Monday, June 12
Editor's Note: The CNN Wire is a running log of the latest news from CNN World Headquarters, reported by CNN's correspondents and producers, and The CNN Wire editors. "Posted" times are Eastern Daylight.
A least four dead in string of car bomb attacks in Kirkuk
BAGHDAD (CNN) -- At least five car bombs exploded during a two-hour period in the oil-rich city of Kirkuk in northern Iraq Tuesday morning, killing at least four people and wounding 15 others, a police official said.
The attacks targeted two high-ranking police officials, including the chief of police, an Iraqi police patrol and an office of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK).
Kirkuk is located about 150 miles (240 km) north of Baghdad (posted 2:30 a.m.)
Coalition truck hits motorcycle, flips over
(CNN) -- A coalition truck hit a motorcycle before tumbling down an embankment north of Kabul Tuesday morning, a military statement said. An unknown number of injuries were reported.
"A Coalition tow truck, towing another truck, attempted to avoid hitting a civilian motorcyclist that had suddenly slowed down in front of the truck," the Coalition Press Information Center (CPIC) said. "The Coalition vehicle flipped over into a 15-foot embankment."
CPIC said the vehicle was traveling from Bagram to Ghazni, about 4 miles north of Kabul.
According to the statement, a child may have been killed in the incident.
The accident came two weeks after the driver of a U.S. military truck intentionally struck unoccupied vehicles in a Kabul street in an attempt to avoid pedestrians after the truck's brakes failed.
The truck crashed into as many as 12 civilian vehicles and a group of pedestrians, the U.S. military said.
At least one person was killed in the crash, sparking anti-U.S. riots through the Afghan capital.
The Afghan Health Ministry said at least eight people died and 109 were wounded in the unrest at the end of May. (posted 2:15 a.m.)
Alberto weakens as it near northern Florida Gulf Coast
MIAMI (CNN) -- Tropical Storm Alberto weakened slightly as it approached the Gulf Coast of Florida early Tuesday, with maximum sustained winds at 65 mph, the National Hurricane Center reported.
A hurricane warning was in place from the Tampa Bay area to near Tallahassee.
Forecasters urged people to quickly make "preparations to protect life and property" as the eye of Alberto neared shore.
"Some potential still exists for restrengthening prior to landfall," the hurricane center said.
The NHC currently predicts the storm could make landfall as early as Tuesday morning.
Florida Gov. Jeb Bush issued a mandatory evacuation order for low-lying counties Dixie, Levy, Taylor, Citrus, Franklin and Wakulla, which are in the storm's path.
At 2 a.m. EDT, the center of Alberto was about 85 miles west-southwest of Cedar Key, moving northeast at about 10 mph. Forecasters said it is likely to continue on that path over the next 24 hours. (posted 2:15 a.m.)
House to debate resolution against setting date for removing U.S. troops
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The debate over the how long U.S. troops should stay in Iraq will take center stage in the House Thursday, when lawmakers take up a resolution declaring that setting a date for withdrawal or redeployment of troops "is not in the national security interest of the United States."
The resolution, sponsored by House International Relations Committee Chairman Henry Hyde, R-Ill., honors the contributions of U.S. troops and congratulates the new Iraqi government, as well as declaring that "the United States is committed to the completion of the mission to create a sovereign, free, secure and united Iraq."
It also salutes "impressive victories" by U.S. troops and Iraqi security forces, including last week's airstrike that killed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq. (Posted 8:33 p.m.)
Judge wounded in Reno courthouse shooting
(CNN) -- A family court judge was shot and wounded Monday in a courthouse in Reno, Nev., and police were looking for a suspect in a separate killing who may be related to the court shooting.
Judge Chuck Weller, 53, was taken to Washoe Medical Center, police said, and was in serious to critical condition. He was hit by a "high-velocity projectile, possibly a rifle," Reno Deputy Police Chief Jim Johns said.
Weller was in family court on the third floor of the new Mills Lane Courthouse when he was struck at 11:06 a.m. (2:06 p.m. ET), Reno police spokesman Fred Riglesberger said. A second victim, a staffer of Weller's, was hit by shrapnel and was in very good condition after being treated at a hospital.
Johns said police were looking for Darren Roy Mack, a suspect in a separate killing, but who "is related back to the court because he had recent dealings with the judge and the family court section." He would not give any further information about the homicide. (Posted 7:59 p.m.)
Cheesesteak purveyor subject of human rights complaint over 'English only' sign
(CNN) - A controversial purveyor of Philadelphia's famous cheesesteak sandwiches faces charges of discrimination in a complaint filed Monday by the city's Commission on Human Relations for posting a sign that demands customers order their greasy sandwiches in English.
Joey Vento, who owns Geno's Steaks in South Philadelphia, a neighborhood teeming with newly arrived Mexican immigrants, posted a sign at his restaurant that reads, "This is America, when ordering, speak English!"
Now, Vento faces a legal challenge from the city agency charged with enforcing civil rights. he Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations says the sign violates the city's Fair Practices Act with its "unwelcome message," according to the agency's executive director, Rachel Lawton. (Posted 7:57 p.m.)
N.Y. police commissioner calls Homeland Security funds distribution "fundamentally flawed"
NEW YORK (CNN) -- New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly expressed frustration Monday with the lack of Homeland Security funding allocated for New York City -- specifically its financial district.
Testifying at a city council meeting, Kelly cited 17 examples of terrorist-related incidents in New York, including three different times Iranian diplomats were detained after surveilling parts of the city's transit system.
Under the Department of Homeland Security's fiscal year 2006 grant funding, the amount New York City is slated to receive will drop from $208 million to $124 million. (Posted 7:15 p.m.)
Judge shot at courthouse in Reno
(CNN) -- A family court judge was shot and wounded Monday in the Washoe County (Nevada) Courthouse in Reno.
Judge Chuck Weller was taken to Washoe Medical Center, where a spokesman could not confirm any information about him.
"He's conscious and talking and he's with his family," Reno Police Department spokesman Fred Riglesberger told CNN.
An area of 10 square blocks was closed to traffic, and police were searching the courthouse -- which was locked down -- as well as nearby areas, for the shooter, Riglesberger said. (Posted 6:43 p.m.)
Poll: Americans support tight border controls but not fence
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Americans support boosting federal muscle to halt illegal immigration and deporting illegal immigrants, but they are skeptical of plans to fence off the Mexican border, a new CNN poll found Monday.
A majority of those polled -- 56 percent -- support President Bush's plan to put National Guard troops on the border with Mexico to support Border Patrol officers, while 40 percent said they opposed the idea.
Seventy-eight percent said they favor adding Border Patrol and other federal agents to help arrest illegal immigrants. Sixty percent said they favor large fines for employers who hire illegal immigrants, and 40 percent said they would back jail time for those employers.
But the House of Representatives-backed proposal to build a fence along the southern border split respondents, with 50 percent telling pollsters they oppose the idea and 45 percent favoring it. (Posted 6:31 p.m.)
Bush, top officials brainstorm on way forward in Iraq
CAMP DAVID, Md. (CNN) -- President Bush and top officials in his administration gathered at Camp David on Monday to take what one aide termed a "soup-to-nuts" look at the way forward in Iraq, getting a detailed security assessment from military commanders in Baghdad and discussing how to help Iraqis increase oil production.
Tuesday, leaders of the new Iraqi government, including Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, will join the discussions with their U.S. counterparts via video link.
Emerging in late afternoon for a brief appearance before the media, Bush -- flanked by Vice President Dick Cheney and several Cabinet secretaries involved in the Iraq summit -- characterized Monday as a "meaningful day."
"We have spent a lot of time talking to our team in Baghdad about the way forward in Iraq. We have spent time talking about the security situation in Iraq and what we intend to do to help the Iraqi government bring security to neighborhoods in Baghdad and Basra," he said. (Posted 6:08 p.m.)
Judge bans reporters from publishing details of court hearing in Canadian terrorism case
BRAMPTON, Ontario (CNN) -- A Canadian judge Monday banned reporters from publishing details of a court hearing in a terrorism case after an attorney representing one of 17 defendants sought a "publication ban," evidently fearing pretrial publicity would jeopardize a fair trial.
But the ban was attacked by attorneys for other defendants, and by a lawyer for the media, saying that it would only increase speculation.
Justice of the Peace D.K. "Keith" Currie imposed the ban midway through Monday's scheduling hearing in the case of 17 Toronto-area men charged earlier this month with terrorism. Prosecutors allege the men were involved to varying degrees in terrorist plots.
Both prosecutors and a representative of Jahmaal James, 23, asked the judge to impose the ban. --From CNN Homeland Security Correspondent Jeanne Meserve (Posted 6 p.m.)
No executive privilege fight seen in Libby trial, lawyers say
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Lawyers in the perjury case against Vice President Dick Cheney's former top aide said Monday they don't foresee a fight over claims of executive privilege and see no need for further subpoenas of news organizations.
Lewis "Scooter" Libby resigned as Cheney's chief of staff in October after his indictment on charges of perjury, lying to investigators and obstruction of justice in connection with the exposure of a CIA agent's identity. He is scheduled for trial in January, and his attorneys have pushed prosecutors to hand over a wide range of documents from the Bush administration for his defense.
In a brief hearing Monday, special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald and attorneys for Libby told U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton that they expect any remaining document issues to be resolved in closed hearings ahead of the trial.
"I think we're in good shape," Fitzgerald said. He said one "discreet" issue remained, but he hoped to settle that issue with the defense directly in the coming week. --From CNN's Paul Courson (Posted 5:29 p.m.)
Attorneys say Guantanamo deaths are 'no surprise'
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Attorneys representing detainees at Guantanamo Bay blasted the Bush administration and the military command at the facility for creating conditions at the camp that led to the suicides of three detainees on Saturday.
Gitanjali Gutierrez, a staff attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights who is defending 200 of the detainees, told reporters, "The deaths over the weekend in Guantanamo come as absolutely no surprise whatsoever to the attorneys who have been involved in this litigation and who have been working on behalf of the men imprisoned in Guantanamo since February of 2002. Indeed, they do not even come as a surprise to the military, who has conceded that they were aware of and had prepared for the fact that men in Guantanamo may try to kill themselves and may at some point be successful."
Gutierrez also sharply disputed comments by Rear Adm. Harry Harris characterizing the suicides as "an act of asymmetric warfare" during a conference call briefing with reporters on Saturday, and comments by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy Colleen Graffy, who called the suicides a "good PR move to draw attention," and "a tactic to further the jihadi cause," during an interview with the BBC. --From CNN's David de Sola, Mike Mount and Elise Labott (Posted 5:25 p.m.)
Power cut at U.S. Interests Section in Cuba
HAVANA (CNN) -- Cuba has cut off electricity to the U.S. Interests Section in Havana and has ignored requests to restore it, a spokesman for USINT said Monday.
Drew Blakeney said the power was shut down a week ago.
"It appears that the USINT building was the only building in the neighborhood that was so cut off," Blakeney said in a written statement. "Requests to the Cuban government to restore power have gone unanswered, and USINT continues to operate on generator power."
Blakeney added that the Cuban government had cut off the water to the main building from Feb. 22 to March 26, and that the "water supply to the Refugee Annex literally has been a trickly for most of this year, although the flow increased recently." (Posted at 4:06 p.m.)
Palestinian security forces on high alert after clash leaves 2 dead in Rafah
JERUSALEM (CNN) -- Palestinian security forces were on high alert Monday after Palestinian Authority and Hamas security forces clashed in Rafah, resulting in two deaths.
Hamas forces also fired shots at a government building in Rafah.
In response, Fatah supporters set fire to a building used by the Hamas-led government Ramallah. That fire was later brought under control.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas put the forces on high alert and deployed security forces around ministries in Ramallah to protect them. (Posted 2:51 p.m.)
Fendi says in suit Wal-Mart selling knock-offs at Sam's Club; Wal-Mart says items are real
NEW YORK (CNN) -- Italian fashion designer Fendi is claiming in a lawsuit that Wal-Mart is selling knock-off handbags at its Sam's Club warehouse stores.
Wal-Mart has denied the allegation and said the items are authentic.
The fashion group filed its lawsuit against Wal-Mart in U.S. District Court in New York on Friday, alleging that the retailer is selling handbags, wallets and key chains that are counterfeit.--From CNN's Maria Gavrilovic (Posted 2:04 p.m.)
ACLU: Bush broke law with warrantless wiretaps
DETROIT (CNN) -- Civil liberties groups fired their opening salvo Monday against the National Security Agency's program of wiretapping Americans without a court order.
The American Civil Liberties Union, in arguments before federal Judge Anna Diggs Taylor, said President Bush "broke the law" by "ignoring federal statues" and allowing the NSA to conduct warrantless surveillance.
This practice, said Ann Beeson, ACLU assistant legal director, resulted in substantial injury to the plantiffs -- which include journalists, scholars, attorneys and national non-profit organizations who communicate by phone and e-mail frequently with people from the Middle East.
The Bush administration is seeking to dismiss the case on grounds that it would expose state secrets. "The president's actions are lawful," said Department of Justice attorney Anthony Coppolino. "State secrets itself means the very subject of the lawsuit is classified activity." --From CNN's Ronni Berke (Posted 1:56 p.m.)
Steelers quarterback Roethlisberger hurt in motorcycle wreck
(CNN) -- Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was in serious but stable condition at a Pittsburgh hospital after a motorcycle accident Monday, doctors said.
Roethlisberger, 24, was named the NFL's offensive rookie of the year in 2005. In February, he led the Steelers to a 34-20 win over the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XL.
He was in surgery Monday afternoon and was "coherent before the surgery," said Dr. Larry Jones, a physician at Pittsburgh's Mercy Hospital. Witnesses told CNN affiliate WTAE that he appeared to be clutching his jaw after the wreck, which occurred in downtown Pittsburgh. (Posted 1:50 p.m.)
Federal, state officials meet to discuss probes into high gas prices
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Top federal officials monitoring this year's high gasoline prices met Monday with a 14-member delegation of state attorneys general to explore how federal regulators and investigators can work with state task forces examining possible price gouging or other criminal wrongdoing.
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Federal Trade Commission Chairman Deborah Majoris led the one-hour closed-door meeting at the Justice Department.
"As far as has there been any wrongdoing, there's nothing concrete on that," said a Justice Department official who asked not to be identified because the meeting was private.
The official said the "productive exchange" had focused on the roles for federal and state officials. --From Justice Producer Terry Frieden (Posted 1:34 p.m.)
Car bombs kill seven in Baghdad
BAGHDAD (CNN) -- Car bombs killed seven people Monday evening in Iraq, an Interior Ministry official said.
At 8:30 p.m. (12:30 p.m. ET), a car bomb exploded outside a crowded market in Sadr City in eastern Baghdad, killing at least four people and wounding 10 others, the official said.
Ten minutes later, in the upscale western Baghdad neighborhood of Mansur, another car bomb detonated near a crowded market, killing three people and wounding seven, the official said. (Posted 1:24 p.m.)
6 dead, 30 wounded in attack on market in Balad
BAGHDAD (CNN) -- Six people died and 30 were wounded in an attack Monday on a crowded market in Balad, an official said.
An official with the Salaheddin joint coordination center told CNN that two Katusha rockets landed on the market in the town, about 43 miles (70 km) north of Baghdad at 6:15 p.m. (10:15 a.m. ET).
An official with Balad Hospital gave CNN the casualty count. Balad is a town in Salaheddin province. (Posted 11:16 a.m.)
Islamist Web site identifies al-Zarqawi's successor
(CNN) -- A successor has been named to Sheikh Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Islamist Web sites reported Monday.
The Web sites identified the successor as Sheikh Abu Hamza al-Muhajer, which means "the immigrant," implying he -- like the Jordanian al-Zarqawi -- is not Iraqi.
"The word of the Shura Council of the Qaeda organization in the land of the two rivers was united on electing Sheikh Abu Hamza Al Muhajer to be the successor to the Sheikh Abu Musab Al Zarqawi, God bless his soul on commanding the organization," the Web site said.
"Sheikh Abu Hamza Al Muhajer (the immigrant) May God protect him is an excellent brother, he is the holder of a Jihadi precedent and he is has deep knowledge in creed."
CNN has not been able to authenticate the claim. (Posted 10:20 a.m.)
Train crash kills 5, injures 67
JERUSALEM (CNN) - A passenger train struck a truck trying to get around a crossing barrier and derailed in central Israel Monday, killing five people and injuring 67, according to an Israeli police and medical officials.
The passenger train, carrying 200 people from Tel Aviv to Haifa, crashed into the truck a rail crossing near the city of Netanya, the official said.
Officials said the engine and the first three cars of the train derailed. (Posted 9:40 a.m.)
Spanish court will probe allegations CIA used Spanish airport to transfer terror suspects
MADRID (CNN) - Spain's National Court will investigate allegations that the CIA used a Spanish airport as part of its alleged secret transfer of terrorism suspects, a court spokeswoman told CNN on Monday.
National Court investigating magistrate Ismael Moreno ruled Monday that he has jurisdiction to look into the allegations, overruling prosecutor Vicente Gonzalez Mota, who said the matter should be returned to a local judge on Spain's island of Mallorca in the Mediterranean, where the CIA allegedly used the major airport of Palma de Mallorca, the spokeswoman said.
The issue of jurisdiction has been under scrutiny for months, after the local court in Mallorca said the matter should be handled in Madrid by the National Court, which investigates cases of terrorism.
Moreno's decision comes on the heels of last week's report by the Council of Europe, which said that 14 European countries, including Spain, cooperated with the CIA in the alleged secret transfer program. --From CNN Madrid Bureau Chief Al Goodman (Posted 9:14 a.m.)
FBI: Crime up in 2005, first big jump in 13 years
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The number of murders in the United States jumped 4.8 percent last year, and overall violent crime was up 2.5 percent for the year, marking the first significant annual increase in crime in the United States since 1993, according to figures released Monday by the FBI.
Law enforcement authorities and criminologists reacted cautiously, uncertain whether the preliminary statistics for 2005 signal the end of a long downward trend in crime, or simply a one-year anomaly.
Crime figures had begun to level off in the last few years and some categories had edged up slightly in 2001.
In recent years several experts cited an aging population and stiffer sentencing as key factors which contributed to the gradual reductions in crime throughout the 1990s and into the start of the new century. But some leading criminologists say those factors are changing, and are not surprised by the new numbers.
The statistics for all cities of 100,000 or more show the largest increase in overall violent crime regionally occurred in the Midwest where the total of murders, robberies, rapes, and aggravated assaults increased by 5.7 percent last year. --From Justice Producer Terry Frieden (Posted 9:10 a.m.)
Tropical storm Alberto headed for west Florida
MIAMI (CNN) -- Forecasters issued a tropical storm warning for the west coast of Florida and said isolated tornadoes are possible in parts of Florida Monday as the first named storm of the hurricane season drifted northward through the Gulf of Mexico.
At 8 a.m. ET, Tropical Storm Alberto's top winds had increased to 50 mph, the National Hurricane Center reported. The storm was centered about 295 miles southwest of Cedar Key, Fla., moving northward at 8 mph, but forecasters expected it to strengthen and turn toward the northeast over the next 24 hours.
Storm force winds are expected to be felt in advance of the arrival of the tropical storm's center.
Tropical storm warnings were posted for a 300-mile stretch of Florida's west coast from Englewood to Indian Pass, between Panama City and Boca Grande.
The main threat from the system is heavy rainfall, according to the hurricane center. Alberto could dump up to 10 inches of rain through Tuesday across portions of central and northern Florida and southeastern Georgia. Forecasters reported coastal storm surging up to 6 to 8 feet above normal tide levels over a large portion of the warning area -- conditions that could trigger floods and mudslides-- are expected. (Posted 8:54 a.m.)
Death of al-Zarqawi confirmed via DNA tests, 'blast injuries' killed him, military says
BAGHDAD (CNN) -- Terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi died of "blast injuries," the U.S. military said Monday.
"The injuries to his lungs were not survivable. That's what killed him," said Col. Steve Jones at a news briefing. Al-Zarqawi -- killed Wednesday in a U.S. airstrike -- was positively identified through DNA testing, the U.S. military said.
The first bomb fell on the safe house at 6:12 p.m. local time on June 7 and coalition personnel were on the scene by 6:40 p.m., he said.
A medic treated him as he lapsed in and out of consciousness, his breathing labored and shallow, his airway expelling blood, Caldwell said. His pulse was "barely palpable and quickly deteriorated," he said. By 7:04 p.m., Zarqawi was dead, Caldwell said.
Since then, 14 company operations have been carried out, 32 "anti-Iraqi elements" were killed and 178 detained, he said. Six "major caches" were found and a "high-value individual" with a $50,000 reward on his head was captured.(Posted 8:53 a.m.)
3 killed when mortar rounds hit Baghdad neighborhood
BAGHDAD (CNN) -- Three people were killed Monday and 10 others were wounded when four mortar rounds landed on a residential area in Abudchair, a mixed neighborhood in southern Baghdad, an official with Baghdad emergency police told CNN. The incident occurred around 11:30 a.m.
In other violence, a car bomb exploded at a fuel station in the center of Tal Afar at 12:30 p.m. Monday, killing four people and wounding 42, Iraqi police said. Tal Afar is in northwest Iraq near the Syrian border.
A roadside bomb exploded in the Dora district of south Baghdad, destroying a minibus carrying oil ministry workers, killing six of them and wounding 12 others, a Baghdad Police official said. The explosion happened at 8:30 a.m. Monday, police said.
On Sunday, three Iraqi soldiers were killed and six were wounded when a suicide car bomb exploed at an Iraqi Army checkpoint in northwest Baquba at 8 p.m., an official said. At almost the same time in another section of Baquba, gunmen opened fired at a food store killing four civilians, police said.
Iraqi police raised the death toll of a roadside bombing that happened Sunday afternoon in the center of Baghdad. Police said the bomb in the Karada district of the Iraqi capital killed six people and wounded 45 others, mostly civilians. (Posted 7:21 a.m.)
Coalition forces kill 7, wound three and detain two others in raid near Baqubah
BAGHDAD (CNN) -- Coalition Forces killed seven "terrorists, wounded three, and detained an additional two others" Monday during a raid in the vicinity of Baqubah, the U.S. military said.
In a statement, the military said, "The targeted terrorists have been linked to previous Coalition operations and had ties to senior al-Qaida leaders across Iraq. Intelligence also indicates this particular terrorist cell is involved in the facilitation of foreign fighters in the area."
The military said Coalition Forces received enemy machine gun fire from a rooftop. "Two other individuals with AK-47s had been seen fleeing that area just prior to the assault. Coalition aircraft supporting the ground force immediately suppressed the enemy fire, killing seven."
The statement said there were numerous women and children on the scene. "Coalition Forces safeguarded those who fled the engagement area prior to the onset of hostilities. Following the assault, Coalition troops discovered two children had been killed. One child was wounded and evacuated for treatment."
The forces captured one rocket propelled grenade launcher, five rockets, nine AK-47 assault rifles and 20 loaded ammunition magazines. (Posted 6:55 a.m.)
Judge kicks defendant out of court after angry exchange
BAGHDAD (CNN) -- Testimony in the trial of Saddam Hussein and seven others was interrupted Monday when the chief judge ordered Hussein's half brother removed from the courtroom, prompting defense lawyers to shout complaints that the defendant was manhandled by guards.
The outburst began as Chief Judge Abdel Rahman argued with defendant Barzan Hassan, who was also Hussein's former intelligence chief, about the questioning of a defense witness.
"You are terrifying us," Hassan said.
"You are a terrifying person," Rahman replied.
"You're a dictator," Hassan said.
"No, you are a dictator," said Rahman.
Judge Rahman then ordered guards to remove Hassan.
"I will leave. I don't want to stay here," Hassan said.
The courtroom cameras did not show his removal, but it prompted emotional shouts from defense lawyers and defendants.
"They are beating him, your honor," one voice was heard saying.
The courtroom settled down after the judge promised defense lawyers he would have the guard who allegedly abused the defendant arrested if they would provide his name. -- From CNN Producer Jennifer Deaton (Posted 6:54 a.m.)
More rockets from Gaza land in Israel, no damage
JERUSALEM (CNN) -- Five Qassam rockets landed on the Israeli side of the Gaza border Monday morning, causing no injuries or significant damage, the Israel Defense Forces said.
The Monday launches followed a series of at least 48 rockets fired into Israel from Gaza since Friday, the IDF said. Two rockets landed near the security fence separating Gaza from Israel and three others landed near and Israeli community, the IDF said.
On Saturday, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades said it had resumed rocket strikes against Israel after a hiatus of more than a year. The announcement came in the wake of an artillery shell blast that killed eight Palestinians as they picnicked on a beach in northern Gaza on Friday.
The incident sparked international outrage after news programs broadcast footage of a hysterical 7-year-old girl who survived the attack, but whose family members had been killed. (Posted 2:52 a.m.)
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