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5 dead after boat sinks off Indian Ocean island

PARIS (AP) -- The French government says a fishing boat sank off the French island of Mayotte in the Indian Ocean, leaving two adults and three children dead. Fifteen people are still missing.

The small, motorized vessel was carrying around 40 people, witnesses said. It went down Saturday afternoon after setting off from the African Comoros Islands.

In a statement Sunday, the Overseas Territories Ministry said 19 people were rescued and taken to the hospital in Mayotte's capital, Mamoudzou.

Overseas Minister Victorin Lurel says an air and sea search operation will continue "as long as necessary" to find the missing.

It's not immediately clear what caused the sinking, but the small "kwassa-kwassa" boats are thought ill-equipped for long sea trips.

The 71-mile stretch to Mayotte is a common route for Comorians who hope to reach the richer French-administered island.


Skydiving plane catches fire; 5 killed

BANJA LUKA, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) -- A small sports plane burst into flames just after takeoff in northwest Bosnia on Sunday, killing the five people on board.

Banja Luka police spokeswoman Mirna Soja told the AP that three skydivers, an instructor and the pilot of the Cessna plane died in the crash.

She said the skydivers had just finished their training and were about to embark on their first jump, but their plane burst into flames just after takeoff from a small airstrip in Banja Luka.

Firefighters rushed to the scene and set about extinguishing the blaze.


Hamas, Fatah agree on election timetable

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) -- Palestinian rivals Hamas and Fatah agreed Sunday on a new timetable for a power-sharing deal that envisions elections in about six months, officials from both sides said.

Reconciliation efforts have stalled repeatedly, and it is unclear if the latest agreement, brokered by Egypt and signed in Cairo, would end the impasse.

The Islamic militant Hamas seized Gaza from Fatah's leader, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, in 2007, leaving him with only the West Bank.

Earlier this year, Abbas and Hamas' supreme leader, Khaled Mashaal, agreed that the Palestinian president should head an interim government that prepares for elections. However, the agreement never got off the ground because of disagreements over implementation, as well as opposition from Hamas leaders in Gaza who balked at giving up some of their powers to Abbas.


Bail granted for activist jailed in dissent case

MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) -- A court in Bahrain granted bail Sunday for a jailed rights activist, but he remained in detention to await another court hearing later this week, a defense lawyer said.

Mohammed Ahmed said bail was set at 300 dinars ($798) for Nabel Rajab, who was arrested earlier this month as part of the Gulf kingdom's crackdowns on dissent.

Rajab faces charges of using social media to insult Bahraini authorities and encouraging protests. Bahrain's majority Shiites began an uprising in February 2011 seeking to end the political controls of the ruling Sunni monarchy.

Ahmed said a further hearing is scheduled Tuesday for Rajab, president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights.

At least 50 people have died during unrest in the strategic island nation, home to the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet.