World Briefs / Militants stage Nigeria attack

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LONDON -- Authorities in northeastern Nigeria imposed a 24-hour curfew around the region's main city on Monday after Islamic militants staged an audacious attack apparently aimed at a government air base, news reports said, describing the assault as among the most dramatic in the insurgents' campaign to create an Islamic state.

The attack countered reports in recent months that the group had been defeated in the city, Maiduguri, even though it remained a deadly threat elsewhere. Some analysts, moreover, said the assault could raise questions about the authorities' claims to have pushed the insurgents into remote areas.

News reports said hundreds of militants attacked an air force base on the outskirts of the city, where the militant Boko Haram movement was founded a decade ago.

The Boko Haram movement is said to have ties to al-Qaida's regional affiliate in North and West Africa. Last month, the State Department labeled the movement and an affiliate, Ansaru, as foreign terrorist organizations, saying they were responsible for thousands of killings in northern and central Nigeria.

Somalia PM booted out

MOGADISHU, Somalia -- Somalia's Parliament voted the prime minister out of office Monday in a no-confidence motion, with 184 of 249 lawmakers in favor, after what was termed a "constitutional dispute" between the president and the prime minister, Somali officials said.

The prime minister took office in October 2012, and his administration has been repeatedly accused of corruption and unauthorized transactions, with many analysts saying they believed that this might have seriously affected the international community's willingness to support the Somali government.

Thai police bare teeth

BANGKOK -- After a week of using soft-gloved tactics against thousands of anti-government demonstrators, the Thai police aggressively stepped up their defense of government buildings in Bangkok on Monday, firing a hail of rubber bullets and tear gas and using water cannons.

The main demonstration leader, Suthep Thaugsuban, has dug in his heels, prolonging the grinding standoff, the nation's deepest civil unrest in three years.

Protesters have set the ambitious goal of ridding the country of the Shinawatras, the country's most influential political family.

Afghan aid worker deaths

KABUL, Afghanistan -- The number of aid workers killed in Afghanistan has more than tripled this year, making the country by far the most dangerous place in the world for relief work, according to data released by U.N. officials.

Officials were reluctant to attribute the increase to any single factor. But in a number of recent cases, Taliban insurgents have openly claimed responsibility -- despite espousing an official policy that rejects attacks on humanitarian workers.

It is a troubling turn in a country that depends so heavily on international aid, which makes up a vast majority of Afghan economic activity.

Also in the world ...

For the first time in Iceland's modern history, police carried out a fatal shooting Monday during an exchange of gunfire with a man reported to be firing at cars from his apartment window. ... Saudi Arabian authorities said Monday they had expelled more than 110,000 migrants since the Nov. 4 launch of a campaign against foreign workers said to be violating labor regulations.


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