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Friday, March 11, 2005; Page A13

Israeli Forces Kill Palestinian Militant

TULKARM, West Bank -- Israeli forces, striking into the West Bank on Thursday despite an informal cease-fire, killed a Palestinian militant allegedly linked to a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv last month.

The raid prompted protests from Palestinian leaders. "Just as calm is demanded of us, we also ask that Israel not do things like this," Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said.

In the West Bank city of Ramallah, gunmen from Abbas's Fatah group, firing into the air and shouting that they were being ignored by its leaders, burst into a Fatah meeting on reform and drove participants out.

In the West Bank raid, Israeli soldiers surrounded a house near the city of Tulkarm where Mohammad Abu Khazneh, 28, a wanted member of Islamic Jihad, was hiding. Bulldozers leveled the house and killed him after he fired at troops.

The army said he played a central role in planning the suicide bombing that killed five Israelis in Tel Aviv on Feb. 25 and punctured a cease-fire declared by Israel and the Palestinian Authority at a summit in Egypt on Feb. 8.


PARIS -- Many planes, trains and subways were idle, and postal workers and teachers stayed home in a day of national labor protest that also risked embarrassing organizers of Paris's bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Tens of thousands of protesters marched in Paris, answering the call of unions to defend France's 35-hour workweek and push for more jobs and pay talks. Protests nationwide drew big crowds, including 35,000 in Bordeaux and 25,000 in Marseille, police said.

The strike occurred as 13 Olympic inspectors were visiting Paris.

LONDON -- British lawmakers eliminated Sinn Fein's right to $750,000 in parliamentary expenses, a move designed to punish the Irish Republican Army-linked party for recent IRA crimes.

VATICAN CITY -- Pope John Paul II will extend his hospital stay "a few more days" but still plans to return to the Vatican in time for the start of Holy Week on March 20, his spokesman said.

KIEV, Ukraine -- Former president Leonid Kuchma was questioned in connection with the 2000 slaying of journalist Heorhiy Gongadze, who wrote about top-level corruption in his government. Kuchma has denied involvement.

BRUSSELS -- Fifty-six unarmed supporters of Iran's former monarchy were escorted off a plane at the Brussels airport Friday after refusing for 16 hours to disembark in a protest against the leadership in Tehran. "We want the European Union to remove the Islamic leaders from Iran," one protester said.


KIGALI, Rwanda -- A nine-judge community court on Thursday handed down its first conviction of a Rwandan accused of killings in the 1994 genocide, as authorities set in motion a system designed to speed the trials of the 63,000 people accused of taking part in the slaughter.

The community court system is filling the gap left by Rwanda's conventional courts, which are trying only the cases of the alleged leaders of the 100-day genocide.

Saddam Nshimiyimana, 37, was convicted of killing people at a roadblock and slaying others who took refuge in a Catholic church. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison.


SANTIAGO, Chile -- Fugitive religious sect leader and German citizen Paul Schaefer, who was convicted in Chile of sexually abusing 26 children and is one of the country's most wanted men, was arrested in Argentina. Schaefer, 84, is also wanted in Germany on abuse charges.

-- From News Services

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