WORLD

In a precision attack, Israeli rockets killed a leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the highest-ranking victim of Middle East violence since the current round began 11 months ago. Mustafa Zibri, also known as Abu Ali Mustafa, headed the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. He was "a legitimate and necessary target," a senior Israeli official said because "contrary to his promises, he continued with terrorist activities." Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat reportedly was shaken by the news, and aides said it "set the stage for unlimited war." (Story, page 6.)

Once again, the leaders of rival India and Pakistan will attempt to push forward peace efforts in a meeting next month at the UN in New York, officials of both governments said. Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf held inconclusive talks in July on the future of Kashmir, blaming each other for failure to achieve a breakthrough. Violence in the disputed region has since worsened.

Despite the murder of a soldier attached to NATO's weapons-collection mission in Macedonia, the operation opened on schedule, and a spokesman for ethnic-Albanian insurgents said "We have started disarming." The soldier, a Briton, died when angry youths hit him with a chunk of concrete. The collections are to take place for one day only at each location after it and access routes have been made secure by NATO troops (above). One-third of the Albanians' guns are to be surrendered by Friday.

The extradition of high-profile narcotics suspect Fabio Ochoa to the US was approved by Colombian President Andres Pastrana, an aide told journalists in Bogotá, the capital. Ochoa is wanted for trial on charges that he was involved in smuggling $5 billion worth of cocaine into the US. His extradition was OK'd late last week by Colombia's Supreme Court.

Within two hours of their arrival, a delegation of parents and Western diplomats met with the eight foreign-aid workers jailed in Afghanistan for allegedly promoting Christianity. The visit was the second of its type in two days. Western diplomats left Afghanistan last week without being permitted to see the detainees. But over the weekend, Red Cross workers were granted a visit by Afghanistan's ruling Taliban movement. The eight could be sentenced to death if convicted by a Taliban court.

More than 430 refugees refused entry to Australia began a hunger strike aboard the freighter that picked them up at sea. The refugees, believed to be Afghan asylum-seekers, had been rescued from a sinking ferry off Indonesia. With the backing of opposition parties, Prime Minister John Howard said the refusal was aimed at showing that Australia "is not a soft touch." Some 4,000 illegal immigrants already have arrived there this year aboard Indonesian ships, swelling already full detention centers, and Howard said intelligence reports indicate hundreds more are on the way.

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