Xinhua world news summary at 1200 GMT, July 29

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MAIMANA, Afghanistan -- A total of 23 militants were confirmed dead and three others injured as Afghan government forces backed by air power stormed Taliban hideouts in Pashtunkot and Almar districts of the northern Faryab province on Wednesday, army spokesman in the northern region Mohammad Hanif Rezai said Thursday.

In the operations launched Wednesday afternoon, a large number of arms and ammunitions as well as four motorbikes of the militants were also destroyed, the official said. (Afghanistan-Taliban-Operations)


BAGHDAD -- An Iraqi army helicopter crashed on Thursday during a mission in the central-north region of Iraq, killing five crew members aboard, the Iraqi military said.

The incident took place at 2:45 a.m. local time (2345 GMT Wednesday) when the helicopter was conducting a combat mission near the town of Amerly, some 150 km north of Baghdad, the media office of the Joint Operations Command said in a statement. (Iraq-Helicopter Crash)


ISTANBUL -- At least one person was killed, and ten people were trapped in a forest fire that erupted in Turkey's Mediterranean province of Antalya, officials announced on Thursday.

Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli said an 82-year-old man died in his burning home in the Kepezbeleni neighborhood of the Akseki district. (Turkey-Forest fire)


MOGADISHU -- Fifteen al-Shabab militants were on Thursday morning killed while dozens sustained injuries after the Somali National Army (SNA) conducted a special operation at Afcad area near Bulaburte town in Hiiraan region of central Somalia.

Ahmed Mohamed Teredisho, SNA Sector 27 Commander told radio Mogadishu that the troops also destroyed terrorist bases during the operation. (Somalia-Shabab)


KABUL -- At least 40 people are feared dead after a flash flood hit a village in eastern Afghanistan's Nuristan province, according to media reports on Thursday.

The flood occurred in a remote mountainous area and local officials quoted by the media reports said it also destroyed dozens of houses and so far some 40 bodies have been recovered. (Afghanistan-Flood) Enditem

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