Busy Day In The Mideast

All the players are in action this weekend.

GAZA (Reuters) – Two missiles fired by an Israeli helicopter killed a high-profile Hamas militant commander on his motorcycle and two comrades in Gaza City early on Sunday, Palestinian witnesses said.

Hamas sources identified the commander as Wael Nassar and said he and one of the other slain militants masterminded a May 11 ambush in which six Israeli soldiers were blown up when their troop carrier rolled over a mine during a raid into Gaza City. And the al Qaeda terrorists responsible for the deaths of at least 10 people in a Saudi office complex have hostages.

KHOBAR, Saudi Arabia (Reuters) – Dozens of Saudi commandos raided a housing compound in the eastern oil city of Khobar on Sunday in a bid to free some 50 foreign hostages held by suspected al Qaeda militants.
Witnesses saw members of the special forces dropping from three twin-bladed military helicopters onto the roof of a building in the compound amid gunfire.

The building is believed to be the one where up to five militants are holding the hostages, who were seized during attacks on Saturday and include Americans and other Westerners. They are believed to be held on the sixth floor.And in Iraq the lineup of the new Iraqi government should be known soon.

BAGHDAD (AFP) – The line-up of the new Iraqi government to take over sovereignty will be finalized within 24 hours, an official said, while an unknown number of militiamen were killed in fighting which rocked a truce.

There was no let up in the violence predicted to worsen ahead of the June 30 handover, as fighters loyal to radical Shiite Muslim cleric Moqtada Sadr clashed with US forces in southern Kufa, medics and the military said Saturday.

“A group of Moqtada militia fired RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades) at a US patrol. They returned fire, killing the attackers,” a US military spokeswoman said.Update: The hostages have been freed.

Update 2: Joe Gandelman on why this is happening in Saudi Arabia:

The actual facts of what happened read like a rousing victory against terrorism…..except it actually reflects a abject failure on the part of Saudi Arabian policy makers who have given yet more proof to [sic] the historical fact that the appeasement of terrorists and/or totalitarian wannbies eventually boomerangs back to slam them in the butt.

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