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Deadly attack in Israel adds to al-Qaida fears

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) -- The Mujahedeen Shura Council of Jerusalem, a shadowy group claiming ties to al-Qaida, said Tuesday that it carried out a deadly cross-border attack in Israel, the strongest evidence to date in support of Israeli allegations that the global terrorist network is operating on its doorstep.

Following Monday's attack, Israel carried out a series of airstrikes on militant targets in Gaza, drawing retaliatory rocket fire.

Late Tuesday, a rocket hit a house in an Israeli village near Gaza, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said. Rescue services said three people were wounded. In violence Tuesday, three Palestinians were killed.

In Monday's attack, two gunmen infiltrated Israel from Egypt's Sinai desert, killing a civilian worker who was part of a team building a border fence to prevent such attacks. The two gunmen were later killed by Israeli forces.

Meanwhile, vandals set fire to a mosque in a Palestinian village in the West Bank early Tuesday, leaving behind Hebrew graffiti warning against the planned evacuation and removal of homes built illegally in a Jewish settlement, Israeli police said.



Court removes premier as turmoil intensifies

ISLAMABAD (AP) -- Pakistan's top court dismissed the prime minister from office Tuesday for failing to investigate the president for alleged corruption, ushering in a new round of political turmoil in a nation vital to U.S. hopes of withdrawing from neighboring Afghanistan.

The Supreme Court ruling against Yousuf Raza Gilani was unlikely to topple the fragile coalition government. But it left it weakened and without a Cabinet. Most analysts expected the government to heed the court order and begin the process of replacing Gilani, or possibly expedite general elections that must be held before early next year.

The move was likened by some to a "judicial coup" in a country with a history of destabilizing conflicts among the courts, the army and elected governments. It comes as Pakistan faces near economic collapse, power shortages and its own struggle against Islamist militants.

The prime minister has refused to step down since he was convicted of contempt of court in April for not asking authorities in Switzerland to reopen a 1990s graft case against his boss, President Asif Ali Zardari.



Attacks by Islamist sect kill 25, fuel tensions

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) -- A radical Islamist sect unleashed multiple attacks in northeastern Nigeria, killing at least 25 people, authorities said Tuesday.

The attacks worsened an already tense security situation in this West African nation of more than 160 million people, which is almost evenly divided between Muslims and Christians.

The Boko Haram sect began its attacks Monday evening with blasts targeting police and military targets in the city of Damaturu, authorities said. One resident said that at least two schools were torched.

The attacks killed at least 20 civilians and five security officers and left nine other people hospitalized, according to the Nigerian Red Cross.

"The terrorists are trying to show that they can't be stopped," said Police Chief Patrick Egbuniwe of Yobe state.

The Islamist Boko Haram sect, whose name means "Western education is sacrilege" in the Hausa language, is waging an increasingly bloody fight with security agencies and the public. More than 580 people have been killed in sect-related violence this year alone.