Venezuela bank hostage standoff ends with arrests

ALTAGRACIA DE ORITUCO, Venezuela - Gunmen who held more than 30 hostages inside a Venezuelan bank for over 24 hours fled in an ambulance and were caught Tuesday along a roadside, where they surrendered and freed their last five captives.

The gunmen first let three hostages go and then negotiated with police while holding on to the last two, Guarico state Gov. Eduardo Manuitt said.

'This nightmare is over,' Manuitt told state television.

They eventually turned over their guns and a grenade, and then were ordered to the ground as police arrested them, Manuitt said. The pursuit ended less than two hours after the gunmen fled the bank in the ambulance under a deal negotiated with police.

Bomb blast outside Algerian police station kills two

THENIA, Algeria - A car loaded with explosives and headed for a police station in northern Algeria exploded Tuesday after officers stopped the attack with bullets. At least two people were killed and 23 wounded, the Interior Ministry said.

Witnesses and security officials said at least three people were killed.

Officers opened fire on a vehicle that was speeding toward the local police station in the town of Thenia, some 40 miles east of Algiers. The vehicle exploded short of the building, leaving a 61/2-foot-wide crater.

Movement across Gaza border slows

CAIRO, Egypt - Movement across the Gaza-Egypt border slowed to a trickle Tuesday as security forces made progress in sealing off breaches and cold, rainy weather discouraged travelers.

The focus of the weeklong crisis shifted to growing tensions between Egypt and the militant Hamas rulers of Gaza, who are now demanding a role in overseeing the border.

Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have flooded into Egypt since Hamas militants blasted holes in the border partition so Gazans could escape a tight closure of their territory's borders with Israel and Egypt. Israel had recently sealed its border in response to militant rocket attacks from Gaza.

Hitler's chancellor anniversary to pass quietly

BERLIN - The 75th anniversary of Adolf Hitler's elevation to German chancellor today is one the country would prefer to forget, but the ignominious event that ultimately led to the deaths of millions remains part of the nation's weighted history.

Hitler's accession to the post gave the Nazi party its 'in' to eventually consolidate absolute control over the country in the months soon after, setting it on the path to World War II and the Holocaust.

Few public events are planned to mark today's anniversary, although many schools received letters from state governments asking them to hold special sessions in class. German students spend at least half a school year learning about Hitler's rise to power and the Third Reich, part of a concerted effort on the part of modern Germany to prevent history from repeating itself.

No solution in sight for Kenya's ethnic violence problems

NAIROBI, Kenya - Kenya, once a leader in the region, is following neighbors like Somalia down a path of disintegration, with no solution in sight as burning slums and thousands fleeing in fear alter the nation's ethnic map - perhaps forever.

Police in helicopters on Tuesday fired to turn back mobs. Gunmen killed opposition legislator Mugabe Were, and slums where a tense peace had held for days exploded with machete-wielding gangs setting fire to homes and businesses owned by President Mwai Kibaki's Kikuyu people.

The international community is pressuring Kibaki and his chief rival Raila Odinga - who is a member of the Luo tribe - to share power to end the crisis over the disputed presidential election.

Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan is negotiating but said it will take a year just to settle on a plan for resolving the deep-rooted problems that caused anger over the election to turn to murderous hate between neighbors of decades.

Hundreds protest Pakistan's support for US terrorism fight

MIRAN SHAH, Pakistan - Hundreds of students chanting 'Death to America' protested Pakistan's support for the U.S.-led fight against terrorism, as the government said Tuesday that security forces would show 'no leniency' in the conflict with Islamic militants.

In the latest violence, a missile strike near the Afghan border destroyed a suspected militant hideout and killed 12 people inside, intelligence and government officials said.

Commanders see extended offensive against al-Qaida

MOSUL, Iraq - The top U.S. commanders in northern Iraq predicted Tuesday the battle to oust al-Qaida in Iraq from its last urban stronghold will not be a swift strike, but rather a grinding campaign for Mosul that will require more firepower from both the Pentagon and Iraqi allies.

The statements appeared to discount suggestions by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki that Iraqi forces were gathering for a 'decisive' attack as soon as all reinforcements are in place.

'It is not going to be this climactic battle ... It's going to be probably a slow process,' said Maj. Gen. Mark P. Hertling, commander of U.S. forces in northern Iraq.