Powell discusses using Muslim soldiers in Iraq
JIDDAH, Saudi Arabia -- Secretary of State Colin Powell and top Saudi officials held talks Wednesday on the possibility of forming a Muslim force and deploying it in Iraq to supplement to the U.S.-led coalition. Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal acknowledged at a news conference with Powell that preliminary discussions on the subject had been conducted but he gave no details. Powell declined to comment. Saudi Arabia was involved in the negotiations despite its troops' absence from any Muslim force, consistent with Iraqi wishes that none of its neighbors send armed forces.
Violence pushes medical group from Afghanistan
KABUL, Afghanistan -- The relief agency Medecins Sans Frontieres said Wednesday it was pulling out of Afghanistan, discouraged by a fruitless investigation into the slayings of five of its workers and fearful of new attacks as a bombing targeting election workers left at least two dead. The Nobel prize-winning group's decision to withdraw was the most dramatic example yet of how deteriorating security has crippled the delivery of badly needed aid and reconstruction in Afghanistan since the Taliban was ousted over two years ago.
New U.S. resolution on Sudan faces opposition
UNITED NATIONS -- The United States introduced a revised draft resolution Wednesday threatening sanctions against Sudan if it doesn't disarm Arab militias in the western Darfur region, but it was considering changes to overcome opposition in the Security Council. U.S. Ambassador John Danforth said even more changes were being considered after a meeting of the 15-nation council and a final version would be presented by today at the latest. A vote was expected by the end of the week, U.S. officials said.
Religious riots in western India leave two dead
VERAVAL, India -- Muslims and Hindus burned buildings and clashed with police Wednesday in a third day of sectarian riots in this western Indian town, throwing acid at officers who shot at the crowd. The unrest has left two dead and more than a dozen wounded. Thousands of police patrolled the streets, fearing the religious violence could escalate. More than 1,000 people were killed in three months of Hindu-Muslim rioting two years ago in Gujarat state, where the coastal town of Veraval is located.
-- From wire reports