Colombo, Sri Lanka — About 150 foreign gunmen trying to overthrow the Maldives government yesterday seized several top government officials, battled loyalist troops, and at least 12 people were killed by press time, officials said. India rushed in soldiers to help the government, sources said. An Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman said reports from the Indian High Commission in Male indicated that the attackers were Sri Lankan.
In Washington, the White House said the coup attempt there appeared to be resolving itself and said the US was not planning to send any assistance.
Nabisco group tops KKR with $20.75 billion bid
A group of top managers at RJR Nabisco Inc. yesterday proposed to buy the cigarette and food conglomerate for $92 a share, equal to about $20.75 billion in what would be the largest corporate takeover ever. The offer tops a Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. bid valued at $20.3 billion, or $90 a share. The management group had already informally offered to buy the company at $75 a share, or $17 billion. Their new offer was for $92 per share in cash and securities.
South Korean students clash with riot police
Thousands of radical students pelted riot police with firebombs and rocks yesterday in Seoul and other cities and demanded the arrest of former President Chun Doo Hwan on corruption charges. It was the worst political clash in Seoul since major anti-American protests last summer. Many police officers and students were injured by firebombs and rocks, but there were no overall figures. Police did not say if any protesters were arrested.
Israeli party to join Shamir's Likud block
Leaders of the National Religious Party ruled out yesterday a coalition with the left-leaning Labor Party and said they preferred joining a government headed by the right-wing Likud bloc. The move by the five-seat party boosted Likud's chances of forming a government without Labor, its main rival.
Labor sources, meanwhile, said yesterday that party officials are considering ousting Shimon Peres as their leader because of the party's poor showing.
UN calls for withdrawal of forces from Cambodia
By a record majority, the General Assembly called yesterday for the withdrawal under international supervision of all foreign forces from Cambodia, ruled since 1979 by a Vietnamese-backed government. The resolution, adopted by a vote of 122 to 19, with 13 abstentions, also calls for the creation of an interim administering authority and promotion of national reconciliation among all Cambodians under the leadership of exiled leader Prince Norodom Sihanouk.
Marcoses may face contempt charges
Federal prosecutors threatened yesterday to seek contempt-of-court charges against Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos for failing to provide fingerprints, palm prints, and handwriting and voice samples. A hearing was scheduled yesterday before US District Judge John Walker, who could order the former Philippine President and first lady jailed.
Mr. Walker had previously ordered the couple to comply with the requests contained in subpoenas issued earlier this year.
Arrested Arabs believed to have plotted attack
Palestinian arrested last week in West Germany on suspicion of terrorism are now believed to have been planning an attack against an Israel-bound jet on the eve of elections in that country, well-informed Western officials say. Only four of the 13 Palestinians originally arrested are still in custody, pending completion of the investigation. West German officials say the four are apparently linked to the PFLP-GC, a pro-Syrian terrorist group. One of them entered West Germany from Syria, they say.
N.Y.C. man arrested after rescuing woman
A ``good Samaritan'' who shot two muggers, killing one of them, as they beat and robbed a screaming woman on a Brooklyn street was arrested hours later Wednesday on a weapons charge, police said. Police discovered later that the man who fired the shots, Clovis Fearon, was a convicted drug dealer. Mr. Fearon, who saw two men attacking Gertrude George, fired three shots with an unlicensed .38-caliber handgun.
For the record
Pakistani fighter planes shot down two Afghan aircraft yesterday, official Kabul Radio said, accusing Islamabad of violating Afghanistan's airspace. Fran,cois Mitterrand, President of France, arrived in Bonn yesterday for two days of talks with West German leaders expected to focus on forging a joint diplomatic policy toward the Soviet bloc.
Vietnam turned over to a US military team yesterday what it believes are the remains of 23 Americans unaccounted for from the Vietnam war, a US spokesman said. It was one of the largest such turnovers.