Although refusing to discuss details, Iraq's interior minister told a news conference that security forces have surrounded most-wanted terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi "and we hope for the best." Falah al-Nakib said Zarqawi was on the move and thus had not yet been arrested, adding that "this operation is ongoing." The US is offering a $25 million reward for his capture.

Another 2,000 Syrian soldiers returned home from posts in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley over the weekend, witnesses said. But while the move reduced the Syrian troop presence to its lowest level in 29 years, an 8,000-man division and scores of intelligence agents remain on Leban-ese soil, and a timetable for pulling them out is not due to be discussed by officials of the two countries until next week. The Bush administration and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan both say they want all Syrian military and intelligence units out before Lebanon's national election, which is scheduled for May.

The most powerful earthquake since the Dec. 26 temblor that caused a deadly tsunami struck off the west coast of Indonesia. The US Geological Survey assigned it a magnitude of 8.2; Japan's Meteorological Agency measured it at 8.5. While there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage, thousands of people across the region fled coastal areas as officials issued a new tsunami warning. A Save the Children official in Indonesia's Banda Aceh Province said, "It was about five minutes long - strong enough that you had to hold onto something to keep standing up."

In his first public comments since fleeing into exile, Kyrgyzstan President Askar Akayev denounced the leaders of last week's revolution and accused them of disgracing the country. But Akayev did not say whether he'd return home to try to reclaim his office. Meanwhile, the leadership picture cleared as one of the two opposition chiefs and the controversial new parliament endorsed each other. The legislature appointed Kurmanbek Bakiyev as prime minister and acting president, and he, in turn, said there are "questions" about only "15 to 20" of its newly elected members and "no one is saying that all" have to go.

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