A "very angry" Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan convened an emergency meeting of his cabinet Sunday after at least 12 more government soldiers were killed in an ambush along the border with Iraq. Kurdish rebels put the number of dead at 16 and said they'd taken several more soldiers hostage. In retaliation, Turkish artillery shelled suspected rebel targets in Iraq, but no casualties were reported.It wasn't clear whether the cabinet would order an immediate cross-border offensive, but Erdogan said any such decision would be "based on common sense." In Iraq, President Jalal Talibani, himself a Kurd, ordered the rebels to disarm or leave. Above, Talibani (r.) appears at a news conference with local Kurdish chief Masoud Barzani.
Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto made her first public appearance in Pakistan since last Thursday's assassination attempt against her and vowed that she would not be forced into hiding.The attack killed at least 140 people and wounded more than 200 others. Visiting some of those hospitalized (above), Bhutto called on the government to seek the "antiterrorism expertise" of other nations to investigate the incident. The government released a photo of one of the suspected attackers, and police were questioning three others.
Loudspeaker trucks cruised the streets of Rangoon and Mandalay, the two largest cities in Burma (Myanmar), over the weekend, announcing an end to the 25-day-old curfew imposed by the ruling junta following its latest crackdown on political dissent.The military government also issued a new plea, this time through its official newspaper, to democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi that she drop her support of sanctions so two sides could hold talks on national reconciliation.
Another postponement appears all but certain in Lebanon's presidential election, members of parliament said. The vote by legislators to choose a successor to pro-Syrian Emile Lahoud is scheduled for Tuesday. Lahoud's term expires Nov. 24, but no consensus candidate has been agreed upon, the sources said. By tradition, the post goes to a Christian. The first postponement came on Sept. 24.
A rebel claim that its fighters had killed 140 Ethiopian soldiers was denied by the government Sunday as "just a story." The Ogaden National Liberation Front said it also had seized communications gear and thousands of rounds of ammunition after an attack on an encampment 485 miles southeast of the capital, Addis Ababa. The claims could not be verified independently because of the remoteness of the area.
Traces of "military-grade explosives" were found in an upscale Manila shopping mall, police said Saturday, after a powerful blast that killed 11 peopleand heavily damaged the complex.There was no claim of responsibility, although officials theorized that Islamist extremists such as Abu Sayyaf were behind the blast. Unlike the southern Philippines, Manila largely has been spared terrorist attacks.
A Canadian teacher was ordered to remain in jail for 12 days while an investigation into his alleged pedophilia was conductedby authorities in Thailand. Christopher Paul Neil was tracked by police to a rural house he was renting, ending a three-year global manhunt. He denied any wrongdoing. But if found guilty at trial, he could be sentenced to 20 years behind bars.
Quick-acting search teams found the Soyuz spacecraft Sunday after it landed 210 miles off course in rural Kazakhstan. The crew of two Russians and a Malaysian, experienced a "higher than normal gravity load" because of a steep descent blamed on a computer glitch, a Mission Control spokesman said. But he said they were "feeling quite well" after the ordeal. The two Russians had been aboard the International Space Station for six months.