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Scores feared dead in Ethiopia depot blast

A military ammunition depot exploded in a series of thunderous blasts early Tuesday, burning almost a square mile of factories, shops and ramshackle homes. Scores were feared dead. Officials said it could take at least two days to establish the final toll in the blasts, which the interim government of the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front blamed on saboteurs. No one claimed responsibility for the explosions, which came one week after the main rebel group shot its way into Addis Ababa and took over the government following the flight into exile of former President Mengistu Haile Mariam.Elsewhere ...

TOKYO _ Nearly 30 journalists, scientists, farmers and emergency workers who have been missing since a giant volcanic eruption shook southwestern Japan on Tuesday appear to have died, military officials said, virtually all of them in a village that was burned away in a torrent of lava and stone from Mount Unzen.

WASHINGTON _ U.S. Sen. Connie Mack, in a rare split with the Bush administration, said Tuesday that he opposes granting most-favored-nation trade status to China. Speaking on the second anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, Mack, R-Fla., said China has not granted freedom to its people.

TIRANA, Albania _ President Ramiz Alia on Tuesday failed to name a new premier to replace Fatos Nano, who resigned along with his government earlier in the day after being unable to stop a crippling nationwide strike. A labor leader said the strike would end as soon as a new premier is appointed.

MAJDALYOUN, Lebanon _ Israeli warplanes pounded guerrilla bases in south Lebanon early today, leaving at least 13 Palestinian fighters dead and 38 people wounded, including a dozen schoolchildren, in three of the heaviest Israeli raids since 1982. The strikes came on the ninth anniversary of Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon.

JERUSALEM _ Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir Tuesday rejected a U.N. role in a Middle East peace conference, apparently rebuffing Washington's efforts to keep a peace initiative alive.

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