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Pakistan doctor will be re-tried

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — A senior judicial official on Thursday overturned the prison sentence of a Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA find Osama bin Laden and ordered his re-trial, citing procedural problems with the initial trial.

The official, Sahibzada Mohammad Anis, issued the ruling because the person who sentenced Dr. Shakil Afridi to 33 years in prison was not authorized to hear the case, said Feroz Shah, a government administrator.

Afridi was convicted in May 2012 of “conspiring against the state” by giving money and providing medical treatment to Islamic militants in Pakistan’s Khyber tribal area, not for helping the CIA track down bin Laden. The doctor’s family and the militants denied the allegations.

Iran, Russia tackle Syria crisis

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said his country will press forward with efforts to ward off military action by the U.S. and its allies against the Tehran-backed regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, Iranian state TV reported on Thursday. The report said the remarks came late Wednesday during a phone conversation between Rouhani and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

Rouhani was quoted as saying “military action will bring great costs for the region” and “it is necessary to apply all efforts to prevent it.”

Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, chief of Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guards, used stronger rhetoric while talking to the Tasnim news website, saying an attack on Syria would draw in Israel.

“The Zionists should know that a U.S. military attack on Syria will not save the fake regime from the resistance but it means the immediate destruction of Israel,” Jafari was quoted as saying.

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