Tunisia: A young man dressed in shorts pulled an assault rifle and grenades out of his beach umbrella and killed 38 people, mostly tourists at the coastal city of Sousse last week. The attack prompted Prime Minister Habib Essid to say that political parties and associations espousing radical ideas with suspicious funding would be closed down and around 80 mosques known for extremist preaching would be shut. After the attack, tour operators encouraged tourists to flee.
France: France was reeling from its second attack in almost six months on Friday after a man with suspected ties to Islamist radicals rammed a car into an industrial chemical factory near Lyon, decapitated one person, and tried unsuccessfully to blow up the plant. French PM Manuel Valls said the attack would create tension in France — home to Western Europe’s largest Muslim population . “The question is not… if there will be another attack, but when,” Valls said.
Kuwait: A Shia Muslim mosque was targeted on Friday in an attack that killed 27 people, the Gulf Arab country’s worst militant attack in years. The attack at the Imam Sadeq mosque in central Kuwait City, was claimed by Islamic State’s Wilayat of Najd division, which last month bombed two mosques in Saudi. Relations between Islam’s main sects have traditionally been less fraught in Kuwait, but they have been undermined by a rise in Salafist Sunni Islam, which brands Shias as heretics.
Syria: After two weeks of facing defeat at the hands of Kurdish-led forces and US-led air strikes, the Islamic State marked its resurgence last week with attacks targetting the Kurds and the Bashar Assad-led forces in the border town of Kobani. The attack is said to have claimed over 150 lives and was described as one of the worst massacres committed by the group in Syria. While the Kurds on Saturday regained control over Kobani, the Islamic State pressed another assault on government-held areas of Hasaka city.
Iraq: Four years after its departure from Iraq, Nato is planning to re-engage with the country by training officers to help in the fight against Islamic State, the Guardian reported last week. Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, meanwhile, toed the American line and called his forces withdrawal from Ramadi last month “unauthorised”. The withdrawal had led to the IS group’s takeover of the provincial capital.
Palestine: Israel expressed disappointment last week when the Vatican announced that it had signed a final agreement with the ‘State of Palestine’ on the treaty regulating the life of the Catholic Church in the Palestinian territories. A Palestinian foreign minister called the treaty “historic” and said it marked “a recognition of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, freedom and dignity in an independent state, free from the shackles of occupation”.
Afghanistan: Security forces faced the toughest onslaught of the Taliban’s annual ‘spring offensive’ last week when they had to defend the country’s parliament from an audacious attack involving a suicide bomber and seven gunmen. While Afghan security forces repelled the attack and ensured that no members of Parliament were injured, Taliban continued its assault in the north of the country, seizing two districts in Kunduz province in two days.
— Compiled by Sagar Shah