Pakistani soldiers backed by helicopter gunships targeted a suspected militant hideout in Pakistan’s volatile tribal region near the Afghan border and killed about 30 militants, an Army spokesman said today.
Gen. Shaulat Sultan said the attack was launched late Friday near Miran Shah, the scene of repeated clashes between security forces and militants in the past week.
Nuevo Laredo, Mexico
Radio anchorman killed in ambush
An anchorman for a Mexican radio station was shot to death early Friday by gunmen waiting for him in the bushes in front of his house in this violent border city.
Ramiro Tellez Contreras, who also worked for the state emergency services and was a former policeman, was hit by two bullets in the neck and two in the chest.
Tellez is the 46th homicide victim this year in Nuevo Laredo, a city of 330,000 across the border from Laredo, Texas. He is the sixth person to be killed this week alone.
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Africans extend mission in Darfur
The African Union decided Friday to extend its peacekeeping mission in Sudan’s Darfur region for six months to give itself time to negotiate a peace agreement, but it promised to transfer control to the United Nations once that is accomplished.
The compromise will disappoint Western leaders who wanted the U.N. to take over and reinforce the beleaguered African Union force as soon as possible. But Sudanese officials also lost their bid to keep the U.N. from ever assuming control of the mission.
At least 180,000 people have died – some estimates are far higher – and some 2 million have been displaced since the start of a 2003 revolt by rebels from Darfur’s ethnic African population.
Nine convicted of pushing terrorism
Dutch judges convicted nine men Friday of belonging to a terrorist group, a landmark verdict that concludes promoting a violent version of Islam can itself be an act of terrorism.
Two men received 15- and 13-year prison terms for attempted murder after a clash with police during their arrest. One received a five-year term for possessing a machine gun. The rest were sentenced to up to two years in prison.
All were found to have spread hateful propaganda among their friends and on the Internet, encouraging Muslims to join a holy war against the West.
Though most sentences were short, the judgment was sweeping.
“Anyone who preaches hate and violence lays the basis for committing crimes directed at instilling fear among the people and destroying Dutch democracy,” said Judge Rene Elkerbout, reading the three-judge panel’s ruling.