Experts defuse bomb linked to IRA
DUBLIN (AP) -- British army experts defused a 600-pound van bomb Saturday on the Northern Ireland border, the largest such bomb in more than a year linked to Irish Republican Army die-hards.
British army experts defused the homemade bomb two days after a passing motorist told police about the abandoned van on a border road near the predominantly Catholic town of Newry, a hub for IRA activity.
Newry's police commander, Chief Superintendent Alasdair Robinson, said the bomb was "a very significant device. If this had exploded, it would have caused devastation."
Several small IRA splinter groups continue to mount attacks in Northern Ireland in hope of undermining key accomplishments of its peace process.
Regime accuses U.N. chief of bias
BEIRUT (AP) -- Syria derided U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon as biased and called his comments "outrageous" Saturday after he blamed the regime for widespread cease-fire violations -- the latest sign of trouble for an international peace plan many expect to fail.
In new fighting Saturday, activists said forces battled army defectors near President Bashar Assad's summer palace in a coastal village and shelled a Damascus suburb in pursuit of gunmen. State media said government troops foiled an attempt by armed men in rubber boats to land on Syria's coast, the first reported attempt by rebels to infiltrate from the sea.
The regime's verbal attack on the U.N. secretary general raised new concerns that Assad is playing for time to avoid compliance with a plan that could eventually force him out of office.
Bodies of 4 children found at ranch
VILLAHERMOSA, Mexico (AP) -- Four children who vanished on their way to primary school have been discovered suffocated and buried on a ranch not far from their homes in southern Mexico, according to Tabasco state authorities.
Three of the children were siblings and another was their neighbor on a hillside in the colonial town of Tapijulapa. Their ages ranged from 7 to 10.
The bodies were discovered n shallow graves at a ranch about two miles outside the town. Their faces had been covered with brown packing tape, which caused them to suffocate, the agency said. The motive for the killings remained unclear, but State Attorney General Gregorio Romero said investigators had found no sign of sexual abuse or organ trafficking.