April 19, 2007 in Nation/World

Police, gunmen battle in hospital

The Spokesman-Review
 

Police and soldiers battled gunmen at a hospital in the border city of Tijuana on Wednesday in violence that left at least three people dead before the authorities subdued the attackers, officials said.

Shooting first erupted when about seven masked gunmen entered the public hospital and were confronted by a group of state police who happened to be escorting prisoners for routine treatment, said Tijuana police Commander Jaime Niebla.

Two state police officers and one of the gunmen were killed in the clash, Niebla said.

Red Cross representative Fernando Esquer said he believed the gunmen were trying to free one of the prisoners receiving treatment.

The gunmen holed up in a ward for several hours until dozens of soldiers and federal police stormed in. More shots were heard ricocheting from the building, and it was unclear if there were any more deaths.

ST. JOHN’S, Newfoundland

Icebreakers head toward seal boats

Canadian Coast Guard icebreakers smashed through a massive expanse of ice off Newfoundland’s northeast coast Wednesday in a bid to free about 100 seal hunt vessels.

About 15 vessels were in danger of having the Atlantic ice pierce their hulls, said Department of Fisheries and Oceans spokesman Phil Jenkins. The thick, moving ice poses the danger of sandwiching and cracking the boats.

The Newfoundland part of Canada’s controversial seal hunt is the third and largest stage of the hunt. The total quota for all three phases is 270,000 animals.

MANILA, Philippines

American’s body found in riverbed

Soldiers on Wednesday found American Peace Corps volunteer Julia Campbell’s body buried in a shallow grave in a dry riverbed in the area of the northern Philippines where she was hiking by herself. Police said they believed foul play was involved.

Campbell disappeared April 8 while on a trip to see the famed mountainside rice terraces of Banaue, in a remote part of Ifugao province.

Her family has said the daughter of a former U.S. Marine captain was an “alert and careful traveler” who would not easily be duped by people with “malevolent intent.”

Senior Superintendent Pedro Ganir, Ifugao’s provincial police chief, told the Associated Press by telephone that a stray dog had dug out one of Campbell’s feet by the time soldiers discovered the body, which was covered with dirt in the creek.

A former long-distance runner from Fairfax, Va., Campbell, 40, had worked as freelance journalist for the New York Times, Fox.com, CourtTV.com, People magazine and Star magazine. In December, she contributed a story for CNN after supertyphoon Durian devastated the Philippines’ Albay province, where she worked as an English teacher.

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