- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 2, 2006

IRAN

President rejects U.N. deadline

TEHRAN — President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad yesterday rejected a U.N. Security Council resolution that would give his nation until Aug. 31 to suspend uranium enrichment.

Instead, Mr. Ahmadinejad insisted Tehran would pursue its nuclear program.

The Security Council passed a resolution Monday calling for Iran to suspend uranium enrichment by the end of August or be threatened with economic and diplomatic sanctions.

AFGHANISTAN

3 British troops killed in ambush

KANDAHAR — Suspected Taliban militants used rocket-propelled grenades to ambush a British patrol yesterday, killing three soldiers one day after NATO took command of southern Afghanistan.

The attack in Helmand province seriously wounded a fourth soldier and marked the deadliest single incident suffered by British forces since they deployed here in late 2001 to help topple the Taliban regime for harboring Osama bin Laden.

The attack followed NATO’s assumption of control Monday of military operations in southern Afghanistan from the U.S.-led coalition. It also underscored the dangers faced by the 8,000-member multinational contingent trying to crush the bloodiest spate of Taliban-led violence in nearly five years.

BRITAIN

New system ranks terror threat ‘severe’

LONDON — Britain began a new security alert system yesterday, ranking the terrorist threat to the country as “severe” and saying an attack was highly likely.

It was the first time the government had published such information. Until now, it has argued that doing so would cause unnecessary alarm.

The alert system has five levels, ranging from “low” (attack unlikely) to “critical” (attack expected imminently), and is similar to the one used in the United States for the past four years, although, unlike the U.S. model, it is not color-coded. “Severe” is the second highest level.

Until now, Britain operated a more complex seven-level system and never told the public what the level was.

THAILAND

Bombs, arson attacks rock Muslim south

BANGKOK — Assailants carried out at least 40 bomb and arson attacks last night in Thailand’s three Muslim-dominated southernmost provinces, police said. At least three persons were reported hurt.

The attacks are the latest in a series thought to have been carried out by Muslim separatists, police said. Reports said government installations were the targets.

UGANDA

Rebel leader backs cease-fire talks

ON THE CONGO-SUDAN BORDER — The elusive leader of a brutal Ugandan rebellion said yesterday he was committed to negotiating a cease-fire and peace agreement after 19 years of war that has killed thousands and forced children to become fighters.

Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, held his first formal meeting yesterday with Riek Machar, vice president of the autonomous government of southern Sudan and chief mediator of the northern Uganda peace talks, and a Ugandan government negotiator.

Kony, who rarely appears in public, met for about three hours Monday with 160 officials and lawmakers from northern and eastern Uganda and representatives of nongovernmental organizations.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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