World

Suspicion fell on Al Qaeda for all four powerful terrorist bomb explosions that rocked Saudi Arabia's capital late Monday, killing 91 people and injuring 194 others. Seven of the dead were identified as Americans. Property damage also was heavy. To set off their bombs, the attackers first had to shoot their way into three guarded housing compounds favored by foreign nationals, the Interior Ministry said. Despite the attacks, Secretary of State Powell followed through with a planned visit to the kingdom and was to tour one of the bomb sites.

Setting down markers before his eagerly awaited first meeting with the new Palestinian Prime Minister, Israeli leader Ariel Sharon said his government would keep control of at least three Jewish settlements in the West Bank. The vow came one day after Israel sealed off travel for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. The moves ran counter to the "road map" to peace in the region proposed by the US, the UN, the European Union, and Russia and were seen as a rebuff to Secretary of State Powell's appeal for confidence-building measures by Israel. Sharon's meeting with Mahmoud Abbas is scheduled for Friday. Meanwhile, police arrested 16 members of the largest Arab organization in Israel for allegedly funneling millions of dollars to Hamas.

Sixteen more people died from their wounds in Monday's truck-bomb explosion in northern Chechnya, bringing the total to date to 56. With 57 of the 300 others who were wounded listed in grave condition, the number appeared certain to go higher, the emergency administrator at the scene said. Meanwhile, a published report suggested the attack could have been prevented, but Russian security police who had stopped the vehicle to examine its driver's documents failed to check the contents he was hauling.

A renegade soldier turned his rifle on two peacekeepers in central Afghanistan, wounding both, one of them seriously. The casualties are Norwegian, their country's foreign ministry said. The attack was the latest in a growing series blamed on remnants of the Taliban and their allies, some of whom reportedly have infiltrated the ranks of Afghanistan's fledgling Army.

The victory in Sunday's presidential election by ruling party leader Filip Vujanovic was a landslide, authorities in Montenegro reported. They said he took 64.2 percent of the ballots, to 31.4 percent for his closest rival. In his first postelection interview, Vujanovic said he'd schedule a referendum on independence from Serbia, Montenegro's dominant sister republic, in three years. Two earlier presidential elections had to be nullified because of too-low voter turnouts.

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