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World news briefs — compiled July 26

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SYRIA

Troops advance on city

Government troops gained ground in clashes Friday in two rebel-held neighborhoods in the central city of Homs, edging closer to a historic mosque and closing in on opposition fighters in the area, state television and activists said. The advance came amid a wide offensive by President Bashar Assad’s forces and as Syria’s Western-backed opposition group met for the first time with the U.N. Security Council.

PERU

Rebels’ bodies exhumed

Prosecutors have exhumed from in and around Lima the bodies of more than 100 accused Shining Path rebels slain in a famous 1986 prison uprising, a lawyer said Friday. The men, all killed at Lurigancho prison, were exhumed beginning in mid-July from more than a dozen cemeteries as part of a probe into a massacre of inmates who had surrendered. Relatives of the men have been seeking criminal charges against 30 former officials of the government of then-President Alan Garcia since 2001.

CHILE

Vandals attack cathedral

Abortion-rights demonstrators vandalized Chile’s main cathedral during a Mass and used pews as barricades during clashes with police. A group of demonstrators broke off from a largely peaceful protest calling for the legalization of abortion Thursday night and stormed into the Metropolitan Cathedral of Santiago, interrupting the homily. They painted walls with pro-abortion messages, broke ornaments and hauled pews to a square in front of the cathedral.

FRANCE

Ex-IMF chief to face trial

Former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn will have to defend himself in a French court on charges of aggravated pimping despite recommendations by prosecutors that the charges be dropped. Judges investigating the case in the northern city of Lille decided Friday to go ahead with charges of aggravated pimping in a group. The case revolves around an alleged hotel prostitution ring and hinges on whether Strauss-Kahn knew he was partying with prostitutes and whose money was used to pay them.

Compiled from wire reports.


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