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This Week Around the World

August 10 Chaman, Pakistan: A bomb planted on a motorcycle in a popular marketplace killed at least six people and injured 10 more, with two of the injured in critical condition. The attack targeted an anti-drug task force, the Anti-Narcotics Force, which focuses specifically on narcotics smuggling in the area. Several nearby shops and vehicles were damaged in the blast, according to Al Jazeera. While no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, officials suspect it was the work of either Islamic militants or Baluchi separatist groups that are active in the region.


August 10 Algiers, Algeria: Khaled Drareni, a journalist who played a significant role in covering Hirak pro-democracy demonstrations from Feb. 2019–March 2020, was sentenced to three years in prison for “endangering national unity” and “inciting an unarmed gathering,” as reported by Al Jazeera. An editor of Casbah Tribune new outlet and correspondent for TV5 Monde and Reporters Without Borders, Drareni has been in custody since March 2020 and pled not guilty to the charges. Multiple state prosecutors called for a longer prison term for the reporter. “The charges are completely empty,” Drareni’s lawyer Abdelghani Badi said in a statement, as reported by The New York Times. “All he did was give information, in words and images. He did nothing more than his work as a journalist.”


August 11 Bradost, Iraq: Gen. Mohammed Rushdi and Brig. Zubair Hali were killed in what the Iraqi government is calling a “blatant Turkish drone attack.” The two border guard battalion commanders were among the seven total casualties of the attack, but it is unknown if the remaining five victims were civilians or military personnel. Turkey began operations in northern Iraq against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which Turkey considers a terrorist group, on June 17. The Aug. 11 attack marks the first incident where high-ranking Iraqi officials were killed in the attacks.


August 12 Port Sudan, Sudan: Clashes between groups from the Bani Amer and Nuba ethnic groups have left at least 25 dead with approximately 90 additional people injured. Several houses and shops were set ablaze during the conflicts. Local authorities put the entire city of Port Sudan—one of the country’s key international trading ports—under a complete lockdown for several days, and prohibited any residents from leaving their homes. Tensions between the Bani Amer and Nuba ethnic groups have been high for decades, but have repeatedly become violent in the last year, according to Al Jazeera


August 12–13 County Galway, Ireland: Cousins Sara Feeny, 23, and Ellen Glynn, 17, disappeared on Aug. 12 after departing a beach in County Galway on paddleboards. When they were reported missing by family members that evening, the Coast Guard and lifeboat services organized a full air and sea search and rescue operation that lasted approximately 15 hours. The women were discovered by a fisherman and his son almost 20 miles away from where the women were last seen in the morning of Aug. 13, and are now receiving treatment at University Hospital Galway. “We were quite sure we were going to be found,” Glynn told reporters, according to CNN. “The only thing I was worried about was just how cold we were—we were shaking like leaves.”

August 16 Samaniego, Colombia: An armed group raided the town of Samaniego, leaving at least nine dead and dozens more injured. The incident came just one day after five young men were murdered in a nearby town. The problems in the region of Nariño, where both towns are located, are usually caused by armed groups who violate international humanitarian law. “Colombia’s President Iván Duque, the Defense Ministry, the Nariño Police and the Prosecutor’s Office have to take actions that will restore peace to the region,” Samaniego mayor Jhon Rojas said in a statement, according to TeleSUR.