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Afghan Vote Audit Suspended again over Disagreement

Afghanistan's election commission on Saturday re-suspended the auditing process of 8.1 million votes cast in the presidential run-off poll, after the two candidates failed to agree on the procedure for invalidating votes.

"The Independent Election Commission (IEC) has decided to suspend temporarily the vote audit until the fourth day of Eid, and we hope it is enough time for the candidates to sort out their differences," the IEC chairman Ahmad Yusuf Nuristani told a press conference Saturday.

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Israel Army in 'Detective' Hunt for Gaza Tunnels

An Israeli colonel likens the hunt for tunnels dug by Palestinian militants from the coastal enclave of Gaza to the work of a detective.

"Finding these tunnels is like a detective trying to solve a murder with a number of clues. There are several pieces to the puzzle, including intelligence and technology," said Lieutenant Colonel Max of the army engineers for the Gaza area.

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Talks Start in Paris to Press for Long-Term Gaza Truce

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and other top diplomats from Europe and the Middle East began talks in Paris Saturday to press efforts for a long-term ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

Kerry met with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and their counterparts from Britain, Germany, Italy, Qatar, Turkey and the European Union as a 12-hour "humanitarian" truce in Gaza entered into force.

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85 Syria Troops Killed in Jihadist Advance

At least 85 Syrian army troops were killed as the jihadist Islamic State advanced on a regime position in the northern province of Raqa, a monitoring group said Saturday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the fate of around 200 other soldiers remained unknown, as the IS assault forced the army to pull back late on Friday.

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Top Sunni Official Held in Baghdad

Armed men in military uniform raided the home of a senior Baghdad Sunni politician overnight and whisked him and several of his guards away, police said Saturday.

"Armed men came last night and detained the head of Baghdad provincial council Riyadh al-Adhadh and four of his guards from his house in Adhamiyah," a police colonel told AFP.

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Australia PM Defends Treatment of Migrants Held on Boat

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott Saturday said his government's treatment of a boatload of 157 asylum-seekers who have been kept at sea for weeks would underline its resolve to stop people-smuggling.

Abbott, who came to power in September promising to "stop the boats" bringing asylum-seekers from countries such as Iran and Afghanistan, said Canberra would not dodge its international and legal obligations.

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Qaida Releases Video of U.S. Suicide Bomber in Syria

Syria's Al-Qaida affiliate has released a video of a young U.S. suicide bomber from Florida who blew himself up at an army post in the northwest of the country.

Moner Mohammad Abu Salha, alias Abu Hurayra al-Amriki, was believed to be the first American national to carry out such an attack in Syria's more than three-year-old war.

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Hundreds of Thousands Need Food Aid in Somali Capital

Over 350,000 people in Somalia's war-ravaged capital are in acute need of food aid as government and charities struggle to cope, the U.N. warned Saturday, with other cities also in crisis.

"The food security situation has worsened as early warnings highlight drought conditions in parts of Somalia," a report from the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.

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Qaida Militants Kill Four Yemeni Soldiers

Al-Qaida militants killed four soldiers from an elite Yemeni unit in an overnight attack on their post near the central town of Baida, a security official said Saturday.

The attack also wounded two other soldiers, before the Al-Qaida militants set fire to an army vehicle and fled the scene, the official said.

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Liverpool's Lallana Set to Miss Start of Season

Liverpool suffered a major blow on Friday when England midfielder Adam Lallana was ruled out for up to six weeks after suffering a knee injury.

Lallana, who moved to Anfield from Southampton for £25 million ($42 million) earlier this month, sustained the knock to his lateral collateral ligament during a session at the Reds' Harvard University training base in Boston.

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