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State-run TRT television said an Airbus A320 coming from Moscow was intercepted by F16 jets as it entered Turkish airspace and escorted to the capital’s Esenboga Airport.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, interviewed by Turkey’s state-run TRT television in Athens, said the plane was forced to land because of information that it might be carrying “certain equipment in breach of civil aviation rules.”

The move comes amid heightened tensions between Turkey and Syria, which have been exchanging artillery fire across the volatile border in the past week.


Police probe 2 in journalist kidnapping

LONDON — British police were investigating Wednesday whether a British man and woman arrested on suspicion of supporting terrorism offenses in Syria were part of a group that held two veteran war journalists hostage in Syria in July.

The abduction of photographers John Cantlie and Jeroen Oerlemans highlighted concerns that British Muslims might be slipping into Syria to join extremists.

Both said after their weeklong ordeal that some of their captors spoke with British accents.

Police seeking clues in the case searched two East London properties Wednesday — one day after the two 26-year-old suspects were arrested at Heathrow Airport after arriving on a flight from Egypt.


Iraq retreats from ambitious oil plans

BAGHDAD — Iraq officially stepped back Wednesday from its ambitious plans to more than triple its oil production by 2017, but it remains more optimistic than the world’s leading global energy monitor about how fast and how high it can boost output.

Baghdad’s latest targets show that Iraq, which is pumping about 3.4 million barrels a day, is eager to be a major player on the world energy map despite decades of wars and sanctions.

It recently nudged out Iran as the second-largest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, and further production gains would solidify its place behind the bloc’s top producer, Saudi Arabia.

Hussain al-Shahristani, Iraq’s deputy prime minister on energy, predicted that the country’s oil production will reach 5 million to 6 million barrels per day in 2015.

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