New worries arose for US and other coalition forces in Iraq as resisters destroyed two supply convoys, took still more foreign civilians hostage, and were in an armed standoff at a university campus in Baghdad. And in Fallujah, US marines investigating a "bomb factory" discovered suicide belts and a cache of American military uniforms, suggesting resisters would try to get close enough to coalition forces for Palestinian terrorist-type attacks. Meanwhile, the number of civilian hostages rose to at least 30 - from 11 countries - as seven Chinese were kidnapped, angering the Beijing government. Three Japanese whose release was promised Sunday apparently were still being held by their captors, and there was no word on the fate of American Thomas Hamill, who was threatened with execution unless US forces left Fallujah by Sunday.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was preparing to fly to the US to seek the endorsement of President Bush for his plan to withdraw troops and settlements from the Gaza Strip. The hotly contested issue was scheduled for a vote April 29 by Sharon's Likud Party. But analysts said it is far from clear that it would pass, suggesting that Sharon would be under intense pressure to resign if not. Israeli sources said they hope for a US promise that a final peace deal with the Palestinians would not require a similar pullout from the West Bank.

All foreigners were being blocked from traveling to Vietnam's central highlands after a weekend of unrest that supposedly had been quelled three years ago. The government said "normal conditions" once again had been restored in Daklak and Gia Lai provinces but conceded that public buildings and other property had been destroyed and that hospitals were treating injured people. The government crushed a revolt over religious and property rights there in early 2001, and the new flareup is said to have taken authorities by surprise. The region has been a center of opposition to communist rule.

Birthday celebrations for a prominent local politician turned deadly in the capital of India's Uttar Pradesh state as thousands of poor women and girls stampeded on hearing that a giveaway of saris had ended before their turns came. At least 21 people died, and doctors said 28 others were hurt. The report turned out to be false; when order returned, thousands of saris remained to be distributed.

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