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By Steve Scherer and Paolo Biondi ROME (Reuters) - Italian lawmakers elected Sergio Mattarella, a constitutional court judge and veteran center-left politician, as president on Saturday, handing a welcome political victory to Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. Mattarella, speaking at his office in the Constitutional Court after the vote, said: "My first thoughts are of the difficulties and hopes of our citizens." He later visited the site in Rome where German troops killed 335 Italians in World War Two, saying that Europe must unite to battle terrorism the same way allied nations banded together to defeat "Nazi hate, racism, anti-Semitism, and totalitarianism". The election shows the 40-year-old Renzi in firm control of both his fractious party and his allies in the ruling majority as he seeks to pass reforms aimed at underpinning an economic recovery in Italy, where unemployment is soaring after six years of on-off recession.
N'Djamena (AFP) - Chadian aircraft on Saturday bombed the Nigerian town of Gamboru in a raid targeting extremist group Boko Haram, security sources said, as regional efforts to combat the Islamists intensified. An initial raid was carried out around midday by two fighter jets on the town in Nigeria's far northeast along the Cameroon border, sources from Chad and Cameroon said on condition of anonymity. The raids were aimed at "allowing Chadian soldiers to enter Gamboru," a Cameroon security source told AFP. Boko Haram overran the town several months ago as part of its campaign to seize territory in the region and create an Islamic state.
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A protest in the Afghan capital, Kabul, Saturday against the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, turned into a violent confrontation between riot police and demonstrators, police said.