Where conflict rages
By TIMES WIRES
Published May 21, 2007
Israel's air force fired a missile at a house in Gaza City late Sunday, killing at least eight people, officials said. The strike followed a decision to step up attacks against Islamic militants in response to rocket fire from Gaza. Israeli air attacks on militant targets earlier in the day killed another three Palestinians. Residents said the house belonged to Hamas lawmaker Khalil al-Haya, and six of the dead were members of his family. Haya was not at home, they said. "This escalation is very serious, " said Fawzi Barhoum, a Hamas spokesman. "All options are open" for responding to this. Despite a sixth day of strikes, Gaza militants fired at least 12 rockets at southern Israel, causing no serious injuries. Three people, including at least one Hamas militant, were also killed earlier Sunday in an airstrike on a car.
Bombs killed seven U.S. soldiers, the U.S. military said Sunday. Six soldiers died Saturday in a bombing in western Baghdad, along with their interpreter. The other soldier died in a blast Saturday in Diwaniyah, a mostly Shiite city 80 miles south of the capital. Those deaths brought the number of American troops killed in Iraq since Friday to at least 15. At least 71 U.S. service members have died in Iraq this month.
In other developments:
- At least 55 people were killed or found dead Sunday, including 24 slain execution-style in Baghdad.
- A suicide bomber exploded a tanker truck near an Iraqi police checkpoint west of Baghdad, killing at least two officers, police said.
- A bomb planted under a parked car exploded in central Baghdad, police said, killing two civilians.
- A U.S. spokesman on Sunday confirmed that troops had killed Shiite extremist Azhar al-Duleimi, believed to have masterminded a January attack in Karbala in which four U.S. soldiers were killed by English-speaking people with U.S. Army uniforms and weapons.
A new front in Lebanon's simmering political conflict erupted Sunday in the northern city of Tripoli, where running battles between the Lebanese army and a radical new Palestinian organization said to have ties to al-Qaida killed at least 39 people. In the worst internal fighting since the end of Lebanon's civil war 17 years ago, the army battled militants throughout the day in the streets of the port city and on the edges of the Palestinian refugee camp Nahr el-Bared, which late last year fell under the control of the radical group Fateh al-Islam. The fighting started when Lebanese soldiers pursued a group of men suspected of involvement in an overnight bank robbery to a Tripoli apartment building that turned out to be occupied by dozens of Fateh al-Islam fighters. As the army laid siege to the building, militants broke out of the nearby refugee camp and attacked army positions around it, seizing at least one position and prompting the army to open fire on the camp with tanks and artillery. By nightfall, the violence appeared to have subsided and the army had restored control.
A suicide bomber apparently targeting a U.S. convoy killed 14 people and wounded 31 in a crowded eastern Afghan market Sunday, witnesses and officials said. The explosion in the city of Gardez came after the target convoy had passed. Violence has increased sharply in the last several weeks. More than 1, 600 people have been killed in insurgency-related violence this year, according to an AP count.