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News Briefs

November 11, 1995
Web posted at: 10:25 p.m. EST (0325 GMT)

Europeans mark Armistice Day

LONDON (CNN) -- While Americans were observing Veterans Day, Europeans marked Armistice Day, the end of World War I. In Great Britain, millions paused for two minutes of silence to honor the dead of both that war and World War II, while in France President Jacques Chirac and veterans organizations laid wreaths at that country's Tomb of the Unknowns.

France also honored 13,000 World War I veterans with its highest award, the Legion of Honor.

In Sarajevo, where the 1914 assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand touched off the first World War, U.N. peacekeepers held a service marking the date. Lead by French soldiers, the U.N. troops observed a minute's silence to remember those who died in World War II, as well as the 57 peacekeepers killed in the Balkan conflict.

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Rocket attack kills 35 Afghan civilians

KABUL, Afghanistan (CNN) -- Rockets rained over the Afghan capital Saturday, killing 35 civilians and injuring 50. The government blamed the attack on the rebel Islamic Taleban militia.

But Mullah Mohammad, a Taleban spokesman, said the government forces were deliberately targeting civilians to discredit the rebels.

"Today's rocket attacks were not from our side," he said. "They were from the government side. Whenever government forces are in difficulty at the front they hit civilians."

Afghan government forces and Taleban rebels have been fighting since 1992. The rebels want to install a fundamentalist Islamic government.

Gunmen kill four in Pakistan

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KARACHI, Pakistan (CNN) -- Unidentified gunman killed four people, including a policeman, in separate incidents in Pakistan's largest city Saturday.

A police sub-inspector was shot to death in Karachi's inner city buffer zone area, two youths were killed in separate shootings in the Western Orangi area, and a man was killed while standing on the street in the Mominabad area.

Officials also said at least three people were wounded in shootings. The Pakistani government says that the ethnic Mohajir National Movement (MQM) is responsible for this latest attack in a campaign of violence that has cost almost 1,700 lives this year. The MQM says the government is to blame.

Cairo locater

Tourist bus overturns in Egypt

CAIRO, Egypt (CNN) -- One tourist was killed and 11 others injured Saturday when a tourist bus overturned en route to Cairo, according to Egyptian newspapers.

The papers said that the dead tourist was a 45-year-old German woman, and that four of those injured were in serious condition.

The bus was carrying 24 Russian and German tourists from the Red Sea resort Hurghada to Cairo. The newspapers reported that a rear tire burst and the bus flipped over several times.

Church to stop predicting date of Armageddon

LONDON (CNN) -- After three false alarms this century, the Jehovah's Witnesses now say they will no longer predict the date of the end of the world.

The group first predicted that in the year 1914, the world would end and its followers would be saved. It later made the same prediction for the year 1925, and then for 1975.

"We do not need to know the exact timing of events," senior church officials said in its official Watchtower magazine. "Rather our focus must be on being watchful, cultivating strong faith and keeping busy in Jehovah's service."

Avalanche in Nepal kills 27


KATHMANDU, Nepal (CNN) -- An avalanche hit the camp of a Japanese trekking group in the Mount Everest region of Nepal on Saturday, killing 27 people including 13 Japanese.

The wave of snow buried 11 guides and porters, as well as three local residents. It was believed to be one of biggest avalanche disasters in modern times in Nepal.

Algerians in France start absentee ballot voting

PARIS (CNN) -- Thousands of expatriate Algerians ignored Islamic fundamentalist calls for a boycott and flocked to their country's consulates in France on Saturday to vote in the Algerian presidential election.

About 600,000 Algerians in France are allowed to vote ahead of the November 16 election, so their ballots can be counted in time.

A survey Friday indicated that Algerian immigrants, who are voting at 22 consulates and other polling stations across France, preferred anti-Islamic hawk Said Saadi to President Liamine Zeroual, who is widely expected to win.

Voting in France is being held on Saturday, Sunday and next Thursday amid tight security after a wave of bomb attacks, blamed on Algerian Muslim militants, which has killed seven people and wounded 170 others.

Chirac decorates World War I veterans

PARIS (CNN) -- French President Jacques Chirac pinned the red ribbon of the Legion of Honor medal on some World War I veterans Saturday -- including one who is 101 years old.

They were among 1,355 surviving soldiers of the war who received the award during ceremonies throughout the country on the 77th anniversary of Armistice Day. Chirac later laid a wreath at the tomb of France's Unknown Soldier under the Arch of Triumph in central Paris.

Exiled Tibetans protest China's role in selecting leader


BEIJING, China (CNN) -- The Tibetan government-in-exile has protested China's reported decision to annul the Dalai Lama's choice of a successor for a top spiritual position.

China reportedly summoned Tibetan lamas to Beijing this week to begin meetings to identify the reincarnation of the Panchen Lama, who after the Dalai Lama is the second-ranking Tibetan religious leader.

According to the Tibetan government-in-exile, based in India, China has narrowed the choice of the Panchen Lama's successor to three boys, none of whom are the one announced by the Dalai Lama in May. The Dalai Lama's selection is a 6-year- old son of a herder in the Tibetan village of Nagqu. The Dalai Lama identified him as the reincarnation of the Panchen Lama, who died in 1989.

Croatian troops move into exclusion zone near Serbia


ERDUT, Croatia (CNN) -- Croatia moved troops and heavy artillery into a U.N. exclusion zone near its border with Serbia on Friday.

The United Nations said the troops were near the western edge of eastern Slavonia, traditionally part of Croatia but currently held by rebel Serbs.

U.N. mediator Thorvald Stoltenberg and U.S. Ambassador Peter Galbraith met Friday with Serbs in this town near the border in effort to negotiate a solution. The Croatian president has warned that he would retake eastern Slavonia by force if there is no negotiated settlement.


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