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Rescuers hear tapping from trapped miners

BEIJING — Rescuers cheered Friday after hearing faint signs of life — tapping noises, and possibly shouting — from inside a flooded Chinese coal mine where 153 workers have been trapped for more than five days.

Footage on state-run China Central Television showed rescuers tapping on pipes with a wrench, then cheering and jumping after hearing a response. They lowered pens and paper, along with glucose and milk, down metal pipes to the spot where the tapping was heard.

About 3,000 rescuers were working nonstop to pump water out of the Wangjialing mine, which government officials say flooded last Sunday afternoon when workers digging tunnels broke into an old shaft filled with water. But experts said it could still take days to reach the miners.

Taliban kill 3 German soldiers in gunbattle

KABUL — Taliban fighters attacked a detachment of German troops who were on a bridge-building and mine-clearing mission, triggering a gunbattle that left three soldiers dead, the German Defense Ministry said.

Five other Germans were wounded in the fighting Friday southwest of Kunduz city, the ministry said.

German troops and Afghan police exchanged fire with their attackers for about an hour, with fighting resuming three hours later, local government chief Abdul Wahid Omar Khil said. He estimated about 200 Taliban militants were involved.

One Taliban fighter was killed and another was wounded, but the Germans and Afghan police were unable to use heavy firepower because the militants were firing from inside and on top of civilian homes, Omar Khil said.

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