Two weeks ago, the conflict in Mali seemed like one of those wars in one of those far away places that most people had barely heard of.
As French troops heading north pass refugees fleeing south, wounded Malian troops warn against underestimating the Islamist militants.
A suicide bomber in army uniform killed more than 90 soldiers in Yemen during a the rehearsal for a military parade.
Egypt's state news agency reports that an al-Qaeda-linked cell that was planning attacks on the US and French embassies has been caught.
Foreign Secretary William Hague said he "strongly condemns" the terrorist attacks that took place in the Somali capital of Mogadishu, killing at least 19 people.
Mr Hague said in a statement, “We extend our deepest sympathy to the victims and their families. Somalia is emerging from decades of conflict. The actions of terrorists only prolong the suffering of the Somali people".
“The UK and the international community, as we saw at last week’s G8 Foreign Ministers’ meeting, remain committed to helping the people of Somalia achieve peace, security and development", he continued.
"Those responsible for terrorist acts should face justice”, Mr Hague added.
At least 19 people have been killed in the Somali capital in a series of bomb attacks carried out by militants linked to al-Qaeda and in subsequent gun battles.
A bomb exploded outside law courts in Mogadishu as gunmen stormed the compound. Security forces then arrived and battled the fighters inside.
Later, a bomb exploded near an African Union and Turkish Red Crescent convoy on the way to the airport.
The attack has been claimed by al Shabaab - a militant group linked to al-Qaeda.
The Somali interior minister has said that all nine attackers have been killed after a militant assault on a court in the capital Mogadishu.
A large blast has been heard in an area near the airport in the Somali capital of Mogadishu, just hours after a series of explosions at law courts in the capital and gunmen stormed the building, residents said.
"We heard a blast ... and then soldiers opened fire. I see only thick smoke rising into the sky. I do not know what caused the blast. The whole area has been immediately besieged by security forces," one resident, Halima Osman, told Reuters.
Al-Qaeda's North African wing AQIM has said it killed a French hostage captured in northern Mali two years ago, Mauritania's ANI news agency said today.
It also reportedly said that other French captives were at risk because of France's intervention in Mali.
"All the other hostages are alive," AQIM said in a communique seemingly addressed to the French people, "but we cannot guarantee their survival forever because of the attacks by your army on the mujahideen's bases."
ANI reported earlier this week that an AQIM member said its fighters beheaded another French hostage called Philippe Verdon, who was seized in northern Mali in November.
An Algerian called Djamel Okacha has become the new head of the al-Qaeda linked militant group al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, according to the TV station Ennahar TV.
It follows yesterday's report from the French presidency that the former head of the group, Abdelhamid Abou Zeir, was killed in Mali last month.
The French government has said it can confirm "with certainty" the death of the al-Qaeda commander Abdelhamid Abou Zeid following its combat mission in Mali last month.
A statement from the Elysee presidential palace said:
– elysee palace
The president of the French Republic confirms with certainty the death of Abdelhamid Abou Zeid after an offensive by the French army in the Adrar des Ifoghas [mountains] in the North of Mali, at the end of February.
Senior al-Qaeda leader Abu Zeid has been killed in Northern Mali, according to Algeria's Ennahar TV.