At least four of the people killed in the controversial US missile strike on a Pakistani border village late last week were foreign terrorists, government officials acknowledged. A statement said, "It is regrettable that 18 local people lost their lives in the attack, but this cannot be denied: that 10 to 12 foreign extremists had been invited to a dinner [when the missile struck]." The target of the attack was Ayman al-Zawahiri, the No. 2 Al Qaeda leader, but reports say he sent subordinates in his place. The strike triggered large, angry protests across Pakistan over the weekend. Meanwhile, the UN closed all its offices in southwestern Pakistan for security reasons, citing a "credible" threat of attack by Al Qaeda.
Saying, "This thing is not over," villagers in China's Guangdong Province vowed to resume their protests over an alleged land grab by the government despite a massive use of force by security forces Saturday night that resulted in the death of a young girl. The violence was the latest in a growing number of confrontations over land seizures for which villagers receive little, if any, compensation. The official Xinhua news agency denied that police used force and blamed Saturday's trouble on local residents. But the government has conceded that the confrontations are a concern. There were 74,000 such cases in 2004, the Associated Press reported.
The state of emergency imposed on three provinces of southern Thailand last July will be extended another three months because of ongoing Islamist violence, the government said. The measure had been due to expire later this week. Among other features, it allows telephones to be wiretapped, suspected militants to be detained without charge, and public gatherings to be banned. But the government also said it will exhume the remains of 300 Muslims who died in the violence for inspection by a specialist in forensics to address accusations by human rights activists that they were summarily executed. At least 1,200 people in the region have been killed since the separatist campaign began two years ago.
Two civilians and a soldier were killed and 12 sailors were wounded Tuesday in northern Sri Lanka in new ambushes blamed on Tamil Tiger rebels. The attacks came as Norwegian mediators, who brokered a truce between the government and the rebels in 2002, were meeting with the latter's representatives to try to persuade them to resume stalled peace negotiations. Both sides have said they're ready to do so, but they have been unable to agree on a venue. The rebels insist on meeting only in Norway, but the government of new President Mahinda Rajapakse has said it will not go there. More than 70 military personnel and an unknown number of civilians have died in attacks since November.
As "a gift" to the US on the dedication of its new embassy, Cambodia's leader ordered four political dissidents to be freed on bail. But a spokesman for Premier Hun Sen said the defamation charges against them would not be dropped. Hun Sen has been condemned by the Bush administration and human rights groups for jailing the four - a broadcaster, a union chief, and two social activists - who alleged that he sold out to neighboring Vietnam on the terms of a new border demarcation treaty.
With less than a week to go before Canada's national election, the results of a new opinion poll put the opposition Conservative Party at the 40 percent threshold considered necessary to win a majority in Parliament. The survey for the Toronto Globe and Mail showed support for the outgoing Liberal government at 27 percent. Moreover, a companion survey found that by a 55 percent to 35 percent margin respondents said a Conservative majority would be healthy for Canada, the Globe and Mail reported.