Investigators into the terrorist car bomb attack that killed 11 people outside the US Consulate in Karachi, Pakistan, said they now suspect the device was set off by remote control. The blast Friday, first believed to be a suicide mission, also injured 45 people. Responsibility was claimed by a previously unheard-of group calling itself Al-Qanoon, which said the attack was the start of a holy war against the US and its "puppet ally," the Pakistani government. The volatile port city is known to be frequented by Islamic extremists with links to Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda network. Above, a Pakistani guard patrols outside the consulate after the attack. (Story, page 7.)
Work began officially on the first 75-mile section of a controversial security fence that Israel is building to try to confine would-be human bombers to Palestinian areas of the West Bank. The barrier, to be equipped with electronic surveillance gear, is to stretch 220 miles. It is vehemently opposed by Palestinians. Right-wing Israelis also object, in part because it will leave 200,000 Jewish settlers on the far side. All Palestinian bombers so far are believed to have come from the West Bank. (Related story, page 1; opinion, page 9.)
Chanting, "Out! Out! Out!" tens of thousands of protesters marched in Venezuela's capital Saturday, demanding President Hugo Chávez resign. But while the demonstration was peaceful, aides to the leftist leader were at pains to quell rumors of an impending military coup. The march was the largest since a similar rally led to Chávez's brief ouster in mid-April, and organizers vowed more civil disobedience because "the country is not going well with this president." (Story, page 7.)
The top Protestant leader in Northern Ireland beat back an effort by hardliners in his own party to pull out of the 1998 peace deal with Catholics. In the face of rising sectarian violence in the streets, Ulster Unionist Party members loyal to David Trimble defeated a motion Saturday to withdraw from the Protestant/Catholic self-rule administration by July 1. The hardliners want Britain to sanction Sinn Fein, the political ally of the Irish Republican Army, amid reports that the IRA has been testing new weapons in Colombia even as it slowly puts its arms in Ireland beyond use.
One of the two rivals for power in Madagascar denied his sudden trip to Paris meant he'd fled into exile. But Didier Ratsiraka's departure Thursday coincided with a military setback for troops loyal to him, who lost control of three provincial capitals to the forces of President Marc Ravalomanana. Ravalomanana disbanded the government Sunday and ordered formation of a new one that would "appeal to all stakeholders," including Ratsiraka supporters.