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In brief: Attackers shoot, hack commuters

Thu., June 24, 2010

MANILA, Philippines – About 30 hooded attackers, believed to be Abu Sayyaf militants, shot and hacked horrified victims running for their lives in the southern Philippines, police said today. Four died and six were wounded in the brazen attack.

The al-Qaida-linked militants apparently were trying to divert government troops from a weekslong offensive in a nearby town, said Antonio Mendoza, police chief for the island province of Basilan.

Most of the victims were commuters in a passenger jeep going home from Basilan’s capital of Isabela City. The attackers were positioned on a hill and opened fire with rifles. Two passengers died instantly and others jumped from the jeep to flee, Mendoza said.

“They were fired upon as they ran. One of the attackers hacked a 10-year-old boy, who survived,” Mendoza told the Associated Press.

Train kills 12 crossing tracks

MADRID – A train speeding through a station near Barcelona on Wednesday ran over a group of young people crossing the tracks, killing at least 12 and injuring 17, a Spanish official said.

A long-distance train passing through the station in the seaside town of Castelldefels hit a group of people crossing the tracks who had just gotten off of a commuter train. The group crossed the tracks above ground rather than using a designated tunnel underneath, said Jose Ramon Mora, head of the Civil Protection Department for Catalonia regional government.

Spanish radio station Cadena Ser and other Spanish media reported that most of the fatalities and injuries were young people who had just arrived in the town to celebrate at a beach party marking the start of summer.

The train was not supposed to stop at the station and was therefore moving through it at a high rate of speed, media reports said.

Woman took kids on burglaries

CINCINNATI – An Ohio woman who authorities say burglarized homes while her children waited in her car and at times used her 5-year-old son to help with break-ins has pleaded guilty to various charges.

Samantha Brewer, of the Cincinnati suburb of Cleves, pleaded guilty Wednesday to burglary, attempted burglary and child endangering.

A prosecutor says most of the crimes occurred while 26-year-old Brewer was taking her sons, now 6 and 7, to or from school. Authorities say she sometimes used her younger son as a lookout and at least once put him inside a house through a window to unlock the door.

Brewer was pregnant at the time of the April and May burglaries in Harrison. She says she gave birth to a girl on June 4 while in jail.

She blamed the burglaries on an addiction to pain medication.


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