News In Brief

The intifada will continue until the Palestinian flag flies over Jerusalem, Yasser Arafat vowed after Wednnesday's Israeli rocket attacks that killed a member of his Force 17 unit and one other person and hurt dozens of others. Arafat's own home in Gaza City was slightly damaged. The Palestinian Authority leader accused Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of formulating a "100-day plan" against the intifada. Foreign Minister Shimon Peres said the attacks could have been avoided if Arab leaders had condemned Palestinian violence.

Mortar fire from the Macedonian side of their border killed at least three civilians and wounded 20 others in a village in Albanian-dominated Kosovo. One of the dead was a British TV cameraman. Shells also landed close to a NATO-led peacekeeping patrol. The attack came as Macedonian forces were in Day 2 of a resumed operation against ethnic-Albanian insurgents, but both sides denied responsibility. Meanwhile, UN officials said the number of civilians who have fled their homes since the fighting began now is in excess of 40,000.

Backers of the presumed first president of independent East Timor said they hoped he'd change his mind after announcing he would not seek the office in this summer's national election. Xanana Gusmao also resigned from the interim legislature in a quarrel with members of his own party over the drafting of the proposed constitution. Gusmao was freed in 1999 after being jailed for leading a guerrilla campaign against the 24-year occupation and annexation of East Timor by Indonesia.

In a freezing rain, a controversial cargo of reprocessed nuclear waste ended its four-day journey across Germany and will be placed in a storage warehouse. The six sealed casks containing 60 tons of waste, were escorted without incident on the final leg of the trip by a heavy police guard that included helicopters and water cannon to intimidate environmental protesters. Bitter protesters complained that "the right to demonstrate no longer exists in this republic."

Nobel Peace Prize-winning Medicins sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders) suspended activities in Somalia's capital after an attack earlier this week on its compound that resulted in 14 deaths and wounds to more than 40 other people. Four UN workers were seized in the attack by an antigovernment militia (although their release was promised Thursday) and the charity's supplies were looted. The attack was blamed on a plan to take aid workers to an area under militia control without advance notice.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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