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ALGIERS - Suspected Islamic militants shot and killed three people Wednesday despite the scheduled start of a cease-fire called by one Islamic faction.


NEW DELHI - Two bombs exploded in a crowded shopping area of Delhi's old quarter Wednesday, injuring 16 people. Most of the injured were pedestrians and shoppers thronging the Sadar Bazaar area, home to many of the capital's wholesale markets, police said. The crowds are larger at this time of the year because of major Hindu festivals in October.


Palestinian President Yasser Arafat said on Wednesday that the United States was now convinced that Israel was trying to escape from its Middle East peace obligations.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's defiance of a U.S. demand that he suspend construction on the West Bank puts him on a collision course with the Clinton administration.


HANOI - The remains of six American servicemen listed as missing in action from the Vietnam War have been repatriated to the United States.


PARIS - Paris commuters were forced to leave their cars at home and ride public transit for free Wednesday after France clamped down for the first time on driving as part of a package of anti-pollution measures to combat heavy smog.

Declaring Iran had not changed under its new leadership, U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright is sharply criticizing France over a $2 billion natural gas deal struck by a French company. "They just don't get it," Albright says.


MOSCOW - President Boris Yeltsin told the United States Wednesday to keep out of a controversial $2 billion Iranian natural gas deal which also involves Russia and France, Interfax news agency said.


BEIJING - U.S. authorities have accused China of not cooperating sufficiently with an investigation into tainted cough syrup that killed at least 80 children in Haiti. The over-the-counter syrup contained gly-cerin contaminated with diethylene glycol, a poisonous chemical.


ATHENS - A glittering collection of Neolithic gold trinkets as much as 6,500 years old was put on display by Greek police Wednesday after the arrest of two men accused of trying to sell the artifacts overseas.


RIO DE JANEIRO - Brazilian authorities are taking no chances with the health of Pope John Paul II when he visits Rio this week, laying on a small army of doctors in case the four-day tropical marathon overwhelms the frail pontiff.


KINSHASA - President Laurent Kabila said Wednesday that he would send soldiers to neighboring Brazzaville to hunt for artillery that has shelled and killed civilians in his capital Kinshasa.


Iranian opposition groups meeting in Baghdad, Iraq, vowed Wednesday to escalate their struggle to overthrow the Tehran government, the country's main exiled opposition movement Mujahideen Khalq said.


TOKYO - A former Japanese military police officer Wednesday became the first Japanese to admit in civil court that he committed atrocities against Chinese during World War II.