WORLD IN BRIEF: Poland marks Pope John Paul's death

Poland marks Pope John Paul's death

WARSAW, Poland -- A trumpet in Warsaw sounded a mournful tone Friday at 9:37 p.m., marking the minute five years ago when Poland's revered native son Pope John Paul II died.

Believers held solemn commemorations of the pope amid Good Friday observances recalling the suffering of Jesus. Singing hymns in torch light, they followed a group of men who carried an enormous cross in a Way of the Cross procession.

''It was a great pope we had, and it's important to pay homage to him,'' said Barbara Pelka, 69, one of thousands who turned out in the rain for the ceremony. ''This is our tradition, this is what we should be doing.''

Karzai calls Clinton amid US criticism

WASHINGTON -- Afghan President Hamid Karzai called Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Friday after the Obama administration expressed dismay at his assertion a day earlier that the international community was to blame for the controversy over last year's disputed Afghan election.

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said Karzai used the 25-minute call to clarify his remarks.

''President Karzai reaffirmed his commitment to the partnership between our two countries, and expressed his appreciation for the contributions and sacrifices of the international community,'' Crowley said, indicating that Clinton told Karzai that they should focus on common aims for stabilizing Afghanistan.

20 civilians killed in Somali capital

MOGADISHU, Somalia -- Medical officials say at least 20 people have been killed after an intense battle between government forces and Islamic insurgents in the Somali capital.

A Somali military spokesman says the fighting Friday started when insurgents attacked government soldiers in southern Mogadishu. Col. Ibrahim Kalmoy says three soldiers were wounded during the fighting.

Ali Muse of Mogadishu's ambulance service says staff counted at least 15 civilians killed. Dr. Mohamed Yusuf of Medina Hospital says five of the wounded brought to Medina died from their wounds.

Islamic insurgents control much of Mogadishu and have been trying to topple the fragile government for three years.