Middle Orient

Annan says to mediate between Israel, Hizbollah for release of 2 soldiers

BEIRUT (Reuters) — UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said on Monday he would appoint a secret negotiator to mediate between Israel and Hizbollah for the release of two Israeli soldiers captured in July. But Israeli officials said Annan’s role was to secure the release of the soldiers demanded by a …

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Olmert shelves West Bank pullout

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert backed away Monday from the unilateral West Bank pullback plan that swept him to power in March, saying that Israel needs to pursue talks with the Palestinians.

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Iraq Al Qaeda No. 2 arrested

BAGHDAD (AP) — Authorities on Sunday announced the capture of Al Qaeda in Iraq’s No. 2 leader, who they blame for “brutal and merciless” terror operations, including the bombing of a Shiite shrine last winter that touched off months of sectarian bloodletting and pushed Iraq towards civil war.

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