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A Turkish lawmaker with the ruling party claimed the women were slain in a dispute between factions of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party. The group, known as the PKK, is considered a terrorist organization by Turkey and its allies, including the U.S. and the European Union.

IRELAND

Poll: Most Irish favor wider abortion access

DUBLIN — Most people in Ireland want lawmakers to give women wider access to abortion, a poll revealed Thursday as senior clerics testified before a parliamentary committee investigating Ireland’s ban on the practice.

Prime Minister Enda Kenny’s government has pledged to legalize abortion for women whose lives are deemed in danger from a pregnancy, including those who threaten to commit suicide if denied an abortion.

Opponents of abortion argue that the suicide-threat rule would be open to deceit and permit increasingly broad access to abortion in this predominantly Catholic country.

The move has been delayed in Ireland for two decades despite a 1992 Supreme Court ruling that the policy should be Irish law.

The poll found that 35 percent of those interviewed support the government plan to propose a law to legalize abortions for life-threatening cases, including suicidal women. About 29 percent said they want the government to go farther and legalize abortion on demand, the law in neighboring Britain since 1967.

The survey of 1,002 adults across Ireland, conducted this week by pollsters RedC for the Irish bookmaker Paddy Power, had an error margin of 3 percentage points.

MALI

President asks France to help fight Islamists

UNITED NATIONS — Mali’s president has asked France for military help to fight off an offensive by Islamists tied to al Qaeda, and Paris will announce Friday what action it will take, diplomats said Thursday.

Alarm over an advance by Islamist forces was raised after a U.N. Security Council meeting that called for the “rapid” deployment of an African-led intervention force to help Mali authorities.

France could take military action even sooner as the Islamists move out of their stronghold in northern Mali and seize new towns on the road to the capital, Bamako, diplomats said.

Mali’s interim president, Dioncounda Traore, has requested “military assistance” from French President Francois Hollande, a U.N. diplomat told Agence France-Presse on the condition of anonymity.

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