Jabar, Afghanistan

Coalition airstrike hits house, kills 9 from one family

A coalition airstrike destroyed a mud-brick home after a rocket attack on a U.S. base, killing nine people from four generations of an Afghan family including a 6-month-old, officials and relatives said yesterday – one of the latest in a string of civilian deaths that threaten to undermine the government.

It was the third report in two days of U.S. forces killing civilians. The airstrike took place late Sunday in Kapisa province north of the capital, some 12 hours after U.S. Marines opened fire on civilian cars and pedestrians following a suicide bombing in eastern Nangahar province.

In the other incident, an American convoy in the southern city of Kandahar – where suicide attacks have become commonplace over the past year – opened fire yesterday on a vehicle that drove too close, killing the driver, said Noor Ahmad, a Kandahar police officer who said he witnessed the shooting. A NATO spokesman said he did not have any information.

Petoskey, Mich.

Man confesses to killing and dismembering wife

A man accused in the killing and dismemberment of his wife has described to police the details surrounding her death, a sheriff said yesterday.

Macomb County Sheriff Mark Hackel, speaking at a morning news conference in Mount Clemens, said Stephen Grant has been cooperating with investigators, telling them in detail how Tara Lynn Grant was killed and dismembered and where her remains were taken.

Stephen Grant was recovering at a northern Michigan hospital yesterday, a day after he was captured by authorities who tracked him after he fled his suburban Detroit home.

When doctors clear Grant for release from the hospital, Hackel said Grant would be transported to the Macomb County Jail and later would face arraignment on charges related to his wife’s death and mutilation.

Baghdad

After lull, violence returns to Baghdad

A suicide car bomber turned a venerable book market into a deadly inferno and gunmen targeted Shiite pilgrims yesterday as suspected Sunni insurgents brought major bloodshed back into the lap of their main Shiite rivals. At least 38 people died in the blast and seven pilgrims were killed.

The violence – after a relative three-day lull in Baghdad – was seen as another salvo in the Sunni extremist campaign to provoke a sectarian civil war that could tear apart the Shiite-led government and erase Washington’s plans for Iraq.

The Shiite Mahdi Army militia has so far resisted full-scale retaliation through a combination of self-interest and intense government pressure. But the militia’s leader, the radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, is now being cornered in new ways that have put him on the defensive.

Vienna

Iran puts nuclear program on hold

Iran seems to have at least temporarily halted the uranium-enrichment program at the heart of its standoff with the U.N. Security Council, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency said yesterday.

The pause could represent an attempt to de-escalate Iran’s conflict with the Security Council, which is deliberating a new set of harsher sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

Iran has enriched small quantities of uranium to the low level suitable for nuclear fuel generation. The U.S. and its allies fear that Iran could build nuclear weapons with larger amounts of more highly enriched uranium.

– Compiled from Daily wire reports

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