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'Suicide bomber kills at least 40' at Afghanistan volleyball game

A suicide bomber has killed at least 40 people at a volleyball match in eastern Afghanistan, officials say.

Paktia provincial spokesman Mukhles Afghan said at least 50 more were wounded in the attack in Paktia province, where hundreds had gathered to watch a tournament final.

He said most of the casualties were civilians.

'At least 45' killed in Boko Haram attack in Nigeria

At least 45 people have reportedly been killed in a revenge attack by Islamist militants Boko Haram in north-eastern Nigeria.

A military source told Reuters said the militants stormed the village of Azaya Kura on Wednesday to avenge the killings of four Boko Haram members by the Nigerian military.

The chairman of the local Mafa district council, Shettima Lawan, said: "They slaughtered 45 people. They've been buried.

One witness said the fanatics had "tied peoples' hands behind their backs and slit their throats like animals".


Palestinian 'shot dead by Israeli forces in Gaza strip'

Israeli forces have shot dead a Palestinian in the northern Gaza Strip, the Palestinian Health Ministry says.

The Israeli military had no immediate comment. It would be the first such fatality since a 50-day Gaza war ended in August.

The ministry identified the man as Fadel Mohammed Halawa, 32, and said he was shot by soldiers east of Jabalya refugee camp.

One of Halawa's relatives said he had been searching for song birds, which nest in trees near the Israeli border and command high prices in Gaza markets.

Iran nuclear deal 'impossible' as deadline looms

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L), Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif (R) and EU envoy Catherine Ashton ahead of yesterday's talks. Credit: Reuters

A comprehensive deal to resolve the stand-off over Iran's nuclear ambitions will be "impossible" to achieve before tomorrow's deadlines, the country has reportedly said.

"Considering the short time left until the deadline and number of issues that needed to be discussed and resolved, it is impossible to reach a final and comprehensive deal by Nov 24," the Iranian Student News Agency (ISNA) quoted an unnamed member of Iran's negotiating team in Vienna as saying.

The source was also quoted as saying that that an extension was one option that would be discussed if no deal was reached.

The United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China began a final round of talks with Iran on Tuesday, with hopes of acheiving an agreement in which Tehran would curb its nuclear work in exchange for the lifting of sanctions.


One dead after magnitude 5.9 earthquake in China

At least one person has died after a strong earthquake struck a lightly populated, mountainous area of western China, officials said.

The US Geological Survey said the 5.9-magnitude quake had a depth of nine miles. It struck in the late afternoon on Saturday about 20 miles from the town of Kangding in Sichuan province. China's seismological agency gave the magnitude as 6.3.

A woman in her 70s died after being struck by a falling window pane, state media reported.

Magnitude 6.8 earthquake hits central Japan

Rescue workers are seen between collapsed houses after an earthquake in Hakuba town, Nagano prefecture. Credit: Reuters

A strong earthquake has struck a mountainous area of central Japan that hosted the 1998 winter Olympics, knocking down at least 10 homes in a ski resort town and injuring several people.

Authorities say at least 39 people were injured in the initial tremor

The magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck near Nagano city at a depth of six miles, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. The US Geological Survey measured the quake's magnitude at 6.2. Since the quake occurred inland, there was no possibility of a tsunami.

One of the hardest-hit areas appeared to be Hakuba, a ski town west of Nagano that hosted events in the 1998 games. Ten homes collapsed there, said Shigeharu Fujimura, a Nagano prefecture disaster management official.

Nine people were trapped underneath the collapsed houses, but they all were rescued, and none had life-threatening injuries, said Hakuba official Tomoyuki Shimokawa.

Officials at Japan`s Meteorological Agency are warning people to be on the alert for aftershocks in the days ahead

Headmaster survives brutal Kenyan bus massacre

Non-Muslims onboard the bus were singled out and shot. Credit: Reuters

The primary school headteacher who was the only survivor of the Kenya bus massacre has said he was saved because his would-be killers became confused as he lay waiting to be murdered.

Non-Muslim Douglas Ochwodho, who was singled out to to be killed, said one gunman shot from the right and one from the left, each killing their victims lying in a line on the ground.

They grew closer and closer to Mr Ochwodho, who was in the middle, then the shooting stopped. Apparently each gunman thought the other shot Mr Ochwodho, who perfectly still until the 20 Islamic extremists left the scene.

Mr Ochwodho, the head of a private primary school in Mandera, said was travelling home for the Christmas holidays since school had closed. Seventeen of the dead were teachers, according to the police commander in Mandera County.

He said the passengers, who did not look Somali, were separated from the others. The non-Somali passengers were then asked to recite the Islamic creed declaring oneness with God. Those who could not were ordered to lie down and the massacre began.

Mr Ochwodho said when the killers reached him they were confused on whether either had shot him. After the gunmen left, he ran back to the road and flagged down a pick-up truck which took him back to Mandera.

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