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Archive for Sunday, December 9, 2001

World Briefs

December 9, 2001

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TOKYO: Earthquake rocks Japanese island

A strong earthquake struck the southwestern Japanese island of Amami-Oshima early today, the Meteorological Agency said. There were no immediate reports of injuries or major damage.

The magnitude-6.1 temblor was centered in the sea off the island's coast about 6 miles underground, an agency official said.

Amami-Oshima, located in Kagoshima state, is about 600 miles southwest of Tokyo.

Philippines: Forces fighting rebels to get U.S. training

U.S. soldiers may expand the training of Philippine special forces fighting guerrillas holding two Americans and a Filipino nurse hostage in the southern Philippines, a military spokesman said Saturday.

Nineteen U.S. soldiers landed Friday at the military air base in Zamboanga .

Lt. Col. Danilo Servando, spokesman for the military's Southern Command, said training could begin "early next year" at a local military camp.

Government forces have been waging a major campaign for months against rebels with the Muslim militant group Abu Sayyaf on Basilan island, across the straits from Zamboanga about 590 miles south of Manila. The rebels are holding Martin and Gracia Burnham of Wichita, Kan., and Philippine nurse Deborah Yap.

Ireland: Would-be refugees found dead in truck

An Irish trucker discovered the bodies of eight would-be refugees and five people clinging to life in his cargo Saturday in Dublin. Police said they would mount a Europe-wide hunt for the human traffickers believed responsible.

It was the first mass fatality involving asylum-seekers in Ireland, which in recent years has been targeted by rings that smuggle people from poorer countries. Police said they weren't sure of the victims' nationalities but were interviewing a 17-year-old survivor who spoke Turkish. Among the dead were three small children.

The refugees heading to Ireland were hidden inside a container carrying office furniture that made a journey across Europe. The container had made its way from Italy.d

A strong earthquake struck the southwestern Japanese island of Amami-Oshima early today, the Meteorological Agency said. There were no immediate reports of injuries or major damage.

The magnitude-6.1 temblor was centered in the sea off the island's coast about 6 miles underground, an agency official said.

Amami-Oshima, located in Kagoshima state, is about 600 miles southwest of Tokyo.

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