- - Wednesday, May 16, 2012

MALI

BAMAKO — The West African state of Mali is suffering its worst crisis in half a century after a coup in the capital and a rebel takeover in the country’s north, an international human rights group said in a report released Wednesday.

Amnesty International documents a host of human rights abuses committed in the country including summary executions, arbitrary detentions and sexual assaults including rape.

The rights group says that all parties to the conflict are believed to be responsible for human rights violations. The north of Mali was taken over by a mix of Tuareg separatist forces and Islamist fighters in late March.

Government forces, left in disarray after a coup in Bamako just a week before, fled the north without putting up resistance.

Within days, the Islamist fighters had seized control of the three largest towns in the north, including fabled Timbuktu, and have since attempted to impose Shariah law.

ZIMBABWE

Politician nabbed for stealing truck at auto show

HARARE — State prosecutors say an opposition politician at a Ford Motor Co. car show got into the latest model on display and drove it away. He faces car theft charges in court next month.

Court papers made available Wednesday say police arrested 38-year-old Aaron Muzungu, an official of a small opposition splinter group, after he clocked up more than 800 miles in the new Ford Ranger pickup truck.

Prosecutors said the politician claimed he was interested in buying the pickup. When he sat in it, the keys were in the ignition.

KENYA

Al Qaeda suspects hit nightclub in Mombasa

NAIROBI — Suspected terrorists denied entry to a nightclub in the coastal town Mombasa fired shots and detonated four grenades outside the lounge, killing a security guard and wounding five people, including one of the assailants, police officials said Wednesday.

The attack was the second explosion Tuesday blamed on Kenyan recruits of an al Qaeda-linked militant group in Somalia.

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