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Protesters Stop Mali Islamists from Cutting Off Thief's Hand

Residents of Gao in Islamist-occupied northern Mali on Sunday prevented extremists from chopping off the hand of a thief, the penalty for stealing according to strict sharia law, residents told Agence France Presse.

"They (Islamists) were not able to cut off the thief's hand. Very early on Sunday hundreds of youths stormed independence square in Gao to prevent the sentence being carried out," a local teacher told AFP by telephone.

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China Arrests 137 over Organ-Trafficking Ring

Chinese police arrested 137 people, among them doctors, suspected of trafficking human organs in a nationwide crime ring that profited from the huge demand for transplants, authorities said.

In a sting operation beginning in late July, police pounced across 18 provinces and regions and "rescued" 127 people who had agreed to donate organs to illicit traders, the Ministry of Public Security said.

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Croatia Leader Extends Hands of Peace to Serbs

Croatian President Ivo Josipovic extended the hand of peace to Serb citizens Sunday as he marked the anniversary of the crushing of a Serb rebellion in 1995, an operation pivotal in ending the war.

"Croatia won the war, it is a great achievement... but Croatia still has to battle to win in peace," Josipovic said at a ceremony at the former ethnic Serb rebel stronghold of Knin marking the 17th anniversary of Operation Storm.

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India Floods Kill 34, Hundreds of Pilgrims Stranded

Flash floods in mountainous northern Indian have killed at least 34 people and left hundreds of Hindu pilgrims stranded, officials said Sunday.

Twenty-three workers at a hydroelectric power plant in Uttarakhand state died after water gushed into the facility on Saturday, state disaster management minister Yashpal Arya said.

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Afghan President Accepts Sacking of Top Ministers

Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Sunday accepted a decision by parliament to dismiss his two top security ministers but asked them to continue in a temporary capacity until they can be replaced.

Parliament's vote of no confidence in Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak and Interior Minister Bismillah Mohammadi on Saturday came amid tension with Pakistan and increasing insurgent attacks as NATO prepares to withdraw its troops.

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U.N. Says Staffer Shot Dead in Sudan's South Kordofan

A Sudanese driver for the World Food Program has been shot dead in war-torn South Kordofan state, the U.N. agency said on Sunday.

"Our driver was killed yesterday in an armed attack in an area some 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of Kadugli," WFP spokeswoman Amor Almagro told AFP.

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Detentions as Vietnam Breaks up Anti-China Protest

Vietnamese police detained at least 20 people on Sunday as they broke up a protest in Hanoi against Beijing's territorial claims in the disputed South China Sea, witnesses said.

Demonstrators were forced into waiting buses and taken to a rehabilitation center usually used to detain sex workers and drug users, after attempting to gather in defiance of a heavy police presence, one detainee told AFP.

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Pakistan resumes NATO supply into Afghanistan

Pakistan on Saturday resumed NATO supplies, allowing 14 containers to cross into Afghanistan from its northwestern border at Torkham, officials said.

Pakistan had temporarily stopped NATO supplies over security concerns on July 24 after gunmen attacked a convoy of NATO trucks on July 24, killing a driver, in the town of Jamrud on the outskirts of the main northwestern city Peshawar.

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Obama Hails Sudan, South Sudan Oil Deal

U.S. President Barack Obama welcomed an oil sharing deal Saturday between Sudan and South Sudan, which has helped resolve a dispute that nearly brought the rivals to war earlier this year.

Landlocked South Sudan said it had agreed to pay a pipeline transit fee of $9.48 per oil barrel to transport its crude through Sudan, a significant drop from Khartoum's initial demands of up to $36 a barrel in fees.

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Explosions Rock Restive Nigerian City as Troops Raid Homes

Explosions rocked parts of the northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri Saturday as troops engaged suspected Islamic radicals and raided homes, residents said.

The explosions, which began late Friday, occurred in three neighborhoods notorious for attacks blamed on the Boko Haram sect, and residents fled as troops went door-to-door arresting people suspected of complicity, they said.

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