U.S. Forces Kill Afghan Rebels

In Preelection Violence

KABUL, Afghanistan -- American forces killed about a dozen militants in the past week, the U.S. military said Saturday, in efforts to keep Taliban-led rebels on the defensive ahead of Afghanistan's national elections.

Afghan officials said another 12 militants were killed in a clash late Friday but U.S. officials had no comment on that incident.

The dozen deaths announced by the U.S. military occurred in skirmishes across troubled southern Afghanistan in which another dozen militants were detained, U.S. spokesman Maj. Jon Siepmann said.

AFRICA

* NAIROBI -- Riot police fired water cannons and tear gas to disperse protesters angry about the government's failure this week to introduce a new Kenyan constitution reducing the president's powers. At least 16 people were hurt, an official said.

The U.S. Embassy in Nairobi warned American citizens to avoid the city's downtown area because of the protests.

* HARARE, Zimbabwe -- Zimbabwe's ruling party dismissed charges that its supporters had tried to assassinate opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai at a rally, calling the allegation "malicious political propaganda."

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change said on Friday that ax-wielding assailants from the ruling ZANU-PF party had attacked a rally addressed by Tsvangirai, the party's leader and President Robert Mugabe's strongest opponent.

ASIA

* SRINAGAR, India -- A mountain gunbattle, a time bomb hidden in a fruit seller's hand cart and a grenade lobbed in a busy market killed eight people and wounded 44 in the Indian portion of Kashmir in what police suspect was retaliation by militants for a recent crackdown.

THE middle East

* SANAA, Yemen -- Yemen's interior minister said 86 supporters of an anti-U.S. rebel cleric and 32 government forces have been killed in nearly two weeks of clashes in the mountainous north of the Arab state.

* MANAMA, Bahrain -- Terrorism fears in Bahrain have forced the cancellation of Fourth of July celebrations, the U.S. Embassy announced, as the Navy prepared to evacuate families of service members and nonessential personnel from the tiny Gulf island state.

* JERUSALEM -- At least one Palestinian gunman shot and killed an Israeli man in an ambush on his car in the West Bank on Sunday, the army said.

On Saturday, Israeli troops shot to death two Palestinian boys, pushing ahead with a broad military operation aimed at preventing militants from firing rockets at Israeli towns bordering the Gaza Strip.

Also, in the West Bank town of Nablus, Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian gunman as he tried to enter a Jewish settlement.

THE AMERICAS

* ST. GEORGE'S, Grenada -- Caribbean leaders said they will consider recognizing Haiti's U.S.-backed interim government at a summit, despite lingering concerns over the ouster of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

Several leaders in the region said it was time to move forward, after persuading the Organization of American States to investigate what Aristide calls his Feb. 29 "kidnapping" by the United States -- a charge U.S. officials deny.

EUROPE

* DONCHERY, France -- Police dug up the remains of two bodies from the grounds of a French chateau after a suspected serial killer dubbed the Ogre of the Ardennes showed them where to look.

* ROME -- Italian Economy Minister Giulio Tremonti was forced to quit after a showdown with coalition allies, weakening Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi at a time when government accounts face scrutiny by the European Union.

-- From News Services