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3 German soldiers die in Kabul attack

KABUL, Afghanistan - A suicide bomber killed three German soldiers and seven bystanders in the northern city of Kunduz yesterday, inflicting the worst casualties on German troops in Afghanistan in nearly four years.

Three soldiers and more than a dozen other people were wounded in the attack in a crowded marketplace after the soldiers stopped to make a purchase.

German troops are assigned mainly in Afghanistan's relatively calm north. Despite appeals from other NATO countries, German leaders have refused to make them available for a broader combat role, because the mission in Afghanistan is unpopular with the German public.

About 3,200 German soldiers serve in Afghanistan. German troops in Afghanistan have not suffered so many casualties in a single attack since four were killed in an explosion near their bus in June 2003. - Los Angeles Times

Venezuelans rally to keep TV station

CARACAS, Venezuela - Tens of thousands of Venezuelans marched yesterday to support a TV station aligned with opponents of President Hugo Chavez, whose government plans to kick the channel off the air next week by not renewing its license.

The protesters set off from four points of the capital, converging downtown in the biggest show of support yet for Radio Caracas de Television, or RCTV, a network that has been critical of Chavez's government.

RCTV is due to go off the air at midnight next Sunday, when the government says its license expires. - AP

Police commander killed in Mexico

ARIZPE, Mexico - Assailants shot and killed a police commander in a wealthy Monterrey suburb yesterday, the latest in a wave of killings of law enforcement officials across Mexico.

Mario Sanchez, 47, was killed by gunmen wielding automatic rifles after he finished a night shift in San Nicolas de los Garza, one of Mexico's most affluent municipalities, Mexican media reported.

Gunmen linked to drug-trafficking gangs have been increasingly targeting police and soldiers as President Felipe Calderon wages a national offensive against drug cartels. On Wednesday, about 50 armed men drove into a small town near the U.S. border and killed five policemen and two residents. - AP


Kazakstan's parliament approved a constitutional amendment Friday that would waive term limits for President Nursultan Nazarbayev, allowing him to seek to stay in office indefinitely. Nazarbayev, 66, has led the nation of 15 million for 17 years.

Three Swedes who were among dozens of foreigners held in Ethiopian jails and accused of ties to Islamic militants in Somalia have been released after five months in custody, the Foreign Ministry said yesterday.

A severe windstorm uprooted trees and utility poles in the Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir, killing three people and injuring 13.