Plane hijacked; passengers, crew freed

MEXICO CITY - An airplane was briefly hijacked as it landed in Mexico City on Wednesday from the resort of Cancun, but all passengers and crew were released unharmed, officials said.

Television images showed police leading at least five men from the plane in handcuffs. Mexican news media reported the hijackers were Bolivian citizens demanding to speak with Mexican President Felipe Calderon.

Transportation and Communications Secretary Juan Molinar said all passengers and crew were safe, but would not say how many alleged hijackers were detained or give details of their motivation.

""Various people who participated in the act have been detained and we are investigating,' he said.

He said there was no bomb on the airplane, although some passengers said one of the hijackers held a package that resembled an explosive device.

Somalia: Briton, Kenyan held over pirate deal

MOGADISHU, Somalia - Two security contractors and three former hostages released by Somali pirates are facing prison for an alleged secret plan to swap the hostages for 23 suspected pirates on a desolate Somali airstrip, Somali officials said Wednesday.

The allegations will increase concern over the actions of unregulated private security contractors in Somalia, mired in a civil war for the past 18 years. The country's lawless coastline provides a haven for pirates who prey on one of the world's busiest trade routes. The vessels and their crews are only released for ransoms, which can stretch into millions of dollars.

Iraqi and US troops raid district, kill 2

BAGHDAD - Iraqi and American soldiers came under fire from a house during a predawn operation Wednesday in southeastern Baghdad, setting off a gunbattle that killed the two assailants, the U.S. military said.

The raid took place in a predominantly Shiite district of the capital called Zafaraniyah. American forces were on hand at the request of the Iraqis as advisers, U.S. military spokesman 1st Lt. John Brimley said.

Soldiers came under fire from two people in a nearby building and returned fire, killing both of the attackers, Brimley said.