Events are happening quickly at the oil field where Islamist militants are holding a large group of hostages, apparently including some Americans. The kidnappers are retaliating for French military action against militants in neighboring Mali.
French and Malian troops are directly engaging the rebels in combat. For an update on how the fighting is going, Renee Montagne talks to Sudarsan Raghavan, a correspondent for The Washington Post, who is covering events from the capital Bamako.
In southern Algeria, Islamist militants are holding scores of Western hostages who were kidnapped from an oil refinery. The militants say the kidnappings are in retaliation for French intervention in the Mali crisis.
The State Department said Americans are reported to be among the hostages taken by militants at an Algerian gas plant. The total number of hostages is unclear, as are the number of Americans. The attack is seen as retaliation against France's intervention against Islamists in neighboring Mali.
When fighting shut down mills and bakeries late last year, the people of Aleppo began running out of their staple flatbread. Two rebel groups have now stepped in to provide fuel and generators — and protection — to get bakeries running again. But not everyone in Aleppo is happy with how one of the rebel groups is distributing the goods.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for a multi-pronged suicide bombing attack on Afghanistan's intelligence headquarters in Kabul in Wednesday. It was the second attack on the spy headquarters in little more than a month.
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