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Ethiopia Search for Tourist Killers and Kidnappers

Ethiopian security forces were Thursday searching for gunmen who killed five European tourists and kidnapped at least two others and two guides in an attack it blamed on arch-rival Eritrea.

"We are working on how to respond to the attack... there are security operators there," said foreign ministry spokesman Dina Mufti.

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6 Killed in Suicide Attack at Kandahar Airport Claimed by Taliban

A suicide attack killed at least six people on Thursday at Kandahar international airport in southern Afghanistan, one of the deadliest flashpoints in a 10-year war, police said.

"Six civilians were killed in a suicide attack close to the gates of Kandahar airport today," said Kandahar police chief General Abdul Razeq.

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Pakistan PM Digs in On Contempt Charges

Pakistan's embattled prime minister Thursday defended himself against contempt charges before the Supreme Court, refusing to back down in a case that could see him disqualified from office if convicted.

It is only the second time that Pakistan's highest court has initiated contempt proceedings against a sitting prime minister, plunging the weak government deeper into a crisis that could force early elections within months.

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Ethiopian Forces Search for Tourist Killers and Kidnappers

Ethiopian security forces were Thursday searching for gunmen who killed five European tourists and kidnapped at least two others and two guides in an attack it blamed on arch-rival Eritrea.

"We are working on how to respond to the attack... there are security operators there," said foreign ministry spokesman Dina Mufti.

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Avalanches Kill 29 in Northeastern Afghanistan

Avalanches have killed at least 29 people in Afghanistan's mountainous northeast as rescuers struggled to reach the worst-hit areas cut off by heavy snows, officials said.

The Afghan National Disaster Management Agency said Thursday that at least 40 more people have been injured in a series of avalanches since Monday in Badakhshan province.

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France's Armenia Genocide Bill Stumbles ahead of Vote

A French Senate committee on Wednesday rejected a bill to outlaw denial of the Armenian genocide, but the move was unlikely to stop the diplomatically fraught bill passing at a final vote on Monday.

The French lower house approved the law last month, threatening anyone who denies that the 1915 massacre of Armenians by Ottoman Turk forces amounted to genocide with jail, drawing a threat of sanctions from Turkey.

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Iran Says Nuclear Talks Will 'Most Probably' be in Istanbul

A new round of talks on Iran's controversial nuclear program will "most probably" take place in Istanbul, Tehran's foreign minister said during a visit to Turkey Wednesday, Turkish media reported.

"I am not sure, but most probably it will be in Istanbul," Ali Akbar Salehi said, a year after the last round of talks collapsed.

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Mali Troops, Tuareg Rebels Battle for Second Day

Malian troops and Tuareg fighters clashed Wednesday in Aguelhok in northeastern Mali, a day after rebels attempted to seize another nearby town, witnesses said.

"Since 5:00 am (05:00 GMT) this morning an exchange of fire between a group of Tuareg rebels and the Malian army has been heard in Aguelhok. Heavy weapons fire has been heard near the military camp," a prominent resident in the town said.

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Lavrov Says New Sanctions Aimed at 'Suffocating' Iran Economy

Russia on Wednesday accused Western powers of trying to "suffocate" the Iranian economy and incite popular discontent with new sanctions such as a proposed oil embargo.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said all sanctions aimed at winning more transparency from Iran concerning its nuclear program had "exhausted" themselves and new measures threatened to only hurt the Iranian people.

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5 Europeans Killed in Ethiopia Attack, Eritrea Denies Involvement

Ethiopia said Wednesday that five tourists killed in an attack blamed on terrorists in the northeast were all European, and that two other foreigners in the group had been kidnapped.

The government confirmed the attack, first reported by state television late on Tuesday, and blamed terrorists backed by its arch-foe neighbor Eritrea.

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