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Ukraine: Russian Army Major Describes Being Sent to Ukraine

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Reuters/Valentyn Ogirenko // An officer of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) stands next to a monitor showing a man, who according to SBU is a Russian army major detained by Ukrainian servicemen at the weekend, during a news briefing in Kiev, Ukraine, July 29, 2015.Barbara Tasch (Business Insider) — As eastern Ukraine is experiencing some of its heaviest fighting since the Minsk II agreements were signed in February, a captured Russian army major tells Euronews there are about 2000 Russian servicemen fighting in Eastern Ukraine.

Vladimir Starkov is currently held in a detention center in Kiev after being intercepted three weeks ago with a truck full of ammunition. He was driving the truck from Donetsk to Yasne, a small village south of the separatist stronghold of Donetsk when he was arrested.

Starkov, who is being charged with terrorism, explained to Euronews that he was recruited to help separatists in Eastern Ukraine. He was in charge of weapon accountability.

Sri Lanka: Shooting at Political Meeting Leaves 1 Dead and 12 Hurt

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Ishara S. Kodikara/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images // A police officer at the scene of a shooting at a political campaign meeting in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Friday.Dharisha Bastians (The New York Times) — Sri Lanka’s parliamentary election campaign took a deadly turn on Friday when unidentified gunmen opened fire into a crowd at a campaign meeting, killing one woman and injuring 12 other people.

The country’s finance minister, Ravi Karunanayake, was at the meeting in Kotahena, a suburb of the capital, Colombo. He said he had been leaving when gunmen in a car started spraying bullets into the crowd of about 500 attendees.

“I was the target,” Mr. Karunanayake said. “This was an act of political terrorism.” Though he was only 20 feet from the shooting, he escaped uninjured, he said.

Turkey: Soldiers Killed in PKK Tractor Blast

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AFP // Turkish soldiers have been patrolling parts of the country's predominantly Kurdish south-east.Alexander Sehmer (The Independent) — Two Turkish soldiers have been killed after Kurdish fighters detonated an explosives-laden tractor at a military police station in eastern Turkey. Twenty-four soldiers were also injured in the blast, the Turkish authorities said on Sunday.

The attack, carried out by fighters from the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), occurred near the town of Dogubayazit in Agri province, close to the border with Iran.

Reports said the blast was caused by a tractor carrying two tonnes of explosives. In a separate incident in southeastern Mardin province, another soldier was killed and four others wounded, the local governor's office said.

Somalia: Car Bomb Kills 12, Damages Chinese Embassy

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Reuters // Smoke billows from the Jazeera hotel during an attack in Somalia's capital Mogadishu on Sunday.Mohamed Sheikh Nor (Washington Post) — Somali militants detonated a car bomb at a hotel in the capital, killing at least 12 people including a Chinese national and damaging China's embassy. The al-Qaeda-linked Islamist militant group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the Sunday afternoon attack on the Jazeera Palace Hotel near Mogadishu's airport, frequented by government officials and aid workers.

The attack "reminds us that terrorist groups like al-Shabab offer nothing but death and destruction and have to be stopped," President Barack Obama said on Monday in neighbouring Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa.

The bombing came as Mr Obama was leaving Kenya for Ethiopia on the second leg of an East African tour that includes discussions on the regional threat from groups such as al-Shabab. While African Union forces and the Somali army have dislodged the militants from large tracts of territory, al-Shabaab has proven capable of repeating striking the heart of the capital city.

Nigeria: Young Female Suicide Bomber Kills 19 in Market Attack

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Getty Images // Fighting Boko Haram has fast become a top priority as the lawlessness in northeastern Nigeria continues.Newsweek — A girl, who police described as around 10 years old, killed 19 and injured 47 in a suicide bombing on Sunday in the north-eastern Nigerian city of Damaturu.

No group has taken responsibility for the attack, although the bombing employed a similar approach as previous attacks attributed to the jihadist group, Boko Haram. This attack is the most recent in a string of bombings over the last month employing women and young girls.

Sunday’s bombing took place near a crowded market in Damaturu, a city in the Nigerian state of Yobe, which has been the site of a number of recent suicide attacks.

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