BAGHDAD, Iraq

Iraq requests more election workers

Iraq’s interim government complained yesterday that the
United Nations isn’t doing enough to help prepare for January
elections, saying the organization has sent fewer electoral workers
than it did when tiny East Timor voted to secede from
Indonesia.

U.S. aircraft, meanwhile, mounted four strikes in Fallujah on
what the U.S. military said were safehouses used by Abu Musab
al-Zarqawi’s terror network. A Sunni Muslim clerical group
demanded that the Iraqi government prevent any full-scale U.S.
attack on Fallujah, hoping to muster the same public anger that
forced the Marines to abandon a siege of the city last spring.

In other violence, 11 American soldiers and an Iraqi interpreter
were wounded when two car bombs exploded in Samarra, a city that
U.S. and Iraqi forces have hailed as a success story since taking
it from insurgents last month. An Iraqi child was killed and a
civilian was wounded, the Army said.

A suicide bomber in Baghdad detonated his car near a U.S. patrol
on the airport road, wounding two American soldiers and two Iraqi
policemen. The road is among the most dangerous in the capital.
Zarqawi’s terror organization claimed responsibility for the
attack, though it was not immediately possible to verify that the
Internet posting was authentic.

 

KABUL, Afghanistan

Leader blamed for not disrupting voting

Fugitive Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar has fallen out with
some of his lieutenants, who blame him for the rebels’
failure to disrupt the landmark Afghan presidential election, the
U.S. military said yesterday.

Election officials, meanwhile, said U.S.-backed interim
President Hamid Karzai could all but seal a victory today as vote
counting proceeds from an Oct. 9 ballot that came off largely
peacefully.

A U.S. military spokesman, Maj. Scott Nelson, said intelligence
reports from Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan indicated the
Taliban’s failure to mount major attacks during the election
had demoralized the rebels.

“There’s been serious disagreements between Mullah
Omar and some of his lower commanders on the strategy for the
follow-up after the election,” Nelson said.
“There’s a lot of frustration with his lack of
effectiveness in disrupting the election.”

 

MADRID, Spain

Police: Militant planned huge suicide bomb

A Muslim militant schemed to punish Spain with the
“biggest blow of its history” — a half-ton
suicide truck bombing of the National Court aimed at killing judges
investigating Islamic terror, including the Madrid train attacks,
states a police intelligence report obtained yesterday by The
Associated Press.

“If Spain loses three or four of its most important
judges, that is worse than losing its prime minister,” the
report said. It quoted an informant whose testimony on his contacts
with the militant triggered the arrests of eight suspects this week
in Spain.

Western Europe has never suffered a major suicide bombing,
although suicide blasts killed 61 people last November in Istanbul,
Turkey.

An estimated 220 pounds of explosives was used in the 10
backpack bombs that hit the Madrid commuter rail network March 11,
killing 191 people.

 

DENVER

Site matches organ transplant donors, patients

Setting aside ethical concerns, surgeons completed a kidney
transplant yesterday in what is believed to be the first operation
where the donor and recipient met through a commercial website.

The donor and recipient were doing well after the four-hour
surgery, Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center spokeswoman
Stephanie Lewis said.

Bob Hickey, who lives in a mountain town near Vail, had needed a
transplant since 1999 because of kidney disease but had grown tired
of being on the national waiting list. He met donor Rob Smitty of
Chattanooga, Tenn., through MatchingDonors.com, a for-profit
website created in January to match donors and patients for a
fee.

— Compiled from Daily wire reports

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