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World digest 07/20/04

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Israel hits Gaza militant headquarters; 5 hurt

JERUSALEM -- Israeli missiles twice hit a house in a Gaza refugee camp on the beach, wounding a militant Palestinian leader and four other people, a spokesman for a Palestinian group said. The two airstrikes, one on Monday afternoon and the other after midnight, targeted the same house in the Shati refugee camp next to Gaza City on the Mediterranean, according to witnesses and a spokesman for the Popular Resistance Committee. The Israeli military refused to comment on either attack. In Gaza City, the Popular Resistance Committee spokesman Abu Abir said the airstrike was aimed at a house used by Abed Quka, the group's leader in northern Gaza. He was wounded in the attack, but his condition was not known.

Egyptian hostage freed in Iraq after two weeks

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- An Egyptian truck driver held captive for two weeks by insurgents in Iraq was freed Monday, just hours after the Philippines withdrew the last of its 51 peacekeepers in a bid to save the life of a Filipino man held by a different group. Alsayeid Mohammed Alsayeid Algarabawi, whose capture was first reported July 6 in a video showing him surrounded by masked gunmen, was brought to the Egyptian Embassy in Baghdad on Monday evening. He appeared healthy. As Algarabawi walked free, Philippine officials waited for word on the fate of truck driver Angelo dela Cruz. Kidnappers holding dela Cruz demanded the Manila government pull its 51 peacekeepers from Iraq earlier than their scheduled Aug. 20 departure or else they would kill him.

Explosion at Kashmir rally kills three, injures dozens

SRINAGAR, India -- A key minister in the Indian portion of Kashmir survived a second apparent attempt on his life Monday when a bomb exploded at a public rally, killing five people and wounding at least 50 others, police said. Deputy chief minister Mangat Ram Sharma was at a public gathering in Kapran, a remote village in India's Jammu-Kashmir state, when the bomb went off near the speakers' podium, police officer Syed Ashiq told The Associated Press. More than a dozen militant groups have been fighting for Kashmir's independence from India or its merger with Pakistan since 1989. More than 65,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in the conflict.

-- From wire reports


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