World

A "detailed and full" response to British Prime Minister Blair's dossier on the Iraqi weapons-of-mass-destruction program will be prepared, a spokesman for the Baghdad government said. He didn't say when the response would be forthcoming. Meanwhile, President Saddam Hussein said through an aide that he was "in complete serenity and tranquility" because Iraq's "enemy is a loser." Against that backdrop, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld told a news conference following two days of NATO meetings in Poland that "You can be certain ... there'll be other nations assisting" if the US attacks Iraq. And in Rome, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi told parliament that backing American military and political efforts to disarm Iraq was Italy's "national duty."

Muslim militants thrust Pakistan into a new state of tension on two fronts:

• Senior leaders of rival India blamed Pakistan for a 14-hour assault by two Muslim extremists on a Hindu temple in the state of Gujarat that began Tuesday. The attackers were shot to death by Army commandos, but not before killing 28 worshippers. Pakistan called the accusation "ridiculous and preposterous."

• Angry Christian leaders blasted President Pervez Musharraf's government for failing to protect minorities after gunmen burst into the office of a charity in Karachi, tied up employees, and killed seven of them, execution-style. An eighth was gravely wounded. The attack brought the number of Christian casualties at the hands of Muslim radicals in Pakistan so far this year to 36 dead and 100 wounded.

A 3,000-man brigade of Indian Army troops was being deployed in Gujarat as a "precaution" against a backlash against Muslims by enraged Hindus. Hindu nationalist political leaders in the state postponed a controversial "pride march" in memory of those who died in the temple attack. But hard-liners called for a nationwide strike today to pressure the government "to end its inaction" against Pakistan.

Israel has no intention of complying with a Bush administration request to heed the latest UN resolution on ending the siege of Yasser Arafat's West Bank compound, aides to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said privately. As they spoke, Israeli troops demolished the houses of three Palestinian militants in Hebron, and the Defense Ministry confirmed the establishment of a new Jewish settlement of 14 homes at Rehalim, a West Bank site where two Israelis were shot by Palestinians in 1991.

The students and teachers at an international missionary school in Ivory Coast's second-largest city were declared "perfectly secure," after the facility came under fire in a battle between government forces and dissident Army soldiers. A French paratroop unit, sent to evacuate foreign nationals if necessary, reported no casualties and said there were no immediate plans to move the mission.

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