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In brief: Pakistani militant escapes attack

Fri., Jan. 15, 2010, midnight

Islamabad, Pakistan – The leader of the Pakistani Taliban was apparently targeted in a U.S. missile strike on a meeting of militant commanders close to the Afghan border Thursday, but he escaped unhurt, Pakistani officials and militants said. Twelve insurgents were believed killed.

The death of Hakimullah Mehsud would be a major victory for both Washington and Islamabad in their fight against Islamist militants. Mehsud appeared on a video released last week sitting next to the Jordanian militant who killed seven CIA employees in a suicide attack in December in Afghanistan.

Three Pakistani intelligence officials and four militants told the AP that Mehsud was not among the dead.

He had been expected to attend the meeting, but authorities were still trying to determine whether he ever made it to the session.

Islam law enforcers accused of rape

Jakarta, Indonesia – Three members of a newly formed civilian patrol to enforce Islam’s strict Shariah law in Indonesia’s Aceh province have been accused of gang-raping a 20-year-old university student, authorities there said.

The attack allegedly occurred this month at a small-town police station after the patrol members, known here as the Shariah police, took the woman into custody. Two men, ages 27 and 29, were arrested and one is still being sought, authorities said.

Activists say the accusation deals a serious blow to the credibility of the controversial Shariah police patrols.


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