Foreign Digest

FOREIGN DIGEST

October 30, 2002

JERUSALEM — Palestinian is killed after killing 3 in Jewish settlement

JERUSALEM - A Palestinian gunman shot dead two teen-age girls and a woman in a West Bank Jewish settlement before being killed himself in a late night gunbattle with soldiers and local residents, witnesses and the army said.

The gunman also wounded two residents of the settlement of Hermesh in the northern West Bank and one soldier during the rampage late yesterday, said Roni Mizrahi, a resident who saw the shooting.

U.S. builds up forces in Horn of Africa

WASHINGTON - The United States is increasing its forces stationed around the Horn of Africa to about 1,200 troops, allowing them to conduct training missions and remain positioned to stage attacks against al-Qaida fighters who are believed to be hiding in the region, military officials said yesterday.

About 400 troops assigned to the U.S. Central Command will soon arrive in Djibouti to establish a headquarters for the 800 American troops, including Special Operations Forces, already in the East African country or on ships offshore.

At least 59 die in fire in Ho Chi Minh City

HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam - A massive blaze tore through a large building in downtown Ho Chi Minh City, killing at least 59 people. State-controlled newspapers said today the death toll could exceed 100.

Rescuers searched frantically following yesterday's blaze for dozens of people believed still trapped today inside the six-story building, where a wedding reception with more than 500 guests had been taking place.

An American insurance company with offices there was also conducting a training seminar for about 100 employees when the fire erupted. Six staff members of the American International Assurance Co. were still missing, a company official said.

Sicily earthquakes add to volcano emergency

CATANIA, Sicily - A series of earthquakes shook the Mount Etna area yesterday, sending panicked residents of towns into the streets two days after the volcano began erupting.

The Italian government declared a state of emergency for the volcano area, and the Defense Ministry decided to send in 1,000 soldiers. Several minor injuries have been reported.

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