By Hamid Shalizi KABUL (Reuters) - The Taliban said they were pulling back in the northern city of Kunduz on Tuesday in order to protect civilians, but fighting continued elsewhere in the country with government troops battling to reopen the main highway south of the capital Kabul. The Islamist insurgents have mounted a wave of attacks in Kabul and beyond since the withdrawal of most foreign troops last year, culminating in the seizure of Kunduz in a carefully orchestrated offensive at the end of last month. As government forces have slowly regained control in Kunduz, fighting has flared in Ghazni, a provincial city that lies south of Kabul on Highway One, the main link between the capital and the major southern city of Kandahar.
By Kieran Guilbert DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Violence against aid groups and general insecurity have plunged the Timbuktu region in northern Mali into a hunger crisis, with tens of thousands of children at increasing risk of dying from malnutrition, according to the United Nations. Around one in six people in the region are suffering from acute malnutrition, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) said. This includes more than 50,000 children under the age of five who, because they are malnourished, are up to nine times more likely to die, the U.N agency said.