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Rocket hits near embassy in Kabul; no one injured

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN (AP) -- A rocket fired by unidentified attackers Thursday slammed into a northeastern neighborhood of Kabul about a mile from the U.S. Embassy, police and witnesses said. There were no injuries.

The rocket was fired from an area southeast of the city, said District Police Chief Abdul Ruof Taj. The rocket struck the top of a rusted iron bus stop at an intersection in the Microryan neighborhood.

British Maj. Mike Edwards, a spokesman for the 4,800 international peacekeepers patrolling the city, said the explosion did not cause any deaths or injuries. "Apparently the device exploded inside some open ground in a housing complex," he said.

Blue police sirens flashed in the night as dozens of policemen and soldiers moved around the area. Peacekeepers in armored cars mounted with heavy machine guns also arrived.

Vandals renew their attack on Nazi victims' monuments

BERLIN (AP) -- A German official Thursday decried a recent series of attacks on memorials to Nazi-era victims as the worst in years, after vandals this week destroyed a brick monument at the site of a concentration camp outpost.

"Such a string of attacks on memorials has not been seen in many years," said Guenter Marsch, director of the foundation for the preservation of monuments in eastern Brandenburg state. Police blame right-wing extremists for the attacks centered in eastern Germany, where a full reckoning of Nazi-era crimes was suppressed by the former communist regime.

In at least seven attacks this year, extremists destroyed a memorial plaque at Raben-Steinfeld, vandalized a memorial in Woebbelin and a memorial column in Lutterow, and drew a swastika on the grounds of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp on the Nov. 9 anniversary of the Night of Broken Glass, when Nazis targeted Jewish businesses and synagogues in 1938.

Seven dead, 140 injured in Ecuador munitions blast

RIOBAMBA, Ecuador (AP) -- Ecuadorean highlanders searched through remnants of their homes Thursday after an army ammunition depot exploded and set off blasts that ripped through a neighborhood. At least seven people were killed and more than 140 injured.

The smell of gunpowder still hung in the air a day after the explosions shattered windows, knocked down brick walls and ripped roofs from homes across seven blocks in this mountain city of 150,000 people.

President Gustavo Noboa visited the city Thursday and declared a state of emergency.

The 20-minute chain of explosions began Wednesday afternoon when a hand grenade went off and detonated the ammunition dump at a tank base in Riobamba, 100 miles south of Quito in a valley surrounded by snow-capped mountains. Noboa said the grenade was accidentally dropped during an inspection at the storage site.