World briefs 11/4/04

Thursday, November 4, 2004

Bin Laden accuses Bush of quagmire in Iraq

CAIRO, Egypt -- Terror mastermind Osama bin Laden claimed in new video footage broadcast Wednesday that President Bush ignored warnings against invading Iraq because he was dazzled by the country's "black gold" and ended up leading the United States into a quagmire. The tape shows bin Laden accusing Bush of acting out of what he calls "private" interests -- an allusion to Bush's past in the oil industry.

Karzai declared official winner in Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan -- Hamid Karzai was officially declared Afghanistan's first-ever popularly elected president Wednesday after a weeks-long fraud probe found no reason to overturn his landslide victory. While the U.S.-backed leader made an immediate call for unity, his closest rivals refused to concede, undermining hopes for political stability in a country racked by ethnic mistrust.

Thai schools close in fear of Muslim violence

BANGKOK, Thailand -- Violence in Thailand's Muslim-dominated south forced hundreds of schools to close Wednesday, while two lawmakers scuffled in parliament over the government's handling of a riot in the region last week that left 85 people dead. Warnings that Muslim insurgents may try to abduct Buddhist teachers and students prompted most schools in the country's three southernmost provinces to shut until at least Monday.

Hungary to withdraw troops from Iraq

BUDAPEST, Hungary -- Hungary will withdraw its 300 non-combat troops from Iraq by the end of March, the country's new prime minister said Wednesday, dealing a blow to the United States' effort to hold the Iraq multinational force together. The former communist country, which joined the European Union in May, sent the troops as part of the U.S.-led coalition, but the government has been under mounting pressure at home to pull out.

-- From wire reports

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