West steps up action to bring Iran before U.N.

VIENNA, Austria (AP) – U.S. and European resolve to bring Iran before the U.N. Security Council grew Saturday following revelations that Tehran had recently produced about seven tons of the gas it needs to enrich uranium – a possible pathway to a nuclear weapon.

The International Atomic Energy Agency said that Iran had pumped out that amount of uranium hexafluoride gas since resuming conversion from uranium ore last month. The gas can be spun by centrifuges into enriched uranium. Depending on the level of enrichment, that can then be used either as a source of power or as the core of nuclear weapons.

The confidential IAEA document, prepared Friday by agency head Mohamed ElBaradei, did not make a determination whether Iran was pursuing a nuclear weapon, Iran insists it wants to enrich only to generate electricity.

Insurgents target Iraqi security

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) – Insurgents killed 19 Iraqi security forces Saturday in clashes around Baqouba, while U.S. and Iraqi forces intensified an offensive in a rebel-infested city that the Americans subdued last year – only to have the Iraqis lose control.

Eight policemen died in a pair of shootouts in Baqouba, 35 miles northeast of Baghdad, officials said. Six policemen and two soldiers were killed in another gunbattle in Buhriz, a suburb of the Baqouba, officials said.

Three Iraqi soldiers also died Saturday when their convoy was attacked by gunmen near Adhaim, 30 miles north of Baqouba, police said.

Briton found dead in Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) – A kidnapped British engineer was found dead Saturday and two bodies discovered in Afghanistan’s southern desert were identified as missing Japanese tourists, raising fears that elections later this month may be disrupted by militant violence.

Taliban-led rebels have vowed to disrupt the Sept. 18 poll, the next key step toward democracy after a quarter century of war and civil strife. In the past six months, a surge in fighting has left more than 1,100 people dead, including at least four elections workers and four candidates.



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