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Truck and car bombs exploded in Kirkuk, Iraq, Monday, killing at least 80 people, wounding more than 180 others, and causing heavy property damage in the worst terrorist attack there since the start of the war. Suspicion quickly fell on Sunni extremists moving north out of Baghdad ahead of the offensive by US and Iraqi troops. Kirkuk, a center of the oil industry, had been relatively calm, although tensions between its Kurdish and Arab residents tend to run deep

Tribal elders from Pakistan's border region met with a representative of the government Monday to try to salvage the peace deal that militants renounced 24 hours earlier, Agence France-Presse reported. The pact called for the pro-Taliban tribesmen to halt raids into Afghanistan and hunt down foreign militants who hide in the region. But it was torn up in protest over the deployment of government troops with orders to root out extremists. Militant attacks on troops over the weekend killed more than 70 people.

Thirty-five leading opponents of Ethiopia's government were sentenced Monday to life behind bars for inciting violence in an attempt to topple Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. Eight others were ordered to serve up to 18 years. Prosecutors had sought the death penalty in each case. A BBC correspondent told the network that the sentences are unlikely to be served and that the defendants may even be freed since relatives have signed "some form of apology or plea for mercy."

One of two female former prime ministers of Bangladesh was arrested on extortion charges Monday, and the other was ordered to appear in court next month for alleged tax evasion. Sheikh Hasina was taken to jail pending trial in a crackdown on corruption by the interim government. As word of the arrest spread, police fought with her angry supporters in the streets of Dhaka, the capital. Her bitter rival, Khaleda Zia, is accused of failing to pay taxes for a company she owns. The military-backed government tried to exile both women in April, but ultimately backed down.


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