World

International condemnation was growing against Israel for its attempt to kill the most public face of Hamas, the Palestinian radical group. Abdel Aziz Rantisi escaped death in a rocket attack on his vehicle in Gaza City but required surgery for a leg wound. The attack killed a bodyguard and a bystander and hurt 27 others. Rantisi vowed Hamas would continue to target Israelis "until every last Zionist is evicted from this land." A second Israeli attack in Gaza killed or hurt 35 Palestinians, reports said.

Democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi is well and her release from custody by the ruling junta in Burma (Myanmar) should be expected in about two weeks, visiting UN special envoy Razali Ismail said. Ismail, whose mission hinged on whether he'd be allowed to see the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize-winner, predicted she would be allowed to resume her role in "national reconciliation" with the military rulers.

Three members of a Muslim radical group with suspected ties to Al Qaeda were arrested in Thailand for planning attacks on foreign embassies and tourist attractions, especially beach resorts popular with Westerners. Police said a fourth suspect had been extradited to Singapore and still others from a cell of Jemaah Islamiyah were being hunted. The group is blamed for last October's bombing of nightclubs on Bali, the Indonesian tourist island.

Mediators from neighboring African countries took advantage of a lull in the rebel advance on Liberia's capital to try to broker a compromise with President Charles Taylor. A second group of intermediaries was meeting in Guinea with members of the main rebel force. Diplomats said the mediation efforts were urgent since the rebels are undisciplined and split along ethnic lines, making a battle for control of the capital potentially gruesome.

A communist rebel group believed to have been crushed a decade ago was being blamed by police in Peru for the kidnaping of 60 pipeline workers. A $1 million ransom was being demanded for their release. If the Shining Path movement carried out the raid on a natural- gas project in the Andes mountains, analysts said the tactic would be new. In its heyday, Shining Path was known for car bombings, political assassinations, and murders of rural people who wouldn't support its cause.

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