Around the world

SUSPECT RETURNS: A suspect in an Irish Republican Army attack whose extradition to Germany was halted by Britain's government has returned to Northern Ireland, her moth-er said Sunday. Roisin Mc-Alis-key has denied involvement in the attack on a British army barracks at Osnabrueck in June 1996, but German police want to question her. Nobody was injured but buildings were damaged. McAliskey and her 10-month-old daughter Loinnir have returned to her mother's hometown of Coalisland, said her mother, Bernadette Devlin McAliskey, a prominent Catholic activist and former member of Parliament from Northern Ireland.

CHIAPAS CRACKDOWN: Authorities escorted 12 foreigners - including three Americans - to Mexico City on Sunday, a day after they were arrested in a raid on a southern Mexican town sympathetic to area rebels. At the airport in the Chiapas state capital of Tuxtla Gutierrez, police transporting the prisoners used the butts of their rifles to beat two news photographers taking pictures of the departure.

60 VILLAGES FLOODED: Afghanistan's Taliban rulers blamed Iran on Sunday for flooding in a southwestern province that threatens to inundate the provincial capital. Taliban officials said Iran closed the gates of a dam on its side of the border, backing up the Helmand River on the Afghanistan's side of the frontier and causing it to burst its banks. International aid workers in southwestern Afghanistan confirmed that Iran had closed the gates and said about 60 villages in the region had already been flooded.

Across the nation

PACKWOOD RUN UNLIKELY: Former Sen. Bob Packwood on Sunday tried to squelch speculation that he was ready to resurrect his disgraced political career, saying it was unlikely he would make another try for public office. "Is it likely that I will run for office again? No. Is it possible sometime in the next century that I might? Possible. And that's basically the gist of the story," he said on CNN's "Late Edition." The Oregon Republican resigned from the Senate in 1995.

GAS PRICES UP 3 : Gasoline prices rose nearly 3 cents per gallon in the past two weeks, but consumers still enjoy considerable savings compared with a year ago, an industry analyst said Sunday. The average price of gasoline, including all grades and taxes, was about $1.10 on Friday, according to the twice-monthly Lundberg Survey of 10,000 stations nationwide. That represents a price increase of about 2.82 cents a gallon since the March 2 survey, Trilby Lundberg said.

MUSIC GOES ON: The show must go on, even when someone's waving an ax around in the studio. Disc jockey Scott Barnett was on the air playing country music Saturday at WFMB in Southern View, Ill., when a man entered the studio with an ax. While the records kept playing without interruption, Barnett managed to grab the ax when the man moved toward him. Afterward, he never even mentioned the incident between records. Police took the man to Memorial Medical Center for a mental evaluation. No charges were filed.

In other news . . .

SHOWERS WERE scattered from the West Coast to the Great Lakes on Sunday, turning to snow in the Rockies. . . . A STATE-OF-THE-ART security system was installed Sunday in the Egyptian National Museum in Cairo, home to some of the nation's most important treasures.. . . IN THEIR FIRST major offensive in months, Taliban forces backed by artillery fire and fighter jets overran four enemy enclaves north of the Afghan capital of Kabul. . . . POLICE SCUFFLED Sunday with Israeli peace activists trying to enter Hebron to protest government-sponsored celebrations that drew thousands of Israelis.