World

Without revealing his name, the Iraqi military said Sunday it had arrested an insurgent neighborhood leader in western Baghdad who is responsible for attacks on US-led forces. Seven aides were also captured, a report denied by the Sunni Arab insurgent group Ansar al-Sunna. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki called on Shiites and Sunnis to use the Islamic holy month of Ramadan to abstain from sectarian violence of the kind that killed 38 people in the Shiite slum of Sadr City on Saturday. A group claiming responsibility for the bombing said it was revenge for Shiite death-squad attacks on Sunni Arab homes and mosques that took four lives Friday.

Gambian electoral officials confirmed over the weekend that President Yahya Jammeh had easily won a third term with 67 percent of the vote in Friday's election. Jammeh pledged efforts to attract high-tech businesses to his country, which is one of the poorest in the world, with many subsistence farmers. The US pulled funding from Gambia in June, citing political suppression.

In Hungary, the organizer of the largest antigovernment rally aimed at forcing Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany's resignation said Sunday that the protests won't cease "until the cabinet resigns." On Saturday, 40,000 people converged on Budapest's parliament square, but there were no reports of the violence that marred earlier demonstrations against the postcommunist leadership. Analysts said they believe Gyurcsany is likely to survive his biggest crisis in two years, brought on by revelations that he'd lied about the state of the country's economy.

Saudi Arabian officials said Sunday that they have no evidence to corroborate a French newspaper report that Osama bin Laden had died. The story, which surfaced late last week and supposedly drew on French intelligence, said that the Al Qaeda leader may have succumbed to disease in Pakistan in August. The account has met with skepticism from Western and Muslim governments, with some theorizing that the report was designed to flush bin Laden into the open. He last appeared on video nearly two years ago.

An official with Thai Airways International said Sunday that he believes ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra may have flown some of his assets out of the country just days before last week's military coup. Thailand's new ruling council said it will launch an investigation into the alleged wrongdoing under Thaksin's government.

Thousands of Indonesian mourners Sunday buried three Christian militants who were executed for attacks on Muslims during sectarian strife six years ago. The government of the world's most populous Muslim nation said Friday's executions had nothing to do with the men's faith. Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda said this was a "pure enforcement of the law" in the "new Indonesia."

Preliminary results from a Swiss referendum Sunday indicated that citizens voted to raise barriers to asylum-seekers despite possible damage to Switzerland's humanitarian reputation.

Bangladeshi officials said Sunday that thousands of fishermen caught in last week's storm in the Bay of Bengal are still missing, and possibly drowned, a sharp increase over previous estimates. Figures were revised upward after improved weather conditions facilitated a massive search and rescue effort.

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