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World Briefs: Yemeni security official killed in capital

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A Yemeni security official who worked at the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa was gunned down Thursday in an apparent al Qaeda follow-up to the Sept. 11 attack that killed four Americans in Benghazi, Libya.

The victim, a Yemeni national named Qassem Aqlani, was slain by a masked gunman on a motorcycle in a drive-by shooting near Mr. Aqlani's home as he was on his way to work at the embassy on the other side of town, according to Yemeni officials.

"We are deeply saddened by this tragic incident," the U.S. State Department said a statement. "We are working with Yemeni authorities."

The shooting was similar to several others that have targeted Yemeni military, security and intelligence officials in the turbulent and impoverished Arab nation in recent weeks.

The attacks have been attributed to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the Yemeni affiliate of the terrorist network.

AFGHANISTAN

Girls' school hit in bomb attack

KABUL — Men armed with bombs have attacked a girls' school in central Afghanistan, following a string of such assaults by Taliban insurgents, President Hamid Karzai said Thursday.

The unidentified attackers hurled explosives into the school late Wednesday, causing considerable damage but no injuries, according to a statement from Mr. Karzai's office.

The statement did not blame the Taliban for the attack in normally calm Bamyan province, but the hard-line Islamist group banned girls from attending school when they were in power and have regularly targeted pupils and their schools.

GREECE

Unemployment rises above 25 percent

ATHENS — Unemployment in Greece hit a record high of 25.1 percent in July as the country's financial crisis continues to exact its heavy toll, official figures showed Thursday.

And all indications are that unemployment in Greece will be heading higher for some time to come.

The country is widely predicted to enter a sixth year of a recession. It already has seen economic output slump by a quarter and youth unemployment push to well more than 50 percent.

"This is a very dramatic result of the recession," said Angelos Tsakanikas, head of research at Greece's IOBE economic research foundation.

He added that he does not expect employment to pick up significantly for at least a year.

TURKEY

Premier: Syrian plane was carrying ammunition

ANKARA — A plane intercepted by Turkish fighter jets on its way from Moscow to Damascus was carrying equipment and ammunition destined for the Syrian Defense Ministry, Turkey's prime minister said Thursday.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan's comments follow a fierce denial by Syria that anything illegal had been aboard the Airbus A320 that was forced by Turkey to land in Ankara late Wednesday.

Syria, whose relations with neighboring Turkey have plummeted over the Syrian war, branded it an act of piracy.

Earlier in the day, Turkish officials had rejected claims by Syria's ally, Russia, that Turkey had endangered the lives of Russian citizens on the aircraft.

LEBANON

Hezbollah claims creditfor launch of drone

BEIRUT — The leader of the Lebanese militant Hezbollah group claimed responsibility Thursday for launching the drone aircraft that entered Israeli airspace this week.

The rare admission by Hassan Nasrallah raises regional tensions at a sensitive time when the group's backers, Syria and Iran, are under pressure.

Earlier Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Hezbollah, which Israel and the U.S. consider a terrorist group, of launching the drone.

The unmanned aircraft was shot down by Israel, but the infiltration marked a rare breach of Israel's airspace.

Hezbollah had been the leading suspect because of its arsenal of sophisticated Iranian weapons and a history of trying to deploy similar aircraft.

NIGERIA

Army, terrorists committedwar crimes, report says

LAGOS — Nigerian security forces and the radical Islamist Boko Haram sect likely committed crimes against humanity in their fighting across the country's Muslim north, both torturing and killing civilians as bloodshed in the region grows, according to a report released Thursday.

The Human Rights Watch report comes just days after soldiers angered by the killing of an officer shot dead more than 30 civilians with machine guns and burned down buildings in a neighborhood in Maiduguri, the spiritual home of Boko Haram.

The report calls on the International Criminal Court to examine the actions of all sides in the conflict and to push for prosecutions of those involved.

Boko Haram, whose name means "Western education is sacrilege" in the Hausa language of Nigeria's north, is blamed for killing more than 690 people in drive-by killings and bombings this year alone.

The terrorists have killed both Christians and Muslims, as well as soldiers and security forces.

INDIA

Muslims arrested onterrorism charges

NEW DELHI — Police have arrested three Muslim men suspected of planning terrorist attacks in New Delhi during a major Hindu festival season that starts later this month, a top police official said Thursday.

The three are members of the Indian Mujahideen, an Islamic terrorist group, police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar said. The group has links to Pakistan's Lashkar-e-Taiba, which has claimed responsibility for some terrorist attacks in India.

The three suspects were arrested in New Delhi over the past two weeks, the police commissioner told reporters. He said they were responsible for several small explosions in the western city of Pune in August in which one person was injured.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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