World

Almost two dozen more suspected terrorists were killed or captured by Iraqi and US forces, American commanders said Sunday. All involved were believed to be linked to Al Qaeda. Among them: the bodyguard of a senior Sunni political leader, who was in "the final stages" of a plot to bomb the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad, where the government is based. Iraq's national security adviser said coalition troops also were closer to killing or capturing new Al Qaeda chief Abu Hamza al-Muhajir than "[he] can imagine."

An hour-long video obtained by The Sunday Times (London) places two of the Sept. 11 hijackers at the Afghan headquarters of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden 20 months before their attacks on the US. The tape shows Mohammad Atta and Ziad Jarrah relaxed and laughing before they read for the camera what appears to be their "martyrdom" wills. Earlier footage on the video shows bin Laden addressing his followers. The Times said the tape, which came from "a previously tested channel" answers a question that investigators had been unable to: where Atta was after he disappeared from his last known residence in Germany.

President Vladimir Putin broke his silence on Russia's row with Georgia, accusing the ex-Soviet republic of provoking the Kremlin by detaining four Army officers on spying charges. Planning for the withdrawal of Russian troops from Georgia was suspended, and those remaining were ordered to shoot to kill to defend their bases. Georgia, in turn, accused Putin of meeting secretly with separatist leaders from Abkhazia and South Ossetia in support of their cause.

A new unilateral cease-fire in the separatism campaign against Turkey was declared by the rebel Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). It came in response late to a call last week by imprisoned rebel chief Abdullah Oça-lan. His deputy, Murat Karyilan, said the PKK "will henceforth redirect [its] efforts to the political front." But as the truce took effect, a suspected PKK bomb attack wounded three people outside a hospital in Mersin, Turkey, and Army troops killed a rebel in a gunfight near the border with Syria.

Riot police dispersed angry supporters of Zambian presidential candidate Michael Sata with tear gas Sunday after the nation's elections commission said he'd slid to third place in the ballot-counting. Partial results from last week's voting showed Sata's early lead was gone and that incumbent Levy Mwananasa had surged into first place, the officials said. The trouble was confined to the capital, Lusaka. Sata's campaign demanded an investigation into alleged irregularities. But foreign monitors said the election generally had been held "in a mature and professional manner."

At least six deaths, scores of injuries, and heavy property damage were blamed on typhoon Xangsane as it lashed central Vietnam. The storm weakened as it moved inland Sunday but it still had the potential to dump heavy rain on the region. In the Philippines, where Xangsane struck late last week, authorities raised the casualty count to 76 deaths and said 69 others remain missing. Millions of Fili-pinos were still without electricity or clean water.

Three days of national mourning were declared by Brazilian President Inacio Lula da Silva for the 155 passengers and crew aboard a jetliner that crashed in the Amazon rain forest. No signs of survivors were found. The plane, on a domestic flight, disappeared from radar screens Friday. Lula's declaration came as Brazilians voted in their national election.

A dam burst under the pressure of torrential rains in northwestern Nigeria, washing away hundreds of houses. Authorities confirmed at least three deaths and said 40 other people were missing. The incident followed the collapse of a separate dam in a neighboring state last week that caused heavy flooding.

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