An American soldier was critically wounded at Baghdad University, south of the Iraqi capital, in the latest attack against coalition forces. The shooting came a day after an explosion killed seven Iraqis training for a US-backed local police force in Ramadi, west of Baghdad and a British journalist was fatally shot in a separate incident. The US military, meanwhile, said 30 Iraqis were killed and more than 282 others were detained during Operation Sidewinder, a weeklong crackdown on loyalists to the former regime of Saddam Hussein.
Turkey's government was demanding the immediate release by the US of 11 soldiers taken into custody in northern Iraq, an incident that threatened to further strain relations between the NATO allies. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was to discuss the matter by telephone with Vice President Cheney as the Monitor went to press. Reports said the special forces troops are suspected in an alleged plot to assassinate a Kurdish governor, a claim that Turkish officials denied.
Pakistani authorities suggested Al Qaeda was responsible for a suicide bombing that left 53 dead and at least 65 others wounded Friday. Two of the three bombers who carried out the attack on a Shiite mosque in Quetta, near the Afghan border, are foreign nationals, officials claimed. Police reportedly have detained 17 suspects.
Security was stepped up in Moscow and Russian President Putin postponed a foreign trip in the wake of a suicide attack at a rock festival that left at least 15 dead and 59 others injured. Two women set off explosives in closely timed attacks Saturday. While there was no immediate claim of responsibility, it was widely suspected as the work of Chechen insurgents.
While setting strict terms, the Israeli cabinet OK'd the release of Palestinian prisoners, in support of the US-backed peace plan. Those jailed for organizing attacks on Israelis and members of Hamas and other militant groups reportedly would not be eligible. Only about 400 prisoners meet those criteria, Israel Radio reported. Palestinian officials want freedom for all of the estimated 6,000 to 8,000 Palestinians being held in Israeli custody.
Serena Williams clinched her second straight Wimbledon championship Saturday, defeating older sister Venus Williams, who competed despite an earlier injury in the women's semifinals at the All England Lawn Tennis Club. It marked the fifth Grand Slam title in the past six events for the younger Williams. In the men's finals Sunday, Switzerland's Roger Federer beat Mark Philippoussis of Australia.