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In brief: Diplomat urges talks as Syria rebels gain

Fri., Dec. 28, 2012, midnight

BEIRUT – Peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi made a new push Thursday to draw Syrian officials and rebels into negotiations, aiming to revive a plan for a transitional government and elections that faltered because of disagreements over the future of President Bashar Assad.

The effort by the Algerian diplomat came after weeks in which both sides in Syria have been focused more on fighting. Rebels appear to be making gains, seizing military bases and fighting for control of suburbs around the capital, Damascus.

In a boost for Brahimi, Russia’s foreign minister said after meeting with a senior Syrian official that his country endorsed the peace plan originally crafted in summer, and that Syrians on both sides of the 21-month conflict needed to enter a dialogue.

Attack kills 4 officers at Afghan police post

KABUL, Afghanistan – Insurgents stormed a police post in southern Afghanistan early Thursday, killing four officers and wounding two others in their sleep, officials said.

Police and local government officials accused a rogue member of the Afghan National Police of aiding the attack, which took place at about 4 a.m. in the Oruzgan provincial capital, Tarin Kot.

The suspect, identified as a new recruit named Hayat Khan, allegedly contacted Taliban militants when he was about to come off his shift to inform them that his colleagues were sleeping, police spokesman Farid Ayel said.

Police are searching for the suspect, who disappeared after the attack.

Another suspect, who was believed to have been facilitating communication between Khan and the Taliban, has been detained for questioning, Ayel said.


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