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Israel, under strong US pressure, lifted a 10-day siege of Yasser Arafat's West Bank compound that had been prompted by back-to-back suicide bombings. Israeli officials, however, said their forces would remain close enough to capture any of the 50 Palestinian militants they maintain are hiding in the largely demolished headquarters, should they venture out. Arafat denounced the pullback, saying, "This is not withdrawal. This is only moving a few meters away." But Palestinian security officials later said no Israeli troops remained in Ramallah.

Turkish police seized a quantity of uranium and charged two men with smuggling the weapons-grade substance. The state-run Anatolia News Agency said police were acting on a tip when they intercepted the men in Sanliurfa, a southern town about 150 miles from the Iraqi border. While initial reports put the amount of uranium at 35 lbs., a government source told the Agence France-Presse news agency that only about 3 oz. of radioactive material was found, sealed in a 35-pound lead tube.

More than 350 people were confirmed dead with an equal number missing in one of Africa's worst ferry accidents. The state-run MS Joola of Senegal, designed to hold 550 passengers, was carrying nearly 800 when it capsized late Thursday off the coast of Gambia during a severe storm. Only 62 people are known to have survived..

More than 300 Westerners and dual-nationals were evacuated from rebel-held Korhogo, in northern Ivory Coast, by French and US troops Sunday. Dissident Army soldiers have been fighting the government of President Laurent Gbagbo for the past 12 days. African leaders, including South Africa's Thabo Mbeki, held an emergency summit in Accra, Ghana, to consider deploying a regional military force to intervene in the rebellion.

There were conflicting reports on a shootout near the British Embassy in Yemen's capital, Sanaa. Ambassador Frances Guy said at least one police officer was killed after guards ordered a car to move away from the premises, and witnesses said at least four other people were injured. The government, which is engaged in a crackdown on suspected members of Al Qaeda, said three people were hurt in what it termed a nonpolitical dispute between tribesmen and police who tried to disarm them.

Turnout was said to be low as Serbia held its first election since the ouster of Slobodan Milosevic in 2000. Voters in the larger of Yugoslavia's two remaining republics were choosing among 11 candidates for president, with current Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica considered the favorite. He's still expected to face an Oct. 13 runoff vote.


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