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KABUL : NATO advisers want Afghan soldiers to spend less time manning checkpoints and more taking the fight to Taliban militants, a key tactical shift the coalition hopes will enable local forces to quell a rising insurgency.

With NATO's combat mission officially over, and only a few thousand foreign troops left, the onus has fallen on the Afghan army and police to impose stability, and the military alliance is looking for ways to use those resources more effectively.

Reducing reliance on thousands of poorly defended checkpoints that dot towns and roads across the country is a priority for NATO heading into summer, when fighting is expected to intensify as the Taliban renews its push to seize back power.

"They've got way too many soldiers on checkpoints," said Brigadier-General Wilson Shoffner, spokesman for the NATO-led training mission known as Resolute Support.

"There's an old military saying that if you defend everywhere you defend nowhere, and it's very much true for them (Afghan security forces)."

There are early signs the idea is catching on.

Over the past week, army units in the embattled province of Helmand abandoned their outposts in several of the most disputed

SAYYIDA ZEINAB : A string of suicide bombings near a Shiite shrine outside Syria's capital and in Homs claimed by jihadists killed at least 142 people Sunday, as Washington and Moscow worked to secure a ceasefire.

The Islamic State group said it was behind the carnage.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said a provisional deal had been reached on the terms of a truce in Syria's brutal five-year conflict, only for the bloodshed to intensify on the ground.

Near Damascus, a car bombing followed

NEW DELHI : A court has served a Hindu god with a summons for illegally encroaching on government land in eastern India after a roadside temple was built in his honour, officials said Thursday.

Photos in local media showed the summons, addressed to Lord Hanuman, pasted on an idol of the monkey god, worshipped for his courage and strength, at the temple in Bihar state.

"The summons was issued after the public works department filed a case against the temple for encroaching on the road," a

ANKARA: At least 28 people were killed and 61 wounded Wednesday by a car bomb targeting the Turkish military in the heart of the capital Ankara, the latest in a string of attacks to shake the country.

The blast struck a convoy of military service vehicles but it was still not clear who carried it out, said Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus, confirming the latest toll.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed retaliation against the perpetrators of the attack, which came on the heels of a

JERUSALEM : Israeli prosecutors on Thursday charged a 76-year-old Tel Aviv man with killing his wife after she disturbed him when he was watching tennis on television.

A copy of the charge sheet obtained by AFP said that Maurice Biniashvilli bludgeoned to death his wife Malcha after she prevented him seeing decisive moments in the Australian Open championship on January 31.

It did not give her age but said the couple had been married since 1955.

"As the accused tensely watched the tennis

TOKYO : A Japanese mother forced her teenage daughter to eat more than 30 of her pet goldfish as a punishment, police and media alleged, as the country grapples with a record number of child abuse cases.

Yuko Ogata and her boyfriend Takeshi Egami, who have both been arrested, made the girl eat the dead fish in June, police told AFP on Wednesday, adding that the daughter was allegedly abused on a daily basis.

Local media said the couple, who live in Fukuoka prefecture in southwestern Japan

KUALA LUMPUR : Malaysia Airlines on Sunday denied media reports that three men detained for smuggling tortoises at an airport in Dhaka, Bangladesh on Friday night, are its employees.

In a statement on Sunday, Malaysia Airlines said the persons directly involved in the offence were not its staff and the incident was still being investigated.

"The company has zero tolerance for employees, contractors or service providers who are guilty of criminal offences and illegal activities.

"We will not

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