October 20, 1995
Web posted at: 2:15 a.m. EDT (0550 GMT)
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (CNN) -- Twenty people were dead Friday after suspected Tamil rebels, including Black Tiger suicide bombers, blew up two oil depots in the capital city of Sri Lanka.
Twenty-five others were wounded when they were caught up in the shooting between suspected Liberation Tigers and Tamil Eelam rebels near an oil reserve and then at another oil and gas installation.
Fireballs rocketed into the air and huge plumes of black smoke hung over the city hours after the blasts.
Both depots are roughly two miles from the center of Colombo.
Colombo police chief G.B. Kotakadeniya said that 20 suspected Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam were in involved in the two attacks.
Witnesses said that the rebels ambushed soldiers at the main gate of the reserve, while others infiltrated the plant. The attackers fired rocket-propelled grenades.
ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (Reuter) -- In the Ivory Coast, violent anti-government protesters took to the streets of a town in the central cocoa-growing region. Witnesses said opposition militants set fire Thursday to the local ruling party office.
Ivory Coast has been hit by a wave of unrest in advance of Sunday's presidential elections. On Monday, young people started fires in the capital of Abidjan. Opposition leaders say the ruling party of president Henri Konan Bedie has rigged voter registration.
The political turmoil could undermine government efforts to boost the country's troubled economy by attracting international investment.
LUSAKA, Zambia (CNN) -- Zambia's government has backed away from an investigation that former president Kenneth Kaunda has called "downright stupid."
The ruling party had threatened to deport Kaunda based on charges that he was not a legal Zambian citizen during part of his presidency.
The move comes as Kaunda is planning another run at the presidency that he lost to the incumbent in 1991.
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (CNN) -- Explosions at two main oil depots Thursday outside the capital of Colombo were attributed to Tamil rebels suspected of engineering a series of blasts in Sri Lanka.
There were conflicting reports on the number of dead and injured. Nearby residents fled their homes despite a curfew.
ROME, Italy (CNN) -- An Italian television station reported Thursday that the country's former prime minister, Silivo Berlusconi, plans to present a no-confidence vote against the current Italian government.
The move comes after Italian Justice Minister Felippo Mancuso was ousted by a no-confidence vote in the Senate on Thursday. The vote condemns Mancuso's attempts to discipline anti-corruption magistrates.
Berlusconi's Freedom Alliance party boycotted the ballot, which was called by the center-left coalition. Mancuso is refusing to step down, and is challenging its validity in constitutional court.
MOSCOW (Reuter) -- Russian President Boris Yeltsin said Thursday he will replace his foreign minister, Andrei Kozyrev, as soon as he can find a suitable replacement.
The announcement comes as little surprise. Kozyrev, a liberal, has been harshly criticized by nationalists who accuse him of kowtowing to the West, especially on the issue of the former Yugoslavia. The Russian Parliament has demanded Kozyrev's dismissal, and Yeltsin criticized the foreign minister at a news conference last month. "My dissatisfaction remains," he said Thursday.
Yeltsin charged that Kozyrev, who has held his position for more than five years, was unable to effectively coordinate foreign policy issues with other ministries.
PRETORIA, South Africa (Reuter) -- After a standoff with an ax, South African police shot and arrested a man suspected in the serial killings of at least 40 women and one boy in the Johannesburg and Pretoria area.
Moses Sithole, 31, charged detectives with an ax when they surrounded his hideout east of Johannesburg. He was shot in the arm and stomach and is now hospitalized under police surveillance.
Police last week named ex-convict Sithole as their prime suspect in the serial murders. The victims' bodies were found in railway stations, fields and mine dumps.
GINOWAN, Japan (Reuter) -- Protests erupted Thursday after the crash of a U.S. F-15 fighter jet, throwing further fire on a movement against U.S. military presence in the southern Japanese island, Okinawa.
The plane crashed Wednesday and, although no one was harmed, residents said the accident highlighted the dangers they face living near the massive U.S. military facilities.
Last month's rape of a Japanese school girl, allegedly by three U.S. marines, has sparked a series of anti-base protests. The latest, scheduled for Saturday, is expected to draw some 50,000 islanders to a seaside park in Ginowan.
HONG KONG (Reuter) -- U.S. Commerce Secretary Ron Brown told the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong on Thursday that he had made progress during recent talks with Chinese officials but that problems remain for U.S. companies doing business there.
In his speech, Brown emphasized the importance of commercial links in overall Sino-U.S. relations, but said Chinese laws make it difficult for American companies to invest in many areas and to import and distribute certain products.
Brown said that while progress had been slow, deals worth some $3.5 billion in U.S. currency were moving forward. He added that next week's meeting between Chinese President Jiang Zemin and U.S. President Bill Clinton should help mend recently troubled relations between the countries.
Copyright © 1995 Cable News Network, Inc.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
External sites are not necessarily endorsed by CNN Interactive.