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YANGON — Arakan Army (AA) armed group Friday launched attacks on four police outposts in Buthidaung, Myanmar’s Rakhine state, killing 13 police officers and injuring nine, according to the Ministry of Information.

About 100 members of the AA armed group attacked three police outposts in ethnic Arakanese villages of Nga Myin Baw, Kyaung Taung and Ka Htee Hla while about 50 attacked another police outpost in Goke Pi township at 06:45 a.m. local time. (Myanmar-Rakhine-Attacks)
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KABUL — More than 40 fighters from warring sides have been killed in Afghanistan over the past four days as anti-government militants, above all the Taliban outfit, have intensified activities since Jan. 1 this year, officials said Friday.

According to the officials, nearly 20 of those killed over the past four days are security personnel and more than two dozen others are Taliban militants who have been killed elsewhere in the war-battered country. (Afghanistan-Taliban-Fighting)
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TOKYO — Japan will announce its new era name on April 1, one month before the abdication of Emperor Akihito, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in New Year’s press conference in Ise on Friday.

The new “genko,” which means “era name,” will be signed off at a Cabinet meeting on April 1 before the emperor abdicates on April 30 and Crown Prince Naruhito ascends the imperial throne on May 1, Abe said. (Japan-Era Name)
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SEOUL — Top diplomats of South Korea and Japan on Friday held talks via telephone amid the military radar wrangle between the two countries, according to South Korea’s foreign ministry.
South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and his Japanese counterpart Taro Kono had phone conversations Friday afternoon, exchanging opinions on the South Korean top court’s ruling on forced labor during World War and the radar row involving a South Korean battleship and a Japanese patrol plane. (S.Korea-Japan-Radar Wrangle)
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JAKARTA — The death toll from a landslide triggered by heavy rain in Indonesia’s West Java province earlier has risen to at least 18, while 15 others remain missing, disaster agency official said on Friday.

The natural disaster devastated Sinaresmi village of Sukabumi district on Monday leaving three villagers seriously injured, spokesman of national disaster management agency Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said. (Indonesia-landslide-Deaths)
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KUALA LUMPUR — Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak will be jointly tried with former 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Arul Kanda, a court ruled here on Friday.

The pair faces charges over tampering with an audit report of the state investment fund meant to be presented to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), an organ of the Malaysia’s parliament, tasked with reviewing the country’s public accounts. (Malaysia-Former PM-Trial) Enditem

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