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WORLD IN BRIEF

Thursday, March 31, 2005; Page A16

Soccer Fans in N. Korea Erupt in Mob Violence

SEOUL -- The world caught a rare glimpse of mob violence in North Korea on Wednesday when soccer fans in the highly controlled state threw bottles, rocks and chairs as the home side lost a televised World Cup qualifier to Iran.

North Korean soldiers and police tried to restore order at Kim Il Sung Stadium after a player was sent off the field for shoving the Syrian referee.

The violence spilled outside the stadium, as thousands of angry North Koreans prevented Iran's players from boarding the team bus.

AFRICA

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia -- Israel's envoy to Ethiopia was found in his hotel room bleeding from a bullet wound that police said appeared to be self-inflicted. Citing diplomatic sources, Israel Radio said Ambassador Doron Grossman was believed to have attempted suicide, distraught at the discovery he had malignant cancer.

A physician at Addis Ababa's Hayat hospital said Grossman was in intensive care.

LONDON -- Ethiopia ordered three U.S. government-funded groups to cease operations and gave their foreign staff members 48 hours to leave, officials with two of the groups said. Field missions from the groups, the National Democratic Institute, the International Republic Institute and IFES, were in Ethiopia to help prepare for May 15 general elections.

THE AMERICAS

QUITO, Ecuador -- Rival Ecuadoran congressmen threw bottles and coins at each other during a bitter session to name an attorney general.

The fight is part of a struggle for control of the courts that began in December when President Lucio Gutierrez won congressional approval to dismiss the Supreme Court.

GUATEMALA CITY -- Dozens of Guatemalans infected with HIV protested U.S.-backed trade rules that they say will rob them of access to medicines. Under U.S. pressure, Guatemala approved a law offering international pharmaceutical firms greater protection from cheap competition. Guatemala passed the measure in early March to facilitate approval of the controversial Central America Free Trade Agreement.

THE MIDDLE EAST

NATANZ, Iran -- Pledging to advance Iran's nuclear program, President Mohammad Khatami gave reporters an unprecedented look at a once-secret underground complex at the heart of its plans.

The tour at the Natanz facility and another nuclear plant in Isfahan was intended to show that Iran was not breaking its promise to suspend enrichment of uranium.

Khatami said Iran would proceed with enrichment but that it intended to reach a deal in negotiations with European nations and the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency.

-- From News Services


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