Four "high value" Iraqi targets were killed in a raid by US infantrymen in the northern city of Mosul, and American officials were trying to establish whether Saddam Hussein's sons were among them. The house, which reportedly was owned by a Hussein cousin, was surrounded by 200 soldiers with machine guns and rocket launchers and subsequently burned to the ground.

Criticism was shifting from British Prime Minister Tony Blair to the BBC over the latter's bombshell report that the government had "sexed up" its case for the unpopular war with Iraq. The affair, which led to the suicide of the publicly funded broadcaster's only known source for the report, has caused a steep drop in Blair's approval rating in opinion polls. But news sources reported that even some BBC insiders have raised grave misgivings over its handling of the story and rigid defense of its actions. Blair has insisted that his government acted properly throughout the matter.

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas will try to pressure President Bush for a firm timetable of measures by Israel to implement the road map to peace, a senior colleague said. He said Abbas "cannot come back empty-handed from Washington," where he'll seek a schedule for Israeli dismantling of illegal West Bank settlements, a freeze on construction in others, and other steps. Laying down a marker for Friday's visit to the White House, Abbas said he'd refuse US and Israeli urgings to dismantle Palestinian radical groups , although violence in the region is down sharply since most of the militants declared a unilateral truce June 29.

Amid claims that the number of civilian deaths from the rebel assault on Liberia's capital has risen to more than 600, a senior negotiator for the insurgents said his forces have been ordered to stop fighting, "even if there is need for retaliation." But he told journalists the rebels would keep their territorial gains on their third attempt to seize Monrovia. The US has urged both sides to cease hostilities.

Thirteen people were hurt, two of them seriously, when terrorist bombs exploded minutes apart inside two resort hotels on Spain's Mediterranean coast. One hotel also was heavily damaged. A telephone caller claiming to represent the Basque separatist movement ETA warned a newspaper of both bombs, but they went off 20 minutes earlier than he said they would. ETA, which is blamed for 841 deaths since 1968 in its campaign for Basque independence, has been focusing on Spain's vital tourist industry in recent years. Above, police seal off one of the hotels.

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