Afghanistan: Villagers flee

ARGHANDAB — Afghan civilians piled belongings onto trucks Wednesday and fled two villages infiltrated by hundreds of Taliban militants outside Afghanistan's second-largest city. U.S., Canadian and Afghan troops had about 250 of the insurgents surrounded.

The troops killed 50 militants in three days of fighting 15 miles north of Kandahar city, the provincial police chief said. Three policemen and one Afghan soldier also died.

Japan: 11-story jump

TOKYO — A woman leaped from an 11-story Tokyo apartment Wednesday in an apparent suicide, striking and seriously injuring a passer-by, a news report said Wednesday.

The unidentified woman, who appeared to be in her 30s or 40s, appeared to have jumped from the building onto a busy Tokyo street and was declared dead at the scene, Kyodo News agency reported.

She hit a 47-year-old male pedestrian who suffered a brain injury, the report said.

Mauritania: Slavery charges

NOUAKCHOTT — Two Mauritanians have been arrested for allegedly forcing two children to work as slaves — the first suspects to face prosecution for a practice that many in this African country consider part of the culture, authorities said Wednesday.

Mohamed Ould Nobi, 51, and his 85-year-old mother, Marieme Mint Kneiba, were arrested Monday for allegedly forcing the two children to work without pay in Guerrou.

Myanmar: Monks march again

YANGON — More than 100 Buddhist monks marched peacefully Wednesday in a northern Myanmar town noted for its defiance of the country's military rulers, the first large protest since the junta violently crushed a wave of anti-government demonstrations.

The monks marched for nearly an hour in the town of Pakokku, chanting a Buddhist prayer that has come to be associated with the pro-democracy cause. They did not carry signs or shout slogans, but their action was clearly in defiance of the military government, as one monk spelled out in a radio interview.

Pakistan: Bhutto cancels trip

KARACHI — Pakistan's former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto abruptly canceled plans to travel abroad Wednesday, saying she had heard rumors the government could impose a state of emergency during her absence.

She said at a hastily arranged news conference that senior party aides told her President Gen. Pervez Musharraf might impose emergency measures if the Supreme Court found that his recent election win was unconstitutional.

Russia: Bus blast kills 8

MOSCOW — A strong bomb shredded a passenger bus Wednesday, killing eight people and injuring more than 60 in a central Russian city known for gang violence.

One official speculated the blast in Togliatti was a terrorist attack, but others said that was only one possibility. They said investigators were also looking into whether it resulted from a turf battle between criminals or even the careless handling of explosives.