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Tuesday, June 13

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.

2 coalition soldiers in Afghanistan killed on Tuesday

(CNN) -- The coalition command in Afghanistan said two coalition soldiers were killed on Tuesday in separate combat operations -- one in Kunar province in the northeast and the other in Helmand province in the south.

A coalition statement, issued Wednesday, did not state the nationalities of the two soldiers.

The soldier in Helmand Province was killed "defending a combat logistics patrol from attacking Taliban extremists." The other in Kunar province died "while engaging enemy forces." (Posted 2:02 a.m.)

Italian diplomat: 'Italy has no intention of turning her back on the Iraqi people'

(CNN) -- The top Italian diplomat on Wednesday said that even though the country plans to withdraw its troops from Iraq, it will "continue to contribute" to the mission, but with "different means."

"We will withdraw our troops but not our support for the new democratically elected Iraqi government," said Italian Foreign Minister Massimo D'Alema in a column in Wednesday's Wall Street Journal.

D'Alema said he had been in Baghdad in recent days and spoke with Iraqi officials about the "optimal Italian contribution to the future of the country -- from training of the Iraqi police to a new package of civilian and economic aid."

"In the end, we share a common interest in the future stability of a democratic and united Iraq."

Italy has had just under 3,000 troops in Iraq. But D'Alema points out that "withdrawal of the Italian troops from Iraq is part of our electoral mandate." He was referring to the new center-left Romano Prodi government's intention to withdraw troops.

"The Prodi government will manage it in an orderly way, in consultation with the Iraqi government and the coalition partners. We will guarantee that the modalities of the withdrawal do not exacerbate the problems facing the Iraqi government nor the security of the Multinational Force partners."

The Italians have lost 31 troops in Iraq and D'Alema said the government "honors their commitment and their sacrifice."

"Italy has no intention of turning her back on the Iraqi people."

He also said that reaching out "to neighboring countries" is a key element in bringing "concrete progress to the Iraq and Afghan missions.

"This is an additional reason to welcome the recent U.S. stance on dealing with Iran, and Europe urges Teheran to respond positively," he said, referring to the big-powers' program of incentives designed to persuade Iran to suspend uranium enrichment. (Posted 1:49 a.m.)

Alberto wanes, rain helps douse Florida fires

MIAMI (CNN) -- Tropical Storm Alberto blew across southern Georgia on Tuesday evening, cruising toward South Carolina with 40 mph winds and heavy rains after a landfall on Florida's Gulf Coast earlier in the day.

In its 11 p.m. advisory, the National Hurricane Center said Alberto -- the first named storm of the Atlantic's 2006 hurricane season -- was centered about 55 miles southwest of Statesboro, Ga. or about midway between Alma and Vidalia, traveling to the northeast at nearly 16 mph with a gradual increase in forward speed expected in the next 24 hours.

The NHC said there were reports of downed trees and power lines in the Savannah, Ga., area.

The hurricane center canceled a tropical storm warning for Atlantic coast from Flagler Beach, Fla., to Altamaha Sound, Ga., although a warning remained in effect from the sound to South Santee River, S.C. Alberto's poorly formed center made landfall near Adams Beach, Fla., about 12:30 p.m. ET, the NHC said.

Alberto drove a 4- to 5-foot storm surge ashore in Levy and Dixie counties, in the state's marshy Big Bend region, and the storm was expected to dump 6 inches of rain inland, State Meteorologist Ben Nelson said. Mandatory evacuations remained in effect for mobile-home residents and low-lying areas and coastal areas in several counties.

Meanwhile, officials urged residents to be careful amid downed power lines and lingering rough surf. "There's no need for anyone to lose their life to a tropical storm like this," Nelson said. Alberto was expected to pick up forward speed as it headed across south Georgia while eventually weakening to tropical depression status while crossing into South Carolina early Wednesday, the NHC said. (Posted 12:57 a.m.)

GAO finds $1 billion in potentially fraudulent FEMA disaster relief payments

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- An audit by the Government Accountability Office found widespread problems with the Federal Emergency Management Agency's distribution of disaster assistance after hurricanes Katrina and Rita, with potential fraud and waste topping $1 billion.

Results of the GAO's audit will be presented Wednesday to an investigative panel of the House Homeland Security Committee. FEMA is part of the Department of Homeland Security.

The GAO also found that FEMA provided housing assistance to people who were not displaced, including at least 1,000 prison inmates, and also provided rental assistance to people who were simultaneously living in free hotel rooms.

The agency also found debit cards FEMA gave to people displaced by the storms were improperly used to buy diamond jewelry, a vacation in the Dominican Republic, fireworks, a $200 bottle of champagne at a Hooters in San Antonio and $300 worth of "Girls Gone Wild" videos. (Posted 9:14 p.m.)

Comedian Jerry Lewis suffers heart attack

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Comedian Jerry Lewis suffered a mild heart attack Sunday but is expected to make a complete recovery, Candi Cazau, spokeswoman for Las Vegas' Orleans casino/resort where Lewis planned to headline a show in July, told CNN Tuesday evening.

Cazau said Lewis suffered the heart attack while on a flight from New York to San Diego, where he has been hospitalized for treatment. He also has "a touch" of pneumonia, she said.

Doctors are "ecstatic with his progress in the last 48 hours," she said.

Lewis' July 13-16 shows -- which would have been the first for the 80-year-old comedian since 2000 -- have been canceled. Lewis has been suffering from pulmonary fibrosis, a crippling lung disease. (Posted 8:47 p.m.)

Alberto wanes, rain helps douse Florida fires

MIAMI (CNN) -- Tropical Storm Alberto blew across southern Georgia on Tuesday evening, cruising toward South Carolina with 40 mph winds and heavy rains after a landfall on Florida's Gulf Coast earlier in the day.

In its 8 p.m. advisory, the National Hurricane Center said Alberto -- the first named storm of the Atlantic's 2006 hurricane season -- was centered about 25 miles southwest of Alma, Ga., traveling to the northeast at nearly 14 mph.

The hurricane center canceled a tropical storm warning for Atlantic coast from Flagler Beach. Fla., to Altamaha Sound, Ga., although a warning remained in effect from the sound to South Santee River, S.C. (Posted 8:08 p.m.)

North Korea preparing for possible long-range missile test

WASHINGTON (CNN) - North Korea appears to be preparing for a test of an intercontinental ballistic missile that could have the potential to hit the united States, U.S. and South Korean officials said Tuesday.

The officials said the test preparations seem fairly advanced for a North Korean launch of a Taepodong-2 missile, which can be used as a two- or three-stage "integrated" missile. The three-stage version contains a solid-fuel booster rocket strapped atop a Scud missile and could reach the United States.

One senior U.S. official said North Korea "is doing everything you would expect if you are going to launch a missile." Some U.S. officials said North Korean leader Kim Jong Il could be bluffing to gain leverage in stalled six-party talks over ending the North Korean nuclear standoff. --From CNN State Department Producer Elise Labott (Posted 5:58 p.m.)

Dow continues fall, now down for the year

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The Dow Jones industrial average sank into the red for the year Tuesday as concerns about rising inflation and slowing economic growth overshadowed tumbling commodity prices and some rosy corporate news.

The 30-share Dow tumbled 0.8 percent, its seventh loss in the last eight sessions, leaving the world's most widely watched stock market gauge off 936 points, or 8 percent, from its May high, and down 0.1 percent for the year. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index sank just over 1 percent, leaving it down 2 percent in 2006.

The Nasdaq composite slid 0.9 percent, the tech-laden index's eighth straight decline, putting it down 6 percent year-to-date and 12.6 percent below its April high, constituting what on Wall Street is known as a correction.

A correction is a drop of more than 10 percent while a 20 percent decline is widely seen as a bear market. --From CNNMoney.com's Steve Hargreaves and David Ellis (Posted 5:47 p.m.)

Arizona Guard troops to land at Mexican border Thursday

(CNN) -- Arizona National Guard troops are scheduled to begin arriving at the state's border with Mexico Thursday under President Bush's plan to free up immigration agents for border control issues, a spokesman for the Guard said Tuesday.

Maj. Paul Aguirre said the first 150 troops are completing paperwork and will be on duty later this week, working mainly in office jobs such as radio control and video monitoring.

Aguirre said the Guard expects to have a total of 300 to 400 Arizona soldiers on the border by the end of June.

A small contingent of Utah National Guard troops has been on assignment at the border town of San Luis for the past week, but they had been scheduled for deployment there for months before Bush announced the plan in May. (Posted 5:19 p.m.)

Former Atlanta Mayor Campbell sentenced to 30 months in prison

ATLANTA (CNN) -- U.S. District Judge Richard Story on Tuesday sentenced former Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell to 30 months in prison, fined him $6,000 and ordered a year's supervision after he completes his sentence on three counts of tax evasion and one count of racketeering.

Story said Campbell's punishment was harsher than it might have been because the politician had obstructed justice by not being honest with his parole officer. Campbell had denied getting documents -- tally sheets that reflected his gambling winnings -- from a prosecution witness before his trial, but the prosecution witness said Tuesday that he had indeed given him the sheets.

Story said that, during the trial, he "was overcome, almost appalled, at the breadth of misconduct in your administration." --From CNN's Alan Duke (Posted 5:16 p.m.)

Winds wane, while rain helps douse Florida fires; no major storm problems reported

MIAMI (CNN) -- Tropical Storm Alberto cruised over north Florida Tuesday with high winds and much-needed rainfall but failed to deliver the punch Florida was braced for, state officials said.

The storm, which at 5 p.m. was near Valdosta, Ga., just beyond the Florida state line, barely remained a tropical storm in the hours after its landfall, but the heavy rain helped put out wildfires that have plagued Florida for more than six weeks.

In the National Hurricane Center's 5 p.m. advisory, Alberto -- the first named storm of the Atlantic's 2006 hurricane season -- carried winds near 40 mph as it traveled to the northeast at 10 mph.

A tropical storm warning remained in effect for the Atlantic coast from Flagler Beach, Fla., to South Santee River, S.C., but a similar warning for Florida's Gulf Coast was canceled. (Posted 5:06 p.m.)

Levin: Complete Iraq troop withdrawal by end of 2007

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee said Tuesday that he is looking for the beginning of a phased redeployment of U.S. troops out of Iraq by the end of 2006 with that troop movement finishing by the end of 2007.

Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan made the comments after a briefing on the situation in Iraq with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who said no such plans were discussed during the briefing.

"Given General Casey's statement last weekend on a Sunday morning talk show (CBS' "Face the Nation"), that continued gradual reductions in American troops are likely in the coming months, I think it's likely that there will be reductions in the coming months," Levin told reporters.

"... And I think the president's trip is likely to lead to phased redeployments this year and continuing in the next year. And nothing that I heard upstairs changes either my hope or my expectation that there will be phased redeployments of American troops beginning this year."

Levin later told CNN that he is pushing to begin troop withdrawal by the end of 2006, finishing the job a year later with the exception of troops left to train Iraqi security forces. (Posted 5 p.m.)

Somali Islamic leader says no to international peacekeepers

NAIROBI, Kenya (CNN) -- The head of the Islamic militia that controls Somalia's war-torn capital said Tuesday his group does not want international peacekeepers back in the country and denied harboring fugitives from the al Qaeda terror network.

"Somali problems can only be solved by Somalis," Sheikh Sharif Ahmad, the leader the Islamic Courts Union, told CNN. "Foreign troops have come to Somalia before, and they failed to do that."

The Islamic Courts Union, which backs the imposition of Islamic law in Somalia, wrested control of the capital Mogadishu from a U.S.-backed coalition of secular warlords last week. The country's last functioning government collapsed in 1991, and a transitional government seated in the inland city of Baidoa wields little influence. --From CNN Correspondent Alphonso van Marsh (Posted 4:58 p.m.)

Murtha drops plans to run for Democratic leader, Pelosi says

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Pennsylvania Rep. John Murtha, "in the spirit of unity," has dropped his surprise bid to become House majority leader until after mid-term elections, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi announced Tuesday.

"In the spirit of unity to achieve our goal of winning a Democratic majority in November, Congressman John Murtha has informed me that he will suspend his campaign for majority leader until after we win a Democratic majority of the House," Pelosi said in a written statement.

"I appreciate Mr. Murtha's continuing cooperation and leadership in our effort to win a Democratic House to take America in a new direction for everyone."

Murtha caused a stir last week when he announced his intention to run for House majority leader, five months before the mid-term elections and with the Democrats still 15 seats short of a majority. (Posted 3:46 p.m.)

Saddam trial nears end

BAGHDAD (CNN) -- The defense ended its case Tuesday in the human rights abuse trial of Saddam Hussein and his seven codefendants.

Chief Judge Raouf Abdel Rahman announced that Tuesday's 34th session would be the last for the defense to present witnesses, adjourning the proceedings at day's end until Monday.

In total, 27 witnesses testified for the prosecution and more than 60 for the defense -- 26 of whom testified for Hussein.

When the trial reconvenes Monday, the prosecution will have one day to make closing arguments, after which the trial will adjourn until July 10, when the defense can make its closing arguments and the defendants their final statements. (Posted 3:34 p.m.)

Kennedy pleads guilty to driving under the influence of prescription drugs

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Rep. Patrick Kennedy pleaded guilty Tuesday to driving under the influence of prescription drugs in exchange for the government's dropping of other charges related to the crash last month of his vehicle into a security barrier outside the Capitol.

Under the terms of the deal, Kennedy agreed to get medical assistance "for any drug abuse problem that he may have" and agreed to be monitored and to be under supervised probation for a year, said Traci Hughes, a spokeswoman for the D.C. Attorney General's Office.

In addition, he was ordered to pay $100 to a victims' assistance group along with $250 to the Boys and Girls Club.

He faces the threat of a 10-day jail sentence if he does not comply. (Posted 3:29 p.m.)

Alleged spiritual head of Indonesian militant group to be freed from prison

SOLO, Indonesia (CNN) -- Controversial Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Ba'asyir (prono: BAH-sheer) ends 26 months in an Indonesian jail Wednesday, completing his prison sentence for giving his blessing to the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings that killed more than 200 people.

Australia and the United States consider Ba'asyir to be the spiritual head of Jemaah Islamiya (JI), a militant Islamic organization with ties to Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda.

The 69-year-old cleric, who was a teacher at an Islamic school in Solo, Indonesia, before his arrest, denies any connections with JI. Those who were convicted in the 2002 bombings -- and several other attacks in Indonesia -- came from his school.

Ba'asyir has been in jail since shortly after the nightclub bombings, although he was not convicted of involvement with those attacks until 2005. Prior to that, he was jailed on immigration violations. (Posted 3:12 p.m.)

Bush visits troops in Baghdad, urges Iraqis to 'seize the moment'

BAGHDAD (CNN) -- President Bush capped a surprise trip to Baghdad by visiting U.S. troops in the Iraqi capital and urging Iraqis to "seize the moment" by rallying behind their fledgling democracy.

"I come away from here believing that the will is strong and the desire to meet the needs of the people is real and tangible," Bush said after meetings with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who had only five minutes' notice that Bush was in Baghdad.

The White House had said previously that he would hold a teleconference with al-Maliki from Camp David, where he huddled with top aides on Iraq on Monday. Instead, the president boarded Air Force One and flew to Iraq under tight security, taking part in the teleconference from the opposite end with al-Maliki at his side.

Bush told the troops that he came to Baghdad "to look Prime Minister Maliki in the eyes to determine whether or not he is as dedicated to a free Iraq as you are -- and I believe he is." (Posted 2:53 p.m.)

Israeli military says 'no chance whatsoever' its artillery killed civilians on beach but admits civilians died in latest missile strike

JERUSALEM (CNN) -- The Israeli military said Tuesday there is "no chance whatsoever" that one of its shells killed innocent Palestinians last Friday but acknowledged that innocent Palestinians were killed Tuesday in an attack on a car in northern Gaza.

Friday's incident -- in which seven Palestinians who were picnicking on a beach were killed -- created a firestorm over Israeli military tactics when pictures were shown of a girl screaming over the death of her father.

While expressing regret over the deaths of innocent civilians, Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz said an Israel Defense Forces investigation had determine an Israeli artillery shell could not have been the cause.

However, Israeli Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz said Tuesday's incident, in which the IDF said it was attempting to hit a van carrying Russian-made Katyusha rockets, did mistakenly kill civilians. (Posted 2:52 p.m.)

Al-Zarqawi's successor warns of new attacks

(CNN) -- A statement attributed to the new leader of al Qaeda in Iraq threatens attacks on Baghdad's Green Zone and warns that slain terror leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi "left behind lions."

The statement, posted online Tuesday, was addressed to "my dear nation" and was signed by Abu Hamza al-Muhajer, the apparent successor to long-wanted terrorist leader al-Zarqawi, who died in a U.S. airstrike last week.

"Three years have passed, during which your mujahedeen sons have given the enemy a taste of defeat and loss," the statement read. "With God's permission, your sons have gotten to the final stages and the enemy has nothing left but to show us its back."

CNN could not immediately authenticate the statement, which appeared on Web sites that often post messages from insurgent groups. (Posted 2:51 p.m.)

Authorities appeal to public for help in finding suspect in shootings of judge, wife

(CNN) -- Authorities appealed Tuesday for information regarding the whereabouts of a 45-year-old pawnshop owner who has been charged in the fatal shooting of his estranged wife and is a suspect in Monday's wounding of a judge in Reno, Nev.

"We'd like to resolve this situation in a peaceful manner and let the criminal justice system go through its course," Deputy Chief Jim Johns told reporters. "For that to occur, we'd like to get Darren Roy Mack in custody. If you know where Darren's at, if Darren is listening or sees this interview, please call the Reno Police Department."

Johns' appeal came a day after a sniper using a high-velocity weapon shot through a third-floor window of the Reno Justice Court Building at 11 a.m., striking Family Court Judge Chuck Weller at least once.

The 53-year-old jurist was taken to Washoe Medical Center, where he was listed in good condition and was reported to be "in good spirits," Johns said. (Posted 1:38 p.m.)

Rep. Kennedy to plead guilty to driving under influence of meds

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Rep. Patrick Kennedy will plead guilty Tuesday to driving under the influence of prescription medications, his chief of staff said.

The Rhode Island Democrat, who crashed his car into a security barrier outside the Capitol May 5, is to enter his plea in D.C. Superior Court during the afternoon, accompanied by his lawyer, Chief of Staff Sean Richardson said.

Kennedy had blamed the wreck on his use of prescription drugs, and checked himself into a drug rehabilitation clinic at the Mayo Clinic, his second such stay at the famed center in Rochester, Minn.

He said he was returning to get help for his longtime battle against addiction and depression. (Posted 12:06 p.m.)

Massachusetts senators comment on Bush's Iraq trip

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Democrats plan to formally respond to President Bush's surprise trip to Iraq after the visit has ended Tuesday afternoon. However, the two Democratic senators from Massachusetts offered their comments on the trip.

Departing a party event, Sen. John Kerry -- who challenged Bush in the 2004 presidential election -- responded to a reporter's question about Bush's trip, saying, "I hope he'll do the real diplomacy that's necessary. Let's see."

The office of Sen. Edward Kennedy released a statement in which he said "it's time for American troops to begin to come home," and "the Iraqi government must begin to make its own decisions, make necessary compromises to avoid full-scale civil war, and take responsibility for its own future." (Posted 11:29 a.m.)

Israeli Probe: Palestinian landmine killed family on beach, not Israeli artillery; rights group disagrees

JERUSALEM (CNN) -- The explosion on a Gaza beach that killed seven people last Friday was caused by explosives planted there by Palestinian militants, not artillery fire from an Israeli navy gunboat, Israeli military sources said Tuesday.

However, in Gaza, the group Human Rights Watch said the evidence it has been able to gather suggests that a 155 mm artillery shell, like the type used by the Israeli military, was responsible.

The Israeli investigation concluded that the possibility any of the six artillery shells fired from the gunboat could have landed on the beach was "almost nil," the sources said.

The deaths of seven people -- all members of a Palestinian family having a beach picnic -- prompted the military wing of Hamas to resume rocket strikes against Israel after a hiatus of more than a year. --CNN's Michal Zippori and Finnuala Sweeney in Jerusalem contributed to this report (Posted 11:25 a.m.)

Israel fires on car laden with Katyusha rockets, kills 11 Palestinians in northern Gaza, sources say

JERUSALEM (CNN) -- Israeli forces -- trying to stop what they said were Islamic Jihad terrorists carrying more powerful Russian-made Katyusha rockets -- fired missiles at a car in northern Gaza Tuesday, killing 11 Palestinians, two of them children, Israeli and Palestinian sources said.

The Israel Defense Forces issued a statement saying, "At noon today IDF aerial forces targeted a car carrying a cell of Islamic Jihad terrorists en route from Gaza City to launch 'Katyusha' rockets against Israel.

"In the past several months there have been three incidents of terrorists launching the more advanced 'Katyusha' rockets which have a range of 20 km.

"Since Friday morning terrorists have launched over 100 projectile rockets at Israel, 38 of these within the last 24 hours."

Five less powerful Qassam rockets landed on the Israeli side of the Gaza border Monday morning, causing no injuries or significant damage, the IDF said. (Posted 9:44 a.m.)

Al Qaeda says Saudi killed 2 years ago was slated to be 20th Sept. 11 hijacker

(CNN) -- A Saudi militant, who was killed in 2004, was supposed to be the 20th hijacker in the Sept. 11, 2001 attack on the United States, according to an al Qaeda statement published Tuesday on an Islamist Web site.

"Turki bin Fheid al-Muteiri -- Fawaz al-Nashmi -- may God accept him as a martyr (was) the one chosen by Sheikh Osama bin Laden to be the martyrdom-seeker number 20 in the raid on September 11, 2001," the statement said.

However, U.S. officials have identified another Saudi, currently in U.S. custody, as the man slated to be 20th hijacker.

According to the al Qaeda statement which was posted on a Web site that has been used by the group in the past, al-Muteiri was not able to join the other hijackers in time.

"The (Sept. 11) operation was brought forward for some circumstances that brother Mohamed Atta explained to the general leadership, through brother Ramzi Binalshibh, God free him," added the statement.

Binalshibh -- suspected of coordinating the 9/11 attacks -- was arrested in 2002 in Karachi, Pakistan. He was once a roommate with Atta, the leader of the 9/11 attacks who hijacked American Airlines Flight 11 and crashed it into the north tower of the World Trade Center.

Al-Muteiri was one four militants killed by Saudi forces, suspected of raiding a residential compound for foreign companies in the Saudi oil city of Khobar in June 2004. The attack left 22 civilians dead, including several Westerners. (Posted 9 a.m.)

Rove informed he will not be charged in CIA leak probe

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- White House senior adviser Karl Rove has been told by special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald that he will not be charged in the CIA leak case, according to Robert Luskin, Rove's lawyer.

"In deference to the pending case, we will not make any further public statements about the subject matter of the investigation," Luskin said in a written statement Tuesday. "We believe that the Special Counsel's decision should put an end to the baseless speculation about Mr. Rove's conduct."

Rove's spokesman Mark Corallo told CNN that Fitzgerald called Luskin "late yesterday" to tell him Rove would not be charged.

A grand jury has heard testimony from Rove in five appearances, most recently April 26.

I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, who resigned in October as chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, is fighting charges he lied to investigators and a grand jury about his knowledge of Valerie Plame, whose identity as a CIA operative was leaked to reporters. (Posted 8:34 a.m.)

At least 70,000 forces to be stationed in Baghdad

BAGHDAD (CNN) -- In a massive effort to bring security to the Iraqi capital, at least 70,000 coalition forces -- most of them Iraqi -- will be deployed on the streets of Baghdad Wednesday morning, according to the Iraqi Interior Ministry.

The troops will be made up of Iraqi police, police commandoes, soldiers and emergency police, as well as coalition forces, the office said.

Beginning at 6 a.m. Wednesday (10 p.m. Tuesday ET), the troops will enforce checkpoints on Baghdad's roads, as well as a 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew.

The forces will also wear new uniforms to distinguish them from insurgents donning fake uniforms and carrying out attacks.

Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has vowed to deploy Iraqi forces to end the spike in violence and sectarian strife in Baghdad in recent months.

It will be the largest operation in Baghdad since the United States handed over sovereignty to Iraq in June 2004, according to Maj. Gen. Mahdi al-Gharrawi, the commander of public order forces under the Interior Ministry. -- From CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq and John Vause (Posted 6:31 a.m.)

Judge bars Hussein's half-brother from court

BAGHDAD (CNN) -- The judge in the trial of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and seven others accused of crimes against humanity barred Hussein's half-brother Barzan Hassan al-Tikriti from the courtroom Tuesday, following disruptions the day before.

Hassan, former head of Iraqi intelligence, was evicted from the courtroom Monday after arguing with Chief Judge Raouf Abdel-Rahman and calling both him and the court "terrifying."

In other developments, Abdel-Rahman said it would be the last session they'd be allowed to present witnesses, telling the defense it was their choice whether they wanted to fill the time with witnesses that would benefit their defendants or just spend the session arguing with the court. (posted 5:35 a.m.)

Six bodies found in Baghdad

BAGHDAD (CNN) -- An Iraqi Interior Ministry official reported the following incidents of violence on Tuesday:

-- Iraqi police found six bodies shot dead in various Baghdad neighborhoods. All of them showed signs of torture and could not be immediately identified by police.

-- One Iraqi police officer was killed and five others were wounded when two roadside bombs hit their patrol near al-Rustumiya bridge in southeastern Baghdad.

-- Hani Aref Jassim, a professor at Baghdad University's College of Engineering, was killed by gunmen in the Mansour neighborhood of western Baghdad. Jassim was driving to when his car was hit with small arms fire. (posted 5:40 a.m.)

'Terrorist' killed during raids north of Ramadi

BAGHDAD (CNN) -- Coalition forces killed a suspected terrorist and detained 23 others during raids north of Ramadi Monday morning, a U.S. military statement Tuesday said.

"The forces were targeting reported terrorist activity in the area, to include the reported use of an elementary school for an improvised explosive device and suicide bomber training facility," the statement said.

"Coalition Forces secured several buildings during the raids and located multiple weapons in each building. The weapons were destroyed on site. One terrorist was killed during the assault."

Ramadi is located about 70 miles (115 km) west of Baghdad. (posted 3:30 a.m.)

At least 14 dead in string of car bombings 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 14 people and wounding 35 others, a police and morgue officials 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 5:35 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.)

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