Three Trains Collide

In Pakistan Killing 100

KARACHI, Pakistan -- Three passenger trains crashed in southern Pakistan early Wednesday, killing at least 100 people and injuring hundreds more, officials said.

The accident occurred at about 4 a.m. when a train stopped in a station near Ghotki, in southern Sindh province, was rear-ended by a second train, said Abdul Aziz, a senior controller at Pakistan Railways.

The collision caused several cars to derail, which were then struck by a third train, he said.

He said at least 13 train cars derailed, and that the injured were being taken in ambulances and cars to area hospitals.

Technicians were working on the train when it was hit by the Karachi Express, a night-coach passenger train from Lahore to the southern port city of Karachi, officials said.

The impact pushed cars onto an adjacent track, and they in turn were hit by the oncoming Tezgam Express.

EUROPE

* BELFAST -- Catholics attacked riot police with homemade grenades and gasoline bombs in an explosion of fury over the Orange Order, a Protestant brotherhood that staged mass parades across Northern Ireland.

About 40 officers and two journalists were wounded when Catholics threw at least two of the grenades into columns of riot police.

The officers had forced Catholic protesters off a main Belfast thoroughfare to clear the way for a few hundred Orangemen. The anti-Catholic organization's members parade each July 12 in commemoration of a 315-year-old victory by Protestant King William of Orange over an army supporting James II, the Catholic he had ejected from the British throne.

AFRICA

* KINSHASA, Congo -- Assailants forced a group of villagers into their huts and set them on fire in eastern Congo, killing 39 people and injuring 17 others, a U.N. spokesman said. The attack came late Saturday in Ntulumamba village, about 45 miles northwest of Bukavu, U.N. spokesman Kemal Saiki said.

Survivors blamed Hutu rebels for the attack, but Saiki said the allegation could not be independently verified. About 10,000 Rwandan Hutu rebels operate in eastern Congo. Fifty Pakistani peacekeepers were immediately sent to the area to investigate the massacre, Saiki said.

THE MIDDLE EAST

* BAGHDAD -- Armed men stormed a house in Baghdad on Tuesday, killing four Iraqi human rights activists and wounding another, a member of the group said. The victims, who belonged to the local International Organization for Human Rights, were shot in their office.

In a separate incident, gunmen assassinated a police colonel, Amir Mirza, in a market in Baghdad's Wahda district, police said.

An American soldier died of injuries suffered in a land mine explosion Monday south of the capital, the U.S. military said. Three other U.S. soldiers were injured in the explosion near Mahmudiyah, about 15 miles south of Baghdad.

In the northern city of Kirkuk, a car bomb exploded Tuesday, killing at least three people and wounding 15, police said. In Tall Afar, an Iraqi civilian was killed and nine were wounded in a blast.

* TEHRAN -- Iran's top nuclear negotiator warned the European Union that Tehran would resume sensitive nuclear activities shortly if the E.U. failed to recognize its right to carry out such work.

Iran's president-elect, however, promised a new approach to the nation's contentious nuclear program, which the United States claims is geared toward making bombs.

* AMMAN, Jordan -- Five Jordanians were indicted in an alleged terror conspiracy involving plans to attack intelligence agents, tourists and top hotels in the Jordanian capital, prosecutors said.

ASIA

* BAGRAM, Afghanistan -- U.S. combat helicopters crisscrossed dusty plains and troops stopped cars at roadblocks in a search for four suspected Arab fighters who escaped Monday from a prison facility at the main U.S. military base here.

THE AMERICAS

* SAN JOSE, Costa Rica -- A pre-dawn fire swept the top floors of a hospital in Costa Rica's capital, killing at least 18 people. Medical personnel smashed their way through windows as they tried to help patients escape. The blaze broke out on the fifth floor and quickly spread, consuming the top three stories until it was brought under control three hours later, the fire chief said.

-- From News Services