Gunmen kill Somali journalist

MOGADISHU, Somalia - Masked men shot and killed the director of Somalia's largest media organization, HornAfrik, in the center of the Somali capital on Wednesday, the company and witnesses said.

The three gunmen killed the director, Said Tahlil Ahmed, while he was walking through Mogadishu's largest market, Bakara, the company said in the statement posted on its Web site.

He was with six other journalists, three of whom gave separate interviews to The Associated Press to describe what happened. They said the group was on its way to meet Islamic leaders when the masked gunmen stopped them, brought them to a corner of the market and repeatedly shot Ahmed in the chest. The other journalists then fled the scene and suffered no injuries, the witnesses said on condition of anonymity out of fear for their own safety.

Sudan retakes rebel-held town

KHARTOUM, Sudan - After warning a Darfur peacekeeping mission to get out of the way, Sudan retook a rebel-held town in the unstable region, the country's military spokesman said Wednesday.

Government forces started bombing the town of Muhajeria earlier this week, even as the United Nations-African Union peacekeepers, with the support of U.N. secretary general, refused to leave and several thousand residents took refuge at their compound.

It was the first time Sudan has asked the peacekeepers in Darfur to step aside.

Pirates ransom ship for $3M

NAIROBI, Kenya - A ransom has been delivered to Somali pirates who seized a Ukrainian ship carrying tanks, heavy weapons and about 20 crew members, a spokesman for the ship's owners said Wednesday.

Mikhail Voitenko did not say how much was paid, but Russia's ITAR-Tass news agency put it at $3.2 million. The pirates originally demanded $20 million.

Britain seeks talks on nuclear disarmament

LONDON - Britain's Foreign Secretary David Miliband says he wants major world powers to begin new talks aimed at ridding the world of nuclear weapons.

The British diplomatic chief said he hopes countries can agree on an international legal framework to reduce their arsenals.