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[VOA] 【整理】VOA 2008-02-25

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I am Susan Yankee, from the VOA news center in Washington.

 

Iraqi police say a suicide bomber has killed at least 40 people in an attack on pilgrims heading to one of Shiite Islam's holiest gatherings. Police say at least 20 other people were wounded in an attack in Iskandariyah today south of Baghdad. Earlier in the day, Shiite pilgrims in Baghdad were attacked with explosives and gun fires. At least 3 people were killed and 36 others wounded. Pilgrims were heading south toward Karbala to commemorate Arbaeen in the 40's day following the anniversary of martyrdom 13 centuries ago of the Prophet Muhammad's grandson. Millions of pilgrims are expected in Karbala this week.

 

Turkish military says 80 of its troops have died in one of its helicopter's crash in an offensive against Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq. It's nuclear whether the 80 soldiers were aboard the helicopter when down near the Turkish-Iraqi border today. Kurdish PKK rebels earlier claimed responsibility for shooting down the helicopter in the area. The Turkish military says the latest casualties raised its death toll to 15 since troops launched ground operation against PKK rebels in Iraq last Thursday. Rebels say they have killed at least 20 Turkish soldiers. The Kurdish regional government of Iraq has warned Turkey not to target civilian areas during its campaign. Daniel Shock reports from northern Iraqi city of Ibil.

 

The president of Iraq-Kurdistan M B issued a statement Saturday, warning of Turkish forces targeting civilians and damaging any civilian infrastructure, they will face large scale resistance. Mr. B said its Kurdish security forces called the Pashimigue will not interfere in Turkey's fight against Kurdish rebels inside Iraq. Media reports on the weekend say the Pashimigue force some Turkey soldiers to return to their bases after they stretch too far into Iraq. However, Pashimigue spokeman J Y denies there was any face-off between Kurdish and Turkish troops. Y says there has been no communication between Pashimigue and Turkish troops. He says there are Pashimigue in the area of conflict, only Turkish soldiers and PKK fighters, so there are not problems between Turkish and Pashimigue forces. So far there are no reports of civilian casualties. But Iraqi Foreign Minister H S said Saturday the Turkish military has destroyed five bridges near the Turkish border despite promises to avoid such damage. Daniel Shock for VOA news, Ibil.

 

Cuba's National Assembly is meeting today to choose the successor to Fidel Castro who has ruled the Caribbean nation, seizing power in the communist revolution 50 years ago. Illness forced Mr. Cast to hand power over to his younger brother Raul in 2006 and the 81 year old president announced his resignation on Tuesday.

 

United Nations has reported new air strikes in west Darfur as China's special envoy on the Darfur issue began its visit to Sudan. The joint UN-African Union peace keeping mission in Darfur said today that it received reports of aerial bombings in J M area. It said it's gravely concerned for the safety of thousands of civilians in the area.

 

The UNHCR says a comprehensive solution has found and that would enable 280,000 Burundian refugees who fled to Tanzania in 1972 to end their link of exile and begin new lives either in Tanzania or Burundi. From UNHCR headquarters in Geneva, Lisa Shiline reports.

 

Under the new program, Burundian refugees in Tanzania will be given the choice of repatriation or citizenship in Tanzania. 280,000 refugees have been living in the state of Limbell in three settlements in Tanzania for the past 35 years. They could neither lay down permanent routes in Tanzania nor go back the country they had fled so many years ago. UN refuge spokesman U M tells VOA a breakthrough to this intractable problem came late last year. He says Tanzania which has decided to close the old settlements worked with Burundi to find the last solution for the refugees. M says 172,000 refugees had opted to remain in Tanzania and become citizens. This makes sense, he says, since most of these people were born in Tanzanian and many others suspend most of their lives there. Lisa Shiline for VOA news, Geneva.

 

 

Pakistan's Taliban militants say they are willing to talk with parties expected to form the country's new government, but only if military operations against militants and terrorists end in the tribal regions. Taliban spokesman made the statement during telephone calls with news agencies today.

 

 I am Susan Yankee, VOA news on website at voanews.com.

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