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Wednesday, May 4, 2005; Page A16

10 Dead Following Explosion, Stampede at Rally in Somalia

MOGADISHU, Somalia -- An explosion and stampede killed at least 10 people at a soccer stadium in Somalia's capital on Tuesday, moments after the prime minister had addressed hundreds of people at a rally, government officials and witnesses said.

Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Gedi was unhurt in the blast, which sent panicked supporters rushing out of the stadium. Sixty people were injured.

It was not immediately clear whether most of the casualties were from the blast or the stampede that followed.

Gedi said the explosion was an accident, but investigators said they were still looking into the cause. A security official said a militiaman guarding Gedi had detonated one of his grenades.

Gedi flew to Mogadishu on Friday for the first time since his appointment last year, seeking to end a rift in his government over the location of a future capital and the role of U.N. peacekeepers in the Horn of Africa country, where security fears have kept the government in exile.

Gedi pledged that the stadium incident would "not deter us and the international community from continuing our common endeavor to relocating the government back to Somalia."

The government, which has sat in Kenya since it was formed in 2004, is opposed by Islamic extremists and some of Somalia's dozens of warlords. Somalia has been without a central government since 1991, when clan-based warlords overthrew dictator Mohamed Siad Barre, then turned their weapons on one another.


• CARACAS, Venezuela -- Venezuela's Supreme Court ruled that the government should seek extradition from the United States of an anti-communist Cuban exile wanted by Cuba on terrorism charges.

Luis Posada Carriles, who has Venezuelan citizenship and escaped from prison in Caracas in 1985, has been accused by Cuba of several attacks, including the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner that killed dozens of people.

Posada's attorney said last month that he had applied for asylum in the United States. U.S. officials said that he was not in their custody and that they were reviewing the case.


ROTTERDAM -- Dutch prosecutors accused the suspected killer of filmmaker Theo van Gogh of leading a "terrorist organization" made up of young Muslim men. Mohammed Bouyeri, the Dutch Moroccan charged with shooting and stabbing van Gogh on Nov. 2, hosted meetings in his home for 12 men whose only aims were to destabilize society and establish an Islamic state through violence, prosecutors said. All 12 were arrested following the filmmaker's killing.

MOSCOW -- Russian President Vladimir Putin said the government was neglecting a plague of alcohol-linked deaths and told Agriculture Minister Alexei Gordeyev to deliver suggestions to halt the sale of widely available bootleg spirits.

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