4 US soldiers die in suicide attack in Iraq

BAGHDAD - A suicide car bomber struck a U.S. patrol in northern Iraq on Monday, killing four American soldiers and an Iraqi interpreter in the deadliest single attack against U.S. forces in nine months.

The blast occurred as U.S. vehicles were passing near an Iraqi police checkpoint in Mosul, Iraq's third largest city and the last major urban battleground in the war against al-Qaida and other Sunni insurgents.

Gaza militant dies in border clash on eve of election

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Israeli aircraft struck two targets in the Gaza Strip and a militant died in a clash with troops on the border Monday, as an official of the moderate Palestinian government accused Hamas of trying to boost hawkish candidates in Israel's election.

Israel's military said the two airstrikes early in the day targeted militants positions and were a response to rocket fire from Gaza aimed at southern Israel on Sunday.

Military chief: 30K troops is top surge to Afghanistan

FORT DRUM, N.Y. - The nation's top military officer is telling soldiers that no more than about 30,000 additional troops will be sent to Afghanistan as the U.S. ramps up forces there.

Mullen spoke to soldiers and military wives Monday and sought to boost morale and soothe concerns at the Army base that has seen a constant revolving door of troops sent to Iraq and Afghanistan over the last eight years.

Australian wildfire death toll tops 160

WHITTLESEA, Australia - Disaster officials found charred bodies on roadsides and in crashed cars - grim signs of the futile attempt to flee raging wildfires fed by 60 mph winds, record heat and drought that caught even fire-savvy Australians by surprise.

As the death toll rose Monday to 166 in Australia's worst wildfire disaster, suspicions that some of the 400 blazes were caused by arson led police to declare crime scenes in some of the incinerated towns.

The fires near Melbourne in southeastern Australia destroyed more than 750 homes, left 5,000 people homeless, and burned 850 square miles of land, the Victoria Country Fire Service said.