Elbowed out of the headlines by North Korea’s nuclear test, U.N. peacekeeping forces have continued to expand their presence in southern Lebanon in an atmosphere that is both nervous and uneventful, according to official reports from the area Monday. Troops from Italy, France, Germany, Spain, and other European countries have been arriving in Lebanon since early September, and taking up positions in the south alongside the Lebanese army. Their role is to ensure observance of the mid-August cease-fire that ended the 34 days of fierce fighting between Israel and Hezbollah fighters. With Iran defying admonitions by the U.N. Security Council [...]
KARACHI, Pakistan – The status of Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti, the octogenarian chieftain of a tribe in the restive southwestern province of Balochistan, almost reached the mythical this summer when a late-August operation by the Pakistani military resulted in his death in a cave in the mountains of Dera Bugti. Government officials moved swiftly to bury him quietly and suppress any news of the follies committed during the military operation, which occurred amid nationwide protests and deadly violence in Balochistan. Ten people had already died in bomb blasts, attacks and clashes with police during August, following a year of pitched [...]
As Threat of Regional Conflict Grows, a Critical Moment for Somalia
“From today, I am declaring jihad against Ethiopia which has invaded our country and taken parts of our homeland.” The words of Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, leader of the Islamic Council that now controls much of Somalia, on Oct. 9. He was reacting to the seizure of a town by the Council’s opponents — reportedly alongside Ethiopian troops. It was the latest broadside in a rapidly escalating war of words — and sometimes of weapons — involving Somalia’s Islamists, the beleaguered transitional government and regional states. At stake: whether Somalia will become the battleground for a wider war, a new [...]
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