THE AMERICAS

Ruling Party Wins State Vote in Mexico

ACAPULCO, Mexico--Mexico's ruling party was largely victorious in elections Sunday in the southern state of Guerrero, but the vote was marred by violence, including an assassination attempt on one candidate that left his son dead, officials said yesterday.

Marco Lopez Hernandez, 21, son of a left-wing city council candidate of the same name in the beach resort city of Acapulco, was fatally shot early yesterday. His father, 50, was gravely wounded. Three other people died in election-related violence.

With 93 percent of polling stations reporting, the Institutional Revolutionary Party won 22 of 28 seats in the state legislature and took 59 of the 76 mayoralties. Its only major loss was the mayoralty of Acapulco, which went to Zeferino Torreblanco, of the the Party of the Democratic Revolution.

Rebels Kill 9 Peruvian Soldiers

LIMA--Shining Path rebels killed nine soldiers in a jungle attack that military experts said is one of the worst assaults against Peru's military in years by the Maoist fighters.

President Alberto Fujimori told reporters that two rebels also died in the clash Saturday between an army patrol and about 60 guerrillas who had "serious firepower."

Since taking office in 1990, Fujimori has supported a no-concessions military offensive that has virtually defeated the Shining Path. Saturday's attack, in which four ranking officers were killed, had the hallmarks of an ambush by the remnants of the group, which probably numbers less than 1,000 armed fighters, down from about 10,000 at its height, the experts said.

MIDDLE EAST

Accord Reached on West Bank-Gaza Link

JERUSALEM--Israelis and Palestinians reached agreement on the long-delayed opening of a "safe passage" route between the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and the link could be opened as early as today, Israeli Army radio said.

The route along Israeli roads is meant to answer years of complaints that Israel prevents Palestinians in the separate self-rule areas of the West Bank and Gaza Strip from seeing friends and family.

It was to have been inaugurated Sunday under a Sept. 5 peace deal, but differences over security aspects of its operation led to extended negotiations.

U.N. Approves Increase in Iraqi Oil Sales

UNITED NATIONS--The U.N. Security Council unanimously approved a one-time increase in Iraqi oil sales, from $5.26 billion to nearly $8.3 billion for the current six-month period, because Baghdad's sales are exceeding the amount authorized under the U.N. "oil-for-food" program.

The council previously approved $5.26 billion in oil sales every six months to purchase food, medicine and other goods.

Iraq is expected to surpass that amount by Friday, well before the current six-month period expires on Nov. 21.

EUROPE

Berlin Jewish Cemetery Desecrated

BERLIN--Caretakers at Europe's largest Jewish cemetery reported that 103 gravestones had been overturned, police said.

Andreas Nachama, the leader of Berlin's Jewish community, expressed "dismay and horror" at the vandalism.

More than 115,000 people are buried in the Weissensee cemetery in northeastern Berlin, including well-known publishers, hoteliers, artists and the founders of two of Germany's largest department stores.

Police Block Belgrade Protest

BELGRADE--Riot police turned out in force again in central Belgrade to block a protest march of several thousand people on the 14th straight day of demonstrations against Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic.

Police formed cordons at different locations in the center of town, forcing the protesters to change direction and eventually return to Republic Square, where their march had started.

As on Sunday and Saturday, police seemed to tolerate the march as long as it stayed within a limited area.

WWII Camp Commander Sentenced

ZAGREB, Croatia--The last known living World War II concentration camp commander was sentenced to 20 years in prison--the maximum permitted--for war crimes committed more than a half-century ago while running Croatia's infamous Jasenovac camp.

Dinko Sakic, 78, was found guilty of carrying out or condoning the torture and slayings of inmates while in charge of the concentration camp in 1944.

ASIA

Japan Searches Nuclear Plants

TOKAIMURA, Japan--Government inspectors began searching the offices of 20 nuclear facilities around the country as it intensified the probe into practices that ignited Japan's worst nuclear accident.

The government also said the operating procedures of all nuclear power companies will be examined after discovering that the company that ran the uranium-processing plant where last week's accident happened did not follow government-mandated procedures.

One Dead, 19 Hurt in Election Violence

ANANTNAG, India--Separatist militants triggered explosions during voting, leaving one person dead and 19 wounded and making good on threats to disrupt polls in Kashmir.

Two explosions in Pampore, 20 miles south of the regional capital, Srinagar, injured nine policemen and two poll watchers supervising the voting. One poll watcher died later at a hospital.

The month-long general elections ended for most of the country on Sunday, and exit polls indicated the coalition led by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee would return to power with a majority.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"I'm not embarrassed to show the scars."

-- Isabel Comes Oguino, a Brazilian woman whose plastic surgery left her disfigured. -- Page A1