WORLD: Iraqi general among dead

Iraqi general among dead

BAGHDAD -- A series of bombings and shootings around Iraq Tuesday claimed 13 lives, including four policemen, an Iraqi army general and a 9-year-old girl, Iraqi officials said.

While violence has dropped overall across the country, the attacks underline the continued threat to government employees and members of the security forces, who are often targeted by insurgents trying to destabilize the country.

A brigadier general with the Iraqi army was killed when a bomb attached to his car exploded in Kazimiyah, a primarily Shiite district in northern Baghdad, police and hospital officials said.

Petraeus makes room for change

WASHINGTON -- Gen. David Petraeus left open the possibility of recommending that President Barack Obama delay his plans to start withdrawing troops from Afghanistan next summer if the new commander can't turn around the stalemated war.

''There will be an assessment at the end of this year after which undoubtedly we'll make certain tweaks, refinements, perhaps some significant changes,'' Petraeus told a Senate panel Tuesday of the battle plan and the timeline Obama has laid out.

The Senate Armed Services Committee quickly approved Petraeus for the job of running the Afghan war, and the full Senate was predicted to act as early as Tuesday night. Obama nominated Petraeus to take over from the disgraced Gen. Stanley McChrystal, fired last week for disparaging remarks about his civilian bosses.

80 trapped in illegal mine

DUNKWA-ON-OFFIN, Ghana -- Ghanaian officials said police have arrested the owner of an illegal mine where 80 miners are believed to be trapped after the mine collapsed.

Municipal chief Peter Owusu-Eshia said the abandoned gold mine collapsed Sunday after heavy rains. He said Tuesday police arrested a man who is alleged to have hired 136 people to work the mine. The mine is some 125 miles from Accra, the capital.

Residents of the town of Dunkwa-on-Offin said they believe there could be more than 80 miners trapped inside.

Local fire official D.O. Adusa said rescuers were struggling because survivors are withholding information about the illegal mining operation.

The West African nation is one of the continent's largest gold exporters.