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Published: Tuesday, 8/24/2010



MOGADISHU, Somalia — Islamist militants wearing Somali military uniforms stormed a hotel favored by lawmakers in the capital Tuesday, firing indiscriminately and killing 32 people, including six parliamentarians.

A suicide bomber and one of the gunmen were killed in the attack just a half-mile from the presidential palace.

The attack showed the insurgent group al-Shabab, which controls wide areas of Somalia, can penetrate even the few blocks of the capital under the control of the government and African Union troops.

KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghan and international forces have killed an estimated 40 Taliban fighters east of Kabul as part of operations to provide security ahead of parliamentary elections next month, NATO said Tuesday.

Two coalition servicemen, including one American, were killed in fighting in the volatile south, where the insurgency is most heavily entrenched, the coalition reported. The other soldier's nationality was not identified.

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — About 800,000 people have been cut off by floods in Pakistan and are reachable only by air, U.N. officials said Tuesday, adding that at least 40 more helicopters are needed to ferry lifesaving aid to desperate people.

The appeal was an indication of the problems facing the relief effort in Pakistan more than three weeks after the floods hit, affecting more than 17 million people.

The country's chief meteorologist said that the Indus River will not returns to normal levels for two weeks.

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