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WORLD BRIEFS


LIBYA: NATO mission extended

NATO authorized a 90-day extension of the alliance's aerial mission over Libya on Wednesday, raising the prospect that U.S. and allied troops could be involved in the North African nation until Christmas. But Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen emphasized that the alliance could call home its forces "at any time" if international authorities and the new government determine that NATO's help is no longer necessary. Rasmussen said the alliance had been "remarkably successful" in executing a UN mandate to protect civilians, despite criticism that NATO's aerial bombing campaign routinely crossed the line into actively assisting revolutionary forces in their effort to topple Moammar Gadhafi.


TURKEY: Fierce attacks on Kurds

Turkey reportedly bombed the main Kurdish rebel base in northern Iraq on Wednesday and chased rebels in a mountainous area in Turkey's southeast in response to escalated attacks by the autonomy-seeking guerrillas. The military said its warplanes have bombed at least 20 more suspected Kurdish rebel targets since late August. The pro-Kurdish Firat news agency said the jets bombed the rebel base on Qandil Mountain deep inside northern Iraq. About 2,000 Turkish troops, meanwhile, launched a massive operation against Kurdish rebels in the mountainous Tunceli province after a large group of rebels was detected in the area, said CNN-Turk television. Suspicion also fell on Kurdish militants following Tuesday's car bomb in Ankara that killed three people and wounded 34 others.


AFGHANISTAN: Slaying endangers talks

The assassination of former Afghan president Burhanuddin Rabbani reflects the dangers of negotiations with the Taliban: Any effort toward a peace deal can bring deadly action to stop it from factions within the multi-headed insurgency. Rabbani supporters angrily warned Wednesday that there is no hope in seeking negotiations, a key policy of President Hamid Karzai that the United States has backed.

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