News Watch

A group of five gunmen, members of the Somalia-based Islamist militant group al-Shabaab, attacked the DusitD2 hotel in Nairobi, Kenya, on Jan. 16, killing at least 21 people, including one American, and injuring 28. During a 19-hour siege, Kenyan security forces killed all five gunmen to stop the attack. Nine people were later arrested in Kenya under suspicion of being involved in the attack.

A statement later released by al-Shabaab said that the attack was in response to President...


Two bombs were detonated in a Catholic cathedral on Jolo island, southern Philippines, on Jan. 27, killing 20 people and injuring dozens of others. The first bomb went off during a service, while the second one was detonated after soldiers responded to the scene. Islamist militant group Daesh (ISIL) has claimed responsibility for the attack.

A number of Islamist separatist groups operate in the southern Philippines, which is majority Muslim. A referendum held days before the bombing...


Rallying against president Nicolás Maduro's government, more than a million protesters took to the streets in Venezuela's capital, Caracas, on Jan. 23, with smaller protests held in cities throughout the country. More than 40 people were reported killed during the protests, which continued at press time.

Maduro was sworn in for a second term on Jan. 10 after a vote that was widely viewed, internationally and domestically, as illegitimate. On Jan. 23, National Assembly and...


Having begun in early January, protests over the prices of goods in Zimbabwe continued at press time. In Zimbabwe, the cost of staples such as rice and gasoline more than doubled within the first week of the year.

The Zimbabwean military has been accused of human rights abuses against the protesters, including unlawful detentions, systematic beatings and torture. At least eight people were killed, with reports that many more were treated for gunshot wounds.

A car bomb was detonated outside of a police academy in Bogotá, Colombia, on Jan. 17, killing 20 people and injuring 38. Colombian authorities blamed the National Liberation Army (ELN), a rebel group that was engaged in peace talks with the government. Those talks were then suspended.

This was the first car bombing since Colombia made peace with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in 2016. The war with FARC had been the longest-running conflict in the world at the time...


In Changchun, northeastern China, on Jan. 25, one person was killed and another was injured when a number of explosions were set off at a combined shopping center and apartment building. Videos show blasts occurring inside the building, itself, as well as on the street, with at least 15 explosions being recorded. Reports from the scene also indicate that explosives were thrown into crowds of pedestrians.

At press time, Chinese authorities were investigating the incident as a "criminal...


A group of Taliban militants attacked an Afghani National Directorate for Security (NDS) base southwest of Kabul on Jan. 21, killing at least 43 people and injuring more than 50 others. The attack included at least two car bombs and multiple suicide bombers. Most of the fatalities occurred in one building that collapsed due to a car bomb.

According to reports, the base was used for training pro-government militias.

In northwestern Mali on Jan. 20, a UN base was attacked by members of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), an Islamist militant group, resulting in 10 peacekeepers being killed and at least 25 being wounded. The peacekeepers all were Chadian.

Islamists allied with Tuareg militias seized most of northwestern Mali in 2012 before being beaten back by French and Malian troops. However, there still is very little government presence in northwestern Mali, which makes it difficult to...