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Shebab Claims Bomb Attack on Somalia Plane

Somalia's Shebab insurgents on Saturday claimed responsibility for a bomb attack which ripped a hole in a passenger plane  shortly after takeoff from the capital Mogadishu earlier this month.

On February 2, Shebab "mujahideen carried out an operation targeting dozens of Western intelligence officials and Turkish NATO forces aboard an airplane bound for Djibouti," said a statement issued by the group.

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U.S. General Bullish on Afghanistan as he Confirms Retirement

The top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan was bullish on the country's future despite concerns over peace talks, as he confirmed his looming retirement at a press conference in Kabul Saturday.

General John Campbell voiced confidence about the future of Afghanistan as he neared the end of an 18-month tour of the country, though he admitted any political solution could be jeopardized by divisions within the Taliban.

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Russia Sanctions to Remain until Ukraine Deal Implemented, Says Kerry

Sanctions against Russia will continue until it implements all aspects of the Ukraine peace agreement reached in Minsk last year, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Saturday.

"Russia has a simple choice: fully implement Minsk or continue to face economically damaging sanctions," he said at the Munich Security Conference in Germany.

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Two Ruling Party Loyalists 'Executed' in Burundi

Two people loyal to the ruling party in troubled Burundi were "executed" overnight in the center of the country, a local official and witnesses said Saturday.

Burundi has been in crisis since April when President Pierre Nkurunziza ran for and won a controversial third term, sparking street protests, a failed coup, regular killings and a nascent rebellion.

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Russia Decries 'New Cold War' as East-West Strains Cloud Talks

The world has plunged into a "new Cold War", the Russian premier said Saturday, as East-West tensions over Ukraine and Syria took center-stage at a gathering of world leaders in Germany.

"We have slid into a new period of Cold War," Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told the audience at the Munich Security Conference.

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Seven Killed in Gun Battle in Indian Kashmir

A fierce gun battle killed two soldiers and five suspected militants Saturday in Indian-administered Kashmir near the de facto border with Pakistan, army officials said.

The seven died during a heavy exchange of fire in the border village of Marsari, 130 kilometers (80 miles) northwest of the main city of Srinagar, defense spokesman N. N. Joshi said.

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Columbine Shooter's Mother Says Saw No Signs of his Mental Distress

Sue Klebold, the mother of a teen involved in the deadliest high school shooting in U.S. history, said she saw no signs of her son's mental distress in her first TV interview since the 1999 massacre.

Klebold's son Dylan, 17, and his best friend Eric Harris, 18, came to school on April 20, 1999 dressed in black trenchcoats and carrying four guns. They opened fire, killing 13 people and wounding 24 in Columbine before killing themselves.

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Outgoing Myanmar President Cancels U.S. Visit to Monitor Political Transition

Myanmar's outgoing president has scrapped a planned trip to the U.S. next week in order to oversee the power hand-off to Aung San Suu Kyi's new government, a presidential spokesman told AFP Saturday.

Thein Sein was due to attend a summit for leaders from the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) bloc hosted by U.S. president Barack Obama, who has staked large political capital in Myanmar's passage towards greater democracy.

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More than 100 Dead in Collapsed Taiwan Building

Rescuers have found the bodies of more than 100 people killed after an apartment block in Taiwan collapsed during an earthquake one week ago, emergency services said on Saturday.

Only three residents of the Wei-kuan complex in the southern city of Tainan remained unaccounted for as emergency services drew close to completing their search, after rescuing hundreds of people from the ruins.

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U.S. Man Pleads Guilty to Hate Crime after Threatening Mosques

A Florida man has admitted he threatened to firebomb two mosques and shoot worshipers in the wake of the November Paris attacks.

Martin Alan Schnitzler pleaded guilty in the state of Florida to obstructing persons in the free exercise of religious beliefs, a hate crime, the U.S. Justice Department said Friday.

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