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World datelines

China

SHANGHAI — Ma Chengyuan, former president of the renowned Shanghai Museum who saved priceless artifacts from marauding Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution, has died at age 77, the official Xinhua News Agency said Sunday.

Egypt

TABA — A Bedouin tribesman has confessed to selling explosives that might have been used in three deadly car bombings targeting Israeli tourists, and investigators were looking into possible Palestinian militant involvement, Egyptian security officials said Sunday. The tribesman said the buyers, whom he could not identify, told him the explosives would be used in the Palestinian territories, an Egyptian investigator told The Associated Press.

France

PARIS — Some 200 doctors, nurses and rescue workers simulated a "dirty bomb" attack early Sunday — the first such exercise held at a French hospital. The three-hour operation at Necker Hospital was held to test reaction, coordination and efficiency of medical and rescue teams in the event of an attack with a homemade radioactive device.

Haiti

GONAIVES — Two U.N. peacekeepers were wounded in shootouts with supporters of Haiti's ousted president in the capital and storm survivors in flood-ravaged Gonaives, the first casualties of the 4-month-old U.N. mission, officials said Sunday. Relief workers from Doctors of the World also came under attack in Gonaives, and the French group said it was evacuating its staff of seven until security improves.

India

GAUHATI — Rescuers searching through knee-deep water found 33 more bodies in India's remote northeastern state of Assam on Sunday, bringing the death toll from unseasonably heavy rains in South Asia to 177.

Iran

TEHRAN — Iran and Russia said Sunday they were close to finalizing a long-delayed protocol on returning spent nuclear fuel to Russia, paving the way for the launch of a Russian-built nuclear power plant in southern Iran in 2006. Russia has said it will not ship nuclear fuel to Iran until both countries sign an agreement under which all spent fuel would be returned to Russia. The agreement is intended to prevent Iran from using spent fuel to make nuclear weapons.

Israel

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — An Israeli aircraft fired a missile at Palestinian gunmen in the Jebaliya refugee camp after nightfall Sunday, killing one and wounding seven, in the second airstrike of the day. Palestinian security officials said the target of the missile strike was a group of gunmen organizing to attack Israeli forces. They identified the dead man as a 20-year-old activist of the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, a violent group with ties to Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement.

Libya

TRIPOLI — Police have arrested 17 non-Libyans suspected of being al-Qaida members who entered this North African country illegally, the interior minister said Sunday. Nasr al-Mabrouk said the men are from the Indian subcontinent and Central Asia and were arrested when they entered Libya.

Pakistan

LAHORE — A suicide bombing at a Shiite mosque Sunday in this eastern city killed four people, including two security guards who lost their lives confronting the attacker and preventing a far greater number of deaths. About 70 to 80 people were inside the mosque for Sunday evening prayers when a man carrying a briefcase tried to enter but was blocked by the security guards, officials said. A bomb in the briefcase exploded after a scuffle, during which one of the guards opened fire.

Somalia

NAIROBI, Kenya — Members of Somalia's transitional parliament on Sunday elected former army Col. Abdullahi Yusuf as interim president for the war-torn Horn of Africa nation, the parliament speaker said. The vote — the final step in a peace plan to end a 13-year war — was held in Kenya because of a lack of security in Somalia, where the country is divided into fiefdoms controlled by warlords. Thousands of people have been killed in the war.

Taiwan

TAIPEI — Taiwan's leader called for peace talks and other "concrete actions" to reduce tensions with rival China during a National Day speech on Sunday that was far more conciliatory than in years past.