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WORLD IN BRIEF: Iran says UN sending spies, not inspectors

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s intelligence minister accused the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency of sending spies in the guise of inspectors to collect information about Iran’s nuclear activities, state TV reported Saturday.

The claim was another sign that Iran has hardened its stance since the assassination a week ago of a prominent nuclear scientist and the wounding of another. Iran is to hold talks beginning Monday in Geneva with world powers trying to persuade it to curtail key elements of its nuclear work.

Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi said that inspectors sent by the International Atomic Energy Agency had engaged in espionage and the Vienna-based agency must take responsibility for their actions. He did not elaborate or identify the inspectors Iran was accusing.

Floods force evacuations in Bosnia, Albania

BIJELJINA, Bosnia-Herzegovina — Three European nations struggled with harsh weather Saturday, as floods forced the evacuation of thousands of people in Bosnia and Albania, and snow caused part of the roof at a nuclear power plant in France to collapse.

For the past four days, the Balkans have coped with the worst floods in a century, and western Europe has deal with subfreezing temperatures and heavy snowfalls that have led to fatalities and closed airports, highways and schools.

In Bosnia, the army, police, volunteers and divers helped evacuate people about 2,000 people from their homes in the northeastern town of Bijeljina that was flooded overnight. Rescuers also used boats to deliver food and drinking water to suburbs that had lost electricity, drinking water and phone lines.

Jet crash-lands after engines fail; 2 dead

MOSCOW — Two engines failed on a Russian passenger jet shortly after takeoff Saturday, and the plane made an emergency landing as its third engine cut out, skidding off the snowy runway and breaking apart, officials said. Two people were killed and 83 injured.

The plane, a Tupolev Tu-154 belonging to Dagestan Airlines, was carrying at least 155 people when it landed at Domodedovo Airport, federal aviation agency spokesman Sergei Izvolsky said.

The cause of the engine failure was unclear, he said, but recent crashes involving the aging Tu-154 aircraft have prompted the Russian carrier Aeroflot to stop using it.