Violence Mars Guinea-Bissau Elections

BISSAU, Guinea-Bissau--Scattered rioting and long delays blemished elections yesterday to restore civilian rule in Guinea-Bissau, a nation fearing unrest after two wars within one generation.

Many described the presidential and legislative votes as a last hope for peace in this small former Portuguese colony in West Africa. But voting was postponed for logistical reasons in some parts of the country and marred by violence in others.

Angry youths burned down polling stations and barricaded streets when election officials and materials failed to arrive by midday in the neighborhoods of Chapa de Bissau and Mindara. Police dispersed the rioters with tear gas. Similar delays affected an estimated 40,000 voters in remote villages. Helicopters commissioned to transport election officials to these areas failed to show up, state radio reported. Balloting in the south and in the remote Bijagos Islands was postponed until today or later, officials said.


Iraq Says U.S., Britain Bombed School

BAGHDAD--Iraq said U.S. and British planes bombed a primary school in northern Iraq, injuring eight people.

"U.S. and British warplanes bombed this morning a primary school in the city of Mosul, injuring eight civilian citizens including women and three children," the official Iraqi News Agency quoted a military spokesman as saying. It said the school, nearby houses and two cars were damaged.

The U.S. European Command in Germany said Western planes bombed Iraqi antiaircraft batteries that had fired at them and returned safely to base.

U.S. and British aircraft have been patrolling "no-fly" zones over Iraq since the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

Palestinians Arrest Signers of Leaflet

NABLUS, West Bank--Palestinian intelligence officers arrested seven people who signed to a leaflet that urged the public to combat "tyranny, corruption and political deceit" in Yasser Arafat's administration.

The seven were from a group of 20 Palestinian lawmakers, academics and professionals who issued a statement Saturday charging that Arafat has allowed graft in the administration.

The signers, among them eight members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, are known for opposition to peace deals between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Family members and officials said two of the seven, including former Nablus Mayor Bassam Shaka, were placed under house arrest while the others were in custody.

Senior Palestinian official Ahmed Abdel-Rahman said the statement was "baseless and stuffed with accusations and curses that are not based on truths."

Palestinian human rights groups called on the Palestinian Authority to release those arrested and to respect the right to free expression.


Basque Guerrillas Call End to Cease-Fire

MADRID--The Basque guerrilla group ETA announced an end to its 14-month cease-fire, threatening to plunge Spain into a renewed cycle of separatist bombings and assassinations.

Exhorting its followers to "face up to the enemy," ETA said it was resuming its armed struggle and would issue orders to rebel fighters Friday. ETA said its decision stemmed from "repressive attacks" by the governments of Spain and France and the failure of mainstream nationalists to fulfill their pledge to work toward creating an independent Basque state.

Caught off guard by the ETA's move, Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar accused the rebels of "terrorist blackmail" and vowed to seek a peaceful solution to the conflict.

The Basque country, a region of 2.2 million people, has been terrorized by separatist attacks for a generation, although more than 17 months have passed without an ETA attack.


Gunmen Kill Two Colombian Journalists

BOGOTA, Colombia--Two journalists covering a local election in a war-torn northeastern region of Colombia were shot in the head and killed, a police spokesman said.

The bodies of cameraman Luis Alberto Rincon and reporter Alberto Sanchez were left lying in a road near the town of El Playon, 200 miles northeast of Bogota.

The two journalists, who worked for local television stations, were covering elections to replace the mayor of El Playon, who was killed by gunmen in September along with his secretary and a bodyguard.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but police said various leftist rebel factions and right-wing paramilitary militias operate in the region.

The double murder is the third fatal attack on small-town Colombian journalists in as many months.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "For centuries, we have been producing a pure product that benefits the environment. But now there is an attack to natural cork stoppers. And this attack comes from it is unbelievable for me! a sterile rubber lump." -- Pedro Cabral da Silveira, Portuguese cork producer, on the challenge he faces from new plastic corks.