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Iranian Guards Kill Six Pakistanis

Iranian border guards shot dead at least six Pakistanis and wounded two others after they strayed across the border in a remote southwestern area, Pakistani officials said Friday.

"We received information from border police that eight Pakistanis from Sunsar village along with their livestock went inside an Iranian area," Mujeebur Rehman, deputy administrator of port town of Gwadar, told Agence France Presse.

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Rockets Hit Pakistan Academy near Bin Laden Home

Attackers on Friday fired rockets at Pakistan's top military academy, damaging its outer wall in a major security breach near the home where Osama bin Laden lived for years, officials said.

No one was hurt in the pre-dawn attack and it was unclear who fired the nine rockets from behind a mosque in mountains overlooking the Kakul academy, Pakistan's equivalent of West Point 50 kilometers from the capital.

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U.S. Blocks Funds to Three Alleged Islamic Extremists

The United States moved Thursday to deny any U.S. financing or material support to alleged Islamic extremists operating in Afghanistan, Europe and Lebanon.

The State Department targeted brothers Yassin and Mounir Chouka, who it said are recruiters, facilitators and propagandists for the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) and stage operations along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

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Pentagon Proposes Budget Cuts, Spares Asia, Middle East

The Pentagon on Thursday proposed trimming the Army's size by 13 percent as the debt-ridden United States winds down a decade of war but vowed new investments to exert power in Asia and the Middle East.

With pressure mounting to balance the U.S. books, President Barack Obama's administration sought a nine percent cut in the 2013 budget compared with last year's request by retiring older ships and planes and pulling back two brigades from Europe.

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Tuareg Rebels Launch New Attack in Mali

Tuareg rebels and Malian troops fought over the northern town of Anderamboukane on Thursday, officials said, as the rebels carried out their first major offensive in the region in three years.

The Tuareg rebels, many of whom recently returned from fighting in Libya, last week attacked three towns in northern Mali, announcing an offensive as they seek greater autonomy and independence for their nomadic desert tribe.

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Five Dead, 16 Missing in Rio High-Rises Collapse

Rescue teams frantically dug through rubble Thursday for 16 people missing after three office buildings collapsed in the historic heart of Rio, killing at least five people and injuring six, officials said.

The collapse, apparently caused by structural problems, occurred late Wednesday near the municipal theater on the city's Cinelandia square, in a historic district bustling by day but nearly deserted at night.

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Ethiopian Court Jails Journalists, Opposition Leader

An Ethiopian court on Thursday handed out heavy jail sentences to five people on terrorism charges, including three journalists and an opposition leader, with one receiving a life term.

"The court sentenced every one of them, from 14 years to life in prison," one of the case's public prosecutors told Agence France Presse, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

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Barbs Fly as Republican Race Tightens

Republican White House hopefuls Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich traded barbs Thursday on immigration and character ahead of a final debate showdown before Florida's ultra-competitive and all-important primary.

The frontrunners -- locked in a virtual tie in the polls -- spent Wednesday courting Latino voters and sniping at each other as they battled for the chance to take on Democratic President Barack Obama in the November election.

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German Kidnapped on Outskirts of Nigeria's Kano

Gunmen on Thursday abducted a German engineer working with a construction company on the outskirts of the violence-hit Nigerian city of Kano, police said.

A driver along with two other assailants "came and abducted the engineer Raupach Edgar, attached to Dantata and Sawoe construction company," said police spokesman Magaji Majia.

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NATO Will Not Return to Libya despite Clashes

NATO has no intention of launching new air operations in Libya despite deadly clashes taking place in a former bastion of late dictator Moammar Gadhafi, the alliance chief said Thursday.

Fighting erupted in the oasis town of Bani Walid earlier this week, three months after NATO ended its air war in Libya and declared it had accomplished its mission to protect the civilian population.

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