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The number of deaths from Sunday's powerful terrorist bomb explosion in Baghdad rose to 25, and US authorities said intelligence data indicate that a network of 14 insurgent cells is operating in the city. They said each cell has from 10 to 100 people, most of them members of the outlawed Baath Party, and that rigid security controls prevent them from being penetrated by spies but also limit their ability to coordinate activities. The US authorities did not speculate how long it would take to wipe out the network. They spoke as tens of thousands of Shiite Muslims marched through the city in another demonstration for early national elections as demanded by their spiritual leader.

In related developments:

• More than 50,000 Iraqis will be hired for reconstruction projects in their country by July, US administrators announced. The projects are valued at $18.6 billion, and the largest number of them - 330 - is scheduled for a province that has been a center of anti-US insurgency since the war.

• UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan was to meet with senior US administrator Paul Bremer and a delegation from the Iraqi Governing Council Monday on what role the international body could play in the war-torn country. Despite calls for early UN involvement, Annan has said repeatedly that conditions in Iraq still are too dangerous for the agency to return.

• An advance contingent of Japanese troops moved into Iraq, the first such deployment in a conflict zone since World War II.

The era of female terrorist bombers has begun, a defiant Hamas leader warned Monday. Sheikh Ahmed Yassin spoke to hundreds of supporters in Gaza City after a senior Israeli defense official marked him for assassination. Last week, a Palestinian mother of two exploded a bomb at the Eretz border crossing, killing herself and four Israelis. She is believed to be Hamas's first woman bomber, but Yassin said all Muslim women have "an obligation" to "martyrdom."

Hiding on rooftops and in alleys, supporters of beleaguered Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide threw rocks and bottles and fired guns as a demonstration demanding his ouster broke up Sunday in the capital, Port-au-Prince. One person died in the violence, and five others were hurt. Estimates put the number of demonstrators at 4,000. The death was the 46th in the past four months among antigovernment protesters. Above, one alleged rock-thrower is pinned to the ground by a police officer.

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