KANDAHAR — Two suicide attackers exploded car bombs in separate assaults on U.S. and Afghan forces Friday, slightly wounding two U.S. military members and one U.S. civilian contractor, officials said. Both attackers died.


ALGIERS — Gunmen attacked a convoy of customs agents traveling through the desert in southern Algeria on Friday, killing 13 and wounding eight others, the official APS news agency reported. One other person was reported to have disappeared.


JERUSALEM — An Israeli airstrike Friday on a car carrying Palestinian militants in the southern Gaza Strip killed six people and wounded about a dozen, Palestinian security officials and medical workers said. The dead included four militants from the Popular Resistance Committees, who were in the car, and a child, according to Reuters. The identity of the sixth person was not known.


TOKYO — Japan's population shrank in the year through November 2005 — the first annual decrease on record, the health and welfare ministry said Friday, confirming an earlier government prediction. The country's population fell by 8,340 from December 2004 to November 2005, marking the first yearly decline since the government began compiling data in 1899, the ministry said in a statement. However, it added that data for 1944-1946 was missing.

TOKYO — A U.S. military air base in Okinawa will be relocated to a city elsewhere on the island as part of a reorganization of American troops stationed in Japan, officials said Friday. The city of Nago in central Okinawa agreed to host the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma air station after Japan's Defense Agency decided to relocate a planned runway to keep flights away from residential areas.


TIJUANA — A U.S. executive abducted in this violent Mexico-U.S. border city escaped Friday after his kidnappers dozed off, officials said. Yong Hak Kim, 53, a top administrator of Amex Manufacturing in eastern Tijuana, was seized as he drove to his business early Thursday. About 24 hours later, he was able to escape the small home where he had been taken, grabbing a gun and running into the street.


AMSTERDAM — An Iberia Airlines flight bound for Madrid returned to Amsterdam's airport Friday after a passenger claimed to have a bomb, and the man was arrested soon after landing, authorities said. No bomb was found aboard the plane, said Justice Ministry spokesman Wim Kom.


MADRID — Supreme Court on Friday threw out the convictions of three men found guilty last year of being part of an al-Qaida-linked group, a court official said. Prosecutors this week acknowledged there was not sufficient evidence to jail the three — Driss Chebli, Sadik Merizak and Abdelaziz Benyaich — and the Supreme Court agreed.


ANKARA — A female suicide bomber blew herself up Friday in front of a mosque in the Black Sea city of Ordu, injuring two other people in the explosion, including a suspected accomplice, police said. In a separate incident, a small bomb left on a road close to a military headquarters in Diyarbakir went off, slightly injuring two people inside a car, an official from the mayor's office said.


CARACAS — Supporters of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez pelted the car of U.S. Ambassador William Brownfield with fruit, vegetables and eggs Friday, and a group of motorcyclists chased his convoy for miles, at times pounding on the cars, a U.S. Embassy official said. No one was hurt.

CARACAS — Venezuelan authorities on Friday said they have detained three people in connection with the kidnappings and killings of three young brothers, a crime that sparked angry protests over rampant violent crime. Justice Minister Jesse Chacon said the three suspects are Venezuelans.