Nigerians protest over the government’s failure to rescue the abducted Chibok school girls in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. The Islamist group Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for abducting over 200 girls from their school in Chibok, Borno state, over two weeks ago. Photograph: EPA/STR

DAVID D KIRKPATRICKAs word spread like wildfire on Twitter and Facebook that Nigerian militants were preparing to auction off more than 200 kidnappe(...)

French president Francois Hollande (2ndR) walks with freed  hostages Marc Feret (L), Pierre Legrand (C), Daniel Larribe (3rd R) and Thierry Dol (R) on the tarmac upon their arrival at Villacoublay military airport, near Paris, today. Photograph: Jacky Naegelen/Reuters.

Four Frenchmen held hostage in the Sahara desert by al-Qaeda-linked gunmen for three years flew home and were reunited with their families today, with(...)

A family at a state-run shelter where the Syrian government placed surviving families of a reported rebel massacre in Latakia. Photograph: Andrea Bruce/The New York Times

Syrian opposition fighters massacred at least 190 civilians and took more than 200 hostages during an August military operation against a dozen villag(...)

Iraqi security forces at the site of a car bomb attack in Basra, 420km  southeast of Baghdad, today. Photograph: Reuters

At least 45 people were killed in bomb attacks across Iraq today, most of them in busy markets and commercial areas of the capital Baghdad, police and(...)