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Question of the Day
Israel is jittery about the prospect of a large influx of foreign protesters arriving because of deadly confrontations with pro-Palestinian activists in the past.
Taliban storms prison, frees 400 militants
DERA ISMAIL KHAN — Taliban militants armed with automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades battled their way into a prison in northwest Pakistan on Sunday, freeing close to 400 prisoners, including at least 20 described by police as “very dangerous” terrorists, authorities said.
The raid by more than 100 fighters was a dramatic display of the strength of the insurgency gripping the nuclear-armed country. The escaped prisoners may now rejoin the fight, giving momentum and a propaganda boost to a movement that has killed thousands of Pakistani officials and ordinary citizens since 2007.
The attackers stormed the prison before dawn in the city of Bannu in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province close to the Afghan border, said police officer Shafique Khan. They used explosives and hand grenades to knock down the main gates, said Bannu prison Superintendent Zahid Khan.
Junta closes borders after Portuguese threat
BISSAU — The new Guinea-Bissau junta announced Sunday the closure of all air and sea borders, after former colonial power Portugal said it was sending navy ships and a plane for a possible evacuation of its nationals.
The “military command” said in a statement that it had decided to shut down all air and sea access, without saying how long the measures would remain in place.
Earlier Sunday, Portugal said two navy ships and a military plane were on the way to West Africa to prepare for any eventual repatriation of Portuguese and other nationals from Guinea-Bissau following the coup Thursday.
“Non-authorized Portuguese ships will not enter into our territorial waters. Guinea Bissau is a sovereign nation,” said Fernando Vaz, spokesman for the parties of the former opposition after a meeting between them and the junta leaders.
“The Guinea-Bissau army is tasked with defending its territorial integrity,” echoed Lt. Col. Daba na Walna, spokesman for the junta.
• From wire dispatches and staff reports
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