Al-Qaida seeks support
Members of al-Qaida’s branch in Iraq handed out pamphlets in Fallujah on Thursday, urging people to take up arms and back them in their weekslong fight against government troops for control of the city. While the militants battled Iraqi security forces in and around Fallujah and Ramadi, police outside the capital, Baghdad, found the bullet-riddled bodies of 14 Sunni men who had been abducted from a funeral by gunmen wearing military uniforms.
South rejects proposal
South Korea rejected North Korea’s offer to take a series of steps to ease tension that included canceling Seoul’s regular military drills with Washington, saying today that Pyongyang must take nuclear disarmament steps first. The North’s National Defense Commission on Thursday proposed the rivals halt military actions and mutual vilification to improve relations. The North, however, hinted it would maintain its nuclear weapons program and urged South Korea to cancel its upcoming drills with the United States.
Supplies enter regions
The Syrian government allowed supplies to enter two contested front-line areas near the capital, a relief official said Thursday. Activists said the death toll from two weeks of infighting in the north between rebel forces and an al-Qaida-linked group climbed to more than 1,000 people. The head of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, Khaled Iriqsousi, said the supplies could feed 10,000 people for a month.
Woman runs district
She wears a black headscarf instead of a cap. But otherwise Col. Jamila Bayaz looks like any other district police chief in Afghanistan as she reviews checkpoints in the center of Kabul. Bayaz, 50, is the first woman to be promoted to run an entire district — the highest front-line appointment for an Afghan policewoman. With just two days on the job, she said she feels up to the challenge despite the threat as policewomen are among the Taliban’s top targets. “I am ready to serve, I am not scared nor am I afraid,” she said.
Compiled from wire reports.