A new militia comprising about 300 armed "Christians" has emerged in the Muslim-majority, conflict-ridden Central Mindanao region in southern Philippines, and it says it's training to fight local terror groups and those claiming allegiance to the Islamic State.
Declaring themselves as "Pulahan," which translates as "Red Warriors of God" or "Red God Defenders," the group made their first appearance before media this week, according to reports, which say their soldiers burned an Islamic State flag, also known as ISIS or ISIL.
ISIS' leadership has reportedly sent an official letter to militants stating that salaries would be halved due to financial losses associated with U.S.-led coalition airstrikes.
A letter issued to Islamic State fighters from the terrorist group's treasury branch, based in Raqqa, Syria, cites that "exceptional circumstances" have forced leaders of the terrorist organization to cut fighters' salaries by half, according to the the Independent.
"So on account of the exceptional circumstances the Islamic State is facing, it has been decided to reduce the salaries that are paid to all mujahideen by half, and it is not allowed for anyone to be exempted from this decision, whatever his position," the letter, written by IS Treasury Minister Bayt al-Mal reads, adding, "Let it be known that work will continue to distribute provisions twice every month as usual." more >>
The Islamic State terror group has destroyed the oldest Christian monastery in Iraq, satellite photos have confirmed, reducing to rubble the 1,400 year-old St. Elijah's Monastery that stood as a place of worship before the Catholic-Orthodox split.
The Associated Press reported on Wednesday that it obtained satellite photos from imagery firm DigitalGlobe, which revealed that the site where St. Elijah's Monastery once stood has been reduced to a field of rubble.
Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi pointed out that the monastery was a special place for many, because it dated back to a time before the split between the Catholic and the Orthodox traditions. more >>
Militants have slaughtered at least 20 people and wounded dozens of others at a university in northwestern Pakistan on Wednesday, though there are conflicting reports whether the Taliban is claiming responsibility.
Reuters noted that government officials are warning the death toll at Bacha Khan University in the city of Charsadda could rise to 40, with Pakistan's army continuing to carry out operations in the campus and in the surrounding area in the search for suspects.
At least four of the armed gunmen are dead, officials said, though it is not clear if others were involved. more >>
One of the Muslim passengers who stood up and defended Christians during a bus terror attack in Kenya in December has died from a bullet wound he sustained during the ambush, but not before urging Christians and Muslims to live as brothers.
BBC News reported on Monday that Salah Farah died while receiving surgery for his injuries in the capital, Nairobi.
Farah and other Muslim bus passengers risked their lives during an Al-Shabaab attack in December to save fellow Christian passangers. While the attack left two people dead and three others injured, including Farah, authorities said at the time that many more would have been killed had the passengers not stood up to the gunmen. more >>
As many as 18,800 people have been killed since 2014 in the ongoing Iraq war, the United Nations has said, revealing a "staggering" civilian death toll, while 3,500 women and children remain captured as ISIS slaves.
"The violence suffered by civilians in Iraq remains staggering. The so-called 'Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant' continues to commit systematic and widespread violence and abuses of international human rights law and humanitarian law. These acts may, in some instances, amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity, and possibly genocide," states the report, which was compiled and released on Tuesday by the U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Another 36,245 people were injured in the recorded time period between January 1, 2014, and October 31, 2015, while more than 3.2 million Iraqi have been internally displaced, which includes over a million school children. more >>