November 1, 1995
Web posted at: 2:30 p.m. EST (1930 GMT)
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (CNN) -- Government forces are poised to seize the northern Tamil Tiger guerrilla stronghold of Jaffna, military sources said Wednesday. Sri Lanka's army fears rebel forces may retaliate with ambushes and possible chemical weapon attacks.
Thirteen soldiers and an estimated 35 rebels died as troops captured a junction between the towns of Neerveli and Kopai along the road to Jaffna city. Kopai is the last major town before Jaffna. The military said troops are now less than 4 miles from Jaffna city, located near the end of a thin peninsula in far north Sri Lanka.
Aid workers say the army could move into Jaffna city within hours. A mass exodus of more than 100,000 rebels and civilians has left it a virtual ghost town.
Government officials appealed for international aid Wednesday to help feed and shelter an estimated half a million refugees of the two-week-old government offensive.
The offensive is the army's biggest against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, who are fighting for an independent homeland for minority Tamils in the north and east of the island nation. More than 50,000 people have died in the 12-year war.
MARJAYOUN, Lebanon (CNN) -- Muslim Hezbollah guerrillas killed two Israeli-backed militiamen and wounded five Israeli soldiers Wednesday in attacks in southern Lebanon. The pro-Iranian Hezbollah said the attacks were to avenge last week's death of the anti-Israel Islamic Jihad chief Fathi Shakaki.
Lebanese security sources said one Hezbollah fighter was killed and three wounded in Bisri when the guerrillas fired machine guns and anti-tank rockets at a command post for the Israeli-backed South Lebanon Army.
Israeli security sources said four Israeli soldiers were wounded near Braachit when the guerrillas fired at an Israeli post and a bomb exploded. A fifth soldier was injured in another incident.
In Beirut, Hezbollah said it aimed to avenge the death of Shakaki, who was gunned down Thursday on the Mediterranean island of Malta.
DAMASCUS, Syria (CNN) -- Syria denied Israeli charges that it harbors terrorists. In editorials Wednesday, two leading government newspapers targeted Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and defended Syrian support for radical Palestinian groups based in Damascus and militants fighting Israel's occupation in south Lebanon.
Rabin told an Israeli parliamentary committee Tuesday that Syria was "a center of terrorism."
"Rabin's false accusation to Syria is not only aimed at deforming Syria's image and diverting attention from Israel's arrogance, but also at directing new threats against Syria," the official daily al-Baath said.
The paper claimed the radical groups Syria supports are involved in "legitimate resistance" against the Jewish state.
(CNN) -- Typhoon Zack was poised Wednesday to make landfall along the central coast of Vietnam. Early in the day, the storm was just off the coast between Qui Nhon and Chu Lai, with sustained winds at about 115 miles per hour (185 kilometers per hour).
Heavy rain is expected to fall in the region for the next 28 to 30 hours as Zack moves over land and slowly dissipates.
Meanwhile, another Pacific storm has reached super typhoon strength. Angela was just off the coast of the central Luzon region of the Philippines early Wednesday, with sustained winds of 180 mph (287 kph).
Angela is expected to reach peak intensity within the next 12 to 24 hours, with sustained winds reaching of 190 mph (306 kph).
Samar, Leyte and Naga Islands started experiencing feeder-band rains Wednesday.
The storm could cause major damage, especially in Luzon, where mudflows and damaging floods could occur.
ANKARA, Turkey (CNN) -- A bomb exploded Tuesday at the offices of a leading anti-government group in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq, killing at least 25 people.
Among the dead was Lt. Saif Rashid Sindi, chief of security for the Iraqi National Congress based in Salahuddin, Iraq. Sindi led INC efforts to overthrow Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, according to a statement released by the INC's London office. At least eight civilians also died in the blast.
The INC is composed of Kurdish, Arab, Muslim, Sunni and Shiite factions opposed to Hussein's rule.
DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania (CNN) -- Ten opposition parties in Tanzania said Tuesday they will seek to nullify the results of the country's first multi-party general elections.
Citing polling irregularities and fraud, opposition leaders said they will ask a court to declare the results void and will boycott a scheduled repeat of the elections on November 12. Leaders of Chama Cha Mapinduzi, the ruling party which claimed to have swept the elections, begrudgingly agreed to the new election.
Observers expect that the challenge will impede Tanzania's anticipated transition to a multi-party democracy.
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