World briefs: Pakistan hits militants

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ISLAMABAD — Pakistani military jets pounded militant hideouts in the northwestern tribal region bordering Afghanistan early Sunday morning, officials said, killing as many as 100 militants in the second strike on the region since a deadly attack on the Karachi airport a week ago.

Pakistani Air Force jets targeted eight militant hideouts in the North Waziristan tribal area, two intelligence officials said.

Many of the dead were believed to be Uzbeks and foreign fighters, they said.

One of those killed was Abu Abdul Rehman al-Maani, who is believed to have helped orchestrate the airport siege carried out last Sunday, said two other officials. Uzbek fighters and the Pakistani Taliban both claimed responsibility for the airport attack, and the Pakistani Taliban said the two had worked together to carry it out, marking a disturbing increase of militant groups working together.

3 teens taken in West Bank

JERUSALEM -- A terror group abducted three teens -- including an American -- who went missing in the West Bank, Israel's prime minister said Saturday, as soldiers searched the territory to find them.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed the Palestinian Authority for the Thursday night disappearance of the teens. Palestinian officials say they are assisting Israeli forces, who pored over surveillance footage Saturday and arrested more than a dozen Palestinians.

There have been at least three claims of responsibility for the abduction, though none could be immediately verified.

Their kidnapping would be the biggest abduction of its kind by Palestinian militant groups in the West Bank in recent memory.

Palestinian officials have rejected Mr. Netanyahu's contention that the Palestinian Authority, a self-rule government that administers 38 percent of the West Bank, was responsible for the fate of the teens. They noted that the three went missing in an area of the West Bank that is under full Israeli control.

Curfew lifted in Thailand

BANGKOK -- Thailand's ruling military government lifted a nationwide curfew Friday to bolster the country's vital tourism industry and promised to install an interim government in August.

General Prayuth Chan-ocha, who heads the council that has overseen the country since taking over May 22, said that power would be handed to a government in August. That, he said, was part of a three-phase plan of reconciliation, formation of a government and elections.

In an evening television announcement, the National Council for Peace and Order said conditions had improved enough -- after months of periodically violent street demonstrations -- to lift the curfew across the country.

In a rambling 40-minute address to the nation, Gen. Prayuth issued a wide range of promises to make the economy more efficient, streamline energy policy and improve the lives of ordinary Thais. He pleaded for more time to achieve the military's aims.

Turks leave Benghazi

ANKARA -- Turkey has temporarily pulled its diplomatic staff out of the Libyan city of Benghazi and urged its nationals to leave the east of the country amid mounting security concerns, the Turkish foreign ministry said Saturday.

Turkey is one of the last countries to maintain a diplomatic presence in Benghazi, where the U.S. ambassador was killed during an attack by Islamist militants on the American diplomatic mission in the port city in 2012.

The move comes after a huge explosion likely caused by a suicide bomber at an army checkpoint in Barsis, 30 miles east of Benghazi killed the attacker and wounded six others late Wednesday.

-- Compiled from news services


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