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WORLD: Norway suspect was mulling other targets

Norway suspect was mulling other targets

OSLO, Norway -- The anti-Muslim extremist who confessed to a bombing and youth camp massacre that killed 77 people in Norway has told investigators he also considered attacking other targets linked to the government or the prime minister's Labor Party, police said Saturday.

During a 10-hour questioning session on Friday, Anders Behring Breivik asked interrogators how many people he had killed in the July 22 attacks, and ''showed no emotion'' when they told him, police attorney Paal-Fredrik Hjort Kraby told reporters in Oslo.

The 32-year-old Norwegian has confessed to setting off a car bomb that killed eight people in downtown Oslo and then gunning down scores of youth from the left-leaning Labor Party at their annual retreat on an island northwest of the capital. Sixty-nine died.

Muslim nations declare start of Ramadan

CAIRO -- Religious authorities in most of the Middle East declared that Monday will be the start of the holy month of Ramadan, a period devoted to dawn-to-dusk fasting, prayers and spiritual introspection.

Ramadan begins around 11 days earlier each year. Its start is calculated based on the sighting of the new moon, which marks the beginning of the Muslim lunar month that varies between 29 or 30 days.

Official statements issued Saturday in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar and Yemen said the holy month will start Monday.

Some countries use astronomical calculations and observatories, while others rely on the naked eye alone, leading sometimes to different starting times in the Middle East.

Syrians step up raids ahead of holy month

BEIRUT -- Syrian troops opened fire on people throwing stones to stop a convoy from advancing toward an eastern oil hub, killing as many as three people Saturday, activists said, as government forces intensified a pre-Ramadan crackdown against protests calling for President Bashar Assad's ouster.

Activists have predicted that demonstrations will escalate during the Islamic holy month, which begins Monday, as both sides try to tip the balance in the more than four-month uprising.

During Ramadan, Muslims throng mosques for special night prayers after breaking their dawn-to-dusk fast every day.