US State Department No. 2 meets Abbas in Egypt

The second-in-command of the United States State Department met on Saturday with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas as the security situation continued to deteriorate in the Gaza strip, where an explosion rocked the Palestinian intelligence headquarters and killed one man and wounded ten. There were no immediate details of the meeting between Deputy Secretary of State Robert and Abbas, who is caught in a spiral of rising violence and tension between the Hamas-led government and Palestinian security forces loyal to the chairman. Abbas was to meet later Saturday with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, the second in a series of key bilateral sessions for the Palestinian leader on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in this southern Sinai resort.