NEW YORK

Clinton has successful heart surgery

Bill Clinton underwent a successful quadruple heart bypass
operation yesterday to relieve severely clogged arteries that had
put the former president at high risk of suffering a heart
attack.

“He is recovering normally at this point,” said
Craig Smith, the surgeon who led the operation. “Right now
everything looks straightforward.”

Smith said Clinton could leave the hospital in four or five
days. Doctors said they expect him to make a full recovery,
although the heart disease they repaired was
“extensive.”

The four-hour surgery came three days after Clinton checked
himself into the hospital complaining of chest pain and shortness
of breath. Tests soon revealed that blockage in several of
Clinton’s arteries was “well over 90 percent,”
Smith said.

“There was a substantial likelihood that he would have had
a substantial heart attack” in the near future, said Allan
Schwartz, chief of cardiology at New York Presbyterian Hospital on
Columbia University’s campus.

Schwartz said Clinton was awake but sedated about four hours
after the operation ended. He still was using a breathing tube and
had not spoken yet, he said.

 

BAGHDAD, IRAQ

Car bomb kills seven marines, three Iraqis

A suicide attacker sped up to a U.S. military convoy outside
Fallujah and detonated an explosives-packed vehicle yesterday,
killing seven Marines and three Iraqi soldiers, U.S. military
officials said. It was the deadliest day for American forces in
four months.

The force of the blast on a dusty stretch of wasteland nine
miles north of Fallujah, a hotbed of Sunni insurgents, wrecked two
Humvee vehicles and hurled the suicide car’s engine far from
the site, witnesses and military officials said.

The bombing underscored the challenges U.S. commanders face in
securing Fallujah and surrounding Anbar province, the heartland of
a Sunni Muslim insurgency bent on driving coalition forces from the
country. U.S. forces have not patrolled in Fallujah since ending a
three-week siege of the city in April that had been aimed at
rooting out militiaman. Insurgents have only strengthened their
hold on Fallujah since then.

Meanwhile, the Interior Ministry said medical tests confirmed
that Iraqi authorities had once again mistakenly reported the
capture of ousted dictator Saddam Hussein’s deputy, Izzat
Ibrahim al-Douri, putting a stop to two days of conflicting
statements about his purported arrest.

 

BESLAN, RUSSIA

Russians mourn victims of school standoff

Funeral processions filled the rainy streets of this southern
Russian city yesterday, carrying coffins large and small, as
townspeople buried scores of victims of a carefully planned school
siege that prosecutors linked to a Chechen rebel leader.

Desperate families searched for those still missing from the
siege at School No. 1, while others buried 120 victims during the
first of two days of national mourning across Russia, which has
seen more than 400 people killed in violence linked to terrorism in
the past two weeks.

Reports emerged that the attackers apparently planned the school
seizure months ago, sneaking weapons into the building in advance.
There also were signs that some of the militants did not know they
were to take children hostage and may have been killed by their
comrades when they objected. State television also sharply
criticized government officials for understating the scope of the
crisis, in which hundreds of hostages were held for 62 hours by
heavily armed militants.

The school seizure came a day after a suicide bombing in Moscow
killed 10 people and just over a week after two Russian passenger
planes exploded and crashed, killing all 90 people aboard —
attacks authorities suspect were linked to Russia’s ongoing
war in Chechnya.

 

GAZA CITY, GAZA STRIP

Israelis attack Hamas training ground; 13 dead

Israeli helicopters attacked a Hamas training field in Gaza
early today, killing at least 13 Palestinians and wounding 25,
officials from both sides said. It was Israel’s deadliest
strike in the area in four months.

The attack came a week after Hamas carried out a double suicide
bombing in the southern city of Beersheba, killing 16 Israelis and
breaking a six-month lull in major violence against the Jewish
state.

The Israeli military said the air force targeted the field, near
the Israeli border, because it was being used by Hamas for bomb
assembly and the training of anti-Israeli fighters. The Hamas
military wing, in a staement, acknowledged its use as a training
site.

Hundreds of Hamas militants gathered at Shifa Hospital in Gaza
City — some with blood on their clothes from carrying victims
— shouting “revenge, revenge.”

-Compiled from Daily wire reports

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