An Afghan soldier opened fire inside a military base Monday, killing an American and four Afghans, while a U.S.-led coalition raid in the east killed a Taliban leader and two children, officials said.
The base shooting occurred in the western city of Herat, said Lt. Col. David Johnson, a U.S. spokesman. An American soldier – an adviser training the Afghan military – was shot and later died of his wounds, the U.S.-led coalition said.
Gen. Fazeluddin Sayar, an Afghan commander, said the gunman told authorities he had a dream telling him to start jihad, or holy war. “That is why I came to kill this American,” Sayar quoted the gunman as saying.
During the coalition raid at a home in eastern Paktia province, suspected militants fired guns and rocket-propelled grenades at the U.S. and Afghan troops, forcing the soldiers to return fire. Two children were killed in the exchange, said Maj. Donald Korpi, a U.S. spokesman.
Former food, drug chief executed
China today executed the former head of its food and drug watchdog who had become a symbol of the country’s wide-ranging problems on product safety.
Zheng Xiaoyu’s execution was confirmed by State Food and Drug Administration spokeswoman Yan Jianyang at a news conference held to highlight efforts to improve China’s track record on food and drug safety.
Zheng was sentenced to death in May for taking bribes to approve an antibiotic blamed for at least 10 deaths and other substandard medicines.
Zheng’s death sentence was unusually heavy even for China, believed to carry out more court-ordered executions than all other nations combined, and likely indicates the leadership’s determination to confront the country’s dire product safety record.
SEOUL, South Korea
Talks to resume on nuclear arms
International disarmament talks on North Korea’s nuclear program will resume in Beijing next week, a news report said today, as the U.N. nuclear watchdog prepared to oversee Pyongyang’s promised shutdown of its reactor.
Host China has informed participating countries that the negotiations will start July 18, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported from Beijing, citing an unidentified diplomatic “source” familiar with the negotiations.
China is expected to make an official announcement as early as later today, Yonhap said.
The talks – involving China, Japan, the two Koreas, Russia and the United States – were last held in March.
In Vienna, meanwhile, the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, agreed at a board of governors’ meeting Monday to send experts to North Korea to supervise the shutdown of its plutonium-producing reactor.