AFRICA S. African Mercenaries

Arrive in Ivory Coast

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast -- South African mercenaries have landed in Ivory Coast to help the government fight rebels who hold half the country's territory, foreign military sources said yesterday.

Among the dozens of mercenaries arriving in the West African country were veterans of the disbanded Executive Outcomes, a South African group whose paid soldiers scored victories against rebel forces in Angola and Sierra Leone in the mid-1990s.

Reports that the mercenaries had arrived in Abidjan came as rebels met a government team in Togo for peace talks to end the conflict, which stems from a failed Sept. 19 coup and left hundreds dead before a truce 12 days ago.

President Laurent Gbagbo's adviser in Paris, Toussaint Alain, said he could neither confirm nor deny the arrival of mercenaries in Ivory Coast, the world's largest cocoa producer.

"We are a legitimate government, and we have the right to buy arms where we like and enlist the help of who we like," he said.

ReutersASIA Police Release Sketches

Of Bali Bomb Suspects

JAKARTA, Indonesia -- Indonesian police released sketches of three suspects who allegedly were involved in the Oct. 12 bombing in Bali that destroyed two nightclubs and claimed more than 180 lives.

The three men, ages 20, 27 and 30, appear to be Indonesian, police said. The sketches were based on testimony provided by witnesses, who said that they could be part of a group of as many as 10 suspects, according to a police spokesman.

Another police spokesman said detectives have identified one man, but declined to release his name.

Maj. Gen. I Made Pastika, who is heading the investigation, described the three as "field operators" who may have died in the explosion along with scores of other unidentified victims, most of them foreign tourists. He said it was too early to say if the three suspects were linked to any international terrorist network.

However, Defense Minister Matori Abdul Djalil told the state-run Antara news agency that police had evidence suggesting that one of the three suspects was linked to al Qaeda. The sketches will be published in Indonesia and posted worldwide by Interpol.

Ellen NakashimaEUROPE 4 Yugoslavs Charged

In Smuggling Operation

ZAGREB, Croatia -- Croatian police said they had brought charges against four Yugoslavs for smuggling explosives on a ship Western officials believe has carried military supplies to Iraq in violation of a U.N. embargo.

Croatia seized the vessel in its waters last week after the United States alleged that a state-owned Bosnian Serb company, Orao, had been refurbishing military jets for Iraq with the help of a Yugoslav state import-export agency.

Two of the suspects, the captain and first mate of the Tonga-registered freighter Boka Star, were being held in jail in the northern Adriatic port of Rijeka, where the ship docked and was searched, a police spokeswoman said.

The other two are still at large, and police will issue arrest warrants soon, a police statement said.

ReutersFOR THE RECORD

The leader of a banned Muslim extremist group blamed in the deaths of hundreds of people was released by Pakistani authorities, who said they had no evidence to continue holding him. Azam Tariq, whose pro-Taliban group, Sipah-i-Sahaba, has been labeled a terrorist organization by the United States, had been detained for 13 months without being formally charged. . . . Authorities in Yemen have detained 20 people in connection with an attack this month on the French oil tanker Limburg, security officials said. The officials said the main suspects were still at large. . . . Kerim Sadok Chatty, the man who tried to board a flight to Britain from Sweden with a loaded gun in his hand luggage two months ago, will not be charged with attempted hijack, the prosecutor's office said, and will instead face charges of illegal firearms possession.