Almost 85,000 children younger than age 5 have died from “extreme” hunger or disease in the Yemeni civil war, according to a report released by Save the Children last week. The aid group said it gathered data from the United Nations and reached a conservative estimate of 84,701 child deaths from severe acute malnutrition between April 2015 and October 2018.
Since the Yemeni war began in 2015, Shiite Houthi rebels have controlled the country’s North, while the Saudi-backed government controls the South. The UN said the number of people at risk of famine in the country has increased significantly to 14 million—half the population—over the past year since the Saudi-led coalition launched a blockade of Yemen. Save the Children and four other international charities on Monday released a statement calling on the United States to stop backing the coalition with military support, which it said deepens and prolongs the crisis. —O.O.
The Nigerian army acknowledged militants from a Boko Haram offshoot staged a major attack on its forces in northeast Borno state last week.
In a statement released on Facebook, the army said the extremists targeted its 157-member battalion in the town of Metele on Nov. 18. The report failed to confirm the number of casualties but said reinforcement troops regained control of the town.
The SITE Intelligence monitoring group released a statement from Islamic State West African Province claiming militants killed 42 Nigerian soldiers in the attack that spanned two days.
The Nigerian government has repeatedly said it defeated Boko Haram, an Islamic terror group, in the Northeast. This month, Islamic State West African Province released a photo report of how it stormed another base in Kareto, Borno. The Islamic State (ISIS) Amaq news agency reported on Sunday that the group captured the town of Kangarwa, also in Borno. —O.O.
Malaysian authorities last week detained four Christians from Finland who distributed religious materials on one of the country’s islands. Authorities arrested the two men and two women at their hotel on the popular resort island of Langkawi. Finland’s Foreign Ministry confirmed the arrests. Langkawi police chief Mohamad Iqbal Ibrahim said authorities received complaints about the group handing out Christian materials. Police seized 47 pens with Bible verses on them and 336 notebooks containing passages from the Bible. Ibrahim said the four Christians, who are being held by the country’s Immigration Department, will be blacklisted and deported. In Muslim-majority Malaysia, evangelizing members of other religions is considered a criminal offense. —O.O.