0

WORLD IN BRIEF: S. Korea: Ship may have struck mine

S. Korea: Ship may have struck mine

SEOUL, South Korea -- A naval mine dispatched from North Korea may have struck the South Korean warship that exploded and sank near the Koreas' disputed sea border, the defense minister told lawmakers Monday, laying out several scenarios for the maritime disaster.

Defense Minister Kim Tae-young said there was no sign of a direct attack from rival North Korea, but military authorities have not ruled out North Korean involvement in the sinking of the Cheonan late Friday night.

An explosion ripped the 1,200-ton ship apart during a routine patrol mission near Baengnyeong Island west of the peninsula. Fifty-eight crew members, including the captain, were plucked to safety; 46 remain missing.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff said the exact cause would remain unclear until the ship is salvaged after the rescue operation is over.

No word from 153 trapped in China mine

XIANGNING, China -- Rescuers pumped water from a flooded mine in northern China where time is running out for 153 trapped workers as efforts stretched into a second day with no communication from those stuck deep underground.

Some 1,000 rescue workers were rotating on shifts to try to drain enough water to reach the trapped miners, but the rescue effort could take days. It was unclear if anyone was still alive in the shafts, some which extended a half-mile into the earth.

The accident could be one of the worst mining disasters in recent years if rescue efforts fail and would set back marked improvements in mining safety.

Pipe bomb blast in Greece kills 1

ATHENS, Greece -- A bomb blast in Athens killed a 15-year-old Afghan bystander and severely injured his 10-year-old sister, Greek police said Monday.

The pipe bomb explosion at 10:40 p.m. Sunday outside outside a management institute also left the children's 45-year-old mother with light injuries, authorities said.

There was no claim of responsibility for the blast, in the capital's densely populated Patissia residential district. The blast instantly killed the youth. His sister was hospitalized with severe facial shrapnel wounds and burns, and doctors were trying to save her eyesight.