January 3, 1996
Web posted at: 6:15 p.m. EST (2315 GMT)
NEW DELHI, India (CNN) -- A bomb in the Indian capital Wednesday killed at least six people and injured 20 more. The device exploded in the crowded Sadar Bazar business district in the center of the old city, setting off a fire.
A Muslim separatist group based in Kashmir claimed responsibility for the blast and said it had carried out the attack in response to "atrocities" committed by Indian security forces in the northern Himalayan state.
NEW SOUTH WALES, Australia (CNN) -- Rain, hail and high wind lashed southeastern Australia in one of the wettest-ever starts to a new year down under. (306K QuickTime movie) Wild weather swept up from the south and engulfed wide areas of the Australian state of New South Wales. At least two deaths are reported -- a mother and her four-year-son were crushed in their car by a falling branch.
In Sydney, sudden thunderstorms on Tuesday caused local flooding and car accidents and were blamed for a plane crash. A hundred millimeters (four inches) of rain fell on Australia's biggest city. In some areas, vehicles passing through high water created an "inland surf" effect, pushing water so that it looked like ocean waves.
KABUL, Afghanistan (CNN) -- At least 24 people were killed and 58 were wounded as rebel rockets slammed into the Afghan capital overnight and Wednesday, government sources said.
The Taleban Islamic militia believed responsible for the attacks is besieging Kabul and seeks to topple President Burhanuddin Rabbani's government. Rabbani has offered to meet all opposition leaders, including the Taleban and northern warlord Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum, for a possible settlement of the four-year-old civil conflict.
A government official accused Taleban of seeking to create tension and terror in Kabul and undermine the government peace overture.
LONDON (CNN) -- The annual January sale at Harrod's department store is drawing the usual large crowds.
French actor Gerard Depardieu inaugurated the event Wednesday. He rode up in a carriage and listened to the French national anthem played on bagpipes by kilt-wearing musicians before declaring the sale open. (689K QuickTime movie) Depardieu also donated a total of 100,000 pounds ($150,000 U.S.) to two charities, a London-based agency that helps young homeless and a Parisian charity for young drug addicts.
The first in line for the big opening -- two students who were there on a bet -- were rewarded for their nine-hour wait with a champagne breakfast provided by the department store. Harrods expects the sale to attract some 200,000 shoppers and bring in some 25 million pounds ($37.5 million U.S.) between now and Saturday.
CAIRO, Egypt (CNN) -- In a surprising move Tuesday, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak appointed a new prime minister. Some observers said Mubarak made the change to quell rumblings by opponents of his ruling National Democratic Party about the November 26 parliament elections being allegedly rigged. The move appeared to work.
Mubarak installed economist Kamal el-Ganzoury as prime minister, replacing Afef Sedki, who had served in the position for nine years, longer than any prime minister in Egypt's history.
The quick change appeared to curtail complaints that the ruling party won seats in the November 26 elections through widespread vote-rigging and violence.
Mubarak was also expected to replace at least five of the 32 cabinet minister seats. Each cabinet member has served at least five years. The interior, defense, information and foreign affairs seats, the most powerful minister positions, are expected to remain unchanged.
NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania (CNN) -- Mauritanian President Maaouya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya unexpectedly fired Prime Minister Sidi Mohamed Ould Boubacar Tuesday, officials said in a written statement. No reason was given for the prime minister's ouster.
Boubacar has been Mauritania's prime minister for four years.
He is succeeded by the Minister of Fisheries and Maritime Economy, Cheikh El Afia Ould Mohamed Khouna.
UNITED NATIONS (CNN) -- U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali has asked the Security Council to send a contingent of U.N. guards to protect aid workers in Burundi. The secretary-general said that without intervention, ethnic violence in the central African nation could explode on a massive scale.
In a letter to the Security Council released Tuesday, Boutros Ghali also requested a military presence in neighboring Zaire.
Burundian President Sylvestre Ntibantunganya said it would take an ever-vigilant watch in order to keep the country from collapsing.
However, the United Nations refugee agency said that the recent surge in ethnic fighting in northern Burundi appears to have eased.
Sporadic violence between Hutu and Tutsi tribes has plagued Burundi since army officers killed the country's first Hutu president in 1993.
NICOSIA, Cyprus (CNN) -- Iraqi opposition forces claimed Tuesday that they killed an Iraqi general in northern Iraq. They also said the Iraqi government retaliated by attacking villages by helicopter.
The Iraqi National Congress said that they ambushed and killed Brigadier General Mohamed Hamoudi Aboud al-Taie Sunday while he was riding in a convoy at Showan, near Kirkuk. The general's driver was also killed and members of the convoy were taken prisoner by the opposition umbrella group.
According to the congress, Iraqi government helicopters attacked Sartiq, Rahamaniya, and Si Kurdkan in retaliation for the killing.
The general's murder had not been officially confirmed.
The congress is based in the northern Iraq, which is protected from Iraqi government attack by a Western-imposed no-fly zone rule. The rule was established after government forces attacked Kurds there following the end of the 1991 Gulf War.
(CNN) -- While the longest European war since World War II is drawing to a close in Bosnia, 71 so-called "small wars" are still simmering around the globe.
Since 1989, the National Defense Foundation has tracked countries where turmoil disrupted economics, politics or security. Twelve nations were added to the list in 1995, including Bangladesh, Ghana, and Saudi Arabia.
France was added because of incidents of terrorism by Algerian expatriates.
Eight countries were dropped from the list. The Bahamas, Belize, and Costa Rica were removed because of reduced drug activity, and the Irish Republican Army truce allowed the United Kingdom and Ireland to be taken off of the list.
MONROVIA, Liberia (CNN) -- After a day-long truce between guerrillas and African peacekeepers, fighting was sparked again in western Liberia Tuesday.
While peacekeepers attempted to keep the fragile accord that ends six years of civil war, aid workers were forced to turn back from their attempt to enter Tubmanburg. Peacekeepers used tanks and artillery to subdue rebels in the town.
Guerrilla faction leader General Roosevelt Johnson accused the multinational force led by Nigeria of committing atrocities against his soldiers and civilians.
Peacekeeping officials have not commented on the recent outbreak of fighting.
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