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WORLD: 30 shot dead in Jamaican slums

30 shot dead in Jamaican slums

KINGSTON, Jamaica -- Thousands of police and soldiers stormed the Jamaican ghettos where reggae was born Tuesday in search of a reputed drug kingpin wanted by the United States, intensifying a third day of street battles that have killed at least 30 people.

The masked gunmen fighting for underworld boss Christopher ''Dudus'' Coke say he provides services and protection -- all funded by a criminal empire that seemed untouchable until the U.S. demanded his extradition.

Coke has built a loyal following in Tivoli Gardens, the poor West Kingston slum that is his stronghold. U.S. authorities say he has been trafficking cocaine to the streets of New York City since the mid-1990s, allegedly hiring island women to hide the drugs on themselves on flights to the United States.

Gold heist ends with 15 killed

BAGHDAD -- Gunmen wearing Arab headscarves and wielding assault rifles, rocket-propelled grenade launchers and pistols robbed a gold jewelry market in broad daylight Tuesday, killing 15 people in the most brazen example of Baghdad street crime that has soared as sectarian fighting ebbed.

Authorities blamed al-Qaida in Iraq, as they often are quick to do after major attacks and as the investigations are just getting under way.

''The fingerprints of al-Qaida are obvious in today's heist,'' Maj. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi, Baghdad's chief military spokesman said, speaking a couple of hours after the late-morning assault. He said the terror group has been suffering from money shortages and has been planning robberies as a way to fill its coffers.

5 Somalis face piracy charges

ROTTERDAM, Netherlands -- Europe's first trial of alleged Somali pirates opened Tuesday with conflicting accounts from the five suspects, a notable lack of physical evidence and a shortage of witnesses, in a case that illustrates the difficulty of prosecuting piracy cases and why so many captured sea bandits are let go.

And with one emotional outburst, one suspect also brought to light the core problem in trying to rein in the rampant piracy afflicting the Somali coast: poverty and the absence of any authority.

''If our children are hungry, who is responsible?'' shouted Sayid Ali Garaar, 39. ''You sleep in your house, I am in prison. I have no country, no family, nothing,'' he added, wiping tears from his eyes.