Ahn Jung-Won, Associated Press
A South Korean worker, one of many victims in Monday's warehouse fire, lies in a hospital bed.

S. Korea: Fire kills 40 workers

SEOUL — A fire and explosions ripped through a nearly completed cold storage warehouse south of Seoul on Monday, killing 40 workers. Most of the victims were so badly burned they could not immediately be identified.

All the dead were discovered in the warehouse basement, where workers were injecting urethane foam into the walls when the fire broke out, said Kim Jung-geun, a local fire official in Icheon about 50 miles south of the capital. The cause of the fire was still unclear, but arson was not suspected, Kim said.

Afghanistan: Deadly violence

KABUL — A roadside bomb killed two soldiers from the U.S.-led coalition in eastern Afghanistan, and a suicide bomber on a motorcycle attacked a border police patrol in the south, killing a policeman, officials said.

Clashes and another roadside bomb left nine people dead elsewhere.

In the eastern blast, one other U.S.-led coalition soldier was wounded when the roadside bomb hit their vehicle Monday in Kot district of Nangarhar province, the coalition said in a statement. The military originally announced that two soldiers were wounded but later said one of the wounded had died.

Egypt: Militant assails soldier

CAIRO — The fugitive leader of an al-Qaida-inspired group lashed out at the head of Lebanon's army, accusing him of destroying a Palestinian refugee camp as part of deal to become the country's next president, according to an audiotape posted on a militant Web site Monday.

The 57-minute tape was the first purported message from the Fatah Islam leader since fighting broke out between the militant group and the Lebanese military at the Nahr el-Bared Palestinian refugee camp in northern Lebanon in May.

Iraq: Fires kill one, injure 9

BAGHDAD — Two fires broke out Monday in Iraq's largest oil refinery in the northern town of Beiji, killing one person and injuring nine, police and hospital officials said.

The U.S. military said two separate fires broke out in the refinery in the town 155 miles north of Baghdad due to a mechanical fault. The military confirmed one person had been killed but said only three people were injured.

Mauritania: 9 terror arrests

NOUAKCHOTT — Authorities arrested a man once convicted of terror links and eight others suspected of aiding a group that gunned down a French family last month, justice officials said Monday.

Witnesses said three gunmen fired automatic weapons on the five French tourists having a roadside picnic Dec. 24 in Aleg, about 150 miles east of the capital, Nouakchott. Only the father survived, and he was flown to a hospital in France.

Venezuela: No signs of plane

CARACAS — Search teams in helicopters and boats scoured the Caribbean Sea on Monday for a plane that crashed off Venezuela's coast last week, but no signs were seen of the wreckage or 14 people on board, including eight Italians.

After a fourth day of searching, rescuers plan to carry their efforts over into today and then decide how long to continue, said Gen. Antonio Rivero, chief of Venezuela's emergency management agency.

Venezuela: Curbing inflation

CARACAS — President Hugo Chavez will make curbing double-digit inflation a top priority this year as he aims to slow the highest consumer price increases in Latin America, Venezuela's new finance minister said on Monday.

The government intends to slash annual inflation by half, to 11 percent, in 2008, Minister Rafael Isea announced — a target many economists see as unreachable given high government spending.