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SURROUNDED: Philippine government forces swept rugged mountain terrain Monday, dodging land mines and avoiding booby-trapped corpses in their search for Islamic insurgents suspected of sacking a town. The military claimed to have the insurgents surrounded. Maj. Gen. Edgardo Batenga, chief of the armed forces' Southern Command, told reporters in Zamboanga that as many as 200 gunmen were trapped in the mountains near Siocon.BUS CRASH: A bus racing down a highway in southern China plunged more than 100 yards into a ravine, killing 28 people and seriously injuring 32, the Wen Hui newspaper said on Monday. The military-licensed bus shot off a section of road in Qingxin county of southern Guangdong province that has been the scene of several serious accidents recently, the newspaper said.

TOXIC CLOUD: An explosion at a chemical plant near Toronto released a cloud of corrosive and poisonous gases, fire officials said Monday. The blast shook the Schenectady Chemicals of Canada plant in Scarborough, east of Toronto around 6:30 a.m. MDT, releasing a plume of smoke that dissipated quickly, Scarborough Fire Chief Tom Powell said. One police officer exposed to the initial plume was hospitalized, but his condition was not immediately available.

Across the nation

EXPLOSION: Two children were killed and another injured after they found some gunpowder and lighted a match to it, authorities said in Columbia, S.C. The explosion threw Chad Wright, 11, 10 feet in one direction and 13-year-old Jessica Threatt 15 feet in the other. Another boy was slightly injured, said state Law Enforcement spokesman Hugh Munn. The children's grandfather, J.C. Wright, said the explosion Sunday evening jarred his home about 1,500 yards away.

SETTLEMENT: A tentative settlement was reached Monday morning in the 14-day-old strike that had shut down most of the nation's fourth-largest public transportation system. Labor leaders in Philadelphia were hopeful that full service could resume citywide by Monday afternoon. The executive board of the striking Transport Workers Union Local 234 scheduled a vote Monday morning on the tentative agreement reached with the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, according to union vice president Jeffrey Brooks.