Europeans search for source of bacterial contamination

Europeans traded blame Monday over the source of a mysterious bacterial outbreak that has killed 14 people and sickened hundreds across the continent and forced Russia to ban imports of some fresh vegetables from Spain and Germany out of fear they could be contaminated.

Austrian authorities sent inspectors to supermarkets to make sure Spanish vegetables suspected of contamination have been taken off shelves, while in Italy the country’s paramilitary Carabinieri has been on the lookout since Saturday for suspected contaminated imports from Spain, the Netherlands and other European countries.

In Germany, officials said they know that at least some Spanish cucumbers tainted with enterohaemorrhagic E.coli, also known as EHEC, have carried the bacteria, although they still have not been able to determine the exact source.

SANAA, Yemen

Troops kill demonstrators while airstrikes hit radicals

Yemeni forces opened fire on a protest camp and killed more than 20 demonstrators Monday in the southern city of Taiz while government warplanes launched airstrikes on another southern town seized by radical Islamists.

The new attempts to suppress the uprising against President Ali Abdullah Saleh with overwhelming force, following a weekend when high-level military defectors formed a united front in support of the protesters, all pointed to the longtime leader’s increasingly tenuous grip on power.

Early today, residents said multiple explosions were heard in several parts of Sanaa, apparently from heavy weapons and shells. They said clashes were in progress in the capital.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates

Saudis free woman driver who posted Internet video

A Saudi woman detained for defying the ultraconservative kingdom’s ban on female drivers was released Monday after growing international pressure for her freedom, a rights activist said.

The 32-year-old woman, Manal al-Sherif, became the center of a growing Internet campaign that also served to draw attention to plans for a June 17 rally calling for a mass driving protest to challenge the restriction. She had been detained since May 21 after posting an Internet video of her driving as part of a campaign for the planned protest.