Reuters International Summary

Monday, January 29, 2007; 11:00 AM

Suicide bombing kills 3 in Eilat

EILAT, Israel (Reuters) - Palestinian militant groups carried out their first suicide bombing in Israel in nine months, killing 3 people in the resort of Eilat on Monday. The Eilat blast came four days before the 'Quartet' of Middle East peacemakers was to meet in Washington as part of a bid to revive Israeli-Palestinian talks. Efforts have only been complicated by fierce Palestinian factional infighting.

Iraqi cult leader killed in Najaf battle

NAJAF, Iraq (Reuters) - The leader of an Iraqi cult who claimed to be the Mahdi, a messiah-like figure in Islam, was killed in a battle on Sunday near Najaf with hundreds of his followers, Iraq's national security minister said on Monday. Women and children who joined 600-700 of his "Soldiers of Heaven" on the outskirts of the Shi'ite holy city may be among the casualties, Shirwan al-Waeli told Reuters. All those people not killed were in detention, many of them wounded.

U.S. expects North Korea talks to start near Feb 8

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States expects six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear program to resume on or around February 8 in Beijing, said the State Department on Monday. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said the U.S. negotiator for the talks, Chris Hill, had bought a plane ticket to be in Beijing by February 8, adding that the United States was awaiting China's official announcement of a date.

Sudan loses Africa chair because of Darfur

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - Sudan lost the leadership of the African Union for a second time after the pan-African group on Monday awarded the rotating chairmanship to Ghana because of widespread outrage over continuing bloodshed in Darfur. Alpha Oumar Konare, the AU's top diplomat, told reporters Ghanaian President John Kufuor would become chairman. "By consensus it is President Kufuor."

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