As Iraqis basked in a sense of accomplishment after Sunday's historic election, Shiite leaders pledged to include the Sunni minority in the new government, saying the nation cannot afford to leave anyone out. Interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi told a news conference he'd open a dialogue with all sectors of the population because "the whole world is watching us." Results of the election won't be known for several more days, but Shiites appeared virtually certain to have won the most votes. Sunni turnout at the polls was generally low.

The shooting death of a schoolgirl in the Gaza Strip threatened to send Palestinian relations with Israel back to the brink, as Hamas retaliated by launching five mortar shells at a Jewish settlement. Palestinians and UN officials blamed the death on Israeli troops operating near the Rafah refugee camp. Israeli defense sources said they had no reports of gunfire near the school but would coordinate an investigation with the Palestinians. No injuries were reported from the Hamas mortars. The new violence came even though Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas had coaxed militant groups into a de facto truce with Israel and thousands of his police were attempting to maintain calm in the Gaza Strip.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon appeared undeterred by one of the largest protests in Israeli history - a rally Sunday in Jeru-salem by an estimated 150,000 people demanding a national referendum on pulling settlements out of Gaza and parts of the West Bank. Sharon rejects a referendum and has stabilized his coalition government with backers of a withdrawal. The government also warned it will investigate who provided the funds for the rally.

Four suspected Al Qaeda terrorists died, three were wounded, and another three surrendered to police in Kuwait in raids on their hideouts Monday. One of those arrested was identified as a former Muslim cleric who has become a mentor to young militants. The raids were the fourth such set in less than a month as the US ally tries to contain Islamic fundamentalists deeply resentful of the American military presence in their country.

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