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World Briefing - 2003-04-02

A bomb blast ripped through a wharf in the southern Philippine city of Davao, killing at least 15 people and injuring three-dozen others. Police say the homemade bomb was hidden in a food stall near the busy passenger terminal. No one claimed immediate responsibility for the blast, but President Gloria Arroyo blamed terrorists. This is the second fatal bombing in Davao in less than a month.

The Serb chairman of Bosnia’s collective presidency has resigned in a scandal involving espionage and illegal arms sales to Iraq. Mirko Sarovic turned in his resignation just days after NATO officials announced they had evidence implicating him in spying activities aimed at alliance troops and international officials in Bosnia-Herzegovina. International investigators have also linked Mr. Sarovic to a shipment of spare parts for military aircraft to Iraq.

Political and rebel leaders from the Democratic Republic of Congo have formally signed a comprehensive peace settlement to end nearly five years of war. It includes a transitional constitution and partial agreement on defense and security measures. President Joseph Kabilla, who was absent from today’s ceremony, must approve the plan within three days.

Rebels in Ivory Coast say they will attend Thursday’s cabinet meeting of a power-sharing government aimed at ending six months of civil war. The northern and western-based insurgents say they want to show their commitment to a French-brokered peace accord. A UN envoy says their presence will be an important step, but adds work is still needed to bring stability to Ivory Coast.