A Palestinian policeman exploded a bomb aboard a bus in Jerusalem, killing himself and at least nine others in the worst terrorist attack inside Israel in four months. Fifty more people were hurt, many of them seriously. Responsibility was claimed by the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, a group with close ties to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. Despite the attack, Israel concluded a long-awaited prisoner exchange with Hizbullah. Below, an Israeli security officer studies the bombing scene from atop a nearby building.

Next month's election for a new parliament in Iran was thrown into serious question after state governors said holding it is "impossible" because more than 2,000 disqualified candidates "have been deprived of their right to run, quite illegally." The unelected Guardian Council, which vetoed the candidates - all of them would-be reformers of the rigid political system - is due to announce Friday how many it has reinstated.

Prime Minister Tony Blair declared an end to his feud with the BBC after a broadcaster unconditionally apologized for its report last year that the government had "sexed up" intelligence on Iraq's weapons program. The apology came amid the resignations of the BBC's top two executives in the wake of a much-anticipated finding by a senior judge that the report was in error and Blair's government bore no responsibility for the suicide of one of its weapons experts - the only source for the story. Still, the finding appeared to be unpopular. An opinion poll conducted for London's Evening Standard newspaper found 56 percent of respondents saying the BBC had unfairly received most of the blame.

American troops will be denied the use of Pakistani soil for their spring offensive against Taliban remnants and Al Qaeda fugitives, the government said. "As a matter of fact, they have not contacted us for this purpose," a senior official said. US forces in neighboring Afghan-istan were told earlier this week to prepare for the mission. Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and some of his lieutenants are believed to be hiding in the rugged border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Five policemen died in a shoot-out in Saudi Arabia's capital with a "very important terrorist." The militant was captured on the eve of the hajj. The government has redoubled security for this year's pilgrimage to Mecca by obedient Muslims, the first since the US-led war in neighboring Iraq.

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