Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Briefs

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Briefs

Article excerpt

WORLD RUSSIA Chechnya Shoots Down Russian Jet

Rebels shot down the first Russian fighter plane in the war in secessionist Chechnya on Saturday. The pilot twas killed, Russian government television reported.

Thousands of civilians have been killed since President Boris Yeltsin sent troops into Chechnya on Dec. 11. o

Russian planes have attacked Chechnya for nearly two months to quash the southern republic's bid for independence. AP

***** ITALY 4 Are Suspects In Florence Museum Blast

Four reputed mobsters were listed as suspects Saturday in the May 1993 bombing of the Uffizi Museum in Florence that caused heavy damage to its priceless art collection.

The two suspects accused of masterminding the Florence bombing are alleged Sicilian Mafia bosses who are now in hiding. Both have been implicated in attacks and murders in Sicily, officials said. The other two are already jailed on drug charges and are under investigation for bombings that targeted famous churches in Rome.

The Uffizi blast damaged 33 paintings and tore through a wing of the museum, known for its irreplaceable collection if Italian Renaissance art. A few of the works have been restored and put back on display, but many pieces were so seriously damaged they may be irreparable. AP

***** ISRAEL Officials Shut Down Road To Jericho

Israel, citing "security reasons," closed off the self-rule area of Jericho from the rest of the West Bank for much of Saturday.

Israeli military sources said the army reopened the main road to West Bank town of Jericho on Saturday evening but would not say why it had been closed, other than for security reasons.

Israel Television said the move had thwarted a planned attack by Muslim militants, but the Israeli army and a senior Palestinian official denied the report.

Jibril Rajoub, the Palestinian security chief in the self-rule enclave, earlier complained that the Israeli closure had turned Jericho into "a prison."

The Palestine Liberation Organization took control of Jericho and the Gaza Strip last May under its 1993 peace agreement with Israel. Israel sealed off the West Bank and Gaza after a Palestinian suicide bomb attack, which killed 21 Israelis on Jan. 22. Reuters

***** NORTH KOREA Nuclear Agreement With U.S. In Jeopardy

North Korea is threatening to pull out of its nuclear agreement with Washington if the United States holds its annual spring military exercise with South Korea.

On Saturday, North Korea said that the exercises were a rehearsal for an invasion, and in the past has protested by canceling talks.

In past years, about 100,000 U. …

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