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. Search halted, dozens still missing after deadly Guatemala landslide

by Staff Writers
Guatemala City (AFP) Jan 6, 2009
The death toll from a weekend landslide in northern Guatemala rose to 35 while dozens remained missing as rescue efforts were suspended due to unstable terrain, an official said Tuesday.

The landslide occurred Sunday on a road on which scores of day laborers had been traveling -- used as an alternative to another route closed due to a previous landslide -- between Alta Verapaz and Quiche, official reports said Monday.

"In a meeting this morning (Tuesday) we decided to suspend the work because the site is still unstable and the lives of the rescue workers are at risk," Hubo Arbizu, spokesman for national disaster authorities, told AFP.

Most bodies had been found near the surface and further digging could set off more landslides, Arbizu said.

Two bodies were found late Monday, bringing the toll to 35, he added.

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Blasts at China fireworks factories kill 14: state media
Beijing (AFP) Jan 4, 2009
Fourteen people were killed in two explosions at illegal fireworks factories in China, state media reported on Sunday.

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