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Ethiopia, Somali Troops Seize Rebel Stronghold

Truckloads of Ethiopian and Somali troops on Wednesday captured the strategic Somali city of Baidoa from Al-Qaida-allied Shebab insurgents, who vowed to avenge the loss.

"We have taken control of Baidoa without a single shot, it is a great day for the people who are now welcoming us warmly," said Muhidin Ali, a Somali government military commander in Baidoa.

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Deaths, Hundreds Injured in Buenos Aires Train Crash

A packed commuter train slammed into barriers at a railway terminus in the Argentine capital Buenos Aires during rush hour Wednesday, leaving an unknown number of people dead, 550 injured, and dozens trapped in the wreckage.

"The train was full and the impact was tremendous," a passenger identified only as Ezequiel told local television, stating that medics at the scene were overwhelmed.

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Russia Warns against 'Catastrophic' Attack on Iran

Russia on Wednesday warned against the use of force to solve the crisis over the Iranian nuclear program, saying an attack would have catastrophic consequences both for the region and global diplomacy.

"The scenario of military action against Iran would be catastrophic for the region and possibly the whole system of international relations," Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov told a news conference.

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Gillard Says FM’s Resignation 'Disappointing' Surprise

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said she was "disappointed" the man she deposed as leader, Kevin Rudd, had not discussed plans to resign as Foreign Minister or raised his concerns with her.

Rudd resigned his post at a dramatic midnight press conference in Washington, saying he had lost the confidence of Gillard amid speculation he was preparing a leadership challenge and would return home to consider his future.

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Detention of Iranian Bomb Suspect Extended in Thailand

A Thai court on Wednesday allowed police to continue to detain one of five Iranian suspects in an alleged terror plot that was exposed by an accidental blast in a residential Bangkok neighborhood.

Police Maj. Gen. Piya Uthayo said Mohammad Kharzei, 42, will be held at a Bangkok prison for at least 12 more days. He was arrested on charges of being an accomplice to possession of unlawful explosives and causing explosions that damaged property and harmed other people.

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Russia Says U.S. might Use Kyrgyz Airbase in Iran Strike

Russia on Wednesday said it could not rule out that the United States would use the U.S. Manas airbase in ex-Soviet Kyrgyzstan for an eventual strike on Iran over its contested nuclear program.

"It cannot be excluded that this site could be used in a potential conflict with Iran," foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich told reporters. "We hope that such an apocalyptic scenario will not be realized."

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Report: Taiwan to Arm Subs with U.S. Missiles

Taiwan's navy will arm its submarines with anti-ship missiles for the first time ever beginning next year, a report said Wednesday, as the island boosts its defense capabilities against rival China.

The Taipei-based United Daily News said the navy, which ordered the U.S.-built Harpoon missiles in 2008, recently test-fired the weapons in the United States, in preparation for installing them on its two Dutch-built submarines.

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Supreme Leader Says Iran Not Seeking Atomic Weapon

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei insisted on Wednesday that his country is not seeking an atomic weapon, following an unsuccessful visit to Tehran by U.N. nuclear watchdog officials.

"We are not after an atomic weapon. We want to break the supremacy (of the world powers) that relies on nuclear weapons. God willing, the nation will reach this goal," he told a meeting with Iranian nuclear scientists, according to an official government statement.

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Five Killed in Afghan Protests over Quran Burning

At least five Afghans were shot dead and dozens wounded Wednesday in clashes between police and demonstrators protesting over the burning of the Quran at a U.S.-run military base, officials said.

In the capital Kabul and in provinces to the east, north and south of the capital, furious Afghans took to the streets screaming "Death to America", throwing rocks and setting fire to shops and vehicles as gunshots rang out.

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Dawn Explosions, Gunshots Rock Nigeria's Kano City

Explosions and gunfire rocked a suburb in northern Nigeria's largest city of Kano early Wednesday where Islamists staged deadly attacks in January, an Agence France Presse reporter and residents said.

An AFP correspondent heard at least six huge explosions followed by gunshots, just before Muslim dawn prayers, which continued for around an hour.

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