BAGHDAD, Iraq

Bombs explode close to U.S. Embassy

Insurgents unleashed a pair of powerful car bombs yesterday near
the symbol of U.S. authority in Iraq — the Green Zone, where
the U.S. Embassy and key government offices are located — and
hotels occupied by hundreds of foreigners. Three other explosions
brought the day’s bombing toll to at least 24 dead and more
than 100 wounded.

More than three dozen car bombings since the beginning of
September illustrate the militants’ seeming ability to strike
at will despite recent pledges by the United States and Iraq to
intensify the suppression of insurgents, and the morale-boosting
recapture of Samarra over the weekend.

The day’s violence also included assassinations of three
Iraqis, and U.S. attacks against targets in insurgent-held
Fallujah. In the latest hostage developments, kidnappers freed two
Indonesian women, but a separate militant group claimed to have
killed a Turkish man and a longtime Iraqi resident of Italy.

No coalition forces were wounded in either of yesterday’s
blasts in Baghdad, said Maj. Phil Smith, a spokesman for the 1st
Cavalry Division. But the U.S. command reported two of its soldiers
were killed at a Baghdad traffic checkpoint Sunday.

 

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip

Leader: World indifferent to Palestinians

Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia yesterday condemned what
he called international indifference to Palestinian suffering in
the face of a broad Israeli offensive into the Gaza Strip aimed at
halting rocket attacks on Israel.

At least 67 Palestinians have been killed in the five-day
offensive, making it the deadliest Israeli incursion into Gaza in
more than four years of fighting.

Nine Palestinians died yesterday in northern Gaza, including
four militants and a 14-year-old girl who residents said was shot
as she baked bread with her mother in their garden. In southern
Gaza, miles away from the offensive, Palestinian residents said a
4-year-old boy was killed by tank fire next to his house near the
town of Khan Younis. The Israeli military said there were no
shootings in the area.

Late yesterday, the army said it killed a Palestinian gunman who
tried to infiltrate the Israeli settlement of Netzer Hazani near
Khan Younis. Also, Palestinians said an Al Aqsa militant was killed
in the Jebaliya camp.

In the West Bank city of Ramallah, undercover Israeli troops
ambushed a car yesterday, killing two members of an elite
Palestinian security force and wounding a third.

 

MOUNT ST. HELENS NATIONAL MONUMENT, Wash.

Scientists: Volcano could erupt at any time

Mount St. Helens blew off more steam yesterday, shooting a
billowing white plume several hundred feet above the volcano and
thrilling hundreds of visitors who had gathered below the rumbling
mountain.

Scientists, who continued to warn that the volcano could blow at
any moment, stopped short of calling the steam burst an actual
eruption, saying no volcanic material apparently was emitted. The
steam quickly dissipated and did not threaten any structures near
Mount St. Helens.

Even if a larger eruption comes, officials say there was little
or no chance of a repeat of the mountain’s lethal 1980
explosion, or Hawaiian-style lava flows. The eruption 24 years ago
blew 1,300 feet off the top of the peak, killed 57 people and
coated much of the Pacific Northwest with ash.

 

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia

Leaders of Khmer Rouge genocide to be tried

Cambodian lawmakers yesterday approved a U.N.-backed plan to try
surviving Khmer Rouge leaders for genocide more than a
quarter-century after the radical communists were ousted from
power.

The vote ended seven years of negotiations and delays over a
pact with the United Nations establishing the internationally
assisted tribunal and cleared a major hurdle toward bringing to
justice members of the regime blamed for the deaths of nearly 2
million people.

The 107 lawmakers present in the National Assembly voted
unanimously to ratify the pact.

 

— Compiled from Daily wire reports

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