March 30, 2011 in Nation/World

In brief: Attack in Tikrit kills 56 people

 

Baghdad, Iraq – Gunmen wearing military uniforms over explosives belts charged into a government building in Saddam Hussein’s hometown Tuesday in an attack that left 56 people dead, including 15 hostages who were shot execution-style.

The five-hour standoff in Tikrit ended only when the attackers blew themselves up in one of the bloodiest days in Iraq this year.

American troops who were nearby as part of an advising mission with Iraqi forces responded to the attack, and some U.S. soldiers received minor wounds.

Clooney may be witness in trial

Rome – Silvio Berlusconi’s defense lawyers on Tuesday named George Clooney, the Italian foreign minister and a bevy of showgirls as witnesses at the premier’s upcoming prostitution trial.

Prosecutors, for their part, have asked to hear from 136 witnesses, including the Moroccan teenager at the center of the scandal and 32 other women who allegedly worked as prostitutes during parties at Berlusconi’s villa.

Both sides presented their lists of witnesses at the Milan tribunal where the trial opens next week. A judge must now decide which witnesses to admit.

The 74-year-old Berlusconi is accused of having paid for sex with the Moroccan, who is known as Ruby and was 17 at the time, and then using his influence to try to cover it up.

Clooney was listed because Ruby once said she had seen the Hollywood star and his Italian girlfriend Elisabetta Canalis at one of Berlusconi’s parties, according to the law firm representing Berlusconi.

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