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World in brief: Military bears down on fighters in camp

Sat., June 2, 2007, midnight

Lebanese tanks and armored vehicles battled their way into the outer neighborhoods of a Palestinian refugee camp Friday in some of the heaviest fighting since violence broke out between the military and al-Qaida-inspired militants nearly two weeks ago.

The military demanded the Fatah Islam fighters holed up in the Nahr el-Bared camp in northern Lebanon surrender and promised to pursue them if they didn’t.

Two Lebanese soldiers were killed and 10 wounded in Friday’s fighting, according to security officials. They said a unit of Fatah Islam militants was destroyed, but gave no casualty count.

Most of the camp’s 31,000 refugees have fled, many to the nearby Beddawi refugee camp.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

U.S. pilots indicted in fatal air crash

A federal judge indicted two U.S. pilots and four Brazilian air traffic controllers on manslaughter-related charges Friday in Brazil’s worst air disaster, court officials said.

Judge Murilo Mendes accepted the charges filed by a prosecutor last week in a federal court in Sinop, a small city near the Amazon jungle site where a Boeing jetliner last year plunged into the rain forest after a collision with an executive jet. All 154 people aboard the jetliner died, while the executive jet landed safely.

The American pilots have been called on to give depositions on Aug. 27 and the flight controllers have been called to testify a day later.

Pilots Joseph Lepore, 42, of Bay Shore, N.Y., and Jan Paladino, 34, of Westhampton Beach, N.Y., were charged with exposing an aircraft to danger resulting in death. Court spokesman Fabio Paz said the charge is similar to involuntary manslaughter and is punishable by one to three years in prison.

A lawyer for the pilots said the charges were unfounded.

Lepore and Paladino were flying an Embraer Legacy 600 executive jet when it collided on Sept. 29, 2006, with a Boeing 737 operated by Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes SA.


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