World

US bombing of targets in Afghanistan entered its fourth week with no sign of letup despite growing complaints that civilians were being killed and humanitarian aid facilities were being destroyed. But in a key endorsement of US strategy, German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder told a news conference in neighboring Pakistan that the attacks should continue until the Taliban regime falls. For its part, however, the Taliban announced it had captured and executed Pashtun resistance leader Abdul Haq and said its "real war" against the US had yet to begin because of the latter's "technological superiority." (Stories, pages 1, 2.)

In a series of antigovernment or anti-US actions by Islamic militants in Pakistan:

• Masked gunmen invaded a Christian church service in Punjab province, killing at least 16 people and wounding five others. Among the dead was the pastor. (Story, page 7.)

• Ten days of protest rallies and sit-ins aimed at toppling military President Pervez Musharraf were being organized by the the radical Jamaat-e Islami Party. It was not clear when the demonstrations would begin in Islamabad, the capital. They were to follow a protest Friday in Karachi that drew an estimated 50,000 people.

• Pro-Taliban militants blocked the vital Karakoram highway linking Pakistan to China, vowing to blow up any vehicle attempting to pass.

• An estimated 5,000 armed volunteers in trucks (among them the one below) reached the Afghan border, saying they were awaiting a call from the Taliban to join in repelling American forces.

• Three people died and 25 others were hurt when a bomb exploded aboard a bus in Quetta, a key city near the Afghan border and the scene of repeated anti-US rioting.

The pullout of Israeli troops from Bethlehem was in doubt after Palestinian gunmen fired into a crowded bus stop in the northern city of Hadera, killing four women and wounding 10 other people. The gunmen then were shot dead by police. The militant Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack. A fifth Israeli died in a similar incident for which a group associated with Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement took responsibility. Prior to the attacks, Israeli forces were prepared to leave Bethlehem Sunday night "if quiet prevails," the Defense Ministry said.

Suspicion fell on Islamic militants for a bomb blast that killed at least 11 people and injured dozens of others at a popular restaurant in Zamboanga, the main port city in the southern Philippines. The blast also caused heavy property damage. It came as a team of US military advisers arrived in the city to review the pursuit of Muslim Abu Sayyaf guerrillas by government forces.

Protestant leader David Trimble won the backing of his Ulster Unionist Party for a return to Northern Ireland's power-sharing government. It remained unclear, however, whether he'd resume the post of first minister when the self-rule coalition convenes Friday. Trimble quit in July to protest the lack of disarmament by the Irish Republican Army.

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