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Five Shot in Detroit
Street Attacks

By Nick Bunkley

Five people were shot here shortly before dawn Thursday, seemingly at random, and the police were searching for two men they believe were involved.

Two of the people died, including a 58-year-old woman who was shot while sitting in her car outside the day care center where she worked. The other victims were hospitalized with injuries described as non-threatening.

The shootings happened in less than 15 minutes at three locations within a four-block area on the city’s west side, said Commander James Tolbert of the Detroit Police Department’s major crimes unit. The surviving victims and other witnesses reported seeing two gunmen at one of the locations and one man armed with a rifle at the others.

Tolbert said investigators were positive there were no more than two assailants, but one man might have been responsible for all five shootings. The motive for the attacks was unclear.

Iraq Government Seeks Arrest
Of Militant Sunni Cleric

By Kirk Semple

The government issued an arrest warrant late Thursday for Sheik Harith al-Dhari, one of Iraq’s most prominent Sunni Arab clerics, on charges of inciting terrorism and violence, officials said.

Al-Dhari, head of the influential Association of Muslim Scholars, is an outspoken critic of the foreign military presence in Iraq and of the Shiite-dominated government led by Prime Minister Nouri Kamal al-Maliki. He is a champion for many hard-line and disaffected Sunni Arabs, and word of the arrest warrant raised concerns that it could widen the sectarian divide in Iraq and further inflame the insurgency.

Interior Minister Jawad al-Bolani announced the warrant on state-run television, saying, “The government’s policy is that anyone who tries to spread division and strife between the Iraqi people will be chased by our security agencies.”

Al-Dhari regularly travels throughout the Middle East and could not be reached for comment on Thursday. Appearing on Al-Jazeera television, Mohammed Bashar al-Faidi, a spokesman for the Association of Muslim Scholars, condemned the warrant, saying, “I don’t know how to describe it, but it represents the bankruptcy of the sectarian government following one scandal after the other.”

Storms in Southeast
Kill 12, Injure Dozens

By Patrick Gannon
and Brenda Goodman

A volatile storm system killed at least 12 people and injured dozens across the Southeast before heading toward the Eastern Seaboard, prompting forecasters to issue flash flood warnings from Virginia to Maine.

Powerful winds and tornadoes ripped off roofs, demolished houses, tossed trucks and toppled trees in six states, leaving at least 13,500 people without power. Forecasters predicted that while the storms were weakening, coastal and low-lying areas farther up the coast should look out for heavy rains, flooding and downed power lines through Friday morning.

A tornado that hit a mobile home park near Riegelwood, N.C., around 7 a.m. Thursday was responsible for many of the fatalities. “It appears that the tornado touched down in a mobile home area,” said Gov. Michael F. Easley of North Carolina in an afternoon news conference. It damaged 30 to 40 houses, skipped over a highway and leveled some brick houses on the other side, Easley said.