In Brief

IN BRIEF

July 01, 2009

Car bomb kills at least 27 in crowded Iraq market

BAGHDAD - A car bomb exploded in a crowded outdoor market in the northern city of Kirkuk on Tuesday, killing at least 27 people, police said, a deadly reminder of the challenges facing the Iraqi government even as it celebrated the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from cities. The bombing marred what had otherwise been a festive day as Iraqis commemorated the newly declared National Sovereignty Day. It also came hours after four U.S. soldiers were killed in combat Monday in Baghdad.

Taliban militants reject peace deal with Pakistan

MIR ALI, Pakistan - Taliban militants in a tribal region bordering Afghanistan say they have pulled out of a peace deal with the government, raising the prospect of wider unrest as the Pakistani army extends its efforts to eliminate insurgents. The militants in North Waziristan blamed continuing U.S. missile strikes and army offensives against the Taliban for their decision, which was announced in the wake of a Taliban ambush that killed 16 soldiers. Separately, a car bombing Tuesday struck trucks taking supplies to Western troops in Afghanistan, killing four people in Pakistan's southwest.

France reportedly urged Israel to fire top diplomat

JERUSALEM - French President Nicolas Sarkozy urged the Israeli prime minister to fire his foreign minister - a hard-liner whose party tried to force Israelis to take a loyalty oath, two senior Israeli officials said Tuesday. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's appointment has been ill-received internationally because of his hard-line positions on peace and Israel's Arab population, among other issues. But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, addressing EU ambassadors on Tuesday, expressed "full confidence" in the country's chief diplomat.

U.S. says North Korean ship has turned around

WASHINGTON - U.S. officials said Tuesday that a North Korean ship has turned around and is headed back toward the north where it came from, after being tracked for more than a week by U.S. Navy vessels on suspicion of carrying illegal weapons. The move keeps the U.S. and the rest of the international community guessing as to the destination of the Kang Nam and whether its cargo include materials banned by a new U.N. anti-proliferation resolution.

7 teens shot, two critically, outside Detroit school

DETROIT- Gunmen in a green minivan opened fire on a group of teenagers waiting at a bus stop near a Detroit school on Tuesday, wounding seven, including two who were in critical condition, authorities said. Five of the teens had just left Cody Ninth Grade Academy, where they were taking summer classes, when they were shot at the nearby bus stop. Four boys and three girls ranging from 14 to 17 years old were hospitalized.

- From Sun News Services

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