Its crackdown on Islamic militants notwithstanding, Pakistan will "continue to support the just struggle" against India by people in Kashmir, President Musharraf said. He spoke as Secretary of State Powell was leaving Washington to try to persuade the nuclear rivals to pull back from their month-long confrontation over the disputed state. Pakistani authorities have banned five Muslim militant groups and arrested more than 1,000 alleged extremists so far. But Indian officials were withholding a "final determination" on the crackdown because "certain actions we have asked Pakistan to take have not happened yet."

Backing away from the brink of full war, the largest rebel movement in Colombia accepted terms for returning to peace talks with the government. Four hours before Army troops were to storm their haven in the southern jungle, the Marxist Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC) caved in to diplomatic pressure from "facilitating countries," and talks were to resume immediately. But President Andres Pastrana said the negotiations must show "concrete progress" toward a cease-fire by Sunday or he'd send the Army in anyway. Above, FARC chief Raul Reyes, (l.), takes a break from the meeting with government delegates. (Story, page 7.)

Despite what Israeli newspapers were calling the "liquidation" of a Palestinian militant leader, Hamas and Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement said they'd stand by last month's pledge not to carry out attacks against Jewish targets. Raed Karmi, who led the Al Aqsa Brigades and had ties to Fatah, died Monday in an explosion in the West Bank. Within hours, Al Aqsa said it would no longer honor the truce. It was suspected of avenging Karmi's death by killing one Israeli soldier and wounding another.

With a UN moderator but no set agenda, the Greek and Turkish leaders of deeply divided Cyprus are to open "continuous" peace talks today amid hopes that an outline for reunification finally may emerge. But analysts said finding common ground on reunifying the island as a single state likely will prove difficult. (Story, page 6.)

Anticipating potential unrest in the streets, the Philippines government warned that 17,500 police will join Army units Sunday to ensure that the first anniversary of ex-President Joseph Estrada's fall from power is peaceful. Estrada now is on trial for allegedly plundering the national treasury while in office. But he remains popular with the poor, and authorities expect antigovernment protests.

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