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Convoy bombed; soldier, civilians die

A Taliban suicide bomber rammed an explosives-packed van into a NATO military patrol manned mostly by U.S. troops Friday, killing one NATO soldier and eight Afghan civilians as shrapnel blasted nearby shops.

The morning attack on a busy commercial street in Kandahar also wounded another NATO soldier and eight more civilians. A dozen shops were wrecked.

A NATO official said the bomber struck a convoy made up primarily of U.S. soldiers, but did not divulge the nationality of the dead or wounded troops. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to share the information with the media.


Israelis, Palestinians clash near barrier

Hundreds of Palestinians fought with Israeli troops and used makeshift ladders to climb over Israel’s towering West Bank separation barrier Friday after being barred from entering Jerusalem to attend Ramadan services at Islam’s third-holiest shrine.

The apparently spontaneous outbursts at checkpoints around the holy city reflected Palestinians’ growing anger with the continued construction of the barrier and their frustration with Israeli restrictions keeping many of them out of Jerusalem.

Israeli forces dispersed the crowds with tear gas, stun grenades, rubber bullets and water cannons.

Israel killed six militants today and wounded 15 in airstrikes east of Gaza City, Palestinian security officials said. More than a dozen Israeli tanks also moved into the area, and security officials reported exchanges of fire between the Israeli forces and Palestinian gunmen.


Shining Path chief gets life sentence

Shining Path founder Abimael Guzman, whose messianic communist vision inspired a 12-year rebellion that cost nearly 70,000 lives, was found guilty Friday of aggravated terrorism and sentenced to life in prison.

The 71-year-old former philosophy professor stood impassively with his hands crossed in front of his waist as a court clerk read the sentence, ending a yearlong civilian retrial.

Guzman’s longtime lover and second-in-command, Elena Iparraguirre, 59, also received a life sentence. Ten other codefendants from his inner circle received sentences ranging from 24 to 35 years.

Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, Guzman inspired a cultlike obedience among a Maoist guerrilla insurgency that grew to 10,000 armed fighters.

The Shining Path bombed electrical towers, bridges and factories; assassinated mayors; and massacred villagers, including 69 peasants in the Andean village of Lucanamarca, where nearly two dozen children were among those shot and hacked to death.


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