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France to pull 1,000 troops from Afghanistan: Sarkozy

President Nicolas Sarkozy said Tuesday that France would withdraw a quarter of its 4,000 troops from Afghanistan by the end of next year, becoming the latest NATO power to downsize its combat mission in the war-torn country. The French leader announced the withdrawal after jetting in on a surprise visit…

Brother of Afghan president ‘martyred’

Updated July 12, 2011; 4 am ET. Ahmed Wali Karzai, the younger brother of the Afghan president and a powerful figure in the deeply troubled southern province of Kandahar, was assassinated on Tuesday, officials said. Initial details were sketchy, but a family friend, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP…

Iran denies U.S. claims it armed Iraq rebels

TEHRAN — Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast on Monday rejected accusations by US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta that Iran had armed rebels in neighbouring Iraq. “The United States is not in a good position in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are doing everything they can to maintain their military presence…

DR Congo rape victims to get $3.5 million from the European Union

KINSHASA — The European Union will provide 2.5 million euros ($3.5 million) to help care for rape victims in the Democratic Republic of Congo under an agreement signed Monday. The cash will go towards “appropriate medical care” for victims of sexual attacks in the east of the country, the EU…

Dalai Lama says Tibetans support ‘Middle Way’

WASHINGTON — The Dalai Lama voiced confidence Monday that Tibetans supported his “Middle Way” of seeking greater rights but staying under China’s rule, despite criticism from some young exiles. The Dalai Lama, who announced earlier this year that he was retiring from political duties, said that it was up to…

Rhinoceros head stolen from French museum

BLOIS, France — Thieves stole a rhinoceros head from a museum in France, the latest in a string of raids thought to be fuelled by an international trade, police and museum sources said on Monday. Staff at the natural history museum in Blois, 160 kilometres (100 miles) southwest of Paris,…

CIA orchestrated fake vaccinations to collect bin Laden DNA

Pakistani officials have detained a doctor who the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) paid to secretly collect DNA samples from Osama bin Laden’s compound, a report said Monday. Prior to the raid that killed the al Qaeda chief on May 2, the CIA recruited Shakil Afridi, a doctor who works…

Mobs storm U.S., French embassies in Syria

Angry mobs stormed the American and French embassies in Syria on Monday, after the two Western envoys visited the city of Hama, a flashpoint for protests against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. The foreign ministry in Paris said three French staff were wounded in the embassy attack, while a US official…

U.S. drone strike kills 10 militants in Pakistan

A US drone strike targeting a compound in Pakistan’s northwestern tribal belt on the Afghan border on Monday killed at least 10 militants, local security officials said. Two unmanned aircraft fired four missiles, hitting the compound and a vehicle parked in the Gorwaik area of Datta Khel town, 45 kilometres…

Panetta makes 9/11 gaffe in Iraq

Newly appointed US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta told American troops in Baghdad on Monday that 9/11 was the reason they were in Iraq, before he was quickly corrected by his spokesman. “The reason you guys are here is because of 9/11. The US got attacked and 3,000 human beings got…

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