Tough job Opponents of Tehran's Islamic government invaded...

Newswatch . . . ON THE WORLD

April 06, 1992

Tough job Opponents of Tehran's Islamic government invaded Iranian diplomatic missions in New York, Ottawa, and eight Western European countries, seizing hostages and wrecking offices in a wave of coordinated attacks in retaliation for pre-dawn Iranian air strikes on a rebel base in Iraq.

In New York, five men armed with knives invaded the Iranian Mission to the United Nations, took three hostages, smashed furniture and computers, and spray-painted slogans on walls in a two-hour rampage behind chained doors. Two of the hostages escaped when police broke through a back door, and the third was released unharmed when the intruders surrendered to police negotiators.

Scores of demonstrators were arrested, and many of the Iranian missions were extensively damaged, some by firebombs. There were many minor injuries, but no serious injuries, in clashes that erupted in Bonn, Hamburg, The Hague, Oslo, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Bern, Paris and London.

Italians vote for change

Italians have voted in parliamentary elections to rebuff the Christian Democrat-led coalitions that have governed for four decades, early projections indicated today.

The first projections were based on early returns for the Senate, considered slightly less representative than the Chamber of Deputies because voters must be 25 years old instead of 18 to cast ballots.

But if the trend held, the result could make it difficult to put together an authoritative coalition to deal with such pressing problems as organized crime and reforms needed to keep pace with European integration.

Initial projections from the voting showed the Christian Democrats, which have dominated every government since World War II, receiving a record low 25.9 percent, down from 34 percent in 1987.

Nun to testify

Diana Ortiz, an American nun who says government security forces kidnapped and raped her in 1989, has returned to Guatemala to testify in the case.

NB Ms. Ortiz, 33, an Ursuline nun based in Kentucky, arrived with

her two lawyers and other nuns yesterday and was to stay at the residence of Ambassador Thomas Stroock. She planned to meet Archbishop of Guatemala Prospero Penados del Barrio today, the day before she is to appear before the judge handling the case.

Clashes rock Bosnia

Violence rocked the capital of the Yugoslav republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina on the eve of a European Community meeting that will decide whether to recognize it as an independent state.

Yesterday's, the worst in ethnically diverse Bosnia since World War II, stoked fears of civil war pitting Muslims and Croats who want to split from Yugoslavia against opposing Serbs. Gun battles and air attacks flared across the republic, prompting leaders of all three ethnic groups and the Yugoslav army to issue a joint televised appeal for peace.

Experts in Iraq

U.N. weapons experts arrived in Iraq yesterday to check on preparations to destroy thousands of chemical rockets and shells later this year.

Ron Manley, the British head of the 14-member team, told reporters in Baghdad they would inspect plants that Iraqi authorities are building at the country's main Muthana facility to dispose of the chemical munitions.

Levy to stay on

Israeli Foreign Minister David Levy pulled back at the last minute yesterday, withdrawing the resignation he had announced a week ago in exchange for promises of a larger slice of power if his party leads Israel's next government.

Eleventh-hour concessions to Mr. Levy by Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir put an end for the moment to a crisis that had threatened to split the governing Likud bloc at the start of a campaign for the national election on June 23.

Peru dissolves Congress

President Alberto Fujimori of Peru announced yesterday that he was dissolving Congress and suspending the constitution. Troops in armored personnel carriers patrolled the capital's main thoroughfares. Peru is mired in a deep recession and beset by the hemisphere's most violent guerrilla insurgency.

Mr. Fujimori announced the moves in an unannounced 22-minute television address, saying he was ordering them as commander-in-chief of the military in the name of guaranteeing order and preserving democracy.

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