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BUNIA — French troops moved Friday to the outskirts of Bunia as fresh tribal fighting broke out in the troubled northeast Congo city where members of an international peacekeeping force began arriving two weeks ago. The clashes began near Hoho, 3 miles south of Bunia, after as many as 100 gunmen from the Lendu tribe tried to advance on Bunia, which is controlled by a faction of the Hema tribe known as the Congolese Union of Patriots. (See related story on A8.)


TEHRAN — Hundreds of pro-cleric militants and state security forces fired bullets and tear gas and beat bystanders in Tehran late Friday, the fourth and most widespread night of clashes in the Iranian capital. Violence erupted in scores of locations throughout the capital, particularly in areas surrounding Tehran University's dormitory complex, the scene of demonstrations against the country's Islamic clerical regime that triggered the crackdown.


TOKYO — Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's Cabinet approved a bill Friday that would allow Japanese troops to be sent to Iraq to assist in reconstruction. The bill was later submitted to parliament, where lawmakers will debate whether Japan will send ground troops on a peacekeeping mission for the first time.


AKOSOMBO, Ghana — Liberia's warring parties tried to hammer out details of a cease-fire Friday, while medics struggled to treat growing numbers of casualties in Liberia's rebel-besieged capital. Government officials said days of fighting have left at least 300 dead. Liberia's main insurgency group, Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy, has surrounded Monrovia, the last stronghold of Charles Taylor, in its strongest drive yet to drive the warlord turned president from power.


WARSAW — Prime Minister Leszek Miller won a confidence vote in parliament Friday, boosting his chances to lead Poland — a U.S. ally in Iraq — into the European Union next year. Poland's domestic shakiness stemming from an economic slump and corruption scandals has contrasted with its self-confident role in the U.S.-led Iraq war. Poland's special forces helped secure Iraqi oil fields. Its military, part of the NATO alliance since 1999, has been tapped to command a sector of postwar Iraq.


CETINJE — A pro-independence leader was sworn in as president of Montenegro Friday, pledging to lead it to a complete break with Serbia. Filip Vujanovic was elected in May after two attempts, in December and February, were invalidated because fewer than the required 50 percent voted. Montenegro then dropped the minimum turnout law.


Singapore announced plans Friday to auction off land for animal shelters, hoping to appease animal lovers outraged by the government's cat-culling campaign. About 700 stray cats have been killed as part of a general cleanup following the SARS outbreak in the city-state, though authorities haven't said cats were spreading the virus. Severe acute respiratory syndrome has killed 31 people and infected 206 in Singapore since March.


BANGKOK — Working closely with U.S. agents, police in Thailand arrested a man Friday who was trying to sell them radioactive material that could be used to make "dirty bombs." Police did not say if the man was suspected of having terrorist connections, and U.S. officials said the material was not destined for weapons against Americans, as originally suspected.


CARACAS — Venezuela troops fought pitched street battles Friday with supporters of President Hugo Chavez, who tried to disrupt an opposition rally in an impoverished area of Caracas considered a government stronghold. At least 14 people were injured.


HANOI — The United States, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos will meet for the first time to discuss working together to locate and repatriate soldiers who remain unaccounted for from the Vietnam War, a top U.S. official on recovery efforts said Friday. More than 1,850 Americans are still missing from the war, while Vietnam estimates up to 300,000 of its communist soldiers remain unaccounted for. A count has never been given for missing South Vietnamese forces who sided with the United States.