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By Compiled from wire service reports by Robert Kilborn / September 17, 2008



An engine capable of carrying ballistic missiles to the US West Coast has been tested by North Korea's military, a published report said Tuesday. The Chosun Ilbo newspaper in rival South Korea said the test was spotted by a US spy satellite at a missile base the North has been building over the past eight years. The newspaper didn't give a date for the test, and US and South Korean defense agencies either declined to confirm the report or were not available.

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In a combined ground-air offensive, Pakistani security forces targeted suspected Taliban hideouts, killing at least eight militants, a military spokesman said Tuesday. But the military also said it had issued orders to fire on American troops crossing the border with Afghanistan for similar raids. Pakistan protested angrily after a US commando raid into the South Waziristan region Sept. 3. A US military spokesman denied claims that American military assets were involved in a follow-up incident Monday night but were driven off by Pakistani warning shots.

Taliban militants are being supplied with automatic rifles, land mines, and other weapons by "elements" in Iran, a BBC investigation found Tuesday. It said the weapons are highly prized because of their reliability and destructive capacity, although they're more expensive than those made elsewhere. Iran's embassy in Afghanistan rejected the report.

Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko of Ukraine was expected to try to build a new coalition government after her nine-month-old alliance with President Viktor Yushchenko collapsed Tuesday.Reports said the final straw in infighting between them came when Yushchenko's allies accused her of treason for failing to condemn Russian aggression against Georgia. If she cannot cobble together a new coalition within 30 days, Ukrainians will have to elect their third parliament in three years.

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