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U.S. AID WORKER RELEASED FROM CAPTIVITY IN CHECHNYA

After a month of captivity in Chech-
nya, an American aid worker left the breakaway republic today escorted by Russian authorities who claimed credit for his release.

Kenneth Gluck, head of the Doctors Without Borders mission for the troubled region, flew by helicopter to a Russian military base in Mozdok in the neighboring republic of North Ossetia, the Federal Security Service said.

Gluck, a New York City native, then was to be sent to nearby Nazran to meet with colleagues and be released on his own, the service said.

Details of his captivity and the circumstances around his abrupt release remained hazy.

Gluck was seized Jan. 9 by masked gunmen who pulled him from his car near the town of Stariye Atagi while on a mission to deliver aid.

The Security Service, now leading the 16-month Russian campaign against Chechen rebels, has said he was released unharmed in a special operation late Saturday.

Saudis arrest 3 Westerners
in car bombs that killed 1

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) -- Three Westerners -- a Briton, a Canadian and a Belgian -- have been arrested in connection with two explosions that killed a British man and injured four others in Saudi Arabia last fall, Interior Minister Prince Nayef said Sunday.

On Nov. 17, Christopher Rodway, 48, a British citizen working in a Saudi hospital, died after a small explosion tore through his car, which was believed to have been booby-trapped. Rodway's wife was slightly injured. On Nov. 22, a bomb exploded in another car in Riyadh, wounding two men and a woman, all of them British workers at an unidentified company.

"The source of the explosives and many other relevant facts are known to us, but in the interest of the investigation we will not disclose them now," Nayef said in a statement on state-run Saudi television. He did not say when the three were arrested.

After the announcement, the three men appeared on state-run Saudi television and confessed to the bombings. Their names could not immediately be confirmed.

Avalanches in Italy, Austria
kill skier, snowboarder

TURIN, Italy (AP) -- An avalanche struck three skiers in Italy's Alps Sunday, killing one of them, RAI state television reported, while Austrian authorities said a snowslide killed a snowboarder.

In Turin, the capital of Italy's Piedmont region, a 26-year-old Italian man was killed, RAI reported. Four skiers were buried in a second snowslide in Piedmont, but they were able to dig themselves out. Both snowslides occurred at about the 6,600-foot level.

Also Sunday, a German snowboarder was killed in Austria just northwest of Innsbruck, police said. The unidentified 24-year-old from Munich was one of four snowboarders who ignored signs warning of avalanches.

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