- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 5, 2010

IRAN

Military to hold more war games

TEHRAN | Iran is to hold another set of military maneuvers in the strategic waters of the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman. It’s the second such military show by Iran in less than a month.

Iran holds military exercises regularly, but they likely will heighten tensions at a time when the West and Tehran are at a deepening standoff over the Iranian nuclear program.

Adm. Habibollah Sayyari, the navy chief, said submarine and air force units also will participate in the exercise. The official IRNA news agency said Tuesday that the war games will begin Wednesday.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard held five-day maneuvers in late April in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz — the waterway for about 40 percent of the world’s oil and gas supplies.

IRAQ

Suspects arrested in embassy attacks

BAGHDAD | A senior Iraqi security official said Tuesday that forces have dismantled a militant network suspected of sending suicide attackers in bomb-laden cars to strike three embassies in Baghdad in April.

One of the suspects was arrested after he failed to detonate his vehicle, and under interrogation he gave investigators information that led to the capture on April 14 of more members of the network, said military operations spokesman Maj. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi.

The attacks on the German, Iranian and Egyptian embassies killed 46 people.

Since August, insurgents have struck foreign and government targets in Baghdad in large-scale attacks that involved multiple coordinated bombings, claiming hundreds of lives. It is the signature tactic of al Qaeda in Iraq.

In recent months, the government has announced the arrests of senior al Qaeda operatives who they say are behind the wave of attacks as well as the killings of its two top leaders, Abu Omar al-Baghdad and Abu Ayyub al-Masri, in an Iraqi-U.S. military operation.

ISRAEL

Hezbollah arsenal called extensive

JERUSALEM | Syria’s government routinely ships weapons to Lebanon’s Shi’ite militia Hezbollah in an operation that goes well beyond sporadic smuggling, a top Israeli intelligence officer said Tuesday.

The head of the military intelligence research department, Brig. Gen. Yossi Baidatz, told a parliamentary committee that Hezbollah’s arsenal included thousands of rockets of all ranges and types, some solid-fueled.

Gen. Baidatz did not specifically name the long-range Scud missiles that Israeli President Shimon Peres has accused Hezbollah of stockpiling, but appeared to allude to Mr. Peres’ warnings.

“The shipments of long-range missiles which have been reported recently are only the tip of the iceberg,” Gen. Baidatz told the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

“Syria has a significant role in the growing strength of Hezbollah’s rocket arsenal,” he said. “Weapons are sent to Hezbollah from Syria on a regular basis under the direction of the Syrian and Iranian regimes.”

LEBANON

Egypt gets apology for mob lynching

BEIRUT | Lebanon’s justice minister apologized Tuesday for the mob lynching last week of an Egyptian wanted in a quadruple homicide, his office said.

“I would like to personally apologize to the government and people of Egypt for the reaction in the village of Ketermaya, which would not have happened had it not been for the gruesome crime that preceded it,” Ibrahim Najjar said in a statement.

Mohammed Muslem, 38, was the prime suspect in the deadly stabbings April 28 of a couple and their two granddaughters, ages 7 and 9, in the quiet village of Ketermaya, southeast of Beirut.

Mr. Muslem was being driven by a police to re-enact the crime on Thursday when several hundred residents, who had gathered in the village square for the funeral procession, stopped the police car. They dragged Muslem out of the car, beat and stabbed him to death and hung his body on a pole witha butcher’s hook as police watched helplessly.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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