Taliban-linked militants have killed 103 people in Pakistan on Thursday in three major bombings, marking one of the deadliest terrorist attacks in recent months.
Officials said that the heaviest attack occurred in the city of Quetta, where 69 people were killed while another 69 were injured at a blast at a billiard hall, The Associated Press reported.
Another bomb blast at a Sunni Islam mosque in the Northern city of Mingora killed 22 people while injuring 70, and yet another blast in a commercial area in Quetta targeting paramilitary soldiers killed 12 people and wounded 40 others. more >>
The Nigerian armed forces have fought back against the Islamic militant group Boko Haram, killing 13 suspected combatants in an attack on their stronghold in the town of Maiduguri on Tuesday.
The news was confirmed by the Joint Task Force Operation Restore Order, who said that they lost one soldier in the gunfight, CNN reported. Military spokesman Sagir Musa said that that Boko Haram have been carrying out "incessant callous, brutal, barbaric and impious killings," and Human Rights Watch estimate that the Islamic group, whose name means "Western education is sacrilege," have killed more than 2,800 people in the last several years, including at least 34 since Christmas.
On Christmas Eve, raids on two separate churches resulted in the deaths of 12 worshippers, including a pastor. Another 15 Christians were massacred six days later on Sunday at another church in Northern Nigeria. more >>
A Coptic Church in Dafniya, close to the western city of Misrata, in Libya, was attacked over the weekend, killing two and injuring two others, according to local news reports.
"Egypt is requesting an investigation into the circumstances of the operation and for those responsible to be put on trial," said Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr, according to the Associated Foreign Press.
The exact date of the explosion varies depending on the news agency; some are claiming the explosion occurred Saturday, as congregants left the church following a church service, while others claim it occurred Sunday, while church workers had lunch inside the building. more >>
Nigerian gunmen have killed at least 12 Christians, including a pastor, during raids on two churches after midnight Christmas Eve services in the latest attack on believers in the divided African country.
Police reports reveal that one of the attacks occurred at the Church of Christ in Nations in the state of Yobe at Peri village near the city of Potiskum. Another happened at First Baptist Church in Maiduguri, in Borno state, where a deacon and five church members were killed, CNN reported.
While no group has yet officially claimed responsibility for the attacks, the BBC and other sources note that the attackers were likely Islamist extremists from the Boko Haram terrorist organization, which has killed over 700 Christians and burned down dozens of churches in Nigeria this past year alone. more >>
As Christians around the world get ready to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, believers in Syria are welcoming the holiday on a much more somber note.
"We will use the Christmas time to visit the families that have been going through pain and suffering," a pastor in Damascus told Open Doors USA, a persecution watchdog that aids Christians around the world. "Christians will come together in the churches of the capital to have their Christmas services, but no decorations and nothing big," he says. "The whole city is mourning the loss of their people, family and friends this year, so people will not really celebrate."
Syria has faced the ravages of civil war this past year, as President Bashar al-Assad has been doing everything possible to quell the rebellion against his administration. While the Syrian government is saying that "terrorists" have been attacking its authority, rebel groups say that they are fighting against a tyrant who has even threatened to use chemical weapons on his own people. more >>
An American citizen born in South Korea and believed to be affiliated with a Protestant group has been held captive in North Korea for over a month now, reports acknowledged by the U.S. State Department revealed.
Kenneth Bae, a 44-year-old travel agent who specializes in taking tourists and investors around North Korea, was detained in early November, the Citizens' Coalition for the Human Rights of North Korean Refugees in Seoul, South Korea confirmed.