Another terrorist bomb blast tore through a supermarket near Tel Aviv, Israel, as the Monitor went to press, with early reports saying at least 50 people were hurt. The bomber struck as Israeli troops shut down Bethlehem, rounding up an estimated 500 Palestinians, among them the local chief of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, which claimed responsibility for one of last week's bomb attacks. (Related story, page 8.)Skip to next paragraph
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In a "message to the world community," Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf pledged that his military "will not be the one to initiate war." He repeated in a widely watched speech to the nation an assertion made in January that "Pakistani soil would not be allowed to be used for terrorism against anybody." But he also said Pakistan "cannot be held responsible" for the "liberation movement" in disputed Kashmir. And he said his forces were "aware of every move that India makes" and were "ready to respond."
(Story, page 6.)
As expected, antirebel candidate Alvaro Uribe won an easy victory in Colombia's presidential election Sunday. But despite his reputation as a hard-liner he ran on what analysts called a "war platform" Uribe did not rule out peace negotiations with the nation's leftist guerrilla movements if they agreed to such conditions as a cease-fire and an end to terrorist activities. (Story, page 1; editorial, page 10.)
Doubts arose over how much longer Nepali Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba could remain in office after his own Congress Party upgraded his suspension to expulsion for three years. Analysts said it now was likely Deuba would try to form his own party. Congress Party members were angered when Deuba scheduled an early election at a time government forces are engaging communist rebels in a bitter civil war.
In what senior government officials called "an honor to our country," Tunisian voters gave 99.5 percent approval to a referendum that will allow President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali to remain in office for life if he wishes. He already has served 15 years and his current term doesn't expire until 2004. Human-rights activists and opposition leaders called the vote, Tunisia's first since achieving independence in 1956, a sham.
In a rare display of cooperation, China and Taiwan were in close contact to try to recover remains and wreckage from Saturday's crash of a passenger jet in the Taiwan Strait. All 225 people aboard were killed. The cause remained unclear, but security officials said there was no evidence that the plane, which was about to be retired, had been hit by a terrorist or guided-missile attack.
Three days of mourning were declared in Mozambique after one of the worst rail accidents in African history. More than 200 people died and an estimated 400 others were hurt Saturday after a packed passenger train developed mechanical problems and raced out of control down a steep grade.