Russia and US to hold talks to avoid airzone conflicts
Hundreds of Iranian troops arrived in Syria to join a major ground offensive on behalf of President Bashar al-Assad’s government, Lebanese officials said on Thursday. Meanwhile, Russian warplanes that joined the fight this week bombed a camp run by rebels trained by the Central Intelligence Agency, officials said. Pentagon officials said they are set to open their first round of military-to-military talks with Russian counterparts to avoid conflicts between their air forces in the skies over Syria.

At least 10 dead in Oregon college shooting
At least 10 people were killed and more than 20 others injured in a shooting at the Umpqua Community College in the US state of Oregon on Thursday, said Oregon State Police spokesman Bill Fugate. Douglas County Commissioner Chris Boice said that the shooter was in custody and the number of casualties was not yet confirmed. Law enforcement agencies launched a hunt for more explosives and ammunition at the college.

Fresh blast in China a day after parcel bombs
Another explosion rocked a Chinese town on Thursday, a day after 17 parcel bombs killed at least seven people and wounded scores more, state media reported. No injuries were reported in the latest blast, which came hours after apartment buildings were brought down and a supermarket was shattered in a wave of bombings in southwest Guangxi. The police ruled out terrorism, saying on Wednesday they were treating the explosions as a criminal case. The attacks come amid a wave of unrest linked to China’s Uighur ethnic minority.

Afghan forces recapture central Kunduz
Afghan troops on Thursday recaptured central Kunduz from the Taliban, including key government buildings, but heavy fighting continued in other parts of the northern provincial capital, officials and residents said. Afghan security officials said most of the city centre had been cleared of militants during an overnight operation, four days after they had seized most of the city. Troops swept through buildings in search of insurgents and improvised bombs.

Number of Iranians dead in Mecca stampede at 464
Iran says number the of its citizens who died in the Haj stampede in Saudi Arabia last week has reached 464 - nearly double the previous toll. Iranian authorities said there was no longer hope of finding any of the country’s missing pilgrims alive. According to Saudi officials, 769 people died in the crush in Mina, near Mecca, and 934 were injured. Iranian officials allege that the overall number of deaths is now more than 1,000. Saudi authorities have not released a breakdown of victims by nationality, but a tally of the numbers of dead released by individual countries adds up to more than the official figure.