World briefs 9A

Sunday, January 5, 2003

Two die as train derails in southeastern Spain

MADRID, Spain -- Part of a passenger train derailed Saturday in southeastern Spain, killing two people and injuring 15.

About 220 people were on the Madrid-Cartagena intercity train when the accident occurred about 7 p.m. near the small station 180 miles southeast of Madrid.

The engine, a generator wagon and a compartment carrying some 30 passengers jumped the tracks, a spokesman for state rail company RENFE said. The cause remained unknown.

Two women were killed, both passengers, news reports said.

Snow blankets Paris, disrupting flights, traffic

PARIS -- An unusual heavy snow blanketed Paris on Saturday, delaying flights and disrupting traffic.

The four-hour snowfall produced about 3 inches. The usually crowded Champs-Elysees was unusually quiet but beautiful, lined by snow-covered trees.

Flights in and out of Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport were suspended for an hour, and the other major airport, Orly, was operating at reduced capacity, airport authorities said.

Road traffic also was disrupted and stuck trucks and cars blocked the A4 highway into Paris, according to the National Center for Traffic Information.

The traffic agency described the snowfall as "remarkable" for the Paris region, where heavy snows are unusual.

Former rebel commander killed in Kosovo shooting

PRISTINA, Yugoslavia -- Gunmen killed three people, including a well-known former rebel commander, in a drive-by shooting Saturday in the western part of Kosovo.

The three were slain in the town of Pec, said Christian Lindmeier, a spokesman for the U.N. mission in Kosovo.

Lindmeier said one of those killed was Tahir Zemaj, a former ethnic Albanian rebel leader. The other two were identified by local media as Zemaj's 20-year-old son, Enis, and a relative, Hasan Zemaj.

Tahir Zemaj headed a rebel faction fighting Serb forces in western Kosovo during the province's 1998-99 war. That faction was allied with the party of Ibrahim Rugova, now Kosovo's president.

France battles worsening oil pollution from tanker

BORDEAUX, France -- Oil from a sunken tanker soiled France's southwestern coast Saturday, frustrating efforts by cleanup crews to contain the spreading pollution.

Even as workers in white protective suits scooped up balls of oil with gloved hands, larger black clumps -- some as large as 18 inches across -- washed ashore. Local authorities appealed for extra help.

Laboratory tests have traced oil from the Landes region's beaches back to the aging tanker Prestige, which sank Nov. 19 off northwestern Spain.

Police disperse food protest in Zimbabwe

HARARE, Zimbabwe -- Police fired tear gas and charged crowds with batons to quell rioting in a food line in western Zimbabwe, witnesses and the state-run media said Saturday.

The clash, involving hundreds of people waiting in the line, was the most serious violence since severe food shortages hit the troubled country in recent months.

Zimbabwe is experiencing s food crisis that threatens some 6.7 million people with starvation. The situation is blamed on drought and a collapse of agriculture after the government's confiscation of white-owned farms as part of its land-reform program.

As a result of the agricultural crisis and the general collapse of the economy, it has become commonplace for people to line up by the hundreds to buy scarce corn meal, sugar, milk, cooking oil and meat. Many leave empty handed when supplies run out.

-- From wire reports

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