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World Briefs

October 21, 1995
Web posted at: 2:33 p.m. EDT (1833 GMT)

Six killed, 100 injured in Saudi mosque bombing

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (Reuter) - Gulf-based diplomats and experts were perplexed by a bomb attack which killed six people in a Saudi Arabian mosque, and said it was too early to establish if it was a vendetta or politically motivated.

A day after the bomb, which hit a mosque in the southwest of the country packed with worshippers attending Friday prayers, details of the incident were still scarce. It was the first known attack in a Saudi Arabian mosque for over a decade.

The Saudi Press Agency SPA on Friday quoted a Saudi interior ministry statement as saying a bomb was thrown into a mosque in Bishah governorate, killing six people and injuring about 100 people out of some 500 in the mosque at the time. The official agency said the attack was believed to have been carried out by someone who had "personal disagreements" with some worshippers.

Egyptian group claims responsibility for Croatian bomb

CAIRO, Egypt (Reuter) - Egypt's largest Muslim militant group on Saturday claimed responsibility for a bomb in Croatia on Friday and vowed to wage war on Croatia unless it released the group's spokesman.

The Islamic Group claimed responsibility in a statement faxed to an international news agency for a bomb in the Croatian port of Rijeka on Friday which killed one person and injured 29.

The group said it detonated the bomb to pressure Croatian authorities into releasing Tala'at Fouad Qassem, their spokesman whose whereabouts were last known when Croatian police detained him last month. The Croatian government said he left the country after he was found guilty of breaking the regulations for being in the country.

Missing Russian helicopter found; 13 crew members survive

MOSCOW (Reuter) - Rescue teams searching for a Russian military helicopter missing in the Arctic with 18 people on board found 13 survivors and four bodies on Saturday, the Emergencies Ministry said.

A spokeswoman said eight of the survivors were injured. One of those aboard when the craft went missing on Thursday appeared still to be unaccounted for. The spokeswoman said the survivors and their tents had been spotted on Bolshevik Island by a helicopter which took off from the icebreaker Sovyetsky Soyuz.

Former head of Chile's secret police jailed

SANTIAGO, Chile (Reuter) - The former head of Chile's secret police entered jail on Saturday to start a seven-year sentence for plotting the Washington murder of Orlando Letelier, ending the country's most controversial human rights case.

Contreras, 65, once head of the now-disbanded DINA secret police, had vowed never to go to jail. His imprisonment is likely to spark renewed tension between the government and military officers, many of whom backed him in his five-month defiance of civilian authorities.

The Supreme Court convicted Contreras in May of ordering the 1976 car-bomb murder of Letelier who served as foreign minister in the government of Marxist President Salvador Allende. Seeing Contreras finally behind bars will carry rich symbolism for millions of Chileans, over whom Contreras held life-and-death powers in the 1970s when he ran the DINA.

China considers limiting number of private cars

BEIJING, China (Reuter) - Chinese transport officials are pushing to overhaul the country's urban transport system, saying private cars are choking city streets and their numbers should be restricted, the China Daily said on Saturday.

It is necessary to control the use of private cars, the newspaper quoted Ministry of Construction official Lin Jianing as saying. The five million passenger cars on urban Chinese roads are expected to increase by 25 percent this year, the Guangming Daily said. More than 30 percent of these will be private cars.


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