Suicide bombing strikes funeral in Sunni village

BAGHDAD - A suicide bomber blew himself up inside a funeral tent in a predominantly Sunni village, killing at least 14 and wounding 17, in the third such bombing in Sunni areas in as many days.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility, but the attack bore the hallmarks of al-Qaida in Iraq, which has been trying to derail a movement that has seen Sunnis join forces with the U.S. against the terror network.

The attacker detonated his explosives belt amid mourners in the Hajaj village on the outskirts of Tikrit, Saddam Hussein's hometown some 80 miles north of Baghdad, a police officer said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of security concerns.

The blast brought down the tent and the casualty toll rose to at least 14 killed and 17 wounded as victims were pulled from the rubble.

Pakistan leader promises to hold free elections

BRUSSELS, Belgium - President Pervez Musharraf promised Monday that Pakistan will hold fair elections next month and urged the West to be more patient with his nation's efforts to achieve higher standards of human rights.

He also sought to ease worries about Pakistan's nuclear arsenal as Islamic extremists step up their fight with his government, insisting that tight security would prevent the weapons from falling into the hands of terrorists.

Israel's premier defends Gaza chokehold

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Israel said Monday it will ease a blockade of Gaza imposed in retaliation for militant rocket attacks, allowing some food and fuel in for one day. The announcement followed a U.N. warning that international food aid to the impoverished territory may have to be suspended by the weekend.

The closure imposed after a spike in rocket attacks last week cut off fuel supplies. On Sunday, Gaza's Hamas rulers shut the strip's power plant, leaving one-third of the 1.5 million people without electricity.

Study to measure methane released by belching cows

STOCKHOLM, Sweden - A Swedish university has received $590,000 in research funds to measure the greenhouse gases released when cows belch.

About 20 cows will participate in the project run by the Swedish University for Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala, officials said.