Israel's military heatedly denied accusations that tanks and helicopters fired deliberately into a large crowd of Palestinians protesting its invasion of the Rafah refugee camp in the Gaza Strip. But TV coverage appeared to show otherwise. At least 10 people died, a number that was expected to rise since dozens more were critically wounded. The Bush administration said it was seeking "the facts about what happened" from the Jerusalem government and urged "maximum restraint." Israel's two-day offensive against the camp already had drawn a chorus of international condemnation, which seemed certain to escalate.

As expected, a former finance minister was chosen to be India's new head of government, and he and the leader of his Congress Party, Sonia Gandhi, were meeting with the president to arrange for the formation of a coalition government. Manmohan Singh, who is widely credited as the architect of India's economic boom, is expected to take the oath of office Friday as prime minister.

Seven more followers of radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr were killed in fighting with American forces in Karbala, Iraq, with gunfire coming from upper-story windows of one of Shia Islam's holiest shrines, a US spokesman said. Meanwhile, a terrorist group linked to Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for the assassination Monday of Iraqi Governing Council President Izzedine Saleem.

Protesters firebombed the British Embassy in Iran in a fourth straight day of demonstrations against the damage done to Shiite religious sites in neighboring Iraq by coalition forces fighting with resisters. No one was reported hurt. Some news agencies put the number of protesters in the thousands, but others said the ranks were in the hundreds at most. Meanwhile, under pressure, theater operators across Iran stopped showing a new box-office hit movie that pokes fun at the the nation's ruling hard-line clerics.

Martial law in the restive province of Aceh was formally lifted by Indonesia's government on grounds that separatist rebels there are all but defeated. But a state of emergency remains in effect, an estimated 40,000 Army troops and police are still deployed there, and curfews can be ordered at any time. Indonesia has vowed that Aceh will never be granted independence.

New concerns arose about security for this summer's Olympic Games after police in Athens destroyed a bomb found less than a mile from the second-largest complex to be used at the sports gathering. The device was similar to three others that went off outside a center-city police station May 5. Responsibility for the earlier blasts was claimed by a radical group that said Western tourists were "undesirable" at the games. Against that backdrop, Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat volunteered the help of factions under his control to "ensure the success of the games."

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