U.S. Military Identifies New Al Qaeda Leader

IRAQ NEWS

U.S. Identifies al-Zarqawi's Successor

The U.S. military said Thursday the man claiming to be the new al-Qaida in Iraq leader succeeding Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is Abu Ayyub al-Masri, an Egyptian with ties to Osama bin Laden's deputy. (AP)

Military Deaths In Iraq Hit 2,500

The number of U.S. military deaths in Iraq has reached 2,500, the Pentagon said on Thursday, underscoring warnings that the killing of al Qaeda's leader in the country would not end relentless violence. (Reuters)

Seized Documents Deal Blow to Al Qaeda: Iraq Official

Security forces have seized Al Qaeda in Iraq documents giving key information about the militant group's network and the whereabouts of its leaders, the country's national security adviser said on Thursday. (Khaleej Times)

AFGHANISTAN

Afghan Forces Launch Anti-Taliban Push

More than 10,000 Afghan and U.S.-led coalition forces began a massive anti-Taliban operation across southern Afghanistan on Thursday, while a bomb killed seven people riding a bus to a coalition base for work. (AP)

Taleban Target Afghan Civilians

The Taleban say they have carried out a bomb attack on a minibus in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar which killed at least 10 people. (BBC)

IRAN NUCLEAR

Nuclear Standoff: Iran's President Seeks Chinese, Russian Support

Iran's hard-line president is doing more than just attending an Asian security summit in China: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad seeks to gain Russian and Chinese support at a critical moment for his country's nuclear program. (AP)

'Iran Will Not Bow To UN Pressure'

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said his country will not yield to pressure from the West. (ITV News)

SRI LANKA

Bus Attack Pushes Sri Lanka Closer to War

A powerful land mine ripped through a packed bus in northern Sri Lanka on Thursday, killing at least 64 people in the worst act of violence since a 2002 cease-fire. Sri Lanka's air force responded by bombing rebel-held areas in the northeast. (AP)

FRANCE

French Court Jails 25 for Terror Links

A French court handed down prison terms ranging from six months to 10 years yesterday on 25 Islamic radicals convicted of planning to carry out attacks on the Eiffel Tower and other targets in Paris. (Gulf Times)

GAZA BEACH BLAST

PA Urges UN to Probe Beach Slaughter

The Palestinian Authority called Wednesday on the United Nations to launch its own investigation into the death of eight civilians at a beach picnic in the Gaza Strip. (Daily Star)

LEBANON

Brammertz Suspects Hariri Blast Linked to 14 Bombings

The UN probe chief into the assassination of former Premier Rafik Hariri briefed the Security Council on his latest progress report, saying there is a potential link between Hariri's murder and 14 other blasts and killings of anti-Syrian Lebanese figures. (Daily Star)

NGOs Band Together To Call for Careful Study of Mass Graves

A coalition of NGOs called on the Lebanese government Monday to dig up all the unmarked mass graves in the country and conduct serious investigations to determine whether the bodies belong to some of the 17,000 Lebanese citizens missing since the Civil War. (Daily Star)

PAKISTAN/AFGHANISTAN

Hunt On For Acid-Soaked Ginger

Pakistani authorities raided warehouses in the capital Islamabad yesterday, hunting for ginger that traders were suspected to have soaked in acid to improve its appearance and increase its weight. (Gulf Times)

SOMALIA

Islamic Militia Targets More Towns in Somalia

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