Obama Kicks Off European Tour, Militants Raid Karachi Military Base

BY News Desk  May 23, 2011 at 10:30 AM EDT

President Barack Obama poses for pictures with an Irish hurling stick, as Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny looks on following a meeting at Farmleigh in Dublin, Ireland, on May 23, 2011. (MAXWELLS/AFP/Getty Images)

President Obama is in Moneygall, Ireland, for the first stop in his six-day European tour, a town where his great-great-great grandfather reportedly was raised. The president is expected to deliver a speech in Dublin praising relations between the two countries.

The president’s visit includes stops in Britain, France and Poland. We’ll have more on his agenda here on the Rundown.

Raid on Karachi Military Compound Kills 12

Pakistan’s military says it has retaken the Karachi compound that was stormed by militants on Sunday after an 18-hour siege that cost 12 soldiers their lives and destroyed two surveillance planes provided by the United States.

As it has for several recent attacks, the Pakistani Taliban has claimed responsibility, saying they are in retaliation for the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. A spokesman for the group said the fighters sent into the compound “do not want to come out alive; they have gone there to embrace martyrdom.”

Ten to 15 militants were involved in the attack, using rocket-propelled grenades and shooting personnel on the base. Pakistan’s military says the base is being carefully swept for any remaining traces of the fighters.

In October 2009, militants launched a similar attack on a military facility in the city of Rawalpindi.

U.N. Calls on North Sudan to Pull Back Troops from Border Town

Following a January referendum vote that will make South Sudan an independent nation in July, North Sudan has sent troops into the still-disputed border town of Abyei.

The south considers the move an act of war, and the United Nations condemned the action as well. The north claims troops were sent in after 22 of its men were ambushed in the south, which denied responsibility. There are disputes about the number of northern troops in Abyei.

Abyei was the scene of violence in the wake of the referendum, as the NewsHour’s Larisa Epatko wrote:

The town of Abyei, which lies on the north-south border splitting Sudan, has been the focal point of tensions between the largely Arab Muslim north and Christian and animist south.

The disputed oil-rich town of Abyei was due to vote in January on whether to stay with the north or join the south, but the vote was delayed indefinitely. Tensions in the region have sparked sporadic fighting, and in March clashes in Abyei left 70 people dead.

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