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Israeli warplanes strike shipment of Russian missiles at Syrian port: officials
Today's Headlines
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Page 4: Opinion
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Page 6: Politix
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Afghanistan
Taliban Leader Says Peace Talks On Horizon
[Tolo News] Mutasem Agha Jan, the head of the Taliban Political Committee, said on Tuesday that peace negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban would recommence soon, signaling the first major sign of hope for a process that has been stalled since June.

With President Hamid Maybe I'll join the Taliban Karzai
... A former Baltimore restaurateur, now 12th and current President of Afghanistan, displacing the legitimate president Rabbani in December 2004. He was installed as the dominant political figure after the removal of the Taliban regime in late 2001 in a vain attempt to put a Pashtun face on the successor state to the Taliban. After the 2004 presidential election, he was declared president regardless of what the actual vote count was. He won a second, even more dubious, five-year-term after the 2009 presidential election. His grip on reality has been slipping steadily since around 2007, probably from heavy drug use...
away in London to participate in trilateral talks with Britannia and Pakistain launched for the purpose of getting peace negotiations with the Taliban back on track, Agha Jan's statement on Tuesday came as a welcomed surprise.

Many experts have grown doubtful of any reconciliation deal being struck between the faceless myrmidons and Kabul before the spring elections or the withdraw of foreign troops in 2014. However,
Caliphornia hasn't yet slid into the ocean, no matter how hard it's tried...
Agha Jan leant credence to his claims by asserting that his authority to move the peace talks forward came on behalf of the Taliban's supreme leader, the reclusive Mullah Omar
... a minor Pashtun commander in the war against the Soviets who made good as leader of the Taliban. As ruler of Afghanistan, he took the title Leader of the Faithful. The imposition of Pashtunkhwa on the nation institutionalized ignorance and brutality in a country already notable for its own fair share of ignorance and brutality...
.

The High Peace Council (HPC) was highly positive about the announcement, suggesting it was a reliable signal that tangible gains in the grinding of the peace processor were soon to come.

"He doesn't only speak for himself, he talks on behalf of the Taliban's top commander Mullah Omar, and Omar is the leader of the Taliban group, so it's really positive and we support it," said HPC front man Maulavi Shahzada Shahid.

Agha Jan said the Taliban's renewed willingness to come to the negotiating table was based on their desire to bring the country out of crisis and establish longstanding peace in Afghanistan.

"Taliban are ready for a ceasefire, we don't support war," he said. "All, including the Taliban, have paid a major price in the war."

The Taliban political leader's comments fly in the face of the fears of many Afghan and foreign officials who have suggested the bad turban group is looking to derail the upcoming elections. Nevertheless, those fears are based on the observation of action, like the recent liquidation of the Kunduz IEC Chief and abduction of five IEC officials in Faryab province. For now, the Taliban's commitment to peace remains rhetorical.

That does not mean Agha Jan's announcement on Tuesday wasn't a major break for the process that has been stagnant since an attempt at talks floundered in Qatar nearly five months ago. As the HPC's remarks indicate, a statement of willingness and expectation that talks will begin soon is a major step in and of itself.

Over the past months, the Afghan government has been focusing on making inroads with Pakistain in hopes of getting it to help get the grinding of the peace processor rolling. Those efforts have not seen much success, as Karzai's request to have Taliban leader Mullah Baradar released from prison was agreed to by Islamabad, but then never carried through.

That issue was expected to be an item of discussion this week between Karzai and Pak Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
... served two non-consecutive terms as prime minister, heads the Pakistain Moslem League (Nawaz). Noted for his spectacular corruption, the 1998 Pak nuclear test, border war with India, and for being tossed by General Musharraf...
in London.

Members of the Afghan government and their unofficial delegates have reportedly been engaged in backroom communication with the Taliban in hopes of kick-starting the grinding of the peace processor. Whether or not that behind-the-scenes dialogue played a part in Agha Jan speaking up on Tuesday is uncertain.

One of the major reasons Karzai government officials have been so eager to make progress on the grinding of the peace processor, other than the fact that Karzai will not be in a position to do so after the election in April, is that the NATO
...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. It's headquartered in Belgium. That sez it all....
combat mission ends in December of 2014. The departure of coalition troops from Afghanistan has led to a significant amount of hand-wringing about a potential security vacuum that could mean a death blow to the still fledgling Kabul regime that has been in place since 2003.
Posted by: Fred || 10/31/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under: Taliban

#1  A Far Horizon. Like a mirage in the desert.
Posted by: Deacon Blues || 10/31/2013 12:08 Comments || Top||


Africa Horn
U.N. to Approve 4,000-Troop Boost to Somalia Force
[An Nahar] The U.N. Security Council will soon agree to authorize 4,000 more troops to boost the African force battling resurgent Shabaab rebels in Somalia, diplomats said Wednesday.

The council is likely to allow a new upper limit of about 22,000 troops for the African Union
...a union consisting of 53 African states, most run by dictators of one flavor or another. The only all-African state not in the AU is Morocco. Established in 2002, the AU is the successor to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), which was even less successful...
force amid mounting warnings over the Shabaab krazed killer threat after the Nairobi shopping mall attack last month.

U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson told the council that advances made by the African force with the Somali army had "ground to a halt" because it lacked a sufficient number of troops.

The AU force, officially known as AMISOM, and the Somali army have pushed the fighters out of the capital Mogadishu and other major cities over the past 18 months.

But the Shabaab have regrouped and staged spectacular attacks, such as the Westgate Mall strike in Nairobi on September 17 in which 67 people died.

Suicide bombers have also inflicted major casualties in Mogadishu.

Shabaab "is mobile and is training and recruiting substantial numbers of frustrated, unemployed young men," Eliasson told a Security Council meeting on Somalia and efforts to support the country's interim government.

Eliasson reaffirmed a call by U.N. leader the ephemeral Ban Ki-moon
... of whom it can be said to his credit that he is not Kofi Annan...
and the African Union for "a significant temporary boost" to AMISOM's numbers.

The African Union has said it needs an extra 2,550 infantry troops and 1,800 support forces.
Posted by: Fred || 10/31/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under: al-Shabaab

#1  That's nice. Who's paying for it?
Posted by: Pappy || 10/31/2013 21:13 Comments || Top||


Africa North
Protocol to be signed with interior ministry to secure Egypt's universities
[Al Ahram] Hassan Eisa, head of Ain Shams University, announced Wednesday that a protocol is expected to be signed Thursday between the Ministry of Interior and the Supreme Council of Universities (SCU) to tighten campus security nationwide.

According to Eissa, the SCU has authorised the secretary general of the council and the minister of higher education to sign the security protocol between the interior ministry, universities and the SCU.

The protocol is expected to resemble the one existing on university hospitals, which allows security forces to secure such premises, said Eissa in a press statement Wednesday.

It remains unknown whether security forces will be deployed on campuses or not.

Since the begining of the academic year in Egypt, universities have been witnessing fierce festivities between supporters and opponents of deposed president Mohammed Morsi
...the former president of Egypt. A proponent of the One Man, One Vote, One Time principle, Morsi won election after the deposal of Hosni Mubarak and jumped to the conclusion it was his turn to be dictator...
. As a result, tens of Islamist students have been jugged
Don't shoot, coppers! I'm comin' out!
.

On Wednesday, security forces were allowed into Al-Azhar University campus upon the request of the university's president, after festivities escalated in the second week of protests at the university.

According to the lawyer representing those arrested, only eight of the arrested are Azhar students.
Posted by: Fred || 10/31/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under: Arab Spring


Bangladesh
CPB, BSD urge BNP to leave Jamaat
[Bangla Daily Star] Terming Jamaat-e-Islami
...The Islamic Society, founded in 1941 in Lahore by Maulana Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi, aka The Great Apostosizer. The Jamaat opposed the independence of Bangladesh but has operated an independent branch there since 1975. It maintains close ties with international Mohammedan groups such as the Moslem Brotherhood. the Taliban, and al-Qaeda. The Jamaat's objectives are the establishment of a pure Islamic state, governed by Sharia law. It is distinguished by its xenophobia, and its opposition to Westernization, capitalism, socialism, secularism, and liberalist social mores...
as an anti liberation force Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) and Bangladesh Samajtantrik Dal (BSD) today urged BNP to leave the alliance of Jamaat.

During a meeting with BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia
Three-term PM of Bangla, widow of deceased dictator Ziaur Rahman, head of the Bangla Nationalist Party, an apparent magnet for corruption ...
at her Gulshan office, CPB president Mujahidul Islam Selim and BSD general secretary Khalequzzaman made the appeal to the opposition chief.

The two left leaning organizations also urged both BNP and Awami League to make compromises from their respective positions and make a fruitful dialogue for the sake of democracy.
Posted by: Fred || 10/31/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under: Jamaat-e-Islami


China-Japan-Koreas
Uighur leader challenges China's account of Tiananmen attack
The exiled leader of China's Uighur community has called for an international investigation into an incident in which a car plowed into pedestrians in Beijing, after Chinese authorities arrested five suspected Uighurs for the attack.

The SUV vehicle burst into flames after being driven into a crowd on Tiananmen Square on Monday. The three occupants and two bystanders were killed, and dozens were wounded. Police called it a terrorist attack.

Rebiya Kadeer, president of the Munich-based World Uighur Congress, said the attack was tragic but was equivocal on whether Uighurs had carried it out.

Kadeer warned against accepting at face value China's account of the incident. She said, "Chinese claims simply cannot be accepted as facts without an independent and international investigation of what took place in Beijing on Monday."

Asked whether she believed Uighurs were responsible, Kadeer replied, "Maybe and maybe not. It is difficult to tell at the moment, given the strict control of information by the Chinese government on this tragic incident.

"If the Uighurs did it, I believe they did it out of desperation because there is no channel for the Uighur people to seek redress for any kind of injustice they had suffered under Chinese rule."

Kadeer added, "I don't believe there is any kind of organized extremist Islamic movement operating in East Turkestan. It is almost impossible for Uighurs to organize because of China's stringent controls and attacks."
Posted by: ryuge || 10/31/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under:


India-Pakistan
Pakistan will not accept violation of sovereignty: Nawaz
[Dawn]
Posted by: Fred || 10/31/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan

#1  and "Not Accept" results in what actions now?
Posted by: 3dc || 10/31/2013 1:02 Comments || Top||


Govt, Taliban urged to declare truce
[Dawn] A syndicate of the mainstream political parties on Tuesday called upon the government and the Taliban to declare ceasefire without delay to pave the way for peace talks.

At the same time, the 22-member All Parties Joint Action Committee for Peace demanded that the government quit the US-led war on terrorism and check the US drone attacks in the country's tribal areas.

The demands were made during a meeting of the committee here on Tuesday at Al-Markaz-e-Islami, provincial secretariat of Jamaat-e-Islami
...The Islamic Society, founded in 1941 in Lahore by Maulana Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi, aka The Great Apostosizer. The Jamaat opposed the independence of Bangladesh but has operated an independent branch there since 1975. It maintains close ties with international Mohammedan groups such as the Moslem Brotherhood. the Taliban, and al-Qaeda. The Jamaat's objectives are the establishment of a pure Islamic state, governed by Sharia law. It is distinguished by its xenophobia, and its opposition to Westernization, capitalism, socialism, secularism, and liberalist social mores...
, to discuss implementation of the decisions of the recent all parties conference organised by JI in Beautiful Downtown Peshawar
...capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province), administrative and economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. Peshawar is situated near the eastern end of the Khyber Pass, convenient to the Pak-Afghan border. Peshawar has evolved into one of Pakistan's most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities, which means lots of gunfire.
, according to a news release issued here.

Two factions of Jamaat Ulema-e-Islam
...Assembly of Islamic Clergy, or JUI, is a Pak Deobandi (Hanafi) political party. There are two main branches, one led by Maulana Fazlur Rahman, and one led by Maulana Samiul Haq. Fazl is active in Pak politix and Sami spends more time running his madrassah. Both branches sponsor branches of the Taliban, though with plausible deniability...
, Pakistain Mohammedan League-Quaid, Awami National Party, Pakistain People's Party and other political groups are members of the committee. However,
corruption finds a dozen alibis for its evil deeds...
PML-N declined to be part of the committee.

The participants made JI provincial deputy chief Dr Iqbal Khalil the committee's convener and agreed to hold a 'peace march' in Peshawar after Muharram 10.

Representatives of political parties and civil society will participate in the march.

The committee adopted a resolution to demand expulsion of foreign forces of Evil from Fata if any and hold an inquiry into the secret drone strike deal.

It also demanded that the federal government begin negotiations with the Taliban forthwith and that the situation might go out of control in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa
... formerly NWFP, still Terrorism Central...
and tribal areas in case talks were delayed.

The committee decided that members of the action committee would meet Chief Minister Pervez Khattak and provincial PML-N chief Pir Sabir Shah to discuss the APC decisions.

It also expressed serious concern over the deteriorating law and order situation in Peshawar, especially the growing cases of extortion and kidnapping for ransom, and asked the provincial government to make a security plan for the picturesque provincial capital.The committee's next meeting will take place at the Central Secretariat of ANP on November 20.

The Jamaat-e-Islami had convened an all parties conference in Peshawar early this month, asking the federal government to announce names of the negotiating team to hold peace talks with the Taliban without further delay.

A joint declaration issued after the conference had also called upon central government to distance itself from the US-led war against terrorism in the region.

However,
corruption finds a dozen alibis for its evil deeds...
Pakistain Tehrik-e-Insaf
...a political party in Pakistan. PTI was founded by former Pakistani cricket captain and philanthropist Imran Khan. The party's slogan is Justice, Humanity and Self Esteem, each of which is open to widely divergent interpretations....
(PTI), coalition partner of JI in the provincial government, and Pakistain Mohammedan League-N hadn't sent their representatives to the conference while Pakistain People's Party, Awami National Party, two factions of Jamaat Ulema-e-Islam, Pakistain Mohammedan League-Q and representatives of traders associations had attended the APC.

The APC was convened to discuss the prevailing security situation in the province in the wake of a series of suicide and kabooms in Peshawar and other parts of the province.
Posted by: Fred || 10/31/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan


International-UN-NGOs
UN says US gives guarantee not to spy
[Al Ahram]
US gives no spying guarantee to UN: Spokesman
[Al Ahram] US government refutes claim that NSA had cracked the UN's communications encryption system
Posted by: Fred || 10/31/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6458 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Ummmmmm...okay.
Posted by: tu3031 || 10/31/2013 0:46 Comments || Top||

#2  You sure there was a silent ending to that like "when you are looking" or "much" or "for 1 second a day"?
Posted by: 3dc || 10/31/2013 1:00 Comments || Top||

#3  ..and you get to keep your existing health insurer too.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 10/31/2013 6:53 Comments || Top||

#4  P2k gets my vote for snark of the day.
Posted by: Spot || 10/31/2013 7:51 Comments || Top||

#5  If you like your website..you can keep it.
Posted by: swksvolFF || 10/31/2013 10:18 Comments || Top||


Iraq
US aims to help Iraq target 'terror groups'
[Al Ahram] The United States is aiming to help the Iraqi government battle an increasing threat from Al-Qaeda linked terror groups with military sales and intelligence sharing, a US official said Wednesday. "We do want to help the Iraqis develop the capability to target these networks effectively and precisely," the bigwig said, after a two-hour meeting between US Vice President Joe Foreign Policy Whiz Kid Biden
The former Senator-for-Life from Delaware, an example of the kind of top-notch Washington intellect to be found in the World's Greatest Deliberative Body...
and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki.
Posted by: Fred || 10/31/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6458 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State of Iraq & the Levant

#1  Biden plans to order NASA to put giant lasers on the space station to project target patterns all over Iraq!
Posted by: 3dc || 10/31/2013 1:04 Comments || Top||

#2  Joe Biden, Champ's insurance policy against impeachment.
Posted by: Besoeker || 10/31/2013 3:47 Comments || Top||

#3  Not much insurance in my book. Joe understands that a Congress that can take out his boss can take him out too. Joe would be more likely to 'compromise' and 'negotiate' usually with Sen Reid doing the proctology examination on his sock puppet.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 10/31/2013 6:52 Comments || Top||

#4  Of course, if the Obama Administration had been competent enough to develop a status of forces agreement, this would probably not be necessary; and there might not be any Iranian flights over Iraq!
Posted by: Thusomble Gravish6982 || 10/31/2013 7:05 Comments || Top||

#5  I know that as the owner and client of the tee party, Barry is a bit busy right now, but does Kerry the Longjowls have a promissary not in place preventing the distribution of arms as a promise to the UN? Including Syria, Mexico, Nigeria, Thailand, Phillipines, Somalia, Yemen, Libya, Morrocco, shit out of typing fluid.

The point, if there is not guarantee of weapons falling into the hands of the mentally ill..such as Denver Boy Blunder...then the wholesale export of arms to known islamists should also be denied. You know, Constitutional Lawyer type thoughtpatternamamathings.

Mr. Maliki, I have not always agreed with you. Not going to the mat to keep US trainers upping your forces now has chickens in the roost. That Biden is on your assignment should tell you what you need to know, and good luck to ya.
Posted by: swksvolFF || 10/31/2013 8:48 Comments || Top||

#6  I'm confused. AQ is our ally in Syria but our enemy in Iraq? I afraid our foreign policy is either non-existent or in a shambles.
Posted by: JohnQC || 10/31/2013 11:15 Comments || Top||

#7  S'what happens when you have Consequentialism as a basis for foreign policy.
Posted by: Pappy || 10/31/2013 15:50 Comments || Top||


Israel-Palestine-Jordan
Israel 'destroying peace process' with new housing: PA
[Al Ahram] Plans to build 1,500 settler homes in east Jerusalem followed Israel's newest concession to free 21 prisoners to the West Bank and another five to the Gaza Strip; Palestinians threaten to break up talks
Posted by: Fred || 10/31/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under: Palestinian Authority

#1  You know if you build enough "settlements" eventually the Palestinians will be surrounded and crowded out and maybe they will see the wonderful opportunity of life in Brazil.

Settlements solve the problem by encouraging the problem to go live on the Orinoco.
Posted by: Spereting Tingle4064 || 10/31/2013 5:46 Comments || Top||

#2  With the average occupied dwelling in Jerusalem costing about $411,000 in 2012 that's a lot of $$$$. Only Tel Aviv cost more.

http://www.globalpropertyguide.com/Middle-East/Israel/Price-History
Posted by: Thusomble Gravish6982 || 10/31/2013 6:59 Comments || Top||

#3  Watch out for the jooooos self-propelled double-wides.
Posted by: Shipman || 10/31/2013 12:22 Comments || Top||

#4  Palestinians are helping the peace process with occasional rockets?
Posted by: rjschwarz || 10/31/2013 14:30 Comments || Top||

#5  Just putting the "home" in "homing systems".
Posted by: Canuckistan sniper || 10/31/2013 15:05 Comments || Top||


Syria-Lebanon-Iran
Ali Eid Reportedly Summoned for Interrogation in Tripoli Blasts Case
[An Nahar] Arab Democratic Party leader ex-MP Ali Eid was summoned Wednesday by the Internal Security Forces Intelligence Bureau for interrogation in the case of the deadly twin bombings that targeted two mosques in Tripoli
...a confusing city, one end of which is located in Lebanon and the other end of which is the capital of Libya. Its chief distinction is being mentioned in the Marine Hymn...
in August, according to media reports.

"The interrogation will tackle the incident of plotting and facilitating the escape of Ahmed Merhi, one of the main suspects in the case of the Tripoli blasts," LBCI television said.

It noted that the investigation is taking place under the supervision of State Commissioner to the Military Court Judge Saqr Saqr.

Meanwhile,
...back at the argument, Livia had made her point with her knee to Jane's stomach...
al-Mayadeen television said the Arab Democratic Party "denied receiving any request from the Intelligence Bureau for the interrogation of its leader in the case of the Tripoli blasts."

According to MTV, Eid's personal driver Ahmed Mohammed Ali was tossed in the clink
Youse'll never take me alive coppers!... [BANG!]... Ow!... I quit!
on October 26 by Lebanese army intelligence agents on charges of smuggling Merhi into Syria at the request of the pro-Damascus former politician.

"During the interrogation of Ahmed, it turned out that the Alawite leader had provided a hideout for Merhi in the Akkar border town of Heker al-Daheri before he was smuggled into Syria," MTV said.
Posted by: Fred || 10/31/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Syria


Russia warns of 'huge threat' if Syria talks fail
[Al Ahram] Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday blasted critics of a US-Russia initiative for a peace conference on Syria, warning that toppling the Assad regime militarily posed a "huge threat" to the area.

"Open objections have surfaced against holding this Russia-US meeting (dubbed Geneva II), not only among Syrian sides but also among capitals, both in neighbouring and non-neighbouring states," Lavrov said during a visit to Athens, according to the official translation.

"We must not allow this initiative to fizzle out," he added, arguing that the overthrowing of Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad
The Scourge of Hama...
's regime through military means would create an "extremist" state and pose a "huge threat to those living in Syria and the area".

Since the start of the conflict in March 2011, Damascus has systematically branded the uprising-turned-rebellion as a foreign-backed plot.
Posted by: Fred || 10/31/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Syria

#1  Of course Obama backing down in the face of Russia's stance on Syria has resulted in
"Putin Topples Obama in Forbes Power Ranking".
Not unexpected, just took longer than expected.
Posted by: Thusomble Gravish6982 || 10/31/2013 7:02 Comments || Top||



Who's in the News
34[untagged]
8Arab Spring
3Govt of Syria
3Govt of Pakistan
3Islamic State of Iraq & the Levant
2Salafists
2Boko Haram
1Thai Insurgency
1al-Qaeda in North Africa
1Houthis
1TTP
1Jamaat-e-Islami
1Palestinian Authority
1Pirates
1Taliban
1al-Qaeda in Sinai Peninsula
1al-Qaeda in Pakistan
1al-Shabaab
1Commies

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Two weeks of WOT
Thu 2013-10-31
  Israeli warplanes strike shipment of Russian missiles at Syrian port: officials
Wed 2013-10-30
  Suicide blast in Tunisian resort of Sousse
Tue 2013-10-29
  Somalia's al-Shabab commanders 'killed' in strike
Mon 2013-10-28
  Bomb blast kills 18 wedding guests in Afghanistan
Sun 2013-10-27
  Bombings in Baghdad, Mosul kill at least 49
Sat 2013-10-26
  Nigeria says kills 74 'Boko Haram' Islamists in ground, air assault
Fri 2013-10-25
  Algerian troops find huge arms cache on Libyan border
Thu 2013-10-24
  Iraq PM warns of 'war of genocide' as attacks kill 48
Wed 2013-10-23
  Kenya police officers raid nabs 50 Somali aliens
Tue 2013-10-22
  IDF soldiers kill planner of Tel Aviv bus bombing in a raid
Mon 2013-10-21
  Syria: Exploding truck murders 30 in Hama
Sun 2013-10-20
  Report: 400 arrested in Egyptian operation in Sinai
Sat 2013-10-19
  18 Palestinians Charged in Leb Terrorist Plot
Fri 2013-10-18
  At Least 60 Killed, Hundreds Wounded in Iraq Bombs
Thu 2013-10-17
  Logar Governor Killed By Blast in Mosque

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