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World news briefs — compiled March 1

IRAQ

703 die in month of attacks

The United Nations said Saturday that violence across Iraq in February killed 703 people, a death toll higher than the year before as the country faces a rising wave of militant attacks rivaling the sectarian bloodshed that followed the U.S.-led invasion. The figures issued by the U.N.’s mission to Iraq is close to January’s death toll of 733, showing that a surge of violence that began 10 months is not receding. Meanwhile, attacks Saturday killed at least five people and wounded 14.

PAKISTAN

Group announces cease-fire

The Pakistani Taliban announced Saturday that the group will observe a one-month cease-fire as part of efforts to negotiate a peace deal with the government, throwing new life into a foundering peace process. Spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said in a release emailed to reporters that the top leadership of the militant group has instructed all of its units to comply with the cease-fire. “Today, we are seeing a big breakthrough,” Sadiqui said.

NIGERIA

Bombs explode at market

Two bombs exploded at a crowded marketplace in the northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri on Saturday night, and many were feared killed and wounded in the birthplace of the Boko Haram extremist network, witnesses said. The second blast caught people trying to help those injured in the first explosion in the Bintu-Suga neighborhood of Ngomari suburb. It was the first attack in months in Maiduguri, capital of Borno state and the headquarters of a military force tasked with suppressing the 4-year-old Islamic uprising that has killed thousands.

BOLIVIA

Four killed in bridge collapse

Authorities said four people were killed and more than 60 injured when an overloaded metal footbridge collapsed onto a group of musicians marching in the opening parade of Carnival in the highlands city of Oruro. Interior Minister Carlos Romero said three of the dead were musicians. Dozens were on the bridge when it collapsed.

Compiled from wire reports.



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