The Taliban has gunned down at least 126 people, mostly children, in a major attack on the Army Public School and Degree College in the northwest Pakistani city of Peshawar on Tuesday.
Reuters reported that another 122 people were injured in the deadly attack, which is still ongoing, and there are fears the death toll may continue to rise. It is unclear how many students and staff members are still trapped inside the school.
"It may rise," Bahramand Khan, director of information for the Chief Minister's Secretariat, said about the death toll. He confirmed that over 100 of the casualties are children, mostly between the ages of 12 and 16. more >>
Update 12/15, 12:27 PM ET: The gunman has reportedly been killed during the shootout with Sydney police, national security source in the United States told CNN.
Gunshots were fired in the confrontation between the Sydney police force and the suspected gunman holding at least 15 people hostage in a cafe Monday, with multiple deaths and injuries. The suspected gunman has been identified as an Iranian sex offender and murder suspect.
Australian state broadcaster ABC reported that at least two people were killed and three seriously injured during the showdown. The condition of the suspected gunman Man Haron Monis is unknown. more >>
A group of around 30 Hindu radicals reportedly attacked a Christian pastor and 15 of his church members singing Christmas carols in the Indian city of Hyderabad over the weekend, accusing the Christians of trying to convert people. The attack left Pastor Bhim Nayak of Banjara Baptist Church and four other Christians severely injured.
International Christian Concern reported that the attack occurred on Saturday night, when Nayak and his church members were singing carols while visiting other Christian families in the Singareny Colony in Hyderabad. The radicals surrounded the Christians and their vehicle, before accusing them of trying to forcefully convert people to Christianity.
What followed was a severe beating that left Nayak unconscious and covered in blood, needing to be taken to the hospital and receive first aid. The local hospital has said that the pastor remains in critical condition, while four other Christians injured in the attack are receiving medical attention as well. more >>
Five of an unknown number of hostages being held by an unidentified armed assailant inside a central Sydney cafe managed to escape Monday morning. The motive of the hostage-taker remains unclear but two people have been seen holding up a flag with Arabic writing on it inside the cafe.
Three people came running out of the Lindt Chocolat Cafe in downtown Sydney area about six hours after the seize began, while two more, both women and wearing aprons, sprinted out through a fire exit and into the arms of heavily-armed SWAT team police Monday morning, ABC News reports.
"The first thing we will do is make sure they are OK and then we will work with these people to find out some more information," New South Wales Deputy Police Commissioner Catherine Burn was quoted as saying. "Our No. 1 aim is to resolve this incident peacefully." more >>
A North Korean defector gives a horrible account of how people with mental or physical disabilities are seen as a stain on the nation's image and are therefore used for performing experiments before being deliberately neglected until they die.
"Disabled children are being taken away, suffering indescribable things and dying," said Ji Seong-ho, who escaped North Korea in 2006 after losing his left leg above the knee and his left hand at the wrist.
Ji, the founder of the organization Now, Action, Unity, Human Rights, or NAUH, who was in London this week to protest outside the North Korean embassy, added that this is contrary to the North Korean regime's claim that there are no people with disabilities under the rule of dictator Kim Jong-un and that everyone is equal and living well, according to The Telegraph. more >>
The North Korea Freedom Federation hosted a press conference earlier this week calling for world governments to take action against North Korea's human rights abuses, after reports emerged that the nine orphans who had attempted to flee in 2013 with the help of a Christian missionary might've been killed.
Republican Congressman Ed Royce of California, who participated at the press conference in Washington, D.C., said in a statement: "The findings of the Commission of Inquiry give us good reason to be deeply concerned about their fate, not just today, but for years to come.
He added: "If these children have met the horrible fate of so many other North Korean refugees, that is a crime against humanity. But if the nine are alive, it is evidence that international pressure can help save North Korean lives. Beijing, in cooperation with UNHCR, must help us find the truth about these nine children." more >>