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WORLD IN BRIEF: Car bomb wounds 14 near US base

Car bomb wounds 14 near US base

KABUL -- A suicide car bomber struck a barrier outside a U.S. base in Kabul on Tuesday, wounding six Afghans and eight American troops hours after gunmen killed four policemen in southern Afghanistan.

The car bombing was the latest attack to hit Kabul, coming just over a week after a team of Taliban gunmen and suicide bombers staged an assault that paralyzed the city and left 12 people dead. The violence has underscored fears that militants would try to stage attacks ahead of a key international conference on Afghanistan to be held Thursday in London.

The bomber detonated a minivan packed with explosives near Camp Phoenix, an American base inside Kabul, wounding at least six Afghan civilians, said Jamil Jumbish, the head of Afghanistan's criminal investigation unit.

Guatemalan police arrest ex-president

GUATEMALA CITY -- Police captured fugitive former President Alfonso Portillo in northern Guatemala on Tuesday, a day after U.S. prosecutors indicted him on charges of laundering money stolen from foreign donations meant to buy children's books.

Dozens of agents raided a ranch in the province of Izabal to execute the arrest, Attorney General Amilcar Velasquez said.

An indictment unsealed Monday in federal court in New York alleges that in a four-year scheme starting in 2000, Portillo embezzled $1.5 million in donations from Taiwan intended to buy school library books.

It accused Portillo of endorsing checks drawn from a New York bank and depositing them in a Miami account; the money then was transferred to a Paris account in the name of his ex-wife and daughter.

Car bomb hits Baghdad police lab; 21 killed

BAGHDAD -- A suicide car bomber struck a police crime lab in central Baghdad on Tuesday, killing at least 21 people and injuring dozens a day after suicide attacks hit several hotels favored by Western journalists, officials said.

The timing of the blast, a day after Iraq hanged Saddam Hussein's cousin and stalwart ''Chemical Ali,'' prompted speculation that the latest attacks were retaliation by Sunni insurgents.