At least 15 civilians were killed in a barrel bomb attack on a rebel-held district of Syria's Aleppo city on Saturday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said. The Britain-based group said regime aircraft had dropped two explosive-packed barrel bombs several minutes apart on the Maadi district of eastern Aleppo. The strikes hit "near a tent where people were receiving condolences for those killed this week in the neighbouring district of Bab al-Nayrab," Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said.
By George Obulutsa NAIROBI (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told African leaders on Saturday that his country will commit $30 billion in public and private support for infrastructure development, education and healthcare expansion in the continent. Resource-poor Japan has long been interested in tapping Africa's vast natural resources, even more so since dependence on oil and natural gas imports jumped after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster shut almost all of Japan's nuclear reactors. Abe, in the Kenyan capital Nairobi to attend the sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), said the package would be spread over three years from this year and include $10 billion for infrastructure projects, to be executed through cooperation with the African Development Bank.
By Gerauds Wilfried Obangome LIBREVILLE (Reuters) - Gabon voted on Saturday amid growing discontent over the failure to raise living standards despite its oil wealth, posing the potentially biggest challenge yet to President Ali Bongo, whose family has dominated the nation for half a century. Bongo faced nine other candidates - compared with 22 in the last election - but his main rival was veteran diplomat Jean Ping. In 2009, Bongo won with just 41.73 percent of the vote.