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Suicide attacks kill two in Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan - A wave of suicide attacks in four provinces of Afghanistan yesterday killed two police officers and wounded a NATO soldier and two other Afghan policemen, officials said.

A suicide bomber blew himself up in Nad Ali district in the southern province of Helmand, killing two policemen, an Interior Ministry statement said. The policemen were guarding a checkpoint, local television said.

Half an hour later, the police became suspicious of a man in Samkani district of the southeastern province of Paktia and shot him. The man then blew himself up, killing himself and wounding two policemen.

Also on Saturday morning, a suicide attacker blew himself up while a NATO convoy was passing in Urgun district in the border province of Paktika, killing himself and wounding one soldier. U.S. forces are operating in Paktika province.

- N.Y. Times News Service

Anger in Germany over clemency plea

BERLIN - The German president has met with a convicted leader of a violent leftist gang to decide whether to grant him clemency, his spokesman said yesterday, angering conservative lawmakers who want no mercy for those they say showed their victims none.

Christian Klar's clemency plea has provoked an emotional debate across Germany. Conservatives are vehemently opposed to the early release of a man convicted for his role in the murders of several people as a leader of the Red Army Faction, a group that left a trail of bodies in its more than two-decade campaign against the government.

President Horst Koehler will decide next week whether to grant Klar's early release, said presidential spokesman Martin Kothe said. He confirmed a report in Der Spiegel magazine that the president met with Klar last week.

- AP

Fugitive was living openly in China

SUZHOU, China - An American fugitive accused of raping his daughter and posting videos of the abuse on the Internet lived openly in China, even enjoying visits from his new wife and registering at a local fitness club under his own name.

U.S. court documents show that Kenneth John Freeman's wife, Maleka May, visited him in China more than once during his time as a fugitive. May, who reportedly married Freeman nine months before he was charged and is believed to have posted the bail that allowed him to flee, was detained in San Francisco on Thursday as she got off a plane from China.

Information provided yesterday by the Powerhouse Gym also provided some clues about the months Freeman lived in the eastern Chinese city of Suzhou. Gym patrons said Freeman worked out almost every day and seemed friendly. One man said the fugitive had something of the air of a celebrity about him.

- AP


Forensic teams have unearthed 211 bodies buried in dozens of mass graves near La Hormiga in southern Colombia in the past 10 days, a legacy of fierce fighting in this coca-rich land.

A roller coaster traveling up to 46 m.p.h. hit a guardrail at an amusement park in Osaka, Japan, yesterday, killing one person and injuring 21 others, officials said.

A soccer game between Muslim imams and Christian priests at the end of a conference in Oslo, Norway, to promote interfaith dialogue was canceled yesterday because the teams could not agree on whether women priests should take part.