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WORLD BRIEFS: Voodooists attacked at ceremony

Voodooists attacked at ceremony

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -- Angry crowds in a seaside slum attacked a group of Voodoo practitioners Tuesday, pelting them with rocks and halting a ceremony meant to honor victims of last month's deadly earthquake.

Voodooists gathered in Cite Soleil where thousands of quake survivors live in tents and depend on food aid. Praying and singing, the group was trying to conjure spirits to guide lost souls when a crowd of Evangelicals started shouting. Some threw rocks while others urinated on Voodoo symbols. When police left, the crowd destroyed the altars and Voodoo offerings of food and rum.

''We were here preparing for prayer when these others came and took over,'' said Sante Joseph, an Evangelical worshipper in Cite Soleil, near the capital's port, who joined angry crowd in a concrete outdoor civic center.

Haitian official: Orphans turned over to US

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -- Haiti has handed U.S. officials six orphans its police seized over the weekend as they were about to board a plane for the United States, a top Haitian official said Tuesday.

Social Welfare agency chief Jeanne Bernard Pierre would not say exactly when her office transferred the children to the U.S. Embassy, and officials there did not return calls seeking confirmation.

A spokeswoman for U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, who intervened on behalf of the four women trying to escort the orphans out of Haiti, said the children were cleared to depart Haiti by all the required government agencies.

Bomb-detecting wands to be kept in service

BAGHDAD -- Iraq will not pull a scandal-ridden bomb detection device from service, saying an investigation has determined that most of the wand-like instruments work, a government spokesman said Tuesday.

Exports of the British-made instruments to Iraq and Afghanistan were banned by Britain last month after a television report challenged their ability to detect explosives following a series of suicide bombing attacks in central Baghdad that killed hundreds. The U.S. also has repeatedly urged Baghdad to stop using the devices because they don't work.