- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 27, 2002

Nine killed in attack on Pakistan mosque
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan Gunmen fatally shot nine persons and wounded at least 10 in an attack yesterday on a Shi'ite mosque in Rawalpindi, near Pakistan's capital, Islamabad, police and doctors said.
It was the second attack on Shi'ites in less than a week in Pakistan's central Punjab province, and posed a new challenge for military ruler President Pervez Musharraf in holding together his restive nation.
Police said three gunmen opened fire on worshippers during evening prayers in the Shah-i-Najf mosque. A witness said up to 40 worshippers were in the mosque at the time. The wounded included two teen-age boys.
Mainly Sunni Muslim Pakistan is plagued by sectarian violence, which claimed 400 lives in 2001, particularly at places of worship.
Gunmen fatally shot a local Shi'ite leader and four members of his family in the Punjab province town of Chichawatni on Thursday.

Bomb explodes near Italian ministry
ROME A bomb damaged parked cars and shattered windows near the Interior Ministry in downtown Rome early yesterday. No one was injured, but the explosion rattled nerves in a county on high alert against terrorism.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the 4 a.m. blast. Witnesses said they saw three men walk away after the explosion. The device was planted on a moped around the corner from the Interior Ministry, headquarters of Italy's national police and security services. The ministry was unscathed by the explosion.
The explosion touched a raw nerve in a country that has heightened security in the wake of the September 11 attacks in the United States.
U.S. and Italian security specialists were investigating an underground tunnel found last week alongside the U.S. Embassy here. They were looking into whether a hole in the tunnel was connected to a group of Moroccans arrested last week on suspicion that they were planning a chemical attack.

Albanian-Americans' bodies to be returned
BELGRADE, Yugoslavia The remains of three American brothers of ethnic Albanian origin who were killed and dumped into a mass grave in Serbia will be sent to the United States, the U.S. Embassy said yesterday.
Ylli, Agron and Mehmet Bytyqi were living in New York City and working in a pizza business when they decided to leave the United States to fight for Kosovo's independence against Serbian forces in 1998 and 1999.
The bodies were found in June on top of a grave with more than 70 other Kosovar Albanians in Petrovo Selo, far from Kosovo and about 120 miles east of Belgrade.
A court paper found on one of the brothers identified them and said they were born in Chicago in the 1970s. Their remains were identified by an FBI forensic team.

Madagascar leader names rival government
ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar Madagascar lurched deeper into crisis yesterday as an opposition leader who said he was cheated of victory in a recent presidential election began naming an alternative government a day after one of his supporters was fatally shot.
Thousands of protesters packed the streets of the capital to back Marc Ravalomanana, who declared himself president on Friday insisting the government robbed him of victory in December's presidential election.
Mr. Ravalomanana, the mayor of Antananarivo, raised the stakes again, naming lawyer Jacques Sylla as his prime minister to form the basis of a self-proclaimed government.

Buckingham Palace to host pop concert
LONDON Buckingham Palace is to open its gates for two free star-studded, open-air concerts in June as part of Queen Elizabeth's golden jubilee celebrations.
It will be the first time that concerts, open to the public, will be held on the palace grounds.
On June 1, the palace will host a two-hour classical music concert by the Russian cellist Mstislav Rostropovich and soprano Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.
Elton John, Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Aretha Franklin and Tom Jones are on the lineup for the June 3 pop concert. The queen will attend both events.

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