JUDY WOODRUFF: In the day’s other news: Pakistan’s city of Quetta virtually closed down to mourn 61 victims of a massacre at a police academy. The assault, late Monday, targeted cadets as they slept. More than half-a-million people live in Quetta, but today the streets were mostly empty as businesses and offices memorialized the victims. Both an Islamic State affiliate and a Taliban splinter group have claimed responsibility.
HARI SREENIVASAN: The Taliban is denying it kidnapped and killed 26 civilians in Afghanistan. The victims were taken to a hospital morgue today. They had been abducted in the remote central province of Ghor on Tuesday.
Farther east, Taliban fighters did cut the main highway linking Kabul to Kandahar. It’s the latest in a series of assaults.
JUDY WOODRUFF: New warnings today from Iraq that Islamic State fighters in Mosul are killing and kidnapping scores of civilians. At the same time, thousands of others are fleeing to freedom, as government troops advance.
Jonathan Rugman of Independent Television News reports from the front lines.
JONATHAN RUGMAN, ITN: The road to Mosul is paved with bad intentions, the smoldering oil drums and tires of ISIS fighters who hoped the smoke would save them from coalition airstrikes, and the skeletons of cars driven by suicide bombers towards the front line.
Behind this wall of earth lies a village called Bazwaia, this the border of a shrinking caliphate of fear. Bazwaia is the only village now lying between us and Mosul, which lies six miles down the road from here. At this rate, Iraqi special forces will be in the suburbs of the city within the next few days.
All the homes lie abandoned, but this one is full of surprises, for, if and when the owners return, they will find a Russian T-54 tank parked in their living room, an attempt by the jihadists to hide it from airstrikes.
Running along the back garden is an ISIS tunnel stretching for hundreds of meters, complete with breathing holes for the fighters below. Last night, Iraqi troops thought they heard somebody inside, so they fired into it and set it alight.
And villagers who survived the fierce bombardment of the last 10 days are now leaving, heading through the fields to freedom after enduring more than two years of ISIS rule. This dusty refugee camp is the home which awaits them, the men of fighting age at first held at gunpoint amid checks they are not ISIS militants themselves.
Along the outside of the camp fence, the tears of new arrivals, those who escaped ISIS before the militants arrived now reunited with those who were trapped and couldn’t leave until now. Over 10,000 have been displaced since this offensive began, 1,000 arriving here this morning. And, as the army advances towards Mosul, many more are expected to arrive.
HARI SREENIVASAN: In Israel, 13 people have been charged with inciting violence in a video showing Jewish extremists at a wedding. It showed rowdy celebrants holding weapons and even stabbing a picture of a Palestinian toddler. The child had died when his family’s home was firebombed.
JUDY WOODRUFF: French officials have finished clearing the Calais migrant camp given the name the Jungle ahead of schedule. More than 6,000 people were relocated to other sites. Their departure left firefighters to fight fires set by some of the camp dwellers. The regional prefect said it’s a custom among Afghan migrants.
FABIENNE BUCCIO, Calais Regional Prefect (through translator): They have told us that it’s a tradition which is very established: When you go, you burn. So we organized ourselves in advance. Firefighters are actually here 24 hours a day, so there’s no big risk of the fire spreading.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Meanwhile, the U.N. reports 2016 is now the deadliest year on record for migrants trying to reach Europe. It says that at least 3,800 people have died trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea, more than all of last year.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Two earthquakes rocked Central Italy tonight, sending shockwaves across the country just two months after another quake killed nearly 300 people. The new tremors were centered six miles below ground near the town of Visso, 110 miles north of Rome. Around Visso, several old churches and other buildings collapsed into rubble. The quakes also closed some roads and injured two people.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And this was a mixed day on Wall Street. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 30 points to close at 18199. The Nasdaq fell 33 points, and the S&P 500 slipped three.
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