Russia, Germany and France issued a joint declaration today on the need to find a peaceful solution to the crisis with Iraq, the United States and the Security Council.
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The spotlight is now on Ansar al-Islam, a guerilla group of Islamists causing trouble in the extreme southeast of Iraqi Kurdistan. U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell pointed to the group as Exhibit A in America’s case to link Baghdad with al Qa’ida. On Saturday, Ansar agents killed Shawkat Hajji Mushir, a PUK general and member of the ruling council, along with several other people (accounts vary on the number killed.) Members of the FreeRepublic web site are convinced this is the opening shot in the war and that a major attack on the United States is imminent. Their fears are based on events in Afghanistan on Sept. 9, 2001, when Ahmad Shah Massoud of the Northern Alliance was assassinated by Qa’ida agents posing as journalists two days before the attacks on Washington and New York City. His death robbed the Taliban’s opposition of their most charismatic and militarily competent leader.
Ansar al-Islam militants shot and killed a prominent PUK member in the Kurdish parliament along with two other Kurdish officials Saturday night.