Suicide bomber kills 15 in Pakistan

PESHAWAR, Pakistan - A suicide attacker detonated a bomb among police on guard near a Shiite mosque in this northwestern Pakistani city yesterday, killing at least 15 people and wounding more than 30.

The attack came as Pakistan's minority Shiites started to commemorate their most important religious festival, Ashura, often a target of sectarian violence. Paramilitary forces in armored vehicles were deployed to patrol Peshawar after the bombing.

The blast went off in a bazaar area about 200 yards from a mosque that was the starting point for the Shiite procession.

Most of the victims were police and municipal officials who were clearing the route for the Shiite procession. The city's police chief, Malik Saab, was among the dead, said provincial police chief Sharif Virk. - AP

Embassy worker's

kin killed in Kenya

NAIROBI, Kenya - Gunmen carjacked a U.S. Embassy vehicle on the outskirts of the Kenyan capital yesterday and killed the wife of an embassy employee and his mother-in-law. Police later killed two of the carjackers.

The shooting happened just off a highway in Kinoo, about 12 miles outside Nairobi. Carjackings are common around Nairobi, and Kenya's government spokesman, Alfred Mutua, said the violence was believed to be "a random attack."

The victims were the wife and mother-in-law of a U.S. Embassy employee, said Robert Kerr, an embassy spokesman. He did not release their names. - AP

Global-trade rules

unchanged so far

DAVOS, Switzerland - The United States, Europe and other major powers made only a vague commitment yesterday to liberalize global trade, despite encouragement from leaders attending the World Economic Forum.

The nearly 30 countries that met on the sidelines of the forum to discuss the lack of progress in the World Trade Organization talks "expressed a strong wish for a quick resumption" of negotiations, but stopped short of making improved offers to break a six-month deadlock.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair told the forum later that he and other leaders were hopeful a trade breakthrough would still come. Negotiators are trying to clear barriers to trade in farm goods and manufactured products. - AP

Elsewhere:

A four-story boarding school collapsed in western India, killing at least 11 girls and injuring 14. The principal of the school in the village of Tichakpura said he had told state officials the school urgently needed repairs.

Gunmen killed a prominent South African tourism promoter Friday at his lodge in the eastern part of the country. David Rattray was an expert on the 19th-century Anglo-Zulu war and played a key role in attracting foreign tourists to the conflicts' battlefields in KwaZulu-Natal province.

Senegalese police fired tear gas yesterday at protesters calling for early parliamentary elections, beating back the crowd in the capital of Dakar with rifle butts and detaining the head of the country's main opposition party.

Argentina has authorized officials to reveal state secrets if called to testify in human-rights trials, a move intended to speed up prosecution of atrocities committed during the country's 1976-1983 military dictatorship.