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WORLD: Former Russian spy dies at 53

Former Russian spy dies at 53

WASHINGTON -- A former top Russian spy who defected to the U.S. after running espionage operations from the United Nations, Sergei Tretyakov, has died in Florida, his wife and a friend said Friday. He was 53.

News of his death last month came the same day the United States and Russia completed their largest swap of spies since the Cold War.

Tretyakov, who defected in 2000 and later claimed his agents helped the Russian government steal nearly $500 million from the U.N.'s oil-for-food program in Iraq, died June 13. He was 53, according to a Social Security death record.

WTOP Radio in Washington first reported his death Friday. His widow, Helen Tretyakov, told the station he died of natural causes.

Twin bombs kill 62 in Pakistan

PESHAWAR, Pakistan -- A pair of suicide bombings killed 62 people Friday outside a government office in a region along the Afghan border where the Pakistani army and U.S. missiles have had some success in decreasing the number of such attacks.

The assault, which wounded at least 111 people, was one of the deadliest in Pakistan this year. There was speculation that the bombers were targeting anti-Taliban tribal elders visiting the government office in the village of Yakaghund, part of the Mohmand tribal area in the country's northwest.

The attackers struck within seconds of each other as two U.S. senators met with Pakistani leaders in the capital, Islamabad, to discuss their countries' cooperation in the fight against terrorism, much of it being waged in the lawless tribal belt bordering Afghanistan where al-Qaida and the Taliban have long had redoubts.

NATO accepts blame for deaths

KABUL, Afghanistan -- NATO took the blame on Friday for accidentally killing six civilians and wounding several others in eastern Afghanistan -- just a day after six Afghan soldiers died in a botched coalition airstrike.

The back-to-back incidents come as international troops are trying to gain the trust of the Afghan people and improve coordination with Afghan security forces in hopes of handing over more responsibility for security to them nearly nine years into the war.

NATO said an assessment team, comprising both coalition and Afghan forces, determined that the civilians were killed when artillery fire fell short of its target.