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In brief: Missiles kill 14 in Pakistan

Peshawar, Pakistan – Two U.S. missile strikes about two hours apart killed at least 14 men near the Afghan border in northwest Pakistan today, two Pakistani intelligence officials said.

At least nine people were killed in the first strike when missiles destroyed a moving vehicle in the Spin Wam area of the North Waziristan tribal region. Two hours later drones fired more missiles at people who had gathered to retrieve the bodies, killing five.

The identities of the 14 slain men were not immediately known. U.S. authorities often target militants and militants’ facilities in the region.

More than 110 such strikes, carried out by unmanned drones, were launched in 2010 in the northwest border region – more than double the number in 2009.

War feared in Ivory Coast

Abidjan, Ivory Coast – A top ally of Ivory Coast’s internationally recognized leader said Friday that the country is already in a “civil war situation,” while the incumbent leader who refuses to step down after the disputed election accused world leaders of launching a coup to oust him.

The United Nations has said that the volatile West African nation, once divided in two, faces a real risk of return to civil war, but Prime Minister Guillaume Soro told reporters that the country is already at this point – “indeed in a civil war situation.”

“This is what’s at stake: Either we assist in the installation of democracy in Ivory Coast or we stand by indifferent and allow democracy to be assassinated,” Soro said at a news conference.

Human rights groups accuse incumbent Laurent Gbagbo’s security forces of abducting and killing political opponents.

Gbagbo gave an address late Friday on state television in which he accused the international community of mounting a coup d’etat to oust him.

The United Nations had been invited by all parties to certify the results of the Nov. 28 presidential runoff vote. The U.N. declared Alassane Ouattara the winner, endorsing the announcement by the country’s electoral commission. But Gbagbo has refused to step aside now for more than a month.


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