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【整理】SENEWS-2004-0805-1530

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It is 15:30 Universal Time. I'm Steve Ember in Washington.

One American solider and five Iraqis have been killed in fighting in southern Iraq. British and American forces are clashing with supporters of Shiite Muslim religious leader Muqtada al-Sadr in the city of Najaf. One United States military helicopter has been shot down. American officials say the two wounded crewmembers were rescued. Local officials in Najaf requested help from the Marines after supporters of Muqtada al-Sadr twice attacked the city's main police station. In the city of Basra, at least two Sadr fighters were killed in a gun battle with British troops. Also a car bomb explosion has killed at least five people and wounded more than 20 others outside a police station south of Baghdad.

In Yemen, officials say about 50 people were killed and many more wounded in fighting between security forces and supporters of a rebel Muslim religious leader. Military officials say government troops launched a new offensive late Tuesday against forces loyal to Hussein al-Houthi. The new military effort came after surrender negotiations failed. The two sides have been clashing for several weeks in the northwestern Saada province. The government has accused cleric Hussein al-Houthi of starting illegal religious centers and inciting hatred against America in the mosque. Yemen has also offered a cash award for information leading to his arrest.

The Pakistani military says an army helicopter has crashed in the country's northeastern tribal area. All 13 people traveling in the helicopter were killed. A military spokesman says the pilot reported a technical problem before the crash. He also reportedly told airport traffic control officials that he would attempt an emergency landing. The helicopter crashed about 200 kilometers from the south Waziristan tribal area. The Pakistan military has made repeated raids in the area in an effort to capture al-Qaeda and Taliban linked fighters.

In Indian Kashmir, police say at least 9 members of an armed group were killed during an overnight raid on security forces in Srinaga. Police say Muslim militants threw hand bombs and fired machine guns at a camp used by the troops. Four soldiers were reportedly wounded in the raid. Police say they suspect the attackers planed to die during the incident and Indian news agency reports that a caller claiming to represent two Pakistani groups took responsibility for the attack.

Indian and Pakistani officials are holding talks in New Delhi aimed at easing military tensions along the Siachen Glacier in Kashmir. The IC Glacier is more than 6,000 meters above sea level. Islamabad television reports both sides generally agree their troops should be withdrawn from the area. Reports also say the troops could be moved to positions held before 1972. On Wednesday, Indian and Pakistani officials ended other talks with an agreement to develop more cultural, religious and educational links. The two sides are holding meetings to prepare for talks between their Foreign Ministers in early September.

You are listening to the news in VOA Special English.

Police in the Philippines say a second reporter has been killed in the country within a week. Officials say radio and newspaper reporter Alno Manano was shot early Thursday about 80 kilometers south of Manila. He was later declared dead at a hospital. No arrests have been made and police would not say if the killing was linked to Mr. Manono's work. His death comes five days after a Philippine radio broadcaster was shot in the north of the country. The Committee to Protect Journalist says at least 43 reporters have been killed in the Philippines since 1986. The group says no one has been charged or tried for the deaths.

Heavy rains have flooded areas of northern and western India. At least 21 people have died. Flood control officials say rising waters destroyed homes and caused electric problems in Gujart and Maharasdra states. And in eastern Behi state, police fired on the crowd demanding food and medicine. At least one person was killed. In Bangladesh, heavy floods have left 20 million people in need of food, shelter and medical aid. Floods in South Asia this year so far have killed more than 1,800 people.

United States officials have arrested two leaders of a Muslim religious center in Albany, New York. Government agents raided the center late Wednesday. Officials say the two Muslims attempted to make false financial records for someone they thought was a terrorist. However, law enforcement officials say that person was a secret federal agent who acted like he wanted to buy a hand-launched missile. One of the suspects is Yassin M. Aref, the Muslim clergyman who heads the Masjid As-Salam mosque. The other suspect is Mohammad Musharraf Hossain who started the Muslim religious center. Officials say the arrests are not linked to the government's new terror warnings for financial centers in Washington, New York and New Jersey.

And in Kenya, parliament has approved the first head of a new committee to fight government wrongdoing. The National Assembly voted late Wednesday to approve the appointment of appeals court judge Erin Ringava. He led an investigation last year that found almost half of Kenya's judges were dishonest. Some members of the political opposition have complained the judge Ringava is too close to the government to operate with fairness. The top aid givers for Kenya believe President Mwai Kibaki 's administration has not done enough to honor its guarantee to end government wrongdoing.

And now briefly, here again is the major news of the hour in Special English.

One American soldier and five Iraqis have been killed in fighting in southern Iraq. British and American forces are clashing with supporters of Shiite Muslim religious leader Muqtada al-Sadr in the city of Najaf. One United States military helicopter has been shot down. Yemeni officials say about 50 people were killed in fighting between security forces and supporters of a rebel Muslim religious leader. And in the Philippines, police say a second reporter has been killed in the country within a week.

That's the news in VOA Special English. From Washington, this has been Steve Ember reporting.
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