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Two dozen more suspected members of Al Qaeda were arrested in Pakistan, officials said Thursday, following the capture of the organization's third-in-command. But critics said the announcement suggested that terrorist leader Abu Farraj al-Libbi's capture had not, in fact, put security forces hot on the trail of Osama bin Laden or it would have been kept secret. Among those included in the latest roundup: Mishtaq Ahmed, who was convicted of involvement in a plot to assassinate President Pervez Musharraf but later escaped from jail.

Under generally fair skies, voters across Britain trooped to the polls for an election that some final opinion surveys indicated could be too close to call. A victory for Prime Minister Tony Blair would be historic; no previous Labour Party leader has been able to win three consecutive terms. Few analysts were willing to predict that the Labourites would hold their 161-seat majority in the lower house of Parliament, however.

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The final five nominees to Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al- Jaafari's cabinet are expected to be announced Friday, aides said, although his choices still must be OK'd by the president and parliament. Against that backdrop, new terrorist attacks killed at least 24 more people in, or attempting to sign up for, Iraq's security forces. Meanwhile, a published report said 137 Saudi nationals were intercepted in the process of trying to enter Iraq through Syria, apparently to join the terrorist ranks. They were being held by Syrian authorities, the report said.

The mayor of Mexico City, arguably his nation's most popular politician, was cleared of all charges by government prosecutors, clearing the way for him to seek the presidency next year if he so chooses. Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador had been the target of a high-profile criminal investigation for allegedly ignoring a court order to halt a road-building project across disputed land. His supporters staged a massive protest march in the capital late last month. The Lopez Obrador case also has brought a chorus of international criticism against outgoing President Vicente Fox, who isn't eligible to run for another term but is the mayor's chief rival.


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