World briefs: 2 bombers strike Kabul

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KABUL -- A pair of suicide bombers in Afghan military uniforms penetrated the most heavily guarded district of this capital early Wednesday, killing two Afghan security guards and wounding five civilians in blasts at a checkpoint near the main U.S. military headquarters and half a dozen other international facilities.

Police officials said the bombers' target was probably Camp Eggers, the large U.S. military compound that occupies several square blocks of the exclusive Wazir Akbar Khan neighborhood. But a spokesman for the radical Islamist Taliban movement said the attack was aimed at a CIA compound.

The attack during morning rush hour quickly emptied the streets of the normally congested city. It immediately intensified public worries of violence during the Shiite Muslim holy period of Moharram, which will climax Sunday with street processions and ritual self-flagellation. Last year during Moharram, a terrorist bombing near a Shiite shrine in Kabul took 54 lives.

2 Pakistani cities attacked

QUETTA, Pakistan -- A bomb blast targeting an army vehicle killed three soldiers and two civilians in the southwestern city of Quetta on Wednesday, police said.

Hours later, two bombs went off minutes apart outside a Shiite mosque in the southern city of Karachi, killing at least one person and wounding several others.

The explosions demonstrated the underlying tensions in Pakistan between insurgents and security forces on the one hand Sunni and Shiite Muslims on the other.

Security chief murdered

BENGHAZI, Libya -- A senior Libyan security official was assassinated outside his home in the eastern city of Benghazi, officials said Wednesday, the same city where the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans were killed at their diplomatic compound in September.

The official, Faraj Mohammed al-Drissi, who had held the post of Benghazi's security director for only a few weeks, was fatally shot late Tuesday night as he was returning from work.

French citizen kidnapped

PARIS -- A French citizen has been kidnapped in southwest Mali, officials said Wednesday.

The Tuesday evening kidnapping brings to seven the number of French citizens being held in the west African nation that is effectively divided into two, with Islamic militants controlling the vast northern desert region that the West fears could become a new base for jihad training.

The extremist group MUJAO, one of the groups controlling northern Mali, is holding the hostage, according to an Islamist website in neighboring Mauritania. Mauritania's Nouakchott Information Agency said the man kidnapped on Tuesday is Jules Berto Rodriguez Leal, a 61-year-old Portuguese-born Frenchman.

No jail time for activist

SEOUL, South Korea -- A South Korean man received a suspended 10-month prison term Wednesday for resending North Korean propaganda posts from his Twitter account.

The man, Park Jung-geun, 24, a photographer and social media and freedom of speech activist, was arrested in January on charges of violating South Korea's controversial National Security Law, which bans "praising, encouraging or propagandizing" for North Korea but does not clearly define what constitutes such acts. He was later released on bail.

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