Security forces accused of abuse
SRI LANKA: US-based Human Rights Watch alleged today that security forces continue to use torture and rape against suspected Tamil Tiger rebels and their supporters.
The military denied the claims but UN rights commissioner Navi Pillay said that the government often dismissed such reports as pro-Tamil Tiger propaganda.
MALI: French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian backtracked today over previous claims that his country could withdraw in a matter of weeks.
He told French radio he couldn't talk about leaving while troops were involved in "very violent fighting."
He said the fight to oust Islamist militants from northern Mali had cost France more than €100 million (£86m).
BULGARIA: Protests over high gas prices that have already brought down the government continued in Sofia today.
Parliament was urgently considering legislation to combat the high cost of living.
New elections are expected in May.
GAZA: Militants fired a rocket into Israel for the first time in three months today, causing damage to a road but no injuries.
The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades took responsibility for the strike, saying it was to avenge the death of Arafat Jaradat in Israeli custody.
A violent Israeli response to protests over the death is threatening a cross-border truce.
AFGHANISTAN: Nato said today that there was no evidence of misconduct by US soldiers in the country.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai gave US special forces two weeks to leave the Wardak province on Sunday following allegations of wrongdoing.
But Nato said Afghan reports of torture had not been corroborated.
PAKISTAN: Gunmen shot dead a police officer guarding a team of UN polio workers in the country's north-west today.
Militants view the UN-backed vaccination programme as a Western plot to gain intelligence and frequently target aid workers.
Last December, nine polio workers were killed across Pakistan.
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