15 More Wounded Arrive

At Hospitals in Area

Ten Marines, four soldiers and one sailor wounded in the war in Iraq arrived late Friday night in the Washington area and are being treated at local hospitals. The National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda admitted 11 patients and the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in the District received four, hospital officials said yesterday.

Lt. Cmdr. Jerry Rostad at the naval center said one of the patients there is in serious condition; the others are listed as satisfactory. Hospital officials at Walter Reed said one patient is in serious condition, one is in satisfactory condition and two are in good condition and are being treated as outpatients.

Neither hospital released patients' names.

Rostad said the hospital has admitted 35 patients since the war began 21/2 weeks ago. Of the 35 patients, 12 have been discharged. Walter Reed has treated 26 patients.

Several of the wounded at the naval center are scheduled for surgery over the weekend, Rostad said.

Ovetta Wiggins

Turkey Expels Iraqi Envoys

ANKARA, Turkey -- Turkey ordered three Iraqi diplomats expelled for engaging in what it said were activities unrelated to their missions, Foreign Ministry officials said.

Turkish officials did not explain what the diplomats allegedly had done. Iraqi Embassy officials were not available for comment.

The United States has asked all countries with Iraqi embassies to expel their diplomats to isolate the government of President Saddam Hussein and remove a potential threat to U.S. interests.

Last month, Jordan became the first Arab country to expel Iraqi diplomats. On Tuesday, Egypt ordered a senior diplomat to leave the country within a week.

Associated Press

Beirut McDonald's Bombed

BEIRUT -- A small bomb exploded in a McDonald's restaurant near Beirut, wounding five people, including a child. Police later found a car in the restaurant's parking lot that contained 121 pounds of TNT. It had not exploded because the detonator failed, police said. The explosives were dismantled.

No one claimed responsibility for the incident in the northern Beirut suburb of Dora. But in recent days, Beirut has been the scene of explosions that authorities believe are a response to the war in Iraq.

Associated Press

S. Africans Protest War

JOHANNESBURG -- Thousands of South Africans held peaceful demonstrations against the U.S.-led war on Iraq and called on the government to cancel defense contracts with Britain.

Chanting "Bush, Bush we know you, your father was a killer, too," about 5,000 protesters marched through a predominantly Muslim suburb of Johannesburg waving placards denouncing President Bush.

In Cape Town, about 2,000 people marched to parliament and handed over a memorandum demanding that state-owned defense group Denel terminate contracts with the British government.

Reuters

Bush Thanks South Korea

SEOUL -- President Bush thanked South Korea for its decision to send noncombatant troops to Iraq and said North Korea's nuclear standoff was likely to be resolved peacefully, an official in Seoul said.

The telephone dialogue came after the National Assembly voted on Wednesday in favor of sending 700 medical and engineering troops to back the U.S.-led war in Iraq.

South Korean President Roh Moo Hyun called lawmakers' decision "crucial for peace" on the Korean Peninsula.

Reuters

Mail Moved to Troops

The U.S. Postal Service has chartered two cargo jets to help deliver 750,000 pounds of mail per week to soldiers stationed in the war zone. By the start of the war last month, mail volume to Kuwait had increased 35-fold, up from about 21,000 pounds per week in October, the Postal Service said.

One of the chartered 747 cargo jets flies six days a week from the East Coast. The other flies three days a week from the West Coast. Each delivers the mail to the military's postal system in Kuwait for distribution.

The charters replaced several airlines that had delivered military mail to Kuwait.

"This is an extremely challenging, yet gratifying mission," said Paul Vogel, the agency's vice president of network operations management. "But customers have to understand, because the troops are constantly on the move, this is very much a 'moving mailbox' situation."

Associated Press