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Dozens of Afghan rebels die in fighting

Published July 16, 2006

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - More than 40 insurgents were killed Saturday as hundreds of coalition troops, many dropped by helicopter, wrested a desert town from the Taliban and U.S. forces battled militants across southern Afghanistan, officials said.

The U.S. military, meanwhile, agreed to assist an Afghan government inquiry into reports that a coalition air raid killed civilians Monday in southern Uruzgan province. The military said the operation killed 40 extremists, but residents said at least four civilians died.

President Hamid Karzai also ordered new inquiries into fresh violence in Helmand province - the air assault Saturday on the insurgent stronghold of Sangin and Wednesday's fighting in nearby Nawzad. At least 29 insurgents died in the two clashes.

India says peace process with Pakistan is in danger

NEW DELHI, India - Indian officials on Saturday again warned about fraying relations with Pakistan, as investigations continued into the serial bombings in the country's financial capital, Bombay, but produced no firm evidence of who was responsible.

In the wake of the bombings that killed more than 180 people and wounded roughly 700 Tuesday during the evening rush hour on Bombay's packed commuter trains, Indian authorities have pointed fingers at a Pakistan-based militant outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba.

"As a result of these terrorist attacks it is becoming very difficult to take forward the peace process" with Pakistan, Shyam Saran, the Indian foreign secretary, told reporters Saturday.

In Haiti march, thousands demand return of Aristide

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - Thousands of demonstrators demanding the return of ousted president Jean-Bertrand Aristide marched to Haiti's national palace Saturday, pushing past riot police in a dramatic show of support for the exiled former leader.

Chants of "Aristide or death!" and "Aristide's blood is our blood!" rang out as a crush of demonstrators pressed against a line of national police, who eventually allowed some 3,000 protesters to fill the street outside the palace.

The march coincided with Aristide's 53rd birthday and marked the largest display of support in months for the deposed leader, who fled Haiti in February 2004.

Landslide in Nepal kills at least 17 in their sleep

KATMANDU, Nepal - A landslide triggered by monsoon rains swept through a village in northwest Nepal before dawn Saturday, killing at least 17 people as they slept, officials said.

Another 13 people were missing and feared dead after the wall of mud and rock buried seven houses, local administrator Badri Ghimire said.

At least 42 are killed by tropical storm in China

BEIJING - Tropical Storm Bilis killed at least 42 people and injured hundreds as it churned across China's southeast, the government's main news agency reported today.

At least nine people were missing after Bilis swept through the densely populated coast early Friday and moved inland, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

Elsewhere ...

Bird flu death: A 44-year-old man died of bird flu in Indonesia, a senior health official said today. The man died July 12 after being hospitalized for two days with high fever, coughing and breathing difficulties, said the official, Nyoman Kandun. If confirmed by a World Health Organization-sanctioned test, the number of people killed by bird flu in Indonesia rises to at least 42.

Mine blast kills 18: A gas explosion in a Chinese coal mine killed at least 18 miners and trapped 39 others, a news report said today. The blast occurred Saturday afternoon in Jinzhong, in Shanxi province.

heavy rains kill 10: Heavy rains caused landslides in eastern South Korea that have killed at least 10 people and left 17 missing, the government said. Up to 14 inches of rain fell in the mountainous Gangwon province since Friday, and more was expected throughout the weekend, the National Emergency Management Agency said.

[Last modified July 16, 2006, 01:51:37]

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