Iraq's interim Prime Minister, Iyad Allawi, issued a blunt warning to residents of the volatile city of Fallujah: hand over terrorist leader Abu Musab al- Zarqawi and his followers or he'll order a major military offensive to root them out. "We will not be lenient," he said. Zarqawi is believed to be using Fallujah as his base of operations. The city has been targeted with "precision strikes" by US forces, many of them via bombings of suspected hideouts, but terrorist activity has not lessened. The warning came as a website operated by Zarqawi's Tawhid and Jihad organization showed videotape of terrorists decapitating two more hostages, both of whom carried identification purportedly showing them to be Iraqi intelligence agents.
Another rival of interim President Hamid Karzai ended his boycott of Afghanistan's electoral process and agreed to recognize the outcome of last Saturday's voting. Gen. Rashid Dostum said through a spokes-man that he was ending his opposition because "the election is a major achievement for everyone." He is the third among Karzai's major challengers for the presidency to change his mind, a move that analysts said increases the prospects that the final vote-count will be universally accepted despite the chaos and irregularities that marred the historic election. An independent commission is investigating 43 complaints that have been registered so far about the irregularities.
A complete shutdown of the vital oil industry in Nigeria was threatened by unionized workers, already on strike because of the 23 percent rise in fuel prices imposed by the government. The threat took on additional weight when a court refused the government's request for an order to halt the nationwide walkout, which began Monday. It was intended to end after four days, but to resume after two weeks if the fuel-price hike isn't scaled back. Crude is still being pumped in Nigeria, but analysts said any stoppage would increase the jitters that have pushed futures prices to record levels on world markets.
Rebels threatened an advance into Haiti's capital to do what they accuse UN peacekeepers of failing to accomplish: halt the violence that has killed at least 46 people. A radio broadcast by rebel leader Joseph Jean- Baptiste raised tensions in Port-au-Prince just as the city was experiencing a rare day of calm amid clashes between police and supporters of ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who demand his return from exile in South Africa. The violence, including beheadings of four policemen, has slowed distribution of humanitarian aid to victims of tropical storm Jeanne last month.