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Taliban Free Hundreds of Prisoners in Afghanistan


Afghan national army stand guard near the dead body of a Taliban attacker in front of the main prison building after an attack in Ghazni province, eastern Afghanistan, Monday, Sept. 14, 2015. (AP Photo/Rahmatullah Nikzad)

Afghan national army stand guard near the dead body of a Taliban attacker in front of the main prison building after an attack in Ghazni province, eastern Afghanistan, Monday, Sept. 14, 2015. (AP Photo/Rahmatullah Nikzad)

Taliban fighters have raided a prison in eastern Afghanistan. Hundreds of prisoners escaped in what Afghan officials are calling a well-organized attack.

Officials say the attack began with a suicide car bombing. They said the explosion enabled Taliban fighters to enter the prison grounds.

Afghan officials said there were a total of 436 prisoners in the complex. At least 355 are said to have escaped during the attack. The government said 148 of the escapees "were threats to national security."

An Afghan interior ministry statement says seven security guards were killed, with seven others wounded. It said that five militants also were killed.

Egyptian forces kill two Mexicans

Egyptian security forces have killed 12 people, including Mexicans, in Egypt's western desert. Officials say the forces mistakenly opened fire on the visitors while the soldiers were chasing terrorists.

The Mexican Foreign Ministry said at least two of the dead were Mexican nationals.

Egypt said in a statement the dead were Mexican and Egyptian, but did not identify the number killed by their nationalities. The statement also said the area the visitors were in was "off limits to foreign tourists."

Malaysia arrests three people in connection with Bangkok bombing

Malaysian officials say they have arrested three people in connection with the deadly bombing last month in Bangkok, Thailand.

The head of Malaysia's national police force announced the arrests of a Pakistani man and two Malaysians - one of them a woman - in Kuala Lumpur Monday. He also said that the Malaysian government has no plans to send the three to Thailand for legal action.

Twenty people were killed when the bomb exploded on August 17 at the Erawan Shrine in the Thai capital. The explosion wounded many other people, including several Chinese.

Okinawa governor to cancel permits for new US military base

The governor of Japan's southern island of Okinawa says he will cancel permits for building a new United States air base on Okinawa. Governor Takeshi Onaga made the announcement after talks broke down between his administration and Japan’s central government.

His decision was announced just days after work on the base restarted near a coastal village on the island. The building project had been suspended for one month to give the two sides time to negotiate.

Mr. Onaga was elected governor last year after promising to block the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Base. The base was to be moved from a heavily populated area of Okinawa to a village called Henoko. Instead, Mr. Onaga wants the facility to be moved to another island. Over 19,000 U.S. Marines are stationed in Okinawa in order to rapidly respond to regional threats, provide disaster assistance and defend the interests of the United States and Japan.

However, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters Monday that work on the new base on Henoko will continue. The central government could bring legal action against Mr. Onaga to block his action.

George Grow adapted these stories for Learning English from voanews.com. Mario Ritter was the editor.

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Words in the News

complex – n. a group of buildings that are close to each other and used for a particular purpose

facility – n. something such as a building or large piece of equipment that is used for a specific purpose

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