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News Wrap: U.S. Drones Reportedly Kill 18 Suspected Militants in Pakistan

December 27, 2010 at 5:17 PM EDT
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HARI SREENIVASAN: U.S. drone aircraft flying over Pakistan reportedly killed 18 suspected militants in missile attacks today. Pakistani intelligence officials said the strikes were in the North Waziristan region, near the border with Afghanistan.

And, over the weekend, the first suicide bombing by a woman in Pakistan hit a U.N. food distribution site. In response, the World Food Program suspended operations, which feed more than 300,000 people left displaced and hungry after the floods earlier this year.

In Italy, bomb squad experts defused a parcel bomb delivered to the Greek Embassy in Rome. Police and firefighters surrounded the building, while embassy staff waited outside. Last week, similar bombs exploded at the Swiss and Chilean embassies, wounding two people. An Italian anarchist group claimed responsibility for those blasts.

Police in Britain have charged nine men with plotting bomb attacks across the country. They were among a dozen terror suspects arrested last week. And authorities in the Netherlands investigated seven Somali men rounded up in Rotterdam on Christmas Eve. Five others were let go Sunday for lack of evidence.

Government troops were on patrol in Nigeria today, after 32 people died in Christmas weekend violence. Nearly 130 others were wounded. Most of the trouble was centered in the city of Jos, deeply divided between Christians and Muslims. On Christmas Eve, multiple explosions went off there, two at a large market where people were doing last-minute Christmas shopping. Some authorities blamed a radical Muslim sect.

The U.S. Senate race in Alaska is finally all but over. Last night, Republican Joe Miller announced he will not try to block officials from certifying incumbent Lisa Murkowski as the winner. She finished first as a write-in candidate after losing in the Republican primary. The state Supreme Court refused last week to overturn the results. Miller said he will continue a challenge to how the vote was counted.

Wall Street had a quiet day, as it began the final trading week of the year. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 18 points to close at 11555. The Nasdaq rose a point to close at 2667.

Those are some of the day’s major stories.