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 13 killed as suicide bomber triggers blast in Sri Lanka
Colombo reverberated to violence today with a suicide bomber exploding herself near the Prime Minister's Office and a prominent Tamil political leader being gunned down in two separate incidents.

A Swiss VIP was aboard IC-814
The Italian press has revealed that the hijacked Indian Airlines plane carried on board a ``super hostage'' and claims that the Swiss Government put unusually strong pressure on India because of his presence.

India for extradition of hijackers
The Indian Government would soon seek the extradition of the five militants responsible for hijacking an Indian Airlines aircraft from Kathmandu in Nepal to Kandhar in Afghanistan, according to the Union Law Minister, Mr. Ram Jethmalani.

Masood, Zargar 'seen' in Karachi, PoK
Two of the three militants released on December 31 for the 150 or so hostages on board the hijacked Indian Airlines aircraft have been seen here - Masood Azhar in Karachi and Mushtaq Zargar in Muzaffarabad - reports available here said.

Opposition parties assail Gujarat decision
The decision of the Gujarat Government to lift the ban on its staff participating in the activities of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh was greeted with widespread condemnation today with the Opposition saying it would lead to ``communalisation'' of civil services, and add to the already fractious atmosphere in the State.

Controversial U.P. Bill passed
The Uttar Pradesh Assembly today passed the U.P. Regulation of Public Religious Buildings and Places Bill 2000 to regulate the use and construction of public buildings and places for religious purposes.

Pak. diplomat expelled
The Nepalese Government has ordered expulsion of a junior diplomat of the Pakistani embassy in Kathmandu for his alleged involvement in counterfeit Indian currency dealing, officials said today.

Nepali Maoists kill policemen
In one of the most audacious attacks on a police post so far, Maoist insurgents killed at least nine policemen and injured 10 others, media reports said today.

Fernandes does not rule out conventional war with Pak.
The possession of nuclear weapons by Pakistan does not rule out the possibility of a limited conventional war, the Defence Minister, Mr. George Fernandes, has said.

BJP blames it on 'soft political atmosphere'
With the BJP's ``tough'' reputation being somewhat dented by the recent hijacking episode and its denouement, the leadership is hoping that the damage will be temporary, and the ``real tough character'' of the party will establish itself once again.

PM silent on U.S. rejection
The Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, today declined to comment on the rejection of India's demand for the declaration of Pakistan as a terrorist state by United States and Britain.

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