US nets al-Qaida suspects, Shiite leader in Iraq

BAGHDAD - American troops grabbed two al-Qaida in Iraq bombing suspects and a Shiite militia leader Tuesday in separate raids north and south of Baghdad, the U.S. military said.

The command also said U.S. soldiers killed four other suspects a day earlier after coming under fire from machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades in Shiite sections of the capital. The troops seized dozens of rifles and several rounds of ammunition, the statement said.

China blocks quake school protesters

DUJIANGYAN, China - Angry parents whose children were killed in an earthquake-stricken school shouted 'Oh, my child!' and 'Tell us something!' when police forcefully removed them Tuesday from a protest outside a courthouse.

The police action was the clearest signal yet that authorities are hardening their stance against the impromptu displays of public anger over the May 12 earthquake that collapsed schools and killed thousands of children.

The students' deaths have become the focus for Chinese, both inside and outside the quake zone, fueling accusations about corruption in school construction.

Diplomats: Syrian nuke sites off limits

VIENNA, Austria - Syria has told fellow Arab countries that it will not permit an International Atomic Energy Agency probe to extend beyond a site bombed by Israel, despite agency interest in three other suspect locations, diplomats told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

The agency's main focus during its planned June 22-24 visit to Syria is a building in the country's remote eastern desert that was destroyed by Israeli jets in September.

US general takes NATO command in Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan - The U.S. general who led American troops into Iraq took command Tuesday of the 40-nation NATO-led campaign in Afghanistan.

Army Gen. David D. McKiernan took charge of the 51,000-member International Security Assistance Force from Gen. Dan McNeill, who will retire from the U.S. Army after 40 years.

Addressing a change of command ceremony Tuesday, McKiernan said he was 'honored to walk alongside our Afghan brothers.'

'While today marks a transition in commanders, the mission must continue without missing a beat,' he said, listing security, reconstruction and development as the types of support that Afghanistan deserves. "Insurgents, foreign fighters, criminals and others who stand in the way of that mission will be dealt with.'