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World in brief

No one hurt in brief blaze at Eiffel Tower

Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published July 23, 2003

PARIS - An electrical fire briefly engulfed a top corner of the Eiffel Tower on Tuesday, startling tourists and alarming people across the city.

There were no injuries and the fire was quickly extinguished. But the image of thick white smoke pouring from the city's signature landmark was nonetheless unsettling after months of periodic terrorist threats in the French capital.

Commandant Christian Decolloredo, a spokesman for the Paris Fire Department, said the blaze was an "electrical wire fire in a standard equipment room."

The cause was not immediately known, said Paris police chief Jean-Paul Proust. The tower was temporarily closed.

The fire broke out at 7:21 p.m. in an area off limits to tourists. From 2,000 to 3,000 visitors were evacuated down the 1,070-foot tower's winding stairs.

Police kill fleeing Arab Israeli, wound another

JERUSALEM - Israeli police officers on high alert for a terror attack on Tuesday shot two unarmed Arab Israeli men attempting to flee in a white car similar to one being sought by the security forces. One man was killed and the second wounded, the police said.

Arab residents in the town of Taibeh, where the shooting took place, reacted angrily, throwing stones at the Israeli security forces. And a leading Arab member of Israel's Parliament, Ahmed Tibi, demanded a public investigation into the death of Morasi Jibali, 28, and the wounding of his 22-year-old companion.

Elsewhere . . .

BRITONS AT GUANTANAMO: The Bush administration has assured the British government that it will not seek the death penalty for two Britons being held as terrorist suspects at the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, British and American officials said Tuesday.

CANADIAN POLITICS: Canadian Deputy Prime Minister John Manley dropped out of the Liberal Party leadership race Tuesday, conceding he could not beat front-runner Paul Martin, former finance minister, who most likely will become the country's next prime minister. Heritage Minister Sheila Copps, the only other candidate left, said she would stay in the race to allow the candidates to debate visions of Canada.

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