Polls closed in Pakistan Monday after the long-awaited election for a new government, with embattled President Pervez Musharraf pledging to work with the winner even if his own allies in parliament lose their grip on power. Turnout was described as light, perhaps matching the lowest in the nation's history. But there were only scattered reports of violence. Above, women line up to cast ballots at a polling place in the city of Attock.
At least 37 people were killed and 30 others were hurt Monday when a car bomb exploded near a convoy of Canadian troops in southern Afghanistan. Three Canadians were hurt; all other casualties were civilians. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. The deaths came on top of more than 100 who were killed Sunday when another Taliban militant exploded a bomb among spectators at a dog fight in Kandahar. That attack was the worstof its type since the Taliban were ousted from power seven years ago.
A Shiite militia leader suspected of supplying Iranian armor-piercing weapons to fighters in Baghdad was captured Monday by US forces in the city. The suspect, who wasn't immediately identified, also is believed to have hand-picked militants for attacks against American and Iraqi security forces. Such attackers, known as "special groups," have broken with radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and refuse to follow his orders to observe a cease-fire with coalition forces.
Police raided housing projects in the suburbs of Paris at dawn Monday, arresting 33 people in a crackdown against the suspected leaders of rioting that wracked the area last year. President Nicolas Sarkozy warned in the aftermath of the violence that efforts to find those responsible was "an absolute priority." Police said most of the 33 in custody were between 19 and 31.
Four more political prisoners were freed by Cuba's communist government and flown to Madrid Sunday in another apparent gesture of leniency under acting leader Raul Castro. Three others arrested in a crackdown against dissidents in 2003 were still awaiting release, the BBC reported. The government of Spain negotiated the releases on health grounds, the BBC said. Fifty-two of the 75 people arrested in the sweep remain jailed.
A runoff election for the presidency of Cyprus was scheduled for next Sunday after two challengers eliminated incumbent Tassos Papadopoulos from the running but failed to win a majority themselves. Balloting was the closest in the history of the divided island. Ex-Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides led with 33.5 percent, compared with 33.3 percent for Communist Party leader Demetris Christofias and 31.7 for Papadopoulos.
Voters in Armenia are to choose between their prime minister and a former head of state Tuesday in a presidential election with overtones of the declaration of independence in Kosovo. For years, the ex-Soviet republic and neighboring Azerbaijan have contested Nagorno-Karabakh and other enclaves controlled by would-be Armenian separatists. Ex-President Levon Ter-Petrosian has hinted that, if he wins, he could seek a compromise with Azerbaijan. Prime Minister Serge Sarkisian, who is widely regarded as the probable winner, appears less flexible on the Nagorno-Karabakh issue.
Trading in shares of Northern Rock was suspended on the London Stock Exchange Monday as Britain's government introduced legislation in Parliament to nationalize the troubled mortgage-lender. Prime Minister Gordon Brown said the banking giant would remain under government control until market conditions improve. The government considered, but rejected, two private takeover bids, saying neither offered sufficient value to taxpayers. Above, customers stop at an automated teller machine outside a branch in Newcastle, England.