EUROPE

Milosevic Kin Accused in Death

BELGRADE -- Serbia's deputy prime minister accused the family of former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic of ordering the killing of political rival Ivan Stambolic in 2000.

Milosevic's daughter, Marija, said in newspapers published yesterday that her family was the target of a misinformation campaign.

Police investigating the murder of Stambolic, whose buried remains were found in northern Serbia last week, said they suspected that the killing had been organized and paid for by fugitive paramilitary police commander Milorad "Legija" Lukovic -- also the prime suspect in the assassination of Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic this month.

Stambolic, a Milosevic ally-turned-foe, disappeared in August 2000 after he had been approached by opposition figures to challenge Milosevic in a presidential election a month later.

Reuters

africa

Dozens Missing in Nigeria Riot

LAGOS, Nigeria -- Witnesses said that more than 100 people were missing and some feared drowned yesterday after jumping into a river during violent clashes between supporters of rival political parties ahead of April elections.

The incident was the latest in a tide of political violence. Some leaders warn that the crisis might stop the voting altogether or lead to a state of emergency.

The elections, which start April 12 with legislative balloting and are followed a week later with a presidential vote, will be the first since Nigeria returned to democracy in 1999 after about 15 years of corrupt military rule.

Reuters

One Killed in Ivorian Fighting

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast -- Fighting between government troops and armed looters in Ivory Coast's lawless west killed one civilian and wounded 19, an official in the rebellion-torn nation said.

Soldiers attacked and chased off English-speaking fighters who were looting the village of Guiuebli on Saturday, Lt. Col. Philippe Mangou said. The village is near Ivory Coast's border with Liberia.

Mangou said that the looters were mercenaries from Liberia, where English is spoken. He charged that they were hired by Ivory Coast insurgents whose six-month rebellion has divided the world's largest cocoa producer into government and rebel-held regions. Rebel leaders weren't immediately available for comment.

About 3,000 French troops are in Ivory Coast to protect foreign nationals and patrol a cease-fire line that has mostly held.

But that line doesn't extend all the way to Ivory Coast's frontier with Liberia, and the border region is slipping deeper into chaos.

Fighting in Ivory Coast has killed more than 3,000 people, according to government estimates, and has displaced more than 1 million. The rebellion sprang from a failed coup attempt in September.

Associated Press

asia

Battles Rage Near Manila

MANILA, Philippines -- Troops clashed with communist guerrillas near the Philippine capital, and at least 24 were people killed, officials said.

Gun battles raged all day Saturday in Angat and Pandi, towns about 30 miles north of Manila. About 20 rebels of the communist New People's Army, a soldier and three policemen were killed, the military said. It was the closest the fighting has come to Manila, a city of more than 10 million people, in recent months.

The fighting had subsided by yesterday, and government troops were scouring the sparsely populated, hilly region in search of other guerrillas, Army Maj. Gen. Alberto Braganza said.

Associated Press

FOR THE RECORD

South Korea will send a new high-level envoy to Russia and China to bolster support for its policy of peacefully resolving the crisis over North Korea's nuclear ambitions. . . . Most of the former Soviet republic of Georgia was left without power after unknown assailants blew up a power line linking the country to neighboring Russia.