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In a new slap in the face to Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, gunmen from Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade infiltrated an Israeli Army post near the Gaza Strip Sunday, killing four soldiers before being shot dead themselves. The attack was the first of its type since Abbas's summit last week with President Bush and Israeli leader Ariel Sharon, at which he pledged to take violence out of the Palestinian campaign for independence. But Hamas vowed increased terrorism attacks until Abbas "retracts" his remarks at the summit.

Twenty-five of the 29 wounded peacekeepers from Germany were flying home for medical treatment after the worst terrorist attack to date in postwar Afghanistan. Four others died Saturday when a taxi packed with explosives blew up beside their bus in Kabul. The attack was blamed on Al Qaeda. The peacekeepers said they'd heard so many car-bomb warnings that filtering out the false alarms was almost impossible.

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Tens of thousands of frightened refugees were streaming out of Liberia's capital as advancing rebel forces battled President Charles Taylor's troops. The strongest rebel push yet to oust Taylor came despite their pledge Friday not to try entering the city in order to avoid civilian casualties. The rebels said Sunday they'd given him 72 hours to abandon the presidency.

Heavy gunfire was heard in the streets of Mauritania's capital, and dissident troops were seen inside the presidential palace in an apparent coup attempt against pro-Western leader Maaouya Sid'Ahmed Ould Taya. Taya, who seized power himself in a 1984 coup, apparently was being targeted for siding with the international crackdown on terrorism and for establishing diplomatic relations with Israel.

Permission to meet with democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi appeared no nearer to being granted Sunday for the visiting UN special envoy to Myanmar (Burma). Instead, the ruling junta blamed the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize-winner, currently in its custody, for the May 30 clash between her supporters and those of the regime in which four people died. The envoy, Razali Ismail, is under UN orders to meet with Suu Kyi and will cut short his mission if approval is denied, sources said.

An all-out effort to encourage voting was under way Sunday in Poland after only an 18 percent turnout the day before for a critical referendum on joining the European Union. At least a 50 percent turnout is required for the outcome to be valid. Otherwise, parliament must ratify membership by a two-thirds vote.


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