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Search teams comb Southeast tornado rubble...100 dead in Nigeria fire...Afghan battle continues

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FALKNER, Miss. (AP) — The job of accounting for everyone after tornadoes in the Southeast is being made more difficult because many people were away for the holidays. Search teams are combing damaged homes and businesses following unseasonably violent weather that killed at least 14 people, seven of them in Mississippi. Six people were killed in Tennessee and one in Arkansas. Dozens of homes were damaged or destroyed. Flooding from torrential rain remains a danger.

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — One witness says many victims were burned beyond recognition after a gas tanker truck ignited an inferno at a crowded industrial gas plant in Nigeria. The blaze killed more than 100 people lining up to refill their cooking gas cylinders in time for Christmas. The witness says the fire raged for hours.

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A fight against Taliban insurgents continues to rage in southern Afghanistan's Helmand province. Aktar Mohammad, a provincial council member, says the situation is unchanged in the Sangin district, where intense battles have raged for a week after the Taliban overran much of the area. He says Afghan reinforcements have arrived, backed by special operations forces. Sangin sits on routes for drugs, arms and other contraband that fund the insurgency.

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Congo radio reports at least seven people have been killed by a cargo plane that overshot a runway, hitting homes and killing at least seven people. Residents in central Congo told Top Congo FM radio that there was bad weather and the plane landed in the middle of the runway before overrunning it. The provincial governor says the plane made several failed attempts to land.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — In 2010, more than 100 officers failed to find Lance Leeroy Arellano in the Utah desert after he allegedly wounded a park ranger. Now, officials say skeletal remains discovered Thursday in a narrow cave near Moab, are believed to be Arellano, who was 40 when he disappeared. The Grand County Sheriff's Office said a college student discovered the remains. Nearby was a bag containing a handgun, ammunition and binoculars.

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