Emergency crews search for more bodies as Algerian death toll hits 31

ALGIERS, Algeria - Rescuers in a shaken city on Wednesday extracted the living and the dead from the crumpled remains of U.N. offices in Algiers that were bombed by an al-Qaida affiliate. Victims included U.N. staff from around the world, police officers and law students.

The Interior Ministry said 31 people were killed in Tuesday's twin truck bombings, as the official death toll slowly mounted. Initial reports elsewhere had much higher figures, though the government insisted it had no reason to conceal the full tally.

Rescue work was focusing on five or six people who were in the basement of the U.N. building at the time of the attack and who could still be alive, said the chief of the emergency team, Djamal Khoudi.

Shelling, gunbattles kill 17 in Somalia

MOGADISHU, Somalia - A radical Islamic group that was driven from power a year ago by a Western-supported offensive is making a significant comeback in Somalia, and the government can do little to stop it, officials said Thursday, as shelling and gunbattles in the capital killed at least 17 people.

Sheik Qasim Ibrahim Nur, director of security at Somalia's National Security Ministry, said the government has no power to resist the Council of Islamic Courts, which the United States has accused of having ties to al-Qaida.

He said the fighters had regrouped and were poised to launch a massive attack, adding that the government has 'no power to resist the Islamists.'

Bomb blast on Indian train kills 5

GAUHATI, India - A bomb tore through a moving train in India's remote northeast Thursday, killing five passengers and wounding four others, officials said. A little-known militant group claimed responsibility for the attack.

The New Delhi-bound high-speed Rajdhani Express had started from the eastern town of Dibrugarh in Assam state and had just crossed a station near Chungajan when the bomb exploded, said T. Rabha, an Indian Railway spokesman.

'A car near the luggage van took the whole impact of the blast before dawn Thursday. Five passengers were killed and four others wounded,' Rabha told The Associated Press.

Lebanese officials probe al-Qaida links in slaying of general

BEIRUT, Lebanon - Army investigators on Thursday looked into the possible involvement of al-Qaida-inspired extremists in the bombing that killed a Lebanese general who had led a major offensive against Islamic militants.

The beleaguered government sought to reassure the public, where many were worried that even the military - seen as the sole institution holding the country together - was now a target in Lebanon's unending political turmoil.

Brig. Gen. Francois Hajj, chief of the military's operations, and his driver were killed as he left his home for work Wednesday, when a parked car bomb exploded in Baabda, a Christian suburb east of Beirut.

Amid Afghan war worries, Gates seeks more from European allies

EDINBURGH, Scotland - Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Thursday pushed European allies for more troops to re-energize efforts in southern Afghanistan, where the Taliban insurgency has increased its attacks in the 18 months since NATO took command of the war.

Even as it struggles to find a way out of Iraq, the Bush administration is saddled with troubling signs in Afghanistan, where the government is weak, the insurgency is relentless and casualties are mounting. Gates also must worry about sagging public support.

Chinese remember 'Nanking Massacre'

BEIJING - Sirens sounded and students stood at attention Thursday to mark the 70th anniversary of Japan's notorious wartime massacre of civilians in the Chinese city of Nanjing.

The commemoration, which comes as China's government pushes to improve relations with Tokyo and avoid inflaming nationalist passions at home, brought the city to a standstill, state television showed.

The city reopened a vastly expanded memorial to the victims of the massacre long known in the West as the 'Rape of Nanking.'

Air raid sirens blared at 10 a.m., followed by a moment of silence, and new artifacts testifying to the savagery of Japan's Imperial Army went on display in the memorial's collection.