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Burlington, N.C., Times-News www.TheTimesNews.com Thursday, April 2, 2009 A7World
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Suspected U.S. missiles kill 14 militantsThe Associated Press
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan A suspected U.S. drone fired two missiles Wednesday at an alleged hide-out connected to a Taliban leader who has threatened to attack Wash-ington, killing 14 people and wounding several others, of-ficials said.
The attack came a day af-ter Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud claimed responsibility for a deadly attack on a police academy
in the eastern city of Lahore, saying it was retaliation for U.S. missile strikes on militant strongholds along the Afghan border. Mehsud also vowed to launch an attack on Washing-ton or even the White House in interviews.
The FBI, however, said he had made similar threats pre-viously and that there was no indication of anything immi-nent.
A local intelligence official said the compound attacked Wednesday in a remote area
of the Orakzai tribal region near the Afghan border be-longed to one of Mehsuds commanders.
Up to 30 suspected mili-tants were at the compound when it was hit, and the Tal-iban have moved the dead and injured to an undisclosed location, he said.
The strike is believed to be the first in Orakzai, another sign the U.S. is expanding its attack zone.
Since the U.S. escalated its missile campaign starting in
August, most of the estimated three dozen strikes have land-ed in the North and South Wa-ziristan tribal regions where Mehsud is strongest. How-ever, those attacks appear to have primarily focused on al-Qaida hideouts.
Mehsuds deputy Hakimul-lah Mehsud is in charge of Taliban operations in Orakzai. Late Wednesday, he called a reporter who has spoken to him before and is familiar with his voice, to threaten a revenge attack on Pakistans capital.
Leaders predict G-20 deal to fight recession
escaped with weapons
The Associated Press
LONDON Doggedly op-timistic in the face of doubts, President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown predicted Thursdays emergency G-20 economic summit would produce a sig-nificant global deal to tackle the deepening worldwide re-cession.
Others werent so sure. France warned on Wednesday that neither it nor Germany would agree to false compro-mises that soft-pedal a need for tougher financial regula-tion to curb abuses that con-tributed to the spreading cha-os. And outside the carefully scripted meetings, protesters smashed bank windows and pelted police with eggs and fruit.
Thousands surged into Lon-dons financial district, block-ading the Bank of England and breaking into a branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland. Else-where, however, inside the meetings, Obama said differ-ences among the presidents and prime ministers of the Group of 20 rich and emerg-ing countries, were vastly overstated.
I am absolutely confident that this meeting will reflect enormous consensus about the need to work in concert to deal with these problems, said Obama, who is under pressure to make a good showing in his first major in-ternational appearance.
With economic chaos spread ing, Brown, the host of the summit, predicted
agreement on a coordinated strategy, including a possible $100 billion fund to finance global trade, tighter financial rules and action to support economic growth and job cre-ation.
G-20 leaders are also in gen-eral agreement on a plan to double the money available to the International Monetary Fund, to some $500 billion, to help emerging countries.
Consensus on further mea-sures is by no means clear.
Brown initially trumpeted the gathering as a new Bret-ton Woods a new finan-cial architecture for the years ahead. But the meeting so far bears little similarity to the 1944 New Hampshire confer-ence where the eventual win-ners of World War II gathered to set postwar global mon-etary and financial order.
Washington has eased off on its push for other govern-ments to pump more money into economic stimulus pro-grams after heavy opposition from European countries, who contend their bigger so-cial safety nets make more spending unnecessary.
Germany and France have instead campaigned for tougher rules to restrain fi-nancial market excesses.
That disagreement has low-ered expectations for the Lon-don summit and weakened confidence in the worlds abil-ity to quickly pull out of the downturn.
Global trade is plummeting, protectionism is beginning to make inroads and unemploy-ment is rising.
The Associated Press
BAGHDAD At least 25 percent of the Sunni para-militaries who staged an up-rising last weekend in central Baghdad after their leader was arrested escaped with their weapons, two Iraqi security officers said Wednesday.
The rest of the estimated 250 members of the Awaken-ing Council in the Fadhil area surrendered their guns to Iraqi forces after the two-day uprising, according to the two officers, one from the army and the other from the police.
The police officer estimated up to 30 percent of the fight-ers were missing, while the army officer put the figure at 25 percent. The difference is based on confusion over the precise number of paramili-taries who took part in the uprising.
Both spoke on condition of anonymity because they werent supposed to give in-formation to media.
Awakening Councils, which the U.S. military calls Sons of Iraq, are made up of Sunnis who turned against the insur-gents and now help Iraqi secu-rity forces provide security in their neighborhoods.
Since the uprising ended Sunday, all checkpoints in Fadhil are being manned by Iraqi soldiers and police, ac-cording to residents.
The U.S. military engi-neered the rise of the Awak-ening movement and believe the paramilitaries played a major role in turning the tide in the fight against Sunni in-surgents.
But the Shiite-led govern-ment is suspicious of many Awakening groups, which include former insurgents in their ranks.
A number of Awakening Council leaders elsewhere fear the crackdown in Fadhil is part of a government move to sideline them. They point to a string of arrests and assassi-nations of Awakening Coun-cil members over the last six months.
The police spokesman in Babil province south of Bagh-dad, Maj. Muthanna Khalid, said 12 Awakening members had been slain in the prov-ince since the beginning of the year. He said most were victims of tribal disputes, but he didnt elaborate.