Iraqi military: 175 killed in bombings aimed at small Kurdish sect

BAGHDAD - Four suicide bombers struck at communities of a small Kurdish sect in northwestern Iraq with nearly simultaneous attacks Tuesday, killing at least 175 people and wounding 200 more,

Iraqi military and local officials said.

The death toll was the highest in a concerted attack since Nov. 23, when 215 people were killed by mortar fire and five car bombs in Baghdad's Shiite Muslim enclave of Sadr City.

In western Iraq, a U.S. transport helicopter crashed near an air base, killing five troopers, the military said. Four other U.S. soldiers were reported killed in combat - three in an explosion near their vehicle Monday in the northwestern Ninevah province. The fourth died of wounds suffered in western Baghdad.

No new talks planned yet after release of 2 Korean hostages

GHAZNI, Afghanistan - Taliban leaders and South Korean officials continued negotiations by telephone over the fate of the remaining 19 hostages Tuesday, but no new face-to-face talks were planned, the international Red Cross said.

Two Korean women kidnapped by the Taliban in mid-July were freed Monday on a desert road outside Ghazni into Red Cross custody, the first significant breakthrough in the hostage drama. Two men among the Korean captives were executed by gunfire in late July.

Russia opens investigation into train bombing

MOSCOW - Prosecutors on Tuesday opened a terrorism investigation into a bombing that threw an express train on one of Russia's major passenger routes off the tracks, injuring 60 people.

The blast Monday night hit the Neva Express train, which was en route from Moscow to St. Petersburg. The locomotive and a dozen passenger cars derailed near the city of Novgorod, about 300 miles north of the capital.

China bridge collapse kills 29

BEIJING - The collapse of a bridge under construction that left at least 29 people dead in a Chinese tourist town rekindled concerns Tuesday about rushed, shoddy building amid the country's economic expansion.

Witnesses heard a rumble and saw stones fall from the structure Monday afternoon after construction workers removed scaffolding from the 140-foot-high, 880-foot-long vehicle and pedestrian bridge across the Tuo River in the southern town of Fenghuang.

- From wire reports