World Briefs: Hand grenades kill soldiers at ammo depot

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TURKEY

ANKARA — An explosion and blaze triggered by an accidentally dropped hand grenade killed 25 soldiers during a stock check at a Turkish ammunition depot, the government said Thursday.

Four other soldiers were injured in the blast, which lit up the night sky late Wednesday with flames, and shattered windows in homes in the nearby town of Afyonkarahisar in western Turkey, terrifying residents.

Forestry and Water Minister Veysel Eroglu ruled out terrorism and sabotage, saying the blast occurred in a section where hand grenades were kept. The soldiers’ remains were discovered early Thursday after a subsequent blaze was extinguished.

FRANCE

Girl spent 8 hours in car with four corpses

CHEVALINE — French investigators struggled Thursday to explain how a 4-year-old girl could go undetected for eight hours in a car full of corpses in the French Alps.

They also acknowledged that they still don’t know why a family of British vacationers were slain in a BMW on a remote mountain road near the French village of Chevaline.

The attacker or attackers violently beat and shot the girl’s sister, who is about 7 years old, prosecutor Eric Maillaud told reporters in nearby Annecy. The older girl was found near the car and hospitalized. She faces surgery but her life is out of danger, he said.

French authorities did not release the identities of the victims found in the car registered to a man with a British passport, born in Baghdad in 1962. A Swedish passport and Iraqi passport were also found at the scene, Mr. Maillaud said.

The four dead were an adult man in the driver’s seat of the British-registered BMW, two women in the back seat, and a French male cyclist who appeared to have nothing to do with the family.

The bodies were found Wednesday by a former British air force officer riding his bicycle past the car, the prosecutor said.

IRAQ

Anti-terrorist chief killed in bombing

SAMARRA — A bombing in northern Iraq on Thursday killed the commander of a local police anti-terrorist unit, security and medical officials said.

Col. Ismail al-Juburi, commander of the anti-terrorist squad in the town of Al-Sharqat, was traveling to the provincial capital Tikrit when a magnetic “sticky bomb” attached to his car detonated, killing him and wounding his driver, a police lieutenant colonel and a doctor at Tikrit’s main hospital said.

The attack came a day after violence in northern Iraq killed three people — a female judicial investigator, a police sergeant and an anti-al-Qaeda militiaman.

HUNGARY

Prime minister deletes IMF from Facebook page

BUDAPEST — Hungary’s prime minister has just used Facebook to “unfriend” the International Monetary Fund.

Viktor Orban said Thursday in a brief video message on his official Facebook page that Hungary could not accept conditions such as pension cuts and the elimination of a disputed bank tax in exchange for an IMF loan of about $15 billion.

Mr. Orban said his government will work on an “alternative negotiation proposal,” calling the IMF deal unacceptable.

“At this price, not like this,” he said.

The Hungarian economy is in recession, and its annual inflation rate of 5.8 percent is the highest in the European Union.

TURKEY

More illegal immigrants dead after boat sinks

ISTANBUL — The death toll in the sinking Thursday of a boat carrying illegal immigrants off the coast of Turkey rose to 39 and is expected to increase further, officials say.

TRT television earlier quoted Tahsin Kurtbeyoglu, a local administrator, as saying 20 bodies were recovered from the fishing boat carrying about 100 people, but officials later raised the toll.

Dozens of survivors, mostly from Iraq and Syria, were able to swim through the Aegean waters to shore, only 160 feet away.

The survivors say people had been trapped below the deck of the submerged vessel and many on board were women and children. The group previously had made its way to hotels in the city of Izmir, where smugglers agreed to take them to Britain.

TRT reported that authorities arrested two Turkish suspects in the smuggling operation.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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