Hamas chose its next leader in secret and pledged "100 attacks" against Israeli targets for the death Saturday of Abdel Aziz Rantisi. But Israeli leaders said the group's overall chief, Khaled Mashaal, would be their next target "the minute we have the operational opportunity." Mashaal, who's accused of plotting numerous bombing attacks, is based in Damascus, Syria. Rantisi and two bodyguards were killed by rockets fired at their car in Gaza City. He had led Hamas for less than a month; Israel killed his predecessor, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, in an identical attack March 21.

Casualties were reported heavy in Day 2 of fighting between US maines and hundreds of resisters near Iraq's border with Syria. At least five Americans were killed and nine others were wounded, an embedded St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter said. Elsewhere, US forces closed highways on three sides of Baghdad after two weeks of ambushes of supply convoys.

As long as he leads Zimbabwe, it will "never" return to the Commonwealth, President Robert Mugabe vowed at ceremonies marking his nation's 24th anniversary of independence from Britain. Mugabe also said his government would smash all remaining resistance to redistributing all white farmland to blacks, and his government fired the opposition party mayor of Harare, the capital, for alleged corruption and abuse of power.

Calm appeared to be restored to the capital of the Central African Republic after a gunfight Saturday between government troops and mercenaries from neighboring Chad, reports said. At least three people - all Chadian - died and 10 others were wounded. Mercenaries helped President François Bozize seize power last year, but many of them have since complained of being poorly paid and denied an opportunity to join the republic's Army.

The remains of 23 diamond miners were found by police in a remote section of Brazil's Amazon, and the discovery will cause all prospectors to be removed from the area, authorities said. The deaths were blamed on a battle with Indians two weeks ago. As many as 64 prospectors are believed to have been in the area, with the fate of the others still unknown. The area is an Indian reserve and mining there is illegal.

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