March 17, 2008 in Nation/World

World in brief: Missile attack leaves 20 dead

The Spokesman-Review

Missiles that witnesses say came from an unmanned drone flattened a suspected militant safehouse Sunday in Pakistan’s tribal area along the Afghan border. State television said the strike killed about 20.

Witnesses said a drone dropped seven missiles on the sprawling, mud-brick compound about three miles outside Wana, the main town in South Waziristan. Only U.S.-led coalition forces in Afghanistan are known to operate unmanned drones in the region.


Coca discovered in Amazon area

The army said Sunday it has discovered the first known coca plantations in Brazil’s Amazon, along with a fully equipped laboratory to manufacture cocaine.

The army used helicopters and small boats to reach the plantations and the lab near the northwestern city of Tabatinga, close to the border with cocaine-producing nations Peru and Colombia, army Lt. Col. Antonio Elcio Franco Filho said.

“It is the first time these plantations have been found in Brazil,” he said. The discovery prompted a search for similar fields in the region.

The coca leaf — the key ingredient in cocaine — is usually grown in mountainous regions of Andean countries. The climate in the Amazon was not believed to favor coca plantations, according to Maierovitch.


German leader confronts history

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday acknowledged her country’s “historical responsibility” to Israel as she opened a three-day visit marking the 60th anniversary of the Jewish state.

The visit, which includes a stop at Israel’s Holocaust memorial and an address to parliament, reflects the warm ties that have developed between the two countries.

However, a state visit by a German leader is still an emotional event. Although Israel was founded in 1948, full diplomatic relations with Germany were established only in 1965. Even today, many Israelis refuse to buy German-made goods or visit Germany.


Ahmadinejad’s allies prevail

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared victory Sunday in Iran’s parliamentary elections, saying the people had voted to reject the West after nearly complete results showed conservatives holding their majority.

But the conservatives are split. Ahmadinejad’s hard-line allies won the largest share of the votes, but a powerful bloc was formed of supporters- turned-critics of the president’s confrontational manner and his handling of the ailing economy.

Reformists, who seek greater democracy in Iran and closer ties with the West, appeared likely to at least retain the small bloc they held.

From wire reports

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