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militant groups

Egypt IS leader vows to escalate attacks on Christians

CAIRO (AP) — The leader of the Islamic State affiliate in Egypt has vowed to escalate attacks against Christians, urging Muslims to steer clear of Christian gatherings and western embassies as they are targets of their group’s militants. “Targeting the churches is part of our war on infidels,” the unidentified …

Who speaks for Islam and reform? Debate heats up in Egypt

CAIRO (AP) — It was a startling collision of religion and politics. Egypt’s president proposed a new law that would prevent Muslim men from ending their marriages simply by saying “divorce” three times. The country’s top institution of Islamic clerics, Al-Azhar, bluntly rejected the idea, saying Islam gives men that …

Arrests highlight Pakistan’s struggle with extremism

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistani authorities said Monday they have arrested 22 people involved in the lynching of a university student who was accused of blasphemy and detained a teenage woman who had been recruited by the Islamic State group for a foiled attack on a church. Word of the arrests …

Maryland soldier fighting militants in Afghanistan dies

BALTIMORE (AP) — The Pentagon has identified the soldier who was killed over the weekend while conducting an operation against Islamic State militants in Afghanistan. Military officials said in a news release Monday that 37-year-old Staff Sgt. Mark De Alencar of Edgewood, Maryland, died Saturday of wounds sustained when his …

Egypt Christians flee Sinai as sixth of their kin killed

EL-ARISH, Egypt (AP) — Suspected Islamic militants gunned down a Coptic Christian inside his home in northern Sinai, the sixth such killing in a month’s time in the restive region, officials said Friday, prompting some Christian families to flee from the area for fear of being targeted next. The militants …

US misfires in online fight against Islamic State

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — On any given day at MacDill Air Force Base, web crawlers scour social media for potential recruits to the Islamic State group. Then, in a high-stakes operation to counter the extremists’ propaganda, language specialists employ fictitious identities and try to sway the targets from joining IS …

IS buried thousands in 72 mass graves, AP finds

HARDAN, Iraq (AP) — Surrounded by smoke and flames, the sound of gunshots echoing around him, the young man crouched in the creek for hours, listening to the men in his family die. On the other side of the mountain, another survivor peered through binoculars as the handcuffed men of …

Thai bombings draw attention to forgotten war in south

BANGKOK (AP) — It happens with horrifying frequency in southern Thailand, a country much of the world associates with pristine beaches and alluring, sapphire blue seas: a bomb goes off. Victims are maimed or killed. Security forces comb through blood-spattered wreckage and debris. On Thursday and Friday, 11 more bombs …

Thailand bombings: A look at who may have been responsible

BANGKOK (AP) — In the aftermath of a coordinated wave of bombings that shook tourist towns in Thailand this week, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha’s military government is scrambling to hunt down those responsible. The 11 explosions killed four people and injured dozens, including 11 foreign tourists. The big questions now …