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17 Dead as Gunmen Attack Mourners of 5 Christians in Nigeria

Gunmen fired on Christian mourners in northern Nigeria on Friday, killing 17 people in the latest attack to hit the region amid mounting fears of sectarian clashes, residents and a relief source said.

"There was an attack last night at Good Will Hotel in which five people were killed, all of them Igbos, and today, some friends and relatives of one of those killed in the attack gathered in his house to mourn his death," resident Zubairu Abdulaziz said of the incident in the northeastern town of Mubi, speaking of the Christian Igbo ethnic group.

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Six Children Die in Afghan Bomb Blast

At least six children and one man were killed when a bomb planted in a garbage bin exploded Friday in Tirin Kot, capital of Afghanistan's southern province of Uruzgan, police said.

Four other children who were playing nearby were wounded, said spokesman Fardi Ayel.

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Taliban Want U.S. Prisoners Sent to Qatar

Afghanistan's Taliban insurgents have demanded in negotiations with the U.S. that prisoners held in Guantanamo Bay be transferred to Qatar, an Afghan government spokesman said Friday.

But President Hamid Karzai's government objects strongly to the move and wants the prisoners sent directly to Afghanistan, presidential spokesman Aimal Faizi told Agence France Presse.

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Iran to Hold New Wargames in Key Oil Waterway in Weeks

Iran is to hold fresh military exercises in and around the strategic Strait of Hormuz within weeks, the naval commander of its powerful Revolutionary Guards was quoted as saying on Friday.

The maneuvers are to be held in the Iranian calendar month that runs from January 21 to February 19, the Fars news agency quoted Ali Fadavi as saying.

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U.S. Sentences Pakistani over Taliban Smuggling Plot

A Pakistani man convicted on terrorism charges has been sentenced to more than four years in jail in the United States over a plot to smuggle a member of the Pakistani Taliban into the country.

Irfan Ul Haq, 37 -- who last September pleaded guilty along with two other Pakistanis to conspiracy to provide support to a terror organization -- was sentenced to 50 months in jail by a U.S. federal judge in Washington on Thursday.

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Over 3,000 Killed in South Sudan Massacre

More than 3,000 people were killed in South Sudan in brutal massacres last week in bloody ethnic violence that forced thousands to flee, the top local official in the affected area said Friday.

"There have been mass killings, a massacre," said Joshua Konyi, commissioner for Pibor county in Jonglei state.

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Turkey ex-Army Chief Arrested for Alleged Bid to Topple Government

Turkey's former army chief Ilker Basbug was arrested Friday over an alleged bid to topple the Islamist-rooted government, the Anatolia news agency reported on Friday.

"The 26th chief of staff of the Turkish republic has unfortunately been placed in preventive detention for setting up and leading a terrorist group and of attempting to overthrow the government," Ilkay Sezer, a lawyer for Basbug, was quoted as saying by Anatolia.

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Report: Tymoshenko's Husband Seeking Asylum in Prague

The husband of Ukraine's jailed former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko sought political asylum in the Czech Republic at the end of last year, a Czech newspaper reported Friday.

Oleksandr Tymoshenko, a 51-year-old businessman who also has a stake in Czech company International Industrial Projects, has a fair chance of getting the asylum, the Pravo daily said.

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Eight NATO Troops Killed in Afghanistan Blasts

Eight NATO soldiers have been killed in a series of bomb attacks in southern Afghanistan, the military said Friday.

Three died on Thursday, another lost his life in a blast on Friday and four more were killed in second attack later the same day.

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Journalist Shot Dead in Southern Philippines

A Philippine journalist has been shot dead in an ambush, police said Friday, the latest such attack in one of the world's most dangerous countries for the media.

Christopher Guarin was attacked late Thursday by two unidentified men on a motorcycle as the 41-year-old radio commentator and newspaper publisher was driving in the southern port of General Santos, they said.

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