Over one hundred people died in Iraq in a continuation of the sectarian violence which has followed the departure of American military at the end of 2011. Among those killed were 48 Shia Muslims who were on a pilgrimage to the holy city of Karbala.
The Burmese government set 1 April as the date for by-elections to the lower parliament. Aung San Suu Kyi, head of the National League for Democracy, said that she intends to contest a constituency near Rangoon.
In Malaysia Anwar Ibrahim, leader of the main opposition party, was cleared of allegations of sodomy by the country's supreme court which had acquitted him of a similar charge two years ago. Some observers believe that the government has fabricated these charges to discredit Ibrahim.
President Assad of Syria used a televised speech to blame unrest in his country on foreign powers and vowed to crush terrorists responsible for recent suicide bombings in Damascus.