Syrian troops block border

CAIRO — Syrian troops using tanks and machine-gun fire took over a village in the country's northwest Saturday, activists said, bringing Syria's military closer to the Turkish border in an apparent bid to block an escape corridor to Turkey for refugees and defectors.

Rami Abdul-Rahman, of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said the takeover of the village of Bdama, just a few miles from the border, will stop food and water reaching about 2,000 displaced people in the mountains on the Syrian side.

Clashes between troops and anti-government protesters in the area began about two weeks ago and have forced thousands to flee their homes. More than 10,000 Syrians are sheltering in refugee camps across the Turkish border, rights groups say.

Mexican drug violence claims nine more lives

MORELIA, Mexico — Mexican authorities said Saturday the bodies of nine victims of suspected drug violence have turned up in the western state of Michoacan.

The state prosecutor's office said in a statement that authorities found eight bodies in three different areas of the port city of Lazaro Cardenas. Three of the bodies had been dumped in front of the state public security agency.

Another body was found in the state capital of Morelia.

Several of the still unidentified bodies were discovered with messages from a group calling itself the Knights Templar and claiming responsibility for the killings.