Huge crowds of Muslims protested in the streets of Kashmir's capital Thursday for independence from India. At least one participant was shot dead by police; seven others were wounded in an effort to disperse the demonstrators. The latter retaliated by torching and overturning a police car (above) and hoisting green flags symbolizing neighboring Pakistan. Analysts saw the growing trouble as one of the greatest challenges to date of India's hold on the disputed region as well as to efforts to forge a peace with Pakistan. India's leaders reacted angrily to a Pakistani call for the UN to curb "gross violations of human rights" in Kashmir.
All remaining issues between the US and Libya over the 1988 bombing of a Pan American Airlines jet were resolved Thursday, clearing the way for full restoration of diplomatic relations. The deal provides for reopening of the US Embassy in Tripoli, resumption of direct US financial aid, and an official visit by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice by year's end. Twenty-six lawsuits filed against Libya by American citizens as a result of the bombing of Flight 103 had been pending, as were three by Libyans over US airstrikes in 1986.
Visiting Lebanese government leaders agreed with Syria's government Thursday to "define and draw" their common border. But Syria said the effort, long demanded by the international community, would not cover the disputed Shebaa Farms. That "cannot happen under occupation," Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem (above, l., with his Lebanese counterpart, Fawzi Saloukh) told a news briefing. Lebanon considers the farms its territory. But Israel regards them as part of the Golan Heights, which it took over in 1967.
Iraqi President Jalal Talibani will be released from the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota Saturday following surgery on his heart, senior officials from his Kurdish political party said. He is expected to return home after a stop in Washington for consultations with US officials, they said. Talabani left Iraq Aug. 2 for what his office announced would be an operation on one of his knees.
Amid tight security, senior Nigerian officials formally transferred the 1,200-square-mile Bakassi Peninsula to neighboring Cameroon Thursday. The step ends a long-running territorial dispute that has led to sporadic clashes between the two countries. On appeal, the peninsula was awarded to Cameroon in 2002 by the International Court of Justice. It has a flourishing fishing industry and its offshore waters are thought to contain significant oil deposits.
Most of the soldiers ordered to a disputed section of border between Cambodia and Thailand will "redeploy" beginning this weekend, both sides said. The pullout will leave "the lowest possible number" of lightly armed troops at the scene. It is to precede new negotiations Monday on the dispute. Eight hundred Cambodian and 400 Thai soldiers have been confronting each other at a historic Buddhist temple since shortly after it was declared a UN World Heritage site last month.
Six alleged "snitches" from the Attorney General's Office in Mexico were arrested Wed-nesday for passing sensitive information to narcotics cartels that the government is investigating. If the antidrug unit is found to have been infiltrated by traffickers, analysts said, it would be seen as a black eye for President Felipe Calderón's 20-month crackdown on organized crime.
Another US military deserter, the second in a month, was ordered out of Canada Wednesday. Army Spc. Jeremy Hinzman must leave by Sept. 23 and will be handed over to US authorities for a possible court-martial. Hinzman fled there in late 2003 rather than accept deployment to Iraq. His application for refugee status was denied as were his appeals all the way to the Supreme Court. Fellow US deserter Robin Long was deported July 15 and is awaiting a court-martial.