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Despite Western-backed response, Sahel jihadists gaining ground

Abidjan - Jihadists are scoring gains in the Sahel, defying efforts by five countries in the fragile region to fight back with Western help against Islamist militancy.

Nigerians hold birthday rally for girl held by Boko Haram

Abuja - Nigerian activists Tuesday staged a rally to mark the 16th birthday of a girl who was abducted by Boko Haram 449 days ago.

Four dead in suspected Boko Haram attack in Cameroon

Yaound - Jihadists from Nigeria's Boko Haram killed at least four people and badly wounded four others in an attack on Kofia, a Cameroonian island on Lake Chad, an official source told AFP on Sunday.

US confirms killing No.2 Islamic State leader in Somalia

Mugadishu - The US military confirmed Monday that it had killed the second-ranking Islamic State leader in Somalia in an air strike.US Africa Command said that Abdulhakim Dhuqub was killed Sunday in the strike vicinity of Xiriiro in the Bari region.

Frenchman jailed for pretending to be 2015 attack victim

Paris - A Frenchman who received compensation over a 1995 terror attack in Paris has been sent to jail after pretending he was at the scene of the November 2015 assault on the city by Islamic State gunmen.

Terror stalks Mali massacre village

Bamako - Eleven-year-old Amy raises her left arm to show where a bullet grazed her side, and from deep within her, a boundless distress comes out in great sobs.

Rival jihadists say IS suspects executed in Syria's Idlib

Beirut - Jihadists controlling Syria's northwestern Idlib region said 10 alleged Islamic State group members were executed Saturday, a day after a deadly bomb attack.

Prosecutors slam Jewish museum suspect's 'indecent' silence at trial

Apo - Prosecutors on Monday poured scorn on the "indecent" silence of a Frenchman accused of shooting dead four people at the Jewish museum in Brussels as they began their closing summary.

Burkina forces kill nearly 30 'terrorists' in operation: military

Ouagadougou - Burkina Faso's armed forces killed around 30 suspected militants last week in an land and air operation against jihadist groups operating in the east of the country, the military said on Sunday.

Syria force hit by IS attack as tries to free last civilians

- A deadly car bombing claimed by the Islamic State group hit US-backed forces in east Syria Thursday as they tried to negotiate the release of civilians trapped in the jihadists' last sliver of territory.

Syria forces negotiating to free civilians from IS holdout: coalition

Beirut - US-backed Syrian forces are negotiating to evacuate civilians from the Islamic State group's last redoubt which now faces "inevitable defeat", the international coalition against the jihadists said Thursday.

As time runs out, Washington ready to help with jihadist repatriation

Washington - The United States is ready to help countries repatriate Islamic State jihadists detained in Syria but time is of the essence and Washington insists that ultimately it is up to their home governments to come up with solutions.

French guns on Iraq border aim to pin down IS diehards inside Syria

Sulaymaniyah - French howitzer-guns deployed in the Euphrates Valley desert just inside Iraq stand ready to pour fury on Islamic State group diehards in their last holdout across the border in Syria.

Jewish museum attack families tell court of grief

Apo - The Israelis orphaned by the murderous gun attack on Belgium's Jewish Museum testified on Thursday in the trial of the accused attacker.

French defence minister in Jordan to visit troops fighting IS

Apo - France's defence minister arrived in Jordan on Monday to visit troops battling the Islamic State group, showing Paris's determination to continue the fight after a shock US decision to withdraw from Syria.

Macron takes champagne and foie gras to French soldiers in Chad

Ndjame - French President Emmanuel Macron paid a pre-Christmas visit to French soldiers in Chad on Saturday, bringing enough champagne, foie gras and chocolate for 1,300 troops along with him.

US defense chief quits as Trump pulls from Syria, Afghanistan

Washington - US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis resigned Thursday, leading a chorus of protests at home and abroad after President Donald Trump who ordered a complete troop pullout from Syria and a significant withdrawal from Afghanistan.

War on jihadists won't end unless West tackles root causes: experts

Washington - Western powers fighting Islamist groups around the globe are condemned to a never-ending battle if they only tackle the symptoms and not the underlying causes of jihadist insurgency, experts say.

Macron visits Strasbourg as police probe potential accomplices

Strasbourg - French President Emmanuel Macron visited Strasbourg on Friday, a day after police shot dead a gunman who killed four people at the city's Christmas market, as investigators probe whether the jihadist had any accomplices.

Mass graves found near ex-IS stronghold: Syria state media

Damascus - Seven mass graves containing hundreds of unidentified bodies have been unearthed near the former Islamic State group stronghold of Albu Kamal in eastern Syria, official news agency SANA said.

Still on alert, France marks three years since Paris attacks

Paris - Three years after jihadists gunned down and blew up 130 people in Paris, it's lone-wolf assaults rather than coordinated attacks that are keeping French anti-terror investigators on alert.

France says 85 million euros paid to victims of 2015 terror attack

Paris - Victims and relatives of the 130 people killed by jihadist attackers in and around Paris in November 2015 have received 85 million euros ($97 million) in compensation to date, the fund managing the payments said Tuesday.

French Muslim rapper calls off shows at Bataclan after protests

Paris - A French rapper known for his provocative pro-Muslim lyrics said Friday that he would cancel two upcoming concerts at the Bataclan, where 90 people were shot dead when jihadist gunmen stormed the venue during the November 2015 terror attacks in Paris.

Iraq hosts military chiefs from Iran, Russia and Syria

Baghdad - Senior Iraqi military commanders hosted their Russian, Iranian and Syrian counterparts in Baghdad on Saturday to discuss security cooperation and information-sharing in the Middle East, where the Islamic State group continues to carry out attacks.

Thousands attend funerals of 7 Burkina Faso troops dead in blast

Ouagadougou - Thousands of people attended the funerals of seven soldiers killed in a roadside bombing in eastern Burkina Faso, in a ceremony held under tight security on Friday.

Images show terror cell preparing for 2017 Barcelona attack

Madrid - Chilling images published in the Spanish media on Monday show men in a terror cell preparing explosives ahead of last year's jihadist attacks in Barcelona and a nearby seaside resort that killed 16 people.

G5 Sahel force licks wounds after HQ attack

S - On June 29, a suicide attack shook the headquarters of the Sahel's five-nation anti-terror force, failing to inflict major damage but exposing the fragility of the much-trumpeted scheme.

France expels 'mentor' of 2015 jihadist attackers to Algeria

Paris - France on Monday expelled a radical Islamic preacher to Algeria after his release from prison, where he became a mentor to at least two jihadis who carried out deadly attacks on a satirical newspaper and a Jewish supermarket in January 2015, officials ...

France girds for long fight against Islamists in Africa's Sahel

Paris - Days before French President Emmanuel Macron visited West and Central African leaders this week to talk security, Islamist fighters sent a defiant message -- a suicide attack on the headquarters of a five-nation force that is supposed to take the lead ...

IS leader travels in east Syria with tight-knit group: Iraqi official

Baghdad - Islamic State group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is hiding in eastern Syria and moves around with only a small group of followers, including one of his sons, an Iraqi intelligence official said Wednesday.
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