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CIA running all-Afghan paramilitary force to hunt militants

US official: CIA runs Afghan counterterrorism team to hunt Taliban and al-Qaida targets A U.S. official in Washington confirmed reports that the CIA is running an all-Afghan paramilitary group in Afghanistan that has been hunting al-Qaida, Taliban, and other militant targets for the agency. A security professional in Kabul familiar…

Despite ‘end’ of Iraq war, US troops battle armed militants in Baghdad

Days after the U.S. officially ended combat operations and touted Iraq’s ability to defend itself, American troops found themselves battling heavily armed militants assaulting an Iraqi military headquarters in the center of Baghdad on Sunday. The fighting killed 12 people and wounded dozens. It was the first exchange of fire…

Gulf oil spill could have impact for ‘decades’: US official

The massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill could have an “impact for years and possibly decades to come,” a top US official said Wednesday, speaking after BP successfully plugged the leaking well. “We remain concerned about the long term impact,” Jane Lubchenco, head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration,…

Lebanese troops killed, Israelis wounded in clashes

Three Lebanese soldiers and a Lebanese journalist were killed and several Israeli soldiers wounded on Tuesday in clashes along the tense border, Lebanese security officials told AFP. “Three Lebanese soldiers were killed in the clashes today, one journalist was killed and one civilian was wounded,” one official said. “We also…

Foreigners among 30 dead in Iraq hotel blaze

SULAIMANIYAH, Iraq (AFP) – Guests leapt desperately to their deaths from upper-floor windows as a fire tore through a hotel in northern Iraq killing 30 people, 14 of them foreigners, police and medics said on Friday. Citizens of Australia, Britain, Canada and several Asian and South American countries were among…

Australia boots Israeli diplomat over fake murder passports

SYDNEY (AFP) – Australia said Monday it would expel an official from the Israeli embassy after finding the Jewish state was behind fake Australian passports linked to the killing of a Hamas operative. Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said Australia remained a “firm friend” of Israel but no government could tolerate…

North, South Korea exchange artillery fire over north sea border

North Korea fired artillery into the sea Wednesday near its disputed border with South Korea and South Korean forces fired back, Seoul officials said. The North’s artillery batteries on land fired into waters near the border shortly after 9:00 am (0000 GMT), a spokesman for the Joint Chiefs of Staff…

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