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THAILAND: Cycling pair killed in accident

A British couple's round-the-world cycling odyssey ended in tragedy when both were killed in a road accident. Peter Root and Mary Thompson died Wednesday when they were hit by a pickup truck east of Bangkok, police said Monday. The couple, both 34 and from Guernsey in the Channel Islands, left Britain in July 2011 and had cycled through Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia and China. Peter's father, Jerry Root, told The Associated Press they were experienced cyclists. "They were camping wild, as they called it," he said. "They were leading the life they wanted to. It was the happiest, the most fruitful of lives." Thai Police Lt. Col. Supachai Luangsukcharoen said their bodies, their bicycles and their belongings were found scattered on a roadside, along with a pickup truck that crashed between trees. The truck driver, Worapong Sangkhawat, 25, seriously injured, told police his truck hit the cyclists as he was reaching down to pick up a cap from the vehicle's floor. He faces charges of causing death by dangerous driving, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail.

PAPUA-NEW GUINEA: 2 held in burning of 'sorcerer'

Two people have been charged in the killing of a woman accused of witchcraft who was tortured and burned alive in front of hundreds of people. Janet Ware and Andrew Watea were charged with murder in the slaying of Kepari Leniata, 20, a mother who was stripped, tortured with a hot iron rod, doused in gasoline and set alight on a pile of car tires and trash by a mob earlier this month. Leniata had been accused of sorcery by relatives of a 6-year-old boy who died in a hospital. Ware and Watea were believed to be the boy's mother and uncle.

NIGERIA: Claim made in kidnapping of 7

An extremist splinter group claimed responsibility Monday for the kidnapping of seven foreigners. The group, Ansaru, broke away from the Islamist insurgent organization in the north, Boko Haram. Gunmen blasted their way into a housing compound for foreign workers for a Lebanese construction company, Setraco, Saturday in Jamaare, Bauchi state, and seized the seven. Ansaru said it was in reprisal for the actions of European countries in Afghanistan and Mali.

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