Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs released

LONDON - Britain's notorious 'Great Train Robber,' nearly 80 and close to death, was released Thursday from his prison sentence, but he's expected to stay right where he is - in a hospital bed.

Britain's Justice Secretary Jack Straw said he decided to release Ronnie Biggs on compassionate grounds after he fell seriously ill this week in his cell at Norwich Prison, 120 miles northeast of London.

The prison officers watching Biggs at the Norwich and Norfolk Hospital will remain overnight, and leave tomorrow, once the paperwork for his release is complete, Straw said. Biggs' 80th birthday is Saturday.

Car bomb kills five in northern Iraq

BAGHDAD - Iraqi police say at least five people have been killed in a car bombing in a Kurdish area in the disputed northern city of Kirkuk.

Police spokesman Col. Sarhat Qadir said Thursday's attack occurred about 8 p.m. in a restaurant-packed market area in the Rahim Awaa district. Qadir said 30 people also were wounded.

Several bombings have raised concern about the readiness of Iraqi forces to take over their own security more than a month after U.S. troops withdrew from urban areas as part of a plan to pull out entirely by the end of 2011.

Attacks kill 4 US troops, 15 Afghans

KABUL - Four U.S. Marines were killed Thursday when a roadside bomb struck their vehicle in western Afghanistan, driving up Western military deaths at a pace that would make August one of the deadliest months of the war.

Civilian casualties have also been sharply rising, and a southern Afghan police chief said a U.S. airstrike had killed five farmers picking their cucumber crop at night. The U.S. military said the men were insurgents, but offered conflicting accounts throughout the day of the reason an American helicopter opened fire.

At least 15 Western troops have been killed in Afghanistan in August. Attacks killed at least 44 U.S service members and 31 from other international military forces in July, according to military reports.