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Prosecutors request 20 years for Mauritanian anti-slavery activists

Nouakchott - Prosecutors at a Mauritanian appeal court have requested 13 anti-slavery activists have their sentences increased to 20 years each for protesting against a forced slum clearance, a judicial source said.

Malian jihadist group denies 'ceasefire' claim

Nouakchott - The Malian jihadist group Ansar Dine has denied agreeing to a ceasefire with the government, a Mauritanian news agency and extremist monitoring group said Tuesday.

Romanian held by Qaeda affiliate demands release

Nouakchott - A Romanian mineworker kidnapped by an Al-Qaeda affiliate last year has appeared in a video urging his government to secure his release as soon as possible.

Freed 'Guantanamo Diary' author forgives US jailers

Nouakchott - A former Guantanamo Bay detainee from Mauritania who wrote a best-selling book about his experiences said Saturday he forgives those who tortured and detained him without trial for 14 years.

13 anti-slavery activists sentenced in Mauritania

Nouakchott - Thirteen anti-slavery activists in Mauritania were sentenced to between three and 15 years in prison, despite criticism of the case against them by international rights groups.

Thousands protest against axing of Mauritania senate

Nouakchott - Thousands of people gathered in the Mauritanian capital Nouakchott to protest against a move by President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz to abolish the senate.

Thousands demand justice for ex-slaves in Mauritania

Nouakchott - Thousands of people have marched for the rights of former slaves in Mauritania and to denounce injustice against them in the west African nation where slavery persists despite being officially abolished decades ago.

Jihadists claim kidnap of Swiss woman in Mali: Report

Nouakchott - Private Mauritanian news agency Al-Akhbar said Tuesday that it had received a video purportedly from the Al-Qaeda-linked Emirate of the Sahara group claiming responsibility for this month's kidnapping of Swiss woman Beatrice Stockly in northern Mali.

Escaped Al-Qaeda death row prisoner held in Guinea

Nouakchott - A Mauritanian Al-Qaeda jihadist, on death row until his escape on New Year's Eve, was re-arrested on Tuesday night after crossing the Guinea-Bissau border into Guinea, security sources said Wednesday.

Mauritania's tough anti-slavery laws face tougher resistance

Nouakchott - Mauritania became the last country to abolish slavery 34 years ago, but despite ever harsher laws which now declare the practice a crime against humanity, a deeply ingrained resistance has made the shackles hard to break.

AQIM Islamists claim two attacks against UN in Mali: Mauritanian agency

Nouakchott - Al-Qaeda's North Africa arm has claimed responsibility for two attacks against the United Nation's MINUSMA peacekeeping mission in Mali this week, the Mauritanian Al-Akhbar news agency reported.

Belmokhtar's jihadist group in N.Africa vows allegiance to IS

Nouakchott - The jihadist group of notorious one-eyed Algerian militant Mokhtar Belmokhtar has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State organisation, according to an audio recording broadcasted by private Mauritanian agency Al-Akhbar.

Mauritania jails senior Al-Qaeda figure

Nouakchott - A senior Al-Qaeda leader accused of planning attacks on the United States, Europe and Australia has been jailed for 20 years in Mauritania for "terrorist activities", a judicial source said on Tuesday.

Al-Qaeda-linked jihadists claim UN suicide attack in Mali

Nouakchott - The Al-Qaeda-linked group of notorious one-eyed Algerian militant Mokhtar Belmokhtar claimed responsibility in a recording Friday for a deadly suicide attack on the United Nations in Mali.

Islamist group claims deadly Bamako nightclub attack

Nouakchott - A jihadist group run by a leading Algerian militant claimed responsibility Saturday for the deaths of five people in an attack on a nightclub popular with foreigners in the Malian capital Bamako.

Mauritania issues first apostasy death sentence

Nouakchott - Mauritania has delivered its first death sentence for apostasy since independence in 1960, ordering capital punishment for a Muslim man who wrote an article deemed blasphemous of Islam.

Man punches rare monk seal, gets expelled from Croatia

Pula - Tourists and locals lounging at a popular beach on Gortan Bay in Croatia's Istria Peninsula got a bizarre shock when a man started punching a rare Mediterranean monk seal, one of the world's most endangered mammals.

Mauritania leader set to win new term amid poll boycott

Nouakchott - Counting was underway in Mauritania's presidential election on Sunday with incumbent Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz expected to win handily after his main rivals boycotted a process they regard as a sham.

UN makes appeal for three-year plan for the Sahel

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), over 20 million people in the Sahel region are at risk of hunger and will need humanitarian assistance in 2014, around 8.7 million more than in 2013.

Op-Ed: Journalists mostly unable to cover Mali conflict effectively

Bamako - While the French, together with Malian forces, have managed to retake much of the territory formerly occupied by rebels, there has been little coverage of what is happening from anywhere near the front.
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