Sunday, June 04, 2006

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - The Palestinian standoff intensified Sunday after Hamas rejected an ultimatum and a pregnant woman was killed during a clash between the rivals' forces in Gaza. Group spokesman Abu Qusai told The Associated Press that if no agreement is reached over the Hamas militia, "we will have to take to the streets." Three bystanders were killed in a clash between Fatah and Hamas forces, and relatives of the dead gathered at the hospital where the bodies were taken and shouted anti-Hamas slogans. Masked gunmen stopped two minivans carrying students north of Baghdad Sunday, ordered the passengers off, separated Shiites from Sunni Arabs, and killed the 21 Shiites "in the name of Islam," a witness said. Violence linked to Shiite and Sunni Arab animosity has grown increasingly worse since Feb. 22, when bombs ravaged the golden dome of a revered Shiite mosque in predominantly Sunni Arab Samarra. Two of the victims were high school students, ages 17 and 18, and nine were students at al-Yarmouk University in Baqouba, ages 21-22, said Qara Tappah's mayor, Serwan Shokir. In other violence Sunday, according to police: Gunmen in a car opened fire on a minibus carrying telecommunications workers to an area near the Shiite slum of Sadr City, killing four and wounding two. Police found 16 bullet-riddled bodies in Baghdad and four in the city of Tikrit, north of the capital. Gunmen in Tikrit killed three police officers and wounded two others at a checkpoint. Gunmen broke into the home of an Iraqi army soldier, killing him, his two brothers and father and wounding his mother. Two gunmen on a motorcycle killed Muntaha Ali and her husband Helmi Yaseen in Basra, believed to be employees of a U.S. government agency. Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Sunday that Western accusations Iran seeks nuclear weapons are a "sheer lie," and he declared that attempts to punish Tehran would jeopardize the world's oil supply. Khamenei said Iran was not a threat to any country. However, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad repeatedly has questioned Israel's ight to exist and said in October the Jewish state should be "wiped off the map." Israel is believed to possess the world's sixth-largest nuclear arsenal. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also gave the United States a strong warning that any "mistake" in its dealings with oil-rich Iran would lead to consequences for global energy supplies. "We have achieved a lot of scientific goals," Khamenei said in a speech marking the 17th anniversary of the death of Iran's Islamic revolutionary leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. "They accuse us of developing nuclear bombs. This is an absurd lie. We do not need nuclear weapons and bombs. We don't have any target to use them on. Using nuclear weapons is against Islamic rules," he said. Vandals smashed 30 windows of a Toronto mosque and damaged nearby cars after the arrest of 17 suspected al Qaeda sympathizers accused of planning bomb attacks. Canadian Muslims expressed fear on Sunday that a backlash had begun. Family and supporters said the allegations were motivated by suspicion toward Muslims. "It's going to come down to nothing, that I'm sure of," said Mohammed Abdelhaleen, whose son Shareef is among the accused. "I'm suggesting there to be no foundation, for any of them. They are playing a political game." Police said the group had acquired three tonnes of ammonium nitrate -- triple the amount used in the Oklahoma City bombing. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service said the men had become "adherents of a violent ideology inspired by al Qaeda." Canadian police foiled a homegrown terrorist attack by arresting 17 suspects, apparently inspired by al-Qaida, who obtained three times the amount of an explosive ingredient used in the Oklahoma City bombing, officials said Saturday. The adult suspects from Toronto are Chand, alias Abdul Shakur, 25; Fahim Ahmad, 21; Jahmaal James, 23; and Asin Mohamed Durrani, 19. Those from Mississauga are Ghany; Abdelhaleen; Zakaria Amara, 20; Asad Ansari, 21; Saad Khalid, 19; and Qayyum Abdul Jamal, 43.Mohammed Dirie, 22, and Yasim Abdi Mohamed, 24, are from Kingston.

(HEY, nice pseudo-religion you boys are playing with. Muslims...yeah right.)

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