Iraq's Shiite-led government criticized foreign and Iraqi media for reports about arrests of U.S.-backed Sunni paramilitaries, accusing news organizations of stoking religious tension.

A U.S. soldier was killed by an armor-piercing bomb south of Baghdad. It was the seventh combat death suffered by U.S. forces in Iraq since Friday.

An Army sergeant charged with murder shouted, "My career's over, just kill me," as soldiers pinned him to the ground after he shot and killed two fellow soldiers in Iraq, members of their unit told a military judge in Fort Stewart, Ga. The two slain soldiers had been giving Sgt. Joseph Bozicevich of Minneapolis a critique for poor performance before he shot them Sept. 14 at a patrol base south of Baghdad, witnesses said. Bozicevich is undergoing an Article 32 hearing to determine whether Army prosecutors have enough evidence to try him in a court-martial.

A NATO operation killed six civilians in eastern Afghanistan, villagers said. But NATO said it killed four to eight militants.

Pakistan's president signed a regulation to put a northwestern district under Islamic law as part of a peace deal with the Taliban, going along after coming under intense pressure from members of his own party. Asif Ali Zardari's signature was a boon for Islamic militants who have brutalized the Swat Valley for nearly two years in demanding a new justice system.

NEWS SERVICES