Suicide attacker kills 2 Marines with truck bomb

BAGHDAD - A bomb-rigged truck exploded at a checkpoint Tuesday near the western city of Ramadi, killing two U.S. Marines and wounding three others in an apparent strike by al-Qaida in Iraq in one of its former strongholds.

At least one civilian also died and two dozen were injured in the blast, the latest in a string of recent strikes in areas where local Sunnis have joined U.S. forces to battle al-Qaida.

Iraqi police said the suicide attacker drove a small water tanker packed with explosives to the checkpoint and detonated them when he reached the guards. The U.S. military said two Marines were killed and three injured.

Hamas open to Gaza-only truce with Israelis

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Senior Hamas representatives said Tuesday that the militant group is willing to accept a cease-fire limited to the Gaza Strip, dropping a long-standing demand that the West Bank be included in a halt to fighting with Israel.

It was a significant concession, but any deal appeared distant, because Hamas also insists Israel reopen Gaza's border crossings and Israeli officials say they won't negotiate with the Islamic militants.

During months of unsuccessful Egyptian attempts to broker a truce, Hamas had stuck with its demand that a cease-fire include both the Gaza Strip, which it controls, and the West Bank, which is ruled by the rival Western-backed Palestinian government of President Mahmoud Abbas.

Somalis rescue hijacked ship, arrest 7 pirates

MOGADISHU, Somalia - Somali forces rescued a hijacked ship carrying food to this desperately poor African nation Tuesday, as a top security official accused U.S. troops stationed off the lawless coast of failing to combat growing piracy.

Seven pirates were arrested and three were wounded in the raid on the Dubai-flagged al-Khaleej, said Abdullahi Said Samatar, security affairs minister in the semiautonomous Puntland region.

Soyuz re-enters atmosphere upside down

MOSCOW - The crew of the Soyuz space capsule that landed hundreds of miles off target in Kazakhstan was in serious danger during the descent, a Russian news agency reported Tuesday.

Interfax quoted an unidentified Russian space official as saying the capsule entered Earth's atmosphere Saturday with the hatch first instead of its heat shield leading the way. As a result, the hatch sustained significant damage.