A Palestinian militia vowed revenge against Israel after a bomb killed one of its leaders in the West Bank. The Israeli Army declined comment on the death of Raed Karmi, who had links to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement. Meanwhile, Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres said the Army would cease demolitions of Palestinian homes in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. UN officials criticized last week's bulldozing of more than 50 buildings in Gaza's Rafah refugee camp, saying it left hundreds of people homeless. Israel maintains the buildings were havens for arms smugglers.
In a last-ditch effort to salvage Colombia's three-year-old peace process, envoys from 10 nations and the UN met with rebel leaders. President Andres Pastrana had given the Revolutionary Armed Forces rebels until Monday night to make a viable offer for new negotiations or leave their demilitarized enclave. As the Monitor went to press, Army troops and tanks were massed outside the rebel zone and the rebels had indicated they were likely to leave. (Story, page 1.)
Under heavy guard, the US military transferred a second group of 30 Al Qaeda and Taliban detainees from Afghanistan to the US Naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Another 400 captives await transport. Britain's government said it would request access to any British nationals among them in the belief that "at least one" is already in Cuba. US aircraft also conducted heavy strikes against cave complexes at Zawar, Afghanistan. The Pentagon has said Al Qaeda fighters are regrouping in the area. The airstrikes prompted local Afghan civilians (above) to flee. One villager claimed 15 people were killed.
There are no plans to reduce India's massive troop buildup in disputed Kashmir, Defense Minister George Fernandes said, despite Pakistan's arrest of some 1,500 Islamic extremists in bid by President Pervez Musharraf to defuse tensions. Pakistan responded that it won't reduce border troops either. (Story, page 1.)
Meanwhile, the killing of two Dutch nationals by Indian security troops in Kashmir was prompting questions from the Netherlands Embassy in New Delhi. India's Border Security Force said the men died in a suicide attack. Other reports said they were tourists, shot as they tried to stop a patrol from harassing a woman.
After Jordan's entire cabinet abruptly resigned, King Abdullah II asked the premier to form a new government and prepare for parliamentary elections this year. No specific date was set for the vote. The reshuffle is the second in three months.