By Nidal al-Mughrabi and Maayan Lubell GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel rushed an eighth missile interceptor battery into service on Saturday to counter stronger-than-expected rocket fire from Gaza as the military pounded positions in the Palestinian enclave for a fifth day, killing 19 people, medics said. The Jewish state kept options open for a possible ground offensive into densely populated Gaza despite international pressure to negotiate a ceasefire in the conflict, which has killed 125 people in the Islamist-ruled enclave since Tuesday. A mosque in the central Gaza Strip had been bombed to rubble, residents said. The Israeli military said the mosque had housed a weapons cache.
BAGHDAD (AP) — The U.N. urged Iraq's leaders Saturday to overcome their deep divisions and move quickly to form a new government that can unite the country and confront a surging militant threat, warning that failure to do so "risks plunging the country into chaos."
Afghanistan's feuding presidential rivals agreed Saturday to a full audit of every vote cast in the disputed runoff election, US Secretary of State John Kerry said following two days of frantic negotiations. The deadlock over last month's run-off vote to succeed outgoing President Hamid Karzai plunged Afghanistan into crisis and dented US hopes of a smooth transfer of power as Washington seeks to withdraw all its troops by late 2016. Preliminary results of the second-round vote put Ashraf Ghani in the lead, but Abdullah Abdullah -- who has already once lost a presidential bid -- declared himself the true winner, saying massive fraud robbed him of victory. The stand-off sparked concern that protests could spiral into ethnic violence and even lead to a return of the fighting between warlords that ravaged Afghanistan during the 1992-1996 civil war.