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Mar 24, 2015

Boko Haram kidnapped hundreds in northern Nigeria town: residents

DAMASAK, Nigeria (Reuters) – Boko Haram militants have kidnapped more than 400 women and children from the northern Nigerian town of Damasak that was freed this month by troops from Niger and Chad, residents said on Tuesday.

There was no immediate official confirmation of the figure, but the Islamist group has previously carried out mass kidnappings. Boko Haram’s abduction last April of nearly 300 schoolgirls in the region stirred international outrage and drew global attention to the group’s six-year insurgency.

Nov 21, 2014

In Mali’s desert French troops hunt al Qaeda well by well

NORTH OF TIMBUKTU Mali (Reuters) – If the French army and its allies are to keep al Qaeda at bay in the desert of northern Mali they must stop them seizing the biggest prizes in the sea of white sand – the wells.

So this month a column of soldiers from France, Burkina Faso and Mali, in armored vehicles and pick-up trucks, churned toward a village north of Timbuktu where herders water camels and goats.

Nov 20, 2014

Guinea imam’s trip to Mali exposes gaps in Ebola response

KOUREMALE/DAKAR (Reuters) – When a sick Muslim imam from Guinea entered Mali at the border town of Kouremale last month, he did not use the main tarmac road with its Ebola checkpoint but took a nearby dirt track.

When his green Mercedes was halted at a second checkpoint and he was asked to return to Kouremale for health checks, , 70, managed to avoid them thanks to the intervention of a village chief, according to border officer Mamadou Diawara.

Nov 13, 2014

Ebola death toll tops 5,000; Mali quarantines 90

BAMAKO/GENEVA (Reuters) – The death of a nurse in Mali from Ebola promoted on Wednesday the quarantine of more than 90 people in the West African country’s capital, as the World Health Organization said the disease had now claimed at least 5,160 lives.

The worst outbreak of the virus on record has ravaged the impoverished West African countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea and led to a global watch for cases outside the region.

Nov 12, 2014

Mali quarantines dozens as second Ebola outbreak spreads in country

BAMAKO (Reuters) – More than 90 people including U.N. peacekeepers were quarantined across Mali’s capital on Wednesday after a 25-year-old nurse died of Ebola having treated a Guinea man who succumbed with Ebola-like symptoms that were not recognised.

The man, a Muslim imam from the border town of Kouremale, was never tested for Ebola. In a series of rites that may have exposed many mourners to the deadly virus, his highly contagious body was washed in a Bamako mosque and returned to Guinea for burial without precautions against Ebola.

Nov 12, 2014

Mali quarantines dozens after Ebola kills second victim

BAMAKO (Reuters) – Authorities in Mali quarantined dozens of people on Wednesday at the home of a 25-year-old nurse who died from Ebola in the capital, Bamako, and at the clinic where he treated an imam from Guinea who died with Ebola-like symptoms.

The imam from the border town of Kouremale was never tested for the disease and his body was washed in Mali and returned to Guinea for burial without precautions against the virus.

Nov 3, 2014

Army clears protesters, fires warning shots in Burkina Faso

OUAGADOUGOU (Reuters) – Burkina Faso’s army cleared thousands of protesters from the capital and opened fire at state TV headquarters on Sunday, killing one person, as it sought to restore order following the resignation of President Blaise Compaore two days ago.

Compaore’s 27 years in charge of the landlocked former French colony ended abruptly on Friday after two days of mass protests aimed at thwarting his bid to change the constitution to extend his rule.

Nov 2, 2014

Thousands protest Burkina Faso army’s power grab

OUAGADOUGOU, Nov 2 (Reuters) – Thousands gathered on Sunday
in the centre of Burkina Faso’s capital to denounce what they
called a military coup, two days after mass protests forced
President Blaise Compaore to resign.

Compaore’s 27 years in charge of the landlocked West African
country ended on Friday when his bid to change the constitution
to extend his rule was thwarted.

Nov 1, 2014

Protests force out Burkina president, soldiers vie for power

OUAGADOUGOU, Oct 31 (Reuters) – Burkina Faso President
Blaise Compaore resigned on Friday amid mass street protests at
his attempts to extend his 27-year rule, plunging the West
African nation into uncertainty as junior officers vied with top
military brass for power.

Compaore, a taciturn former soldier in office since a 1987
military coup, had sought to defy popular pressure for him to
step down after a day of violent unrest on Thursday in which
demonstrators burned parliament and ransacked state television.

Oct 31, 2014

Army chief takes power after Burkina president bows to protests

OUAGADOUGOU (Reuters) – The head of Burkina Faso’s armed forces took power on Friday after President Blaise Compaore resigned amid mass demonstrations against an attempt to extend his 27-year rule in the West African country.

Compaore, who seized power in a 1987 coup, had attempted to defy popular pressure for him to step down after a day of violent protests on Thursday in which demonstrators stormed parliament and state television.