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Idle Iraqis were urged to return to work by the senior US commander there as anti-American violence in the town of Fallujah extended into a fourth day. The sooner they do, Lt. Gen. David McKiernan said in a radio broadcast, the sooner a secure postwar existence can be achieved. Meanwhile, there was more progress toward forming a new government, with Iraqi National Congress leader Ahmed Chalabi and the chiefs of both major Kurdish political movements meeting in Baghdad to discuss working together.

Israel was accused of trying to sabotage the new "road map" to peace with Palestinians after its forces killed 12 people in an intense fire-fight at a Hamas stronghold in Gaza City. Two of the dead were young children. Sixty-five other people were wounded in the raid, which came in retaliation for Wednesday's terrorist bombing in Tel Aviv. Hamas claimed responsibility for that attack.

In a new setback to sectarian peace efforts in Northern Ireland, the British government postponed the May 29 election for the province's power-sharing assembly. The vote won't be held until an unspecified date in the fall. In London, Prime Minister Blair was to release details of his long-awaited plan for accomplishing unfinished goals of the 1998 Good Friday accord between Protestants and Catholics. But without a total renunciation of violence by the Irish Republican Army, he said, eventual peace in Northern Ireland would be "less likely."

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Efforts to rescue 267 hostages aboard four offshore oil rigs in Nigeria appeared imminent. The hostages, 97 of them foreign nationals, were seized April 19 by Nigerian colleagues who demanded that the US company operating the rigs provide transportation by helicopter rather than by boat. The oil workers' union was threatening to "hurt the economy" if any of its members were injured in the rescue mission.

Despite reinforced security measures in Berlin, May Day anarchists smashed store windows and threw rocks, bottles, and lighted fireworks at police. In three hours of trouble, 97 arrests and at least 29 injuries were reported.

A overcrowded bus en route to a May Day rally in central South Africa fell into a reservoir when the driver lost his way. Reports said only 10 of the 90 people aboard were rescued.

Emergency crews struggled to remove debris from on top of more than 100 children who were asleep at their boarding school when an earthquake struck southwestern Turkey. The magnitude-6.4 temblor killed at least 84 people. The area is atop a seismic fault line, and a 1971 quake there was blamed for 900 deaths.

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