World

Saying, "Cease-fire means surrender to occupation," Hamas and other Palestinian militants spurned an effort by Egyptian mediators to win a cessation of terrorist attacks against Israeli targets. The Egyptians said they'd been given assurances that Israel would stop the targeted killings of militants in return, but a senior member of Prime Minister Sharon's cabinet ruled out any deal, demanding that Palestinian security forces dismantle Hamas.

New pressure was being heaped on Iran's unelected clerical regime on the heels of protests in the streets by disaffected young people. But there were no early signs that it was proving effective. The ruling clerics responded to a UN call for strict inspection of their nuclear program by demanding Western technology in return. Meanwhile, European Union foreign ministers declared for the first time that the use of force might be necessary if diplomacy failed to halt the spread of nuclear or other mass-destruction weapons, such as potentially could be built in Iran. And more than 250 university professors and writers signed a statement calling on the fundamentalist clerics to accept that they are accountable to Iran's people.

Shouting "Allauhu Akbar (God is greatest)," the oldest of three brothers charged with roles in last October's terrorist bombing in Indonesia went on trial before some of its survivors. Ali Ghufron, alias Mukhlas, has admitted a close relationship with Osama bin Laden. The trial of his younger brother, Amrozi, is still in progress. A third brother awaits his turn in court. The attack killed 202 people, many of them Western tourists.

Six more suspected Al Qaeda militants were caught by police in Saudi Arabia, bringing to at least 16 the number arrested or killed in two days of raids. The first raid also uncovered bombs apparently intended for an attack on Mecca, Islam's holiest city. Protecting Mecca is one of the Saudi royal family's most important duties, and an attack would be a major blow to its legitimacy, analysts said.

Police were questioning two suspected dissident republican guerrillas in Northern Ireland after foiling what apparently was to be one of the most powerful terrorist bombings in the history of sectarian violence there. A 1,200-pound device was discovered in a van in Londonderry Sunday. Police theorize that the intended explosion was to coincide with a meeting of the main Protestant political party on whether to quit the 1998 peace deal with Catholics.

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