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Fighting terror

U.S. forces kill suspect in aid worker's death

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 24, 2003


BAGRAM, Afghanistan -- U.S. Special Forces believe they have killed the man who shot to death a Red Cross worker last month in southern Afghanistan, an army spokesman said Wednesday.

Special Forces soldiers launched an operation Monday aimed at capturing those responsible for killing Ricardo Munguia in March on a road in southern Helmand province, Lt. Col. Doug Lefforge said.

"We believe we have killed the assassin that attacked the ICRC worker," Lefforge said from Bagram Air Base, the U.S. military headquarters north of Kabul.

The International Committee of the Red Cross distanced itself from the military operation, saying it "did not work alongside coalition or Afghan forces . . . nor did it receive specific information regarding ongoing coalition-led military operations in southern Afghanistan.

Lefforge said Special Forces killed the suspected triggerman during the night raid in southern Afghanistan on Monday after he fired on them. U.S. soldiers detained seven other people in the raid, some of whom are believed to have been involved in the killing, Lefforge said.

"Now that we have these people, we can verify which group they're from," Lefforge said. "They are still being interrogated."

Also . . .

KARZAI WANTS SUSPECTS RETURNED: Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai asked Pakistan on Wednesday to hand over Taliban figures that it accuses of being terrorists and that it says are being sheltered in Pakistan. In a meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali, Karzai identified specific Taliban commanders whom he said were guilty of war crimes.

HUMAN RIGHTS GROUP WANTS PRISONERS RELEASED OR CHARGED: Amnesty International urged the United States on Wednesday to release or charge three minors who are being held in the U.S. detention camp for terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The military has not provided exact ages, confirming only that the three are 16 or younger.

"The detention of children in these circumstances is particularly repugnant and flouts basic principles for the protection of children under international law," said William Schulz, executive director of Amnesty International USA.

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