Israeli strikes kill 54 in Gaza

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - It was the middle of the night when the battle between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants reached Tareq Dardouna's house in northern Gaza.

Tending to four wounded people as children cried and screamed, he told of a relative who was killed.

At least 54 Palestinians, about half of them civilians, were killed Saturday in one of the bloodiest days in Gaza in years, as Israeli forces went on the offensive to try to stop daily rocket barrages that have reached closer to its populated heartland than ever before.

Two Israel soldiers were killed and seven were wounded in the clashes, the military said.

Prince Harry returns to UK after deployment

LONDON - Prince Harry returned home to his relieved father and older brother Saturday after a 10-week Afghan tour of duty that security officials fear could now make him a top target for extremists.

His body armor hanging loose off one shoulder, Harry, 23, descended the steps of a Royal Air Force troop carrier with about 170 other soldiers. He handed some of his gear to his brother, Prince William, and was led by his father, Prince Charles, to a waiting family car, where he took off the bulletproof vest.

No. 2 commanderof Colombia's guerrillas killed

BOGOTA, Colombia - Troops killed the FARC's No. 2 commander in a raid Saturday, a stunning setback to Colombia's largest rebel army and a major victory for security forces backed by billions of dollars in U.S. aid.

Raul Reyes was the official spokesman for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and considered a possible successor to the leftist group's No. 1 spot. The United States had offered a $5 million reward for his capture.

Reyes, 59, died in combat and air strikes in neighboring Ecuador, Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos told a news conference.

Armenia declares emergency after election protests

YEREVAN, Armenia - Armenia's president imposed a state of emergency Saturday after police used tear gas and fired shots into the air to disperse demonstrators protesting alleged fraud in last month's presidential election.

The announcement from the office of President Robert Kocharian came shortly after police broke up the rally of about 15,000 demonstrators.

- From wire reports