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KARYES, Greece (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin visited a Russian Orthodox monastery Saturday on the northern Greek peninsula of Mount Athos as part of a two-day visit touted by the Greek government as a chance to improve ties between the two countries.
Iraq's elite forces deployed around Fallujah on Saturday, marking a new phase in efforts to retake the jihadist bastion, as concern grew for trapped civilians there and in Syria. After almost a week of shaping operations around Fallujah, the arrival of the counter-terrorism service (CTS) signalled that an assault on the Islamic State group inside the city proper may be imminent. The deployment of Iraq's best-trained and most battle-tested fighting unit came as US-backed forces pressed simultaneous offensives against IS in both Iraq and Syria.
Dozens of people including many children were injured on Saturday as freak lightning strikes hit a Paris park and a football pitch in Germany. In Germany, 35 people were injured in the western village of Hoppstaedten when lightning struck the pitch at the end of a children's football match. In Paris, 11 people, eight of them children, were injured when lightning struck as they were celebrating a birthday party in Parc Monceau in the city's northwest.