Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

WORLD/NATION [Derived Headline]

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

WORLD/NATION [Derived Headline]

Article excerpt

WORLD

Afghan kills 9 fellow militia members

KHOST, Afghanistan -- A member of an Afghan militia promoted by the U.S. military to protect rural villages drugged his colleagues and killed at least nine of them as they slept today, the third deadly episode involving the irregular guard force in March.

Today's killings took place at a small local police command post in Paktika province, an area of eastern Afghanistan thick with Taliban and allied insurgents.

The assailant, identified as Assadullah, who like many Afghans goes by a single name, had on Thursday night laced food being served at the post with crushed sleeping pills, said Dawlat Khan Zadran, the police chief of Paktika. The assailant then waited a few hours for the drugs to kick in, and sometime after midnight turned his AK- 47 assault rifle on his fellow local police.

Fresh clashes erupt in Syria

BEIRUT -- Fresh clashes between Syrian soldiers and rebels erupted across many parts of Syria today as U.N. envoy Kofi Annan urged the government to lay down its weapons first to immediately end the nation's yearlong crisis.

Syrian President Bashar Assad accepted a peace plan brokered by Mr. Annan earlier this week, but the bloodshed has persisted despite calls for a cease-fire. The opposition is deeply skeptical Mr. Assad will carry out Mr. Annan's peace plan, saying the president has accepted it just to win time while his forces continue their bloody campaign to crush the uprising.

Myanmar prepares for elections

YANGON, Myanmar -- Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi said today that Myanmar's landmark weekend elections will be neither free nor fair because of widespread irregularities, but vowed to continue her candidacy for the sake of the long-repressed nation.

Ms. Suu Kyi said opposition candidates had been targeted in stone- throwing incidents, campaign posters vandalized and members of her party intimidated during the run-up to Sunday's closely-watched parliamentary by-elections.

During a news conference on the lawn of her crumbling lakeside residence in Yangon, the 66-year-old Nobel Peace Prize laureate said government officials were involved in some of the irregularities and that they go "beyond what is acceptable for democratic elections. …

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