Briefs

Arrest sparks Bin Laden hope
Nanjing Night Net

[BB] ISLAMABAD – Jubilant Pakistani officials say their capture of al-Qaeda’s presumed “number three” man will boost the hunt for Osama bin Laden, while US President George W. Bush hailed it as a crucial victory against terror.

Libbi also was Pakistan’s most-wanted man, the main suspect behind two 2003 assassination attempts against President General Pervez Musharraf, and is likely to face the death penalty in Pakistan if convicted.

PNG police want Aussie pullout

PORT MORESBY – Disgruntled police officers in Port Moresby are demanding Australian assisting police leave the country.

At a union meeting about 300 PNG police officers called for the axing of Australia’s Enhanced Cooperation Programme.

Officers at the meeting said no notable improvements had been made seen since the deployment of 150 Aussie officers late last year and that working relationships between the two forces had been poor.

Israel army kills two at protest

RAMALLAH, West Bank – Israeli troops shot and killed two Palestinian teenagers who were part of a group of stone-throwers protesting Israel’s West Bank barrier yesterday.

Military sources said soldiers opened fire after coming under a barrage of rocks in Beit Leqia, west of Ramallah, saying they first tried non-lethal means of dispersing the crowd.

US silent over Iraq contracts

WASHINGTON – The US civilian authorities in Iraq cannot properly account for nearly $130 million that was supposed to have been spent on reconstruction projects in south-central Iraq, government investigators said yesterday.

There are indications of fraud in the use of the $125 million, according to a report by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction.

A separate investigation of possible wrongdoing continues. More than $9 million of the total is unaccounted for.

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