Burned remains identified as those of missing student
At least one of 43 college students missing since September has been identified among charred remains found near a garbage dump, two Mexican officials confirmed Saturday. The two could not say how many students might have been identified. They spoke only on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to address the press.
A family member told AP the remains were of Alexander Mora. The families got that information late Friday from an Argentine team of forensic experts working on behalf of the relatives and with the Attorney General's Office, said the relative, who also would required anonymity. The students went missing Sept. 26 after confrontations with police in Iguala, Guerrero state, that killed three students and three bystanders. The attorney general has said they were attacked by police on orders of Iguala's ex-mayor Jose Luis Abarca, who has since been detained.
The case has ignited indignation in Mexico and abroad because the students disappeared at the hands of a corrupt local government and federal authorities took 10 days to intervene. - AP
Swiss man flees extremists
A Swiss hostage made a dramatic escape Saturday from Abu Sayyaf extremists, ending more than two years of jungle captivity, officials said. Lorenzo Vinciguerra, 49, made his daring escape while government forces were firing artillery rounds near the jungle forest where he was being held. He grabbed a long knife, hacked an Abu Sayyaf commander, then ran away but was shot and wounded by another militant, security officials said. Philippine army scout rangers found him and escorted him to safety. - AP
Palestinian deaths probed
The Israeli military says it has opened eight new criminal investigations into cases involving Palestinian civilian casualties in this summer's Gaza war. Saturday night's announcement appears to be a further attempt to head off international investigations into the 50-day conflict. More than 2,100 Palestinians, the majority of them civilians, were killed in the fighting, according to Palestinian and U.N. estimates. Israel says the number of civilians killed is much lower. On the Israeli side, 66 soldiers and six civilians died. - AP