30 Inmates Die in Gang Violence

In Prisons Across Guatemala

ESCUINTLA, Guatemala -- At least 30 inmates were killed when rival Guatemalan gang members attacked one another with knives, firearms and grenades at prisons throughout the country, government officials said.

About 80 prisoners were injured in the fighting between the Mara Salvatrucha and Mara 18 street gangs.

Witnesses saw emergency services carry the bodies of 18 inmates out of one prison, dubbed "The Hole" by prisoners, in Escuintla province in southern Guatemala. Some of the corpses were mutilated. Many of the dead were killed by hand grenade blasts and suffered knife and gunshot injuries, the government said.


* KABUL, Afghanistan -- Afghan security forces killed at least 28 suspected insurgents in a nationwide offensive against Taliban rebels and other militants intent on subverting legislative elections next month, officials said.

In the bloodiest battle, Afghan forces attacked suspected insurgents Sunday in southern Zabol province, killing 16 of them, a Defense Ministry statement said.

* COLOMBO, Sri Lanka -- Maldives riot police have detained dozens of people after a series of anti-government protests demanding that President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom resign and call elections, officials said.

Police used tear gas to disperse protesters who lobbed stones and flaming, gasoline-soaked tennis balls in the worst violence to hit the idyllic island chain since protests seeking political reform a year ago.

The Americas

* SAO PAULO, Brazil -- Three suspects arrested in the killing of a U.S. anthropology professor during a robbery were high on cocaine when one of them shot him, police said. University of Vermont professor James Petersen, 51, was shot Saturday in Iranduba, about 14 miles west of the Amazonas state capital, Manaus, police said.


* GROZNY, Russia -- A powerful car bomb exploded outside a restaurant in Chechnya's capital killing two people -- including a child -- and wounding at least 11 others, a police spokesman said.

The blast was the latest violence in Grozny, which remains a shattered city six years after Russian troops invaded the region to battle separatist insurgents.

-- From News Services