PAKISTAN: Drones said to kill five

Intelligence officials say a suspected U.S. drone strike has killed five people in the tribal region near Afghanistan. They say two missiles hit the Shawal area of North Waziristan on Sunday evening when the men were crossing on foot into Pakistan from Afghanistan. North Waziristan is home to a mix of Pakistani, Afghan and al-Qaida-linked foreign militants. Washington says it needs to send drones after dangerous militants because Pakistan refuses to engage them militarily. Pakistan charges the drone strikes are a violation of its sovereignty.


LIBYA: Two blasts rock Benghazi

Two large explosions struck the eastern city of Benghazi on Sunday evening, targeting two courthouses and setting a vehicle on fire, a security official said. No injuries were reported. Police were investigating whether bombs caused the explosions. One of the court buildings was the site of the first protests against dictator Moammar Gadhafi in early 2011 before his ouster. The city was the birthplace of the country's uprising against his rule. Benghazi is Libya's second largest city and one of its most volatile. A day earlier, a prison break there set more than 1,000 inmates free.

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MALI: First election since the coup

Thousands went to the polls Sunday in Mali's first presidential election since a military coup last year. Once considered one of the continent's most politically stable nations, Mali crumbled early last year when a separatist Tuareg rebellion helped trigger a military coup that destabilized the government. The rebels, joined by radical Islamists and fighters from al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, the terror network's West and North African branch, swiftly overran northern Mali, an area the size of France. The Islamists subsequently pushed the Tuareg rebels out and seized control of major northern cities, imposing strict sharia laws marked by public amputations and stonings. In January, a French military intervention drove the Islamists out of their strongholds, paving the way for Sunday's elections.