Compiled by Jamie Mullick
PAKISTAN: Gunmen shot and killed a prominent Pakistani rights activist, known for his outspoken stance against the Taliban and other radical Islamist groups, in Karachi late last Saturday night, police said. The police said Khurram Zaki was killed at an outdoor cafe in central Karachi, while a companion was injured. A faction of the Pakistani Taliban, the Hakeemullah group, claimed responsibility for the attack, saying Zaki had been targeted for his stance against radical cleric Abdul Aziz.
SYRIA: The Lebanese militant group Hezbollah said Saturday that the explosion in Damascus that killed its top militant commander was caused by insurgent shelling and vowed to continue fighting alongside the Syrian government until the rebels are defeated. Mustafa Badreddine, who was killed Friday, was the highest-ranking Hezbollah militant to be killed since the group joined Syria’s civil four years ago. Hezbollah said the blast near the Damascus International Airport was caused by artillery shelling from “takfiri” groups, a term Hezbollah uses to refer to Sunni extremists. Meanwhile, two people were killed when a car exploded in the town of Qamishli in northeastern Syria Saturday, around 10 days after local security services warned about a possible attack, a Syrian Kurdish official said.
AFGHANISTAN: Ten people were killed and 23 wounded last Tuesday when a suicide bomber blew up his car near the house of a pro-government militia commander in the province of Nangarhar. Meanwhile, also on Tuesday, Taliban insurgents killed 15 Afghan policemen when they overran two checkpoints in Helmand province in an attack that sharply increased pressure on the beleaguered provincial capital of Lashkar Gah.
IRAQ: Three suicide bombings claimed by Islamic State across Baghdad killed at least 80 people last Wednesday, Iraqi police and hospital sources said, in the deadliest attacks in the Iraqi capital this year. The first attack, a suicide car bomb at a bustling market in the Shia area of Sadr City, killed 55 people during morning rush hour and wounded 68. Two more blasts struck at the end of the working day. Meanwhile a day later, Islamic State militants massacred 13 football fans in a shooting attack on a café in Iraq. The football supporters had gathered in the predominantly Shia city of Balad to see in the weekend.
TURKEY: Eight Turkish soldiers and 22 Kurdish militants were killed in clashes, authorities said last Friday, as violence widened in the largely Kurdish southeast following two bombings. After the collapse of a ceasefire between the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the government last July, Turkey’s southeast has seen some of its worst fighting since the height of the Kurdish insurgency in the 1990s.