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Suicide bomber hits U.S. intell compound in Iraq

Thursday, September 11, 2003

IRBIL, Iraq -- A suicide bomber tried to drive a TNT-laden SUV into a U.S. intelligence compound in northern Iraq, but it blew up short of the target, killing three people and seriously wounding four American intelligence officers, officials said Wednesday.

A Kurdish security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said al-Qaida was behind the bombing in Irbil late Tuesday, less than two days before second anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. He gave no evidence to support the claim.

In Baghdad, meanwhile, two U.S. soldiers were killed by bombs in separate incidents.

Maj. James Bullion, civil affairs executive officer of the 404th Civil Affairs Battalion, Special Operations, said two children were among the dead in Irbil, the largest Kurdish-controlled city in northern Iraq. He said one child was a 12-year-old boy. Al-Jazeera TV said the other child was 2.

The U.S. military in Baghdad said four officers of the Defense Human Intelligence Service were wounded along with a Kurdish guard.

Israel bombs home of Hamas leader

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip -- Israel bombed the home of a Hamas leader Wednesday, killing his eldest son and a bodyguard in retaliation for two suicide bombings. The Palestinian prime minister-designate said he will quickly form a government to forestall even harsher Israeli reprisals.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon cut short a visit to India, and an official said he would consider far-reaching options, such as forcing Yasser Arafat into exile or ordering a large-scale invasion of the Gaza Strip.

The spiral of violence drew calls for retaliation from Israelis and Palestinians alike. The Islamic militant group Hamas claimed responsibility for Tuesday's twin suicide attacks and said it would now begin targeting Israeli homes and high-rises in response to Wednesday's airstrike on the home of senior Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar.

Defiant militant gets death for Bali bombings

BALI, Indonesia -- An Islamic militant pumped his fist in defiance as he was led from court Wednesday after being convicted and sentenced to death in last year's Bali nightclub bombings that killed 202 people

"Go to hell, you infidels!" shouted Imam Samudra, his face twisted in fury, after a panel of five judges ordered him to face a firing squad for his role in the Oct. 12 attacks.

Samudra is the second person sentenced to death for the bombings, which killed mostly Western tourists and thrust Indonesia into the front lines of the U.S.-led war on terror.

Police had to restrain Samudra, who lunged at Western reporters as he was led out of the courtroom.

"Death to Australia!" he yelled. Of the 202 killed in the blasts, 88 were Australians and seven were Americans.

Four aid workers killed by suspected Taliban

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan -- Suspected Taliban rebels on motorcycles stopped a car filled with aid workers, tied them up and executed them by the side of a dusty road in southeastern Afghanistan, raising fears in the aid community that vital reconstruction work is becoming too risky to carry out.

The attack follows intense fighting in the south and east of the country that has killed four American soldiers and thrown into question the ability of the U.S.-backed government to control this war-shattered country.

On Wednesday, the United States and Germany asked NATO to consider expanding the mandate of its 5,000-strong peacekeeping force beyond the capital, Kabul, to help protect reconstruction teams outside the capital.

Aid agencies, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and President Hamid Karzai have long called for the International Security Assistance Force, now commanded by NATO, to expand its operations throughout the country.

-- From wire reports


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