Rescue workers found the bodies of seven people, including a 2-year-old child, killed by an avalanche on the Italian side of Mont Blanc yesterday, police said. A spokesman said rescuers held out little hope for 10 more people feared buried. The avalanche rolled two miles down the mountain, crushing everything in its path before halting short of a road north of the town of Courmayeur, police said. Mont Blanc, Europe's highest peak at 15,771 feet, is on the border between France and Italy. Rescue workers said the avalanche smashed across a popular ski run.

PHILIPPINES BLAZE: Fire gutted the two-story Office of the Adjutant General at Philippine armed forces headquarters in Manila today, authorities said. Officers at Camp Aguinaldo said the predawn fire also burned the accounting and finance offices. The cause of the fire was not immediately determined. The adjutant general takes care of administrative, personnel, clerical and financial duties for the military.

COLOMBIA BOMBING TOLL 22: Colombian drug traffickers claimed responsibility yesterday for a car bombing in Medellin that killed 22 people and wounded 140, a radio station reported. The bomb exploded Saturday near the bullfighting ring in Colombia's second-biggest city as thousands were flooding out of the arena. It was one of the worst attacks since the government declared a war on drug traffickers in August 1989. The bomb was aimed at police providing security for the event, said Gen. Gustavo Pardo, an army commander in Medellin. Nine police officers were killed, according to reports. A radio network said yesterday it had received calls claiming responsibility for the blast by terrorists working for drug traffickers.

MEXICAN TUNA BOAT RAMMED: The Mexican navy has been called out to defend a local tuna fishing boat under attack from a ship trying to stop the slaughter of dolphins, a navy spokesman in Mexico City said. The tuna boat Tungui called for help after claiming the environmental ship, Sea Shepherd II, had rammed it while the two vessels were cruising in the Pacific south of Mexico, the spokesman said. An official of the California-based Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, which operates the vessel, confirmed its ship had dealt the tuna boat a ``glancing blow'' Friday and accused it of catching and killing dolphins in its tuna nets. The Mexican government denies there is widespread killing of dolphins by its fishermen.

KENYA CRITICS COERCED? Amnesty International said today it feared four critics of the Kenyan government who are on trial for sedition may be ``unfairly convicted.'' The four were ``reportedly tortured to sign incriminating statements,'' the London-based human-rights group said. They were arrested last July after demonstrations in Kenya over the arrest of political activists. The trial, in its sixth week in a Nairobi magistrates' court, had already accepted a statement which one defendant alleges he made at gunpoint after being tortured, Amnesty said in a statement. The court is due to rule today whether to accept statements by another defendant which he also alleges were made because of torture.

CHANGE OF LEADERSHIP: The party that has ruled Cape Verde since independence from Portugal 15 years ago lost its power yesterday when President Aristides Pereira was trounced in presidential elections. With one-fifth of the votes counted in the island nation off the west coast of Africa, unofficial returns showed opposition candidate Antonio Mascarenhas Monteiro had won from 66 to 68 percent of the votes. A spokesman for Pereira's campaign conceded defeat last night as opposition supporters celebrated noisily. Pereira's African Party for the Independence of Cape Verde had paid the price for abandoning the one-party rule common to much of Africa and introducing a multiparty system.

CONTRA EX-LEADER MURDERED: Nicaragua's government yesterday sought to solve quickly the murder of a former leader of U.S.-backed contra rebels, saying it hoped to head off potential unrest over the killing. Enrique Bermudez, the hard-line military chief of the contras who fought an eight-year-civil war against the former Sandinista government, was killed outside a Managua hotel Saturday night. Police said Bermudez, 58, was shot twice in the head as he boarding his jeep in the parking lot of the Intercontinental Hotel. Police said they had no immediate clues as to who killed Bermudez.

Times news services