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story.lead_photo.caption “Not only can we not accept [the joint patrols], such a development will cause serious problems at the border,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said of the efforts by U.S. forces and a Kurdish-led militia in Syria.

U.S.-Kurdish patrols vexing to Turkey

ANKARA, Turkey -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday that joint patrols by U.S. forces and a Kurdish-led militia in northern Syria are "unacceptable."

The U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State group and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces conducted two joint patrols last week after Turkish artillery shelled Kurdish positions in northeastern Syria.

Turkey considers the Kurdish militia that forms the backbone of the Syrian Democratic Forces an extension of the Kurdish insurgency within Turkey. U.S. support for the Kurdish-led forces, who retook large areas from the Islamic State group, has raised tensions between the two NATO allies.

"Not only can we not accept [the joint patrols], such a development will cause serious problems at the border," Erdogan told reporters at parliament.

The Syrian Democratic Forces drove the Islamic State group out of Manbij in 2016. In June, the U.S. and Turkey agreed on a road map in which Kurdish fighters were to withdraw from the town. The Kurdish People's Protection Units militia says it withdrew in July, but Turkish officials say the group, which they view as a terrorist organization, is still present in Manbij.

Grave sites in Iraq yield victims of ISIS

BAGHDAD -- More than 200 mass graves containing between 6,000 and 12,000 bodies have been found in Iraq from the time of the Islamic State group's three-year reign, U.N. investigators said Tuesday.

The 202 graves verified by investigators dot northern Iraq and are a "legacy of [the Islamic State's] terror," according to a joint report by the U.N. mission to Iraq and the U.N. office for human rights. Findings from the grave sites can be used as evidence of the group's crimes, they said.

The graves date from 2014 to 2017 when the militant group ruled some of Iraq's largest cities and towns.

As the militants swept through Iraq and neighboring Syria, they killed captured members of the security forces en masse, expelled or killed members of minority groups, and enslaved women from the Yazidi sect. The U.N. says the widespread violations could amount to genocide.

Several graves found in Iraq's Salahuddin province contain the remains of victims of the 2014 Camp Speicher massacre, when the militants killed around 1,700 Iraqi security forces and army cadets.

Iraqi authorities have exhumed the remains of 1,258 victims from 28 graves, according to the U.N.

U.N.: Afghan vote-violence dead at 56

KABUL, Afghanistan -- A United Nations report released Tuesday found that 56 civilians were killed and 379 others wounded in attacks during Afghanistan's recent parliamentary election.

Fifty-two civilians were killed and 339 others were wounded in election-day violence, the U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan report said. The rest were killed or wounded in the days that followed when delayed polling took place in some provinces.

Election day for Afghanistan's first parliamentary elections since 2010 was Oct. 20 and took place against a backdrop of near-daily attacks by Taliban insurgents, who have seized nearly half the country and have repeatedly refused offers to negotiate with the Afghanistan government. The U.S.-backed government is rife with corruption and many Afghans have said they do not expect the elections to be fair. Yet millions of Afghans have defied Taliban threats and waited, often for hours, to cast their votes.

Voting in some provinces was extended to Oct. 21. Elections were delayed for a week in southern Kandahar province after an attack by an elite Afghan guard killed two top government officials.

6 suspects held in plot to attack Macron

PARIS -- French security agents arrested six people Tuesday over a plot to attack French President Emmanuel Macron, according to a French judicial official.

Prosecutors have opened a preliminary investigation into criminal terrorist association, the judicial official said.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the allegations, said intelligence agents detained the six suspects in three scattered regions: one in the Alps, another in Brittany and four near the Belgian border in Moselle.

The plan to target the French president appeared to be vague and unfinished, but violent, the official said.

Authorities said the six were between the ages of 22 and 62 and included one woman.

Interior Minister Christophe Castaner told reporters they are believed to be far-right activists. Authorities feared "concrete threats" from the group, Castaner said.

French presidents have been targeted several times over the decades. In 2002, a far-right sympathizer tried to attack President Jacques Chirac on the Champs-Elysees in Paris during Bastille Day celebrations.

Photo by AP/LUDOVIC MARIN
French President Emmanuel Macron throws a wreath of flowers Tuesday in Les Eparges, France, during a ceremony marking 100 years since the end of World War I.

A Section on 11/07/2018

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