BBC News with Sue Montgomery
Opposition activists in Syria say 90 people have been killed by a government air strike as they were queuing at a bakery in a rebel-held town. Many others were reportedly wounded. The attack took place in the town of Halfaya in Hama province. Jim Muir is monitoring events from Beirut.
There were scenes of carnage and chaos at Halfaya. Several amateur videos posted on the internet showed horrendous images with mutilated bodies strewn in the street and lying in twisted piles in the rubble. Rescuers carried away the wounded on their backs, on motorcycles, on pick-up trucks or anything else capable of getting them away from the horror created when, according to activists and human rights groups, government jets struck a bread queue just outside a town bakery. Halfaya was one of several towns in the area captured in the past week or so by the rebels in a campaign to take control of the whole province and link up the territory they control.
The main opposition group in Egypt has called for an investigation into allegations of fraud in a referendum on a new draft constitution. The National Salvation Front says the vote was marred by irregularities, but they will not dispute the results of the poll. From Cairo, Bethany Bell reports.
The results of the referendum on the constitution aren’t official yet. But it looks like a comfortable victory for Egypt’s President Mohammed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood supporters. They say this charter will heal divisions and bring Egypt much needed stability. But opposition groups say the document has an Islamist agenda. They say the vote was marred by fraud and violations which they want investigated.
Reports from northern Mali say Islamists have destroyed a number of ancient mausoleums in the city of Timbuktu. An Islamist leader told the French news agency that all the mausoleums in Timbuktu would be smashed as they were un-Islamic. Earlier this year several mausoleums were destroyed in the city which is a UN world heritage site. Islamist rebels seized northern Mali following a coup earlier this year.
The interim Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti has said he would not be a candidate in the general election called for February, but remains available to head a future government. He told a news conference he didn’t like aligning himself with political parties. David Willey is in Rome.
Mr Monti made it absolutely clear that he intends to keep his distance from all the political parties. That’s to say, not only from left and right, but also from the Catholic centre parties who’ve been count in him. These parties will be battling out next year’s general election among themselves. But he did say that he would be available to give encouragement, advice and if necessary leadership to a future Italian coalition.
World News from the BBC
Researchers in the United States say analysis of temperature records over more than 50 years indicates that the western Antarctic Ice Sheet is warming nearly twice as fast as previously thought. In a new study the researchers say they’ve also found the first evidence of warming during the southern hemisphere’s summer months, which they fear could contribute to a rise in sea levels.
Rebels in the Central African Republic have seized the city of Bambari, the third largest in the country. It’s the sixth town they have taken since launching their campaign earlier this month. The rebels want to overthrow President Francois Bozize, who they accuse of failing to honour peace deal. Our West Africa correspondent Thomas Fessy reports.
The coalition of rebel groups, which has advanced rapidly over the past ten days, is now in control of Bambari, a town at a key crossroads between diamond mining sites and routes to the east. Regional leaders backed a call for negotiations on Friday. Each side accuses the other of breaking the ceasefire. But observers say that the rebels may have decided to push forward in a show of force to put more pressure on the administration before sitting down for talks.
An Indian television journalist has been killed after police opened fire on a crowd of people protesting against a sexual assault on an actress at a music concert. The authorities in the northeastern state of Manipur said the police were forced to act when the protest turned violent. The journalist, Thangjam Nanao Singh, died from bullet wounds.
Chile has raised the alert level for the Copahue volcano to red, the highest possible, as signs of an activity in the area increased overnight. The volcano, which lies just over the border in the southern Andes of Argentina, began spewing out ash and gas on Saturday. Ashes have been falling in both sides of the border, but local residents have been told to monitor the situation and await further instructions.
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