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World in brief: Report: 85,000 Iraqis killed in five years of war

BAGHDAD -- Iraq's government said at least 85,000 people were killed from 2004 to 2008, officially answering one of the biggest questions of the conflict -- how many perished in the sectarian violence that nearly led to a civil war.

A report by the Human Rights Ministry said 85,694 people were killed from the beginning of 2004 to Oct. 31, 2008 and 147,195 were wounded. The figures included Iraqi civilians, military and police but did not cover U.S. military deaths, insurgents, or foreigners, including contractors. And it did not include the first months of the war after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

Magnitude 6.0 quake reported near Samoa

WASHINGTON -- An earthquake with magnitude 6.0 struck in the Pacific near Samoa, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

The government seismologists said the quake was at a depth of 6.2 miles and occurred just after 2 p.m.

Gerard Fryer, a geophysicist at the Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, said there is no threat of a tsunami.

Britain's Brown pledges more troops for Afghanistan

LONDON -- British Prime Minister Gordon Brown pledged Wednesday to send more troops to Afghanistan but only if NATO and the Afghan government do more to help fight the Taliban.

Brown said his government would increase British troop levels to 9,500 -- an increase of about 500 -- on the condition that President Hamid Karzai reduce corruption and improve his government's performance.

Group: Civilians under attack in northern Congo

JOHANNESBURG -- Ugandan-led rebels are expanding their territory in northern Congo, committing child abductions, rapes, and -- in one instance, forcing a man to club his own brother to death, an international aid group said Wednesday.

Medecins Sans Frontieres said the violence by members of a shadowy Ugandan rebel group called the Lord's Resistance Army started in a remote region of northern Congo last year and has recently spread to nearby areas. Few other humanitarian agencies are working in the area, which has few roads.