US forces in Iraq were turning their efforts to the hunt for deposed dictator Saddam Hussein after confirming the deaths of his two sons in a gunbattle Tuesday. But the Central Command also was waging an uphill campaign to convince skeptics that Uday and Qusay Hussein had, in fact, been killed - offering to release photos of their remains and announcing plans for autopsies. At the same time, Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the US commander in Iraq, announced the capture of Hussein's Revolutionary Guard commander, No. 11 on the list of most-wanted members of the former regime.
Without identifying them, a senior Iranian confirmed publicly for the first time that his government has jailed senior members of Al Qaeda. Intelligence Minister Ali Yunesi refused to comment on reports that the detainees include Ayman al-Zawahri, the No. 2 man in the organization; Saif al-Adil, its security chief; or Suleiman Abu Ghaith, its spokesman. He said others from the terrorist organization "have been sent back to their countries of origin." Meanwhile, Canada registered its displeasure over Iran's handling of the case of a photographer who died in police custody by ordering its ambassador home. Against her son's wishes, Zahra Kazemi's remains were buried there Wednesday.
A new vote of confidence in Palestinian Authority Prime Minster Mahmoud Abbas will be held by its legislative council on his return from Friday's meeting at the White House with President Bush, reports said. Abbas is expected, at a minimum, to seek US pressure on Israel to release thousands of Palestinians from its jails. But the number Israel has spoken of freeing as well as their identities must be approved by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's cabinet, the latter decided. And Israeli analysts said because the Palestinians have made clear that Abbas will act as the agent of Palestinian President Yasser Arafat while in Washington, his mission could be seen as a lose-lose situation if he returns without meaningful concessions.
The new truce announced by Liberian rebel forces Tuesday fell apart as soon as it began, and mortar rounds were falling on the center of Monrovia, the capital. Its collapse was attributed to a dispute with loyalists of President Charles Taylor over where a cease-fire line should be established. The rebels have refused to pull back to positions they held before their latest assault on the city began. Meanwhile, a 1,000-man regional peacekeeping force was set to be deployed in Liberia, but only if Taylor's forces and the rebels stop fighting first.
While cleanup crews were still removing debris from the highest level of the Eiffel Tower Wednesday, its lower observation decks reopened to the public after a fire the night before that sent thick smoke across the Paris skyline. The blaze, in a freshly painted room full of electrical cables, injured no one but forced the hurried evacuation of thousands of visitors.