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BANGLADESH: 150 killed in street protests

At least 150 protesters and a dozen security forces have been killed during street demonstrations over the past six months, Human Rights Watch said Thursday, urging both sides to show restraint and warning of more violence. Opposition parties and religious and political activists have made multipronged challenges against the government this year. Human Rights Watch documented the killings of a dozen members of the security forces and police officers, as well as three members of the ruling Awami League party, since February. The High Court, meanwhile, disqualified the country's largest Islamic party from taking part in the next general election, saying it opposes secularism. The ruling comes four years after a group of citizens filed a petition seeking to cancel the registration of the opposition Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami party, saying the party wants to introduce Islamic Shariah law.

ZIMBABWE: Election a farce, Tsvangirai says

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai dismissed the national election as a farce on Thursday after President Robert Mugabe's party claimed a landslide victory that would secure another five years in power for Africa's oldest head of state. A dejected Tsvangirai said the vote Wednesday should be considered invalid because of polling day irregularities and vote-rigging by 89-year-old Mugabe's ZANU-PF party. It was unclear whether he or his party would mount any kind of legal challenge.

NIGERIA: 8 deaths laid to Boko Haram

Islamic extremists killed eight people in an attack targeting teachers and Muslim clerics, witnesses and the military said. The military warned Thursday that the Boko Haram terrorist network plans more "massive attacks" at their stronghold in the northeastern town of Maiduguri, plotted to coincide with Muslims marking the final week of fasting in the holy month of Ramadan. School teacher Bala Anjikui said the militants killed with knives in Tuesday's attack on Bui town to avoid gunshots attracting soldiers.

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