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World in brief: Inspectors visit Iranian nuclear site

TEHRAN, Iran – U.N. inspectors entered a once-secret uranium enrichment facility with bunker-like construction and heavy military protection that raised Western suspicions about the extent and intent of Iran’s nuclear program.

The visit Sunday by the four-member International Atomic Energy Agency team, reported by state media, was the first independent look inside the planned nuclear fuel lab, a former ammunition dump burrowed into the treeless hills south of Tehran and only publicly disclosed last month. The inspectors are expected to study plant blueprints, interview workers and take soil samples before wrapping up the three-day mission.

No results from the inspection are expected until the team leaves the country.

Militants attack Pakistani forces

ISLAMABAD – Militant attacks killed six Pakistani security forces today, officials said, a day after the Taliban chief warned of terrorist strikes across the country if the army did not stop a major offensive against insurgents along the Afghan border.

The army moved into South Waziristan tribal region nine days ago vowing to crush the Pakistani Taliban, a militant network it says is behind 80 percent of the suicide bombings in Pakistan.

Heavily armed militants assaulted security officials in Toraware village overnight, killing two and wounding four in a three-hour shootout in the area some 60 miles north of South Waziristan, police officer Mir Chaman Khan said. Some 10 militants were believed to have been killed. In Bajur, a tribal region further north, Taliban fighters attacked a checkpoint, killing four security officials. Seven militants died in the clash, said a local official.

South Korea offers food aid to North

SEOUL, South Korea – South Korea offered today to provide North Korea with 10,000 tons of corn – its first direct aid to the impoverished neighbor in nearly two years of strained relations.

The small but symbolic offer does not mean Seoul’s government, which has linked aid to Pyongyang’s progress in abandoning its nuclear programs, is resuming full-scale aid to the communist nation, officials said.

Unification Ministry spokesman Chun Hae-sung stressed that today’s offer is purely humanitarian and that Seoul is not considering further assistance.

Ten members of soccer team slain

CARACAS, Venezuela – Ten men who belonged to the same soccer team were slain execution-style nearly two weeks after being abducted in a crime that Venezuela said Sunday could be the work of warring factions in neighboring Colombia.

Venezuelan troops stepped up security patrols in the area near the Colombian border after the bodies of 10 men, most of them Colombians, were found in multiple spots in western Tachira state Saturday, Vice President Ramon Carrizalez said.

The victims were among a group of 12 men who authorities say were kidnapped Oct. 11 from a field where they were playing soccer.

Prosecutors said in a statement Sunday that victims’ relatives reported the abduction of 10 Colombians, a Peruvian and a Venezuelan. Prosecutors said the kidnappers, described as armed men dressed in black, were thought to have called out the names of the team’s members one by one before taking them away.


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Explosion rocks Wisconsin refinery, at least 11 hurt

new  A tank containing crude oil or asphalt exploded at a large refinery in Wisconsin on Thursday, injuring several people and prompting fire officials to urge people living near the still-burning plant to evacuate their homes.