Father Tom Uzhunnalil, the Indian priest kidnapped two months ago from a nursing home in Yemen where 16 people were killed, is still alive at the hands of Islamic State radicals, according to rumors, but his fate remains uncertain.
"The last words, which are quite reassuring, I received indirectly about 10 days ago. I was told that Father Tom is alive, and that his return to freedom could be imminent. But since then nothing has happened. We hope and pray for him," Bishop Paul Hinder OFM Cap, Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia, told Agenzia Fides in an update on Tuesday.
The priest was initially feared to have been crucified by the extremists on Good Friday, but subsequent information from the Catholic Church denied the rumor, instead suggesting that he was still alive and that negotiations are being carried out with IS for his release. more >>
The Islamic State terrorist organization is employing yet another cruel and sick way to punish women who chose not to adhere to the militant group's strict dress code by locking them in cages with skeletons.
Last Friday, the militant group locked at least two women inside cages with skulls as punishment for not following the Shariah dress code in the jihadists' Syrian stronghold of Raqqa, The Independent reports.
According to the British news outlet, the incidents were uncovered by the media activist network Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently (RBSS), which reports on human rights abuses committed by IS (also known as ISIS or ISIL) from inside the group's caliphate in Syria. more >>
Horrific stories of the ongoing genocide being carried out by the Islamic State terror group against Christians and other religious minorities were shared at a conference in New York last week, with one account revealing that a couple was sent the body parts of their dead daughters, along with a video of them being raped and tortured.
The Catholic News Agency described the stories shared by human rights activists at the #WeAreN2016 international congress on religious freedom as "graphic, brutal and raw."
"One account told of a couple whose children had been captured by ISIS militants. When they answered their door one day, they found a plastic bag on their doorstep. It contained the body parts of their daughters and a video of them being raped and tortured," the report described. more >>
A new report says Russia, along with the United States, are pushing for talks that would result in Aleppo becoming part of the temporary "regime of calm." Russia said active negotiations are ongoing.
"At present, there is an active negotiation process taking place to establish a regime of calm also in Aleppo province," General Sergei Kuralenko, who heads Russia's ceasefire monitoring center in Syria, is cited as saying in a Reuters report.
The publication said the Syrian army had announced a "regime of calm" on Friday that covers some regions in the country. Kuralenko told Russian news agencies that in Eastern Ghouta, a suburb of Damascus, a freeze in fighting has been extended for 24 hours, reports AFP. A freeze is also holding in the northern Latakia province. more >>
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Sunday ordered the arrest of hundreds of supporters of Shiite Muslim cleric Moqtada al-Sadr who stormed Iraq's parliament Saturday evening and camped out, demanding reforms in the political quota system that was introduced after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.
A United Nations spokesman and western diplomats said their compounds inside the Green Zone were locked down, according to Reuters, which also said some of the demonstrators set up tents at a nearby parade ground.
The Green Zone houses the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq and many embassies, including the U.S. Embassy. more >>
BAGHDAD — Two suicide car bombs claimed by Islamic State killed at least 32 people and wounded 75 others in the center of the southern Iraqi city of Samawa on Sunday, police and medics said.
The first blast was near a local government building and the second one about 60 meters (65 yards) away at a bus station, police sources said. The death toll was expected to keep rising.
Unverified online photographs showed a large plume of smoke rising above the buildings as well as burnt out cars and bodies on the ground at the site of one of the blasts, including several children. Police and firefighters carried victims on stretchers and in their arms. more >>