- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 26, 2011

AFGHANISTAN

Karzai accuses Pakistan of firing rockets into Afghanistan

KABUL — President Hamid Karzai on Sunday accused Pakistan of firing 470 rockets into two eastern Afghan provinces over the past three weeks, a deadly rain of artillery that Afghan officials said killed 36 people, including 12 children.

The attacks came in areas of Kunar and Nangarhar provinces where NATO forces have withdrawn, and where Pakistani Taliban moved in behind fleeing civilians, Afghan border officials said. NATO and Pakistan military officials denied any knowledge of border skirmishes.

IRAQ

Two American soldiers die in fighting in north

BAGHDAD — Two American soldiers were killed in northern Iraq on Sunday, the U.S. military said, making this month the deadliest for American personnel in more than two years.

Since June 1, 11 U.S. soldiers have been killed in Iraq in the deadliest month since May 2009. Sunday’s deaths take the overall U.S. death toll since the March 2003 invasion to 4,465.

SENEGAL

Muslim youths burn Jehovah’s Witness church

DAKAR — Hundreds of Muslim youths burned a church Sunday in a neighborhood on the northern part of the capital, one of the attackers claimed.

Mama Faye, 24, said she and hundreds of others went to a Jehovah’s Witness church on the fringes of their Yoff neighborhood and interrupted a sermon with rioting. She said after churchgoers left, they burned the church.

Riot police later clashed with the rioters on the streets, sending at least 37 people to a local hospital.

YEMEN

Thousands join march to demand Saleh’s sons leave

SANAA — Hundreds of thousands of anti-government protesters rallied across Yemen on Sunday, demanding that President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s powerful sons and other members of his inner circle leave the country.

Mr. Saleh is currently in Saudi Arabia receiving treatment for severe wounds he suffered in an attack on his palace early this month. His two sons, Ahmed and Khaled, both command military units and have played a crucial role in protecting their father’s regime and keeping his grip on power in his absence.

Security forces have killed at least 167 people since protests began in February.

SOMALIA

President pardons foreigners who tried to pay pirates

MOGADISHU — Somalia has pardoned six foreigners sentenced to at least 10 years in prison each for illegally bringing millions of dollars intended for pirate ransom into the country, a government spokesman said Sunday.

Abdirahman Omar Osman said the three British nationals, an American and two Kenyans, will be freed after the court completes processing their release. President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed granted them a pardon from their sentences, he said.

The men were arrested in Mogadishu last month after their planes were found to be carrying millions of dollars in cash. The convictions marked the first time Westerners were sentenced for their role in paying out ransoms.

VIETNAM

South China Sea rivals agree on negotiations.

HANOI — China and Vietnam have agreed to settle their dispute over the South China Sea through negotiations, Beijing said Sunday as protesters in Hanoi marched for the fourth straight week to voice their outrage at their country’s more powerful neighbor.

China and Vietnam have traded diplomatic jabs over the past month after clashes in parts of the oil-rich sea claimed by both countries. But China’s Foreign Ministry said the countries had agreed to deal with the dispute “through negotiations and peaceful, friendly consultations,” the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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