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Israel, Hamas resume prisoner-swap talks

JERUSALEM | Israel said Sunday it has resumed indirect talks with the Hamas rulers of Gaza on swapping hundreds of Palestinian prisoners for a captive soldier held for more than four years.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the German mediator who has been working to broker a deal to bring home the soldier for about a year has returned to the region.

“We are operating at all times, in different and various ways to bring him back. One of these ways, even the main way, is this negotiation, which indeed resumed a few weeks ago,” Mr. Netanyahu told Israel Army Radio on Sunday.

The announcement was the latest twist in a saga that has gripped the country’s attention since Hamas-linked militants captured Sgt. Gilad Shalit in a June 2006 raid across the Gaza-Israeli border.

Secret negotiations over a swap, mediated by Egypt and more recently by Germany, have broken down repeatedly, and talks have been stalled for months.

Hamas, which seeks Israel’s destruction, has no official relations with Israel.

Deals proposed in the past would have entailed Israel swapping about 1,000 Palestinian prisoners for Sgt. Shalit.

NIGERIA

Court: Ex-leader can be extradited

LAGOS | Officials say a Dubai court has ruled that a former Nigerian governor can be extradited to the United Kingdom to face embezzlement charges.

A Nigerian government spokesman says a court found cause to honor an extradition request for former Delta state Gov. James Ibori, a prominent politician in the ruling People’s Democratic Party. Authorities have said Mr. Ibori faces charges of stealing $292 million in state funds while in office. British investigators claimed Mr. Ibori put much of the money in English banks.

CONGO

Women march, demand end to mass rapes

KINSHASA | Thousands of women led by Congo’s first lady were marching in the country’s volatile east on Sunday to demand an end to a wave of mass rapes.

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