23 killed near Sudan-Uganda line

NAIROBI, Kenya - Fighting between Ugandan rebels and Sudanese soldiers killed at least 23 people in a remote area near the countries' border last week, rebel and military officials said.

The reports of fighting came as peace talks between the Ugandan government and the rebel Lord's Resistance Army faltered. The rebel army has been waging one of Africa's longest and most brutal rebellions, drawing in the volatile region that comprises northern Uganda, eastern Congo and southern Sudan.

The Lord's Resistance Army, formed more than 20 years ago, has become notorious for raping children and using them as soldiers. The group's elusive leader, Joseph Kony, and other top members are wanted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

- AP

Sudan won't give up officials for trial

CAIRO, Egypt - Sudan rejected demands yesterday to hand over a cabinet minister and a militia commander indicted on charges of crimes against humanity in Darfur.

State Minister of Information Kamal Obeid was responding to a new call by the International Criminal Court prosecutor for Sudan to hand over Ahmed Harun, a cabinet minister, and Ali Kushayb, a militia commander. Both are accused of organizing a system to recruit, fund, arm and command a militia that terrorized villages in the western Sudanese region.

Speaking to the U.N. Security Council on Thursday, the prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, alleged for the first time that "the whole state apparatus" of Sudan is implicated in crimes against humanity in the Darfur region, linking the government directly with the feared janjaweed militia.

- AP

2,350-year-old wine vessels found

NICOSIA, Cyprus - Marine archaeologists have salvaged ancient wine vases piled on the hull of a 2,350-year-old cargo ship lying on the seabed off Cyprus' southern shore, the Mediterranean island's Antiquities Department said yesterday.

The vessel is one of only a few such commercial ships dating from the late Classical period - the mid-fourth century B.C. - to have been discovered so well-preserved. The ship rests under 150 feet of water about 11/2 miles from shore.

Divers last month brought to the surface only a few of the more than 500 amphorae - terra-cotta vases used in antiquity to ferry liquid and other foodstuffs - for more study. They are of the type that carried red wine from the Aegean island of Chios, said a department statement.

- AP

Elsewhere:

Mexico's navy

said it had detained 34 Cuban migrants who were in a yacht off Cancun's coast. Lt. Wilberth Vargas said yesterday the migrants told authorities they had left Cuba on a makeshift boat and while at sea had been spotted by two men in a yacht who offered to take them to the United States.

Armed assailants

trying to break into the home of Kosovo's prime minister exchanged fire with guards, but the leader was away, and his family was not hurt, police said yesterday. Prime Minister Hashim Thaci condemned the assault in the capital, Pristina, as an attack upon his family and urged Kosovo's citizens to remain calm.

An airplane

carrying 10 people went missing yesterday after taking off from an airport in southern Chile. The search for the Patagonia Airlines plane, carrying a pilot and nine passengers, was suspended as darkness fell but was to resume today.