Blast kills 7 in Afghan village
KABUL, Afghanistan - An explosion killed seven Afghan villagers Sunday as they tried to pull bodies of insurgents killed from the rubble of a village mosque after a night raid by NATO and Afghan troops in the country's east, officials said.
The predawn operation in Sayedabad district was aimed at capturing a Taliban fighter who had holed up in a village, said Wardak province spokesman Shahidullah Shahid.
The international and Afghan forces captured their target but came under attack from insurgents, sparking a two-hour gunfight during which at least one large blast sounded, he said. Four insurgents were dead by the time fighting ended around 4:30 a.m. About 6 a.m., residents came out to find the local mosque damaged and started digging through the rubble to uncover bodies. Shahid says something exploded as they dug, killing seven civilians. - AP
Serbia may ease grip on Kosovo
BELGRADE, Serbia - Serbia on Sunday adopted guidelines for reconciliation talks with the leaders of Kosovo, in a strong signal it is loosening its claim to its former province in hopes of getting closer to European Union membership.
In a resolution adopted by an overwhelming majority in Parliament, Serbia maintained it will never recognize Kosovo's 2008 declaration of independence. But in a big shift in policy, the document called for wide autonomy for minority Serbs within Kosovo, indirectly recognizing Kosovo's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
While outlining a government plan for the talks with Kosovo's ethnic Albanian leaders, Serbia's Prime Minister Ivica Dacic said "Serbia's sovereignty over Kosovo practically does not exist" since NATO's 1999 bombing campaign chased Serbian troops out of the region. Kosovo is recognized by 90 countries including the United States. - AP
Elsewhere: Buildings disappeared
into Beijing's murky skyline Sunday as the air quality in China's polluted capital went off the index. The Beijing Municipal Environmental Monitoring Center recommended that children and the elderly stay indoors.