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In brief: Cricket players wounded in attack

A dozen masked gunmen armed with rifles and rocket launchers attacked a vehicle carrying members of Sri Lanka’s national cricket team today, wounding at least two players and killing five police officers, officials said.

City police chief Haji Habibur Rehman said five policemen died in the shooting and two players were wounded. A Pakistan Cricket Board security official had earlier said eight players were wounded.

“It was a terrorist attack and the terrorists used rocket launchers, hand grenades and other weapons,” Rehman said, adding that the police were hunting down the attackers who managed to flee.

SEOUL, South Korea

U.S. military drills to move ahead

The U.S. military said today it will push ahead with plans to hold joint exercises with South Korea next week despite North Korea’s warning that it would consider the drills preparation for an attack.

The North demanded during rare talks with the U.N. Command on Monday that the U.S. and South Korea call off the annual military exercise set to start Monday, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported. North Korean officials warned that the drill would “further stir up” tensions on the Korean Peninsula, the report said, citing an unnamed South Korean official.

Today, U.S. military spokesman Kim Yong-kyu said the annual joint exercises will go ahead as planned.

DHAKA, Bangladesh

Army deployed to catch mutineers

Bangladesh’s government deployed soldiers nationwide Monday to hunt down more than 1,000 border guards wielding stolen weapons who fled after a bloody mutiny left scores of army officers dead.

The two-day mutiny last week left the border guards’ compound in the capital, Dhaka, littered with the corpses of dozens of army officers. Rescuers have recovered 77 bodies, while 71 officers were still unaccounted for and presumed dead.


Navy hands over suspected pirates

The U.S. Navy handed over nine suspected pirates to authorities in northern Somalia after determining there was not enough evidence to put them on trial, an American said Monday.

Lt. Nate Christensen of the Bahrain-based U.S. 5th Fleet said the men had been detained Feb. 12 after being found in the vicinity of an Indian merchant ship that pirates had unsuccessfully attacked off the lawless Somali coast.

“The U.S. Navy evaluated the situation and determined there was insufficient evidence to support their prosecution” by the U.S., Christensen said.

From wire reports