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Suspected US Drone Strikes Kill 18 in Pakistan

Pakistani intelligence officials say three U.S. drone strikes have killed at least 18 militants in the country's northwest tribal region.

All of Monday's strikes were in South Waziristan, near the Afghan border. Officials say missiles hit a compound, an Islamic seminary and a vehicle near the main town of Wana. Foreign militants, including Arabs and Uzbeks, were said to be among those killed.

The attacks come just days after the reported death of senior al-Qaida operative Ilyas Kashmiri in a U.S. drone strike in same tribal area.

WFP: 3 Contractors Kidnapped in Darfur Freed

The World Food Program says three Bulgarian contractors kidnapped in Sudan's Darfur region have been freed after nearly five months in captivity.

The United Nations agency says the men appear to be in good health and will be flown to Sudan's capital, Khartoum, before traveling to Bulgaria.

In a statement Monday, WFP Regional Director Amer Daoudi thanked the Sudanese government for helping to secure the three men's release.

The men were working with the U.N. Humanitarian Air Service in Darfur when they were abducted by armed men on January 13.

UN Mission in Sudan Investigates Attacks in Kordofan State

A spokesperson for the U.N. Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) says the world body is concerned about new fighting in South Kordofan state.

This comes as North Sudan's government over the weekend rejected a call from the U.N. Security Council to pull its troops out of the disputed Abyei region, which it has occupied since May 21st.

Hua Jiang, UNMIS public information director, says the mission has sent out patrols to verify reports of attacks on two towns in South Kordofan State.

AU Announces Progress Against Somali Militants in Mogadishu

The African Union says it is making progress against militants for control of Somalia's capital.

Officials said Saturday African Union and pro-government troops had recaptured strategic districts in Mogadishu from al-Shabab insurgents.

Al-Shabab is trying to overthrow the United Nations-backed government and set up a strict Islamic state. The al-Qaida-linked group has controlled much of the capital and large sections of central and southern Somalia for at least three years.

Yemen's President Wounded in Rocket Attack

Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh is said to have been wounded in an attack on his compound. Reports indicate the president was lightly injured, while several other government officials were also hurt, some of them more seriously.

Initial reports indicate a shell hit a mosque inside President Saleh's compound in Sana'a during midday prayers Friday. It was not immediately clear who launched the attack, but the city has been ravaged by fighting between government troops and tribal forces for nearly two weeks.

Pakistani Taliban Claim Responsibility for Cross-Border Attack

The Pakistani Taliban says its forces in Afghanistan are responsible for a deadly raid in Pakistan.

A Taliban spokesman made the claim Friday during a phone call with reporters. He said about 40 to 50 insurgents were involved in the cross-border attack on a security checkpoint near Pakistan's northwestern Dir tribal area. The government says up to 400 militants had swarmed the area.

The claim of responsibility comes one day after Pakistan demanded Afghanistan, and NATO forces there, crack down on insurgents on the Afghan side of the border.

US Names Kenyan Politician Drug 'Kingpin'

A Kenyan lawmaker and businessman has been named one of seven so-called “kingpins” targeted by the United States for drug trafficking.

The United States Government has enacted strict sanctions against prominent Kenyan businessman and parliamentarian Harun Mwau, and businesswoman Naima Mohamed Nyakiniywa for their alleged involvement in narcotics trafficking throughout the region.

Fighting in Somali Capital Kills 17

New clashes in Somalia's capital have killed at least 17 people, as pro-government troops continue to battle militants for control of a popular commercial site.

Somali government troops backed by African Union peacekeepers are trying to take Mogadishu's Bakara market from al-Shabab insurgents.

Medical officials say heavy fighting between the two sides Thursday has also wounded at least 40 people.

In recent days, pro-government troops have advanced to the market's perimeter and set up positions there. The al-Qaida-linked insurgents remain entrenched inside.

Pakistan Reports Militant Attack at Afghan Border Checkpoint

Police in northwestern Pakistan say about 200 militants have crossed the border from Afghanistan and attacked a security checkpoint, killing at least one person.

Authorities said the attack happened Wednesday in the town of Shaltalo, in the Dir region along the border with Afghanistan's Kunar province.

Militants have launched a number of attacks against Pakistani security forces following the May 2 killing of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and a military offensive targeting militants in the country's tribal region.