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World news briefs — compiled Feb. 12

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AFGHANISTAN

Four killed in dispute at base

Afghan army soldiers exchanged fire with NATO service members after a heated dispute Wednesday on a base in the east of the country, leaving two Afghans and two foreigners dead, according to accounts by NATO and an Afghan official. It appeared to be the latest in a series of insider attacks on foreign forces by Afghan allies or men wearing their uniforms. The NATO-led force confirmed the deaths of its service members, saying they were killed by two men in Afghan uniforms. The coalition gave no further information, saying there would be an investigation. A senior Afghan military official, meanwhile, said two Afghan army personnel were killed in the fight.

EGYPT

Military chief visits Russia

Egypt’s military chief headed to Russia Wednesday on his first trip abroad since ousting the country’s Islamist president, part of a shift to reduce reliance on the United States at a time of frictions between the longtime allies. Making a rare appearance in civilian clothes, Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi struck a presidential look ahead of a likely run for office. His scheduled meeting with Russia President Vladimir Putin on Thursday would boost an image of international clout for the army commander. The high-profile visit comes amid reports of a $2 billion Gulf-funded arms deal in the making with Russia. Funded mainly by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, it underscores how oil-rich Gulf states have thrown their weight behind Egypt’s military-backed government.

VENEZUELA

Bikers attack demonstrators

Armed vigilantes on motorcycles attacked anti-government demonstrators Wednesday, setting off a stampede by firing into crowds after the biggest protest to date against President Nicolas Maduro’s year-old administration. Two people were killed. Chaos erupted in downtown Caracas when the gang roared up and began shooting at more than 100 protesters who had been sparring with security forces at the tail end of heated but otherwise peaceful protests organized by hard-line members of the opposition. Most participants in the demonstrations had already gone home.

Compiled from wire reports.


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