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Suspected militants bombed a bus carrying prisoners in northwest Pakistan on Thursday, killing at least nine people, as fighting between security forces and extremists flared across the country's tribal belt. The fresh violence comes days after ex-President Pervez Musharraf, a longtime US ally, resigned, triggering a scramble for power that caused the country's ruling coalition to collapse. Meanwhile, thousands of lawyers blocked roads across the country, including in Rawalpindi, to press the government to reinstate judges purged by Musharraf.

In Bangkok, thousands of demonstrators, some armed with golf clubs, batons, and bamboo sticks, defied a court order to end their occupation of the prime minister's office compound on Thursday, vowing to remain until the government of Samak Sundaravej steps down. Samak and police officials have repeatedly said they would not use force to evict the protesters unless they continue to defy a court order.

In an anticorruption police purge in the Mexican border state of Baja California, a total of 129 officers were suspended or fired Wednesday after a months-long sweep, authorities announced. The sweep is part of a nationwide campaign by President Felipe Calderon to clean up Mexico's long-corrupt police forces as they fight an escalating battle against powerful drug cartels. Fired officers will be added to a national database of corrupt cops so they can't be hired again somewhere else.


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