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In the World

Jamaican gangs escalate battle

KINGSTON, Jamaica - Jamaica's security forces clashed with masked gunmen allied with an alleged drug kingpin for a second consecutive day Monday as an intensifying battle against gangs spread to slums outside the capital.

Police and soldiers came under heavy fire in barricaded battle zones in the West Kingston stronghold of Christopher "Dudus" Coke, who is trying to avoid extradition to the United States on drug- and arms-trafficking charges. At least one soldier was killed.

Military helicopters buzzed above the impoverished area, between plumes of black smoke. Coke is described as one of the world's most dangerous drug lords by the U.S. Justice Department.

Clashes broke out Sunday, six days after Prime Minister Bruce Golding dropped his opposition to extraditing Coke, who has ties to the governing party. - AP

2 Americans die in Nigeria attacks

LAGOS, Nigeria - Two U.S. citizens died in separate, botched kidnappings in Nigeria's oil-rich but restive southern delta in April, highlighting the danger of living and working in Africa's most populous nation, the State Department warned Monday.

The State Department announced the deaths in a travel warning it issued for Nigeria, a country of 150 million people in West Africa. The warning called on citizens to "avoid all but essential travel" to the Niger Delta, as well as northern states recently gripped by violence between Christians and Muslims.

It gave no details of the two U.S. citizens killed other than to say they were attacked near the city of Port Harcourt, the center of commerce in the swamps and creeks of the delta.

"Local authorities and expatriate businesses operating in Nigeria believe that the number of kidnapping incidents throughout Nigeria is underreported," the warning read.

- AP

Ethiopia's ruling party wins vote

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia - Provisional results show that Ethiopia's ruling party won national elections, officials said Monday, but a U.S. rights group said the ballot was tainted by irregularities.

The Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front and its allies were ahead in the nine regions that have reported results, out of a total of 11, electoral board chairman Merga Bekana said. "As far as the provisional result is concerned, the EPRDF has won," Merga said. Final results will be announced in late June, officials have said.

"Behind an orderly facade, the government pressured, intimidated, and threatened Ethiopian voters," said Rona Peligal, acting Africa director at Human Rights Watch.

Sunday's vote was closely watched by international observers because after the 2005 election the opposition was subjected to police crackdowns as it appeared to win an unprecedented number of parliamentary seats, and 193 protesters were killed. - AP


Desi Bouterse, a former Surinamese dictator who was convicted by a Dutch court of being a drug trafficker and faces trial in the 1980s executions of political opponents, appeared poised to regain power in Tuesday's elections.

Gunmen kidnapped two American tourists and their driver in Yemen on Monday and demanded the release of a jailed tribesman, security officials said.

Cambodia's genocide tribunal announced it would give its verdict in July in the case of a notorious Khmer Rouge prison chief accused of crimes against humanity, war crimes, murder, and torture.