Bus-truck crash kills 43 in Mexico

MEXICO CITY - A big rig pulling two trailers collided with an overloaded passenger bus in southeastern Mexico on Friday, killing at least 43 people in one of the deadliest crashes in memory on the country's highways, authorities said.

The crash occurred on a highway in the coastal state of Veracruz in the early morning hours, officials said. Several others were injured.

Authorities said the private bus was headed to the northern state of Coahuila with 70 people, believed to be farm workers hired to work in the border state. Veracruz Gov. Javier Duarte ordered immediate aid for victims and their relatives.

Officials didn't say what caused one of the trailers to hit the bus, nor was there immediate word on what the truck was carrying. Gina Dominguez, a spokeswoman for the Veracruz government, said the truck's driver unhooked the rear trailer, which had struck the bus, and fled.

- Los Angeles Times

Yemenis kill 25 al-Qaeda fighters

SAN'A, Yemen - Yemeni government troops seized control Friday of part of an al-Qaeda stronghold in the country's lawless south after fierce fighting that has left at least 25 militants dead, a military official said.

After launching an attack overnight, the army pushed into the outskirts of Zinjibar, the capital of Abyan province, while the rest of the city remained in the hands of al-Qaeda-linked militants, the official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the media.

Militants have taken advantage of more than a year of political turmoil in Yemen to seize control of large swaths of territory in the country's south. The United States believes al-Qaeda's Yemeni branch is the most dangerous arm of the terror group because of its repeated attempts to carry out attacks in the United States.

- AP

Feuding Sudans both claim town

JUBA, South Sudan - Sudan and South Sudan both claimed to be in control of a contested oil town near the countries' ill-defined border on Friday after the south said it was withdrawing its troops to avert a return to war.

Last week, South Sudanese troops took over the border town of Heglig, which they call Panthou, sending Sudanese troops fleeing and sparking condemnation from the United Nations, the United States, and Britain. This time, Sudan sent South Sudanese in headlong flight, Sudanese officials said.

Facing international condemnation, the spokesman for South Sudan's President Salva Kiir announced Friday that the south would withdraw its forces within three days but still believes that the town of Heglig is a part of South Sudan. Kiir said he expects its final status to be determined by international arbitration.

- AP