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U.N. to Iraq: Allow arms monitoring - or else

The Security Council on Wednesday threatened Iraq with "serious consequences" for refusing to permit future monitoring of its arms industries and not cooperating fully with U.N. weapons inspectors.

The council also authorized Rolf Ekeus, executive chairman of the special commission in charge of scrapping Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, to meet high-level Iraqi officials and secure "unconditional acceptance by Iraq of its obligations." Ekeus said he expected to be in Baghdad on Friday.

He would not spell out the "serious consequences." There was no mention of any kind of military action.

The Security Council at the end of the gulf war a year ago adopted a series of cease-fire resolutions requiring Iraq to help U.N. teams eliminate nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and Scud missiles.

Ekeus said that he had a "relatively good picture" of Iraq's weapons capability but that he needed acceptance of plans for long-term monitoring, involving numerous U.N. teams for an unspecified period.

Iraq has rejected the monitoring, saying it violated the U.N. charter on interfering in the internal affairs of a member nation.

Israelis, guerrillas step up bombing: Pro-Iranian guerrillas fired rockets into Israel in a rare daylight bombardment Wednesday. Israel replied with artillery shells and air strikes.

Thousands of Lebanese villagers in Yater, Kafra and Kabrikha fled to escape duels reminiscent of the prelude to Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon. But Israeli Prime Minister Yizhak Shamir said the rocket launchers would be disarmed without an invasion.

The guerrillas fired dozens of Katyushas into Israel, sending schoolchildren in Galilee running to bomb shelters. Thirteen people in Kiryat Shemona in northern Israel were treated for shock and injuries.

Israeli gunners and their allies in the South Lebanon Army, or SLA, responded with intense shelling of more than 20 villages used as bases by the guerrillas, security sources reported.

The fighting followed a fatal attack on an Israeli army post and Israel's assassination Sunday of Hezbollah leader Abbas Musawi.

U.S. issues travel warning: The U.S. State Department on Wednesday advised American travelers that they could be targets of terrorists and kidnappers if the anti-Western Hezbollah takes vengeance for Israel's slaying of Sheik Abbas Musawi.

The warning extended beyond the Middle East, to Europe and Africa.

Rabin wins Labor leadership: Yitzhak Rabin wrested the Israeli Labor party leadership from Shimon Peres on Wednesday, setting the stage for a bitterly fought general election that may shape Israel's future Middle East peace moves.

Rabin's victory improves his left-leaning party's chances of unseating Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, or at least forcing him into greater flexibility toward the Arabs.

The final tally of votes by 108,347 rank-and-file party members gave Rabin 40.6 percent _ just enough for a first-ballot victory. Peres had 34.5 percent. Results were to be ratified today.

Palestinians to attend peace talks: A day after announcing a protest delay in Palestinian delegates' departure for peace talks, delegation spokeswoman Hanan Ashrawi said Wednesday the negotiators would arrive in Washington in time for the talks.

Palestinian negotiators will leave for Amman, Jordan, today en route to Washington. They had considered boycotting the talks to protest Israel's arrest of two of their delegates during the past five weeks.

The peace talks, which began Oct. 30 in Madrid, reopen Monday.

_ Information from the Associated Press and Reuters was used in this report.