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World in brief: Reputed al-Qaida leader arrested

Thu., June 18, 2009

Baghdad – Iraqi commandos swept into a western Baghdad neighborhood Wednesday and arrested a reputed al-Qaida in Iraq leader suspected of plotting the assassination of a prominent Sunni lawmaker.

Officials said the suspect was also a member of a government-backed Sunni paramilitary group that has joined forces with the Americans against al-Qaida, but that could not immediately be confirmed.

The brazen daylight shooting death of Harith al-Obeidi raised troubling questions about security just two weeks before U.S. troops are to withdraw from urban areas, and officials have been eager to find those responsible.

Brig. Gen. Numan Dakhil Jawad, the commander of the quick reaction force that staged the raid, said the suspect was believed to be a deputy in the al-Qaida front group the Islamic State of Iraq.

Fractures suggest in-flight breakup

Sao Paulo, Brazil – Autopsies revealed fractures in the legs, hips and arms of Air France disaster victims, a Brazilian official said Wednesday. Experts said those injuries – and the large pieces of wreckage pulled from the Atlantic – strongly suggest the plane broke up in the air.

With more than 400 bits of debris recovered from the ocean’s surface, the top French investigator expressed optimism about discovering what brought down Flight 447.

French investigators are beginning to form “an image that is progressively less fuzzy,” Paul-Louis Arslanian, who runs the French air accident investigation agency BEA, told a news conference outside Paris.

“We are in a situation that is a bit more favorable than the first days,” Arslanian said.


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