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Western Sahara conflict continues as Algeria claims Morocco airstrike kills 3

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The tension surrounding the contested territory of Western Sahara between Algeria and Morocco has intensified after reports of a Moroccan airstrike, which killed 3 people.

Algeria claimed that the attack on a convoy close to the Mauritanian border was “targeted.”

“Algeria vigorously condemns the Kingdom of Morocco’s targeted killings, with sophisticated weaponry, outside of its internationally recognized borders,” Algeria’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

The statement further said those killed were “innocent civilians from three countries in the region.” The ministry also accused its neighbor of “repetitive acts of state terrorism” that could have “serious implications” for regional security.

The Western Sahara conflict is an ongoing conflict between the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic/Polisario Front and the Kingdom of Morocco. The conflict originated from an insurgency by the Polisario Front against Spanish colonial forces from 1973 to 1975 and the subsequent Western Sahara War against Morocco between 1975 and 1991.

The long-frozen Western Sahara conflict pitting Morocco against the Polisario Front independence movement has flared in recent months, worsening already tense relations between the kingdom and its Polisario-backing neighbour, Algeria.

Last November, Algeria claimed three truck drivers were killed in a bombing as they drove from Mauritania, and blamed neighboring Morocco for the attack.

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Malian migrants, including children, die as makeshift Europe-bound boat capsizes in Libya

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Twenty-two Malian migrants including three children, have been killed when their makeshift Europe-bound boat capsized in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Libya, the United Nations as well as the Malian government have confirmed on Wednesday.

The UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM), also confirmed that 61 other migrants were rescued and taken to a detention centre in Libya.

The Ministry of Malians Abroad, in a statement, said the people who died were part of a group of 83 mostly Malian nationals who were stuck on a distressed vessel since June 22.

The IOM, in statement by its spokeswoman Safa Msehli, said the rescued victims were brought back to shore with the help of the Libyan coastguard after nine days at sea, adding that the “cause of death for the 22 people was drowning and dehydration.”

Msehli also said some of the survivors were in very poor health and had to be taken to hospital by the IOM.

“The remaining migrants were taken to al-Maya detention centre” in Libya, she said.

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Monkeypox: WHO records over 6,000 cases in 58 countries in recent outbreak

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According to the World Health Organization, more than 6,000 cases of monkeypox have now been reported from 58 countries in the current outbreak.

The United Nations agency is yet to decide declaring the outbreak a global health emergency, the WHO’s highest level of alert.

Its committee reconvene a meeting in July 18 to decide or sooner.

Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual news conference from Geneva.

Monkeypox, a disease that was once largely restricted to Africa, has also penetrated Europe and North America in its recent spread with more than 100 cases recorded outside Africa.

The UN committee meeting in June 27 decided that the disease was not yet a health emergency. There have recently been reported cases in other African countries like Nigeria and Morocco.

“I continue to be concerned by the scale and spread of the virus across the world,” Tedros said, adding that a lack of testing meant that there were likely many more cases going unreported.

Until recently, monkeypox had been a disease that was once largely restricted to Africa, but has gradually penetrating Europe and North America in its recent outbreak.

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