Heaviest skirmish in years as PA forces battle gunmen near Nablus

Illustrative photo of Palestinian security forces (photo credit: Issam Rimawi/Flash90)
Illustrative photo of Palestinian security forces (photo credit: Issam Rimawi/Flash90)

 Unconfirmed reports of injuries in hours-long shootout in Balata, most populous refugee camp in West Bank

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Taliban claim responsibility for Kabul attack that killed 3 Americans

The Taliban claim responsibility for an apparent "insider attack" at Kabul airport in which three American contractors and an Afghan were killed

The Taliban claim responsibility for an apparent “insider attack” at Kabul airport in which three American contractors and an Afghan were killed ©Roberto Schmidt (AFP/File)

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France to deploy 5,000 police to protect Jewish schools

French soldiers patrol in front of the Eiffel Tower on January 8, 2015 (photo credit AFP/BERTRAND GUAY)

French soldiers patrol in front of the Eiffel Tower on January 8, 2015 (photo credit AFP/BERTRAND GUAY)

In address to parents of Jewish students, interior minister says soldiers will also be posted as reinforcements

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Iraqi officials say IS militants used chlorine gas

FILE – In this Oct. 6, 2014, file photo, Army soldiers search Iraqis amid tight security during Eid al-Adha celebrations in Baghdad, Iraq. Iraq’s fractured army has begun to regroup and stage modest, localized attacks on the Islamic State militants who routed them last spring and summer, but they are unlikely to be ready to launch a major counteroffensive for many months, senior U.S. military officials said Thursday. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim, File)

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Deadly fuel-hike protests continue in Sudan

Anti-government protests erupt in Sudan

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Sudanese security forces have opened fire on demonstrators, with at least four people reported to have died, as thousands marched through the streets of the capital in continuing protests over fuel price hikes.

About 3,000 people, angered by a police crackdown on previous protests, also demonstrated after Friday prayers in Khartoum’s twin city Omdurman, across the Nile, shouting “Freedom! Freedom!” and “The people want the fall of the regime!”. Clashes also took place in the city of Wad Medani.

Police on Saturday confirmed that four civilians had been killed, but blamed the deaths on “unknown shooters”. At least 700 people involved in Friday’s demonstrations were arrested.

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Muslim insurgents launch 50 attacks in Thailand’s deep south

Muslim insurgents fighting for a separate state in Thailand’s deep south launched 50 bomb and arson attacks over the weekend, killing three members of the security forces as violence in the troubled region intensifies.

Muslim insurgents fighting for a separate state in Thailand's deep south launched 50 bomb and arson attacks over the weekend, killing three members of the security forces as violence in the troubled region intensifies.

Thai soldiers and police officers at the scene of a bomb attack in Pattani province, southern Thailand Photo: EPA

 

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The three local defence volunteers died after a bomb hidden in a pile of clothes exploded outside a restaurant in Pattani Town on Sunday lunchtime.
Another nine people were injured in the blast.
A coordinated campaign of terror started at 6pm local time on Saturday, when seven bombs were planted outside shops, supermarkets and a karaoke bar in Pattani Town, the capital of Pattani Province, one of the three southernmost provinces of Thailand with a Muslim majority population.
Bomb disposal experts defused five of the bombs. But further devices were detonated later that night and on Sunday, while a wave of arson attacks gutted shops in Pattani Town and targeted mobile phone towers, security cameras and local defence bases elsewhere in Pattani Province.
“Intelligence estimates suggest there were 50 coordinated attacks. We managed to prevent attacks in eight spots,” Police Major General Ekkaphob Prasitwattanachai told local media.
Shops in Pattani City were closed on Monday and streets deserted, as residents stayed indoors fearing more violence. The bombing and arson campaign is being regarded as revenge for the killing of 16 militants who attacked a marine base in Narathiwat Province last Wednesday. It was the deadliest day the insurgents have suffered in almost a decade.
Almost 5,400 people have died, and more than 9,500 have been injured, since the insurgency started in earnest in 2004.
Around 80 per cent of the 1.8 million people in the three southernmost provinces of Thailand – Pattani, Narathiwat and Yala -, that border Malaysia are ethnic Malay Muslims. Many regard the overwhelmingly Buddhist Thai state as a colonial power and want their own independent nation.
On Monday, deputy prime minister and deep south security chief Chalerm Yubamrung said he had been “forced” by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to agree to travel to the deep south next month. Mr Chalerm has been repeatedly criticised for his failure to visit the region during his 19 months in office.

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