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Archive for Saturday, June 26, 2004

Briefly

June 26, 2004

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Afghanistan

Two U.S. Marines killed

Two U.S. Marines were killed in an eastern province Thursday about the same time a U.S. mortar hit a home in the same province, killing a woman and her child, officials said Friday.

The U.S. military did not provide any details, saying only that the two Marines died Thursday evening during a military operation in Kunar province, northeast of the provincial capital of Asadabad. Another soldier was injured; he was listed in stable condition Friday.

The deaths brought to 92 the number of U.S. troops killed in the fight against the Taliban that began in late 2001.

WASHINGTON, D.C.

U.S. animal tests positive for mad cow in initial test

An animal in the United States tested positive in a preliminary screening test for mad cow disease, Agriculture Department officials said Friday.

John Clifford, deputy administrator of USDA veterinary services, said officials learned of the "inconclusive" test result at 5:30 p.m. Friday. The carcass is being sent to USDA National Veterinary Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, for additional tests. Results are expected in 4 to 7 days.

Clifford declined to identify the animal or its location until testing is complete, noting that it's "very likely" final testing could turn up negative.

"The animal in question didn't enter the food chain," he said. "If positive, we'll provide additional information on the animal and origins."

Belgium

NATO nears agreement on request to train Iraqi troops

NATO nations moved close to an agreement Friday on giving help sought by Iraq's interim leader in training his country's security forces, diplomats said.

Ambassadors from the 26 allies met through the day to draft a reply to Iyad Allawi's request, which asked NATO for aid in rebuilding Iraq's armed forces after the United States hands over sovereignty on Wednesday.

Officials said envoys sent a draft agreement back to their capitals for provisional approval by this morning. If no government raises objections, the agreement should be sealed at a summit of alliance leaders Monday and Tuesday in Istanbul.

WASHINGTON, D.C.

Three-star general now leads probe of Iraq prison abuses

The Army replaced Maj. Gen. George Fay with a more senior general Friday as chief investigator of the role of military intelligence in the abuse of prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

The switch to Lt. Gen. Anthony R. Jones, deputy commander of the Army Training and Doctrine Command, will delay completion of the military investigation, said Sen. John Warner, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Army officials said the decision to put Jones in charge did not reflect on Fay's performance but was necessary to resolve a protocol problem in the investigation.

At issue was the need to interview Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez as part of the investigation. Sanchez is the top American commander in Iraq, and the Army wanted a lead investigator who wears at least the three stars that Sanchez does.

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