Egyptian doctors protest over police brutality
Thousands of Egyptian doctors demonstrated in Cairo on Friday in a rare protest at what rights groups call police impunity after two doctors were alleged to have been assaulted in a hospital in the city last month. The Egyptian Medical Syndicate held an emergency meeting on Friday and called for the prosecution of police officers involved in the alleged assault in Matariya, a district of northern Cairo. The syndicate says the officers have not been held accountable. Protests involving thousands of people on the streets of Cairo have become rare since a strict law was passed allowing for jail sentences of up to seven years for those participating in demonstrations without prior police approval. — Reuters, Cairo

Myanmar president cancels US visit
Myanmar’s outgoing president has scrapped a planned trip to the US next week in order to oversee the power hand-off to Aung San Suu Kyi’s new government, a presidential spokesman said Saturday. Thein Sein was due to attend a summit for leaders from the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations bloc hosted by US president Barack Obama, who has staked large political capital in Myanmar’s passage towards greater democracy. ‘The president decided not to attend the meeting because this is transition period. — AFP, Yangon

Seven killed in Kashmir gun battle
A fierce gun battle killed two soldiers and five suspected militants Saturday in Indian-administered Kashmir near the de facto border with Pakistan, army officials said. The seven died during a heavy exchange of fire in the border village of Marsari, 130 kilometres northwest of the main city of Srinagar, defence spokesman NN Joshi said. The 16-hour gun battle began on Friday when government forces zeroed in on an abandoned house after receiving information about the presence of suspected rebels. ‘One more militant was killed in the operations, bringing their number up to five,’ Joshi said. — AFP, Srinagar

Six killed in Taliban attacks
Taliban insurgents killed six Afghan security personnel Saturday in two separate attacks, Afghan officials said. Four policemen were killed and seven others wounded in double-suicide attacks on their checkpoint outside a security forces station in the southern Helmand province, said provincial police chief in Helmand. Mohammad Rasoul Zazi, an army spokesman in Helmand, said one soldier was killed and another was wounded in the attack. Meanwhile, another policeman was killed and four others wounded when their vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb in the southern Uruzgan province, said the district administration chief. — AP, Kabul

Israeli troops kill Palestinian in West Bank
Israeli security forces shot dead on Saturday a Palestinian woman who tried to stab a soldier in the occupied West Bank, Israel’s military said. No Israelis were wounded in the attack that happened near the Cave of the Patriarchs in the city of Hebron. A campaign of stabbings, shootings and car-ramming by Palestinians has killed 27 Israelis and a US citizen since the start of October. Israeli forces have killed at least 158 Palestinians in the same period, 102 of them assailants, according to Israeli authorities. — Reuters . Jerusalem

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