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Report: Police tear gas crowds during Sierra Leone lockdown

Police have reportedly fired tear gas at an angry crowd in Sierra Leone after stones were thrown at officials during a three-day national lockdown.

According to Reuters the unrest came as officials ordered some six million residents to stay inside on pain of arrest as health officials go door-to-door looking for hidden patients in the hopes of accelerating the end of the Ebola epidemic.

Sierra Leone is on a three-down lockdown Credit: RTV

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Death toll in Somali hotel siege rises to 'at least 24'

The death toll following an attack on the Maka Al-Mukarramah hotel in Somalia yesterday has risen to "at least 24", according to reports.

Somali government soldiers take position outside the Maka Al-Mukarama hotel Credit: REUTERS/Feisal Omar

Senior police officer Captain Mohamed Hussein confirmed 18 people were killed in the attack, including one solider. Six gunmen are also believed to have lost their lives as Somali special forces stormed the building to regain control of the hotel.

The attack started around 4pm local time yesterday and lasted 12 hours. Al-Shabaab, an al Qaida-linked Islamic extremist group, has claimed responsibility for the attack.

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'Join forces' to unseat Tories,' Sturgeon urges Labour

Nicola Sturgeon has made a direct appeal to Labour to "join forces with us" in a bid to keep the Conservatives out of government after the General Election.

Speaking at her party's Spring conference, Sturgeon said: "If there is a hung Parliament, SNP MPs will vote to stop a Tory Government even getting off the ground.

"I call on Labour, today, to match that pledge - to make clear that if Labour and the SNP combined have more seats than the Tories, they will join forces with us in a vote of confidence to lock David Cameron out of Downing Street," she said.

After huge cheers from the party's amassed membership, Sturgeon added: "If Labour fails to make that commitment, the only conclusion people will draw is that Labour would rather have the Tories back in power than work with the SNP."

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