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April 20, 2011 – French President Nicolas Sarkozy met with Libyan opposition leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil in Paris Wednesday, promising to step-up air attacks on government forces surrounding Misrata. Fighting in the port city has been fierce in recent days, and rebels report being attacked with cluster munitions. Hundreds have died in the nearly two-month siege.
France also announced it is sending military advisers to Libya to help organize the rebel army. Britain and Italy have already stated their intentions to provide advisers to assist with logistics and communications.
Riots in Nigeria left at least 100 dead in the wake of the presidential election. Al Jazeera reports uniformed men taking people from their homes in northern Kaduna state. President Goodluck Jonathan appealed to citizens to remain calm. His former opponent, Muhammadu Buhari, claims the election was rigged.
In Syria, security forces arrested activist Mahmuod Issa after calling on authorities to investigate the death of General Abdo Khodr al Tellawi. Protests at Aleppo University resulted in 37 students being arrested and reportedly beaten as unrest continues across the country. On Tuesday, the cabinet approved a bill abolishing emergency law. The measure will be taken up by parliament in its May session.
The Indian Space Research Organization said it successfully launched a rocket Wednesday from a site in southern India, deploying three satellites into Earth orbit. India plans a manned space mission in 2016.