ISIS

Syria conflict: Thousands hanged at Saydnaya prison, Amnesty says

REPORTED BY KALAHAN DENG As many as 13,000 people, most of them civilian opposition supporters, have been executed in secret at a prison in Syria, Amnesty International says. A new report by the human rights group alleges that mass hangings took place every week at Saydnaya prison between September 2011 and December 2015. Amnesty says the alleged executions were authorised ...

Mali attack: Why the country is an insurgent hotspot

REPORTED BY KALAHAN DENG While most global attention has been focused on Nigeria, Mali has been West Africa’s other insurgent hotspot in recent years. It is threatened by various armed groups – from Ansar Dine, which is linked to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), to Touareg separatist rebel groups. The lawlessness in Libya after Colonel Muammar Gaddafi was toppled ...

The policemen who dressed as women to hide from IS

KALAHAN DENG When the so-called Islamic State group seized control of a town near Mosul and began killing police officers, some of them resorted to unconventional measures to stay alive, reports John Beck. A niqab saved Abu Alawi. For more than two-and-a-half years it helped keep the middle-aged former police officer hidden from IS and safe from the bullets and ...

Syria conflict: Bomb kills dozens in Azaz on Turkish border

REPORTED BY KALAHAN DENG At least 43 people have been killed in a car bomb blast in the rebel-held Syrian town of Azaz, near the Turkish border, reports say. The explosion occurred outside a courthouse in the town, some just 7km (four miles) from the Turkish frontier. Azaz has recently been targeted by so-called Islamic State (IS). The latest blast ...

Syrian forces push ceasefire to breaking point with attack on rebels near Damascus

REPORTED BY KALAHAN DENG The Syrian army launched a fresh offensive against a rebel-held area near the capital yesterday, testing a warning issued by the opposition that they would end the ceasefire if it continued its assault. After a brief period of quiet on Sunday, barrel bombs hit villages in the rebel enclave of Wadi Barada while heavy fighting on ...

New image of suspected Istanbul gunman released as Isil claim nightclub attack

REPORTED BY KALAHAN DENG The Islamic State yesterday/MON claimed responsibility for the New Year’s Eve shooting that killed 39 people in an Istanbul nightclub, saying a “soldier of the caliphate” attacked Turkey for its incursion into Syria. Police arrested eight suspects in connection with the attack today, but said they were still hunting for the gunman. A blurry picture of ...

Christmas reborn in Iraqi town freed from ISIS

REPORTED BY KALAHAN DENG In the ancient Iraqi Christian town of Bartella — recently liberated from ISIS — Christmas was celebrated for the first time in more than two years on Saturday. It was an emotional return for members of Bartella’s displaced Christian community, who had been forced to flee when their hometown was overrun by the Islamist terror group. ...

The Islamic State has been pushed back but the future still looks bleak for Christians in the Middle East

REPORTED BY KALAHAN DENG On the last Sunday of October the church bells in the Iraqi Christian town of Qaraqosh rang out for the first time in two years. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) had been been driven out, leaving behind only the dead bodies of their fighters and the churches that lay desecrated but not ...

Tunisia arrests Anis Amri’s nephew and two others linked to Berlin Christmas market attack suspect

REPORTED BY KALAHAN DENG Italian and German anti-terrorist police met in Milan on Saturday to determine how Berlin terror suspect Anis Amri travelled 1000 miles and crossed the borders of at least three countries before he was shot dead, amid fears of revenge attacks from Islamist sympathisers in Italy. The high-level meeting took place as Tunisia arrested Amri’s nephew and ...

Yemen crisis: An Iranian-Saudi battleground?

REPORTED BY KALAHAN DENG Yemen is fast descending into a violent cauldron where the competing interests of Shia Houthi rebels, Sunni tribes, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab states, Iran, al-Qaeda and now Islamic State are forming a toxic mix. The situation has got so bad that the US and UK have closed their embassies and evacuated their staff, while ...