Syrian intelligence officers were making a public show of their promised withdrawal from Lebanon's capital, taking down a huge portrait of their nation's president, loading furniture into trucks, and then driving off to an undisclosed destination - probably in the strategic Bekaa Valley. But while their departure, following the pullout of thousands of Syrian troops, was one of the major demands of western governments and of the massive public protest in Beirut Monday, skeptics noted that Syrian security is noted for secrecy, and it was unclear whether any intelligence operatives remained there.Skip to next paragraph
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Barring last-minute complications, Israeli forces are to transfer control of the West Bank city of Jericho to the Palestinian Authority Wednesday. But a potential problem arose over two terrorists being held in the city for their roles in the 2001 assassination of Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Zeevi. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he intended to free the two because they "will have immunity" once the Israeli forces leave. But Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's office warned that the men would be hunted down again "faster than they think possible."
On live TV, police SWAT team members in the Philippines shot their way into a prison that had been seized by Islamist militant inmates, ending a standoff that began early Monday. At least 22 of the inmates were killed, among them leaders of the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group that has been linked to Al Qaeda. An at-large Abu Sayyaf leader, however, warned of reprisals for the police assault, telling a radio interviewer that its membership would bring attacks "right to your doorstep."
An apparent attempt to kill the ethnic Albanian president of Kosovo "was either stupid" or was done as a warning "to show there could be a next time," a senior NATO security source said. Ibrahim Rugova was unhurt after a remotely controlled bomb exploded alongside the vehicle in which he was riding in the capital, Pristina, Tuesday, shattering its rear windshield . It came a week after Kosovo's prime minister, who also is Albanian, resigned to defend himself against alleged war crimes before the UN tribunal for the Balkans. Albanians in the volatile province have been campaigning for independence, which is expected to be the focus of negotiations later this year with what's left of the former Yugoslavia.