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Two die in UP violence

SAHARANPUR: Two persons were killed and at least 12 others injured on Saturday as violent clashes broke out between two communities over a land dispute in Saharanpur of Uttar Pradesh with mobs indulging in brick batting and arson, prompting authorities to clamp curfew. “Harish Kochar, a traders’ leader, and an unidentified person have been killed in the clashes. A policeman has sustained bullet injury in the clashes and has been referred to PGI in a serious condition,” Commissioner, Saharanpur, Tanveer Zafar Ali said. — PTI

85 Syrian troops killed

BEIRUT: At least 85 Syrian soldiers were killed, some of them beheaded, as the jihadist Islamic State took over a base in the northern province of Raqa, a monitoring group said on Saturday. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the fate of around 200 other soldiers remained unknown, as the IS assault forced the army to pull back late on Friday. The Division 17 base in Raqa has fallen but the jihadists have not yet moved into all its buildings ‘for fear of air strikes’, said the Britain-based group’s director, Rami Abdel Rahman. The IS lost at least 28 jihadist fighters, he said. — AFP

Swaziland jails two

Johannesburg: Two government critics in Swaziland have been sentenced to two years in prison after being found guilty of contempt of court for publishing articles lamenting alleged threats to judicial independence in the southern African kingdom. The sentencing on Friday of lawyer Thulani Maseko and Bheki Makhubu, editor of Swaziland's The Nation magazine, drew criticism from Amnesty International and other human rights groups. — AP

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