- The Washington Times - Monday, October 21, 2002

Pakistan bomb blast kills one, hurts 16
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan An explosion in a crowded market near a military base west of Islamabad killed a girl and injured 16 other persons yesterday, officials said.
No one claimed immediate responsibility for the blast in eastern Punjab province, and police and Interior Ministry officials said they were not sure who was behind it.
The girl, of undisclosed age, died from her injuries after being taken to a hospital, officials said.
The state-run Associated Press of Pakistan said the explosion was caused by a time bomb in a vegetable bag placed at the entrance to the Sunday Bazaar.
The explosion occurred in Kamra, about 45 miles west of the capital, Islamabad.

Yugoslavs vote pro-independence
PODGORICA, Yugoslavia The pro-independence party of President Milo Djukanovic won a majority of seats in parliamentary elections in the Yugoslav republic of Montenegro yesterday, according to unofficial results.
With more than 90 percent of the ballots counted, Mr. Djukanovic's Democratic Party of Socialists won 39 seats in the 75-seat parliament, independent election monitors said.
The main opposition challenger, the Socialist People's Party, which advocates a continuation of the Yugoslav federation between Montenegro and Serbia, won 30 seats.
While claiming an "absolute majority," Mr. Djukanovic said he would invite the ethnic Albanian parties to participate "so our government will reflect the multiethnic and multicultural diversity of Montenegro."

Castro admirer edges ahead in Ecuador
GUAYAQUIL, Ecuador Five candidates were fighting for the lead in Ecuador's presidential race yesterday, setting the stage for a second round in a contest characterized by paper-thin margins, early official returns showed.
With 60 percent of the votes counted, Lucio Gutierrez, a cashiered army colonel who is an admirer of Fidel Castro and Venezuela's leftist President Hugo Chavez, surged into the lead with 17.88 percent of the votes.
He was followed by banana magnate Alvaro Noboa, with 17.65 percent; center leftist Leon Roldos, with 16.46 percent; former President Rodrigo Borja, a center-left social democrat, with 15.20 percent; and Xavier Neira, candidate of the right-wing Social Christians, with 15.57 percent.
All claimed in televised news conferences that they had won a spot in the second round on Nov. 24. A runoff between the two top vote-getters takes place if no candidate receives 50 percent.

Mahathir again invokes Muslim oil weapon
JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammed, on a visit to Saudi Arabia, yesterday renewed his call on Muslim oil-producing states to use oil as a weapon to defend their interests.
Mr. Mahathir stopped short of linking any oil embargo to a U.S. attack on Iraq or to the Middle East conflict.
"The Muslim nations have a lot of oil, which can be used as part of our strategy," Mr. Mahathir told reporters in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah.
He also repeated a warning that any attack on Iraq would not be productive or help the global war on terror.

Brazil's Lula on path to runoff victory
RIO DE JANEIRO A week before Brazil's presidential runoff, the victory of leftist Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva looked all but inevitable yesterday, although his centrist rival still was trying to turn the tide.
Jose Serra, backed by the ruling coalition, was to make a television statement last night containing an emotional appeal emphasizing Mr. Lula da Silva's lack of experience in handling the country's financial crisis and the economy in general.
But opinion polls leave little doubt the world's fourth-largest democracy is poised Sunday to elect its first working-class president. Mr. Lula da Silva, a former metalworker and union leader, is making his fourth try for the presidency.
A survey by the Datafolha pollsters published Saturday showed support for Mr. Lula da Silva rising to 66 percent from 64 percent among respondents planning to cast valid votes.

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