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World datelines


KABUL — Suspected Taliban fighters attacked a U.S. military patrol in eastern Afghanistan, but no casualties or damage were reported, the military said Saturday in a statement.


ALGIERS — The Algerian army killed 150 armed Islamic militants in a two-week operation in the eastern foothills of this north African country, news reports said Saturday.


PHNOM PENH — Opposition parties boycotted the inaugural session of Cambodia's Parliament Saturday, demanding the prime minister step down and forcing the delay of the start of the legislature.


HAVANA — Linked for decades as fellow icons of Latin America's left, Brazil's president and Fidel Castro cemented their relationship Saturday as they talked business and ignored Cuba's human rights record.


PORT-AU-PRINCE — Tire barricades burned for a fifth straight day Saturday as hundreds of people took to the streets to protest the killing of a gang leader once seen as loyal to President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

The bullet-riddled body of Amiot Metayer, leader of a street gang called Cannibal Army, was found Monday on a country road in the town of St. Marc. His killing sparked protests that have killed one and wounded 15.


NEW DELHI — Speaking last week to the U.N. General Assembly, President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan said that India was fueling an arms race that would "destabilize South Asia."

The next day, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee of India accused Pakistan of trying to use "terrorism" to "blackmail" India into making concessions.

Ivory Coast

BOUAKE — Gunmen broke into a bank and sparked a nightlong street battle that killed more than 20 people in this stronghold of Ivory Coast's rebels, prompting French peacekeepers to rush in on Saturday to try to impose order.


URAKAWA — Dozens of aftershocks rocked Japan's northern island of Hokkaido on Saturday, keeping residents busy picking up fallen books and sweeping up glass a day after a major earthquake.


MEXICO CITY — The Mexican government is squabbling with the Roman Catholic Church over a money-laundering probe involving Cardinal Juan Sandoval of Guadalajara, one of a handful of clerics who oversee Vatican finances.


KARACHI — A bomb exploded on a bus in Pakistan's southern port city of Karachi on Saturday, wounding at least 10 people, a senior police official said.

ISLAMABAD — The head of Pakistan's main opposition alliance and one of its greatest democracy advocates has died, his party's spokesman said Saturday. He was 85 years old.


SIBIU — It was billed as the Gypsy wedding of the year. But the Saturday ceremony got off to a bad start: The 12-year-old "princess bride" — daughter of a self-proclaimed king — stormed out of the church in protest in front of 400 guests. She returned to the church minutes later and — though she would hardly look at him — was duly married off to her 15-year-old groom.

Solomon Islands

HONIARA — Six decades after U.S. soldiers landed here on Guadalcanal to drive out the Japanese, foreign troops have come back to this South Pacific nation, this time to halt years of ethnic fighting.

The quick — and bloodless — restoration of law and order by a heavily armed, five-nation force led by Australia has won enthusiastic praise from the public.


TAIPEI — Two Taiwanese air force pilots were rescued by fishermen from Taiwan's archrival, China, after their fighter jet crashed into the sea on Saturday, the military said.


VATICAN CITY — Pope John Paul II appeared alert and relatively strong Saturday at a meeting with the president of the Philippines, days after illness caused the pontiff to skip his weekly general audience.