Terrorists struck again Thursday in Baghdad, killing at least 21 more people on top of the 27 deaths caused by a car-bomb explosion late Wednesday outside a mosque in Hilla. The latter city is 60 miles south of the capital, and the attack took place as Muslims gathered for prayer to start Ramadan, the Islamic holy month. In London, British Prime Minister Tony Blair said sophisticated new armor-piercing explosives being used against coalition forces in Iraq appeared to have been supplied by neighboring Iran and Hizbullah. Iran's Foreign Ministry called the allegation "a lie."
The on-again, off-again meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was rescheduled for Tuesday in Jerusalem. But a senior Palestinian official said he understood it would take place only if aides succeed in narrowing the issues to be discussed in a preparatory meeting Friday. Sharon intends to raise with Abbas "law and order issues" in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, such as the dismantling of Hamas, the Jerusalem Post reported. For his part, Abbas probably will seek the release from Israeli jails of 2,000 more Palestinian prisoners and the withdrawal of Israeli troops from more West Bank cities, one political analyst told the newspaper.
Roughly 1,000 more impoverished migrants from Africa tried to force their way into the Spanish enclave of Melilla in Morocco Thursday but were turned back by security forces. The attempt was the third this week and came as Prime Minister José Luis Rod-riguez Zapatero announced that migrants who'd succeeded in penetrating two razor-wire fences around Melilla and its sister enclave, Cueta, would be expelled to Morocco, beginning immediately.
From his self-imposed exile in Japan, ousted President Alberto Fujimori announced that he intends to seek the office again in Peru's national election next April. Fujimori, who fled Peru five years ago amid a corruption scandal, told a news conference in Tokyo he believes he can win the presidency again, although he's banned from holding political office until 2010. He holds dual citizenship because his parents were Japanese. Peru repeatedly has sought his extradition for trial on human rights abuse charges, but each request has been denied by Japan.