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ISRAEL

Israel backs talks, with reservations

JERUSALEM — Israel’s government welcomed on Sunday parts of an international proposal to resume long-stalled peace talks with the Palestinians, but said it has concerns about the plan.

The plan by Mideast mediators, known as the Quartet, calls for a peace deal in a year and asks both sides to produce comprehensive proposals on territory and security within three months.

The Quartet presented the latest timetable after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas asked the U.N. late last month to recognize a state of Palestine in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem - territories Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast war.

The Palestinian request has put the U.S. and other countries in a diplomatically awkward position, forcing them to take sides for or against, and has stepped up pressure on the international community to chart out a resolution of the conflict.

The Israeli government would not say Sunday what its concerns are, saying only that it would raise them “at the appropriate time.” However, Israeli officials have expressed reservations about the Quartet’s timetable for the discussion of specific issues.

SERBIA

Police detain six suspected of extremism

BELGRADE — Serbian police said they detained six people and prevented a gathering of a pro-Russian far-right group that threatened to burn an EU flag and spit on the portrait of the U.S. ambassador in Belgrade.

Riot police were deployed in large number across the capital Sunday to enforce a ban on a gay-pride event and anti-gay protests, fearing they would turn violent.

Senior police official Srdjan Grekulovic said the six were detained in central Belgrade with masks and baseball bats on them. Police also prevented a protest on nearby Mount Avala by the Nasi group - an affiliate of a Russian organization of the same name.

NIGERIA

19 killed in clashes in northwest Nigeria

KANO — Gunmen carrying machetes attacked a village in northwest Nigeria early Sunday, going house to house posing as visitors before shooting and slashing 19 people to death, witnesses and police said.

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