EUROPE

Russia Launches New Strikes Against Rebels

MAKHACHKALA, Russia -- Russia launched new airstrikes on Islamic rebels in the rebellious republic of Dagestan yesterday and sent more troops and weapons to southern Russia. But the militants maintained their hold on several villages in the Caucasus Mountains.

Russian troops have flown more than 200 sorties in Dagestan in the last six days, Russia's military said. Ten militants were killed in yesterday's attacks, while the Russians suffered no losses, the Dagestani Interior Ministry reported. There was no independent confirmation of the numbers.

Eichmann Papers Discovered in Germany

BERLIN -- Adolf Eichmann, who oversaw the Nazi death machine during the Holocaust, complains about an unfairly strict upbringing, describes his inability to disobey an order and ponders the meaning of life in an apparent first draft of his prison memoir.

The 127 handwritten pages, with the heading "My Memoirs," were discovered in prosecution files brought to Germany after the Nazi war criminal's 1962 execution in Israel, said prosecutor Willi Dressen, who heads the German agency coordinating efforts to track down Nazi crimes. "Apparently they fell into oblivion," he said.

The pages were released two days after Israel announced it would hand over a 1,300-page memoir Eichmann wrote while in prison there in 1961 and 1962. A German research institution will prepare the memoir for scholarly publication.

AFRICA

Groups Try to Secure Hostages' Release

MONROVIA, Liberia -- Aid groups and diplomats were working to win the release of six European relief workers kidnapped during fighting between Liberian troops and unidentified insurgents. The four Britons, one Italian and one Norwegian were captured Wednesday morning in Kolahun near the border of Sierra Leone and Guinea, about 145 miles north of Monrovia, Britain's Foreign Office said.

Although the identity of the captors has not been confirmed, the kidnapping followed a cross-border attack on Kolahun and other northern towns by insurgents based in neighboring Guinea, Liberian government officials said. Liberian President Charles Taylor declared a state of emergency.

147 Hutus Killed in Burundi Massacre

BUSORO, Burundi -- Burundian villagers accused the Tutsi-dominated army of killing 147 Hutu civilians in revenge for a Hutu rebel attack, but the army blamed rebels for the killings. The reported massacre followed an attack Tuesday by ethnic Hutu rebels on the nearby market of Kanyosha, four miles from the Burundian capital, Bujumbura, and a subsequent army crackdown on the area.

Ethiopian Troops Fire on Somali Crowd

MOGADISHU, Somalia -- Ethiopian soldiers opened fire on a crowd of Somalis protesting Ethiopia's occupation of their border town, killing two people, residents contacted by short wave radio said.

In an unrelated incident, at least 17 people, some of them civilians, were killed in a nearby town in a battle between rival militia groups, one of them backed by Ethiopia, residents said. Ethiopia has moved troops into much of the southwestern Gedo border region of Somalia this year to secure its border against attacks from rebel groups who have bases in Somalia.

ASIA

Manila Explosion Kills at Least Eight

MANILA -- An explosion rocked the headquarters of the Philippines' main law enforcement agency today, killing at least eight people, officials said. The blast in downtown Manila destroyed a one-story building and shattered windows up to the third floor of the main five-story building of the National Bureau of Investigation, similar in function to the United States' FBI.

Firefighters battled the ensuing blaze for two hours. At least eight bodies were recovered, and 11 people were treated for injuries. It was unclear what exactly caused the blast, although an explosive device was strongly suspected. There were no immediate claims of responsibility.

Japanese Police Given Wiretap Powers

TOKYO -- Japanese lawmakers gave police the power to use wiretaps against crime suspects for the first time, defeating critics who feared it would lead to invasions of privacy. The wiretapping law is similar to those in other countries. But many Japanese, remembering secret police brutality during World War II and crackdowns on radical students and labor unions in the 1950s and 1960s, have long been reluctant to hand police greater powers.

Korean Attempts Suicide in National Assembly

SEOUL -- A leader of a farmers' association attempted to commit ritual suicide in South Korea's National Assembly after a day of demonstrations against government reorganization of agricultural groups. According to news reports, the man leaped into the center of a parliamentary committee room and plunged a knife into his abdomen as the committee considered legislation that would unify agriculture, livestock and ginseng growers' associations under government direction. The man, identified as Shin Koo Bum, was hospitalized in critical condition.

Chinese Step Up Attacks on Sect Founder

BEIJING -- China's state media stepped up attacks on the founder of a banned exercise and meditation group, accusing him of planning and directing a large protest in April outside the Chinese leadership's Beijing headquarters.

In a possible sign that authorities may put other group leaders on trial, state-run television also singled out several Falun Gong organizers for their involvement in the silent, daylong protest by more than 10,000 followers seeking legal recognition for the organization.

U.S. Seaman on Leave Drowns in Singapore

SINGAPORE -- An American seaman on shore leave in Singapore drowned in the Singapore River, a U.S. embassy spokesman said. The 21-year-old seaman, a crew member on the USS Constellation, fell into the river while walking with a group of other sailors along the Boat Quay, Singapore's tourist area, the spokesman said. His friends tried to rescue him but failed. The seaman's body was retrieved hours later. The man's name is being withheld pending notification of his family, the embassy spokesman said.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"They walk in with the same message: `We're going to do something.' "

James Mulvenon, a Chinese army expert at the Rand Corp., on indications that Beijing plans a show of military force in response to Taiwan's recent assertion that China should treat Taiwan as its equal. -- Page A1