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Turkey Bombs Kurdish Rebels in Iraq After Deadly Attack

Turkey has launched a military operation against Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq, hours after the militants killed at least 24 soldiers and wounded 18 in attacks in southeastern Turkey near the Iraqi border.

Bomb Kills 8 in Southeastern Turkey

A roadside bomb has killed at least five policemen and three civilians in southeastern Turkey.

The bomb, on a road in the Guroymak district of Bitlis province, exploded Tuesday as a police vehicle was passing by. The civilian victims included a young girl. Three other people were seriously hurt.

Authorities suspect Kurdish separatists were behind the attack. Security forces have been combing the area in search of the assailants, who are believed to be members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK.

Kenyan Troops Advance in Somalia, Pursuing Al-Shabab

Kenyan forces have entered a second part of southern Somalia as part of operations against militant group al-Shabab.

Officials and witnesses confirmed to VOA Somali Service Tuesday that Kenyan troops, backed by helicopters, moved through the border town of El-Waq on Monday and are now in Somalia's Gedo region.

Kenyan troops have also been seen near the al-Shabab-controlled town of Afmadow in the Jubba region. Residents are reported to be fleeing the town in fear of a battle.

Al-Shabab Threatens Response to Kenya Incursion

Somali militant group al-Shabab is threatening attacks against Kenya unless the Kenyan government pulls its troops from Somali territory.

Kenyan soldiers and armored vehicles entered southern Somalia over the weekend in what the government called a "pursuit" operation against al-Shabab, which Kenya blames for a series of kidnappings near the Kenya-Somali border.

Speaking to reporters in Mogadishu Monday, al-Shabab spokesman Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage said Kenyan troops have moved 100 kilometers into Somalia and carried out airstrikes in the country.

Countering the Lord's Resistance Army

The United States condemns the continued atrocities and abductions committed by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) across central Africa. We remain committed to supporting our regional partners’ efforts to mitigate and eliminate the threat to civilians and regional stability posed by the LRA. Since 2008, the United States has provided over $40 million in critical logistical support, equipment and training to enhance counter-LRA operations by regional militaries. We continue to join regional governments in calling on LRA fighters to peacefully disarm and return home.

Suspected US Drone Strike Kills 4 in Pakistan

Pakistani intelligence officials say a U.S. drone strike has killed four militants in the country's northwest, the third such attack in less than two days.

Officials say missiles struck a vehicle Friday as it traveled near the town of Miran Shah in the North Waziristan tribal region. The identities of those killed were not immediately known.

West Africa Pirates Free Tanker, 20 Crew Members

Pirates have released an oil tanker and its 20 Eastern European crew members seized last week off Nigeria's coast.

Shipping industry officials say all the crew members of the Marshall Islands-flagged ship were freed unharmed early Friday. It is not clear if a ransom was paid to secure their release.

The company that manages the vessel said it would provide information on how the crew was freed as soon as the ship returned to a port.

Pirates seized the tanker on Saturday about 145 kilometers south of Lagos, Nigeria's commercial capital.

Alleged Iranian Plot Raises Questions About Possible Motive

The U.S. government's allegation that Iranian agents tried to hire Mexican drug runners to assassinate Saudi Arabia's ambassador in a Washington restaurant has some Middle East experts puzzled over why Iran would carry out such an attack.

It allegedly is a murder-for-hire scheme targeting Saudi Ambassador Adel al-Jubeir. And U.S. officials say there also were plans to attack the embassies of Saudi Arabia and Israel.

One suspect, Iranian American Mansour Arbabsiar, already has appeared in court to face charges.

Seven Inmates Killed in Prison Riot in Northern Mexico

Mexican security officials say seven inmates have died in a prison riot on the outskirts of the northern Mexican city of Monterrey.

Authorities say military and federal officials were called in to quell the riot early Thursday after prison staff failed to control the fighting.

Local reports say the rioting may have started after inmates learned of the arrest of Carlos Olivia Castillo, a key figure in the Zetas drug cartel. He was arrested Wednesday after an hours-long gunfight with security officials in the northern city of Saltillo.