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Israel's worst fire forces evacuations

Arson suspected in forest fire

The worst fire in Israel's history burned on both sides of the main highway connecting Jerusalem and Tel Aviv on Sunday, destroying homes and businesses and forcing the evacuation of thousands.

Firefighters said they suspect arson _ which has been used against Israel before as a form of political protest _ caused the fire. More than 30 people were injured.

The Israelis take great pride in their forests, most of which have been planted since the state was founded in 1948, often with donations of money and trees from Jews living abroad. Forestry officials said that at least 4,000 acres of trees were destroyed and estimated that it would cost at least $15-million and take 20 years to restore the damaged areas.

Suspicious robbery

Okla. suspects tied to theft

Federal investigators say they have linked 66 weapons stolen in a robbery last November to suspects in the April bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City.

Several of the weapons _ quality rifles, shotguns and handguns stolen from gun collector Roger Moore of Royal, Ark. _ have been matched to 33 weapons seized during a search of Terry Nichols home in Herrington, Kan., federal agents say. Nichols is one of two suspects being held in the bombing.

And a rare rifle from the robbery was found in a gun shop in Kingman, Ariz., the main haunt of the prime suspect in the bombing, Timothy McVeigh.

Federal authorities theorize that the robbery was used to finance the bombing.

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