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Hamas lost another militant - its 10th in the past two weeks - when the car in which he was riding was struck by four Israeli rockets in the Gaza Strip. Early reports said 26 others were hurt in the attack, although two other Hamas members believed to be in the wrecked car may have escaped. Yet another Hamas leader was arrested by undercover Israeli Border Patrolmen in Tulkarm in the West Bank. The strikes came amid warnings from Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz that Israel reserves the option of "a ground operation" in Gaza to stop Hamas from launching homemade missiles at nearby civilian populations.

The host of the six-nation discussions on North Korea's nuclear program sought to blame US policy toward the Pyongyang government as the obstacle to progress. But China's Foreign Ministry said despite "the huge difference" between the two - and North Korea's rejection of further talks - it was open to staging another round. In the talks that ended Friday in Beijing, North Korea called US negotiating points "a game [that] even kids won't play.

Twenty-five people, one of them a woman, were chosen to head cabinet departments in Iraq's interim Governing Council, a step toward giving the war-torn country greater control over its own affairs. The announcement came as an estimated 3,000 Shiite mourners reached the halfway point in their march to protest last week's terrorist bomb that killed a leading cleric and more than 80 of his followers.

A Muslim couple and their daughter were charged with involvement in the terrorist bombings last week in Bombay that killed 52 people and hurt 150 others. The development followed a weekend in which police killed two leaders of a Muslim rebel group in New Delhi as they waited in a car to pick up a supply of weapons. A rocket launcher, shells, hand grenades, and loaded guns were confiscated, as was a satchel containing 50 pounds of high explosive found earlier on a busy railway platform.

Another 200,000 members of China's armed forces will lose their jobs by the end of next year, the official Xinhua news agency reported. The cuts come on top of a half-million who were phased out between 1995 and 2000. Xinhua said the government gave as its reason the need of "maximize the use of limited strategic resources" while speeding up the application of information technology.

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