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Dust storm hits Phoenix airport

PHOENIX — A dust storm moving through central Arizona shut down air traffic at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport on Thursday.

The massive wall of dust blew through the Phoenix area about 6 p.m. Thursday, dramatically reducing visibility and enveloping residents in an eerie rust-colored glow.

It's the third major dust storm that has hit the Phoenix metropolitan area since July 5.

Salt River Project officials say an estimated 3,500 customers were without electricity late Thursday afternoon.

Officials in Pinal County say high winds downed power lines south of the town of Arizona City and west of Interstate 10.

Iraqi immigrants held in drug trafficking ring

SAN DIEGO — Federal officials said Thursday they've busted a drug trafficking ring involving Mexico's most powerful cartel and members of an Iraqi immigrant community in the U.S. who were caught selling illegal drugs, assault rifles, grenades and homemade explosives.

About 60 people from the Iraqi community were arrested after a six-month investigation carried out by the Drug Enforcement Administration and police in the city of El Cajon, a working-class city east of San Diego.

Many of the suspects are Iraqi Chaldeans — Christians who fled their homeland amid threats from al-Qaida and other extremists. Police say at least some of those arrested are suspected of being affiliated with the Chaldean Organized Crime Syndicate, an Iraqi gang based in Detroit.

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