Ugandan forces nab Kony fighter

KAMPALA, Uganda - Ugandan forces captured a senior commander of Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army after a brief fight with rebels near the Congo-Central African Republic border, an army official said Sunday, in what an analyst said was an "intelligence coup" for forces hunting for Kony.

Lt. Col. Abdul Rugumayo, intelligence chief for Uganda's military operation against the LRA, said Caesar Acellam was captured Saturday with two other rebel fighters as they tried to cross a river called Mbomu.

Although Acellam is not one of the LRA commanders indicted along with Kony in 2005 by the International Criminal Court, Ugandan officials say he was one of Kony's top military strategists and a reliable fighter. - AP

Nigeria attacks kill 7 officers

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria - Witnesses say at least seven police officers have been killed in northeast Nigeria in separate attacks likely carried out by a radical Islamist sect operating in the region.

The attacks happened Sunday in Borno state, where the sect known as Boko Haram once had its main mosque.

Witnesses said gunmen attacked the Maiduguri home of a former senator, killing one police officer, and also killed three others around the city.

Witnesses said gunmen killed two other officers in the village of Mafa, about 25 miles away from Maiduguri.

Boko Haram is waging a bloody fight against Nigeria's weak central government in an effort to bring Shariah law to the multiethnic nation. - AP

March in Italy protests abortion

ROME - A few thousand people opposed to Italy's 1978 law allowing abortion have marched through the Italian capital in a protest drawing people from around the world, including Americans and Poles.

Nuns, priests, and lay people marched in Rome on Sunday from the Colosseum to Castel Sant'Angelo, a landmark near the Vatican.

In Italy, abortion is legal through the end of the third month of pregnancy.

After a long battle between secular forces and the church, voters upheld the law in a 1981 referendum. There is no major momentum now to rescind the law. - AP

French firm halts natural-gas leak

LAGOS, Nigeria - French oil company Total SA said Sunday that it stopped a natural-gas leak at one of its plants in Nigeria's crude-rich southern delta after 54 days, an emergency that forced the firm to shut down the field and evacuate the area.

Total said it used heavy fluids and cement plugs to stop the gas flow from its Obite natural gas field in the heart of the country's Niger Delta. Workers will put a cement seal on the well to permanently staunch the flow, Total said in a statement.

Fred Ohwahwa, a spokesman for Total's Nigerian subsidiary, said Sunday that the company hoped to restart gas production at the plant soon. Crude oil production at the facility continued while the gas plant was shut down, he said. - AP