Sunni insurgents ambush al-Qaida militants

BAGHDAD

Former Sunni insurgents asked the U.S. to stay away, then ambushed members of al-Qaida in Iraq, killing 18 in a battle that raged for hours north of Baghdad, an ex-insurgent leader and Iraqi police said yesterday.

The Islamic Army in Iraq sent advance word to Iraqi police requesting that U.S. helicopters keep out of the area since its fighters had no uniforms and were indistinguishable from al-Qaida, according to the police and a top Islamic Army leader known as Abu Ibrahim.

Abu Ibrahim told The Associated Press that his fighters killed 18 al-Qaida militants and captured 16 in the fight southeast of Samarra, a mostly Sunni city about 60 miles north of Baghdad.

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia

Genocide suspects detained

Police detained the ex-foreign minister of the brutal 1970s Khmer Rouge regime and his wife on Monday and brought them to Cambodia’s U.N.-backed genocide tribunal Monday to face charges, an official said.

Ieng Sary and his wife, Ieng Thirith, are both accused of involvement in the slayings of political opponents during the 1975-79 radical communist regime, according to documents from prosecutors seen by The Associated Press. Ieng Thirith served as the regime’s minister for social affairs.

Police detained the couple at their Phnom Penh residence at dawn. Officers later brought them to tribunal offices, where they were to make an initial appearance before the judges later Monday, said tribunal spokesman Reach Sambath. He did not elaborate on the charges they would face.

WACO, Texas

Pres. Bush honors troops with speech

Marking his fifth Veterans Day since the invasion of Iraq, President Bush honored U.S. troops past and present at a tearful ceremony yesterday for four Texans who died there.

The White House had said Bush was going to also use his Veterans Day speech to scold Congress for not sending him a veterans spending bill. But the president finished without any reference to the bill or Congress.

“In their sorrow, these families need to know – and families all across our nation of the fallen – need to know that your loved ones served a cause that is good and just and noble,” Bush said. “And as their commander in chief, I make you this promise: Their sacrifice will not be in vain.”

YANGON, Myanmar

U.N. investigator claims he’ll override Myanmar ban

A U.N. human rights envoy arrived yesterday in Myanmar on a mission to get inside the country’s prisons to determine the numbers of people killed and detained since the military regime’s crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.

Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, the U.N.’s independent rights investigator for Myanmar, had been barred from visiting the country since November 2003.

“If they don’t give me full cooperation, I’ll go to the plane, and I’ll go out,” he said recently after the government gave him a green light to visit the country for five days.

Pinheiro has submitted a proposed itinerary for his visit to the Myanmar government.

– Compiled from Daily wire reports

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