Parcel Bomb Injures 10
At Indonesian Embassy in Paris
PARIS -- A small parcel bomb exploded outside the Indonesian Embassy before dawn on Friday, slightly injuring 10 people and shattering windows. Officials said they had no clues as to the motive.
French officials said a group unknown to police and going by the name French Armed Islamic Front sent an e-mail in which it asserted responsibility for the blast, but officials said they doubted the veracity of the somewhat oddly written message.
Investigators who combed the area found gas canister fragments but said they knew little about the device, and it was too early to say who was behind the bombing.
The MIDDLE EAST
* GAZA -- Israeli troops killed four Palestinians, including a militant and a 10-year-old girl, in northern Gaza, bringing to 98 the Palestinian death toll from a massive, 11-day-old offensive.
Witnesses and medics said a missile slammed into a group of militants in the Jabalya refugee camp, killing a militant and a civilian. A military source said an Israeli helicopter fired at a group of gunmen carrying a bomb. They said the group had approached troops.
* UNITED NATIONS -- The United States and France again failed to persuade Muslim states to back a U.N. Security Council statement putting fresh pressure on Syria to pull its troops out of Lebanon. Council diplomats said they would meet again Monday in search of an agreement on a statement, and a U.S. official predicted the effort would be successful.
* BRUSSELS -- NATO approved plans to send around 300 military trainers to Iraq amid concerns in Washington that the alliance would not be ready to expand its fledgling mission there until next year.
NATO envoys in Brussels agreed to establish an officer training academy just outside Baghdad and named U.S. Lt. Gen. David Petraeus, who already runs training for the U.S.-led Multinational Force in Iraq, to head the NATO mission.
"What we are doing is helping the Iraqis, not doing it for them," Petraeus said in Brussels to NATO envoys, speaking of efforts to boost security and quell a growing insurgency.
NATO officials said some details needed to be settled but they expected to start sending the first trainers in a matter of weeks, with some officials keen on having a full presence in Iraq by elections scheduled for January.
* LONDON -- In a landmark trial of a foreign national accused of committing a crime outside Britain, proceedings opened against an Afghan warlord on charges of conspiring to kidnap and torture people in his homeland. Faryadi Sarwar Zardad is charged with crimes that include shooting and beating civilians at checkpoints when he was a commander in the Sarobi district of Kabul province from 1992 to 1996. Zardad, 41, moved to London in 1998 and was managing a pizza parlor in the capital when he was arrested for the crimes.
* CHERBOURG, France -- A trans-Atlantic shipment of plutonium from the United States arrived by guarded convoy at a factory in southern France, amid protests by environmental groups.
Greenpeace and other environmental campaigners led a string of protests against the shipment of 275 pounds of military-grade plutonium taken from U.S. nuclear warheads.
* UNITED NATIONS -- The Bush administration is urging the Security Council to convene a meeting in Kenya next month to press Sudan's government and rebels from the country's southern region to finalize a power-sharing arrangement that would end more than two decades of civil war.
Sudan's first vice president, Ali Uthman Muhammad Taha, and the leader of the Sudan People's Liberation Army, John Garang, arrived in Nairobi to negotiate a final deal that would share the country's oil wealth and allow rebel leaders into the government's political ranks.
-- Colum Lynch
* BISSAU, Guinea-Bissau -- The president of Guinea-Bissau, Henrique Rosa, said he was ready to negotiate with dissident soldiers who killed two army chiefs in a mutiny over pay after they pledged that the violence was over.
The impoverished former Portuguese colony on West Africa's Atlantic coast has been unstable since a bloody army revolt in 1998. Wednesday's uprising was the fourth outbreak of violence in as many years.
* PHNOM PENH, Cambodia -- Cambodian lawmakers approved legislation to create a panel to find a replacement for King Norodom Sihanouk, who threw his country into turmoil when he announced Thursday that he would step down because of poor health.
Lawmakers voted unanimously to set up the nine-member Throne Council, charged with picking the royal successor.
-- From News Services