Insurgents say 'new methods'

used in killing 9 paratroopers

BAGHDAD - An al Qaeda-linked group claimed yesterday that it had used "new methods" in staging a double suicide bombing with dump trucks that blasted a paratrooper outpost in volatile Diyala province Monday, killing nine Americans from the 82nd Airborne Division and wounding 20.

The first truck hit outlying concrete barriers surrounding the outpost at Sadah and exploded after soldiers opened fire. A second truck rammed into the wrecked vehicle, dragging it and other rubble before it exploded 30 yards from the troops' barracks, said Lt. Col. Michael Donnelly, U.S. military spokesman in north Iraq.

Also yesterday:

_ The U.S. military reported that a Marine was killed Monday during combat in Anbar province.

_ South of the capital, a family of seven was shot to death in their beds at dawn by masked gunmen, neighbors and police said.

_ A suicide truck bomb exploded at a police checkpoint on the outskirts of Ramadi city, killing 15 people, police said.

_ Two mortar rounds hit a market in Baghdad, killing 10 people and wounding 16.

In Washington, Vice President Dick Cheney accused Democratic leader Harry Reid of personally pursuing a defeatist strategy in Iraq to win votes at home - a charge Reid dismissed as President Bush's "attack dog" lashing out.

Ethiopian rebels kill 70 people,

kidnap 6 Chinese oil workers

NAIROBI, Kenya - Separatist rebels stormed a Chinese-run oil field in eastern Ethiopia yesterday, killing more than 70 people, including nine Chinese workers, in one of Ethiopia's worst rebel attacks in years.

Dozens of gunmen crept up to the oil field at dawn and unleashed a barrage of machine-gun fire at Ethiopian soldiers posted outside, Chinese and Ethiopian officials said. After a fierce hour-long battle, the rebels rushed away, taking at least six Chinese hostages with them.

Ethiopia, a close ally of the United States, has been racked by separatist movements for years.

The Ogaden National Liberation Front, a militant group fighting for control of eastern Ethiopia, said that its primary target was the Ethiopian soldiers guarding the oil field and that the Chinese workers had been killed by explosions during the fighting.

Given China's drive to extract oil wherever it can be found, Chinese workers are often dispatched to conflict zones, and several have been kidnapped in the volatile Niger Delta region of Nigeria.

Hamas shells Israel from Gaza,

says November cease-fire is over

JERUSALEM - The military wing of Hamas fired a barrage of rockets and mortar shells from the Gaza Strip into Israel yesterday, for the first time since Hamas committed to a cease-fire in November.

A spokesman for the Hamas military wing in Gaza declared the truce there over. But more-moderate members of Hamas who participate in the Palestinian unity government, including Prime Minister Ismail Haniya, said they were making efforts to preserve the cease-fire. And a Hamas spokesman in Gaza stopped short of calling off the cease-fire, saying yesterday's actions were "a natural response to Israeli aggression and violations of the truce."

Over the weekend, Israeli forces killed up to nine Palestinians, mostly militants in the West Bank. One of the dead was a Palestinian in Gaza, killed in an airstrike that the Israelis said had been aimed at a cell that had launched rockets into Israel.

The barrage came on Israel's 59th independence day.

While Hamas rocket squads have stayed on the sidelines, other groups such as Islamic Jihad have kept up an almost daily barrage on Israelis living just outside Gaza.

U.S. to try al Qaeda financier's son,

20, held at Guantanamo since '02

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - The U.S. military filed a murder charge yesterday against the Canadian son of an alleged al Qaeda financier who was captured at age 15 in Afghanistan and has spent almost five years at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay.

Omar Khadr, now 20, allegedly joined the Taliban in Afghanistan and threw a grenade that killed a U.S. Green Beret soldier in July 2002. He was captured as he lay wounded after that firefight, at an al Qaeda compound in eastern Afghanistan.

The U.S. military charged him with murder and other charges under rules for military trials adopted last year and first used to try David Hicks, the Australian sentenced to nine months in prison after pleading guilty.

Khadr's Pentagon-appointed defense attorney, Marine Lt. Col. Colby Vokey, said the U.S. would become the first country in modern history to try a war-crimes suspect who was a child at the time of the alleged violations. The conspiracy charge is based on acts allegedly committed when Khadr was younger than 10, Vokey said.

The attorney urged Canada and the United States to negotiate a "political resolution" of the case to spare Khadr from a guaranteed conviction by "one of the greatest show trials on earth." *

-Daily News wire services