Mexico: Earthquake

MEXICO CITY — A strong earthquake struck central Mexico on Monday, swaying tall buildings in the capital and rattling nerves in a city already tense from a swine-flu outbreak suspected of killing as many as 149 people nationwide

Near the epicenter in the Pacific coast state of Guerrero, two women aged 67 and 75 died of heart attacks during or shortly after the earthquake, and four homes and a perimeter wall collapsed in and around the resort of Acapulco, state police reported.

The quake had a magnitude of 5.6 and was centered near Chilpancingo, about 130 miles (210 kilometers) southwest of Mexico City or 50 miles (80 kilometers) from Acapulco, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Pakistan: Bin Laden

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan's president said Monday his intelligence agencies believe Osama bin Laden may be dead, but he added there is no proof. Other Pakistani officials and a U.S. counterterrorism official said they thought the al-Qaida chief is alive.

U.S. officials said bin Laden is most likely hiding in the mountains along Pakistan's border with Afghanistan, in particular the lawless tribal regions.

"We continue to believe that bin Laden is alive," said the U.S. official, who declined to be named because he was not authorized to discuss the matter on the record.

Reports of bin Laden's death or of near-captures have punctuated his years on the run since the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S., only to be seemingly debunked by periodic audio and video recordings.

Turkey: Police raid

ISTANBUL — A police crackdown on radical groups in Istanbul on Monday led to a five-hour shootout with a leftist militant who hurled explosives and opened fire from an apartment building.

Three people were killed and eight others injured, the government said.

The militant attacked police as they closed in on him during a police sweep against leftist, Kurdish and other radical groups operating in the city. Police rounded up more than 40 people in 60 overnight raids, and the governor of Turkey's largest city said the suspects were planning "sensational armed attacks soon."

Sri Lanka: Civil war

COLOMBO — Sri Lanka agreed to stop firing heavy weapons into the northern war zone to safeguard thousands of civilians trapped there, but resisted growing pressure Monday for a cease-fire in its war with the Tamil Tiger rebels.

The rebels accused the government of instantly violating its promise by launching airstrikes from three sides on a village in a densely populated no-fire zone, a pro-guerrilla Web site reported.

U.S., Indian and European officials have expressed growing concern for the estimated 50,000 ethnic Tamil civilians still trapped in the war zone amid U.N. reports that nearly 6,500 noncombatants have already been killed in the recent offensive.

Peru: Political asylum

LIMA — Peru's government said Monday that it has granted political asylum to a Venezuelan opposition leader who faces corruption allegations in his homeland but claims to be persecuted by leftist President Hugo Chavez.

Foreign Minister Jose Antonio Garcia Belaunde said the decision to grant asylum to Manuel Rosales, a former presidential candidate who ran against Chavez in 2006, should not strain relations with Venezuela.

But shortly before the announcement, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro urged Peru to "comply with international law, capture the criminal Manuel Rosales and return him to Venezuela to face trial for extremely grave crimes."

Rosales says he reported the disputed income in his income tax returns. He calls the accusation a "political lynching" ordered by Chavez and says a fair trial is impossible.