Bomb kills 12 in tribal area

WANA — At least 12 persons were killed and dozens wounded when a bomb exploded yesterday at a market in a town near Pakistan’s troubled tribal region, close to the Afghan border, officials said.

The blast hit a hotel and shops in Jandola town on the border with South Waziristan region, the latest violence to hit the lawless tribal belt since authorities reported the death of a senior al Qaeda figure there last week.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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