World Briefs

  • 14/10/2008 02:00
  • 14/10/2008 02:00
MONTERREY, Mexico - The gate at the U.S. Consulate in Monterrey was pockmarked with bullet holes Monday, a day after assailants shot at ...

MONTERREY, Mexico - The gate at the U.S. Consulate in Monterrey was pockmarked with bullet holes Monday, a day after assailants shot at the building and threw a grenade that failed to explode. No one was injured.

The consulate issued a statement saying that two men launched the attack around midnight Saturday, when the consulate was closed. Six spent.45-caliber casings were found at the scene.

It was not clear if the attack was related to a wave of violence by drug gangs and no evidence it was related to political terrorism, though fears persist that international terrorists might use Mexico to attack U.S. interests.

Officials were analyzing the consulate's security video, but had no suspects and had not determined a motive. The consulate increased security.

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Clashes between Taliban militants and pro-government forces killed 51 people as fighting spread across Pakistan's volatile northwest tribal regions along the Afghan border, officials said Monday.

The army media center in the restive Swat valley said security forces traded fire with insurgents the whole day in the area. The clashes killed 25 militants and two members of the security forces.

Security forces fired mortar and artillery rounds at militants in the Charmang area of the Bajur region overnight, killing nine insurgents, government official Jamil Khan said. On Monday, pro-government tribesmen exchanged fire with militants in the Nawa and Kotkai areas of Bajur, tribal elder Nazi Jan said. Thirteen militants and two pro-government tribesmen were killed, he and Khan said. A government offensive in Bajur has left some 1,000 people dead.

PRAGUE, Czech Republic - A document written by the Czech Communist police claims that author Milan Kundera informed on a purported Western spy in the 1950s, a state-sponsored institute said Monday. Kundera quickly denied the claims.

The Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes said a team of historians and researchers found a document written by the SNB, or Czech Communist police, that identified Kundera as the person who informed on a man who was later imprisoned for 14 years.

The usually reclusive Kundera, author of "The Unbearable Lightness of Being," rushed to reject the charge.

"I am totally astonished by something that I did not expect, about which I knew nothing only yesterday, and that did not happen. I did not know the man at all," Kundera was quoted as saying by the CTK news agency.

Kundera accused the institute and the media of "the assassination of an author."

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