Taliban chief Muhamad Omar survived a US bombing attack on a compound in southern Afghanistan he was believed to be using and broadcast an order to his followers to vacate no more territory. Meanwhile, in Mazaar-e Sharif, Red Cross workers were removing the remains of hundreds of pro-Taliban prisoners whose three-day revolt was quelled Tuesday. But Northern Alliance Gen. Rashid Dostum (above, in foreground), arriving to reassert control over the fortress, warned that some "dangerous people" remained at large there. (Stories, page 1; related editorial, page 10.)
Northern Alliance delegates to the negotiations for a new interim government for Afghan-istan rejected a post-Taliban international security force, one of the proposals at the center of the UN-sponsored conference. They said any such force should consist only of ethnic Afghans. But the alliance said it was prepared to accept a political role in a power-sharing accord by exiled King Mohamad Zahir Shah. (Story, page 6.)
Opposition to US targeting of Iraq as a source of terrorism grew, with France, Jordan, and the Arab League all warning the that military attacks are unnecessary and would have "dangerous consequences." Russia's government also reiterated its opposition. The reactions followed President Bush's demand Monday that Iraq readmit UN weapons inspectors or face unspecified consequences. But Turkey, a key member of the anti-Iraq coalition in the 1992 Gulf war, hinted it could drop its opposition to new strikes if evidence implicated the Baghdad government in terrorist activities. (Story, page 2; related editorial, page 10.)
A face-saving deal between armed Muslim rebels and the Philippine government eased a tense day-long standoff at Zamboanga and resulted in the release of 89 hostages who'd been used as human shields. As part of the deal, the rebels were granted safe passage, with President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo saying their fate was a "tactical issue" to be left to the Army.
The final breakup of Yugoslavia loomed closer as European Union security and foreign affairs chief Javier Solana failed to persuade Montenegro's leaders to drop plans for a referendum on independence next spring. Solana cautioned that a solid majority would be required before "breaking from the historic path." Polls show only a slight majority of Montenegrans favor breaking away from their larger federation partner, Serbia.
After eluding an intensive year-long manhunt, Indonesia's most wanted man - the son of ex-dictator Suharto - was arrested. Hutomo (Tommy) Mandala Putra is accused of ordering the murder of a judge who convicted him of fraud. Jakarta police said they could hold Putra for up to 20 days for questioning.