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Nation/World briefs, March 20, 2007

March 20th, 2007 12:48 am by Staff Report

Panamanian police seize 21 tons of cocaine

Russia mine blast kills at least 78, leaves 50 missing

MOSCOW - A methane gas explosion deep in a Siberian coal mine killed at least 78 people and left another 50 trapped Monday in Russia's worst mining disaster in a decade. Among the missing were company officials and safety experts who had been inspecting a British-made hazard-monitoring system, said Sergei Cheremnov, a spokesman for the regional government in Kemerovo where the mine is located about 1,850 miles east of Moscow. A British man and his interpreter were among those killed, he said. It was unclear what the two were doing in the mine. At least 75 people were rescued.

Panamanian police seize 21 tons of cocaine

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PANAMA CITY, Panama - Panamanian police seized a boat off the nation's Pacific coast carrying 21.4 tons of cocaine in one of the biggest maritime cocaine busts anywhere on record, officials said Monday. National police working with agents from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency seized the boat on Sunday near the island of Coiba, said a police official. Police arrested 12 men on the boat, including Mexicans and Panamanians, and another two suspects in Panama City in connection with the drugs, the official said.

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