Five former Blackwater Worldwide security guards pleaded not guilty in federal court in Washington, D.C., to charges they unleashed an unprovoked salvo of bullets and grenades in a busy Baghdad square in 2007, killing at least 14 civilians and injuring 20 others. A federal judge set a trial date for January of next year in the high-profile shooting. The guards did not speak during the brief arraignment on 14 counts of voluntary manslaughter, 20 counts of attempting to commit manslaughter and one count of discharging a firearm during a crime of violence.
PAKISTANI, AFGHAN LEADERS EMBRACE
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, whose government has been accused by India of supporting a major terrorist attack there, vowed to work closely with Afghan President Hamid Karzai to combat terrorism, saying it had become a menace to all countries in the region. Zardari, making his first visit to Afghanistan, was welcomed by Karzai as a "brother" during a joint news conference in Kabul. "I am a victim of the same terrorism that every Afghan girl or boy in every village feels," Zardari said, referring to the assassination of his wife, former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, just over a year ago.
KURDISH POLITICIAN GUNNED DOWN
Gunmen have killed a member of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani's political party in a drive-by shooting in the northern city of Kirkuk, Iraqi police officials said.
Subhi Hassan, who handles political relations for the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, and a bodyguard were killed after unidentified gunmen chased down their car after it passed through a checkpoint, said Police Brigadier Ahmed Hawandi. A third person in the car was wounded.