Skip to: Content
Skip to: Site Navigation
Skip to: Search


World

By Compiled from wire service reports by Robert Kilborn and Elizabeth Armstrong / April 27, 2004



Heavy fighting resumed in earnest in Fallujah, Iraq, and casualties were mounting despite President Bush's reported decision not to launch a new offensive against resisters in the city. US forces said the clash started when they were fired on from a mosque that had been raided earlier. Meanwhile, a powerful explosion destroyed a chemical storehouse in Baghdad in what may have been part of the hunt for weapons of mass destruction. And Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for last weekend's largely unsuccessful attack against oil-export terminals.

Skip to next paragraph

Red-carpet treatment is expected Tuesday in Brussels for visiting Libyan leader Moammar Qaddafi, his first trip to the West since 1989. The purpose of his visit - which analysts saw as a reward for abandoning weapons of mass destruction and for agreeing to pay compensation for the terrorist bombings of civilian airliners - was to seek admission to the European Union's Mediterranean partnership. But EU leaders said they'd tell him that his government still must satisfy claims against it by Germany and Bulgaria before admission can be considered.

Fallout was growing from last Saturday's rejection by Greek Cypriots of a UN plan to reunite with the island's Turkish minority. EU leaders were preparing a statement regretting the outcome of the referendum - which passed easily in Turkish Cyprus - and praising Turkey's government for its "constructive" role in the process. The EU also pledged to release $310 million in aid to the impoverished Turkish sector, and diplomats suggested that consideration of loosening trade restrictions and allowing resumption of international flights was under way. Meanwhile, the Turkish Cypriot leadership formally appealed to the EU not to admit the Greek sector to membership this weekend, despite signs that it is too late to stop the process.

The number of deaths from renewed Muslim-Christian fighting in eastern Indonesia's Molucca islands rose to 22, and police reinforcements were rushed to the scene. The violence, in its second day, also resulted in the burning of Christian homes, a church, part of the campus of a Christian college, and the local offices of the UN. It erupted after Christians tried Sunday to raise the flag of a defunct separatist campaign in Ambon, the provincial capital. The clashes have been the worst since Muslims and Christians signed a peace accord in early 2002.

The last hopes of democracy activists in Hong Kong that voters there might choose their own leaders were dashed by the rubber-stamp National People's Congress. Its Standing Committee announced "no universal suffrage" would be permitted in 2007, when deeply unpopular Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa's term ends, or in 2008, when a new legislative council for Hong Kong will be selected.

Permissions