4,000 displaced in Nigeria
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria - Soldiers in tanks and armored cars besieged the shelled compound of a radical Islamist sect and sporadic gunfire exploded as hundreds of innocents fled Wednesday, the third day of fighting in Nigeria's northern city of Maiduguri.
Relief official Apollus Jediel said about 1,000 people had abandoned their homes Wednesday, joining 3,000 displaced this week in four states caught up in the violence.
It is not known how many scores of people have been killed. Police say most of the dead are militants, from a group that wants to impose Taliban-style rule across this multi-religious country of 140 million. Dozens of people have been arrested.
Gates: Some US troops may leave Iraq early
ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT - A combat brigade of 5,000 American troops may be brought home early from Iraq if an emerging trend of reduced violence holds, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Wednesday.
Gates' acknowledgment that he is considering speeding the withdrawal of a full combat unit by the end of this year amounts to the first hint that the Obama administration might rethink its decision to keep a large residual force in Iraq and pull them out slowly.
'I think there's at least some chance of a modest acceleration' in troop withdrawal this year, Gates told reporters on his plane en route to Washington from Baghdad. His comments came after discussions with his top commanders in the war.
Clinton praises British on Afghanistan
WASHINGTON - Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Wednesday praised Britain's call to reconcile with moderate Taliban guerrillas.
In a joint appearance with British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, Clinton said the allies agreed about how to handle the Taliban.
On Monday, Miliband said in a speech at NATO headquarters that while hard-line fundamentalist commanders committed to a global jihad must be pursued relentlessly, ordinary rank-and-file Taliban should be given the opportunity reconcile with the Afghan government. The speech raised questions about whether Britain was advocating a more conciliatory approach with the Taliban.