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Archive for Sunday, September 8, 2002

Briefly

September 8, 2002

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Washington, D.C.: Uranium-enriching equipment sought by Iraq, official says

Iraq has recently stepped up attempts to import industrial equipment that could be used to enrich uranium for use in nuclear weapons, a U.S. intelligence official said Saturday.

Several equipment shipments destined for Iraq have been stopped, the official said, declining to say by whom or where. They included a precisely made kind of metal tube that can be used in uranium-enrichment programs, the official said.

U.S. intelligence officials, however, do not believe Iraq has obtained any enriched uranium or plutonium. Without those materials, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein cannot build a nuclear weapon.

However, officials described the shipments as evidence that Saddam has been trying to revitalize his nuclear weapons program and also evidence he does not have a nuclear weapon.

Washington, D.C.:Report absolves military in strike on wedding party

U.S. military investigators concluded that an American airstrike that killed dozens of Afghan civilians at a wedding party was justified because the plane had come under fire.

A summary of the investigation report, released late Friday by U.S. Central Command, said those who were firing at U.S. aircraft were to blame, not the Americans who fired back.

"While the coalition regrets the loss of innocent lives, the responsibility for that loss rests with those that knowingly directed hostile fire at coalition forces," the report said.

Afghan authorities say 48 civilians were killed and 117 were wounded in the attacks on July 1 by an Air Force AC-130 gunship on several villages in Afghanistan's Uruzgan province. The U.S. investigation could only confirm 34 dead and about 50 wounded, the report said.

Las Vegas: Air ambulance crashes; three people are killed

An air ambulance helicopter crashed en route to pick up a patient early Saturday, killing three people.

The Mercy Air Bell 222 helicopter went down about six miles into California near Interstate 15, the National Transportation and Safety Board and Mercy Air said.

The pilot, a flight nurse and paramedic were killed. No patients were aboard.

Names of the victims were not immediately released.

The helicopter was en route to a traffic accident in Baker, Calif.

Ohio: Teen accused of using hammer as bludgeon

A 16-year-old boy was in police custody Saturday, accused of bludgeoning another student with a hammer during a dispute over a video-game controller, authorities said.

The attack occurred Thursday at Warrensville Heights High School.

The victim, also 16, suffered a fractured skull and was taken to Hillcrest Hospital. The hospital on Saturday would not release the condition of the boy, who is in ninth grade.

His accused attacker, an 11th-grader, could be charged with felony assault, police Detective Dennis Fossett said.

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