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Published Feb. 19, 2008


Five Iraqi civilians were killed when a barrage of rockets struck the large U.S. military base near Baghdad International Airport and a nearby neighborhood late Monday afternoon, according to U.S. and Iraqi officials. Although mortar and rocket attacks are still common, the volley was unusually intense. At least two U.S. soldiers and 14 Iraqi civilians, including six children, were wounded. U.S. and Iraqi forces arrested six suspects at the launching site. Also Monday, three Iraqi civilians were killed and four were wounded by an improvised bomb in the volatile northern city of Mosul. Another civilian was shot to death in the city by unknown gunmen, Iraqi authorities said.


Stolen artworks reportedly in car

Swiss media reported Monday that paintings stolen in one of Europe's largest art thefts may have been found in a car in a parking lot in front of a Zurich mental hospital. The area around the Psychiatric University Clinic was closed off, police said. The four works by Cezanne, Degas, van Gogh and Monet were stolen Feb. 10 from the E.G. Buehrle Collection in Zurich and are worth more than $160-million. Police would not release any more information before today so that they could examine everything carefully.


Rice urges rivals to share power

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Monday that Kenya's feuding political parties must share power in a coalition government, increasing the pressure for a speedy resolution to the country's political crisis. After separate meetings in Nairobi with President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga, Rice said that both men needed to make concessions to end a seven-week stalemate after Kibaki was declared the winner of a questionable election. She indicated that the U.S. government would provide additional funding to rebuild the country once there's an agreement.


Police round up suspects in unrest

The French police on Monday carried out a series of high-profile raids in poor suburbs close to Paris, arresting dozens of people suspected of shooting at the police and setting fires during three days of unrest in November. About 1,100 police officers surrounded buildings and searched homes in towns including Villiers-le-Bel and Sarcelles.


Israel: Palestinian officials denied on Monday a claim by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that they had agreed to delay talks on the fate of Jerusalem until the last phase of peace talks.

Madagascar: Authorities sought to regain contact with southern parts of the island nation Monday, a day after a cyclone destroyed homes and caused flooding before heading toward the African mainland.