IRAQ: We did it, al-Qaida says

Al-Qaida's front group in Iraq claimed Wednesday it was behind a wave of attacks that killed 46 people in eight cities and said the violence shows how weak government security is heading into next week's Arab League summit in Baghdad. The attacks Tuesday struck Shia pilgrims in Karbala, set cars on fire near a police headquarters in Kirkuk and targeted security forces and government officials in Baghdad. The statement by the Islamic State of Iraq, posted on a militant website, said its "Sunni lions" targeted the plan of the "fool government preparing" for the summit. The government vowed not to be scared off from hosting the summit, the first in Iraq since 1990. On Wednesday, a bomb exploded near a liquor store in central Baghdad and wounded five passersby.


SOMALIA: British hostage freed

A British tourist snatched by Somali gunmen from a resort island in Kenya was freed Wednesday after more than six months in captivity, Britain's Foreign Office said. Judith Tebbutt was taken in September by gunmen who killed her husband, David Tebbutt, during the attack. "The circumstances -- with my husband passing away -- made it harder," she told Britain's ITV. "I'm looking forward to seeing my son, who successfully secured my release. I don't know how he did it, but he did, which is great." An official with the Somali militia Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jama said a ransom was paid to pirates for Tebbutt's release.


COLOMBIA: 39 FARC rebels killed

Troops have killed 39 rebels, most of them in a bombardment of a guerrilla camp, Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon said Wednesday. The military bombed a the camp in northeastern Arauca state early Wednesday, killing 33, Pinzon said. Others were killed in the past two days in Arauca and elsewhere, he said. He described the bombing of the rebel camp as the biggest blow against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, in the past five years. Saturday, 11 soldiers were killed in an attack blamed on the FARC.

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