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An earthquake measuring 7.5 on the Richter scale killed at least 390 people and injured more than 2,000 in northeastern Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan on Oct. 26, with thousands reported injured. At least 7,600 houses were destroyed. The earthquake also caused landslides and avalanches, but none were reported in residential areas. 

The epicenter of the quake was in an isolated and sparsely populated area. Additional deaths, injuries and damage were expected to be discovered as response teams reached village sites. At least four aftershocks of 4.8 magnitude or higher occurred...


In Ankara, Turkey, two suicide bombers targeted a peace rally on Oct. 10, killing at least 97 people and injuring more than 200. The rally, organized by leftist Turkish groups, was staged to call for an end to violence between the Turkish government and the pro-independence Kurdish Workers Party (PKK). 

A cease-fire agreement between the government and the PKK broke down in July after the PKK blamed the government for inaction that allowed a suicide bombing to occur in which 30 Kurdish civilians were killed in the southeastern town of Suruç. The suicide bomber in Suruç was...


In Israel, protests by Palestinians at the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem that began on Sept. 13 escalated into a series of stabbings and police retaliations in late September and into October. 

As of press time, Israeli security forces had killed at least 60 Palestinians and Israeli Arabs, with 11 Jewish Israelis killed in knife and gun attacks during the violence. Many more people were injured. Attacks occurred mostly in Jerusalem but also in the West Bank and other Israeli cities.

Protests began when Israel was accused of attempting to change an agreement in which Jews are...


Two suspected suicide bombings in northeastern Nigeria on Oct. 23, the first at a mosque in the city of Maiduguri in the state of Borno and the second at a mosque in Yola in Adamawa state, killed at least 61 people and injured many more. As of press time, no group had claimed responsibility for the attacks. 

Northeastern Nigeria is home to the Islamist militant group Boko Haram, which has attacked with bombs in the past. The combined military forces of Nigeria, Niger and Chad have weakened Boko Haram, which at one point had declared northeastern Nigeria to be an independent state...


In Cape Town, university students protesting a proposed tuition hike stormed the South African parliamentary complex on Oct. 21. Police responded with stun grenades and arrested 29 protesters for public violence. Protesters also gathered in Johannesburg, but no police action was reported. Due to the protests, 10 national universities temporarily shut their campuses.

The protests, the largest gathering of students in South Africa since the end of apartheid, were organized after the government proposed a tuition increase of up to 12%. Despite lowering the increase to 6%, students...


The US Department of State warns against all travel to Libya because of ongoing violence between Libyan militias. Many military-grade weapons remain in the hands of private individuals, US- and UN-designated terrorist groups and other armed groups.

The US-recognized Libyan government, which is based in Bayda, on the northeast coast, lacks control over much of the country. On the northwest coast, Tripoli and its environs are controlled by a coalition of militias known as Operation Dawn as well as by affiliated authorities calling themselves the National Salvation Government.

The US Department of State advises against nonessential travel to Sierra Leone because both routine and emergency medical care are limited there. Some hospitals still have insufficient infection control, despite focused training and private clinics, and laboratories remain closed. 

Air carriers chartered by insurance companies are unable to reliably provide medical evacuation services in Sierra Leone or the region, and local ambulance services for transport to the airport are generally unavailable. 

The US Department of State warns that violent crime in Venezuela is pervasive, both in the capital, Caracas, and in the interior. According to the nongovernmental organization Venezuelan Violence Observatory, Venezuela has the second-highest homicide rate in the world. 

Kidnappings are also a serious concern throughout the country. Most can be classified as “express kidnappings,” which last only a few hours while the victim and/or family members gather as much money as possible for a quick release. Victims often have been physically roughed up or sometimes even killed when they...



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