Iraqi debate on security pact ends in scuffle

BAGHDAD - A heated parliamentary debate on the U.S.-Iraq security treaty was called to an early close Wednesday as lawmakers loyal to anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada al-Sadr scuffled with security guards for the foreign minister and the speaker of the legislature and his two deputies.

The session was chaotic from the start, with lawmakers shouting at each other. Speaker Mahmoud al-Mashhadani added to the din by repeatedly yelling at legislators to sit down or keep quiet, but failed to restore order.

The turmoil followed the announcement by two small political factions that they would join al-Sadr's supporters in opposing the security pact, which would allow American forces to stay in Iraq for three more years and is backed by the governing coalition.

US strikes at militants deep inside Pakistan

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - The U.S. military apparently struck at Islamic militants outside Pakistan's lawless tribal belt for the first time Wednesday, firing a missile that killed six suspected insurgents along the Afghan border.

The government denounced the attack as yet another 'grave provocation' amid a series of U.S. military operations in the country that have inflamed widespread anger among ordinary Pakistanis.

Agency: Syrian site possible nuclear reactor

VIENNA, Austria - The U.N. nuclear watchdog agency said Wednesday that a Syrian site bombed by Israel in 2007 had the characteristics of a nuclear reactor. It also admitted that its investigation into Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program is deadlocked.

The conclusions were contained in two confidential reports from the International Atomic Energy Agency that were obtained by The Associated Press.

Interpol probes info leaks in Mexico office

MEXICO CITY - Interpol is sending a special investigative team to Mexico to determine whether sensitive information from its database on criminals and terrorists was leaked to drug cartels, the agency said Wednesday.

Interpol launched the probe after Mexican federal police official Ricardo Gutierrez Vargas was placed under house arrest as part of an investigation of officers who allegedly shared information with traffickers.