Iraqi soldier accused in killings of U.S. troops

BAGHDAD

An Iraqi soldier is accused of turning on two decorated American servicemen and shooting them to death during a joint operation in northern Iraq, the U.S. military said Saturday. An Iraqi official said the suspect may have links to militant groups.

The shooting the day after Christmas in the northern city of Mosul, which left three other U.S. soldiers and a civilian interpreter wounded, was the second known attack by a member of the Iraqi military on the American troops who train and work closely with Iraqi forces.

Initial results from an Iraqi investigation indicate that the soldier who opened fire may have links to local militants, said Brig. Mutaa Habib Jassim al-Khazrachi, commander of the Iraqi army’s 2nd Division, who did not elaborate.

NAIROBI, Kenya

Police accused of ethnic violence in Kenya

A Nairobi shopkeeper says he was targeted by police from a rival tribe – underscoring how riots that began as opposition protests have sent simmering ethnic tensions boiling over and how some police appear to have fueled rather than tamped the violence.

More than two dozen Kenyan civil organizations say police have taken to using extraordinary force, and in some cases carried out extrajudicial executions, in the face of riots sparked by anger over alleged election fraud. Police deny the accusations.

The unrest began when supporters of opposition leader Raila Odinga accused President Mwai Kibaki of rigging the Dec. 27 vote but soon exploded into widespread ethnic clashes, pulling in many more than Kibaki’s Kikuyu tribe and Odinga’s Luo, and leaving more than 300 people dead.

DETROIT

GM says driverless cars could hit roads in 10 years

Cars that drive themselves – even parking at their destination – could be ready for sale within a decade, General Motors Corp. executives say.

GM, parts suppliers, university engineers and other automakers all are working on vehicles that could revolutionize short- and long-distance travel. And tomorrow at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas GM Chief Executive Rick Wagoner will devote part of his speech to the driverless vehicles.

The most significant obstacles facing the vehicles could be human rather than technical: government regulation, liability laws, privacy concerns and people’s passion for the automobile and the control it gives them.

ARVADA, Colo.

Six killed in Alaska plane crash

A chartered plane that crashed into a shallow harbor after taking off from Kodiak Island, killing six people, was carrying a group of fishermen from a dissident sect of the Russian Orthodox Church home for Christmas.

Four people survived the crash Saturday, and one of them told investigators that the door to a baggage compartment in the nose of the small plane had popped open.

“We want to look at the aerodynamic qualities of opening a very large door in flight,” Clint Johnson, an investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board, said.

The Piper PA-31 Navajo Chieftain crashed about 50 yards off the end of a runway after taking off Saturday afternoon, according to authorities.

– Compiled from Daily wire reports

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