France: Soldier wounds 16

PARIS — A soldier using live ammunition instead of blanks wounded 16 people at a demonstration of hostage-rescue techniques in France on Sunday, officials said.

The Defense Ministry said investigators will look into why real bullets were used during the demonstration at the Laperrine military barracks in southeast France.

The soldier who fired the shots has been detained, Bernard Lemaire, chief of the regional administration in Aude, said on France-3 television. He said the shooting was probably accidental but that it could have been a criminal act.

Four of the wounded were in serious condition, including a 3-year-old. Fifteen were civilians.

President Nicolas Sarkozy's office said he reacted with "horror and deep emotion" to Sunday's incident at the base, which houses the 3rd marine infantry parachute regiment.

No further information was immediately available.

Mongolia: Voters line up

ULAN BATOR — Mongolians endured long lines to vote in parliamentary elections Sunday after the two major parties campaigned on pledges to share more of the country's natural wealth with the mostly poor public.

"I'm eagerly casting my ballot with hope of better future for me and my family," said Batnyam Boldsukh, 35, who is unemployed. "I really want what the parties have promised to come true."

More than 350 candidates from 12 parties and one coalition are running for 76 seats in the State Great Khural, or parliament, election officials have said.

South Korea: Protests targeted

SEOUL — Police raided the offices Monday of civic groups that have led weeks of street rallies against South Korea's resumption of U.S. beef imports, after the government said it would not tolerate illegal demonstrations.

Authorities searched the Seoul offices of two civic groups and confiscated materials and documents related to their rallies, an official at Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency said on condition of anonymity, citing policy. He did not provide further details.

Activists, students and ordinary citizens have staged daily candlelight rallies in Seoul to voice fears about the possible health risks of U.S. beef, such as mad cow disease, following an accord in April to restart imports.

Russia: Putin may keep shows

MOSCOW — Prime Minister Vladimir Putin suggested Sunday that he may hold call-in shows with the populace as part of his work as chief of the dominant political party, a practice that could help him remain at center stage in the hearts and minds of Russians, even though he is no longer president.

Putin hobnobbed with ordinary Russians in call-in marathons almost every year during his presidency, burnishing his image as an indispensable leader to whom every citizen could turn personally for support.

Putin ceded the presidency last month to his hand-picked successor Dmitry Medvedev, stepping down after two straight terms, as required by the constitution. Now prime minister and leader of the United Russia party, which holds a huge majority in parliament, Putin has not ruled out a return to the Kremlin in 2012.