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UN Official: Ivory Coast Death Toll Up to 462

A U.N. official in Ivory Coast says forces loyal to incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo are "indiscriminately" shelling areas seen as backing Gbagbo's rival, Alassane Ouattara.

Human rights official Guillaume Ngefa told a news conference Thursday that the shelling and other attacks have killed at least 50 people in the last week, including five children, and wounded dozens more.

Ngefa, who was speaking in Abidjan, said the attacks bring the confirmed death toll from post-election violence in Ivory Coast up to 462.

Sustained Gunfire Heard in Burkina Faso Capital

Residents of Burkina Faso's capital report hearing gunfire for at least three hours beginning Tuesday night leading into Wednesday.

Witnesses in Ouagadougou say the gunshots could be heard coming from two military camps, one inside the city and another in a suburb.

There were no immediate reports of casualties.

The French news agency AFP quotes a senior military official who said soldiers were firing into the air to protest the sentencing of five troops convicted of beating a civilian who was allegedly involved in a relationship with the wife of one of the soldiers.

UN: Gbagbo Forces Preparing Heavy Weapons in Ivory Coast

The U.N. peacekeeping mission in Ivory Coast says it is concerned that heavy weapons could be used against civilians as rival presidents struggle for power.

In a statement Tuesday, the mission said forces loyal to incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo are repairing an attack helicopter and preparing multiple rocket launchers for use.

The mission called the weapons "a grave threat to the civilian population" and warned Gbagbo forces that the U.N. would act if such weapons are used.

Venezuela Deports Colombian Drug Suspect Sought by US

Venezuela has deported a Colombian wanted by the United States for drug trafficking.

Several African Leaders Criticize Air Attacks in Libya

South African President Jacob Zuma has warned that the Western-led bombings of Libyan military installations must not target civilians. Zuma was one of several African leaders who criticized the bombings, which were conducted as part of the effort to establish a no-fly zone in Libyan air space.

South African President Jacob Zuma called for an immediate cease-fire in Libya and said his government would not support any foreign effort to overthrow the government of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, which has been battling an eastern-based insurgency for the past month.

Taiwan Seeking New US Weapons To Counter China’s Military Might

Officials in Taiwan say China is upgrading its missiles aimed at the island. Taiwan has been falling behind in the balance of military power with its political rival of more than 60 years. And it wants new advanced weapons from the United States to help counter the threat. Ralph Jennings has this report from the Taiwanese capital, Taipei.

In a recent appearance before parliament, Taiwan's National Security Bureau director general said China had begun deploying Dong Feng-16 ballistic missiles, which experts believe have a range of up to 1,200 kilometers.

Ivory Coast Civil War?

The Ivory Coast seemed to be teetering on the brink of a civil war as supporters of the two contenders for the presidency of that county continued fighting.

Qaddafi Backs Down

Forces loyal to Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi declared a cease-fire hours after the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution authorizing a no-fly zone and military action.

Libya On The Brink of Tyranny?

Qaddafi loyalist forces pounded Benghazi and announced they would grant a cease-fire on Sunday to allow rebels to surrender.