Suicide bombers strike mosques, killing at least 24

BAGHDAD - Suicide bombers struck two Shiite mosques in Baghdad on Thursday, killing at least 24 people and wounding dozens during celebrations marking the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

To the north, suspected Shiite militiamen gunned down six members of a Sunni family, including women and children, police reported.

Those attacks occurred four days after a series of explosions killed 32 people and wounded nearly 100 in Shiite areas of Baghdad, raising fears that al-Qaida in Iraq is trying to provoke Sunni-Shiite reprisal killings now that the last of the American 'surge' troops have left the country.

German leader chastises Russia

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia - German Chancellor Angela Merkel chastised Russia's conduct in Georgia and told President Dmitry Medvedev that the pro-Western nation's territorial integrity is 'nonnegotiable,' underscoring deep divisions left by the recent war.

Russia recognized Georgia's separatist regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent nations after its troops drove deep into the ex-Soviet republic in August, and has announced plans to keep 7,600 troops in the two territories.

Somali pirates will fight for $20M ransom

MOGADISHU, Somalia - Somali pirates holding a hijacked arms ship said Thursday they will not release it for less than $20 million and warned they will fight back against any commando-style rescue attempts.

A half-dozen U.S. navy warships have surrounded the Ukrainian cargo ship MV Faina, which was seized last Thursday off the central coast of Somalia as it transported 33 Soviet-designed tanks and heavy weapons to a Kenyan port.

US to build new embassy in London

LONDON - For sale: 600-room building in leafy London square. One previous owner: the U.S. government.

The U.S. ambassador to Britain said Thursday that the United States plans to leave its landmark embassy in central London's tony Mayfair district and build a safer facility in less fashionable surroundings south of the River Thames.

- From wire reports