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Thursday, April 26, 2007

News From The GULF

*Britain's Royal Navy will resume boarding ships in the Gulf, after suspending the operations when 15 sailors and marines were taken prisoner by Iran, the defense secretary said Tuesday.

In his statement to the House of Commons, Defense Secretary Des Brown said inquiries into the detention of the British crew were continuing but that the military had "taken measures, in line with the findings of the initial reviews of procedures, to ensure the risk to boarding operations is minimized."

"This will involve an incremental return to full boarding operations in all areas," he said.

*A suicide bomber killed 15 people and wounded 30 others in the western city of Ramadi, An Arab television channel reported.

The bomber detonated a blast in a market in the east of the city, report said, without saying where it got the information.

At least two car bombs killed 15 people in the city yesterday. Bombings across Iraq have killed more than 215 people in less than a week since April 18.

*Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar have refused to allow Bangladesh's former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia into their countries, complicating a plan by Bangladesh's government to exile her, news reports said Tuesday.

The newspapers reported that the Saudi embassy in Dhaka has refused to grant her a visa because the embassy was not convinced that Zia was leaving the country of her own volition.

The embassy did not accept Zia's signature in the visa application form, saying it does not prove that she wants to go to the kingdom, the report said.

The government also tried to convince Kuwait and Qatar to take Zia but those attempts also have failed, the report said.

The papers said the Saudi embassy wants Zia to be present in person to confirm that she plans to enter the kingdom willingly

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