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WORLD BRIEFS


PAKISTAN: Fighting kills 3 dozen insurgents

Paramilitary soldiers engaged Taliban militants in northwestern Pakistan in fierce fighting that killed 10 soldiers and at least three dozen insurgents Wednesday, officials said. The clashes took place in Bajur, a tribal area where the military has twice declared victory following big offensives. The fighting occurred in two different areas near the main town of Khar, and soldiers called in helicopter gunships to pound militant positions after battling the insurgents for hours, a local official said.


IRAQ: Sunni leader victim of car bomb

The leader of a government-backed Sunni militia was killed in a bombing west of Baghdad on Wednesday. The bomb that killed local Awakening Council leader Mohammed al-Hamdani and wounded a bodyguard was attached to a car and exploded in Hamdaniya, a village in the Abu Ghraib district, officials said.


KYRGYZSTAN: Military seeks to regain a city

A weak military attempted Wednesday to regain control of the city of Osh, a major transit point for Afghan heroin and the epicenter of ethnic violence that has driven much of the Uzbek population out of the poor, rural south. Troops encircled the city and held the central square, but some soldiers were reported looting food aid, casting doubt on the government's ability to re-establish stability. The leader of the Uzbek community said the death toll among Uzbeks exceeded 300. The official toll on both sides so far is 189. More than 100,000 have fled to Uzbekistan.


INDONESIA: Earthquakes smash homes, kill 3

A series of powerful earthquakes struck Wednesday, killing at least three people, damaging hundreds of homes and triggering a brief tsunami warning. The magnitude-7.0 quake struck under the ocean floor off the north coast of Papua province, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

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