Egyptians Hold Bedouin

In Sale of Explosives

TABA, Egypt -- A Bedouin tribesman has confessed to selling explosives that might have been used in three car bombings that targeted Israeli tourists on Thursday, killing more than 30 people. Egyptian security officials said Sunday they were also investigating possible involvement by Palestinian militants.

The tribesman said the buyers, whom he could not identify, had told him the explosives would be used in the Palestinian territories, an Egyptian investigator said.

"The explosives were sold on the assumption that they were going to the Palestinians," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Three car bombs, each packed with 440 pounds of explosives, exploded Thursday night. One was set off at the Taba Hilton just south of the Egypt-Israel border; the two others detonated at Ras Shytan, about 30 miles south of Taba.

THE MIDDLE EAST

* RIYADH, Saudi Arabia -- Saudi Arabia is unlikely to allow women a role in elections next year for municipal councils, the interior minister, Prince Nayef, said.

"I don't think it's likely that women will take part in the elections," Nayef told reporters after security talks in Kuwait with ministers from other Persian Gulf nations. His comments were broadcast on Saudi television.

Saudi officials had played down the likelihood that women would be allowed to vote or be candidates in the elections, the first nationwide vote to be held in the absolute monarchy, but Nayef is the most senior government official to comment on the issue.

Campaigners say several women are preparing to run and will not withdraw until they are officially told to pull out.

The elections are part of a cautious reform program in which only half the council members are to be elected. The remaining members will be appointed by the ruling royal family, and it is unclear what powers the councils will have.

* GAZA CITY -- An Israeli aircraft fired a missile at Palestinian gunmen in the Jabalya refugee camp after nightfall, killing one and wounding seven, in the second airstrike of the day.

ASIA

* LAHORE, Pakistan -- A suicide bombing at a Shiite mosque in Lahore killed four people, including two security guards who died while confronting the attacker. About 70 to 80 people were inside the mosque for evening prayers when a man carrying a briefcase tried to enter but was blocked by the security guards, officials said. A bomb in the briefcase exploded after a scuffle.

* GAUHATI, India -- Rescuers searching through knee-deep water found 33 more bodies in India's remote northeastern state of Assam, bringing the death toll from unseasonably heavy rains in South Asia to 177. Four days of devastating rainstorms triggered landslides in some parts of Assam and battered large areas of eastern India, Bangladesh and Nepal, flattening mud houses and leaving tens of thousands of people homeless, officials said.

AFRICA

* TRIPOLI, Libya -- Police have arrested 17 non-Libyans suspected of being members of al Qaeda who entered the country illegally, according to Nasr Mabrouk, the interior minister. The men were from the Indian subcontinent and Central Asia and were arrested when they entered Libya, Mabrouk said. He did not say when they were arrested or whether they entered Libya individually or as a group.

THE AMERICAS

* GONAIVES, Haiti -- Two U.N. peacekeepers were wounded in shootouts with supporters of Haiti's ousted president in the capital, Port-au-Prince, and with storm survivors in flood-ravaged Gonaives. They marked the first casualties among members of the four-month-old U.N. mission, officials said.

An Argentine peacekeeper was shot in the arm Saturday night outside a memorial service for flood victims of Tropical Storm Jeanne after protesters shouted at leaders of Haiti's U.S.-backed government, accusing them of not doing enough to help.

A Brazilian soldier was wounded in the foot when heavy gunfire erupted in Port-au-Prince on Saturday as about 150 Brazilian troops in armored vehicles and 150 Haitian police in trucks rolled into the volatile slum of Bel Air.

EUROPE

* AMSTERDAM -- A U.N. war crimes tribunal took custody of a former senior Bosnian Serb commander accused of genocide in the 1995 mass killing of Muslims in the U.N.-protected zone of Srebrenica. Ljubisa Beara, a former colonel, was the security chief for the Bosnian Serb army's main staff.

-- From News Services