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Russia says it killed U.S. pilot in Vietnam

Soviet troops secretly fighting in wartime Vietnam shot down a U.S. aircraft and executed its pilot to hide their tracks, two U.S. senators said Wednesday after visiting Moscow. Prisoners of war are supposed to be protected from mistreatment under the 1949 Geneva Conventions. Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Bob Smith, R-N.H., said they were told of the alleged incident by the son of a late Soviet soldier attached to a surface-to-air missile battery. Kerry and Smith are the heads of a Senate panel investigating the fate of the 2,267 Americans listed as missing after the Vietnam War. Kerry said the pilot's helmet was said to be in Moscow and his dog tags in Minsk. The Russian government had agreed to help retrieve them, Kerry added.

U.N. to Libya: Act on bombings cases

UNITED NATIONS _ Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali will send a letter to Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi shortly saying that anything short of complying with U.S., British and French demands on two airline bombings would be unacceptable, diplomats said Wednesday. The United States and Britain have demanded Tripoli hand over two agents under indictment for the midair bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in December 1988 that killed 270 people. France wants Libya to produce four agents for an investigation on the bombing of a French UTA airline in September 1989 over Niger that killed 171 people. The United States, Britain and France are consulting on a Security Council resolution that would impose a broad ban on civil aviation links with Libya, a ban on arms sales and a downgrading of foreign diplomatic representation in Libya and abroad.

Cuba says 3 from Miami captured

HAVANA _ Three armed Cuban exiles from the United States were captured by Cuban police and a fourth was killed when they were caught trying to pick up smuggled cocaine hidden off the island's northern coast, Cuban authorities said Wednesday. A statement published by the official Cuban newspaper Granma said Cuban security forces seized 629 pounds of cocaine during the anti-drugs operation between Feb. 14 and 16 at a tiny, isolated island off the coast of the central province of Ciego de Avila. The drug traffickers, all residents of Miami, had traveled from there in a fast launch to Cayo Caiman de la Mata de Coco, an island northeast of Punta Alegre, the statement said. The dead man was named as Samuel Marcelo Gonzalez. His captured companions were David Queros Martinez, Lazaro Biton Rodriguez and Alain Pico Treto, the statement said.

Elsewhere ...

AMRITSAR, India _ Almost a third of Punjab's voters defied militant intimidation and voted on Wednesday to elect a new state government that would end five years of Indian government rule.

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania _ Leaders of Tanzania's ruling Revolutionary Party on Wednesday formally voted to switch to a multiparty system, ending 30 years of one-party socialism.

POTCHEFSTROOM, South Africa _ The governing National Party of President F.W. de Klerk suffered a defeat Wednesday night as a coveted parliamentary seat here fell to the right-wing Conservative Party's Andries Beyers.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti _ The U.S. Coast Guard brought back 516 refugees from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on Wednesday, bringing the total of boat people returned to Haiti since the Sept. 30 coup to 4,446, the Red Cross said.

SANTIAGO, Chile _ Chile said it would give refuge to former East German leader Erich Honecker if Russia grants him safe-conduct from the Chilean Embassy in Moscow.