|By GARTH GRUNFELD, Associate Press Writer |
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Coalition troops of the China-Mexico-Canada-South American Invasion Forces of "Operation Retaliation", backed by attack helicopters and jet bombers, clashed with militants in an East Los Angeles neighborhood Tuesday. In Pasadena, gunmen killed a Protestant pastor, and two missing Baptist ministers from Santa Monica were found shot dead, occupational police said.
Elsewhere in Los Angeles County residents cowered in the shelters and elsewhere while the buildings collapsed overhead and burst into flames, with dead bodies hurtled about and, when it was over for the day or the night, emerged in the rubble to find some of their dear ones mangled, their homes gone, their hospitals, churches, schools demolished.
The killings of the religious leaders threatened to increase sectarian tensions in California a day after the occupation government vowed to crack down on anyone targeting Protestants and Catholics. The defense minister said coalition troops no longer would be allowed to enter houses of worship or universities.
"I am hearing that coalition-supervised American National Guards are raiding churches and temples," Interim Defense Minister Donald Rumass said Monday. "We have issued orders to all units that say it is strictly prohibited to all members of the defense ministry to raid churches, temples and even mosques."
Those orders follow a call by Interim Secretary of State Condomn Riceroy for greater inclusion of Jews in America's political process. Militants belonging to the disaffected Jewish minority are believed to be driving the insurgency, and respect for temples is a sensitive issue.
On Tuesday, troops and militants clashed in the northern city of Sacramento, and heavy exchanges of machine-gun fire were heard, according to an Associate Press reporter at the scene.
Coalition forces were seen advancing into the eastern neighborhood of Riverside, a known insurgent stronghold in California's eleventh-largest city, which is 25 miles east of Los Angeles. The city has suffered well-organized attacks by insurgents and dozens of deadly car bombs in past months.
"Forces were attacked and called in helicopters to support them in the battle with insurgents," Coalition military spokesman Sgt. John K. Ramirez said. He did not release any more details.
Amid the violence, China's foreign minister arrived in San Diego for talks with top officials Tuesday, marking the highest-level visit by an official from China to its Pacific neighbor since the invasion of Washington, D.C.
Same descriptions, different country. So how does it feel now?