World

Muslim-on-Muslim violence - the worst in Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime - killed at least 143 people in multiple terrorist bombings on the holiest day of the Shiite calendar. Hundreds of others were hurt. In Karbala, five separate blasts went off as worshipers gathered outside Shiite shrines on the final day of the festival of Ashoura. Three more bombs exploded in Baghdad; a fourth attempt failed, and the would-be bomber was arrested. The attacks, which some members of the Governing Council said pointed directly at Al Qaeda, were threatening to delay the scheduled signing of Iraq's new interim constitution.

A similar scenario unfolded in Pakistan, where at least 44 people died and more than 150 others were hurt when suspected Sunni terrorists shot into - and exploded bombs among - Shiites in an Ashoura ceremonial procession. Enraged survivors in the city of Quetta rioted, setting buildings on fire and causing authorities to declare a curfew.

The rebels who achieved their goal of ousting Haiti's president repeated a vow to disarm, but its meaning was thrown into confusion when their leader proclaimed himself the new "military chief." Guy Philippe said he wants to rebuild the army that Jean-Bertrand Aristide disbanded in 1995 and called on the public to show support for its return through demonstrations outside the presidential palace. But he said he had no personal political ambitions and would follow the orders of Aristide's interim successor, Boniface Alexandre.

Burning trash and rubble blocked the streets of Vene-zuela's capital as protesters awaited a ruling by the national elections council on petitions seeking the recall of President Hugo Chávez. Similar demonstrations were reported in 10 other cities. The announcement, which already has been delayed twice, was expected to say that not enough of the more than 3 million signatures were valid. That would thwart efforts by his political opponents to force a referendum this summer on his controversial rule. Informed sources said the council would reject 400,000 signatures and require confirmation of 700,000 others. Chávez has called the petition drive a fraud and vowed to appeal if the referendum is allowed.

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