World

At least 12 more civilians died in the second car bomb explosion by terrorists in Baghdad in 24 hours. Dozens of others were hurt. Three of the dead were contractors for a General Electric subsidiary that has been rebuilding Iraq's power plants, but the company said it had no plans to halt its work or to pull out any employees. Another car bomb went off in Salman Pak, south of Baghdad, killing or injuring eight people. Prime Minister Iyad Allawi pleaded for Iraqis to show patience "against those forces which are trying to assault them."

A senior Al Qaeda member with a $1 million price on his head was captured by Pakistani forces, the Interior Ministry announced. He was identified as the nephew of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, formerly the No. 3 Al Qaeda leader, who has been in custody since March 2003. The announcement came as Pakistan's military ended a mission to flush Al Qaeda members and their local supporters from hideouts near the Afghanistan border. Fifty-five suspects were killed, but the operation also cost the lives of 17 soldiers.

Using his toughest language to date, UN International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei said Iran isn't working with his inspectors satisfactorily and demanded "accelerated and proactive coopera- tion." ElBaradei said information disclosed by the Tehran government on its nuclear program has been "changing and, at times, contradictory" despite protestations to the contrary. It was not clear, however, whether the four-day IAEA meetings in Vienna, Austria, would result in a referral to the UN Security Council for sanctions against Iran.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon appears on the verge of escaping indictment by Israel's attorney general in a high-profile bribery case, news outlets in Jerusalem reported. The latter's decision in the matter is anticipated as soon as Wednesday and is expected to say that evidence against Sharon isn't sufficient to prosecute him either for receiving a payoff from a real estate developer who hoped to build a resort or for breaching the trust of his office. A decision in Sharon's favor could have the benefit of luring the opposition Labor Party into his minority government, analysts said. Like Sharon, Labor favors an Israeli pullout from the Gaza Strip. But it has been unwilling to join his coalition while the scandal lingers.

As expected, the first round of voting in Serbia's presidential election Sunday resulted in the need for a runoff between ultranationalist Tomislav Nilolic and pro-Western reform candidate Boris Tadic. Tadic took 27.6 percent of the vote compared to Nikolic's 30.4 percent, but analysts predicted other defeated candidates would throw their support behind the former in the June 27 second round.

Communist rebels ambushed a convoy of police vehicles in western Nepal, exploding land mines as it passed and then firing on the stalled vehicles. At least 21 police died; 12 others were wounded. Analysts said the incident fulfilled a warning by the rebels that the reappointment earlier this month of controversial Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba would lead to an escalation of hostilities against the government.

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