BEIRUT - Islamic State militants have executed Syrian army soldiers and are holding a group of them hostage after capturing an air base in northeast Syria at the weekend, pictures posted on the Internet and on Twitter by supporters showed on Wednesday.
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KABUL - Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah withdrew observers from a U.N.-supervised audit of votes on Wednesday, a member of his team said, after threatening to pull out of an agreement to resolve a deadlocked election.
TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent a condolence message to a ceremony honouring "martyrs" convicted as war criminals after World War Two, his top spokesman said on Wednesday, news that could snarl efforts to thaw chilly ties with China.
* Sistema says doesn't plan to sell Bashneft (Adds details, background)