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Volcano shows signs of large eruption

XALITZINTLA, Mexico (AP) -- The white-capped volcano that looms over Mexico City emitted a terrifying low-pitched roar Friday and spewed roiling towers of ash and steam as it vented the pressure built up by a massive chamber of magma beneath its slopes. Authorities prepared evacuation routes, ambulances and shelters in the event of a bigger explosion.

Even a large eruption of the 17,886-foot cone of Popocatepetl is unlikely to do more than dump ash on one of the world's largest metropolitan areas. But the grit could play havoc with Mexico City's busy airport and force the evacuation of tens of thousands of people in the farming villages on its flanks.

Popo, as it's commonly known, has put out small eruptions of ash almost daily since a round of eruptions began in 1994. A week ago, the eruptions started growing larger.

But before dawn on Friday, the mountain moved into what appeared to be a new level of activity.


3 special ops people among 6 killed in crash

BAMAKO, Mali (AP) -- Three American military personnel and three civilians died early Friday in a single-car crash in Mali's capital, U.S. officials said.

U.S. Africa Command said in a statement that the cause of the crash remains under investigation.

In Washington, a U.S. defense official said one of the three Americans was from U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command, and the two others were assigned to U.S. Special Operations Command.

The military personnel were in Mali as part of a U.S. special operations training mission that was suspended after last month's coup overthrew the landlocked West African country's democratically elected president.

In recent years, the U.S. military has been helping train Malian troops in counterterrorism tactics to fight al-Qaida-linked militants who have established bases in Mali's northern desert.


Sudan routs troops from disputed oil town

JUBA, South Sudan (AP) -- Sudan said Friday its forces drove South Sudanese troops from a contested oil town near the countries' ill-defined border while the south tried to put a good face on events, saying it was withdrawing.

South Sudanese troops took over Heglig last week, sending Sudanese troops fleeing and sparking condemnation from the U.N., America and Britain. This time, Sudan sent South Sudanese in headlong flight, Sudanese officials said.

The two countries were on the brink of all-out war this week. Sudan President Omar al-Bashir on Wednesday threatened to topple the South Sudan government after accusing the south of trying to take down his Khartoum-based government. Al-Bashir continued his hardline rhetoric on Thursday in an address to a "popular defense" brigade headed to the Heglig area.

South Sudan broke away from Sudan last year after an independence vote, the culmination of a 2005 peace treaty that ended decades of war that killed more than 2 million people. Despite the treaty, violence between the two countries has been on the rise.