Correction to This Article
The item about recent airstrikes and artillery attacks by Iran in Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region incorrectly said that the strikes have killed at least two people. One person has been killed.
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Iraq's Kurds allege incursion from Iran

BANGLADESH Relatives mourn the dead after fire raced through several apartment buildings in Dhaka, the Bangladeshi capital. An electrical explosion late Thursday plunged the neighborhood into darkness and ignited a shop of flammable chemicals, creating an inferno that killed at least 117 people and injured more than 100.
BANGLADESH Relatives mourn the dead after fire raced through several apartment buildings in Dhaka, the Bangladeshi capital. An electrical explosion late Thursday plunged the neighborhood into darkness and ignited a shop of flammable chemicals, creating an inferno that killed at least 117 people and injured more than 100. (Pavel Rahman/associated Press)

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Saturday, June 5, 2010

AFGHANISTAN

Peace conference backs talks with Taliban

Afghan leaders decided Friday at a national peace conference to back President Hamid Karzai's plan to broker a truce with the Taliban, but the session fell short of delivering a clear strategy for negotiating with the militant group.

The government-appointed delegates to the conference, known as a "peace jirga," urged Karzai to push for the removal of certain insurgent leaders from a U.N. sanctions list, for the release of some detainees in American custody and for the U.S.-led international force to do more to avoid civilian casualties. But some of the event's organizers acknowledged that a truce with the Taliban remains elusive and that the jirga was just the start of what is likely to be a long, challenging process.

Many Afghans, including some delegates, criticized the three-day gathering as fruitless. "I was not satisfied," said Muhtara Maha Bibi, 42, a delegate from northeastern Afghanistan. "Everything we concluded was already planned."

As the conference was wrapping up, the NATO command in Afghanistan announced that the top Taliban leader in Kandahar city had been killed in a military operation last week.

-- Ernesto LondoƱo

IRAQ

Kurds describe incursion from Iran

At least two people have been killed and dozens of families have fled in the mountains of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region during two weeks of airstrikes and artillery attacks coming from Iran.

Kurdish officials said that a 14 year old girl was killed and a 45-year-old woman was wounded.

Incensed by the intensity of the attacks and what they say is a brazen ground movement nearly two miles into Iraqi territory, Kurdish officials have reached out to Iraq's central government to stop the Iranian incursion and shelling, said Jabar al-Yawar, a spokesman for the pesh merga, the Kurdish regional militia.

Officials in Baghdad said they doubted the incursion occurred. Although the Iraqi government condemned the attacks, Kurdish officials criticized what they say is largely silence from Baghdad.

The shelling is aimed at the Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan, or PJAK, a Kurdish nationalist group that carries out attacks inside Iran from the mountains of Iraq's Kurdish region. Iran and Turkey sporadically attack inside the Iraqi Qandil mountains, where both the PJAK and its Turkish counterpart operate.

-- Dlovan Brwari and Leila Fadel

Memoir defends Tiananmen crackdown: A memoir purportedly written by China's hard-line premier Li Peng at the time of the Tiananmen Square democracy crackdown in 1989 defends the military suppression, saying that soldiers acted in self-defense when they fired on citizens.

Honda settles Chinese labor dispute: Honda Motor said that it had settled a labor dispute at a Chinese car parts plant after almost three weeks of on-and-off disruption. Workers at the transmissions factory in Foshan, south China, were seeking concessions such as an annual salary increase of at least 15 percent.

French minister convicted of racist remarks: France's top law enforcement official was convicted of making racist comments and ordered to pay compensation. Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux was caught on camera last year making what sounded like anti-Arab remarks. Hortefeux says his words were misconstrued.

U.S. soldier charged in deaths: The Army said Friday that Spec. Jeremy Morlock, 22, of Wasilla, Alaska, has been charged with murder in three Afghan civilian deaths. Other members of his unit, the 5th Stryker Brigade, are also said to be under scrutiny.

-- From news services


More Middle East Coverage

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America at War

Full coverage of U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Line of Separation

A detailed look at Israel's barrier to separate it from the West Bank.

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