gunmen kill 21 Shiites in Iraq
June 5: Masked gunmen stopped two minivans carrying
students north of Baghdad Sunday, ordered the
passengers off, separated Shiites from Sunni Arabs,
and killed the 21 Shiites "in the name of
Islam," a witness said.
predominantly Shiite southern Basra, police hunting
for militants stormed a Sunni Arab mosque early
Sunday, just hours after a car bombing. The ensuing
firefight killed nine.
The two attacks dealt a blow to Iraqi Prime Minister
Nouri al-Maliki's pledge to curb sectarian violence.
He again failed to reach consensus Sunday among Iraq's
ethnic and sectarian parties on candidates for
interior and defense minister - posts he must
fill to implement his ambitious plan to take control
of Iraq's security from US-led forces within 18
linked to Shiite and Sunni Arab animosity has
grown increasingly worse since February 22, when
bombs ravaged the golden dome of a revered Shiite
mosque in predominantly Sunni Arab Samarra.
tensions have run particularly high in Baghdad,
Basra and Diyala province, a mixed Sunni Arab-Shiite
region. And Sunday's attacks came just days after
terrorist mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi renewed
his call for Sunni Arabs to take up arms against
Shiites, whom he often vilifies as infidels.
Monday, gunmen in a car killed two Sunni brothers
as they were driving to college in the religiously
mixed neighborhood of Sadiyah in southwestern
Baghdad, police Lt. Maitham Abdul Razzaq said.
The victims, Ahmed and Arkan Sarhan, were in their
early 20s. Iraqi police also found the blindfolded
and bound body of a man who had been shot in the
head and chest elsewhere in the capital, Razzaq
the minibus ambush Sunday, a car and an SUV stopped
the vehicles near the town of Qara Tappah, about
75 miles northeast of Baghdad and near Diyala
province, electrician Haqi Ismail said. Ismail
said he had been driving his pickup truck behind
the vans and was stopped, too. About 15 masked
men wearing traditional robes known as a dishdashas
forced everyone out of the vehicles, he said.
asked us to show our IDs, and then instructed
us to stand in a line, separating the Sunni from
the Shiite due to the IDs and also due to the
faces," said Ismail, a Shiite Kurd. He said
the gunmen ordered the Shiites to lie down and
before they opened fire and one shouted, "On
behalf of Islam, today we will dig a mass grave
for you. You are traitors." Ismail said he
was injured but did not move. "One of the
gunmen kicked me to be sure that I was dead,"
he said, speaking from his hospital bed in Sulaimaniyah,
north of Qara Tappah.
of the victims were high school students, ages
17 and 18, and nine were students at al-Yarmouk
University in Baqouba, ages 21-22, said Qara Tappah's
mayor, Serwan Shokir. The rest were men in their
mid-to-late 30s, who worked as laborers or for
the power company, the mayor said.
Basra violence - the car bomb Saturday and mosque
raid early Sunday - came days after al-Maliki
declared a state of emergency in the city, vowing
to crack down with an "iron fist" on
gangs fighting for power.
police surrounded the al-Arab mosque just after
midnight Saturday, tipped off that militants holed
up inside had opened fire. Also, Iraqi forces
had found two vehicles packed with explosives
near the mosque, similar to the car bomb used
to attack a crowded market, killing 28 people
and wounding 62. Police and gunmen exchanged fire,
killing nine people. Police they arrested six
terror suspects, adding that part of the mosque
was damaged and burned. A hard-line Sunni organization
in Basra, the influential Sunni Arab Association
of Muslim Scholars, said the nine people killed
had come to the mosque to protect it.
nabs 17 terror suspects in Toronto
June 3: Canadian police foiled a homegrown terrorist
attack by arresting 17 suspects, apparently inspired
by al-Qaida, who obtained three times the amount
of an explosive ingredient used in the Oklahoma
City bombing, officials said Saturday.
FBI said the Canadian suspects may have had "limited
contact" with two men recently arrested on
terrorism charges in Georgia. About 400 regional
police and federal agents participated in the
arrests Friday and early Saturday.
individuals were allegedly intent on committing
acts of terrorism against their own country and
their own people," Prime Minister Stephen
Harper said in a statement. "As we have said
on many occasions, Canada is not immune to the
threat of terrorism."
Royal Canadian Mounted Police arrested 12 adult
suspects, ages 43 to 19, and five suspects younger
than 18 on terrorism charges including plotting
attacks with explosives on Canadian targets. The
suspects were either citizens or residents of
Canada and had trained together, police said.
group acquired three tons of ammonium nitrate
- three times the amount used to blow up the Murrah
Federal Building on April 19, 1995, in Oklahoma
City, killing 168 people and injured more than
800, said assistant Royal Canadian Mounted Police
commissioner Mike McDonell. The fertilizer can
be mixed with fuel oil or other ingredients to
make a bomb.
group posed a real and serious threat," McDonell
said. "It had the capacity and intent to
carry out these attacks." Luc Portelance,
assistant director of operations with Canada's
spy agency, CSIS, said the suspects "appeared
to have become adherents of a violent ideology
inspired by al-Qaida" but that investigators
have yet to prove a link to the terror network.
Five of the suspects were led in handcuffs Saturday
to the Ontario Court of Justice, which was surrounded
by snipers and bomb-sniffing dogs. A judge told
the men not to communicate with one another and
set their first bail hearing for Tuesday.
Chand, a brother of suspect Steven Vikash Chand,
said outside the courthouse that his brother was
innocent and authorities "just want to show
they're doing something."
"He's not a terrorist, come on. He's a Canadian
citizen," Chand said. "The people that
were arrested are good people, they go to the
mosque, they go to school, go to college."
Special Agent Richard Kolko said in Washington
there may have been a connection between the Canadian
suspects and a Georgia Tech student and another
American who had traveled to Canada to meet with
Islamic extremists to discuss locations for a
terrorist strike. Syed Haris Ahmed and Ehsanul
Islam Sadequee, U.S. citizens who grew up in the
Atlanta area, were arrested in March.
at the news conference displayed purported bomb-making
materials including a red cell phone wired to
what appeared to be an explosives detonator inside
a black toolbox. Also shown were a computer hard
drive, camouflage uniforms, flashlights and walkie-talkies.
A flimsy white door riddled with bullet holes
was on display but no details about it were available.
to a report Saturday in The Toronto Star citing
unidentified police sources, the suspects attended
a terrorist training camp north of Toronto and
had plotted to attack the Canadian spy agency's
downtown Toronto office, among other targets in
Ontario province. Authorities refused to confirm
suspects lived in either Toronto, Canada's financial
capital and largest city, or the nearby cities
of Mississauga or Kingston. Also at the court
hearing was Aly Hindy, an imam of an Islamic center
that houses a school and a mosque and has been
monitored by security agencies for years. He said
he knows nine of the suspects and that Muslims
once again were being falsely accused.
not terrorism. It could be some criminal activity
with a few guys, that's all," said Hindy.
"We are the ones always accused. Somebody
fakes a document and they are an international
terrorist forging documents for al-Qaida."
Galati, lawyer for two suspects from Mississauga,
said his client Ahmad Ghany, 21, is a health sciences
graduate from McMaster University in Hamilton.
He was born in Canada, the son of a medical doctor
who emigrated from Trinidad and Tobago.
Abdelhaleen, 30, is a computer programmer who
emigrated from Egypt 20 years ago with his father,
now an engineer with a nuclear utilities services
company, the lawyer said.
The charges came under Canada's Anti-Terrorism
Act, which was passed shortly after the Sept.
11, 2001 attacks - and after
bin Laden named Canada as one of five "Christian"
nations that should be terror targets. The other
countries - the U.S., Britain, Spain and Australia
- have all been targeted. Portelance, of Canada's
spy agency, said it was the nation's largest counterterrorism
operation since the adoption of the act and that
more arrests were possible.
adult suspects from Toronto are Chand, alias Abdul
Shakur, 25; Fahim Ahmad, 21; Jahmaal James, 23;
and Asin Mohamed Durrani, 19. Those from Mississauga
are Ghany; Abdelhaleen; Zakaria Amara, 20; Asad
Ansari, 21; Saad Khalid, 19; and Qayyum Abdul
Jamal, 43. Mohammed Dirie, 22, and Yasim Abdi
Mohamed, 24, are from Kingston
nations agree on Iran incentives
June 2: The U.S. and five other world powers have
an offer they say Iran can't refuse - if it knows
what's best for it. The six nations on Thursday
came up with incentives they hope will persuade
Tehran to stop suspect nuclear activities, but
made it clear that Iran risks U.N. sanctions if
it rejects the package.
are two paths ahead," British Foreign Secretary
Margaret Becket said in announcing the proposals
put together by the United States, Britain, France,
Germany, Russia and China.
package would be on the table for a proposed new
round of bargaining with Tehran over what the
West calls a rogue nuclear program that could
produce a bomb. The US, in a major policy shift,
agreed this week to join those talks under certain
conditions. It would be the first major public
negotiations between the adversaries in more than
a quarter century.
of State Condoleezza Rice met with the foreign
ministers from the European nations that led talks
with Iran that stalled last year. Also present
were representatives of Russia and China, which
have been Tehran's trading partners and might
join in any future talks with Iran. Since
Russia and China hold vetoes in the UN Security
Council, the US needs their cooperation to seek
sanctions or other harsh measures by that body.
are very satisfied by the results of today's meetings
here in Vienna," U.S. Undersecretary of State
Nicholas Burns told reporters. "We consider
them a step forward in our quest to deny Iran
nuclear weapons capability."
short statement issued by foreign ministers from
the six powers and the European Union did not
mention economic sanctions - the punishment or
deterrent favored by the United States and that
Iran has tried hard to avoid. The powers agreed
privately, however, that Iran could face tough
Security Council sanctions if it fails to give
up the enrichment of uranium and other disputed
nuclear activities, U.S. officials said.
feared Iran would immediately reject any invitation
to bargain if the threat of sanctions was explicit,
officials involved in the discussions said on
condition of anonymity because the seven-party
negotiations were private. The foreign ministers'
statement threatens unspecified "further
steps" in the Security Council.
group's statement also contained no details of
the incentives to be offered to Iran in the coming
days. Diplomats previously have said the package
includes help developing legitimate nuclear power
plants and various economic benefits.
Relentless violence kills 54 in Iraq
May 31: Car bombs targeting Shiite areas devastated
a bustling outdoor market and an auto dealership
Tuesday, part of a relentless onslaught that killed
54 people and prompted the United States to deploy
more troops to combat insurgents in western Iraq.
bombs also wounded 120 people, officials said. The
death toll made Tuesday one of the bloodiest days
in Iraq this month, and lawmakers still had not
agreed on who should lead the nation's army and
also captured a suspected terrorist who allegedly
confessed to beheading hundreds of people. The operation
by Iraqi forces also netted documents, cell phones
and computers containing information on other wanted
terrorists and Islamic extremist groups.
worst bombing hit the outdoor market as Iraqis were
doing their evening shopping in Husseiniyah, about
60 miles north of Baghdad. At least 25 people were
killed and 65 were wounded, Interior Ministry spokesman
Lt. Col. Falah Al-Mohamedawi said.
earlier, a car packed with explosives blew up at
a dealership in the largely Shiite city of Hillah,
about 60 miles south of Baghdad, killing at least
12 people and wounding 32, Capt. Muthana Khalid
bomb hidden in a plastic bag also detonated outside
a bakery in a religiously mixed neighborhood in
eastern Baghdad, killing at least nine people and
injuring 10, police Lt. Col. Falah al-Mohammedawi
mortar rounds fired by remote control from a car
hit the third floor of the heavily guarded Interior
Ministry and a nearby park, killing two government
employees and wounding three other people.
day earlier, 40 people were killed in various attacks,
including a car bombing in Baghdad that killed two
CBS News crewmen and seriously wounded network correspondent
Kimberly Dozier. She underwent two emergency surgeries
and was transferred to a U.S. military hospital
in Germany, where she was reported to be in critical
but stable condition.
News reported that Dozier briefly regained consciousness
on the flight to Germany. Vice President Sandy Genelius
said Tuesday night that Dozier was expected to stay
at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center for several
Tuesday, at least 4,066 Iraqis had been killed in
war-related violence this year, and at least 4,469
had been wounded, based on Associated Press reports.
Those may not be complete, however.
May, at least 871 Iraqis have been killed, surpassing
the 801 killed in April. The deadliest month this
year for Iraqis was March, when 1,038 were killed
and 1,155 were wounded.
The deadliest day for Iraqis this month was May
7, when at least 67 civilians were killed.
the surge in violence, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki
held another day of meetings aimed at getting Iraq's
ethnic, sectarian and secular factions to agree
on new interior and defense ministers. But the key
security posts remained vacant 10 days after al-Maliki's
national unity government took office.
Interior Ministry, which controls the police forces,
has been promised to the Shiites. Sunni Arabs are
to get the defense ministry, overseeing the army.
It is hoped the balance will enable al-Maliki to
move ahead with a plan for Iraqis to take over all
security duties over the next 18 months so U.S.-led
troops can begin withdrawing.
told the British Broadcasting Corp. his government
had a better chance of suppressing the violence
than his predecessors because it is the nation's
first permanent government since Saddam Hussein
governments were either temporary or transitional.
They did not receive full backing from the Iraqi
people to deal with this issue," he told the
the meantime, U.S. military commanders have moved
about 1,500 combat troops from a reserve force in
Kuwait into the volatile Anbar province to help
authorities establish order in the insurgent hotbed
stretching from Baghdad west to Syria.
backs dialogue on Iran
DELHI, May 31: Calling for a 'revitalisation' of
the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), India has stressed
on a resolution of Iran's nuclear row within the
ambit of the International Atomic Energy Agency
(IAEA) through dialogue and consensus.
in a debate on Iran's controversial nuclear programme
at a meeting of the NAM foreign ministers in the
Malaysian city of Putrajaya, the Minister of State
for External Affairs, Mr Anand Sharma, said that
despite a lack of clear consensus on the Iranian
issue, New Delhi was keen that it should be resolved
within the ambit of IAEA without any Security Council
as the issue was vigorously debated and an effort
was made to find a consensus in the 114-nation grouping,
NAM chairman and Malaysian Premier Abdullah Ahmad
Badawi stressed that the movement would defend the
basic right of all signatories of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation
Treaty (NPT) to develop nuclear technology for peaceful
his intervention at the general debate of the ministerial
meeting of NAM, Mr Sharma called for rejuvenation
of the grouping and reasserted the relevance of
what was described as 'the largest peace movement
in the world'.
is only through such action that the NAM can be
revitalised and can thereby contribute in practice
to a more just international order,' he said.
foreign ministers' meet comes ahead of the 14th
NAM summit in Havana in September this year.
for an expansion of the Security Council, Sharma
said the 'General Assembly revitalisation does not
mean leaving UN Security Council encroachment unchallenged
and untouched'. Making a case for the 'reform of
Bretton Woods Institutions and the World Trade Organization
(WTO),' Sharma said: 'This is a political task requiring
the solidarity in action of the NAM.'
two-day NAM ministerial meeting concluded on Tuesday
evening with the delegates adopting four documents
-- the final document, the Putrajaya declaration,
and two separate statements on Iran's nuclear issues
and Palestine. In the final document, ministers
of the NAM countries expressed their views on topics
ranging from global, regional and sub-regional political
issues to development and human rights.
devoted to the issues of Palestine and West Sahara,
which need further discussions and tuning-up, will
be forwarded to the 14th conference of the heads
of states of the NAM, said Malaysian Foreign Minister
Syed Hamid Albar at a press conference after the
Putrajaya declaration called on the member countries
of the NAM to give high priority to human capital
development, stressing the importance of formulating
national policies in this area.
Foreign ministers expressed their 'deep concern
over the intensifying hardships faced by the Palestinians'
as a result of the aid freezing by some members
of the international community and urged NAM countries
to give urgent economic and financial assistance
to the Palestinian people, said the statement.
Iran's nuclear issue, the ministers encouraged Iran
to 'urgently continue to cooperate actively and
fully with the IAEA' in order to resolve the outstanding
the NAM ministers reaffirmed their stance that all
nations should have 'basic and inalienable rights'
to develop research, production and use atomic energy
for peaceful purposes, by saying that any attacks
or threat of attacks against peaceful nuclear facilities
pose a great danger to man and environment.
90 members countries sent delegations, 74 of which
at ministerial or deputy ministerial level, to attend
the meeting in the Malaysian administrative centre
of Putrajaya. With two new members, namely, Dominica
and Antigua as well as Barbuda, accepted Monday,
the 45-year-old movement now has 116 members. Egypt
will host the 15th NAM Summit in the year 2009,
said Syed at the news conference.
should not be justified on any ground: India
DELHI, May 30: Terming terrorism as a gross violation
of human rights, India has said that NAM should
ensure that the scourge is not condoned or justified
on any grounds - political, religious, ethnic or
should be recognised that terrorism is a fundamental
and gross violation of human rights, in particular
the most fundamental right the right to life,"
according to Mr Anand Sharma, Minister of State
for External Affairs.
during a general debate at the Non-Aligned Movement
Ministerial meeting in Putrajaya, Malaysia, Mr Sharma
said it should be ensured that the global fight
against terrorism is not restricted to a group or
a region and that it is comprehensive and sustained.
two-day NAM Ministerial Meeting is being held as
a precursor to the NAM summit to be hosted by Cuba
later this year. Malaysia is the current NAM chairman.
"The fight must be directed not only against
the terrorists, but also against those who sponsor,
abet or support them," he said.
Sharma said that there was an urgent need for terrorism
to be accorded high priority on the international
agenda and for the members of the Movement to be
at the forefront of combating this menace. "We
should equip outselves to better address this threat.
The Movement should ensure that terrorism is not
condoned or justified on any ground whatsoever:
political, religious, ethnic or any other."
Dominica and Antigua and Barbuda have been admitted
as full members of the Non-Aligned Movement, taking
the number of countries in the grouping to 116.
Dominica's head of delegation Crispin S Gregoire
said the acceptance into NAM was a great honour
for it. "Even though we are only a small country,
we have been in the United Nations since 1978, after
our independence from Great Britain. Today, we join
the world community, the committee of developing
nations, which is a great honour for our country,"
said Dominica, the largest and most mountainous
of the Windward Islands in the Caribbean archipelago,
submitted its application a few months ago to Malaysia,
the Chair of the NAM.
The matter was later discussed in New York and unanimously
adopted and Monday's announcement was the formalisation
of Dominica's entry as a full member of the grouping.
Antigua and Barbuda also welcomed its acceptance
into the grouping. The country is located between
the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean,
with a population of 69,000.
learnt about Kargil invasion from Vajpayee: Nawaz
May 29: Squarely blaming Gen Musharraf for the "misadventure"
for which he would like the military ruler to be
tried, former Pak Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif disclosed
that it was from an urgent call from Vajpayee that
he first learnt about the invasion of Kargil by
Prime Minister, what is happening" in Kargil,
an indignant Vajpayee asked him over telephone in
May 1999, according to the 56-year-old Pakistani
leader who said that he had got to know about the
Kargil operation only then.
speaking to the news agency in London, Nawaz Sharif
who is living abroad in exile for over six years
said, almost all Pakistani Corps Commanders were
also unaware of the "ill-conceived, ill-planned
and ill-executed misadventure" of Musharraf
and "just two or three of his cronies."
recent revelation came days after he and another
former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto came together
and pledged to topple Musharraf. Through the Kargil
operation Musharraf, the then Chief of the Army
Staff, had "sabotaged" the understanding
reached by him with Vajpayee at Lahore to resolve
all Indo-Pak problems including Kashmir, Sharif
a 36-point Charter of Democracy signed on 14th May
by Sharif and Bhutto for restoration of democracy
in Pakistan includes a proposal to set up a Commission
to fix responsibility for Kargil and identify causes
that led to it.
involved would have to be brought to book, Sharif
asserted, after saying that a high-level Commission,
"something higher than a Judicial Commission"
would be set up by a democratic government to go
into the Kargil episode.
that mean that Musharraf could face trial? "It
is very clear. The clause (in the Charter) says
that the Commission will fix responsibility and
then (those found guilty) would conceivably face
trial", the former Pakistani Prime Minister
cannot forgive Musharraf for Kargil because that
had brought India and Pakistan very close to a war.
"The Indians could have done anything at that
time because they were attacked without any rhyme
or reason", he said.
his frantic 4th July 1999 meeting with President
Bill Clinton in Washington, Sharif said he had sought
the US leader's good offices to resolve the matter
amicably. However he refused to say whether Musharraf
had pleaded with him to rush to Washington as Indians
were beating back the Pakistani intruders. Further
Sharif sees Musharraf as a "very impulsive
man, erratic in his behaviour and not a very stable
his disgruntle over the current relations between
the two countries, Sharif said, "India should
not be doing business with any usurper or a military
dictator... India should condemn such (military)
takeovers whether in Pakistan or elsewhere."
inviting Musharraf to the Agra Summit India had
conferred legitimacy on the General. "To me
it amounted to recognising a military dictator although
his rule is still unconstitutional, unlawful and
immoral. Why should you talk to a man like that",
the Pakistani leader asked.
is he happy with the Indo-Pak peace process? "Well,
the foundation of all these were laid when I was
the Prime Minister. Mr Vajpayee was very kind to
visit Pakistan and the foundation was laid then
by us. Things started moving then. But, of course,
the Kargil episode came in between", he replied.
very good opportunity for resolving Indo-Pak issues
was thus missed, rues Sharif, describing the Lahore
Declaration signed by Vajpayee and him as a "tremendous
opportunity" which was sabotaged by Musharraf's
if the General had done so because he did not support
the Lahore Declaration, Sharif replied, "No.
I think Musharraf and his cronies had some obsession
about it (Kargil) for a long time".
the Musharraf's solutions to the Kashmir issue as
"wild ideas" such as demilitarization
and joint control Sharif said "Solutions are
not given in Television interviews. Musharraf does
not know what diplomacy means."
ideas, he emphasized, are first discussed at proper
forums. "You do not give wild ideas in the
Press and say that you have given solutions and
the other side is not responding", he said,
adding that Musharraf was "immature".
who claims Kashmiri ancestry, said that while the
Indo-Pak Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) were
welcome, Kashmir also had to be resolved, to the
satisfaction of India.
Benazir Bhutto, Chairperson of the Pakistan Peoples
Party (PPP) and Sharif, leader of the Pakistan Muslim
League (N), have both announced that they will go
to Pakistan to participate in the next year's National
Assembly elections to which Musharraf responded
by declaring that they would be arrested and tried.
these as "empty threats", Sharif said
that they were not deterred or worried by what the
General had stated. He described Musharraf as a
"traitor" who had subverted the Constitution.
about the reports that the General might get himself
re-elected as the President by the current National
Assembly, Sharif said that he was not eligible to
contest because he was still wearing the Army uniform.
If he made any such move it would be gross violation
of the Constitution and political parties would
launch "a very effective movement" against
Pak fail to make breakthrough on Siachen
DELHI, May 24: India and Pakistan have failed to
reach any agreement on demilitarisation of the Siachen
Glacier as 'differences' continued to persist on
authentication of positions held by the armed forces
of the two sides on the world's highest battlefield
at 22,000 ft.
has been no breakthrough. We have agreed to continue
talking," Mr Pranab Mukherjee, Defence Minister,
told newsmen on the sidelines of a national seminar
on "Enhancing combat potential through indigenisation
and Pakistan on Tuesday began two days of Defence
Secretary level talks on demilitarisation of Siachen
Glacier, where the Indian and Pakistani armed forces
have been observing a ceasefire since 2003.
Pakistani side "is not agreeing to the proposal
for authentication of positions (held by the Indian
and Pakistani forces) for quite some time and this
is the area of difference which can continue...In
this round of discussions, we could not make a breakthrough,"
said Mr Mukherjee.
Indian side made it clear to their Pakistani counterparts
that New Delhi could not "risk disengagement"
unless there is acceptance of "the principle
of mutual authentication".
Islamabad again expressed its unease with authentication
of ground positions on the Siachen glacier, as it
believes such an exercise would legitimise New Delhi's
occupation of the strategic glacier in 1984.
sides have, however, agreed that they will stay
engaged to end their over-two-decades-old conflict
over the 76-km long glacier. It was not just modalities
of withdrawal, there has so far been no mutual acceptance
of the process of disengagement itself.
are also differences over how both sides will affect
their troop withdrawals, with both countries weighing
what is strategically most advantageous to them.
New Delhi has emphasised that ease of access should
be considered while determining positions to withdraw
troops from, particularly in the Saltoro range area.
India also underlined the need for "well-laid
out procedures for an effective and comprehensive"
surveillance and monitoring mechanism that must
accompany the disengagement process.
Indian side for the 10th round of talks was led
by Mr Shekhar Dutt, Defence Secretary and included
Mr Shivshankar Menon, Indian High Commissioner to
Pakistan; Mr Akhil Kumar Jain, Additional Secretary,
Ministry of Defence; Lt Gen Madan Gopal, Director
General Military Operations, Army Headquarters;
Lt Gen Mohan Pandey, Director General Military Operations
(designate), Army Headquarters; Mr Bimal Julka,
Joint Secretary (G), Ministry of Defence; Mr Dilip
Sinha, Joint Secretary (PAI), Ministry of External
Affairs; Mr Debnath Shaw, Joint Secretary (Planning
and International Cooperation), Ministry of Defence,
Major Gen Mukesh Sabharwal, Additional Director
General Military Operations (A), Army Headquarters;
Maj Gen MJS Virk, Additional Director General Military
Survey, Army Headquarters and Brig Rajinder Singh,
Military Attache to Indian High Commissioner at
Pakistani side was be led by Lt Gen (Retd) Tariq
Waseem Ghazi, Secretary Defence; Mr Aziz Ahmad Khan,
High Commissioner of Pakistan in India; Maj Gen
(Retd) Muhammad Ashraf Chaudhry, Additional Secretary
Defence, Maj Gen Bilal Umar Khan, Joint Staff Officer
Headquarters; Maj Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha, DGMO; Mr.
Afrasiab, Deputy High Commissioner, Pakistan High
Commission; Brig Javed Sultan Khan, Defence Attache,
Pakistan High Commission; Brig Nasir Khan Janjua,
DMO, Maj (Retd) Syed Haider Mehdi Jamal, Deputy
Surveyor General Mr. Zaheer A Janjua, Director (India),
Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Mr M Syrus Sajjad Qazi,
First Secretary, Pak High Commission, Maj Ejaz Ahmed,
Staff Officer to Secretary Defence and Mr Muhammad
Khalid Jamali, First Secretary, Pak High Commission.
Laden claims lead role in 9/11 attacks
May 24: Al-Qaeda terrorist network leader Osama
bin Laden said in an audiotape broadcast by the
Al Jazeera satellite channel that he himself had
assigned 19 people for the September 11, 2001, attacks
in the US.
fact, brother Zacarias Moussaoui has no connection
whatever with the September 11 operation,"
Osama bin Laden said in the audiotape that Al Jazeera
Tuesday reported was posted on a website. "I
am the man responsible for the recruitment of the
19 people who carried out the attacks, and I did
not assign any task to Moussaoui," he added.
was recently sentenced to life in prison without
possibility of parole, sparing him the death penalty
by a US jury. Osama bin Laden contended that Moussaoui's
confession to having a role in the September 11
attacks was "null and void, because it was
extracted under pressure".
was arrested two weeks before the September events,
and if he knew anything about (the operation), we
should have told (9/11 ringleader) Mohammed Atta
and his brothers to leave the US at once,"
the Al-Qaeda chief said.
Near Baghdad Airport Kill 14
May 15: A pair of suicide car bombers killed 14
people Sunday in the biggest insurgent assault in
months on the main road to Baghdad's airport, and
other attacks killed a dozen more Iraqis and two
American soldiers elsewhere in the capital.
weekend of stepped-up violence across Iraq, which
included six attacks on small Shiite Muslim shrines
and the bombing deaths of two British soldiers near
recently restive Basra late Saturday, came as politicians
again failed to agree on a new Cabinet.
had been hope that Prime Minister-designate Nouri
al-Maliki would fill at least some Cabinet posts
when parliament convened Sunday in Baghdad's heavily
guarded Green Zone, perhaps even taking on for himself
contentious roles such as the interior and defense
mandate to form a Cabinet expires May 22. Should
he fail to do so, President Jalal Talabani would
have 15 days to name a new nominee to try to form
a Cabinet. The constitution is unclear on whether
he could pick al-Maliki again. Lawmakers have struggled
since December 15 parliamentary elections to put
together a national unity government, which many
Iraqis and the U.S. government hope will lessen
sectarian tensions and undermine support for the
Sunni Arab-dominated insurgency.
negotiations have bogged down in squabbles over
the allocation of key Cabinet jobs, unable to bridge
sectarian and political divisions. As the 275-member
parliament convened, a party loyal to firebrand
Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr threatened to propose
its own Cabinet list if other groups did not scale
back their demands for roles in the new government.
Bahaa al-Araji of the United Iraqi Alliance denounced
what he called U.S. meddling in the talks and set
a deadline of two days to settle the matter. But
the Shiite bloc has only 130 parliament members,
which isn't enough votes to seat a Cabinet. A coalition
of three Sunni Arab parties holding 44 seats warned
that it would withdraw from the political process
if it did not get at least one key post such as
the Defense Ministry.
threat came several days after Shiite party with
15 lawmakers pulled out of the Cabinet talks because
it was not given the Oil Ministry.
Iraq unity talks set back; 4 Marines die