Top news: In a brazen challenge to Iraqi authorities, militants killed 23 members of the country's security forces in coordinated attacks on Thursday, then planted an al Qaeda flag in a predominantly Sunni neighborhood in Baghdad.
In the worst incident, gunmen attacked a police checkpoint in the Azamiyah neighborhood, then set it on fire, burning the bodies inside and planting the flag of al Qaeda in Iraq. Minutes later, three roadside bombs detonated nearby. Thursday also saw attacks elsewhere in Baghdad as well as in Fallujah and Mosul.
It was the boldest move by Iraq's Sunni militants since the commando-style raid on the Central Bank in June, which killed 26. Militants seem to be increasingly targeting Iraqi security forces as the United States plans to remove all but 50,000 American troops by the end of August.
Milestone: With at least 63 killed, July is the deadliest month yet for U.S. troops in the nine-year war in Afghanistan.
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- The U.S. consulate in Ciudad Juarez has been forced to close for security reasons.
- Cuban activist Guillermo Farinas has left the hospital after ending his four-month hunger strike.
- U.S. and North Korean officers are meeting for a third round of talks under U.N. auspices.
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- South Korea's prime minister has offered to resign for a second time.
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- The Arab league has endorsed direct Palestinian talks with Israel.
- Rockets from Gaza hit the Israeli city of Ashkelon.
- Sudan's ruling party says a referendum on Southern independence cannot be held until the border is settled.
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- Somalia's al Shabaab rebels vowed to make Mogadishu a "graveyard" for the additional peacekeeping troops sent by the African Union.
- Authorities prevented a man from hijacking a plan at Moscow's Domodedovo airport.
- A Spanish judge issued arrest warrants for three U.S. soldiers for the killing of a Spanish cameraman in Iraq in 2003.
- Greek truck drivers have defied a government order to end their strike.
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