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TBILISI, Georgia — Five candidates squared off Sunday for the presidency of breakaway Abkhazia, all vowing to keep the separatist Black Sea resort area independent of Georgia, which dismissed the election as illegal. Abkhazia has run its own affairs since 1993 when separatists drove out Georgian government troops, and it has cultivated close ties with Russia.


KABUL — An Italian peacekeeping soldier died and four others were wounded Sunday when their vehicle veered off the road just outside the capital, Kabul, a spokesman said.


SARAJEVO — Nationalist parties took the lead in weekend municipal elections in Bosnia, but moderate Serbs made inroads in some traditionally hard-line areas, according to preliminary results in a vote marked by disappointingly low turnout.


SAO PAULO — In the first electoral test for President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and his plans to remake Latin America's largest country, Brazilians Sunday chose municipal mayors and councils nationwide.


PHNOM PENH — Cambodia's legislature on Monday approved a long-delayed agreement to put surviving Khmer Rouge leaders on trial for atrocities that claimed nearly two million lives during their murderous rule in the late 1970s. All of the 107 lawmakers who attended the National Assembly session early Monday voted in favor of the pact to establish a U.N.-assisted tribunal.


BAYONNE — Two of Spain's most wanted alleged terrorists and at least 16 other suspected members of the armed Basque separatist group ETA were captured Sunday in a vast French-Spanish police operation, authorities said.


PORT-AU-PRINCE — Three politicians allied with former President Jean-Betrand Aristide were led away in handcuffs after a six-hour standoff at a radio station, and gunfire erupted Sunday in Haiti's capital where political clashes have left 14 dead.


GAUHATI — Militants bombed utilities, a tea plantation and a crowded marketplace in northeastern India, intensifying violence that has killed 57 people in two days and snarling efforts to bring cease-fires in a region where dozens of ethnic rebel groups are fighting for separate homelands.


JERUSALEM — Israel's U.N. ambassador demanded Sunday that the world body investigate the actions of its top official in Gaza after Israeli accusations that Gaza militants used a U.N. vehicle to transport a homemade rocket.


ISLAMABAD — President Gen. Pervez Musharraf on Sunday appointed Lt. Gen. Ashfaq Pervez Kiyani as new chief for Pakistan's powerful spy agency after his predecessor was appointed chairman of the joint chiefs of military staff.

KARACHI — An unmanned U.S. spy plane crashed Sunday near an air base used by American forces in southern Pakistan, police said.


BELGRADE — Loyalists of Slobodan Milosevic were poised to win at least one city Sunday as Serbs voted for mayors and other municipal posts in runoff elections.


LJUBLJANA — Slovenia's Prime Minister Anton Rop conceded defeat after preliminary results showed the center-right opposition winning Sunday's parliamentary elections, putting it in power for the first time since the country's 1991 independence.

South Korea

SEOUL — South Korea must not conduct any more nuclear experiments without notifying the United Nations, because any secret nuclear activity, however small, is a matter of "serious concern," the U.N. nuclear chief said Sunday.


BANGKOK — A massive explosion at a fireworks factory in central Thailand on Sunday killed 14 people, including a 4-year-old boy, and injured two others, a police official said.

BANGKOK — A 9-year-old girl, Kanda Srilueng-On, has died of bird flu in northern Thailand, raising the country's death toll from the virus to 11, a Health Ministry official said today.


BERLIN — Turkey's prime minister expressed confidence that the European Union's executive will recommend opening talks for his Muslim-majority country's membership this week. ISTANBUL — Turkish troops and Kurdish rebels clashed in southeastern Turkey in fighting that killed two soldiers and a guerrilla, news reports said Sunday.