Residents queueing for humanitarian aid at the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk, Damascus, in March. Photograph: Reuters

Palestinians displaced from Syria’s largest UN camp, in the flashpoint Yarmouk district south of Damascus, face an outbreak of typhoid that could spre(...)

Members of the Assyrian Gozarto Protection Forces, consisting of Sutoro militia, a pro-Syrian government Syriac Christian movement, and other Assyrian fighters rest and drink tea before heading to  the front line in the battle against  Islamic State in the northeastern Syrian province of Hasakeh on July 13th. Photograph: Youssef Karwashan/AFP/Getty Images

Islamic State’s reclusive leader has empowered his inner circle of deputies as well as regional commanders in Syria and Iraq with wide-ranging authori(...)

File photograph showing the Palestinian refugee camp Yarmouk in the Syrian capital Damascus. Witnesses say Islamic State militants have taken control of large parts of the camp. File photograph:  Carole Al-Farah/AFP/Getty Images

Fighters proclaiming allegiance to Islamic State seized most of a vast camp for Palestinian refugees on the outskirts of Damascus yesterday, a bid to (...)

A soldier at the scene of a car bomb attack and armed raid by Al-Shabab militants on the  Maka Al-Mukarramah hotel in Mogadishu. Photograph: Mohamed Abdiwahab/AFP/Getty Images

Islamists have forced their way into a hotel in Somalia and taken positions inside, exchanging fire with security forces seeking to regain control of (...)

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(...)