World Briefs / Bodies found near Mexico border

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CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico -- The slain bodies of 19 people have been discovered in Mexico's northern border state of Chihuahua, officials reported Sunday, including 11 apparently long-dead men found in mass graves and eight others who were apparently tortured and killed in recent days.

The state prosecutor's office for missing people said 11 male bodies were found in Ejido Jesus Carranza, near the U.S. border about 25 miles southeast of Ciudad Juarez.

Officials say they apparently were buried two years ago at the height of battles between drug gangs seeking to control routes across the border.

Prosecutors also said Sunday that officials had found eight bodies tossed along a road near Rosales, about 120 miles southwest of Ojinaga, Texas. The agency said the men apparently were kidnapped Friday and were discovered Saturday. It said they had been shot in the head after being tortured.

Catalonia punishes leader

BARCELONA, Spain -- Voters in the economically powerful region of Catalonia on Sunday punished the leader who made a referendum over breaking away from Spain a central plank of his campaign, seeing his party's majority reduced by a dozen seats.

Regional president Artur Mas had asked the electorate to give him an absolute majority to lend weight to his Convergence and Union party's center-right policies, including the call for a referendum. Instead, voters have left him 18 votes short and in need to make a coalition to guarantee staying in power.

The second-most voted party is pro-referendum Republican Left, which has been very critical of Mr. Mas' austerity drive.

"The vote is fragmented but the message is clear," said Ferran Requejo, political science professor at Barcelona's Pompeu Fabra University. "Two-thirds of the electorate voted for parties that are in favor of calling an independence referendum, but Mas has been hit hard for his austerity policies."

Bersani wins first round

ROME -- Democratic Party head Pier Luigi Bersani, whose party leads in opinion polls, Sunday won the first round of a primary in his bid to succeed Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti in elections next year.

As Mr. Bersani, 61, failed to win more than half of the vote, he will face Florence Mayor Matteo Renzi in a second round Dec. 2.

Wave of Pakistan attacks

ISLAMABAD -- A bomb blast in northwest Pakistan killed five people and injured 70 others Sunday, provincial and local authorities said, the latest in a wave of attacks that have struck the country's minority Shia Muslim community.

The attack in Dera Ismail Khan was the second to strike the city of 119,000 this weekend and the fourth in five days directed at Shia Muslims as they commemorate the anniversary of the 7th century martyrdom of Imam Hussein, a grandson of Muhammad.

Also in the world ...

Twin suicide car bombs exploded Sunday at a church inside one of Nigeria's top military bases, killing at least 11 people and wounding another 30 in an embarrassing attack showing the continued insecurity that haunts Africa's most populous nation. ... Israel successfully tested its newest missile defense system Sunday, the military said, a step toward making the third leg of what Israel calls its "multilayer missile defense" operational.

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