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Chemical weapons being destroyed in Syria

Syria

Chemical weapons being destroyed

International disarmament experts on Sunday began dismantling and destroying Syria's chemical weapons arsenal and the equipment used to produce it, an official said.

The inspectors from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons have about nine months to purge President Bashar Assad's regime of its chemical program. The mission, endorsed by the U.N. Security Council, must navigate Syria's bloody civil war.

Sunday marked the fifth day that an advance team of around 20 inspectors have been in the country and the first day that involved actually disabling and destroying weapons and machinery, an official on the mission said.

The team oversaw Syrian personnel who used cutting torches and disc saws to destroy and disable a range of items, including missile warheads, aerial bombs, and mixing and filling equipment, the OPCW said in a statement.

Camp Pendleton, Calif.

Marine base partially evacuates from fire

Crews built containment lines Sunday around a wind-driven wildfire that scorched more than 2 square miles of dry brush and forced people to evacuate part of a Southern California military base.

The blaze at the Marine Corps' Camp Pendleton was 15 percent contained and firefighters were trying to halt its movement toward the northeast, said Sgt. Christopher Duncan, a press officer for the Marines.

The fire broke out Saturday amid hot, dry and windy conditions throughout the region. It quickly prompted the evacuation of 230 residents from a housing unit near Lake O'Neil and caused minor damage to four buildings, base officials said.

Italy

Divers recover 83 more migrant bodies

Divers searching the underwater wreckage of a migrant ship that capsized last week in the Mediterranean Sea recovered another 83 bodies on Sunday, raising the death toll to 194, a figure that is likely to keep growing.

Rough seas near the Italian island of Lampedusa had delayed recovery efforts by two days.

With the ship nearing Lampedusa on Thursday, someone onboard set fire to a blanket, hoping to attract attention. Instead, the fire ignited gas from a broken engine. The estimated 500 African migrants onboard panicked, rushing to one side of the boat, which flipped, sending people into the sea. At least 150 survivors were rescued, officials said.

Elsewhere

Iraq: A suicide bomber detonated a truck filled with explosives on the playground of an elementary school in northern Iraq on Sunday morning, killing 13 children and the headmaster, the police said. As many as 80 other people, including students and teachers, were wounded in the blast in the village of Qabak, the first of three attacks that left at least 31 Iraqis dead.

Mexico: An out-of-control monster truck shot into a crowd of spectators at a Mexican air show near Chihuahua, killing eight people and hurting 79 on Saturday, officials said. The driver was detained Sunday on suspicion of manslaughter and officials said they were investigating possible safety violations in the setup of the show.

Argentina: President Cristina Fernandez's government was in uncharted territory Sunday after doctors ordered the Argentine leader to take a month's rest because they found blood on her brain from a head injury.

China: A typhoon slammed into southeastern China today with powerful winds and heavy rains that cut power, canceled flights and suspended train services.

Rapid City, S.D.: Residents in the Black Hills were navigating through a sloppy mess Sunday after warmer temperatures began melting record-setting snowfall, leaving standing water on plowed roads rather than making its way through drainage systems.

Times wires

Chemical weapons being destroyed in Syria 10/06/13 [Last modified: Sunday, October 6, 2013 11:23pm]
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