Algeria: Terrorism thwarted

ALGIERS — Algerian security services have thwarted a possible Sept. 11 terrorist attack in eastern Algeria, a security official and local media reported Thursday, as thousands of army troops and police conducted anti-terror sweeps throughout the North African country.

Several Algerian newspapers reported that a terrorist group was planning suicide bombings against a market, a police station and a security regional headquarters in the eastern town of El Oued near the border with Libya. The town is 400 miles southeast of Algiers, the capital.

Police were tipped off last week after the arrest of a senior militant who carried a map of the targets and a list of would-be suicide bombers, said Linda Nacer, a journalist with the respected Liberte newspaper.

Bolivia: 8 killed in protests

LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — Anti-government protesters fought backers of President Evo Morales on Thursday in Bolivia's pro-autonomy east with clubs, machetes and guns and seized more natural gas fields.

At least eight people were killed and 20 injured in street fights, authorities reported.

Meanwhile, U.S. officials angered by Morales' decision to expel Washington's ambassador for allegedly inciting protesters responded Thursday by kicking out Bolivia's top diplomat. Earlier in the day, Bolivian officials told U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice they want to maintain relations.

France: Fire in the Chunnel

COQUELLES — A fire broke out Thursday on a train carrying trucks under the English Channel between England and France, injuring 14 people and shutting down traffic in the undersea rail tunnel, officials said.

About 100 firefighters from both sides of the channel got the blaze under control, but it was not entirely extinguished hours later, said Georges Bos, a spokesman for France's Pas-de-Calais region, which was handling the emergency response.

The train was carrying 32 people — mostly truck drivers accompanying their vehicles — when the blaze erupted on one of the trucks on the train at midafternoon about 7 miles from the French side, officials said. All on the train were evacuated safely.

Greece: Missing girl found?

ATHENS — Greek police said Thursday they may have found a young Italian girl who went missing four years ago in Sicily.

Police found the girl Wednesday on the Aegean island of Kos after receiving a tip from an Italian tourist who stayed there last month. The Rome woman who accompanied the girl to the island was taken into custody Thursday and charged with abducting a minor, Greek police spokesman Panayiotis Stathis said.

Denise Pipitone, who would be nearly 8 years old, disappeared from outside her home in Italy on Sept. 1, 2004. Stathis said the girl found on the island is between 8 and 9 years old and reportedly matches Pipitone's description. A blood sample was taken to establish her identity.

Venezuela: Coup plot

CARACAS — President Hugo Chavez said his government has uncovered a plot to overthrow him and detained a group of alleged conspirators.

The military said more than three suspects were detained, and Chavez accused them of trying to assassinate him with tacit backing from his political opponents and the United States.

A group of current and former military officers were recorded during tapped phone conversations discussing blowing up the presidential jet or bombing the presidential palace, Chavez said. He played some of the recordings during a televised speech.

U.S. officials have repeatedly denied Chavez's accusations that Washington has backed attempts to overthrow him.