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Nearly 70 people have died in days of fighting between Nigerian forces and suspected Islamist gunmen

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Nigeria gun battles

Several days of violence in the Nigeria's northeast has left churches bombed and people hiding in fear.The country's authorities said at least 61 people have died in the violence.The government has now ordered a dusk until dawn curfew in the Yobe state, where at least 50 people died, following attacks by the sect known as Boko Haram.In Maiduguri, the capital of neighbouring Borno state, bombs reduced at least three churches to rubble and raised fears of further attacks by a group that claimed Christmas Eve bombings last year that killed dozens.The fighting began Thursday in the two states, with gunfire and explosions heard into the night and the following day in an arid region that borders Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

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Ivory Coast to elect new parliament

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Ivory Coast to elect new parliament

Ivory Coast elects a new parliament Sunday in a poll boycotted by the party of former strongman Laurent Gbagbo, who is awaiting trial in The Hague for crimes against humanity. With Gbagbo sitting in an International Criminal Court (ICC) cell, the coalition backing President Alassane Ouattara is widely expected to gain a majority of the 255 seats in the new assembly. The vote comes only a year after the poll that brought the West African country to the brink of civil war in a conflict that claimed some 3,000 lives. And it follows a week of campaigning that left five people dead.

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Observers slam Congo vote flaws

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Tension grows in Congo's capital

The Democratic Republic of Congo's election standoff has intensified after a team of international observers reported that incumbent Joseph Kabila's win is so flawed it lacks credibility. Kabila, in power since 2001, was on Friday named the winner of the November 28 poll, but runner-up Etienne Tshisekedi immediately rejected the result and declared himself president. Violent protests and looting erupted in Kinshasa when Kabila's win was announced, but a heavy security force presence including police, presidential guards and some 20,000 soldiers deployed to the capital had largely restored a tense calm on Sunday.

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Three ‘peace warriors’ receive their Nobel Prize

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Yemeni rights activist Tawakul Karman, Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee and Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf at the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony in Oslo on Saturday.

Yemeni rights activist Tawakul Karman, Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee and Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf at the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony in Oslo on Saturday.

Liberia's President, a fellow Liberian and a Yemeni activist received the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo on Saturday for showing how women facing war and oppression can shed the mantle of victimhood and lead the way to peace and democracy.

“You represent one of the most important motive forces for change in today's world: the struggle for human rights in general and the struggle of women for equality and peace in particular,” said Norwegian Nobel Committee president Thorbjoern Jagland before handing out the prestigious award.

At the lavish ceremony in a colourfully flower-decked Oslo city hall, and with Norway's royal family and other dignitaries in attendance, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, her compatriot and “peace warrior” Leymah Gbowee and Yemeni Arab Spring activist Tawakul Karman received their gold medal and diploma.

“You give concrete meaning to the Chinese proverb which says that ‘women hold up half of the sky',” Mr. Jagland told the heterogeneous group.

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Israeli President Moshe Katsav has arrived at the Ramlah prison

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Former Israeli President Moshe Katsav, convicted of rape and sentenced to 7 years behind bars, has arrived at the Ramlah prison, where he is due to serve his term.

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