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20 Dead in Fresh Myanmar Unrest

At least 20 people have been killed in a fresh wave of communal violence sweeping western Myanmar, a Rakhine state spokesman said Thursday, adding the death toll could ultimately more than double.

"At least 20 people (both Buddhist and Muslim) have been killed in clashes since October 21. The death toll can reach about 50," Myo Thant told AFP.

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6 Civilians Dead as Bus Hit in Somalia Clashes

At least six civilians were killed in war-ravaged Somalia after their bus was hit close to the frontline with al-Qaida-linked Shebab fighters, witnesses said Thursday.

"Six people including two women were killed, and at least five others were seriously injured when a big explosion hit their minibus," said Hassan Yahya, a witness.

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HRW: Kenya Police Abuse Residents in Hunt for Islamists

Kenyan security forces must end the abuse of residents in crackdowns and reprisal raids in the hunt for suspected backers of Somalia's Al-Qaida-linked Shebab militants, Human Rights Watch warned Thursday.

Since Nairobi invaded southern Somalia last October to attack Shebab bases, a string of attacks have rocked the volatile northeastern region, including grenade blasts targeting both the security forces and civilians.

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Japan Says Chinese Ships in Disputed Waters

Four Chinese government ships spent several hours in territorial waters around disputed Tokyo-controlled islands on Thursday, for what Japan's coastguard said was the first time in three weeks.

The move came as Tokyo and Beijing reportedly prepared for talks on a row that has derailed the relationship between Asia's two largest economies and dented their huge trade ties.

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Taliban Storm Afghan Bazaar, Kill Five, Lose 25

A senior Taliban commander and 24 of his fighters were killed in a battle with Afghan security forces in a northern village which also left five police dead, officials said Thursday.

The commander of the attack was the Taliban shadow governor for the northern province of Faryab where the gunfight took place on Wednesday, according to the officials.

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Sudan a 'Dangerous Terrorist State', Says Israeli Official

Sudan is a "dangerous terrorist state," a top Israeli defense official said on Thursday after the Sudanese government accused Israel of carrying out a deadly missile strike on a military factory in Khartoum.

Sudanese officials say the attack on the Yarmouk facility south of Khartoum, which took place at around midnight on Tuesday and killed two people, was carried out by four radar-evading aircraft.

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China Offers Rewards to Expose Tibetan Immolations

Chinese police said Thursday they were offering up to $16,000 as a reward for information on the "black hands" behind a string of self-immolations in a Tibetan-inhabited region.

Notices have been posted in Gannan prefecture in the northwest Gansu province offering the rewards after several Tibetans set themselves on fire in protest at China's rule of the region.

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Muslims Flee Myanmar Unrest as Death Toll Rises

A new wave of sectarian violence in western Myanmar has left five people dead and dozens injured in recent days, triggering another exodus of Muslims to emergency camps, officials said Thursday.

Hundreds of homes have been burned in the fresh outburst of unrest in Rakhine state, where Buddhist-Muslim clashes have killed at least 95 people since June and displaced tens of thousands, according to the authorities.

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Poll: Rest of World Favors Obama over Romney

People around the world overwhelmingly favor U.S. President Barack Obama over his Republican challenger Mitt Romney, a poll carried out for the BBC World Service has found.

An average of 50 percent favored Obama, against nine percent for Romney, with Pakistan the only one of the 21 countries questioned indicating they would prefer to see Romney win the election in November.

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French PM Backs Obama in U.S. Presidential Race

French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault has broken with diplomatic protocol by openly expressing his hope that Barack Obama wins the upcoming U.S. presidential election.

"If I was an American citizen I wouldn't hesitate to vote for Obama," he told a radio interviewer on Wednesday.

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