World

At least 10 people died and more than 60 others were hurt when terrorists exploded two truck bombs outside a military compound in Hilla, Iraq, early Wednesday. The force of the blasts damaged nearby civilian homes. The dead reportedly all were Iraqi; many of the wounded are international peacekeeping troops. Their injuries were not considered life-threatening. The trucks blew up as Polish troops fired on them as they tried to plow through a concrete barricade in front of the main entrance. Hilla is 60 miles south of Baghdad, the capital.

A militia leader notorious for his terrorist tactics a decade ago assumed command of the central Haitian city of Hinche, as the national government sounded warnings of an impending coup against President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. The US and France, however, both expressed reluctance to send troops to help quell the two-week-old rebellion. Haiti has no army, and the roughly 5,000-man national police force is considered at a disadvantage against the anti-Aristide rebels. Louis Jodel Chamblain was cheered as he arrived in Hinche despite a record of brutality during the nation's military dictatorship in the early 1990s. He and a top aide slipped into Haiti from exile in the neighboring Dominican Republic last weekend.

A unilateral truce was declared by the militant Basque separatist movement ETA in Spain's Catalan region - and was immediately rejected by the national government and regional officials. In a taped broadcast, hooded spokesmen for the group said the move was aimed at "uniting ties between the Basque and Catalan peoples." ETA has declared 11 cease-fires dating back to the 1960s. The latest, proclaimed in 1998, lasted 14 months. Since then, the group has been blamed for 46 deaths.

Runaway rail cars carrying fuel oil, sulphur, and fertilizer derailed, caught fire, and exploded in northern Iran. The accident killed more than 200 people, among them five senior political and public-safety officials. Another 400 were hurt, and five villages were wiped out by the force of the blast. The area is about 400 miles from Bam, the site of the powerful Dec. 26 earthquake, which killed more than 40,000 people.

José Lopez Portillo, who died Tuesday, was president of Mexico from 1976 to 1982. His legacy is one of leading the nation from deep recession to unprecedented prosperity - due to to a booming oil industry - and back again when the boom collapsed. Lopex Portillo left office in disgrace, having devalued the peso by 42 percent, after vowing to defend it "like a dog," and nationalizing the banking industry.

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