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By Compiled from wire service reports by Ross Atkin / February 4, 2008



Egyptian troops closed the last breach in Egypt's frontier with the Gaza Strip on Sunday, witnesses and Hamas security officials said, ending a chaotic, 11-day stream of Palestinians out of long-blockaded Gaza. The troops were allowing Gazans and Egyptians who remained on the wrong side of the border to cross back to their homes, but barred new cross-border movement. Above, a Palestinian boy peers over the border as Egyptian soldiers close off an entrance from the Gaza Strip.

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Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga on Sunday called for the African Union to send peacekeepers to help stem violence sparked by the country's disputed presidential election. On Friday, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan brokered a deal between President Mwai Kibaki and Odinga laying out a plan to end the violence, which he said could take two weeks, before moving onto the tougher political issues.

The Taliban insurgency is not spreading and 70 percent of the violence last year occurred in only 10 percent of the country, NATO said Sunday in contrast with other recent more pessimistic reports. Most of NATO's European members are refusing to send soldiers to Afghanistan's dangerous south, opening a rift within the alliance.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Sunday that he wouldn't pull his faction from the government over its handling of the 2006 war against Hizbullah guerrillas, an announcement that removed any immediate threat to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's administration. Last week an independent commission criticized Olmert's government for missteps in fighting the guerrillas but largely spared Olmert.

In an autobiography being published after her assassination, Pakistan opposition leader Benazir Bhutto says she was warned that four suicide bomber squads would try to kill her, one led by Osama bin Laden's 16-year-old son, according to The Sunday Times of London.

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