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WORLD IN BRIEF: 25 militants killed during attack on camp

25 militants killed during attack on camp

KABUL, Afghanistan — Insurgents attacked a NATO and Afghan army outpost in eastern Afghanistan near the Pakistan border and at least 25 of the militants were killed in the resulting skirmish, officials said Wednesday.

Troops at the combat outpost in Spera district of Khost province returned fire with mortars late Tuesday, killing 25 to 30 insurgents, NATO said in a statement. Initial reports found there were no civilian casualties, it said.

Gen. Raz Mohmmad Horya Khil, a senior commander of the Afghan National Army in the province, said 29 insurgents were killed. There were no casualties among NATO or Afghan troops, he said.

Three French employees kidnapped from ship off Nigeria

LAGOS, Nigeria — Pirates armed with Kalashnikov rifles clashed with Nigerian navy forces in a failed bid to take over an offshore oil platform, then kidnapped three French employees of a marine services company while retreating, a Nigerian official said Wednesday.

Navy Commodore David Nabaida said a Thai employee also may have been taken hostage by the pirates during the attack, which began early Wednesday morning.

The French-flagged vessel Bourbon Alexandre was working in an offshore oil field operated by Addax Petroleum, a subsidiary of Chinese state-owned oil producer Sinopec Group.

No claim of responsibility for the attack has been made, officials said.

Vatican: Bank probe fueled by simple mixup

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican said Wednesday the seizure by police of $30 million from a Vatican bank account and the investigation of two top bank officials was due to a simple misunderstanding that should be clarified quickly.

In a front-page article Wednesday, the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano also provided details about the investigation, saying it began when the Bank of Italy tipped off authorities to a possible violation of anti-money laundering norms by the Vatican bank.

Italian financial police seized the money as a precaution Tuesday, and Rome prosecutors placed the bank’s chairman, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, and his director general, Paolo Cipriani, under investigation for alleged mistakes linked to violations of the norms.