RESCUERS SEEK SURVIVORS AFTER MINE BLAST KILLS 31
KIEV, UKRAINE (AP) - Rescuers battled a raging fire and deadly gases deep in an eastern Ukrainian coal mine today looking for survivors from a methane gas explosion that killed at least 31 miners.
Emergency workers had recovered 31 bodies and were seeking five others in the Krasnolimanskaya mine, said Andrey Klyuyev, Ukraine's deputy prime minister in charge of investigation of the blast.
"We will keep searching," Klyuyev told reporters.
The blast Monday night hit a section of the mine in the Donetsk region, about 3,180 feet below the surface, said Oleh Venzhyk, a spokesman for the Ministry for Emergency Situations.
Dozens of rescue teams searching for dead and injured miners were being hampered by raging fires, high concentrations of poisonous gases, heavy smoke and temperatures of up to 120, a rescuer who gave his name only as Volodymyr said by telephone.
At the time of the explosion, 48 miners were at work; 12 managed to escape.
PROSECUTORS MOVING TO DEPORT CHESS KING
NARITA, JAPAN (AP) - The Japanese government is preparing to deport American chess legend Bobby Fischer for staying in this country on an invalid passport, immigration officials said today.
Fischer was detained at the international airport in this city just outside of Tokyo last Tuesday after trying to board a flight for Manila, Philippines.
Immigration officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that Fischer, 61, has been held in their custody since and said he was being processed for deportation. They refused to give further details but said he could appeal their decision.
Fischer, believed by many to be the greatest chess player ever, has lived in seclusion and semi-secrecy for decades. It remains unclear where he considers home, but after he was taken into custody, friends here said he frequently traveled, staying for short durations in Japan, the Philippines, Germany and other countries.
HAGUE PROSECUTOR SAYS REGIME AIDED FUGITIVE
THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS (AP) - The chief U.N. war crimes prosecutor for the former Yugoslavia accused Belgrade authorities Monday of helping a fugitive escape by informing him of a secret warrant for his arrest.
Chief Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte said rebel Serb leader Goran Hadzic, indicted for alleged war crimes in 1992-93, fled his northern Serbia villa last Tuesday, just hours after U.N. prosecutors presented authorities an arrest warrant.
Del Ponte did not say who had tipped Hadzic but said that it was the second time this year she had seen "indictees, located by my office, fleeing in a hurry just hours after the Belgrade authorities had been requested to act upon arrest warrants."
The prosecutor said she was "particularly surprised" by the timing of Hadzic's escape, coming 10 days after new Serbian President Boris Tadic said in his first speech that cooperation with the tribunal was a priority.
SHARON REMARK PROMPTS RETORT FROM GOVERNMENT
PARIS (AP) - A source close to President Jacques Chirac said Monday that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon would not be welcome here until he gave a satisfactory explanation for saying Jews should go to Israel to escape anti-Semitism in France.
The Israeli leader produced a storm of controversy Sunday after he told American Jewish leaders in Jerusalem that French Jews were threatened by the nation's much larger Muslim community and should leave.
Sharon was considering a trip to Paris, but a date has yet to be set. "A visit by the Israeli prime minister to Paris . . . won't be looked at closely until the requested explanation is provided," a presidential source said.
The sharp response from Chirac's office and others caused Sharon to step back, as Israeli officials contended that the remarks were taken out of context.
HEZBOLLAH GUERRILLAS KILL 2 ISRAELI SOLDIERS IN CLASH
BEIRUT, LEBANON (AP) - Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas killed two Israeli soldiers today in a cross-border clash. Israel responded by firing on guerrilla positions in southern Lebanon with tanks and helicopters, the army said.
The Israelis killed one guerrilla, Lebanese security officials said.
The renewed fighting, the most serious in months, followed a Beirut bombing on Monday that killed a veteran Hezbollah commander.
Israeli military officials insisted it was Hezbollah that fired first, calling the shooting a "provocation." But the Lebanese security officials said the Israelis shot first, and Hezbollah warned it would retaliate at the right time and place.