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AROUND THE WORLD

5 killed, 14 wounded in bombings, shootings

BAGHDAD (AP) -- Bombings and shootings, including an attack near cafes and ice cream shops, killed five Iraqis and wounded 14 in the capital and a western town, officials said Saturday.

A roadside bomb on Saturday hit a joint Iraqi police-army patrol as it parked by a drinking water plant in the town of al-Baghdadi, local administrator Hikmat Jubeir said. The blast, at around 9 a.m., killed a soldier and a policeman and wounded another soldier, he said.

Also Saturday, gunmen in a speeding car shot and killed a Shiite cleric as he left an Electricity Ministry office in the New Baghdad district of the capital, a police officer said.

Hours earlier, a bomb exploded around midnight Friday in Baghdad's western Jamiaa neighborhood near cafes and ice cream shops, killing two civilians and wounding 13 others, a police officer said.

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Palestinians to seek full U.N. membership

JERUSALEM -- The Palestinians will ask the United Nations to grant full membership to a Palestinian state on Sept. 20, according to Palestinian Liberation Organization Executive Committee member Ahmed Majdalani.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will request that the United Nations recognize a Palestinian state in the areas conquered by Israel in the 1967 War, with East Jerusalem as its capital, Majdalani said in a press statement.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the Palestinian announcement was "expected and unfortunate" and "only direct and genuine negotiations can advance the peace process," according to a text message sent by his office.

-- Bloomberg News

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5 prisoners escape high-security prison

BEIRUT (AP) -- Five prisoners escaped a high-security Lebanese prison Saturday by scaling down the building's walls with bed sheets before mixing with visiting relatives and walking out of the compound with them, the interior minister said.

Lebanese authorities said the five are a Lebanese, a Kuwaiti, a Sudanese and two Syrians. The Sudanese man was captured late Saturday.

Local media reports said the escaped convicts included members of the al-Qaida-inspired Fatah Islam group, which fought a three-month battle against the army inside the Palestinian refugee camp Nahr el-Bared in northern Lebanon in 2007.

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Forces find bodies of 8 kidnap victims

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- Afghan security forces have recovered the bodies of five policemen and three intelligence agents who were kidnapped by insurgents two days ago in eastern Afghanistan, an official said Saturday.

Gunmen abducted the eight security troops on Thursday in the Day Mirdad district of Wardak province, said provincial spokesman Shahidullah Shahid.

The bodies were discovered late Friday and taken to the provincial capital city of Maidan Shahr early Saturday, Shahid said. He added that three suspected insurgents have been arrested.

In the south, a minivan struck a roadside bomb in the Gereshk district of Helmand province, killing five civilians, the provincial governor's office said in a statement.

In the west, meanwhile, two policemen and four insurgents were killed in shootout in Herat province.

NATO said insurgents killed an alliance service member in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday.

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