HONDURAS: Four civilians killed by drug raiders
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration confirmed Wednesday that some of its agents were on a U.S.-owned helicopter with Honduran police who opened fire on a small boat on a Honduran river, and a local official said two men and two pregnant women were killed. Angry inhabitants of the Mosquito Coast region, largely Indian, burned down several government offices, saying they wanted DEA agents out of the area. The shooting took place Friday on the Patuca River in northeastern Honduras. Honduran and U.S. officials said the helicopter team was part of an anti-drug mission and the Honduran officers fired only after their aircraft was shot at first. Local officials said the victims were diving for lobster and shellfish when their boat came under fire. The leaders of the Masta, Diunat, Rayaka, Batiasta and Bamiasta ethnic groups said "the people in that canoe were fishermen, not drug traffickers."
PAKISTAN: More demands for opening border
The United States and Pakistan raced Wednesday to conclude a deal to reopen key supply routes for the Afghanistan war before next week's NATO summit, with Washington hopeful of an imminent deal but Islamabad insisting that the U.S. pay more to repair relations and end the blockade. Both sides said negotiations continued in Islamabad, a day after NATO invited Pakistan's president to the Chicago summit in the strongest sign yet that the wary U.S. ally was ready to reopen its western border to American and allied military supplies heading to neighboring Afghanistan. Pakistan closed the routes after American airstrikes in November that killed 24 Pakistani troops.
RUSSIA: Anti-Putin demonstrators arrested
About 20 protesters were arrested Wednesday night at a central Moscow square where demonstrators had moved after police uprooted them from a camp, the latest move in a broadening crackdown on the forces opposing President Vladimir Putin. The detentions at Kudrinskaya Square come as the opposition tries to maintain momentum following a series of massive protests over the winter. Several hundred demonstrators had gathered at the square outside one of the city's Stalinist Gothic skyscrapers after an early morning police raid on demonstrators who had set up a camp in a park in the center of Chistoprudny Boulevard. News reports also said prominent opposition figure Ilya Yashin was among those detained.