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Monday, June 26

Editor's Note: The CNN Wire is a running log of the latest news from CNN World Headquarters, reported by CNN's correspondents and producers, and The CNN Wire editors. "Posted" times are Eastern Daylight.

Rescue workers find 2 trapped in rubble of building collapse; 8 still trapped

(CNN) -- Rescue workers in Clinton, Missouri early Tuesday pulled two people from the debris of a collapsed building housing an Elks Lodge, hours after something caused the top two floors to come crashing down, trapping 10 people inside.

Rescuers are still searching for the other eight people, Clinton's city clerk Kelly Harrelson said. Some have been able to make contact with rescue workers using cell phones.

Steve Cummings, who owns the store and was on the second level when the floors collapsed, told CNN "I've got 10 of my best friends still in there."

He said the Elks' Club was having a dinner as part of an initiation ceremony for at least 50 new members, when the floors caved in.

"I just saw the tables that we had in the middle of the room, they just started disappearing," Cummings said on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360". "You just saw people drop."

He said he and about 40 others were able to escape, using an adjacent door and the emergency stairs. (Updated, 2:25 a.m.)

Rush Limbaugh detained at airport over possession of non-narcotic drug

MIAMI (CNN) -- Conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh spent about three and a half hours at Palm Beach International airport Monday following questions by federal and state authorities after finding non-narcotic pills in his luggage.

Limbaugh, 55, was allowed to leave the airport without arrest, however, a report on the incident will be referred to the Palm Beach County State Attorney's office for review of possible charges.

Law enforcement agencies said Limbaugh was carrying a bottle of Viagra he said was his, but it did not have his name on it.

"Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents said Limbaugh had a prescription for Viagra in someone else's name, a couple of doctors," Palm Beach County Sheriff's office spokesman Paul Miller told CNN.

"Having a prescription in someone else's name could be a violation for possession of a controlled drug without a prescription."

Limbaugh's attorney Roy Black released a statement saying the bottle was mislabeled as being prescribed to the doctor, instead of Limbaugh. (Posted, 10:53 p.m.)

1 dead in Navy jets crash

(CNN) -- Two Navy F-18 "Hornet" fighter jets crashed late Monday morning while on a training exercise over Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif., leaving one pilot dead, the Navy said.

The second pilot ejected and suffered only minor injuries, according to Dennis McGrath, a spokesman for Naval Air Station Lemoore, where the two jets were based.

Initial reports indicated the planes may have collided, but McGrath said investigators had not yet made that determination.

Don Sundias, a spokesman for Fort Hunter Liggett, said the two jets were flying at less than 3,000 feet when the accident took place.

The accident took place over a remote area away from houses or other buildings, although the crash started at least one small fire on the base, Sundias said. That fire has since been put out, he said. (Posted 8:13 p.m.)

Bush officials step up criticism of NY Times over bank records story

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Bush administration on Monday stepped up its criticism of newspapers that disclosed the existence of an effort to collect bank records of suspected terrorists, singling out The New York Times in particular.

"Congress was briefed, and what we did was fully authorized under the law," President Bush told reporters. "And the disclosure of this program is disgraceful."

The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, who has called the leak "treasonous," urged the Justice Department to prosecute the Times. And Vice President Dick Cheney told a Republican fund-raiser in Nebraska that the Pulitzer Prize the newspaper won for exposing the administration's warrantless eavesdropping program was "a disgrace."

The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times both reported last week that the Treasury Department had subpoenaed information from SWIFT, a Belgium-based financial clearinghouse that exchanges transactional information between banks, as part of anti-terrorism probes since the 2001 al Qaeda attacks on New York and Washington. The firm deals with records of an estimated $6 trillion in transactions each day. (Posted 8:01 p.m.)

Palestinian rocket blacks out Israeli town

GAZA CITY (CNN) -- A Palestinian militant rocket hit an Israeli power pole Monday night, plunging the town of Sderot near the Gaza border into darkness.

The Jerusalem Post reported that four people were wounded by shrapnel, none seriously. Video from the scene showed one man receiving medical assistance in the back of an ambulance.

The rocket was one of six the militant group Abu Raesh claimed to have fired into Israel as the Israeli army massed on the Gaza border in anticipation of a possible operation to free a kidnapped Israeli soldier. It wasn't clear where the other rockets landed.

Abu Raesh is a militant offshoot of Fatah, the political party of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. (Posted 7:59 p.m.)

Senate Democratic leader argues troop draw-down echoes Dem plan

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- In Congress, Senate Minority Leader spoke out about reports that Gen. George Casey, commander of U.S. troops in Iraq, was recommending a draw-down of about 7,000 troops this fall.

"I would like the Senate to note how similar Gen. Casey's apparent plan to withdraw U.S. forces is to the plan put forward by Senate Democrats last week," said Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., referring to a proposal for a limited withdrawal by the end of 2006 put forward by Sen. Jack Reed and Sen. Carl Levin, the ranking Democrat on the Armed Services Committee. The proposal was knocked down by a 60-39 vote.

"Congressional Republicans stand alone in opposition to troop redeployments -- apart from the American people ... apart from our military commanders ... and apart from the Iraqi government," Reid asserted.

Another amendment, backed by Democratic Sens. John Kerry of Massachusetts and Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, would have required a U.S. withdrawal by July 2007. It failed on a 86-13 vote. (Posted 4:01 p.m.)

FBI abandons efforts to obtain Connecticut library records

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The FBI has abandoned efforts to obtain library records from a Connecticut library association, the American Civil Liberties Union, which represented the library in its legal fight against the request, announced Monday.

The ACLU heralded the move as a major victory in protecting the privacy rights of Americans.

The ACLU said it received a letter from the FBI Friday saying "the FBI would not seek to enforce" a national security letter sent to Library Connection and also would no longer prevent the organization from making the letter public.

The FBI sent the national security letter to Library Connection in July 2005 seeking all records pertaining to a particular computer as part of a terrorism investigation. In using a national security letter, the FBI was not required to seek the approval of a judge to gain access to the information. Library Connection also was prohibited from disclosing the FBI had requested records.

FBI spokesman Bill Carter said the bureau would continue to use national security letters "when we find relevance to an ongoing investigation" involving national security. (Posted 3:53 p.m.)

Rice, State Department push for Israeli soldier's release

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- U.S. State Department officials said Secretary of State Condi Rice spoke with Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni twice since the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier by Palestinian militants. Livni, they said, urged Rice to put pressure on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to help secure the soldier's release.

Rice spoke with Abbas Monday, the officials said.

The State Department called for the soldier's immediate release and urged both the Israelis and the Palestinians to "exercise restraint."

In addition to Rice's calls to Foreign Minister Livni and Abbas, U.S. ambassadors in Egypt and Israel have reached out to goverments in the region to resolve the issue, State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack said Monday. (Posted 3:42 p.m.)

Senate readies debate on flag-protection amendment

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The full Senate begins debate Monday on a proposed constitutional amendment that would prohibit the desecration of the American flag, the latest in a series of controversial election-year votes pushed by the chamber's Republican leaders.

Observers give the flag amendment a better chance of passing than the defeated amendment to ban marriage between same-sex couples, another recent vote aimed at mobilizing the GOP's conservative base before November's elections.

The proposal has the support of 56 percent of those who responded to a recent CNN poll, conducted June 8-11 by Opinion Research Corporation in telephone interviews with 1,031 adult Americans. Forty percent of the respondents opposed the amendment. (Posted 3:33 p.m.)

Gates, wife promise to use Buffett's billions wisely

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Melinda Gates said Monday that she and her husband Bill are "honored and humbled" by fellow billionaire Warren Buffett's decision to give most of his $44 billion fortune to their charitable foundation and vowed to put it to good use.

The Microsoft founder and his wife appeared with Buffett, the head of Omaha-based holding company Berkshire Hathaway, to formally announce Buffett's decision to give an estimated $37 billion to the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation and three smaller charities controlled by his children.

The Gates Foundation focuses mostly on health programs overseas and on improving U.S. libraries and high schools.

Gates is ranked No. 1 on the Forbes 400 list of the richest Americans; Buffett ranks No. 2. (Posted 3:32 p.m.)

Motorcycle bomb kills 18, hurts 20 in Baquba market

BAGHDAD (CNN) -- A motorcycle packed with explosives detonated in the middle of a crowded market in Baquba, killing at least 18 people and wounding 20 others Monday evening, Iraqi police said.

The blast happened in a square surrounded by coffee shops and stores at 9:30 p.m. Monday, a time when many Iraqis were gathered there, police said.

The square is considered a Shia holy place and many of the victims were believed to be Shiite women and children.

Baquba is about 65 miles north of Baghdad. (Posted 3:30 p.m.)

US rules out dealing with Somalia Courts leader but studying "shifting sands" of group

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Bush administration said it won't deal with the new leader of the Islamic militia that captured Somalia's capital because of his alleged ties to al Qaeda, but officials are still studying the "shifting sands" to determine the group's intentions for the country.

Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys was appointed leader this weekend of the Islamic Courts Union, which wrested control of Mogadishu from a U.S.-backed coalition of warlords earlier this month. He is the former leader of al-Ittihad al-Islami, a Somali group that the State Department has designated a terrorist organization.

Al-Ittihad al-Islami, which the State Department says carried out a number of attacks against Ethiopian forces and was blamed for a series of bombings in 1996 and 1997, is now largely broken up. But Aweys remains on both U.S. and United Nations "watch lists" of people with ties to al Qaeda. (Posted 3:28 p.m.)

Dozens dead, wounded in Baquba market blast - Iraqi officials

BAGHDAD (CNN) -- A bomb exploded in a crowded market in Baquba, resulting in "dozens killed and wounded," Monday evening, according to an official with Diyala Provincial Joint Coordination Center.

The blast happened at 9:30 p.m. Monday in a northeast section of Baquba, the official said. (Posted 3:12 p.m.)

20 dead, 72 hurt, 10 kidnapped in Monday attacks

BAGHDAD (CNN) -- Bombers and gunmen killed at least 20 people and wounded 72 others Monday in attacks in Baghdad, Baquba and Hilla, Iraq police said.

The latest attack involved a bomb explosion in an crowded outdoor market in Hilla that killed at least six people and wounding at least 56 others, according to Hilla police.

The blast happened at about 8:30 p.m. Monday on al-Makatib Street in center of Hilla, a mostly Shiite city about 60 miles south of Baghdad.

Earlier, a suicide bomber detonated an explosives belt he was wearing at a military checkpoint in western Baghdad Monday evening, Iraqi police said. The bomber died along with two Iraqi police commandos. Two commandos and two civilians were wounded, police said.

A bodyguard for one of Iraq's leading Sunni politicians was killed when gunmen opened fire on a convoy in the Yarmouk section of southern Baghdad Monday afternoon, Iraqi police said.

The vehicles were normally used by Adnan al-Dulaimi, leader of the General Council for the People of Iraq, but he was not riding in the convoy, police said.

Two Iraqi soldiers were killed and one was wounded when gunmen attacked an army checkpoint, also in the Yarmouk section, police said.

Ten Iraqis, mostly students, were kidnapped from a central Baghdad building Monday afternoon, police said. Armed men stormed the building in the Karada section of the city to take the hostage, police said.

A car bomb exploded in the northern Baghdad neighborhood of Amiriya killing five Iraqi soldiers Monday afternoon, Iraqi police said.

A roadside bomb blast, apparently targeted at an Iraqi police patrol, killed one civilian and hurt five others in southern Bahdad's New Baghdad neighborhood, police said.

In Baquba, north of Baghdad, two civilians died and one was wounded in the two separate gun assaults at a Baquba market Monday morning, according to an official with the Diyala Joint Coordination Center:

Iraqi police rushing to the shooting scene at the market were hit by a roadside bomb, the official said. Three police officers and two civilians were wounded by the bomb, the official said.

Another bomb exploded outside a children's toy shop east of Baquba early Monday morning, but no one was wounded, the official said.

--CNN's Jomana Karadsheh in Baghdad contributed to this report. (Posted 1:30 p.m.)

President Bush met with a top general, but is tightlipped about troop withdrawal details

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush was tightlipped in a Monday news briefing despite a flurry of talk in Washington over whether the top U.S. military leader in Iraq advised him to withdraw 7,000 troops by September in a Friday meeting.

Bush said he and Gen. George Casey, commander of Multi-National Force-Iraq, discussed the joint operation with the Iraqi forces to secure Baghdad, actions they're taking to secure Ramadi and the Iraqi training mission.

He did not touch upon details reported in the New York Times Sunday, which said two combat brigades --7,000 troops -- would rotate out of Iraq in September without being replaced. (Posted 12:43 p.m.)

Global warming debate reaches high court

From CNN Supreme Court Producer Bill Mears

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Supreme Court will decide what role, if any, the federal government should play in regulating carbon dioxide emissions, a major environmental case pitting states against the current administration.

The justices Monday accepted the appeal of 12 states, supported by a coalition of scientists and environmentalists. Oral arguments will be held later this fall.

At issue is whether the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is required by law to regulate CO2 emissions from cars and factories. Carbon dioxide gas drifts into the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels such as petroleum and coal. The majority of scientific studies have concluded the emissions are the principal cause of manmade greenhouse gases -- trapping heat and leading to a recent rise in the planet's temperatures. Some environmentalists fear such drastic climate changes can lead to rising sea levels and dramatic, often catastrophic meteorological changes, such as drought and hurricanes. (Posted 12:41 a.m.)

14 dead, 16 hurt, 10 kidnapped in Monday attacks

BAGHDAD (CNN) -- In Baghdad, bombs and gunmen killed 12 people and wounded 10 others Monday, while two people died and six were wounded in several attacks in the city of Baquba, Iraq police said.

The latest attack involved a suicide bomber detonating an explosives belt he was wearing at a military checkpoint in western Baghdad Monday evening, Iraqi police said. The bomber died along with two Iraqi police commandos. Two commandos and two civilians were wounded, police said.

A bodyguard for one of Iraq's leading Sunni politicians was killed when gunmen opened fire on a convoy in the Yarmouk section of southern Baghdad Monday afternoon, Iraqi police said.

The vehicles were normally used by Adnan al-Dulaimi, leader of the General Council for the People of Iraq, but he was not riding in the convoy, police said.

Two Iraqi soldiers were killed and one was wounded when gunmen attacked an army checkpoint, also in the Tarmouk section, police said.

Ten Iraqis, mostly students, were kidnapped from a central Baghdad building Monday afternoon, police said. Armed men stormed the building in the Karada section of the city to take the hostage, police said.

A car bomb exploded in the northern Baghdad neighborhood of Amiriya killing five Iraqi soldiers Monday afternoon, Iraqi police said.

A roadside bomb blast, apparently targeted at an Iraqi police patrol, killed one civilian and hurt five others in southern Bahdad's New Baghdad neighborhood, police said.

In Baquba, north of Baghdad, two civilians died and one was wounded in the two separate gun assaults at a Baquba market Monday morning, according to an official with the Diyala Joint Coordination Center:

Iraqi police rushing to the shooting scene at the market were hit by a roadside bomb, the official said. Three police officers and two civilians were wounded by the bomb, the official said.

Another bomb exploded outside a children's toy shop east of Baquba early Monday morning, but no one was wounded, the official said.

--CNN's Jomana Karadsheh in Baghdad contributed to this report. (Posted 12:23 p.m.)

U.N. probe finds no village slaughter by peacekeepers in Congo

UNITED NATIONS (CNN) -- A preliminary investigation found that United Nations peacekeeping forces did not fire on civilians or use excessive force in a town in eastern Congo last April as alleged in two British news reports, the U.N. said Monday.

Britain's Channel Four and Observer newspaper reported last week that soldiers from South Africa and Pakistan, part of a U.N. peacekeeping mission called MONUC colluded with government forces in the slaughter of civilians and the destruction of a village.

"There is no evidence from MONUC initial investigations into the incident that civilians were killed or that excessive force was used," the U.N. statement said. "MONUC is continuing its investigation to determine whether there is any basis to the accusations made by Channel Four."

A U.N. investigation last year concluded that MONUC troops sexually abused women and children in the Congo. (Posted 11:40 a.m.)

High court rules against Vermont's state campaign spending limits

From CNN Supreme Court Producer Bill Mears

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Supreme Court Monday struck down Vermont's strict limits on state campaign spending limits, finding the laws unfairly violate the free speech rights of candidates to raise money and publicize their views.

The 6-3 ruling deeply divided the high court, with justices issuing six separate opinions, and failing to reach an over-arching consensus on the issue. A similar Supreme Court ruling 30 years ago threw out spending limits for federal candidates.

The justices essentially found Vermont's laws-- considered the strictest in the nation-- went too far.

Writing for a shaky majority, Justice Stephen Breyer concluded the laws, "disproportionately burdens numerous First Amendment interests, and consequently, violates the First Amendment."

Those limits, said Breyer, "taken together with low average Vermont campaign expenditures and the typically higher costs that a challenger must bear to overcome the name-recognition advantage enjoyed by an incumbent, raise a reasonable inference that the contribution limits are so low that they may poise a significant obstacle to candidates in competitive elections." (Posted 11:39 a.m.)

President Bush: "I don't know what North Korea's intentions are"

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The uncertainty over a possible North Korean long-range missile launch has produced a storm of global protest with President Bush saying Monday he doesn't know what their intentions are.

"It's a non-transparent society that ought to be sharing its intentions with the world," he said at a news conference. "I can't tell you what their intentions are."

Bush said he has made clear to the leaders of Japan, South Korea, China and Russia that a launch by North Korea would be "provocative" and added he hopes North Korean leaders will listen to a cautionary message delivered by the Chinese government. (Posted 11:38 a.m.)

11 dead, 12 hurt, 10 kidnapped in Monday attacks

BAGHDAD (CNN) -- In Baghdad, bombs and gunmen killed nine people and wounded six others Monday, while two people died and six were wounded in several attacks in the city of Baquba, Iraq police said.

A bodyguard for one of Iraq's leading Sunni politicians was killed when gunmen opened fire on a convoy in the Yarmouk section of southern Baghdad Monday afternoon, Iraqi police said.

The vehicles were normally used by Adnan al-Dulaimi, leader of the General Council for the People of Iraq, but he was not riding in the convoy, police said.

Two Iraqi soldiers were killed and one was wounded when gunmen attacked an army checkpoint, also in the Tarmouk section, police said.

Ten Iraqis, mostly students, were kidnapped from a central Baghdad building Monday afternoon, police said. Armed men stormed the building in the Karada section of the city to take the hostage, police said.

A car bomb exploded in the northern Baghdad neighborhood of Amiriya killing five Iraqi soldiers Monday afternoon, Iraqi police said.

A roadside bomb blast, apparently targeted at an Iraqi police patrol, killed one civilian and hurt five others in southern Bahdad's New Baghdad neighborhood, police said.

In Baquba, north of Baghdad, two civilians died and one was wounded in the two separate gun assaults at a Baquba market Monday morning, according to an official with the Diyala Joint Coordination Center:

Iraqi police rushing to the shooting scene at the market were hit by a roadside bomb, the official said. Three police officers and two civilians were wounded by the bomb, the official said.

Another bomb exploded outside a children's toy shop east of Baquba early Monday morning, but no one was wounded, the official said.

--CNN's Jomana Karadsheh in Baghdad contributed to this report.

Palestinian militants demand Israel free women and children in exchange for information about kidnapped soldier

From CNN Correspondent John Vause

GAZA CITY (CNN) -- Palestinian militants distributed a statement Monday saying if Israel agrees to release of all female prisoners and all children under 18-years-of-age being held in Israeli jails, the militants will provide information about a kidnapped Israeli soldier.

The statement appeared to be the opening gambit by the militants in the negotiations for the release of Israeli Cpl. Gilad Shalit, which the flyer referred to as "missing" not "kidnapped."

The statement surfaced as Palestinian officials scrambled Monday -- bargaining with Palestinian militants in an attempt to free the kidnapped Israeli corporal while appealing to Israel not to "complicate" the situation with military incursion.

Hamas spokesman Ghazi Hamad told CNN International that members of the Hamas military wing are among those holding Shalit,19, abducted Sunday morning after a brazen raid by Palestinian militants who tunneled into Israel.

He said Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniya was in "constant contact" with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Asked if he knew of Shalit's condition, Hamad said, "I know that he is well."

Israeli officials had said earlier they understood Shalid was being held and had been lightly wounded. (Posted 11:17 a.m.)

8 dead, 11 hurt in Monday attacks

BAGHDAD (CNN) -- Two bombs killed six people and wounding five others in Baghdad Monday, while two people died and six were wounded in several attacks in the city of Baquba, Iraq police said.

A car bomb exploded in the northern Baghdad neighborhood of Amiriya killing five Iraqi soldiers Monday afternoon, Iraqi police said.

A roadside bomb blast, apparently targeted at an Iraqi police patrol, killed one civilian and hurt five others in southern Bahdad's New Baghdad neighborhood, police said.

In Baquba, north of Baghdad, two civilians died and one was wounded in the two separate gun assaults at a Baquba market Monday morning, according to an official with the Diyala Joint Coordination Center:

Iraqi police rushing to the shooting scene at the market were hit by a roadside bomb, the official said. Three police officers and two civilians were wounded by the bomb, the official said.

Another bomb exploded outside a children's toy shop east of Baquba early Monday morning, but no one was wounded, the official said.

--CNN's Jomana Karadsheh in Baghdad contributed to this report. (Posted 9:47 a.m.)

7 killed in car explosion near Pakistani army checkpoint

LAHORE, Pakistan (CNN) -- A car exploded at an army checkpoint near the violence torn border of Pakistan and Afghanistan, killing seven soldiers and seriously wounding five Monday, local government officials told CNN.

The car was parked in the vicinity of Aisha checkpost near Miran Shah in the North Waziristan tribal region before detonating.

Officials said they could not immediately confirm whether the explosion was from a suicide bomb.

The Pakistan army has posted about 85,000 soldiers in that region since 2001 to suppress the Taliban and al Qaeda insurgency.

-- From CNN's Syed Moshin Naqvi (Posted 9:10 a.m.)

2 dead, 6 hurt in Baquba attacks Monday

BAGHDAD (CNN) -- Two bombings and two attacks by gunmen killed two people and wounded at least six others in the city of Baquba, Iraq Monday morning, according to an official with the Diyala Joint Coordination Center:

Two civilians died and one was wounded in the two separate gun assaults at a Baquba market, the official said.

Iraqi police rushing to the shooting scene at the market were hit by a roadside bomb, the official said. Three police officers and two civilians were wounding by the bomb, the official said.

Another bomb exploded outside a children's toy shop east of Baquba early Monday morning, but no one was wounded, the official said.

--CNN's Jomana Karadsheh in Baghdad contributed to this report. (Posted 9:09 a.m.)

Tensions high as Israel awaits word of kidnapped soldier

JERUSALEM (CNN) -- Israel has asked its international partners to put pressure on the Palestinian government in an effort to secure the release of an Israeli soldier, abducted Sunday morning after a brazen raid by Palestinian militants who tunneled into Israel.

The militants killed two Israeli soldiers in the attack on an army post near the Gaza-Israel-Egypt border, according to the Israeli army.

A small contingent of Israeli troops remained inside Gaza near the tunnel's opening, where they destroyed the tunnel on Monday, according to Israeli military sources.

Meanwhile, hundreds of Israeli troops were stationed around the Gaza-Israel border on stand-by.

Israel's political-security Cabinet late Sunday authorized the government to "take all necessary actions" to secure the release of Cpl. Gilad Shalit, according to a statement on Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's Web site. (Updated, 5:53 a.m.)

Suicide bomber misses U.S. military convoy in eastern Afghanistan

(CNN) -- A suicide bomber detonated near a U.S. military convoy near Bagram Air Base, north of Kabul, on Monday morning, killing himself and injuring two children, according to an Afghan police commander.

There were no U.S. military casualties, according to Mir Naim Haidery. A U.S. military spokesman confirmed the explosion happened, but had no details.

Two boys riding bicycles near the blast were injured, Haidery said. The attack happened at 8:45 a.m. (12:15 a.m. ET)

The violence comes amid a heavy push by U.S.-led coalition forces to rout out Taliban insurgents and extend Kabul's rule into eastern and southern Afghanistan.

Fighting in the eastern province of Kunar on Saturday killed one coalition soldier, the U.S. military announced Sunday. (Updated, 4:33 a.m.)

East Timor PM says he will resign

(CNN) -- Amid pressure to step down, East Timor's embattled Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri said Monday he "is ready to resign" in an effort to end weeks of unrest.

Alkatiri said he came to the decision after "having deeply reflected on the present situation prevailing in the country" and "assuming my own share of responsibility for the crisis affecting our country," among other reasons.

He also said he would step down to "avoid the resignation" of President Xanana Gusmao, who had threatened to abandon his post if Alkatiri did not resign.

Alkatiri is blamed for weeks of unrest in East Timor that began in March when the government fired 600 soldiers.who had gone on strike against alleged discrimination in the military. (Posted, 1:12 a.m.)

Sri Lanka blames Tamil Tigers for assassination of top general

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (CNN) -- A suicide bomber targeted a top Sri Lankan military officer Monday morning as he traveled to work in southern Colombo, killing the general and three others, according to a government statement.

Sri Lanka blamed the Tamil Tiger rebels for the attack, but there has been no claim of responsibility.

Maj. Gen. Parami Kulatunga -- who died after he was taken to a hospital -- was the army's deputy chief of staff, the third highest ranking official in Sri Lanka's army.

Two of his military escorts and a bystander were also killed, the government said.

Rebel attacks and government reprisals against Tamil strongholds have been frequent over the past few months. -- From Journalist Iqbal Athas (Updated, 4:33 a.m.)

Gunman kills co-worker, wounds 5 in Denver shooting

(CNN) -- An employee at a massive grocery warehouse in Denver shot and killed a co-worker, wounded four others and a police officer and tried to set the building ablaze before being fatally gunned down by police Sunday, authorities said.

Heavily armed police surrounded the Safeway grocery chain's 1.3 million-square-foot distribution center just east of downtown Denver in an hour-long search for the gunman inside, Police Chief Gerry Whitman said.

Four co-workers were taken to a Denver hospital with bullet wounds, and a fifth employee was dead at the scene, Whitman said. "We don't have anything motivation-wise -- disgruntled employee, none of that yet," he said. (Posted 10:55 p.m.)

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