Nationwide security forces in China went on high alert Monday after two men rammed a dump truck into a group of jogging policemen and then tossed explosives into their barracks, killing 16 officers in Xinjiang, China's Central Asian border province. The attack was one of the most brazen in recent years in the province where local Muslims have sporadically waged a violent rebellion against Chinese rule.

A rescue operation began Monday on the slopes of K2 in the Kashmir region of Pakistan after an ice wall collapsed, killing at least 11 climbers near the top of the world's second-highest mountain. A Pakistani helicopter crew picked up two Dutch climbers and was due to return for some Italians. Climbers of half a dozen nationalities were reported dead, with rescuers unsure how many might be missing.

Iran has tested a new weapon for use at sea, the official IRNA news agency said Monday, in quoting the chief of the country's elite Revolutionary Guard. The report provided no details about where or when the weapon was tested, only that it is "unique" and has a range of 186 miles, leading some to speculate that it's some type of torpedo.

Bangladeshis voted Monday ln the first phase of local elections, the first polls organized by the country's military-backed interim government since it took power in early 2007 with a promise to restore democracy.

A UN envoy met senior Buddhist monks Monday at the start of a mission to Burma (Myanmar), but it remained unclear if he would hold talks with junta officials and detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, diplomats said. The junta cracked down on antigovernment demonstrations in September by shooting and arresting protesters, killing at least 31 people.

A new Australian study of "green carbon" indicates that untouched natural forests store three times more carbon dioxide than previously estimated and 60 percent more than plantation forests. Scientists estimated about 9.3 billion tons of carbon can be stored in 14.5 million hectares of eucalyptus forests in southeast Australia if they are left undisturbed.

Scientists have identified the world's smallest snake – a reptile about 4 inches long and as thin as spaghetti. The new species was found under a rock on the Caribbean island of Barbados.

Indian authorities ordered a probe Monday into the deaths of 145 pilgrims caught in a stampede outside a mountaintop Hindu temple Sunday in Chandigarh, in northern India. Pilgrims ran down a narrow mountain trail from the temple in Himachal Pradesh state upon hearing of a rumored landslide, only to meet thousands of people walking up in the opposite direction.

Hundreds of Italian soldiers have been deployed in cities nationwide as part of government measures to fight street crime, the Defense Ministry said. The measure proposed by Premier Silvio Berlusconi's government was approved by parliament last month and will remain in effect for six months.

Athletes participating in the Beijing Olympics have begun to donate sportswear items for Asian refugees at the Olympic Village as part of the "Giving Is Winning" campaign, a joint effort of the International Olympic Committee and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. With more than 10,000 athletes present, the clothing drive, which was activated in the run-up to the Games, is expected to exceed the initial goal of collecting 50,000 items for distribution at refugee camps.

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