Winner of Nobel Peace Prize set to be announced

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The Nobel Peace Prize winner is due to be announced amid reports it will go to the group overseeing the dismantling of Syria's chemical weapons.

Norway's public broadcaster said the prize, awarded in Oslo, is likely to go to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

Pakistani schoolgirl campaigner Malala Yousafzai and Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege are also tipped as favourites.

Predictions of the winners have often been wrong in the past.

This year's record list of 259 nominees remains a secret.

Chelsea Manning (formerly Bradley Manning), the US soldier convicted of giving classified documents to WikiLeaks has also been listed as a potential winner.

Others include Maggie Gobran, an Egyptian computer scientist who abandoned her academic career to become a Coptic Christian nun and founded the charity Stephen's Children, and Russian former mathematics professor Svetlana Gannushinka who set up the rights group Civil Assistance.

The winner of the most coveted of the Nobel honours - which comprises of a gold medal and 8m Swedish kronor ($1.25m; £780,000) - will be revealed in Oslo at 11:00 local time (09:00 GMT).

Youngest-ever winner?

An hour before the announcement, Norway's NRK broadcaster reported that the award was likely to go to the OPCW.

The Hague-based OPCW is a small organisation which was established to enforce the 1997 Chemical Weapons convention.

Image caption,
OPCW teams are currently inspecting chemical weapons sites in Syria

It has been in the headlines recently having sent inspectors to oversee the dismantling of Syria's stockpile of chemical weapons in the middle of a vicious conflict.

Bookmakers and pundits have also tipped Malala Yousafzai and gynaecologist Denis Mukwege of the Democratic Republic of Congo as favourites to take the award.

If 16-year-old Malala Yousafzai wins, she will be the youngest-ever Nobel laureate.

The young activist emerged as a contender after continuing her work to promote better rights for girls despite being shot in the head by the Taliban in Pakistan.

Malala rose to prominence in 2009 after writing a blog anonymously for the BBC Urdu service about her life under Taliban rule in Pakistan's Swat Valley.

On Thursday she was named as the winner of the EU's Sakharov prize, a 50,000-euro ($65,000) award considered Europe's top human rights accolade.

Denis Mukwege, who has been listed as a possible Nobel laureate in the past, set up a hospital and foundation to help tens of thousands of women raped by militants and soldiers in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Like Malala, Mr Mukwege was also targeted by assassins a year ago. He escaped injury but temporarily sought exile in Europe.

Previous Nobel peace prize laureates include anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela, US President Barack Obama, the Dalai Lama and Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

In 2012 the prize was awarded to the European Union in recognition of its contribution to peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe.