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WORLD IN BRIEF: Department: 8 Americans die in Afghan attack

Department: 8 Americans die in Afghan attack

KABUL — A suicide bomber detonated his explosive vest at a military base in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday, killing eight Americans, U.S. officials said.

The explosion occurred at Forward Operating Base Chapman in Khost province near the Afghan border with Pakistan. State Department spokesman Ian Kelly confirmed that eight Americans died in the attack.

In Kabul, a spokesman for the international coalition force in Kabul said no U.S. or NATO troops were killed in the afternoon explosion at Chapman, one of dozens of forward operating bases that support reconstruction efforts and other civilian operations across the nation.

Bombs kill 23 in Iraq province

BAGHDAD — Twin bombings — one an assassination attempt against an Iraqi provincial governor — killed 23 people and wounded the governor Wednesday in the worst violence in months to hit the western province that was once al-Qaida's top stronghold in Iraq.

Also on Wednesday, a British hostage held for more than two years by militants was released safely in Baghdad and is now in the care of the British Embassy.

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said in a statement in London that Peter Moore was released by his captors Wednesday morning and taken to Iraqi authorities.

Iran hardliners call for killing rivals at rallies

TEHRAN, Iran — Tens of thousands of hard-liners poured into the streets in support of Iran's clerical rulers at state-sponsored rallies Wednesday, some chanting calls for the execution of opposition leaders as the country's internal strife turned more bitter.

Some wore white funeral shrouds to symbolize a willingness to die in defense of the ruling system. An ominous online threat in the name of a previously unknown group said suicide squads were ready to assassinate the opposition leaders should the judiciary fail to punish them within a week.

The display of popular support for the government and the stirring, violent rhetoric from the crowd appeared to be a genuine outpouring, though some supporters were bused in by the government. The rallies showed Iran's rulers could forcefully take back control of the streets after opposition demonstrations Sunday.

— From wire reports