Warrant Is Sought

For Thatcher's Son

MALABO, Equatorial Guinea -- Equatorial Guinea has requested international arrest warrants for Mark Thatcher, son of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, and other British financiers accused in an alleged coup plot in this tiny oil-rich nation, the deputy prime minister said Saturday.

The warrants are necessary before extradition can be sought, but Deputy Prime Minister Ricardo Mangue Obama Nfube said Equatorial Guinea was still studying whether to seek the handover of Thatcher, who was arrested Wednesday in South Africa.

Nfube named Thatcher, 51, financier Eli Calil and Simon Mann.

Mann, a former British Special Forces operative and noted mercenary in Africa, was convicted Friday in Zimbabwe in an arms deal connected with the alleged plot here.

EUROPE

* MADRID -- A small explosion was set off in a popular Christian pilgrimage center, Santiago de Compostela, after a telephone warning was made to a newspaper in the name of the armed Basque separatist group ETA, officials said.

No one in the northwestern Spanish town was injured by the bomb, which was concealed in ivy on the wall around a church. Police also found and defused a bomb hidden on the seafront of the nearby city of La Coruna.

The blast in Santiago de Compostela was the latest in a renewed ETA campaign aimed at summer tourism that began in August, after five months of relative peace in the wake of the March 11 Madrid train bombings. The bombings killed 191 people and have been blamed on al Qaeda.

the MIDDLE EAST

* BEIRUT -- Lebanon's cabinet threw its weight behind a move by the country's pro-Syrian president to remain in office after his term ends through a widely opposed change to the constitution.

Lebanese President Emile Lahoud, who has strong backing from Syria, the main power broker in Lebanon, said this week he wanted to stay in office after the end of his six-year term in November.

Information Minister Michel Samahah told reporters the cabinet agreed to a plan to extend Lahoud's term by three years. It would send the decision to parliament, which picks the president and which can change the constitution with a two-thirds majority.

AFRICA

* ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia -- Twenty-seven people were killed and 31 seriously injured when their bus plunged into a ravine in northern Ethiopia, police said.

The Alem Transportation Company bus veered off the road at Adet, about 155 miles north of the capital, Addis Ababa, police said, adding that the injured had been taken to hospital in Bahr Dar, capital of Amhara region.

* RABAT, Morocco -- Twenty-nine people were killed and 30 injured when a bus crashed into a truck and a taxi cab on a highway linking two of Morocco's popular tourist destinations, officials said. The accident took place when a commuter bus traveling from the tourist city of Agadir to Marrakesh tried to overtake another vehicle and rammed into the heavy truck and then into the taxi.

THE AMERICAS

* BOGOTA, Colombia -- Between 21 and 35 right-wing paramilitary troops were killed in combat with the Colombian army, and Marxist rebels killed the mayor of a small town, authorities said.

No soldiers were killed in Friday's clash, which was the bloodiest battle in months between government forces and the paramilitary troops and took place between the towns of Villanueva and Monterrey in Casanare province, about 80 miles east of Bogota.

ASIA

* KABUL, Afghanistan -- U.S. and Afghan troops killed a Taliban commander and detained 22 suspected Taliban fighters during a major search operation after a gun battle in a southern Afghan mountain range, officials said.

Rozi Khan, a Taliban commander in Zabol province, was killed after troops surrounded a group of rebels in Ghazoi village Friday evening, said Asadullah Khan, governor of neighboring Ghazni province.

Also, Afghanistan's government has asked the country's most powerful mujaheddin commander to give up rule over the western province of Herat in order to escape attacks from encircling enemies, a Western diplomat said.

The vulnerability of Ismail Khan, known as the "Lion of Herat," was revealed earlier this month when the forces of a renegade Pashtun militia leader swept through the province he governs.

* DHAKA, Bangladesh -- Bangladeshi police beat demonstrators with batons during opposition-led strikes demanding that the government resign over a deadly grenade attack on a political rally.

At least 50 people were injured in the clashes in southeastern Chittagong city and eastern Narsinghdi district, the United News of Bangladesh news agency reported.

* KARACHI, Pakistan -- A speeding truck rammed into a camel-drawn cart carrying a family to a relative's funeral, killing 10 people and injuring 20, a doctor said.

The accident occurred near the town of Mirpurkhas, about 135 miles northeast of Karachi, said Salim Raza, a doctor at the Civil Hospital in Mirpurkhas.

Among the dead were four children, five women and one man. Six of the injured were in serious condition, Raza said.

-- From News Services