Gunmen on motorcycles fired on police guarding the US cultural center in Calcutta, India, killing five and wounding 20 other people. Indian officials said Harkat-ul Jehad-e-Islami, a Kashmiri separatist group they link to Pakistan's intelligence agency, claimed responsibility and threatened more attacks. Pakistan's Foreign Ministry and a Harkat spokesman denied involvement. The incident prompted a new flare-up between the rival nations, which have massed troops along their border following a suicide attack on India's Parliament in December. The US, among others, has been trying to bring the two to the negotiating table.
Hours after Israeli commandos killed four Islamic militants in the West Bank city of Nablus, a Palestinian gunman sprayed bullets at a bus stop on one of Jerusalem's busiest streets. At least 20 people were hurt. The attacker was killed by police. The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a group linked to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's Fatah faction, claimed responsibility. The same group claimed last Thursday's shootings at a banquet hall in which six Israelis died.
After receiving pledges of more than $4.5 billion to help rebuild Afghanistan, interim Prime Minister Hamid Karzai said he was "happy with the results" of a donors' conference in Tokyo. Before leaving for home, Karzai pledged to "be a samurai against corruption," a major concern of donors as well as Afghans. (Story, page 6.) Meanwhile, in Kabul, the capital, Central Bank employees (above) and other government workers began receiving salaries that haven't been paid in months.
Beneath a huge American flag, marines held a memorial service at Kandahar airport in Afghanistan for two comrades who died in a helicopter crash Sunday. Officials blamed a mechanical failure for the second deadly crash in two weeks. On Jan. 9, a US refueling tanker plane went down in Pakistan, killing seven marines.
Minor tremors were reported five days after Africa's deadliest volcanic eruption in 25 years buried parts of Goma, Congo, near Rwanda's border. UN aid agencies began a major relief operation and appealed for $15 million in emergency assistance for food, shelter, and other needs for the next seven to 15 days. (Story, page 5.)
American Lori Berenson opened her appeal of a 20-year prison sentence for terrorism before Peru's highest court. The five-judge panel in Lima has 15 working days to issue its decision. Berenson was convicted last June of aiding leftist Tupac Amaru rebels in a plot to attack Congress. That civil trial superseded a life sentence resulting from a 1996 military tribunal.