Former Islamic Courts leader Sheikh Sharif Ahmed was elected president by the newly expanded parliament. Sharif led the Islamic Courts conquest of southern Somalia in 2006. The United States welcomed victory and “looks forward to cooperating with President Sharif.”
Nine Taliban fighters and eight civilians were killed during fighting in Swat. Police detained 15 Taliban fighters in Peshawar. Six civilians were wounded after the military shelled Taliban positions in Bajaur.
The Afghan “Awakening” program has begun. The US may add a fifth brigade to serve as Afghan Army trainers. A Canadian and a British soldier were killed in fighting in the South. The Bagram Air Base is shut down after a C-17 cargo plane crashed during landing.
Iraq successfully held provincial elections with few reports of violence. Five men were arrested for plotting to attack a polling center in Mandali. US troops killed two policemen after taking fire during a mission in Mosul. Iraqi forces detained a Shia “extremist” in Baghdad.
The Taliban said it would increase its forces if the US surged troops into Afghanistan. “Just as they are bringing more troops, so too the Taliban will have more troops,” said the former Taliban governor of Nimruz province. “Every year our military power gets stronger and stronger and our forces are getting bigger and bigger.”
Hamas fired a rocket that landed near the southern city of Ashkelon. The Hamas leadership in the Gaza Strip is angry with Hamas’ overall leader Khaled Meshal for his decision to end the truce in December 2008. Egypt installed tunnel-detection devices along Philadelphi Corridor; two smugglers have been captured.
India protects US, Senate told
Iraqis vote behind barbed wire, testing security