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Blast was a bomb, Russian police say

Compiled from wire reports The Spokesman-Review

Moscow A bomb apparently wired to the tracks derailed a passenger train traveling from Chechnya to Moscow on Sunday, injuring at least 15 people on a Russian national holiday, police said.

The blast occurred just hours before President Vladimir Putin marked the Day of Russia holiday with a reception and awards ceremony in the Kremlin.

Officials did not name any suspects and no group claimed responsibility. But Chechen separatist rebels frequently stage attacks on Russian holidays.

Palestinians execute 4 convicted murderers

Gaza City, Gaza Strip Palestinian authorities carried out their first executions since 2002 on Sunday, killing four convicted murderers in a campaign to halt lawlessness but which drew swift condemnation from human rights groups.

The executions reflected the tough challenge Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas faces as he tries to impose law and order in the Palestinian areas.

Despite Abbas’ efforts, militant groups and armed gangs continue to operate, often clashing with rival factions or police.

Fertility referendum gets low voter turnout

Rome Turnout was low Sunday in the first day of a referendum vote on whether to scrap some of Europe’s toughest restrictions on assisted fertility including bans on sperm and egg donation.

Italian cardinals and bishops, endorsed by Pope Benedict XVI, urged citizens to boycott the two-day referendum, hoping the initiatives would fall short of the required quorum to be valid.

The German-born pope has contended that efforts to overturn parts of the law regulating assisted fertility methods pose threats to life and the family.

Mexican police shoot at federal law convoy

Mexico City Police in the violence-wracked northern border city of Nuevo Laredo opened fire on federal agents sent to bolster security in the area, the attorney general’s office reported Sunday.

One federal agent was injured Saturday as more than 40 police intercepted five vehicles carrying members of Mexico’s Federal Agency of Investigation.

The convoy apparently identified itself as carrying federal agents, but local police opened fire anyway. It is not uncommon for Mexican organized crime groups to pose as federal law enforcement officials.

Afghanistan bomber kills 3 U.S. soldiers

Kandahar, Afghanistan A suicide bomber rammed a car full of explosives into a U.S. military vehicle in southern Afghanistan, killing at least three U.S. soldiers, police said.

Police said the U.S. vehicle was blown up in the attack.

A U.S. reporter said he saw three U.S. soldiers being carried on stretchers into a U.S. military helicopter. Two other U.S. copters were overhead and several U.S. military vehicles had arrived.

U.S. officials could not immediately be reached for comment on the police report.

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