Xinhua world news summary at 0530 GMT, April 20

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TALUQAN, Afghanistan -- Eighteen Afghan soldiers were killed and three others wounded in a Taliban attack in the country's northern province of Takhar on Sunday night, a local official confirmed on Monday.

The clashes started at midnight after dozens of Taliban militants launched a wide offensive on a district police station and a nearby military camp in Khwaja Ghar district, Abdul Khalil Asir, provincial police spokesman, told Xinhua. (Afghanistan-Taliban-Attack)

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SYDNEY -- A two-year international investigation into a website where users pay for child abuse material has lead to the arrest of 16 people in Australia, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) said on Monday.

Authorities were also able to remove four Australian children from further harm. (Australia-Survey-Child abuse)

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LAGOS -- The Nigerian army confirmed on Sunday that 105 militants of the terror group Boko Haram were killed during a recent military operation in the northeastern state of Yobe.

The success was a result of an intelligence report which revealed a plan by Boko Haram terrorists to attack Buni Yadi village, according to Lawrence Araba, the army commander in charge of Sector 2 of Operation Lafiya Dole.

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TOKYO -- U.S. crude oil plunged about 20 percent to below 15 U.S. dollars per barrel on Monday, hitting the lowest level in more than a decade as the COVID-19 pandemic cast a shadow over the global market.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI), the U.S. oil price benchmark, fell as much as 21 percent to 14.47 dollars per barrel in early Asian trade. (U.S.-Oil-Price)

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KAMPALA -- Uganda would use available methods to fight the invasion of desert locusts, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said Sunday.

The military working with the locals will fight off the swarms of locusts that are crossing into the country from neighboring Kenya, using hand spray pumps instead of waiting for spray aircraft, Museveni said in a televised address. (Uganda-Locusts-Fight)

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HONG KONG -- An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.2 jolted 47 km ENE of Luganville, Vanuatu at 00:34:34 GMT on Monday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The epicenter, with a depth of 108.64 km, was initially determined to be at 15.3401 degrees south latitude and 167.5595 degrees east longitude. (Vanuatu-Earthquake)

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ABUJA -- Up to 47 people were killed in organized attacks on villages in the northwestern Nigerian state of Katsina on Saturday, local police said Sunday.

A group of gunmen attacked the villages of Danmusa, Dutsenma and Safana early Saturday and detachments of police, Nigerian Army, Nigeria Airforce and Civil Defence and Department of State Services have been deployed to the area, Katsina police said in a statement. (Nigeria-Attack-Death) Enditem

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