World

Terrorists pulled off one of their more effective series of attacks in Iraq Tuesday, setting off two bombs outside US military barracks, exploding another device outside a mosque, and apparently forcing down a helicopter with a rocket-propelled grenade. In all, five people died and 61 others were hurt. None of the dead were Americans. A US Army spokesman said there were no casualties aboard the observation helicopter, although it made a hard "controlled landing."

Approval to send 1,000 soldiers, sailors, and airmen to help in rebuilding Iraq was granted by Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's Cabinet, although the mission is widely seen as the most dangerous deployment overseas since World War II. But no date for their departure was announced. The mission was already controversial in Japan, whose Constitution places strict limits on the use of military forces, even before two of its diplomats were shot to death in Saddam Hussein's hometown 11 days ago.

A terrorist bomb exploded outside a Moscow hotel, killing the woman carrying it and five other people and wounding at least 12 more, several of them gravely. Police speculated that the device went off prematurely and that the intended target was the nearby parliament house. Other undetonated explosives were found on the bomber's remains, reports said, and still more were thought to be in a briefcase found at the scene. A search was under way for a second woman, who witnesses said had asked them for directions to the legislative building.

The new US proposal for "coordinated steps" leading to nuclear disarmament by North Korea were rejected by the Pyongyang government as "unthinkable" and "greatly disappointing." In an official statement, the communist regime said "in no case" would it halt its weapons-development program "unless it is rewarded" simultaneously with a resumption of fuel-oil and electricity supplies and the removal of its name from the US list of nations sponsoring terrorism.

The suspected military and logistics chiefs of the Basque separatist movement ETA were captured by police in southern France, along with weapons and false identity documents. In neighboring Spain, a senior government minister called the development "magnificent news" and "one of the most important days in the fight against the terrorist organization." ETA is blamed for more than 800 deaths in Spain since the late 1960s in its campaign for an independent Basque nation.

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