Reinforced US marines and Iraqi troops stood ready to resume their offensive in Fallujah as the Monitor went to press. The city was temporarily calm as Iraqi elders attempted to negotiate the handover of those who killed and mutilated four American civilians March 31 as well as other wanted resisters. Taking advantage of the lull, thousands of residents fled the city over the weekend, although US forces turned back all men of fighting age.
Despite official warnings that a breakout attempt by Muslim terrorist suspects was imminent, 53 escaped from a jail in the southern Philippines Saturday - the latest in a series that has embarrassed President Gloria Arroyo's government. Eleven were recaptured; a manhunt was on for the others. In other terrorism-related developments:
• A stolen car packed with explosives blew up outside a packed concert site in Karachi, Pakistan, causing one death and nine injuries. Police said the damage could have been far worse if the car had been closer to the gathering.
• Jordanian TV broadcast pictures of three fugitives after police found bombs in their cars, apparently intended for use against US interests there. Four others were in custody. "There is no doubt" they are linked to Al Qaeda, police said.
So overwhelming was the reelection victory of Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika late last week that opposition parties must reform themselves if they hope to survive, analysts said. Bouteflika won 83 percent of the vote - almost 10 times more than his closest runner-up in a contest that international monitors say was one of the fairest yet in the Arab world.
Carrying inflatable dolls of deeply unpopular chief executive Tung Chee-hwa, about 20,000 pro-democracy demonstrators marched on Chinese government offices in Hong Kong, demanding the right to choose their own leaders at the ballot box. Police allowed them to leave letters urging the Bejing regime to reverse its ruling that it alone would decide whether to permit direct elections. Organizers said they recognized the decision was unlikely to be reversed, but, "If we don't fight, we definitely won't get anything."
Rescue crews were digging with bare hands to try to reach possible survivors of a coal mine explosion in Siberia that killed at least 41 men. The blast was blamed on a buildup of gas, and the use of machinery was ruled out because of risk that it could spark another explosion.