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WORLD IN BRIEF: McCain says Kandahar key to Afghan war

McCain says Kandahar key to Afghan war

KABUL, Afghanistan -- The ranking Republican on the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee said Monday that NATO and Afghan troops will prevail in the war if they can succeed in securing and bolstering governance in the Taliban stronghold of Kandahar.

Sen. John McCain, who visited Afghanistan's largest city in the south on Monday with two other U.S. lawmakers, warned of tough fighting ahead and predicted that casualties would rise in the short-term.

''The Taliban know that Kandahar is the key to success or failure,'' McCain told a news conference at the airport in Kabul. ''So what happens in this operation will have a great effect on the outcome of this conflict. But I am convinced we can succeed and will succeed, and Kandahar is obviously the key area. And if succeed there, we will succeed in the rest of this struggle.''

Serb lawmaker shot in Kosovo

PRISTINA, Kosovo -- A gunman wounded a Serb member of Kosovo's parliament on Monday, police said, in an attack that could further stoke ethnic tensions in the unstable region.

The four shots were fired at legislator Petar Miletic, 35, as he walked out of his apartment in the northern town of Mitrovica, said police spokesman Besim Hoti. Miletic was hit once in the knee, Hoti said. His injuries were not life-threatening.

It was unclear if the shooting was linked to Miletic's work. He is one of only 10 Serb members of Kosovo's 120-seat assembly, which is dominated by the ethnic Albanians that make up the majority of Kosovo's population.

Two Yemenis shot to death

SAN'A, Yemen -- Yemen says two security officers have been killed and three injured in a shootout with suspected al-Qaida militants in a southern town.

An official statement Monday said two suspects were arrested after the clashes in Mukalla, in southern Hadramwat province. It gave no further details.

Residents told The Associated Press a security force surrounded the suspects' hideout during the 45-minute shootout. The witnesses said the militants lobbed grenades at the force, prompting a hail of gunfire.

The witnesses, who spoke on condition of anonymity fearing reprisals, said the wanted militants escaped.