Protesters Block March

By German Neo-Nazis

BERLIN -- Several thousand demonstrators forced a group of 300 neo-Nazis to abandon their planned march route through the eastern city of Potsdam on Saturday, police said. Demonstrators used burning trash cans as barricades or threw stones and other objects, forcing police to use water cannons to keep the two sides apart.

Four officers were injured, according to police.

The march in Potsdam was organized by Christian Worch, one of Germany's most visible neo-Nazi groups.

In Leinefelde, another eastern city, members of the German People's Union and the National Democratic Party -- parties known for their nationalist and anti-immigrant stance who have agreed to join forces in upcoming national elections -- were met by about 150 protesters who held placards reading "Nazis, get out." There were no serious incidents, police said.

THE AMERICAS

* LIMA, Peru -- A passenger bus plunged more than 650 feet off an isolated mountain highway in the Andes about 300 miles south of Lima, killing at least 28 people and injuring 28 others, officials said.

* BOGOTA, Colombia -- A taxi driver and his passenger were killed when a small bomb left in a cardboard box exploded on a highway in the capital city of Bogota, police said. The bomb was left near a bus stop. Rebels have targeted bus stops in the past.

ASIA

* SEOUL -- A North Korean man entered the U.S. Consulate in Vladivostok in the Russian far east to seek political asylum, a South Korean official said. In Moscow, a U.S. Embassy spokesman confirmed the arrival of a man claiming to be a North Korean citizen on Thursday morning.

* KATMANDU, Nepal -- At least 12 Maoist rebels were killed in gun battles with Nepali troops that erupted after a truce for a major Hindu festival ended this week, officials said.

They said the guerrillas, seeking to overthrow the constitutional monarchy that rules this impoverished Himalayan nation, fired on security patrols at several places in east and west Nepal. Ten suspected rebels died in clashes Saturday in Siraha in eastern Nepal and Taplejung, near the border with India, while two more were killed on Friday night, an officer said.

EUROPE

* ROME -- Tens of thousands of antiwar marchers blocked parts of central Rome to protest the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. Italy has about 2,700 troops in Iraq, the third-largest foreign contingent after U.S. and British forces. Opinion polls have shown that a majority of Italians oppose the war.

AFRICA

* KHARTOUM, Sudan -- Dozens of Rwandan soldiers arrived in Sudan's troubled Darfur region aboard two U.S. Air Force transport planes to bolster a small African peacekeeping contingent seeking to stabilize the area.

Maj. Mac Dorbi, the Ghanian chief operations officer for the African Union mission in Sudan, said the first 65 Rwandan soldiers of a 237-man force arrived in El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur province. A total of 3,320 troops are scheduled to be in place by Nov. 30.

Tens of thousands of people have died in the conflict and more than 1.5 million people have been forced from their homes by a government-backed Arab militia known as the Janjaweed.

* MONROVIA, Liberia -- Citizens ventured back onto the streets of Monrovia during a temporary lifting of a round-the-clock curfew imposed after at least seven people were killed in religious riots.

Mobs of stick-wielding youths rampaged through the streets on Friday after a dispute between Muslim and Christian residents in a suburb escalated into a full-scale riot, prompting the government to impose the curfew.

Interim leader Gyude Bryant said the curfew was lifted temporarily to allow residents to buy food, although most shops in the Paynesville suburb in the east of Monrovia where the trouble started remained closed.

U.N. troops from a 15,000-member peacekeeping force patrolled in armored vehicles as helicopters clattered overhead.

Residents feared the killings might spark revenge attacks in the suburbs, where they said they had seen armed fighters from Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy, a rebel group that joined a coalition government last year.

* GABORONE, Botswana -- Botswanans chose a parliament, with the ruling Democratic Party expected to extend its 38-year lock on power. Some voters said they feared that if the party lost it would undermine AIDS treatment programs in a country that has one of the world's highest HIV infection rates.

In Botswana, voters do not select the president directly, but instead elect the National Assembly. The party with the most seats then elects the president. Results are expected on Sunday.

The Democratic Party has not lost an election since independence from Britain in 1966 and was expected to expected to maintain its majority in the 57-seat Botswanan parliament and give Festus Mogae his second term as president.

-- From News Services