Around the World

Around the World

Sunday, July 27, 2008


President Asserts Boost In Centrifuge Capacity

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Saturday that Iran now possesses 6,000 centrifuges, a significant increase in the number of uranium-enriching machines in its nuclear program, the semiofficial Fars news agency reported.

That figure is double the 3,000 centrifuges Iran had previously said it was operating at its uranium enrichment plant in Natanz.

The assertion is certain to further rankle the United States and its allies, who have demanded a halt to Iran's enrichment out of fear that Tehran intends to use the technology to develop weapons.

Iran says it is interested in enrichment only for its civilian nuclear power program.


Crackdown on Fatah

Hamas security forces stormed the office of a Palestinian news agency run by President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday and arrested dozens from his Fatah faction in the ruling Islamist group's biggest crackdown since seizing Gaza a year ago, Fatah sources said.

The sweep, in which 162 Fatah activists were arrested, including two faction officials, followed an explosion Friday that killed five members of the armed wing of Hamas and a girl.


Civilians Killed by NATO

NATO forces on Saturday fired on a vehicle that failed to stop at a checkpoint in the volatile southern province of Helmand, killing four civilians and wounding three others, the alliance said.

Civilian casualties have been a sore point between Afghanistan's government and international forces in the country. Afghan President Hamid Karzai has implored NATO and U.S.-led coalition troops to avoid killing civilians, whose deaths undermine support for his weak central government.

NATO said the vehicle was directed to stop but drove on. Troops then fired warning shots away from the vehicle but were "forced to fire at it when it refused to stop, fearing an insurgent attack," an alliance statement said.

CONTINUED     1        >

© 2008 The Washington Post Company