AMERICAN rapper ASAP Rocky and two other men believed to be members of his entourage have gone on trial in Sweden.

The trial of the recording artist, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, started in Stockholm District Court yesterday. Swedish prosecutors allege that the rapper and two other suspects “deliberately, together and in agreement” attacked the alleged victim on June 30 in the countries capital. The rapper has plead not guilt.

Prosecutors alleged in more than 500 pages of court documents that the three suspects beat and kicked the victim while he was on the ground and that he was hit by parts of or a whole bottle.

The charges carry a maximum sentence of two years in prison. Mayers has been in custody since July 3 and said he acted in self-defence.

MEANWHILE, thousands of students have taken to the streets in Sudan to condemn violence against their fellow students by armed forces.

Videos posted online show thousands in school uniforms, schoolbags on their backs, marching in the streets to denounce student deaths in North Kordofan province. Security forces fired live ammunition on Monday in the North Kordofan city of Obeid to disperse student protests. At least five people were killed, including four pupils.

The group has been part of months of protests leading up to the military overthrow of President Omar al-Nashir in April.

ELSEWHERE, more civilians were killed in Afghan and international coalition forces in Afghanistan in the first half of the year than by the Taliban and other militants, the UN mission has said.

The UN report published yesterday said 403 civilians were killed by Afghan forces in the first six months of the year and another 314 by international forces, a total of 717. That is compared to 531 killed by the Taliban, an Islamic State affiliate and other militants during the same period.

The report apparently refers to civilians killed during Afghan and US military operations against insurgents, such as airstrikes and night raids on militant hideouts.

AND FINALLY, four Sri Lankan Muslim ministers have rejoined the Government after an investigation cleared them of having any links with the local Islamic group who carried out the Easter bombing.

The ministers took their oaths before President Maithripala Sirisena on Monday night. They had resigned from their Cabinet portfolios after the Easter Day attacks that killed more than 250 people. They remained on the backbenches during that time.

The four were among nine Cabinet and junior ministers who stepped down last month from their posts, to enable the Government to investigate the allegations.