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WORLD IN BRIEF: Pressure mounts on Gadhafi within Libya's capital

Pressure mounts on Gadhafi within Libya’s capital

TRIPOLI, Libya — Pressure is mounting on Moammar Gadhafi from within his stronghold in the Libyan capital, with increasing NATO airstrikes and worsening shortages of fuel and goods. Residents said Thursday there has also been a wave of anti-government protests in several Tripoli neighborhoods this week — dissent that in the past has been met with zero tolerance and brutal force.

Gadhafi’s rebel opposition, meanwhile, received major political boosts from abroad. Britain promised to provide them with police gear, and the Obama administration invited a rebel delegation to the White House for talks on Friday.

Al-Qaida allies: They backed prison break

BAGHDAD — Extremists linked to al-Qaida in Iraq boasted in a statement Thursday that they slipped guns and messages to inmates for weeks before a bloody — but ultimately unsuccessful — prison break this week that left 17 dead.

The statement by the Islamic State of Iraq did not explicitly say the inmates had inside help, but the new details strongly suggested that they did.

Militants in Baghdad were able ‘‘to infiltrate the building’s security system weeks prior and to communicate with the detained group, to familiarize them with their plan of escape,’’ the statement said.

Former Nazi guard convicted in camp deaths

MUNICH — Retired U.S. autoworker John Demjanjuk was convicted Thursday of accessory to murder as a low-level Nazi death camp guard, a groundbreaking decision setting a precedent that could open the floodgates to a new wave of prosecutions in Germany.

Demjanjuk was sentenced to five years in prison on 28,060 counts of accessory to murder for the number of people who were killed in the Sobibor death camp when the court said evidence shows he stood guard there in 1943.

But the 91-year-old will spend no immediate time behind bars after Presiding Judge Ralph Alt ordered him released from custody pending his appeal — a process that could take at least a year.

Though such a move is common under the German system, it drew the immediate ire of some of those who had been pushing for Demjanjuk’s conviction.