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Melee occurs at soccer match at Kabul stadium

Saturday, February 16, 2002

KABUL, Afghanistan -- Afghan police, swinging rifle butts and firing shots in the air, fought back a crowd Friday trying to push their way into Kabul's main soccer stadium in a melee that marred a goodwill game between peacekeepers and an Afghan team.

The Afghan crowd responded with volleys of stones, bloodying some of the German and Austrian peacekeepers who tried to maintain order. Some in the crowd picked up smoke canisters and hurled them back at the police.

Fifty Afghans were treated for injuries, mostly to the head, said German medics. Five peacekeepers were also injured when hit by fist-sized rocks thrown at them by the crowd.

Four Israeli soldiers killed in back-to-back incidents

JERUSALEM -- In a double blow to Israel's military, the commander of an elite undercover unit was killed in a freak accident during a West Bank raid, just hours after an 110-pound bomb planted by Palestinian militants destroyed a battle tank -- a first in Israeli history -- and killed three soldiers.

In reprisal for the tank attack Thursday, Israeli warplanes fired missiles at a Palestinian police compound in the Gaza Strip on Friday, killing a lieutenant and wounding 32 officers, four of them critically. Two officers remained missing under the rubble. Army bulldozers also destroyed Palestinian crops near the scene of the tank attack.

In 16 months of fighting, the Israeli army has sustained relatively few casualties, and the deaths of the four soldiers in back-to-back incidents Thursday shook up army brass. Top commanders, still in disbelief, on Friday inspected the tank, which had been torn in two, with the engine blown out and the turret knocked off.

Solemn funeral held for Princess Margaret

WINDSOR, England -- Princess Margaret, a royal who often went her own way, was laid to rest Friday at a ceremony befitting a commoner -- a private family funeral, followed by a cremation.

As flags flew at half-staff across Britain, members of the royal family attended the funeral for Queen Elizabeth II's younger sister at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle, 50 years after Margaret and Elizabeth's father, King George VI, was buried nearby.

The service, complete with trumpeters, a piper, a choir, and an organ playing pieces from Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake," was private.

However, a subdued crowd of nearly 3,000 gathered outside the gates, and people across Britain watched live television coverage of the solemn event.

-- From wire reports


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