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U.S. correspondent briefly held in Gaza

Palestinian gunmen in the Gaza Strip kidnapped a Knight Ridder correspondent and a British photographer working with him Wednesday but surrendered them to Palestinian Authority security officials after almost six hours.

Dion Nissenbaum, Knight Ridder’s Jerusalem bureau chief and a U.S. citizen, said neither he nor freelance photographer Adam Pletts was harmed. “They treated us very well,” Nissenbaum said.

The kidnapping was the latest in a string of abductions in Gaza in the past several weeks, apparently aimed at winning modest concessions from the Palestinian Authority. All have been resolved within hours.

Gunmen launch attacks in southern Russia

Nalchik, Russia Police and security forces today battled gunmen in the capital of the southern Russian region of Kabardino-Balkariya, including in a school near a police station.

Intense shooting could be heard.

A teacher from the school said the school children had been evacuated.

At least three alleged militants were killed, the southern Russian district office of the Interior Ministry said.

The Interfax news agency reported that gunmen had launched simultaneous attacks on the regional headquarters of the Interior Ministry and the Federal Security Service, as well as a number of other buildings.

Kabardino-Balkariya, along with other southern Russian regions, has seen a rise in Islamic extremist movements and violence targeting police, soldiers and other law enforcement officials in recent years.

Missionaries ordered to leave Venezuela

Barranco Yopal, Venezuela Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez ordered a U.S.-based Christian missionary group working with indigenous tribes to leave the country Wednesday, accusing the organization of “imperialist infiltration” and links to the CIA.

Chavez said missionaries of the New Tribes Mission, based in Sanford, Fla., were no longer welcome during a ceremony in a remote Indian village where he presented property titles to several indigenous groups.

“The New Tribes are leaving Venezuela. This is an irreversible decision that I have made,” Chavez said. “We don’t want the New Tribes here. Enough colonialism!”


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Blast as Zimbabwe president campaigns; Mnangagwa not hurt

An explosion rocked a stadium where Zimbabwe’s president addressed a campaign rally Saturday, with state media calling it an assassination attempt but saying he was not hurt. Witnesses said several people were injured, including a vice president.