Xinhua world news summary at 1030 GMT, March 24

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BAGHDAD -- At least 27 militants of the extremist Islamic State (IS) group were killed in an offensive targeting IS positions in a mountainous area in northern Iraq, the Iraqi military said on Wednesday.

Iraqi security forces, backed by U.S.-led coalition and Iraqi aircraft, launched the offensive on March 9 and continued for 14 days in the Makhmour mountain range in southeast of Nineveh's provincial capital Mosul, Yahia Rasoul, spokesman of the Commander-in-Chief of the Iraqi forces, said in a statement. (Iraq-Militants)

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MOGADISHU -- The EU and the East African bloc have called on Somali leaders to quickly reach a compromise on the electoral process to pave way for a peaceful transfer of power through the implementation of the September 2020 pre-election deal.

In separate statements, the EU and Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) called on the leaders to resolve the current political impasse, warning that failure to hold elections on time risks destabilizing Somalia. (Somali-Elections)

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JERUSALEM -- Israeli army said it struck military targets in the Gaza Strip early on Wednesday after a rocket from Gaza hit southern Israel a day earlier.

During the overnight assault, war jets and attack helicopters struck a rocket manufacturing site and a military post belonging to Hamas, an Islamist Palestinian group that runs Gaza, according to a statement issued by the military. (Israel-Military)

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NEW DELHI -- Death toll of policemen in the improvised explosive device (IED) attack triggered by Naxals in central Indian state of Chhattisgarh has risen to five, officials said Wednesday.

Over a dozen others were wounded in the attack. The attack was carried out on Tuesday evening in Narayanpur district, about 222 km south of Raipur, the capital city of Chhattisgarh. (India-Casualties) Enditem

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