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Relatives of accused LAX

shooter 'shocked'

PENNSVILLE, N.J. -- Relatives of the suspect charged in last week's Los Angeles airport shooting offered sympathy Monday to the family of the federal officer who was killed, saying they were "shocked and numbed" by the deadly rampage.

An attorney for the family of Paul Ciancia said his relatives also expressed hope for the recovery of the other victims and regret for the travel disruption caused by the attack on the nation's third-busiest airport.

Family lawyer John Jordan read a brief statement outside the town hall in Pennsville, a working-class town near Wilmington, Del., where Ciancia grew up.

"Paul is our son and brother. We will continue to love him and care for him and support him during the difficult times ahead," Jordan said on the family's behalf.

The relatives, who had not spoken publicly before, said they were co-operating with the FBI and other law-enforcement agencies.

Jordan, who is also the town's municipal judge, declined to take questions.

Ciancia, a 23-year-old unemployed motorcycle mechanic, is accused of shooting his way past an airport checkpoint with a .223-calibre rifle he pulled from a duffel bag. He was wounded in a shootout with airport police. He faces charges of murder of a federal officer in the death of Transportation Security Administration screener Gerardo I. Hernandez and committing violence at an international airport.

Footprints led to arrests

DAKAR, Senegal -- French troops who found the bodies of two slain French radio journalists in northern Mali followed footprints in the sand near the corpses to hunt their abductors, part of a search that eventually led to five arrests Monday, a Mali military official said. He added the kidnappers' vehicle had broken down, possibly prompting their decision to kill the captives.

The director of Radio France Internationale confirmed multiple arrests had been made, although French government authorities gave no confirmations. What remained unclear was who the kidnappers were and whether they had ties to ethnic Tuareg separatists or al-Qaida militants active in the region.

The slayings of Ghislaine Dupont, 57, a senior correspondent, and Claude Verlon, 55, a production technician, stunned France and were an unheard of assault on western journalists in Mali, where a French-led military operation this year aimed to clear out Islamic extremists who had taken over the vast north.

The veteran journalists were taken Saturday in the troubled northern city of Kidal, just after finishing an interview with a Tuareg rebel leader. Their bodies were found later that day 12 kilometres outside the city, a few metres from what was believed to be the kidnappers' getaway vehicle.

India on mission to Mars

NEW DELHI -- India is aiming to join the world's deep-space pioneers with a journey to Mars it hopes will showcase its technological ability to explore the solar system while seeking solutions for everyday problems on Earth.

With a Tuesday launch planned for Mangalyaan, which means "Mars craft" in Hindi, India will attempt to become only the fourth country or group of countries to reach the red planet, after the Soviet Union, United States and Europe.

This is India's first Mars mission, and no country has been fully successful on its first try. More than half the world's attempts to reach Earth's planetary neighbour -- 23 out of 40 missions -- have failed, including missions by Japan in 1999 and China in 2011.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 5, 2013 A8

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