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By Compiled from wire service reports by Robert Kilborn and Ross Atkin / July 18, 2005



Violence across the Islamic world rose in intensity over the weekend, especially in Iraq, where at least 120 people were killed in bombing attacks. The worst came Saturday night in the mostly Shiite town of Mussayib, south of Baghdad, when a loaded fuel truck parked near a mosque exploded in flames. Authorities said 98 people died. Other violence erupted in:

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• The popular Turkish seaside resort of Kusadasi, when a bomb exploded aboard a bus carrying tourists to a beach, killing five and wounding 13 others. The incident was the second in a week aimed at the nation's vital tourism industry;

• Indian controlled Kashmir, where security forces said they intercepted and killed at least 17 armed Muslim militants, some of them infiltrating from neighboring Pakistan;

• Afghanistan, where Taliban remnants attacked a border outpost, killing at least seven policemen and wounding five others. They also hanged a tribal chief in Zabul Province, accusing him of being "a spy for the Americans";

• Southern Thailand, where, despite warnings of an impending attack, suspected Muslim separatist rebels succeeded in blacking out the capital of Yala Province, killing two policemen, and wounding 22 other people. Prime Minister Thaksin Shina-watra issued a decree granting himself emergency power to impose curfews, ban public gatherings, censor news, and detain suspects without charge.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon ordered Israel's defense forces "to act without limitation" against Palestinians, who have fired more than 100 mortars and rockets at Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip since Thursday. Army troops were massed for a major offensive into northern Gaza Sunday, but with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice due for a visit to try to salvage the crumbling cease-fire, observers said that did not appear imminent. But Hamas, which lost a senior commander and seven other gunmen in attacks by Israeli forces and Palestinian Authority police, said it was "reevaluating" the cease-fire.

More than 100,000 tourists and offshore oil platform workers were evacuated from Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula as hurricane Emily bore in for what appeared likely to be a direct hit. The storm, packing winds of up to 155 m.p.h., was being called the most powerful to form in the Atlantic Ocean this early in a hurricane season since record-keeping began in 1860. It largely spared Jamaica Saturday, but still caused heavy flooding and the loss of electricity to more than 70,000 homes.

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