- - Monday, June 21, 2010


Witnesses: Kyrgyz police attack Uzbeks, kill 2

NARIMAN | Kyrgyz government forces swept into an ethnic Uzbek village Monday, beating men and women with rifle butts in an assault that left at least two dead and more than 20 wounded, witnesses told the Associated Press.

The allegations were among the strongest Uzbek claims of official collusion in ethnic rampages that killed as many as 2,000 people last week and forced nearly half of the region’s roughly 800,000 Uzbeks to flee.

The operation in the village of Nariman on the edge of the main southern city of Osh will likely discourage the Uzbeks from returning, and fuel tensions ahead of a crucial vote on a new constitution Sunday.


10 NATO soldiers killed in attacks, crash

KABUL | A total of 10 NATO soldiers were killed in Afghanistan Monday in militant attacks and a helicopter crash, the force said, equaling the worst day of the year so far for the alliance.

In the deadliest incident, three Australian commandos and an American soldier were killed when their chopper crashed in southern Kandahar province, the single worst loss of life for the Australian military in the nearly nine-year Afghan war.

Another two NATO troops, including an American, were killed in separate bomb explosions elsewhere in the south.

Three more American soldiers were killed in other incidents, a spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) told Agence France-Presse.

One U.S. soldier died after a small-arms attack by militants in the south and two others died after a roadside bomb attack in eastern Afghanistan.


Abnormal radiation detected near border

SEOUL | Abnormally high radiation levels were detected near the border between the two Koreas days after North Korea claimed to have mastered a complex technology key to manufacturing a hydrogen bomb, Seoul said Monday.

The Science Ministry said its investigation ruled out a nuclear test by North Korea, but failed to determine the source of the radiation. It said there was no evidence of a strong earthquake, which follows an atomic explosion.

On May 12, North Korea claimed its scientists succeeded in creating a nuclear fusion reaction — a technology necessary to manufacture a hydrogen bomb. In its announcement, the North did not say how it would use the technology, only calling it a “breakthrough toward the development of new energy.”


3 peacekeepers killed by gunmen

CAIRO | More than two dozen gunmen attacked peacekeepers on Monday in the ravaged Darfur region of Sudan, killing three of them in an hourlong fire fight, a spokesman for the international mission said.

The peacekeepers were providing security as the joint U.N.-African Union mission built a new base in West Darfur’s Jebel Marra region, a major rebel stronghold where the government has made inroads recently.

The estimated 25 assailants drove up in a four-wheel-drive vehicle and attacked the peacekeepers, killing three and losing three of their own number.


Electricity chief resigns over chronic shortages

BAGHDAD | Iraq’s electricity minister resigned Monday in the face of angry protests over the lack of power despite years of promises that the situation would improve.

Karim Waheed’s resignation came hours after demonstrators took to the streets for a third day in a row in oil-rich southern Iraq where an unusually hot and humid summer has spiked tensions over electricity outages.

The issue has taken center stage in Iraq since two protesters were killed Saturday when security forces opened fire to disperse a crowd in the southern oil hub of Basra.


President rips leaks of Libya rescue

ZURICH | Swiss President Doris Leuthard on Monday condemned leaks to the media over plans to smuggle two Swiss nationals out of Libya, where they were detained.

“Unfortunately, in the last week, due to indiscretion in various media, reports about planned action to free the two Swiss hostages ended up being made public,” Ms. Leuthard said.

“The Federal Council strongly condemns such indiscretion, which fall under the criminal code,” she said, stressing that the information was of “utmost secrecy.”

The Tribune de Geneve reported Saturday that Switzerland considered plans to smuggle Max Goeldi and Rachid Hamdani, who had been blocked from leaving Libya, out of the country with the help of the Swiss army.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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