MIDLAND, Mich.

Teenager shoots ex-girlfriend, kills self outside school

A teenager shot his ex-girlfriend four times outside her high school yesterday morning, then killed himself as the girl’s mother tried to protect her, authorities said.

Jessica Forsyth, 17, was taken to Hurley Medical Center in Flint, where she was in serious but stable condition, hospital spokeswoman Christie White said yesterday afternoon. Midland Police Chief James St. Louis said the gunman, identified as David Turner, 17, of Coleman, died at the scene.

Turner had gone to H.H. Dow High School to try to talk to Forsyth, but he was turned away by school officials, the police chief said. The boy then called her and asked her to meet him outside the building.

After a conversation in the parking lot, Turner pulled a gun out of a backpack and shot Forsyth four times before shooting himself, St. Louis said. The girl’s mother, who had dropped her daughter off at the school, saw the shooting from her car and drove between the two to try to defend the girl.

Turner did not attend Dow High. He lived about 20 miles west of Midland.

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan

Taliban official says group prepared for NATO attack

A top Taliban commander said yesterday the group has 4,000 fighters bracing to rebuff NATO’s largest-ever offensive in northern Afghanistan, now in its second day.

Suicide bombers are ready, land mines have been planted and helicopters will be targeted, Mullah Abdul Qassim, the top Taliban commander in Helmand province told The Associated Press.

NATO, meanwhile, announced the capture of a senior Taliban fighter who had eluded authorities by wearing a woman’s burqa. Mullah Mahmood, who is accused of helping Taliban fighters rig suicide bomb attacks, was seized by Afghan soldiers at a checkpoint near Kandahar, the alliance said.

Speaking by satellite telephone from an undisclosed location, Qassim said the Taliban has 8,000 to 9,000 fighters in Helmand province, including some 4,000 in the north, where NATO launched its largest-ever offensive Tuesday. He said all the fighters were Afghan, denying reports of hundreds of foreign fighters in the region.

BAGHDAD

30 killed in attack during holy Shiite pilgrimage

A suicide attacker blew himself up in a cafe northeast of the capital yesterday, killing 30 people and wounding dozens, and a powerful bomb killed three American soldiers trying to clear explosives from a highway near Baghdad.

The deadly assaults occurred as Iraqi security forces struggled to protect more than 1 million Shiite pilgrims streaming toward the holy city of Karbala for annual religious rituals – and facing a string of attacks along the way that have claimed more than 150 lives in two days.

They included 22 people – 12 police commandos and 10 civilians – who died yesterday in a car bombing at a checkpoint in southern Baghdad set up to protect pilgrims, the U.S. military said. An Iraqi TV cameraman working for a Shiite-owned station was among the civilian dead, his station said.

– Compiled from Daily wire reports

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