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Sub finishes 1st scan of ocean floor for jet

A robotic submarine has completed its first full 16-hour mission scanning the floor of the Indian Ocean for wreckage of the missing Malaysian airliner after two previous missions were cut short by technical problems and deep water, authorities said on Thursday.

The Bluefin 21 had covered 35 square miles of the silt-covered sea bed off the west Australian coast in its first three missions, the search coordination center said on Thursday.

While data collected by the sub from its latest mission, which ended overnight, were still being analyzed, nothing of note had yet been discovered, the center said.

A total of 12 planes and 11 ships were to join Thursday in what could be the final day of the surface ocean search for debris from the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 that disappeared March 8.

- AP

Planes strike convoy

Jordanian warplanes struck a convoy of vehicles as they were trying to enter Jordan from Syria, the army said in a statement Wednesday. A Syrian military official said the vehicles did not belong to the Syrian army. The Jordanian military said its aircraft fired warning shots at the vehicles, but they did not stop. The warplanes then destroyed the vehicles.

- AP


Abducted girls freed

Scores of female students kidnapped by Islamic militants from a northeastern Nigerian school are free, Nigeria's military reported Wednesday. Only eight of more than 100 students are unaccounted for, Maj. Gen. Chris Olukolade said in a statement. The government had reported that security forces were in hot pursuit of militants who abducted more than 100 girls from a high school early Tuesday. The kidnappers were reportedly disguised as soldiers. - AP