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Eric Holder

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Heavy rainfall over Europe during the the past week has swollen many rivers past their flood stage, wreaking havoc unseen in decades across Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland and the Czech Republic. At least 18 people across the region have been killed, and tens of thousands have been evacuated. In Germany, the crest of the Elbe River is now approaching the North Sea, as the swollen Danube River is surging toward the Hungarian capital of Budapest. Collected here are images from the past several days of those affected by these historic floods, even as meteorologists predict more rain over the coming weekend. [36 photos]

The city hall of Grimma, Germany, surrounded by floodwater, on June 3, 2013. Flooding has spread across a large area of central Europe following heavy rainfall in recent days. Eastern and southern Germany are suffering under floods that in some cases are the worst in 400 years. Tens of thousands of Germans, Hungarians and Czechs were evacuated from their homes as soldiers raced to pile up sandbags to hold back rising waters in the region. (AP Photo/dpa, Jens Wolf)     

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Hussein Malla / AP

A Lebanese military intelligence agent holds his gun as he runs during clashes between Lebanese troops and a Syrian gunman who had engaged in an hours-long shootout with the security forces, in Beirut, Lebanon, on May 24, 2012.

Anwar Amro / AFP - Getty Images

Lebanese security forces take position as they storm a building in Beirut's Karakass district on May 24, 2012 following a shootout during the night with a man holed up inside a flat.

Hussein Malla / AP

A Lebanese soldier, right, and a policeman, left, take position in front of the apartment building where clashes erupted.

Reuters reports — Two people were killed when Lebanese soldiers stormed an apartment in Beirut on Thursday where a gunman had exchanged fire with security forces, a security source at the scene said.

The source told Reuters the gunman, a Syrian national, was killed when the soldiers broke into the apartment at around 6 a.m. (11 p.m. ET), following several hours of shooting.

Boiling point: On Lebanon's Syria Street, a civil war brews

They found the body of another man in the apartment, along with rifles and grenades, and two men who were arrested.

Four soldiers were wounded, the source said.

It was not immediately clear whether the incident was linked to recent sectarian violence in the Lebanese capital which has been fuelled by the conflict in neighboring Syria. Read the full story.

Follow @msnbc_pictures

Hussein Malla / AP

Lebanese soldiers help a young girl and her family flee her house via a backyard during the clashes.

Anwar Amro / AFP - Getty Images

Lebanese security forces detain an unidentified man outside a building in Beirut's Karakass district on May 24, 2012.

Syria's chaos has come over the border into Lebanon, with gunmen clashing in deadly street battles. NBC's John Ray reports.

 

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WHITE EYE
WHITE EYE: A ‘bandage’ covered the eye of a statue of Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz in Cairo Thursday. The bandage is believed to reference the wounds protesters suffered in clashes with security forces before parliamentary elections. Mr. Mahfouz’s 100th birth anniversary is Dec. 11. (Khaled Elfiqi/European Pressphoto Agency)

CONTRITE CORZINE
CONTRITE CORZINE: Former MF Global CEO Jon Corzine defended his actions and expressed sorrow as he testified on Capitol Hill in Washington Thursday. Mr. Corzine resigned after MF Global’s Oct. 31 bankruptcy filing. A trustee estimates $1.2 billion went missing at the firm. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

ZIPPING BY
ZIPPING BY: A couple crossed over a stream using an aerial cableway in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, Thursday. (Muhammed Muheisen/Associated Press)

HOT SEAT
HOT SEAT: U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder listened to an aide during a House Judiciary Committee hearing in Washington Thursday. Lawmakers told Mr. Holder to fire some Justice Department subordinates over the flawed arms-trafficking Operation Fast and Furious. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

ROUSING APPROVAL
ROUSING APPROVAL: Unionized Boeing machinists Mike Olebar, left, and Charles Grieser, cheered Wednesday in Seattle at the approval of a four-year contract extension. Boeing promised to build a new version of the 737 in Washington’s Puget Sound area. (Stuart Isett/Bloomberg News)

TREE TIME
TREE TIME: A Christmas tree salesman arranged trees at the Royal Hospital Chelsea in London Thursday. (Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

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