World briefs 05/05/03

Monday, May 5, 2003

Four bombs explode in southern Turkish city

ISTANBUL, Turkey -- Four bombs exploded in the southern Turkish city of Adana late Sunday, shattering the windows of several shops and homes. Police said no one was injured.

One of the bombs went off on a street behind the U.S. Consulate, but authorities do not believe the Consulate was the target.

An officer who declined to be named said police suspect the bombs were the work of one person trying to get attention. He did not elaborate.

Police were searching throughout the city for those responsible, private television CNN-Turk reported.

U.S. officials could not be reached for comment.

Adana is a few miles from the air base of Incirlik, where 1,400 U.S. soldiers are stationed.

Israeli opposition leader resigns after campaign

JERUSALEM -- The leader of Israel's opposition Labor Party, who guided the party to its worst election defeat in 55 years, resigned Sunday, throwing Israel's peace camp into further disarray.

Amram Mitzna, 58, a dovish ex-general and former mayor of the port city of Haifa, said he was convinced his policies were the right ones, but intrigue and interference from other party leaders after the drubbing at the polls in January had proven too much.

His resignation cut off a meteoric career in national politics just seven months after it began.

Party secretary Ofir Pines said he expected a new leader to be chosen by the end of July.

Mitzna was a leading voice against Labor's rejoining the government of Ariel Sharon, and his resignation reopens the possibility that a more centrist leader might join forces with the hardline prime minister.

Separatists in Philippines attack, take hostages

MANILA, Philippines -- Muslim guerrillas attacked a town and took hostages Sunday as they withdrew from fighting that killed at least 22 people, military officials said.

The nighttime raid by about 100 members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front injured dozens of people in the town of Siocon in the southern province of Zamboanga del Norte, officials said.

The guerrillas fired on houses, town hall, a hospital and public market -- then fought army troops, killing 16 soldiers and wounding eight more, said military spokesman Lt. Col. Daniel Lucero. Six guerillas also were killed and 15 civilians were wounded, he said.

A rebel spokesman, Eid Kabalu, said two guerrillas were killed and 11 wounded.

Lucero said the guerrillas took 15 hostages, but soldiers recovered all but four. Rescued hostages included the wife and child of the town's mayor.

Saudi man beheaded in public for murder

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia -- A Saudi man convicted of murder was beheaded in a public execution Sunday, the Interior Ministry said.

Abdul Rahman bin Hanash al-Shihri was found guilty of fatally shooting another man following a dispute, the ministry said in a statement. Authorities did not disclose details of the crime.

Al-Shihri was beheaded in public in the capital Riyadh. It was the sixth public execution this year in the Gulf kingdom.

Last year, at least 49 people, including two women, were beheaded, down from 81 in 2001. Under laws rooted in a strict interpretation of Islam, Saudi Arabia imposes the death penalty for murder, rape, apostasy, drug trafficking and armed robbery.

Building collapse in Cairo kills at least seven

CAIRO, Egypt -- An apartment building collapsed in Cairo, killing seven people with at least five more reported missing in the rubble.

The seven-story building in a crowded, working class suburb of northern Cairo, collapsed Saturday night. Rescue crews were searching for at least five people still believed to be in the rubble of the building that housed 11 families.

Eight people were injured, including four who were in serious condition.

-- From wire reports

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