Bangladesh will need food aid for one-seventh of its population, approximately 20 million people, over the next five months, the country's disaster minister said Tuesday. The worst monsoon rains and flooding in six years have covered 60 percent of this nation since June, destroying crops and jobs. The overall flood damage could total $6.7 billion, officials estimated.

Afghan and US troops backed by warplanes killed as many as 50 militants in a day-long battle near the Pakistani border, the US military said Tuesday. It was one of the bloodiest clashes since American forces entered Afghanistan. At least one Afghan soldier also was killed and three others wounded in Monday's fighting.

Insurgent bombers killed three Iraqi national guardsmen, a police chief, and a patrolman Tuesday in Baqubah as militants continued their attacks against the country's security forces. In Baghdad, two US soldiers were killed and another wounded by a roadside bomb. Meanwhile, the general who headed the Abu Ghraib prison said in an interview Tuesday that there had been a conspiracy to prevent her from knowing about prisoner abuse at the jail.

Pakistani authorities have arrested several Al Qaeda suspects in recent days, believed to be linked to others in custody who provided intelligence leading to the arrest of a key fugitive and Washington's issuing a terror alert, officials said Tuesday. The arrests included one man trying to leave the country from an airport in the eastern city of Lahore. The 4 arrests were all made in the last 72 hours and the suspects are being interrogated, an unnamed government official told the Associated Press.

Militants attacking an Israeli armored bulldozer inadvertently killed three Palestinians Tuesday during an Israeli operation to destroy weapons-smuggling tunnels from Egypt.

Mexico's former ruling party appeared to have survived a strong challenge in a key southern state and to have scored an upset victory in Tijuana, according to early election returns. With 96.5 of the vote counted in Tijuana, gambling magnate Jorge Hank Rhon of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) had received 47.46 percent of the ballots cast, compared to 46.37 percent for Jorge Ramos of the National Action Party. The two wins would boost the morale of the PRI, whose 71-year hold on the presidency ended in 2000 with the election of Vicente Fox.

Columbia's President Alvaro Uribe announced Monday that two paramilitary factions must disarm and prepare to move their fighters into a safe haven determined by the government's peace commissioner. Battles in eastern Colombia between the two groups have left dozens dead in the past month and displaced hundreds.

Singapore said Tuesday it would organize a contest to find the tech-savvy city-state's best computer hacker. Six two-person teams will compete in the Aug. 20 event, organized by the government-funded National Infocomm Competency Center. Asia has been the scene of some of the worst attacks by hackers.

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