Although Israel denied he was the target, three guided missiles hit the West Bank compound where Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat has his office. Arafat, who was there at the time, was not hurt, but two other Palestinians died in the attack as retaliation for last weekend's suicide bombings entered a second day. Above, frightened children run from the scene in Ramallah in search of cover. (Story, page 1; opinion, page 9.)

Another key aide to Osama bin Laden - his financial manager - died in US bombing in Afghan-istan. And, although they could not be confirmed, other reports said Ayman al-Zawahiri, the Egyptian widely considered to be bin Laden's No. 1 deputy, was seriously hurt and perhaps also killed in the same airstrike. The reports came as hundreds of Afghan tribesmen headed for the mountainous Tora Bora region "to kick the Taliban and their supporters out."

A signing ceremony as soon as today appeared possible for a new power-sharing government for Afghanistan that would include a president, five deputies, and 23 cabinet ministers. One of the vice presidents will be a woman. The parties to the conference in Bonn, Germany, also agreed to deployment of an international security force.

Thousands of minority Tamils were expected to be denied the vote in today's election for a new Parliament in Sri Lanka as the government ordered the closure of a military checkpoint through which they'd need to pass to reach the polls. The site, in the north of the island, divides a rebel-held area from a town under government control. Military sources said the move would keep Tamil guerrillas pretending to be voters from infiltrating. The election will be the second in barely more than a year; no party is predicted to win a majority of the 225 seats.

Unexpected progress was reported by the leaders of the Greek and Turkish communities on Cyprus after their first face-to-face meeting in four years. Glafcos Clerides and Rauf Denktash, respectively, agreed to dine together tonight at Denktash's home in the Turkish-held north of the ethnically split island and to resume direct talks beginning Jan. 15. The two sides said they hope to resolve their 27-year feud before June, when the internationally recognized Greek Cypriot government is expected to be approved for membership in the European Union.

An estimated 10,000 squatters, left homeless by two major fires in Cambodia's capital last week, were relocated to a tent city in a nearby rice-growing area. Although the site lacks electricity and running water, a local official said the mainly ethnic-Vietnamese would be prevented from leaving. Ultimately, squatter families each will be given a 21-by-45-foot plot on which to build a house, plus further donations from the government, Red Cross, and other sources, officials said.

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