A 16-year-old Yazidi girl who was used as a slave by Islamic State terror group leader Abu bakr al-Baghdadi has described the savage beatings and rapes she and other women, including U.S. hostage Kayla Mueller, suffered at the hands of the jihadists.
The Yazidi girl, using the name Zeinat, revealed in a CNN interview that she met Mueller when both were forced to serve al-Baghdadi at his home in Raqqa, Syria.
"He treated us so badly," Zeinat said. "He would always tell us: Forget your father and your brothers. We have killed them. And we have married off your mothers and sisters. Forget them." more >>
Pope Francis has urged every Catholic parish and religious community in Europe to take in at least one refugee family and help Europe with its migrant crisis, noting that the Vatican would take two families itself. With hundreds of thousands of refugees making their way toward Western Europe, countries such as Germany and Austria are said to be near the "tipping point" of how much they can help.
"May every parish, every religious community, every monastery, every sanctuary of Europe, take in one family" Francis told the crowds at St. Peter's Square on Sunday. ￼ "Before the tragedy of tens of thousands of refugees fleeing death in conflict and hunger and are on a journey of hope, the Gospel calls us to be close to the smallest and to those who have been abandoned," he added, according to Vatican Radio.
Republican presidential hopefuls Donald Trump and Senator Ted Cruz slammed President Barack Obama's Iran deal, saying that he has neglected American hostages held in the Islamic Republic.
At a rally held on Capitol Hill on Wednesday by the conservative group Tea Party Patriots and attended by thousands, Sen. Cruz said that the deal was "catastrophic" for America and the hostages.
"[The Iran deal] abandons four American hostages in an Iranian hellhole, including Pastor Saeed Abedini, an American citizen and Christian pastor sentenced to eight years in prison for the crime of preaching the Gospel," said Cruz. more >>
An Iraqi woman, believed to be from the Yazidi-Kurdish minority, has reportedly shot dead a senior Islamic State commander "Abu Anas," who is said to have forced her to become a sex slave and gifted her to other men.
Iraqi satellite TV network Alsumaria News did not reveal the name of the woman, but Kurdistan Democratic Party spokesman Saeed Mamouzini confirmed that Anas was killed on Saturday near Mosul in Iraq.
The IS commander is believed to have forced the woman into sex slavery, and used her as a "gift" for other militants. more >>
A Syrian priest, along with 270 Christian and Muslim hostages kidnapped by Islamic militants earlier this summer in an offensive on the city of Homs, are reportedly alive and hoping that they'll be released after negotiations.
Fides News Agency said that Father Jacques Murad, who belongs to the monastic community of Deir Mar Musa, is still alive, according to local sources, but is being held hostage with groups of Christians and Muslims taken by jihadists in August. The hostages are reported to be "stable and secure," and are waiting as local ecclesial communities are carrying out negotiations through mediators for their possible release.
"The sources contacted by Fides confirm that all the hostages are still in Quaryatayn, and specify that the news on the story of father Murad broadcast in recent days by Lebanese television network Nursat TV did not include any statement regarding the religious person kidnapped, but only reassuring considerations about his fate, expressed by another priest," the report added. more >>
Over 1,000 people have been killed by terror group Boko Haram in the first 100 days of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari's reign, while close to 2.1 million have been internally displaced. Buhari had promised that he would find a way to drive out the Islamic terror group from his country, but so far the terror group's raids have continued in full force.
The International Organization for Migration revealed on Friday that displaced people have risen to 2.1 million in the northeastern states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe, as well as the central state of Nassarawa and Abuja.
"The increase ... can be attributed to the intensification of attacks carried out by the insurgents, as well as to improved access to previously inaccessible areas of Borno state, where the IDP population is now well over 1.6 million," IOM said. more >>