KABUL, Afghanistan

Bombings, insurgent strikes kill 5 NATO troops, six others

A series of bomb blasts and insurgent attacks killed 11 people across Afghanistan on Sunday, including five NATO service members and three Afghan police, officials said.

The strikes, which come a day after Taliban fighters stormed a NATO base in eastern Afghanistan, show the insurgents’ fighting spirit has not been broken despite a surge of U.S. troops and firepower.

Also Sunday, the Afghan president’s office said the former ambassador-designate to Pakistan, who was seized by gunmen in 2008 in the Pakistani city of Peshawar, has been released and is back home safe.

The diplomat, Abdul Khaliq Farahi, was freed late Saturday in a joint effort by officials from both countries and has returned to Kabul, according to the office of Afghan President Hamid Karzai. A brief statement gave no details on how he was freed.


Teen found bound, gagged; relatives, friend still missing

A 13-year-old missing for days was found bound and gagged but alive in a basement Sunday, and authorities hoped a man charged with kidnapping her might lead them to three other people who vanished with her.

Matthew J. Hoffman, 30, was arrested at his Mount Vernon home, where Sarah Maynard was found, Knox County Sheriff David Barber said. He said the girl was hospitalized in good condition but would give no details.

Barber did not say what led investigators to Hoffman’s home, which is about 10 miles from the home of Sarah’s family. He said authorities hoped Hoffman would give them information leading to Sarah’s mother, Tina Herrmann, 32, her brother Kody Maynard, 10, and Herrman’s friend Stephanie Sprang, 41.

The four vanished Wednesday in a case that was all the more alarming because an unusual amount of blood was found at Hermann’s home.

YANGON, Myanmar

Freed democracy activist urges dialogue, compromise

A pro-democracy heroine took her first steps back into Myanmar’s political minefield Sunday, vowing to press ahead in her decades-long fight for democracy while also calling for compromise with other political parties and the ruling junta.

Aung San Suu Kyi, who was freed from house arrest Saturday amid a divided political landscape and days after widely criticized elections, made clear she faces a precarious position: maneuvering between the expectations of the country’s pro-democracy movement and the realities of dealing with secretive generals who have kept her locked up for much of the past two decades.

“I’ve always believed in compromise,” the Nobel Peace laureate told reporters in the offices of her party, the National League for Democracy. “I am for national reconciliation. I am for dialogue. Whatever authority I have, I will use it to that end I hope the people will support me.”