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Despite President Bush's call for a withdrawal "without delay," Israel pressed its 10-day offensive against Palestinian militants in the West Bank. Heavy fighting in Nablus left at least six Palestinians dead. Above, an Israeli helicopter gunship fires at houses in the city. The radical Hamas movement, meanwhile, claimed it fired rockets at an Israeli army position at the Erez crossing into the Gaza Strip late Sunday. (Related stories, pages 1, 5.)

In related developments:

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• Israeli warplanes staged air strikes against Hezbollah targets in southern Lebanon after the radical movement fired on Israeli positions, raising concerns of a broadening conflict.

• Pope John Paul II urged Israelis and Palestinians to "take up the path that leads to negotiations." Vatican sources also said talks were under way to end a week-old standoff at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, where some 200 Palestinian fighters, along with several civilians and Catholic priests, are surrounded by Israeli troops.

• Jordan's King Abdullah II reportedly will travel to Cairo today for talks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. The leaders of the only Arab states to sign peace accords with Israel have been under pressure from Syria, Lebanon, and the Palestinians to cut those ties.

• Unknown assailants threw gasoline bombs at police guarding a synagogue in Marseille, France Saturday, the latest in a string of attacks against Jewish religious sites in France.

A car bomb killed at least 10 people and injured dozens more in Villavicencio, Colombia. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but police suspected the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, the larger of the country's two main rebel groups. Sunday's blast came as the city, 40 miles southeast of the capital, Bogota, hosted the Davis Cup tennis tournament between Colombia and Uruguay.

Two rockets were fired toward a compound in Kabul, Afghanistan, housing German and Danish troops with the international security mission there. No one was hurt in the early Sunday incident, a spokesman for the British-led mission said. He added that the attack may have been linked to an alleged plot to destabilize the interim Afghan government. (Related story, page 6.)

Some 1,200 illegal immigrants and supporters marched through Hong Kong Sunday, demanding the right to stay. The territory's highest court gave more than 5,000 mainland Chinese without residency permits until March 31 to leave, touching off daily demonstrations.


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