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World briefs 03/19/03

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

House explosion in Saudi Arabia kills one

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia -- An explosion in a house in the Saudi capital Tuesday killed one person, and authorities were investigating the possibility he was linked to al-Qaida, the Interior Ministry said.

The blast, caused by an explosive device, occurred in the al-Jazirah neighborhood in the eastern part of Riyadh, the ministry said in a statement.

Police investigating the blast found an arsenal of rifles, guns, hand grenades and explosives in the house where it occurred.

A security official in Riyadh, speaking on condition of anonymity, said authorities were investigating the possibility that the victim might have been a member of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida terror network.

"He might have been preparing an explosive device which blew up prematurely," he said.

A statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency quoted an unidentified official at the Interior Ministry as saying the victim was not carrying any identification.

Eight killed as violence escalates in Nigeria

LAGOS, Nigeria -- Ethnic clashes in an oil-rich area of Nigeria have left eight people dead, including an employee of ChevronTexaco, officials said Tuesday.

The clashes between ethnic Ijaws and Itsekiris came as the country prepared for presidential elections. The campaign for the vote, set for next month, has already been marred by political violence.

Ijaw official Alhaji Dokubo-Asari said Tuesday Ijaws were increasingly angry at the government and Itsekiris, accusing the two groups of working together to create voting boundaries that are unfavorable to the Ijaws.

The Ijaws, with 8 million people, are the largest ethnic group in the oil-rich Niger Delta. They accuse Nigeria and multinational companies of unfairly favoring smaller, rival tribes with lucrative contracts and development projects.

The latest violence started when Ijaws raided two Itsekiri villages Monday, torching homes. Most of those killed were women and children who were unable to flee, resident Tuoyo Ineh said by telephone.

Gunmen kill Colombian journalist working in state

BOGOTA, Colombia -- Gunmen killed a Colombian print and radio journalist outside his office in the turbulent eastern state of Arauca on Tuesday.

Luis Eduardo Alfonso Parada, 27, was the second reporter with Radio Meridiano-70 killed in the past year. He also was a correspondent for El Tiempo, the Bogota-based daily that is Colombia's most widely read newspaper.

Parada spoke with his assailants after arriving at the radio station in the state capital, also called Arauca, early Tuesday. He tried to flee but was shot dead, police Col. Luis Alcides Morales told The Associated Press.

-- From wire reports


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