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By Compiled from wire service reports by Robert Kilborn and Stephanie Cook / August 1, 2001



With lightning speed, Israeli forces struck the offices of the militant Hamas movement in the West Bank at mid-afternoon, killing at least ezght people. Among the victims: Jamal Mansour a senior leader of the movement and the apparent target of the attack. Israeli officials said the strike was carried out by helicopter-launched missiles and that it was aimed at stopping future Hamas attacks. Hamas, which has carried out many bombings against Israelis, vowed to retaliate.

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Automatic weapons fire was reported from a hijacked bus stranded on an overpass in southern Russia. But it was not clear that the shooting was directed at the 30 or so hostages remaining aboard after the vehicle was seized by pro-Chechen gunmen. Some of their demands would be met, police said, but it appeared the release of five Chechens imprisoned after a 1994 bus hijacking would not be granted. The bus was cut off by security vehicles near an airport in Mineralye Vody, 900 miles from Moscow.

A turnout estimated at more than 20,000 people attended the funerals of a Kashmiri guerrilla leader and two aides who died Monday in a gunfight with Indian security forces. They had been trapped inside a Muslim shrine amid a new surge in violence since India's and Pakistan's leaders discussed the disputed territory at their summit last month but failed to achieve a breakthrough. Clashes continued Tuesday, with Indian officials claiming 15 more Muslim militants were killed and that heavy Pakistani guns had shelled targets in Kashmir from their side of the border.

Collapsed houses, commercial buildings, and other sites were being searched for survivors after the worst typhoon to batter Taiwan in perhaps 80 years. Nicknamed Toraji, it moved on to mainland China Tuesday, but not before killing at least 61 Taiwanese, leaving 152 others missing and cutting electricity to 350,000 homes. It also ruined an estimated $57 million worth of crops in the field and disrupted all transportation. Concerns grew that the casualty count could rise to 200 dead. Above, a man looks at the wreckage of his property.

A wave of roadblocks and other disruptions was expected across Argentina by groups of jobless people angry at the deep spending cuts called for in President Fernando de la Rua's controversial $1.3 billion austerity plan. The government vowed it would counter the protests to ensure freedom of movement by the public. De la Rua's plan won crucial approval Monday by the opposition-dominated upper house of Congress, but reports said skeptical international investors were holding out for proof that the government had the will to implement it.

Five political prisoners who'd won seats in parliament in 1990 were freed by the military junta in Myanmar (Burma). The move brought to 158 the number of opponents released by the junta since January in a gradual easing of its standoff with Nobel Peace Prize-winner Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy. The junta, however, has refused to allow a parliament to convene, 29 other lawmakers are still in prison, and Suu Kyi remains under house arrest.

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