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World Briefing - 2003-03-13


In the Philippines, Police say they have uncovered a plan by Muslim rebels to stage reprisal attacks if the United States invades Iraq and suggested a radical Southeast Asian group may be linked to a deadly blast last week. The communist New People's Army said Tuesday, U.S. soldiers training Philippine units would be "legitimate targets" if exercises are held near their strongholds.

Israel Radio reports two security guards from a West Bank Israeli settlement have been killed in an apparent accidental shooting by Israeli troops. The shooting took place Thursday afternoon near a Jewish settlement, not far from the West Bank town of Hebron.

In eastern India, three people were killed and six were wounded in a series of explosions in a house. Police said the house, which was destroyed by the blasts on Wednesday, had recently been rented out to three new tenants who were using the premises to make bombs.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Roy Chaderton says that his government has knowledge that unnamed enemies of President Hugo Chavez are calling for his assassination. Mr. Chavez is frequently accused by his domestic and foreign critics of collaborating with Colombian guerrillas, but he has repeatedly denied these accusations.

The World Health Organization has issued a global alert about a severe form of pneumonia, after mysterious outbreaks in China, Hong Kong and Vietnam. The Geneva-based agency issued the alert following reports of what it called atypical pneumonia spreading to hospital staff treating patients with the same respiratory illness in Hanoi and Hong Kong.

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