Allauddin Khan, Associated Press
Canadian soldier stands guard after explosion in Spin Boldak Monday.

Afghanistan: Bomber kills 38

KANDAHAR — A suicide car bomber killed 38 Afghans at a crowded market Monday, pushing the death toll from two days of militant bombings to about 140.

The Spin Boldak marketplace blast, which targeted a Canadian army convoy, came a day after the country's deadliest insurgent attack since a U.S. invasion defeated the Taliban regime in late 2001. The toll from that bombing in a crowd watching a dog fight rose to more than 100.

The back-to-back blasts in the southern province of Kandahar could be a sign insurgents are now willing to risk high civilian casualties while attacking security forces. Though their attacks occasionally have killed dozens, militants in Afghanistan have generally sought to avoid targeting civilians, unlike insurgents in Iraq's war.

Fiji: Leader consolidates hold

SUVA — The military commander who seized power in Fiji in a 2006 coup tightened his control over the Pacific islands nation today by naming himself head of its supreme tribal council.

Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, who suspended the Great Council of Chiefs early last year after its members refused to endorse his putsch, announced that he will revive the council with his appointees as members and with himself at the helm.

France: Police stage raid

VILLIERS-LE-BEL — More than 1,000 police officers swooped in on housing projects outside of Paris Monday, detaining 35 people in pre-dawn raids meant to flush out those who took part in violent riots late last year, officials said.

The raids were denounced by critics as governmental theater to boost support before next month's municipal elections.

President Nicolas Sarkozy recently vowed to better police the neglected neighborhoods, populated largely by families of immigrant background, that previously exploded in nationwide riots in 2005.

France: Author dies

PARIS — Alain Robbe-Grillet, an avant-garde author who dispensed with conventional storytelling as a pioneer of the postwar "new novel" movement in France, died Monday. He was 85.

Robbe-Grillet died at Caen University Hospital in western France, where he had been admitted over the weekend for cardiac problems, hospital officials said.

He was among the most prominent of France's "new novelists" that emerged in the 1950s, which included Nobel Prize laureate Claude Simon, Michel Butor and Nathalie Sarraute. The group's experimental works tossed aside traditional literary conventions like plot and character development, narrative and chronology, chapters and punctuation.

Iraq: Rockets hit complex

BAGHDAD — Rockets slammed into an Iraqi housing complex near the Baghdad international airport and a nearby U.S. military base on Monday, killing at least five people and wounding 16, including two U.S. soldiers, officials said.

American troops acting on strong evidence arrested six Iraqi suspects in the vicinity of the apparent launching sites, a military official said.

The brazen attack followed a weekend in which U.S. and Iraqi officials touted the security gains of a year-old operation in Baghdad that included an influx of some 30,000 extra American troops. Rocket and mortar attacks were once a daily occurrence but have tapered off with a general decline in violence in the capital.