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World datelines


KANDAHAR — Militants broke into the home of an Afghan headmaster and beheaded him while forcing his wife and eight children to watch, the latest in a spate of attacks blamed on the Taliban that have forced many schools to close. The insurgents claim that educating girls is against Islam and they even oppose government-funded schools for boys because they teach subjects besides religion.


CIJERUK — A landslide caused by days of pounding rain buried a small village beneath tons of mud and rock Wednesday, bringing the number of dead or missing from days of wet weather in central Indonesia to more than 190, officials said.


More journalists and media staffers have been killed during the Iraq war than during 22 years of conflict in Vietnam, Reporters Without Borders said Wednesday. Worldwide, at least 63 journalists were killed last year, the press freedom group said in its annual report. That was up from at least 53 killed in 2004, the group said.


ROME — Urbano Lazzaro, a resistance fighter credited with arresting fascist dictator Benito Mussolini at the end of World War II, has died at age 81, officials said Wednesday.


MEXICO CITY — A strong earthquake struck undersea early Wednesday off Baja California, the U.S. Geological Survey said. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries. The 6.7-magnitude quake struck about 2:32 a.m. local time and was centered about 55 miles northeast of Santa Rosalia, Baja California.


MUZAFFARABAD — Freezing temperatures have claimed the lives of least five Pakistani earthquake survivors, a U.N. health official said Wednesday, as a trickle of villagers descended from mountain settlements in Kashmir to seek shelter on lower ground. Khalif Bile of the World Health Organization said the rate of acute respiratory infections has risen by as much as 19 percent, mostly among children, in the past week.


WARSAW — Poland's new conservative government will recall 10 ambassadors with links to communist-era authorities, the first such sweeping move in 16 years of democracy, the Foreign Ministry said Wednesday. Foreign Minister Stefan Meller decided to cut short the ambassadors' missions amid a broader attempt by the new government to purge state offices of ex-communists, ministry spokesman Pawel Dobrowolski told The Associated Press.


ARUSHA — Rocks and boulders tumbled down Mount Kilimanjaro on Wednesday and crashed into a group of climbers sleeping in tents before their final ascent of Africa's highest mountain. Three foreign climbers and an unknown number of guides were killed. A sudden change in weather at Kibo peak dislodged the rocks, Tanzania National Parks head Gerald Digurube said.


ANKARA — A 14-year-old farm boy who died after developing pneumonia-like symptoms has tested positive for bird flu, Turkey's health minister said Wednesday. If confirmed in further tests, it would be the first human death from the ailment outside of east Asia. The boy's sister, who is hospitalized and in serious condition, also tested positive for bird flu, Health Minister Recep Akdag said. A third sibling is also suspected of having bird flu, he said.

United Arab Emirates

DUBAI — The emir of Dubai, Sheik Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, one of the world's most prominent owners and breeders of thoroughbred horses, died Wednesday during a visit to Australia. He was 62. Sheik Maktoum, who also was vice president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates, died at the exclusive Palazzo Versace hotel on the Gold Coast, a resort in eastern Queensland state, Queensland police spokeswoman Chelsea Roffey said.


MARIB — The Yemeni government dispatched more helicopter-borne troops Wednesday to encircle a rugged mountain hideout and cut off water deliveries to the region where a renegade tribe is holding five Italian tourists hostage. The Italians were taken captive Sunday. Tribal elders, who had been negotiating with the kidnappers, said the hostages still were held somewhere in the vast Sirwah region of Marib province, about 75 miles northeast of San'a.