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Israeli airstrike kills four militants

Mon., Nov. 17, 2008

An airstrike killed four Palestinians as they were firing mortars at Israel Sunday, the latest in a surge of clashes that have rocked a 5-month-old truce between Israel and Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers.

In a separate incident, Palestinian rocket fire injured one Israeli.

Both sides say they would like to preserve the truce, which expires next month. But with violence escalating over the past two weeks, the cease-fire appears to be unraveling.

The militants killed in the airstrike were from a small Hamas-allied group known as the Popular Resistance Committees. Abu Attaya, a spokesman for the group, said the four were firing mortars when they were killed.

Abu Mujahed, another spokesman for the PRC, said his group is pulling out of the truce, and Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum threatened retaliation for the killings.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Juvenile count at Guantanamo revised

The U.S. has revised its count of juveniles ever held at Guantanamo Bay to 12, up from the eight it reported in May to the United Nations, a Pentagon spokesman said Sunday.

The government has provided a corrected report to the U.N. committee on child rights, according to Navy Cmdr. Jeffrey Gordon. He said the U.S. did not intentionally misrepresent the number of detainees taken to the isolated Navy base in southeast Cuba before turning 18.

“As we noted to the committee, it remains uncertain the exact age of many of the juveniles held at Guantanamo, as most of them did not know their own date of birth or even the year in which they were born,” he said.

A study released last week by the Center for the Study of Human Rights in the Americas concluded the U.S. has held at least a dozen juveniles at Guantanamo, including a Saudi who committed suicide in 2006.

Eight of the 12 juvenile detainees identified by the human rights center have been released, according to the study.

Two of the remaining detainees are scheduled to face war-crimes trials in January.


Tibetan exiles discuss options

Several hundred Tibetan exile leaders are gathered in northern India for a landmark meeting.

They plan to discuss the direction of the movement that has struggled for decades to win autonomy from China.

The weeklong meeting that begins today was called by the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader. He says new ideas are needed following the repeated failure of talks with China.

Samdhong Rinpoche, prime minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile, called for “open and frank discussion.”

He pledged that any decision needs to have “the clear mandate of the people.”

From wire reports


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