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World in brief: N. Korea missile firings reported

TUESDAY, OCT. 13, 2009

SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea reportedly test-launched five short-range missiles Monday – and may fire more – in what analysts said is an attempt to improve its bargaining position ahead of possible talks with the United States.

Yonhap news agency, citing a South Korean official it did not identify, said the KN-02 surface-to-surface missiles were fired from mobile launch pads and had a range of up to 75 miles.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff confirmed the missile launches today but declined to identify the number and types of missiles fired on Monday off North Korea’s east coast – the first since July, when the North test-fired seven missiles.

Iraqi officials nab top al-Douri aide

BAGHDAD – Iraqi security forces seized a top aide to the most wanted man in Iraq, capturing him Sunday in a helicopter raid in Diyala province, an Iraqi security official who participated in the raid said Monday.

Ayad Jalal Abdulwahab has been working closely with Izzat al-Douri, the vice president under the regime of the late dictator Saddam Hussein, the security official said. Al-Douri is still at large and is viewed by U.S. officials as Saddam’s successor in the resistance movement. The Iraqi force that captured Abdulwahab turned him over to U.S. forces, which brought him to Baghdad, where he’s undergoing interrogation, Iraqi officials said.


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