Chechen Forces Kill

22 Separatist Rebels

MOSCOW -- Chechen security forces killed 22 separatist rebels, including the alleged organizer of the assassination of the republic's president, Deputy Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyrov was quoted as saying Monday.

Kadyrov is the son of Akhmad Kadyrov, the Kremlin-backed Chechen president who was killed May 9 by a bomb at a stadium in Grozny, the capital.

The rebel death toll, in an operation in the Vedeno region, about 30 miles southeast of Grozny, was one of the highest reported in recent months. The victims reportedly included Suleiman Khairulla, whom Ramzan Kadyrov identified as a top lieutenant of Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev and the self-proclaimed organizer of the stadium bombing, news reports said.

THE AMERICAS

* BRASILIA -- Brazil's vice president took over the Defense Ministry with the mission of reining in generals who have defended killings, kidnapping and torture by the 1964-85 military dictatorship. Defense Minister Jose Viegas resigned last week, accusing the army of behaving in ways incompatible with democratic rule.

* MANAGUA, Nicaragua -- The leftist opposition Sandinista party, which fought with U.S.-backed rebels when it ruled in the 1980s, made strong gains in weekend elections by taking control of almost all the major cities.

EUROPE

* SARAJEVO, Bosnia -- A Serb commission's final report on the 1995 Srebrenica massacre acknowledges that the mass murder of 7,800 Muslim men and boys by Bosnian Serb forces was planned, an international official said. The report on the worst massacre of civilians in Europe since World War II was presented to the Bosnian Serb government last month but has not yet been made public.

THE MIDDLE EAST

* AMMAN, Jordan -- Jordan's military court acquitted four men of conspiracy to attack U.S. forces in the kingdom, saying a government declaration last year that no foreign troops were stationed in Jordan nullified the charges.

THE PACIFIC

* WELLINGTON, New Zealand -- Pitcairn Island, first settled by mutineers from the HMS Bounty, has selected its first female mayor in its 214-year history. Brenda Christian will replace her brother, Steve Christian, who was fired following his conviction on sex charges, British authorities said.

-- From News Services