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ELITE UNIT LEFT SOLDIER IN GAZA, MILITARY ADMITS

JERUSALEM

An embarrassed Israeli military confirmed Sunday that a soldier from an elite brigade was left behind by his comrades in the Gaza Strip last week, and that he was extricated only after they had returned to base.

Even worse, said the Israeli news service Ynet, his comrades had answered for him during a verbal head count before they returned to Israel. The soldier had fallen asleep during a rest break about 700 yards inside Gaza.

When the soldier awoke, he became frightened, fired tracer bullets into the air and waved a fluorescent light stick to identify himself. Other soldiers then went to get him.

PUERTO RICO

Government wants U.N. to review status

Puerto Rico's ruling party approved a resolution Sunday urging the United Nations to review the island's status, hoping international pressure can help it gain greater autonomy from the United States.

Officials of the Popular Democratic Party, which has favored the current commonwealth status, say they want to maintain U.S. ties but also be able to negotiate trade pacts and import products carried on ships not registered in the United States, among other powers.

The United Nations has no authority to change Puerto Rico's status, but party officials believe it can create dialogue.

INDIA

Police kill 8 protesters after stone-throwing

Police opened fire on stone-throwing communist protesters in southern India, killing at least eight, officials said Sunday.

The protest, held Saturday in Mudigonda, a small village in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, was called by two Indian communist parties as part of a campaign to press the government to give land to the poor.

As police approached a tent under which protesters were gathering, they were pelted with stones. The police responded by opening fire, said the state's home minister, K. Jana Reddy.

Elsewhere

BRAZIL: More than 5,000 teary-eyed Brazilians marched Sunday to the site of a plane crash that killed 199 people in Sao Paolo on July 17, blaming the government for the nation's deadliest aviation disaster.

SOMALIA: Gunbattles and grenade attacks killed two soldiers and two civilians Sunday in Mogadishu, where the government is struggling to contain a violent insurgency, witnesses said.

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