1. Since the Taliban seized power in neighboring Afghanistan in August 2021, offering some groups safe haven on Afghan soil and starting a crackdown on others that pushed their fighters into neighboring Pakistan, violence has returned with a vengeance. The number of terrorist attacks in Pakistan rose by around 50 percent during the Taliban’s first year in power, compared with the year before, according to the Pak Institute for Peace Studies, which monitors extremist violence and is based in Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan. This year, the pace of attacks have continued to rise. The attacks themselves have also become bolder, reviving the fears of a terrorism-scarred nation. In January, a suicide bombing at a heavily guarded mosque killed more than 100 people. A month later, militants struck the heart of Pakistan’s largest city, Karachi, waging an hourslong siege at the police headquarters. Another suicide blast, at a political rally, killed more than 50 people in July. In the latest massacre, last Friday, a suicide bomber set off an explosion at a religious procession that left carnage in the street. No group has claimed responsibility yet. (Source: nytimes.com)
2. Mali, run by a junta that has spurned the support of U.N. and French forces, is in meltdown and the violence risks adding to instability across West Africa's Sahel, a region already reeling from military coups in neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger. Experts compare Mali's situation now to its position in 2012 when another Tuareg rebellion was overtaken by jihadists who captured Timbuktu and pressed south towards the capital Bamako. "This conflict is escalating fast," said Ulf Laessing, the Bamako-based head of the Sahel programme at the Konrad Adenauer foundation. "There is a risk of civil war." (Source: reuters.com)
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