December 20, 2009 in Nation/World

World in brief: Burned bodies found in trucks

From Wire Reports
 

MEXICO CITY – The bound and burned bodies of eight men were found in the central Mexico state of Queretaro, prosecutors said Saturday.

The still-unidentified bodies were discovered in the back of two burned-out trucks on a rural road late Friday, state and federal prosecutors said in a statement. The victims’ hands were tied behind their backs with wire, and they were apparently killed elsewhere.

Also Saturday, in the northern state of Chihuahua, officials reported that gunmen killed four police officers in a series of attacks on patrol cars in the border city of Ciudad Juarez on Friday.

Police and prosecutors said two more officers were wounded in two other attacks.

Nearly 2,500 people have died in drug-related violence this year in the city next to El Paso, Texas.

Earthquake rattles off Taiwan coast

TAIPEI, Taiwan – A powerful earthquake off Taiwan injured 14 people and caused minor damage in the capital as well as near the epicenter, an official said today.

All 14 victims sustained minor injuries in the eastern city of Hualien, the official from Taiwan’s National Fire Agency said.

The U.S. Geological Survey said Saturday the 6.4-magnitude quake was centered off the eastern coast of Taiwan, about 15 miles from Hualien. It struck at a depth of about 30 miles. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center did not immediately issue any warning.

Gaza barrier builders fired on

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – Shots were fired from the Gaza Strip on Saturday at Egyptians installing an underground barrier meant to choke off the smuggling of goods and weapons through tunnels into blockaded Gaza.

No one was reported injured in the attack, Palestinian and Egyptian officials said. But Egypt increased security in the border area after the fourth cross-border shooting since workers began building the metal barrier several weeks ago.

The construction would tighten a blockade imposed on Gaza by Egypt and Israel after the Islamic militant group Hamas seized power over the tiny coastal territory in 2007.

Although Egypt is worried by the presence of an Islamic militant government on its border, it has been wary about choking off the tunnel networks between Gaza and Egypt’s Sinai desert. It already has come under fire from Arab and Muslim countries for cooperating with Israel in blockading Gaza.

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