November 13, 2011 in Nation/World

In brief: Blast at ammunition depot kills at least 17 in Iran

From Wire Reports

WASHINGTON – An explosion at a Revolutionary Guard ammunition depot west of Tehran on Saturday killed at least 17 soldiers, including a senior commander of the powerful military force, Iranian officials said.

Guard spokesman Gen. Ramazan Sharif said the blast occurred as the result of an accident during the transport of munitions at the base. The site is located outside Bidganeh village, 25 miles southwest of the capital.

“My colleagues at the Guard were transporting ammunition at one of the depots at the site when an explosion occurred as a result of an accident,” Sharif said.

At least 17 Guard members were killed, state TV reported. The broadcast said 16 other soldiers were injured and hospitalized. Sharif said some of them were in critical condition.

While the explosion occurred during a time of heightened tension with Israel, the U.S. and other Western powers, Iranian lawmaker Parviz Soroori ruled out sabotage.

Death toll rises to 34 in China mine accident

BEIJING – Thirty-four miners are now confirmed dead in a gas leak at a coal mine in southwestern China. Another nine miners are still trapped.

A powerful gas leak hit one underground platform of the Sizhuang Coal Mine in Yunnan province on Thursday and spread to another platform, trapping 43 miners.

It was China’s second deadly mining accident in less than a week. China’s coal mines are the deadliest in the world.

The duty official at the Yunnan Provincial Work Safety Administration said today that 34 miners were confirmed dead and that the search for the missing nine continues. He refused to give his name, as is common with Chinese officials.

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