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The Sunni Triangle of Iraq braced for US retaliation for Wednesday's murder and mutilation of four American civilians in Fallujah. Postwar administrator Paul Bremer denounced the "barbarism" and vowed the deaths "will not go unpunished." But in a second straight day of anti-US violence in or outside the city, three soldiers were hurt when a roadside bomb exploded beside their vehicle. Meanwhile, a US-sponsored business fair, the largest of its type in the postwar era, was postponed until further notice. It was to have opened Monday.

Another Muslim radical exploded a bomb in Uzbekistan, killing another person, critically wounding herself, and extending the terrorist violence there into a fifth straight day. The death was the 44th since the bombing spree - and attempts by police to stop it - erupted last weekend. The Interior Ministry said there was a clear link between those involved and Al Qaeda. Uzbekistan has closed all border crossings until further notice.

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Attention turned to the broad-based proposal for reunifying Cyprus offered by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan following peace talks among the concerned parties. But although Annan's plan had the backing of the Turkish government, the reaction of the Greek side was cautious. The plan is slated for an April 24 referendum in both sectors of the bitterly split island, but opinion polls have consistently indicated almost certain defeat at the hands of Greek Cypriot voters.

An inconclusive outcome is widely predicted Friday as voters in Sri Lanka choose a new Parliament. Late opinion polls indicated President Chandrika Kumaratunga's United People's Freedom Alliance would win no more than 101 seats, to 99 for the United National Alliance of her bitter rival, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. That would give neither a mandate in efforts to pursue peace with the island's Tamil separatists and would force the winner into a coalition with smaller parties. Hundreds of thousands of Tamils who sat out the last election because of fighting between rebel forces and government troops are expected to vote this time.

NATO units conceded they'd failed in a predawn raid aimed at capturing former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, one of the world's most wanted war-crimes fugitives. The raid centered on an Orthodox church and rectory in Pale, Karadzic's headquarters during the 1992-95 Bosnian war. A priest and his son were hurt and required hospitalization. Karadzic is charged with murder, rape, torture, and other forms of inhumane treatment of non-Serbs in the former Yugoslav republic.


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