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Venezuela Protests US Sanctions

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez challenged U.S. President Barack Obama Friday to prove U.S. claims that four Venezuelan officials are involved in drugs and arms trafficking.

The U.S. accused the four men Thursday of providing arms, security and training to FARC, Colombia's main rebel group.

The Venezuelans were placed on the U.S. narcotics kingpins list, freezing any assets they might have in the U.S. and barring Americans from doing business with them.

US Investigates 9/11 Anniversary Threat

U.S. counterterrorism officials are investigating what they call a credible, but unconfirmed, terror threat planned to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States.

Authorities in New York City and Washington, D.C. say they have increased police staffing in response to the threat, which is reported to focus on one of those two cities.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has encouraged New Yorkers to continue their lives as usual.

Former Taliban Fighter Gets Life Sentence in Britain

A former Taliban fighter has been sentenced to life in prison in Britain for trying to recruit Muslims to wage jihad, or holy war, in Afghanistan.

A British judge handed Munir Farooqi four life sentences Friday and said he must serve a minimum of nine years before he can be considered for parole.

The judge told the Pakistani-born Farooqi that he is a “very dangerous man, an extremist and a fundamentalist with a determination to fight abroad.”

13 Sudanese Police Killed in Darfur Hostage Rescue Attempt

Sudanese officials say 13 police officers were killed and at least 30 wounded during a hostage rescue attempt in the volatile Darfur region Thursday.

Police say the officers were attempting to free three soldiers in Jebel Mara when they confronted an armed gang.

Sudanese newspaper al-Ahdath says one of the hostages is the Italian aid worker kidnapped last month. But a Darfur official told report Reuters news agency that man was not involved in this incident.

US Accuses Venezuelan Officials of Aiding FARC

The United States has accused four top Venezuelan officials of supporting the drug trafficking operations of Colombia's main rebel group.

The U.S. Treasury Department said Thursday the four allies of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez supplied arms, training and security for Colombia's Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), but provided no details.

German Police Arrest 2 Terror Suspects, Search Islamic Center

German police say they have arrested two men on suspicion of buying bomb making materials and planning a major act of violence in the country.

Police say they detained a 24-year-old German of Lebanese descent and a 28-year-old Palestinian from the Gaza Strip in the capital, Berlin, on Thursday. Police say the men tried to purchase a large amount of chemicals that could be used to make an explosive device.

Pakistani Police Detain Dozens After Suicide Bombings

Police say they have detained some 170 suspects in connection with Wednesday's suicide bombings that killed 28 people in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta.

Senior police official Hamid Shakil told VOA on Thursday that many of those being questioned are Afghan refugees.

Two suicide bombers attacked the home of Farrukh Shehzad, the deputy head of Baluchistan province's paramilitary Frontier Corps, on Wednesday. Police say one of the assailants was carrying an identity card indicating he was from Afghanistan's Kunduz province.

India Tracks Terror Suspects

Indian authorities are closely examining an email that may be a claim of responsibility for this week's deadly explosion in New Delhi.

Police have released two sketches of possible suspects and are looking for a car that may have been connected to a bomb attack Wednesday.

The explosion outside a high court killed at least 12 people and injured dozens more.

Reward offered

India's National Investigative Agency has offered more than $10,000 in reward money for information from the public leading to the terrorists who planted the bomb, believed to have been in a suitcase.

Somali Pirates Free Danish Family, Crew

Somali pirates have released a Danish family of five and two Danish crew members who were seized while sailing around the world more than six months ago.

In a statement Wednesday, the Danish foreign ministry said the freed hostages were safe and doing well under the circumstances.

Danish authorities did not indicate if a ransom was paid. But a witness in Somalia's Puntland region told VOA a small plane made a ransom drop in the Bari area just before the family was released on Tuesday.

According to the witness, pirates said the ransom totaled about $3 million.