The death toll from Sunday's major bombing of a popular market in the city of Doma, Syria, carried out by government warplanes, has reached close to 100 people.
Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told AFP on Monday that more than 250 people have also been injured.
"The people gathered after the first strike and then the other strikes followed one after another," he said, adding that those who were injured "are in a critical condition." more >>
A pastor leading Iraq's only Christian radio station that reaches up to 8 million people in and around Baghdad with the Gospel narrowly escaped death after a bomb exploded in a garage where he had gone to get his church bus fixed.
A post on the website of The New Testament Baptist Church of Baghdad titled "God Answers Prayers" said their pastor, Maher Fouad, and his deacon emerged from the incident unscathed while others died from the blast.
"Our Baghdad church bus broke down and needed a spare part. Pastor Maher and a deacon from the church went to a garage to fix it. The mechanic told Maher that he doesn't have the part and directed him to another garage," the post from the church noted. more >>
American pastor Saeed Abedini, who is serving eight years in prison in Iran, has reportedly been subjected to an aggressive raid by guards at his prison cell, a human rights agency has said, adding that Abedini's condition is "very worrisome."
The American Center for Law and Justice noted that very little information has been available on Abedini's well being over the last month, noting that his relatives in Iran who visit him are presently out of the country, while the government has rejected all requests for the pastor to talk on the phone with his wife, Naghmeh, and the couple's two children in the U.S.
The Human Right Activists News Agency Iran reported last week that Abedini's prison cell was raided by guards in what it called "dishonorable and harsh" actions. It added that the pastor's condition at Rajai Shahr prison is very worrisome. more >>
Women living in Saudi Arabia will make history later this year when for the first time they'll be allowed to vote.
"My message during my campaign is simple: Change the system. Change is life. The government has given us this tool and I intend to use it," said Haifa Al-Hababi, one of the 21 female candidates who is preparing to stand in the Dec. 12 municipal election as reported by Asia News.
Saudi Arabia's discriminatory male guardianship system continues to dominate the lives of women, despite government pledges to abolish it. According to Human Rights Watch, the system forbids women from obtaining a passport, marrying, traveling, driving, or accessing higher education without the approval of a male guardian, usually a husband, father, brother, or son. more >>
A major report on the systematic raping and sexual slavery practices of Islamic State terror group has shed light on the theological beliefs of the militants, many of whom believe that raping children and young girls is like a "prayer" that draws them closer to God.
The New York Times released a detailed and graphic report on Thursday that featured interviews with 21 women and girls who recently escaped IS captivity in Iraq. The victims, from the Yazidi religious minority group, shared how fighters would pray before raping them, and tried to justify their actions with the Quran, the Islamic holy book.
"He told me that according to Islam he is allowed to rape an unbeliever. He said that by raping me, he is drawing closer to God," one 12-year-old girl said. more >>
The Islamic State terror group has released 22 Assyrian Christians who were part of a group of over 200 believers kidnapped in February in raids on villages in the Khabur region in northeastern Syria.
The Assyrian Observatory for Human Rights has said the Christians were released due to "the tireless efforts and negotiations by the Assyrian Church of the East in the city of Hasakeh," and noted that there were 14 women among the hostages.