Plane with 25 aboard hijacked, passengers freed

BOGOTA, Colombia - A father in a wheelchair and his son used two grenades to hijack an airliner Monday, but peacefully surrendered five hours later after allowing the crew and passengers, including one American, to leave the plane, authorities said.

The Aires plane, believed to be carrying 20 passengers and five crew members, had left the southern city of Florencia when it was commandeered, air force Gen. Edgar Lesmez said. The plane landed in Bogota, its original destination, but at a military airfield next to the civilian El Dorado Airport.

After speaking with government negotiators and a Roman Catholic priest while the twin-propeller plane stood on the tarmac, the two hijackers gave up and came down from the plane, said Martin Gonzalez, spokesman for the Civil Aviation Authority. The crew also exited, he said.

Gazans celebrate first day of freedom

RAFAH, Gaza Strip - Palestinian boys waded fully clothed into the Mediterranean Sea on once-forbidden beaches. Parents guided children through the wreckage of abandoned Jewish settlements. Hundreds climbed over a wall separating Gaza and Egypt to reunite with relatives.

Gaza's Palestinians got their first taste of freedom after Israeli troops left the coastal strip Monday. They took full possession of the territory for the first time following hundreds of years of subjugation by the Ottoman Empire, the British, the Egyptians and finally the Israelis.

Iraqi leader tours Tal Afar

TAL AFAR, Iraq - Iraq's prime minister toured the ancient northern city of Tal Afar on Monday - ignoring an alleged al-Qaida threat to strike with chemical weapons - to congratulate Iraqi forces for rousting militants from their stronghold near Syria, Iraqi television reported.

In Baghdad, a huge car bomb exploded outside a popular restaurant in the upscale Mansour neighborhood Monday night, witnesses said. Hospital officials reported at least two people were killed and 17 were wounded. A doctor at Yarmouk Hospital said most of the victims were women.

Protestant crowds block Belfast roads

BELFAST, Northern Ireland - Crowds of Protestant hard-liners blocked key roads in Belfast and rioted for a third straight night Monday in a long-building explosion of frustration at Northern Ireland's peace process.

At least 50 officers were wounded over the weekend when extremists fought riot police and British troops in the worst Protestant violence in a decade. The British governor and the territory's police chief said two outlawed Protestant paramilitary groups mounted machine-gun and grenade attacks on police.

North Korea nuclear talks to resume

SEOUL, South Korea - Representatives to talks aimed at ending North Korea's nuclear weapons program will try again today to resolve the standoff at six-nation negotiations, but the main U.S. envoy insisted the key lies with Pyongyang.

The latest round of discussions broke for a recess early last month after a record 13 days of negotiations.

- From wire reports