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Summary

  1. Ugandan judge finds seven people guilty over 2010 World Cup bombings
  2. Mugabe pardons female prisoners to ease overcrowding
  3. Ghana student in US spelling competition final
  4. Kenya court rules on father's names on birth certificates
  5. Transgender reality show pulled in Africa
  6. Nigeria militants attack oil facility
  7. Get Involved: #BBCAfricaLive WhatsApp: +44 7341070844

Live Reporting

By Lucy Fleming and Farouk Chothia

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Scroll down for Thursday's stories

We'll be back tomorrow

That's all from the BBC Africa Live page today. Keep up-to-date with what's happening across the continent by listening to the Africa Today podcast or checking the BBC News website

A reminder of today's wise words:

The antelope says that if you stay at one spot in the forest for far too long, you will become thirsty."

An Ewe proverb sent by Gideon Gadri in Accra, Ghana.

Did you have any idea what the proverb meant? Matthew Wakeling on our BBC Africa Facebook page said: "I guess it means that one needs to move if they want something."

Click here to send us your African proverbs.

And we leave you with a photo of residents using donkeys to travel through flooded streets in the Somali town of Beledweyne, around 325km (200 miles) north of the capital Mogadishu:

Residents use donkeys to travel through flooded streets in Beledweyne, north of Mogadishu on May 26, 2016.
AFP

Senegal's Casamance forests 'may disappear by 2018'

Villagers sit 08 November 2007 under a tree in Elinkine, nestled in the deep mangroves on the mouth of the Casamance River, in Senegal's southern province of the same name
AFP

Senegal's heavily forested southern region of Casamance will have no tree cover left by 2018 if illegal logging driven by Chinese demand is not addressed, the AFP news agency quotes a Senegalese ecologist as saying.

Haidar El Ali, a former environment minister and now head of the environmental group Oceanium, said at a conference in Dakar that the loggers' activities had "reached a point of no return".

Ghana's spelling whizz-kid

Ghanaian teenager Afua Ansah
AP

Ghanaian teenager Afua Ansah has qualified as one of 45 finalists for the 2016 Scripps National Spelling competition held in the US.

The 14-year-old had the second-highest score on the written test and went on to easily spell “hauberk” and “senescent“, reports Ghana’s Peace FM.

“It felt incredibly exciting, it was beyond my wildest dreams,” the website quoted her as saying.

“I feel like an ambassador of Ghana so I am proud to carry the flag of my country at the finals.”

The next round of the competition takes place this evening.

Her goal is to make the top 10, the Associated Press news agency reports.

It is one thing knowing how to spell the words, but do you know their meaning?

Definitions:

  • Hauberk: a long defensive shirt, usually of mail, extending to the knee
  • Senescent : growing old; aging.

Eritrean artist on migration within Africa

Eritrean artist Dawit Petros explores the idea of migration in a new exhibition in London, but he tells BBC Africa’s Jenny Horrocks that his photographs, video and sound installations do not centre on the story so often peddled by the Western media of migrants travelling to Europe.

Rather, they reflect on the larger number of Africans migrating within the continent:

In his new exhibition, Eritrean artist Dawit Petros explores the idea of migration

Bird flu outbreak in Cameroon

Randy Joe Sa'ah

BBC Africa, Yaounde

Chickens in West Africa
AFP

Government officials have reported an outbreak of bird flu which has been generating panic among poultry owners.

At least 15,000 birds have died of the virus in a single poultry complex in the capital, Yaounde, the country’s epidemic surveillance network says.

This is the second outbreak since 2006 when the poultry sector was devastated.

Furore over cars for Zuma's wives

Milton Nkosi

BBC Africa, Johannesburg

President Zuma (C) and the first ladies, Nompumelelo Ntuli (L), Thobeka Madiba and Sizakele Khumalo taken parliament in Cape Town in 2009
AFP
Mr Zuma is seen here with three of his four wives

South Africans are wondering how serious President Jacob Zuma is about austerity after it emerged this week that the state had spent about 8.6m rand ($550,000; £374,000) on new cars for his wives over the past three years.

In response to a parliamentary question from the opposition this week, Police Minister Nathi Nhleko said the police had spent close to $230,000 alone on luxury cars for Mr Zuma's four wives this year - despite a call for citizens to tighten their belts as South Africa's economy struggles to meet growth targets.

President Zuma and Bongi Ngema
AFP
President Zuma married six times - most recently Bongi Ngema in 2012

Mr Nhleko said a total 11 vehicles for Mr Zuma's wives had been purchased out of the police budget:

  • Four Range Rovers bought in 2013 for $60,000 each
  • Two Land Rover Discovery worth $40,000 each bought in 2014
  • Two Audi Q7s bought in March this year for $40,000
  • And three Audi A6s also bought in March this year for $50,000 each.

Can this expenditure be justified? Read my blog to find out

Niger's 'Tuareggae' star

Omara Moctar aka "Bombino" is a Tuareg musician from Niger who calls his blend of traditional Tuareg and reggae rhythms "Tuareggae".

The Tuareg people were once declared by both Niger and Mali as enemies of the state.

The musician, who's on tour in the US, tells the BBC's Julian Keane his thoughts on Tuareg culture and nationhood:

Bombino is on a mission to highlight Tuareg culture and use music to promote peace

Analysis: Uganda’s marathon terror judgement

Catherine Byaruhanga

BBC Africa, Kampala

Judge Alphonso Owiny-Dollo took seven hours to read his judgement at the Uganda World Cup bombings trial today - he took no break.

He found seven of the 13 suspects guilty of terrorism, murder and attempted murder.

Ugandan Isa Luyima was singled out as the mastermind of the twin blasts in the capital, Kampala.

He recruited some of the people who were convicted here today and that he planned the attacks, as far as securing a safe house in Kampala.

Five other people were found not guilty of various charges, including Kenyans Omar Awadh Omar and Suleiman Mbuthia.

In custody for six years, today they can walk free.

This is the first major trial in East Africa of people believed to be behind al-Shabab attacks outside Somalia.

And the big police presence today in Kampala is a reflection of how the region has had to tighten up security in the last few years because of the terror threats.

'All female prisoners' released in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe has freed 139 women from its biggest female jail after President Robert Mugabe pardoned them, a prison spokeswoman has said, the Associated Press news agency reports

Only two women serving life sentences remained in the jail, Priscilla Mthembo is quoted as saying. 

All male minors were also being released, she added.

Mr Mugabe issued the pardons to end over-crowding in Zimbabwe's prisons (see our 08:53 post).

Get Involved: Was it right to chop I am Cait?

TV Personality Caitlyn Jenner accepts the award for outstanding reality program for 'I am Cait' onstage during the 27th Annual GLAAD Media Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on April 2, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California
AFP
Caitlyn Jenner's show has been scrapped

Our Facebook readers are sharply divided over the decision by South African entertainment company MultiChoice to axe reality TV show I am Cait in Africa (see our 14:04 post). 

Mwela Chibula Mudenda says: 

Just as well, the show is boring, maybe the slot can be taken by something more relevant and interesting."

Michael Malama Snr supports the axing, but for a different reason: 

About time. We can't be dumping our morals in the name of entertainment... [Zimbabwe's President Robert] Mugabe should be dancing, right about now."

Walker E Chikuta

Walker E Chituka has the opposite view:

I've watched the show two or three times and found it harmless... I don't believe it has any direct impact on Africa's problems, such as bad governance, corruption or poverty."

 And Sibusio Mjamisto Jama sarcastically comments:

It will be nice if the Nigerian government can also censor Drug Cartel movies because the impact of such movies to Nigerians is well known all over the world."

John Paintsil’s assault case delayed by strike

Thomas Naadi

BBC Africa, Accra

John Painstil of Ghana controls the ball during a between Ghana and Togo in London, England - 2006
Getty Images
John Painstil was axed from South African side Maritzburg earlier this year

Former Fulham and Ghana international footballer John Paintsil was due to appear in court today in Ghana's capital, Accra, on charges of assault, but the case could not be heard because of an ongoing strike by court workers.

He is accused of assaulting two police officers and stealing his wife’s car.

The trouble began when police tried to quiz the former Black Stars player after his wife filed a complaint about her stolen vehicle.

He has denied stealing it, saying he bought her the car.

Paintsil is alleged to have lost his temper during the interrogation and assaulted two police officers.

He was detained on Tuesday and later granted bail, Accra police spokesmperson Effia Tenge said.

In 2013, the footballer was arrested for allegedly stabbing his wife and assaulting a neighbour who attempted to rescue her.

However, he faced no charges as his wife denied she had been assaulted and said it had been a misunderstanding.

Kenyan man was 'shot dead'

Odeo Sirari

BBC Africa, Nairobi

A Kenyan protester who police said died of a head injury after falling in the western city of Kisumu on Monday died of a gun shot wound, with the bullet penetrating his heart, a post-mortem has revealed. 

This backs up the view of fellow opposition protesters and a local journalist who said the man was shot by police.

At least three people died in Kisumu and the town of Siyaya on Monday after police tried to break up protests called by the opposition to demand the appointment of a new electoral commission ahead of next year's poll.

Police target protester
AFP
Rights groups accused police of using excessive force against protesters

UN court to rule on East Africa border dispute

A UN court says it will hear in September a maritime border dispute between Somalia and Kenya which could decide which of them owns potentially lucrative oil and gas reserves.

Somalia took the case to the International Court of Justice, saying negotiations had failed to resolve differences with Kenya. 

The disputed ocean territory stretches for more than 100,000 sq km (38,610 sq miles).

Kenya passes new anti-doping law

Abdinoor Aden

BBC Africa, Nairobi

Kenya's parliament has unanimously approved changes to anti-doping legislation in a bid to end cheating in athletics. 

Parliament was in recess, but was recalled for a special session today to ratify the changes in order to regain the confidence of the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada). 

Earlier this month, Wada's compliance committee said that Kenya was "non-compliant" with global anti-doping rules, raising fears that its world famous athletes could miss August's Olympic Games in Rio . 

As of January 2016, 18 Kenyan athletes were suspended for doping. The best known is Rita Jeptoo, who has won the Boston and Chicago marathons. 

Rita Jeptoo
Getty Images
Rita Jeptoo won the Boston Marathon on three occasions

Who is Caitlyn Jenner?

Clare Spencer

BBC News

In case you are in the dark about who Caitlyn Jenner is, here are some key facts about the American TV personality: 

  • She is being followed in the reality TV series I am Cait through her journey to becoming transgender
  • Before becoming a woman, she was Bruce Jenner, the step dad to Kim Kardashian - also reality TV personality
  • As Bruce she featured in the reality TV series Keeping Up With The Kardashians
  • Kim Kardashian became famous when a sex tape emerged of her having sex with Ray J, a singer who is the brother to the more famous US singer Brandy
  • Previous to this, Bruce won gold at the Olympics for the decathlon.

Bruce Jenner of the USA celebrates during his record setting performance in the decathlon in the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Canada
AFP
Bruce Jenner took part in the 1976 Olympics in Canada

Tanzania expels 'unqualified' college students

Sam Murunga

BBC Monitoring

Thousands of university and college students in Tanzania are in danger of being expelled after the authorities discovered a major scam involving the enrolment of unqualified students.

Education Minister Joyce Ndalikacho has announced the dissolution of the board of the Tanzania Commission for Universities (TCU) and suspended other senior officials.

The country's Guardian and Citizen newspapers say the government has already expelled 489 students who had been admitted to St Joseph University and given government loans even though they did not "even qualify to pursue a certificate in teaching".

The government has since closed the university's campuses in northern and southern Tanzania.

BreakingUganda terror trial - final verdicts

Patience Atuhaire

BBC Africa, Kampala

  • Seven people on trial in Uganda for the twin 2010 World Cup bombings have been found guilty of terrorism,76 counts of murder and attempted murder
  • Five people have been acquitted of those charges - and Dr Kalule Suleiman has also been acquitted of an extra charge of aiding and abetting terrorism 
  • Another man, Muzafar Luyima, who was facing charges of an accessory to terrorism after the fact was also found guilty.
  • In total there are eight guilty verdicts and five acquittals.

The court has been adjourned until tomorrow when the judge will  sentence them.

'Fatalities' at DR Congo protest

A police officer and a protester have been killed in clashes in the Democratic Republic of Congo's eastern city of Goma, a UN official has said, Reuters news agency reports. 

The policeman was killed by stone-throwing protesters while the demonstrator was shot dead, said Jose Maria Aranaz, director of the UN's DR Congo-based Joint Human Rights Office, Reuters reports. 

Two others were injured by gunfire, he added. 

A Human Rights Watch researcher has been tweeting from Goma, saying the security forces opened fire on protesters:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Uganda terrorism verdicts: Seven guilty, five not guilty

The BBC's Patience Athuhaire in court in Kampala says there have been two more acquittals - Dr Ismail Kalule and Abubakari Batematyo.

The judge is now moving on to the murder charges, having dealt with those of terrorism, says journalist Michael O'Hagan who tweeted these photos of the two men:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Terrorism verdicts so far:

  • Seven guilty
  • Five not guilty.

Twelve of the suspects were charged with terrorism, belonging to a terrorist group and 76 counts of murder (including that of the two bombers) and attempted murder.

Earlier, the judge cleared them all of belonging to a terrorist group as al-Shabab was not listed as one in 2010.

A thirteenth man is accused of aiding and abetting terrorism.

Transgender show pulled in Africa

Caitlyn Jenner speaks during the 27th Annual GLAAD Media Awards at the Waldorf Astoria on Saturday, May 14, 2016, in New York
AP
Caitlyn Jenner is an American television personality

Leading South African-based entertainment company MultiChoice says it will no longer broadcast I am Cait, a reality TV show about the transgender journey of Caitlyn Jenner, previously known as Bruce Jenner, in order to abide by "regulatory environments" in Africa, and because of "concerns" raised by some of its customers. 

The Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) ordered that the show be pulled, effectively censoring it for African viewers, South Africa's Channel 24 entertainment site reports

Condemning the decision as  "shocking censorship", its columnist Thinus Ferreira wrote: 

While I Am Cait contains no violence, nudity or sex on a pay-TV channel that viewers can block with a parental control function, the show about the transgender journey of Caitlyn Jenner contains ideas that Nigerian authorities don’t want people to be exposed to.

Nigeria's broadcasting censorship board has now effectively started a precedent where the one country's programming banning decisions directly impacts what viewers in other countries, including South Africa, can and can't see."

Nigeria's officials have not yet commented. 

In a statement, MultiChoice said:   

MultiChoice recognises the importance of respecting the views of a number of its customers and all regulatory environments within which its service operates.

After careful consideration, MultiChoice would like to inform its valued subscribers that the show will no longer air on the channel across our platforms."

I am Cait was was shown on E! Entertainment Television on DStv channel 124 and GOtv channel 26. 

Uganda trial: Man convicted of transporting explosives

A BBC reporter in Uganda's High Court tweets that the tenth man to take to the dock at the World Cup bombings trial in Kampala, Suleiman Hajjir Nyamandondo, has been found guilty:

View more on twitter

Another journalist tweets a photo of him:

View more on twitter

Uganda terror trial: Sixth guilty verdict

The BBC's Catherine Byaruhanga says that Muhammed Ali Muhamed being found guilty at the World Cup bombing trial in Uganda.

Another journalist tweeted this photo of him:

View more on twitter

The verdicts so far:

  • Six guilty
  • Three not guilty
  • Four to go.

They are on trial for the al-Shabab bombing of venues in Kampala showing the 2010 football World Cup final. In total 76 people died, including two bombers.

Correction: This post has been amended - it earlier stated that the suspect was found not guilty.

Uganda terror trial: 'No toilet breaks'

Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo
BBC
Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo

This Uganda judge has stamina - he's been reading the verdict for close to six hours. Our reporter tweets:

View more on twitter

Uganda World Cup bombings: Third not guilty verdict

Another acquittal at the High Court in Uganda's capital, Kampala, at the World Cup bombings trial.

 Muhammed Hamid Suleiman was acquitted, the New Vision tweets  

View more on twitter

So far we've had: 

  • Five guilty verdicts
  • Three acquittals
  • Five more verdicts due

Uganda World Cup bombing verdict: Second man acquitted

The seventh man in the dock today accused of being behind the deadly World Cup bombings in Kampala in 2010 is Omar Awadh Omar.

The state-run New Vision reports he was accused of financing the attacks:

View more on twitter

But the BBC's Catherine Byarughanga in court says he has been acquitted, the judge ruling that there was not enough evidence to convict him.

Six more verdicts to go...

Giant sea snail for lunch?

Feeling peckish? How about a giant sea snail for lunch?

The BBC’s Tamasin Ford has taken a photo of one lucky fisherman’s catch in Monogaga in the west of Ivory Coast.

Fisherman holding up a sea snail in Ivory Coast
BBC

It’s big enough to feed an entire family:

A sea snail in Ivory Coast
BBC

Uganda World Cup bombing: Mastermind's brother found guilty

The sixth man to take to the dock in the Kampala High Court courtroom is the brother of Isa Luyima, who was found guilty earlier of being the mastermind of the World Cup bombings (see 11:43 post).

A BBC reporter tweets that the judge has found Hassan Haruna Luyima also guilty of terrorism:

View more on twitter

Uganda's state-run paper tweeted a photo of him:

View more on twitter

Uganda terror trial: Fourth suspect found guilty

Kenyan Suleiman Njoroge in court in Kampala, Uganda
BBC

The brother of the Kenyan man who has just been acquitted at the Uganda World Cup trial (see 12:54 post) took the dock and was mumbling prayers as the judge pronounced his verdict.

Justice Alfonse Owinyi Dollo ruled that Suleiman Njoroge was guilty, as our reporter tweets from court:

View more on twitter

Boko Haram destorys MSF clinic in Niger

International medical agency Medecins San Frontieres (MSF) has disclosed details of a Boko Haram attack that destroyed one of its health centres in Niger’s south-eastern Diffa province.

It said that six people were killed and eight more severely injured when the militants – usually based over the border in Nigeria – attacked the village of Yebi in Bosso district last Thursday.

The market and many houses were burned down and Yebi was now without a supply of water, the medical charity said.

The health post had served a population of around 20,000 people and registered an average of 400 consultations per week, MSF said.

No other health facilities were available in the area and it was not the first time its medical facilities had been attacked in Diffa - one in Ngarwa had been looted on 2 May, it added.

Nigerians in a camp in Diffa, Niger
AFP
Many Nigerians have sought refuge in Niger from Boko Haram attacks

Uganda World Cup bombing trial: One suspect acquitted

The judge at the biggest terrorism trial in Uganda has been acquitted of being involved in the 2010 World Cup bombings which were carried out by militant Islamist group al-Shabab.

A BBC reporter has tweeted from court in the capital, Kampala: 

View more on twitter

'Tear gas' in Kinshasa

There's trouble at the opposition-organised protest in the Democratic Republic of Congo's capital, as a member of campaign group Human Rights Watch tweets from there: 

View more on twitter

The opposition has called nationwide protests after the highest court ruled that President Joseph Kabila can remain in office if the vast central African state is not ready for elections by the end of the year (see11:10 post). 

BBC Swahili service reporter Byobe Malenga sent these photos from the eastern city of Bukavu, where the protest seems to be peaceful: 

Bukavu protesters
BBC
Bukavu protest
BBC
Bukavu protest
BBC

Read: Arrogance of power

Uber to enter Ghana, Tanzania and Uganda next month

Taxi-hailing app Uber has said it will launch in cities in Ghana, Tanzania and Uganda within a month, the Associated Press news agency reports. 

Uber already operates in nine sub-Saharan African cities in Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya. 

: In this photo illustration, the new smart phone app 'Uber' logo is displayed on a mobile phone next to a taxi on July 1, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain
AFP

Alon Lits, Uber general manager in sub-Saharan Africa, said the company also planned to experiment with a cash payment option in South Africa, in addition to the electronic payment system in its app.

Uber's business increased in Kenya, where many people do not use payment cards, after cash payments were accepted, he said, AP reports. 

Uganda World Cup bombings: Third suspect found guilty

The judge is on a roll in Kampala - and has delivered his judgement on a third suspect in the 2010 World Cup bombings in Kampala.

A BBC reporter in court tweets that Kenyan man Idris Madongu has also been found guilty:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Ugandan World Cup bombings: Second guilty verdict

Patience Atuhaire

BBC Africa, Kampala

Kenyan Hassan Hussein Agade has also been found guilty of terrorism at the trial of 13 al-Shabab suspects accused of being behind the bombings of football fans watching the World Cup final in July 2010 (see previous posts).

The judge says there was a "cobweb" of phone communication between him and Isa Luyima, a Ugandan who was earlier convicted of masterminding the twin attacks.

His number was also linked to a phone found next to a bomb that failed to detonate.

Uganda World Cup bombings trial: Mastermind convicted

Isa Ahmed Luyima
BBC

Three hours into the judgement at the Uganda al-Shabab World Cup bombings trial in Kampala, we have a guilty verdict for one of the 13 suspects, Isa Ahmed Luyima, considered the mastermind of the twin attacks.

A BBC reporter tweets from the courtroom:

View more on twitter

The judge said all evidence showed that he was the mastermind of the operations on the ground in Kampala, our reporter says.

Earlier the judge said that Luyima's complaints that he had been tortured in detention were questionable:

View more on twitter

Kenya judge: All children have right to register their father's name

Wanyama wa Chebusiri

BBC Africa, Nairobi

I have more on the landmark judgement in Kenya allowing the inclusion of the father’s name on birth records of children born out of wedlock (see 10:40 post).

Judge Mumbi Ngugi observed in her ruling that children born outside marriage face discrimination based on their parent’s marital status.

She noted that every child has a right to have the name of their father on the birth certificate. 

The father’s consent will not be required as has been the case up until now - and some birth certificates have Xs marked in the slot for the father.

This case was brought to court by an unmarried mother who wanted her children to have their father’s name entered in birth registers arguing that as it discriminated against them in terms of inheritance.

A baby in kenya
AFP
The judge ruled all Kenyan children should have the right to have their father's name on their birth certificate

Zapiro 'erred' over monkey cartoon

South African political cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro, better known as Zapiro, works at his home on March 15, 2011 in Cape Town.
AFP
Zapiro is South africa's most well-known cartoonist

Prominent South African cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro, known by his pen name Zapiro, has admitted that he blundered by depicting chief prosecutor Shaun Abrahams as a monkey following a welter of criticism on Twitter that he had acted in a racially offensive way. 

Zapiro told the local Mail & Guardian newspaper that the cartoon was "perhaps" the biggest regret of his career. 

"I don’t want to stand on the podium of free speech and defend something that is clearly so hurtful," he is quoted as saying.

“I find it hard to imagine myself drawing a person of any degree of colour as a monkey again,” he added.

Zapiro drew Mr Abrahams as a monkey and President Jacob Zuma as an organ grinder following the chief prosecutor's decision on Monday to appeal against a court ruling recommending that corruption charges be reinstated against the South African leader. 

Here's a flavour of the backlash Zapiro, a former anti-apartheid activist, faced on Twitter:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

However, Zapiro did have some defenders: 

View more on twitter

Protests in DR Congo: 'Stones v tear gas in Goma'

Opposition protests are kicking off across the Democratic Republic of Congo in protest at a Constitutional Court ruling earlier this month that President Joseph Kabila could remain in power after his mandate ends if elections are not held by the end of this year.

The BBC’s Poly Muzalia snapped those gathering in the capital, Kinshasa:

Opposition supporters in Kinshasa, DR Congo
BBC
Opposition supporters in Kinshasa, DR Congo
BBC

The demonstrations have been banned in certain areas, including the second city of Lubumbashi - home of opposition presidential hopeful Moise Katumbi.

In the eastern city of Goma the situation seems tense, with reporters tweeting that military police have been firing live ammunition and stopping people from gathering.

Freelance reporter Ley Uwara tweeted in French that there has been no public transport so people haven't been able to go to work.

In Goma's Birere neighborhood she says it is a game of stones v tear gas between youths and police:

View more on twitter

She says some young demonstrators have been arrested and the army deployed to reinforce police.

A Human Rights Watch researcher in the city has tweeted these photos of the trouble:

View more on twitter

Kenya court 'rules in children out of wedlock case'

A court in Kenya has given a landmark ruling in favour of children born out of wedlock including their father's name on their birth certificate, as a leading local newspaper tweets: 

View more on twitter

Christians 'attacked' in Egypt

Seven Christian-owned homes have been ransacked and torched in a province south of  Egypt's capital, Cairo, by a Muslim group, following rumours that a Christian man had an affair with a Muslim woman, according to a statement by the local Orthodox Coptic church, the Associated Press news agency reports. 

The statement, issued late yesterday, said the mother of the Christian man was publicly stripped of her clothes during the 20 May attack in order to humiliate her, and her son fled the village, AP reports.

Egyptian Coptic Christians celebrate Christmas in Cairo, Egypt, on 6 January 2016
AFP
Coptic Christians are a minority in Egypt