The Hays Daily News from Hays, Kansas on June 15, 2006 · Page 9
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The Hays Daily News from Hays, Kansas · Page 9

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Thursday, June 15, 2006
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THURSDAY, JUNE 15,2006 iHTtRWmONAL THE HAYS DAILY NEWS A9 Document a blueprint for war ALLAUDDIN / Associated Press An Afghan security officer stands guard near the wreckage of a minibus following an explosion today In Kandahar, Afghanistan. Coalition forces launch anti-Taliban push MUSA QALA, Afghanistan (AP) — More than 10,000 Afghan and U.S.-led coalition forces began a massive anti-Taliban operation across southern Afghanistan today, while a bomb killed seven people riding a bus to a coalition base for work. Military forces are "moving forward with large-scale operations" in four southern provinces, Uruzgan, Helmand, Kandahar and Zabul, the U.S. military said in a statement. It is the largest offensive since the 2001 invasion that toppled the Taliban regime. As the offensive began, however, suspected militants continued their attacks. A bomb hidden in a bus headed to a coalition base in southern Kandahar city exploded during morning rush hour, killing seven people and injuring 17, coalition officials and the Interior Ministry said. Afghan police initially said 10 people were killed. Coalition spokesman Maj. Quentin Innis blamed the attack on Taliban militants and said it clearly targeted Afghans working for the coalition. Among the dead were interpreters and workers for the air base, Afghan officials said. "It's the first tune Afghans working here have been deliberately targeted by the Taliban. These are local guys trying to support their families," he said. The military offensive, dubbed "Operation Mountain Thrust," is part of a major push to squeeze Taliban fighters responsible for a spate of ambushes and suicide attacks against coalition forces and Afghan authorities in recent months. The operation was' also timed to coincide with the upcoming transfer this summer of command in the south from the U.S.- led coalition to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force. "There is no scheduled end date to Mountain Thrust. The Coalition will continue operations well into the summer and until objectives are met," the statement said. The offensive is focused on southern Uruzgan and northeastern Helmand provinces, where the military says most of the militant forces have gathered. Oper- ations also will be conducted in the former Taliban stronghold of Kandahar and Zabul. Troops on Wednesday built sand barriers and guard outposts around a small forward operating base in the Helmand district of Musa Qala, while others fired rounds from 119-millimeter howitzers deployed to the base's perimeter into the vast desert expanse. "We do it so they know it's here and they know it could be pretty bad for them," said Lt. Col. Chris Toner, commanding officer at the base located 180 miles from the nearest permanent base in Kandahar. "This terrain up here favors the defender. I'm sure they know how many vehicles we have here, that we have artillery here, but that's OK — I know what they know." Limited operations began May 15 with attacks on Taliban command and control and support networks. According to U.S. military and Afghan figures, about 550 people, mostly militants, have been killed since mid-May, along with at least nine coalition troops. Al-Qaida in Iraq wanted conflict between U.S., Iran, Iraqi officials say BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) — A blueprint for trying to start a war between the United States and Iran was among a "huge treasure" of documents found in the hideout of terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Iraqi officials said today. The document, purporting to reflect al-Qaida policy and its cooperation with groups loyal to ousted President Saddam Hussein, also appear to show that the insurgency in Iraq was weakening. The al-Qaida in Iraq document was translated and released by Iraqi National Security Adviser Mouwafak al-Rubaie. There was no way to independently confirm the authenticity of the information attributed to al-Qaida. Although the office of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said the document was found in al-Zar- qawi's hideout following a June 7 airstrike that killed him, U.S. military spokesman Maj. Gen. William Caldwell said the document had in fact been found in a previous raid as part of an ongoing three-week operation to track al-Zarqawi. "We can verify that this information did come off some kind of computer asset that was at a safe location," he said. "This was prior to the al-Zarqawi safe house." The document also said al-Zar- qawi planned to try to destroy the relationship between the United States and its Shiite allies in Iraq. While the coalition was continuing to suffer human losses, "time is now beginning to be of service to the American forces and harmful to the resistance," the document said. The document said the insurgency was being hurt by, among other things, the U.S. military's program to train Iraqi security forces, by massive arrests and seizures of weapons, by tightening the militants' financial outlets, and by creating divisions within its ranks. "Generally speaking and despite the gloomy present situa- U.S. MIUIMIY SUITS mmmtfts ar HMDS CMMII Or SINCE W-ZMQMfl'S DEATH • ... ... , •• . h'-l>n"1" •'' Sri Lankan air force bombs rebel-held areas KABITHIGOLLEWA, Sri Lanka (AP) — A powerful land mine ripped through a packed bus in northern Sri Lanka today, killing at least 64 people hi the worst act of violence since a 2002 cease- fire. Sri Lanka's ah 1 force responded by bombing rebel-held areas in the northeast. The government'blamed the Tamil Tiger rebels for blowing up the bus — crowded with commuters and schoolchildren — but the rebels strongly denied responsibility. Today's violence came during nearly a year of renewed fighting • that began with last summer's assassination of Sri Lanka's foreign minister. With the cease-fire already shaky, the explosion has brought the fractured country even closer to full-scale war. Mexico grapples with wave of drug violence MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican lawmakers are working to revive their bill decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana, cocaine and heroin, and hope to override a veto if necessary, saying the reform will Briefs i'-/ maili Mlllli, 110 \\ help curb drug-related violence that has killed more than 600 people this year. President Vicente Fox called on Congress to drop decriminalization from the drug-law overhaul after intense lobbying from the U.S. State Department and mayors of several U.S. border cities, who called it a disaster that would encourage hordes of young Americans to cross the border for "drug tourism." Mexico's Roman Catholic Church also opposes it. With the July 2 election looming and lawmakers limited to one term, any reform could be stalled until after a new president is inaugurated in December. Hamas ready to restore cease-fire with Israel GAZA CCTY, Gaza Strip (AP) — The Islamic militant group Hamas said today it Is ready to restore its cease-fire with Israel several days after calling it off to protest a deadly explosion on a Gaza beach. But Ghazi Hamad, spokesman for the Hamas-led Palestinian government, said the offer was conditional on Israel accepting the Palestinians' demand "to stop their aggression." "This is very clear for us. We are interested to keep the situa- BAGHDAD,Iraq(AP)American and Iraqi forces have carried out 452 raids since last week's killing of terrorist leader Abu Musab al- Zarqawi, and 104 insurgents were killed during those actions, the U.S. military said today. Maj. Gen. William Caldwell, a U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad, said the raids were carried out nationwide and led to the discovery of 28 significant arms caches. He said 255 of the raids were joint operations, while 143 were carried out by Iraqi forces alone. The raids also resulted hi the captures of 759 "anti-Iraqi elements." tion, we find that the best solution in order to get out of this crisis is to involve the U.S. forces in waging a war against another country or any hostile groups," the document said, as quoted by al-Maliki's office. According to the summary, insurgents were being weakened by operations against them and by their failure to attract recruits. To give new impetus to the insurgency, they would have to change tactics, it added. "We mean specifically attempting to escalate the tension between America and Iran, and American and the Shiite in . Iraq," it quoted the documents as saying, especially among moderate followers of Grand Ayatollah All al-Sistani, the most influential Shiite cleric in Iraq. "Creating disputes between America and them could hinder the U.S. cooperation with them, and subsequently weaken this kind of alliance between Shiites and the Americans," it said, adding that "the best solution is to get America involved in a war against another country and this would bring benefits." They included "opening a new front" for the U.S. military and releasing some of the "pressure r«.'\nv« l *'' r i •" J* Iraqi police reported more violence near where al-Zar- qawi was killed June 7 by a U.S. airstrike. Gunmen shot and killed 10 Shiites today after pulling them off a bus in Baqouba, 35 miles northeast of Baghdad. The 10 men — nine workers at the city's industrial area and the driver — were between the ages of 20 and 45 and were heading back to their homes, a police officer said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. The workers include three brothers and six other relatives. The gunmen sped away in two black Opel sedans, the officer said. exerted on the resistance." It pointed to clashes in 2004 between U.S. forces and followers of radical anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi army militia as evidence of the benefits of such a strategy. Al- Sadr and his growing followers are among the fiercest advocates of a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. It said the "results obtained during the struggle between U.S. army and al-Mahdi army is an example of the benefits to be gained by such struggle." Al-Maliki's office said the document provides "the broad guidelines of the program of the Sad- damists and the takfiris inside al-Zarqawi's group." "Takfiri" is a reference to an extremist ideology that urges Muslims to kill anyone they consider an infidel, even fellow Muslims. It is the ideology that many Iraqis, especially in the Shiite community, use to describe al- Zarqawi and his followers. The language contained in the document was different from the vocabulary used by al-Qaida statements posted on the Web. For example, it does not refer to the Americans as "Crusaders" nor use the term "rejectionists" to allude to Shiites. tion and quit, especially in the Gaza Strip," Hamad said. "We are ready to do it, but (only) if the Israeli side has a strong intention to respond positively to the call... to stop their aggression." Hamas called an end to the February 2005 truce Friday after eight Palestinian beachgoers were killed in an explosion the Palestinians blame on Israel. The Israeli army says it was not involved in the blast. More than 40 bombs rattle Thailand's restive south BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) — Suspected Muslim insurgents exploded more than 40 bombs in attacks on government offices across Thailand's restive south today, killing at least two people as the deputy prime minister visited the region, officials said. At least 16 people were injured in the blasts, most of which went off between 8:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. as people headed to work in the three Muslim-majority provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala, said Yala Governor Boonyasit Suwanarat. Regional police chief Lt. Gen. Adul Saengsingkaew said bombs had exploded at 41 locations in the three provinces. r, V <f Bring dad in on Father's Day for all his Backyard BBQ favorites, including APPLEWOOP-SmOKEP SIRLOIN Piters, CHICKEN FR1EP STEAKS, SPARE RIBS, PORK CHOPS, A/MP STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE ALL POR aU$T J9.99/ Plus a FREE Grill Give-Away! " ..... "' "" ' corral 383 Mopar Drive, Hays Monday-Saturday: 9:30am - 10;30pm Sunday: Noon ~ 10:30pm * 1207 Vine Street Keller galleries * " 1400 East 8th 628-1048 Hay», KS

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