Indian officials blamed Pakistan and Islamic militants based on its territory for an attack in Kashmir that left at least 27 dead and 30 wounded. Assailants dressed as Hindu holy men opened fire on a crowd in the disputed territory Saturday. "It is clear that all this is being carried out with the inspiration of Pakistan," India's Foreign Minister Yashwant Sinha said yesterday. Pakistan's government denounced what it called a "terrorist attack" designed to "enhance tension in the region."

At least a dozen people, most of them Germans, were injured in an attack on a tour bus in northern Pakistan. Police said they had detained about a dozen suspects and were seeking the tour guide for questioning. It was the fifth attack on Westerners since President Pervez Musharraf sided with the US against Afghanistan's former Taliban regime and the Al Qaeda terrorist network, angering militant Islamic groups.

Two buildings were destroyed and about 10 Palestinians were injured in a raid by Israeli helicopters and fighter jets near Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, witnesses said. A member of the Hamas militant group fled one of the structures moments before the strike, Israel's Army Radio reported. The group has claimed responsibility for numerous attacks on Israelis. The raid came as Israel was on high alert after police reportedly thwarted two separate attempted bombings by Palestinians.

Flooding and landslides from monsoon rains have claimed more than 60 lives in the Philippines in the past week, relief officials said yesterday, and have affected 1.4 million people in 16 provinces and 26 cities, among them the capital, Manila. In Bangladesh, 8,000 villagers fled their homes, while another 100,000 were reported stranded by floods in the farming region of Sirajganj, northwest of the capital, Dhaka.

A man fired a rifle toward French President Jaques Chirac's motorcade during the Bastille Day parade in Paris Sunday, in what some officials called an assassination attempt. Riot police, alerted by cries of alarm from the crowd, quickly subdued the alleged gunman, described as a neo-Nazi with a history of mental illness.

Joaquin Balaguer, who ruled the Dominican Republic for 22 years and was a political force even when not in office, died yesterday in Santo Domingo. A staunch anticommunist, Balaguer was elected president in 1966 after the US intervened to quell a leftist revolt and was accused of persecuting political opponents. He was unseated in 1978, then reelected in 1986. After allegations of fraud marred a 1994 vote, he agreed to step down two years later.

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