Thirty-five people were found dead Monday, many of them shot execution-style, in a new wave of violence against minority Hindus in the Indian sector of Kashmir. Police said Muslim militants dressed as soldiers summoned residents from their homes in one village and then killed 22 of them in the worst single attack there since India and Pakistan reached a cease-fire agreement three years ago. Elsewhere in the disputed state, all 13 shepherds seized over the weekend were killed, local authorities said. Since the Islam-ists began their campaign to wrest Kashmir from India in 1989, almost 67,000 people have died. India usually blames Muslim Pakistan for backing the militants, but Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stopped short of doing so Monday and said the latest incidents wouldn't reverse the recent improvement in bilateral relations.
Coalition forces killed as many as 27 militants in fighting across southern and eastern Afghanistan Sunday, reports said, and another died Monday when a bomb he was carrying exploded prematurely. Both regions are hotbeds for Taliban remnants who have been mounting increasingly frequent attacks in recent weeks. The would-be bomber appeared headed for an anniversary celebration of the 1992 overthrow of communist rule. A similar celebration in another town also escaped attack when police arrested three militants in a car rigged with plastic explosive and antitank mines.
New demands for the ouster of Philippines President Gloria Arroyo caused a clash between security police and thousands of left-wing protesters in the streets of Manila in the most confrontational of May Day demonstrations around the world. But other than pushing and shoving, no violence was reported and police kept the protesters from reaching the presidential palace, where Arroyo told a national TV audience, "To our destabilizers, I say stop the noise and start to serve." She has been the object of accusations that she rigged the 2004 national election, and in February a coup plot against her by dissident military personnel and communist rebels was quashed.
Despite an extension until Tuesday night of negotiations on the proposed peace deal for Darfur, prospects for a settlement appeared dim. Sudanese Vice President Ali Osman Mohamed Taha left the talks in Abuja, Nigeria, Monday after what African Union mediators said were "insulting" meetings with representatives of the Darfur rebel movement. The latter complained that the draft settlement neither provides autonomy for their region nor adequate representation in the national government. It calls for disarming the notorious Janjaweed militias and for integrating some rebels into the Army and police, but the rebels also want a new vice president from Darfur added to the government, whereas the draft calls only for them to nominate an official who would serve as a senior "adviser."
Monday brought new worry that Sri Lanka may be returning to all-out civil war after more attacks blamed on Tamil separatist rebels caused seven deaths. The worst came in the northeastern city of Trincomalee, where a remote-controlled mine exploded outside a food shop. It apparently was aimed at a foot patrol of military personnel, but most of the casualties were members of a Tamil family who were passing in a motorized rickshaw. At least 130 people have been killed in similar attacks or reprisals by government forces since violence began escalating a month ago.
The drama of a mine rescue effort had Australians riveted to their TV sets Monday after word that two men trapped 3,000 feet underground were still alive. The shaft in which they were working at Beconsfield, Tasmania, collapsed a week ago after a mild earthquake. A coworker died, but communication with the survivors was established late Sunday. They complained of being cold and cramped and asked for food and fresh water. At the pace of the rescue work, experts estimated the men would not be brought to the surface until at least Wednesday.