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El Tiempo — Sept. 26, 2016

"Peace after 267,162 dead," declares the stark headline on the front page of newspaper El Tiempo on Monday as Colombia gets ready for a historic accord between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). The Latin American country has seen war for 52 years in a conflict that's claimed hundreds of thousands of lives.

El Tiempo newspaper paid homage to those victims by including a list of their names in the backdrop of its front page.

President Juan Manuel Santos and FARC Commander Rodrigo Londoño Echeverri, known by the nom de guerre Timoshenko, will sign a 297-page agreement at a ceremony in Cartagena in northern Colombia later today. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon are expected to attend the event.

The peace deal was first agreed upon on Aug. 24, with a ceasefire coming into effect five days later. "The signature of the deal is simply the end of the conflict. Then the hard work starts, reconstructing our country," Santos told the BBC.

Actually, there's one more step. The agreement must be approved by citizens in a national referendum scheduled for Oct. 2.

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Geopolitics

Taliban And Iran: The Impossible Alliance May Already Be Crumbling

After the Sunni fundamentalist Taliban rulers retook control of Afghanistan, there were initial, friendly signals exchanged with Iran's Shia regime. But a recent border skirmish recalls tensions from the 1990s, when Iran massed troops on the Afghan frontier.

Taliban troops during a military operation in Kandahar

The clashes reported this week from the border between Iran and Afghanistan were perhaps inevitable.

There are so far scant details on what triggered the flare up on Wednesday between Iranian border forces and Taliban fighters, near the district of Hirmand in Iran's Sistan-Baluchestan province. Still, footage posted on social media indicated the exchange of fire was fairly intense, with troops on both sides using both light and heavy weaponry.

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