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China 'very concerned' over workers kidnapped in Sudan

China on Monday expressed worry over the fate of two of its nationals abducted along with others from an oilfield in the war-torn Kordofan region. An official at Beijing's Khartoum embassy said "there are two" Chinese missing, updating earlier information from Sudan's military which said one Chinese was among those kidnapped on Friday. Algeria's foreign ministry on Sunday confirmed that one of its citizens was also kidnapped "during an attack by an armed group on an oilfield in the province of West Kordofan where our national works for a Sudanese company".

S.Sudan rebels slaughter 'hundreds' in ethnic massacres

Rebel gunmen in South Sudan massacred "hundreds" of civilians in ethnic killings when they captured the oil town of Bentiu last week, the UN said Monday, one of the worst reported atrocities in the war-torn nation. In the main mosque alone, "more than 200 civilians were reportedly killed and over 400 wounded," the UN mission in the country said, adding there were also massacres at a church, hospital and an abandoned UN World Food Programme (WFP) compound.

Somali lawmaker killed in car bomb in Mogadishu: prime minister

Somali lawmaker Isak Mohamed was assassinated and another wounded on Monday by a car bomb in Mogadishu, the prime minister said, the latest in a series of bomb attacks in the conflict-ravaged capital. "Somalia has today lost a committed parliamentarian who worked tirelessly to serve the people of Somalia and help rebuild our country," Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed said in a statement. nur-pjm/er

Algeria army hunts Islamists behind deadly attack

Algeria's army was hunting on Monday for an armed Islamist group linked to an attack in the rugged Kabylie region in which 11 soldiers were killed, a security official said. Gunmen ambushed an army convoy carrying soldiers back to their barracks late on Saturday in Iboudrarene, in the restive mountainous region, a bastion of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), with three assailants also killed in the deadliest attack on the Algerian military in years.

Egypt vote turns into Sisi, Sabbahi contest

Egypt's presidential election has turned into a contest between the ex-army chief lauded by millions for ousting an Islamist government and a leftist who claims to represent the ideals of the 2011 uprising. Former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is the frontrunner in the May 26-27 vote, riding a wave of popularity after deposing Mohamed Morsi, the country's first elected and civilian president.

Jihadist group in Libya releases video of sobbing hostage

A Jihadist group in Libya released a video on Monday showing a kidnapped hostage from the Tunisian embassy pleading with the authorities in Tunis to negotiate with his captors. The hostage, Mohamed ben Sheikh, is shown crying during the five minute video as he calls on Tunisia's president to help rescue him from his plight. He is being held by a largely unknown group calling themselves Shabab Al-Tawhid. "Mr President, why do you want to deprive me of life?.. There are no negotiations, they will not release me," he says.

Gunmen kill 11 Algerian soldiers in ambush

Gunmen killed 11 Algerian soldiers in an ambush overnight, the defence ministry said on Sunday, in the first attack of its kind since President Abdelaziz Bouteflika won a fourth term. The attack took place in the restive Kabylie region east of Algiers, where discontent with the ailing 77-year-old Bouteflika was most evident during the presidential election. The troops were from a unit that had been deployed as part of a security operation during Thursday's vote and were heading back to their barracks when they were ambushed, the ministry said.

Ex-army chief, leftist to run for Egyptian presidency

By Maggie Fick and Mahmoud Mourad CAIRO (Reuters) - The former army general who toppled Egypt's first freely elected president will face a leftist politician in next month's presidential election, as they were the only candidates to enter, the committee organising the vote said on Sunday. The committee had received paperwork from former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and former parliamentarian and presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahi, its head told a news conference, hours after the deadline for nominations had passed.

Niger could sign new deal with Areva within days: mines minister

NIAMEY (Reuters) - The government of Niger, the world's fourth largest uranium producer, is on the verge of renewing an agreement with French state-controlled nuclear group Areva, the West African nation's mines minister said on Sunday. Niger, one of the world's poorest nations, is pushing to boost revenues from its uranium, but Areva, which dominates the sector in the country, has claimed that increasing royalties would make its operations there unprofitable.

Football: Mauritania advance after historic victory

Mauritania moved a step closer to a first Africa Cup of Nations finals appearance Sunday with an historic 2-0 victory in Mauritius. It was the first away qualifying victory by the Mauritanians in 21 attempts spanning 30 years after two draws and 18 defeats. Defender Demba Sow from French Ligue 2 club Le Havre struck in the first half and midfielder Moulaye Ahmed added a final-minute second goal. The football minnows from north-west Africa won the first leg 1-0 at home last weekend and qualified 3-0 on aggregate for the April 27 second-round draw.
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