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Hamas admits civilian shooting

Hamas militants on Monday claimed responsibility for a shooting that wounded an Israeli civilian near the border with the Gaza Strip.

The shooting dealt an embarrassing blow to Hamas political leaders, who have been trying to persuade the international community to recognize their new coalition with the rival Fatah movement and lift a year-old economic boycott against the Palestinian government.

Israel said the attack proved the coalition was flouting international demands to renounce violence, recognize Israel’s right to exist and accept past peace accords.


Siberian mining disaster kills 97

Rescuers today searched for 13 miners missing nearly a day after a methane gas explosion in a Siberian coal mine killed at least 97 people in Russia’s deadliest mining disaster in a decade.

As many as 200 workers were in the Ulyanovskaya mine in the coal-rich southern region known as the Kuzbass at the time of the blast, which occurred early Monday at a depth of around 885 feet, emergency and regional officials said.

Sergei Cheremnov, a spokesman for the regional government in Kemerovo where the mine is located, confirmed that 97 miners were dead; 75 people had been rescued earlier.

Cheremnov said that company officials and safety experts, along with a British citizen and his interpreter, later confirmed dead, were in the mine examining a British-made hazard monitoring system just before the blast occurred.


63 killed in fire at group home

A fire swept through a home for the elderly in southern Russia on Tuesday, killing at least 63 people, Russian news agencies and emergency officials said.

It took firefighters nearly an hour to get from the nearest sizable town to the facility in the Krasnodar region village of Yeisk, where there is no fire station, said Sergei Petrov, a duty officer at the Emergency Situations Ministry’s southern branch.

Petrov said 50 people were confirmed dead, but RIA-Novosti, ITAR-Tas and Interfax later reported that the death toll had risen to 63.