Nationalists win key vote in India

AHMADABAD, India - Hindu nationalists won a crucial test of political support yesterday with a resounding victory in a state election, fought in the shadow of anti-Muslim riots that left more than 1,000 people dead in 2002.

The vote in Gujarat, in western India, was a personal victory for Narendra Modi, arguably India's most divisive politician, who was reelected to the state's top job. Analysts had predicted a close race between Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party, India's main opposition party, and the Congress party, which heads the federal government.

- AP

Dresden thugs beat 2 Sudanese

BERLIN - A group of suspected soccer hooligans racially abused and beat up two Sudanese men and a German who tried to intervene on their behalf, police and prosecutors in the eastern city of Dresden said yesterday.

According to police, several men among the group of 10 to 15 suspected hooligans began taunting the Sudanese men at a nightclub in downtown Dresden, prompting club security guards to intervene. The pair, both 21, then decided to leave and were followed by the group, a police statement said.

Germany's former communist east has seen a recent spike in racist attacks. Some politicians, economists and others have suggested a link between the violence and frustrations over unemployment as high as 20 percent and a lack of prospects for young people.

- AP

Saudis accuse 28 of pilgrimage plot

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia - Police have arrested 28 men for allegedly planning to attack holy sites around Mecca and Medina during the recently finished Muslim hajj pilgrimage, the kingdom's Interior Ministry said yesterday.

The announcement comes two days after the ministry said it arrested an unknown number of men after security forces foiled a plot to carry out a terror attack on holy sites outside Mecca. But yesterday's statement did not say whether the two were arrests were related.

The ministry said 27 of the men were Saudi nationals and one was a foreigner. Nearly three million pilgrims came to Saudi Arabia for the annual hajj that wound up Friday with a final visit to Mecca after days of performing rituals in the surrounding hills.

- AP

Elsewhere:

Insurgents attacked

an Ethiopian army base in Mogadishu, Somalia, triggering a nighttime clash that sent stray mortar rounds crashing into homes, residents and witnesses said yesterday. At least five Somalis were killed and eight wounded in the crossfire, they said.

Uzbekistan President

Islam Karimov sought a new term in office in the former Soviet republic yesterday in an election dismissed by critics as a sham, as state television broadcasts extolled his rule.

Assailants set off

two bombs nearly simultaneously in Corsica early yesterday, one of which injured two people, police officials said. The first explosion ripped into a government treasury office in the resort town of Ajaccio. The second blast hit a military barracks, blowing out windows in nearby homes and injuring an elderly woman and a 5-year-old.