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China sends troops to open first overseas
military base in Djibouti

Reuters, Beijing

Ships carrying personnel for China's first overseas military base, in Djibouti in the Horn of Africa, have set sail to begin setting up the facility, as China's rapidly modernizing military extends its global reach.
Djibouti's position on the northwestern edge of the Indian Ocean has fuelled worry in India that it would become another of China's "string of pearls" of military alliances and assets ringing India, including Bangladesh, Myanmar and Sri Lanka.

US deploys Patriots in Lithuania

AFP, Vilnius

 The United States deployed a battery of Patriot ground-to-air missiles in Lithuania on Tuesday as part of multinational NATO exercises in the the Baltic country, its defence ministry announced.
The deployment "reflects the firm engagement of the United States to ensure Lithuania's security and its readiness to send strategic capability to the region," a ministry statement said.

Indian troops kill 3 Kashmiri rebels

AP, Srinagar

Anti-India protests and clashes erupted in the main city in Indian-controlled Kashmir on Wednesday after three men police identified as rebels were killed in a gunbattle with government forces.
The fighting began overnight after Indian troops raided western Radbugh village following a tip that militants were hiding there, said police Inspector-General Muneer Ahmed Khan.
He said the gunfight lasted the whole night and the three rebels were killed early Wednesday.

Indonesia signs decree to ban 'extremist' groups

AFP, Jakarta

Indonesia has issued a decree allowing it to ban groups that oppose its official state ideology, in a move seen to target radical Islamists in the world's most populous Muslim-majority country.
The law, signed by President Joko Widodo on Monday, comes as concerns grow about the influence of hardliners in Indonesia, where a majority of the population practise a moderate form of Islam.

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