Sri Lanka's foreign minister shot, killed

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - Sri Lanka's foreign minister, a member of the ethnic Tamil minority who led an international campaign to ban the Tamil Tiger rebels as a terrorist organization, was assassinated Friday. The military blamed the rebels.

Lakshman Kadirgamar, 73, was shot in the head and died after being taken to National Hospital for emergency surgery, Inspector General of Police Chandra Fernando said.

At least three killed in suspected rebel attacks in Sri Lanka

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels killed a couple believed linked to a rival group Friday, hours after several people were wounded by a rebel attack on security forces at a tsunami survivors camp, officials said.

Gunmen believed to be rebels also shot to death a police sergeant and wounded a village guard in northeastern Sri Lanka, police said.

Bomb wounds four at Afghan market

KABUL, Afghanistan - A bomb exploded in a market in southern Afghanistan on Friday, injuring four civilians, police said. Elsewhere in the region, a gunfight between police and suspected Taliban rebels left two officers and three militants dead.

The latest violence comes a day after Afghan and American troops killed a suspected Taliban leader in their drive to secure unstable parts of Afghanistan ahead of Sept. 18 parliamentary elections, the U.S. military said Friday. A U.S. service member was killed Thursday in an explosives training accident in central Uruzgan province.

Russia marks fifth anniversary of submarine sinking

MOSCOW - Sailors in dress uniforms stood at attention on a ship's deck Friday as wreaths were tossed into the gray sea to honor 118 of their comrades who perished five years ago when the nuclear submarine Kursk sank.

Ceremonies marking the tragedy's fifth anniversary were held around Russia on Friday, which just a week ago was riveted by another submarine accident that cast the spotlight on what analysts and the Russian media said was a navy ill-equipped to deal with such rescue missions.

Haiti releases leader of paramilitary group

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - A Haitian rebel leader who once led a paramilitary group accused of killing and torturing thousands of people has been released from prison, his lawyer said Friday.

Louis-Jodel Chamblain was jailed in April 2004 on two counts of murder. He was acquitted but kept in prison while authorities investigated allegations that he masterminded a 1993 fire that devastated part of Cite Soleil, a vast waterfront shantytown outside of Port-au-Prince, Gaston said.

After emergency, Niger left looking for hunger solutions

NIAMEY, Niger - When aid workers pack up after dealing with the hunger emergency in Niger and other nations along the Sahara, leaders will be left struggling to find lasting solutions to the chronic lack of food in much of Africa.

The United Nations says the combined effects of drought and locusts have left some 3.6 million people in Niger facing severe food shortages this year. Children are most at risk, with some 800,000 under age 5 needing to be fed urgently, the United Nations says.

At least 1.6 million people in nearby Mali, Burkina Faso and Mauritania also are affected, the world body says.

Sunnis say they will reject constitution if it would divide Iraq

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Angered by Shiite calls for a federal region, Sunni clerics urged followers Friday to vote against the constitution if it contains measures they believe would divide the country in a dispute that threatened to delay the charter's completion by a Monday deadline.

Also Friday, a U.S. Apache helicopter crashed in northern Iraq, injuring two U.S. forces, and a roadside bomb killed an American soldier in the central city of Tikrit, the military said.

Britain bars radical Muslim cleric from returning after arrest

LONDON - Britain on Friday barred radical Muslim cleric Omar Bakri from returning to the country that has been his home for 20 years, saying the presence of the Islamic preacher is not ''conducive to the public good.''

Bakri's close associate, Anjem Choudary, told The Associated Press that Bakri would not challenge the government's unusual move - but said the cleric would not be silenced.

Lebanon freed the 45-year-old cleric Friday, a day after detaining him in Beirut, saying he ''has not committed any crime and there are no criminal records against him.''

- From wire reports