World

In one of the worst 24-hour periods for terrorists in Iraq to date, government commandos backed by US troops overran a training camp north of Baghdad. The Interior Ministry said 85 terrorists were killed, among them Saudis and Syrians. Seven Iraqi police also died in the fighting, although no Americans were hurt. Earlier, residents and shopkeepers in the capital's ethnically mixed Doura neighborhood pulled out their own guns and turned on hooded terrorists who were spraying passers-by with gunfire. Three of the terrorists were killed. On Monday, 26 terrorists died in a gunfight south of Baghdad as they tried to ambush a US supply convoy.

Another powerful terrorist bomb - the second in five days - exploded in a Christian area of Lebanon, and suspicion immediately fell on intelligence agencies seeking the return of Syrian Army units. The late-night blast killed three Asian maintenance workers at a shopping mall 10 miles north of Beirut and caused heavy property damage.

The embattled president of Kyrgyzstan fired his interior minister and replaced him with a hard-liner who warned dissidents that the government has "every right" to use physical force "and firearms" to restore order after weeks of growing protests over the disputed parliamentary elections. Police in the capital, Bishkek, routed an opposition rally, arresting an estimated 30 participants.

An arrested convert to Islam led police to a large cache of explosives in Manila that appeared to be positioned for terrorist attacks over the festive Easter weekend. Authorities seized 18 bombs and other explosives, a computer, and a video camera. All were identified as belonging to Abu Sayyaf, a group with ties to Al Qaeda. The organization has vowed revenge for the deaths of 22 of its members in a prison revolt that was put down by police March 15.

Despite massive public protests and angry leftist rhetoric, the National Assembly of France voted to abolish the 35-hour work week. The action allows employees to increase their paid hours on the job to 48 a week. They also may sell back some of their annual vacation and put the cash toward early retirement. The 35-hour standard became compulsory in 2001 but has failed to result in millions of new jobs promised by the former Socialist government. Analysts questioned whether bitterness over Tuesday's vote could affect the referendum in May on ratifying the proposed European Union constitution.

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