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World datelines


KRIBI — Central African leaders officially opened the taps Saturday on one of the largest private investments in sub-Saharan Africa — a 663-mile, $3.7 billion oil pipeline snaking from Chad through virgin rain forests to the Atlantic.


KINSHASA — Congo's government said Saturday it was hunting the leader of a failed coup d'etat after the renegade presidential guard fled south of the capital, chased by army vehicles and helicopters.


BERLIN — Libyan envoys and German lawyers made progress in talks to settle compensation claims over a 1986 Berlin disco bombing that killed three people, including two U.S. soldiers, and injured 229 others, one of the attorneys said Saturday.

FRIEDRICHSHAFEN — Makers of the revived Zeppelin airship delivered their first helium-filled craft to a commercial user Saturday, a Japanese company that plans to use the 12-seat craft for sightseeing trips and advertising.


SRINAGAR — Suspected rebels threw a grenade into a crowded tourist restaurant Saturday in Indian-controlled Kashmir, killing four people and injuring 25 others, mostly tourists, police said. The grenade blast triggered off an explosion of a cooking gas canister in the popular Poornima restaurant in Pahalgam, a holiday resort, adding to the casualties, said Saifuddin, a local police officer, who uses only one name.


DUBLIN — Voters have overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment to tighten Ireland's liberal citizenship laws, partial results showed Saturday.


GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia made a rare trip Saturday to the Gaza Strip to confer with security officials and political and militant leaders about the future of the volatile region after a planned Israeli withdrawal. Before the meeting, a top Hamas leader said the militant group would continue attacks on Israelis, despite the withdrawal plans.


NAPLES — Three U.S Navy sailors were killed and two suffered serious injures in a car crash in this southern Italian city early Saturday, a naval official said. The cause of the accident was not immediately clear, spokeswoman Lt. Cmdr. Lisa Braun said. U.S. naval and Italian authorities were investigating.

PALERMO, Sicily — A court convicted and sentenced 30 top Sicilian mobsters to life imprisonment after a 10-year trial covering a total of 77 murders.


PESHAWAR — Pakistani troops backed by helicopter gunships and fighter jets searched the mountains, skirmishing with militants Saturday as they closed in on a cluster of suspected al-Qaida hideouts and a training facility near the Afghan border.


ANKARA — Two soldiers were killed Saturday in an attack on a military vehicle in southeastern Turkey, and the leader of a pro-Kurdish party urged rebels to halt an escalating campaign of violence. The Kurdish rebels set off a remote-controlled explosive device on a road in Tunceli province, 500 miles southeast of the capital Ankara during a routine military patrol, the Anatolia news agency reported.

United Nations

Former U.S. Secretary of State James A. Baker III resigned as the top U.N. envoy to Western Sahara after failing for seven years to resolve a conflict between Morocco and Polisario Front rebels, a U.N. spokesman said.


TASHKENT — A gay journalist whose conviction for sodomy and having sex with minors has been internationally condemned as politically motivated may have to wait up to a month before his early release, a prison official said Saturday.


SAN'A — A gunman opened fire with an automatic rifle on worshippers in a mosque outside the capital during midday prayers, killing four people and wounding six, according to Yemeni police. The shooter, identified by a police official as Abdel Fattah Saleh, fired randomly during Friday prayers at a mosque in the province of Dhammar, 40 miles south of the capital, San'a.