Middle East

'What will become of her?'

HAUNTING EYES: A girl from the minority Yazidi sect rests on the Iraqi-Syrian border after fleeing violence in Sinjar, in this August 13, 2014 file photo.

Sometimes, a surprising photo will stay with a photojournalist all too familiar with suffering.

Suicide bomber hits convoy video

An Afghan boy plays on a rooftop overlooking Kabul. Aid to Afghanistan is heavily dependent on a democratic transition.

Suicide bomber attacks British embassy vehicle in the Afghan capital, killing five people including one Briton.

US trying to kill French radical

TERRORIST MASTERMIND: French national David Drugeon has twice been targeted by US airstrikes, but French officials say his claim to be a defected French spy is an idle boast.

French officials say David Drugeon is a 24-year-old former truck driver and no "James Bond". So why is the US so determined to blow him up?

'Gay men' stoned to death

Continuing to commit atrocities ... Fighters from Islamic State march through Raqqa, Syria in January.

IS group stones two men to death after claiming they were gay, a monitor said.

IS fighters battle Iraqi forces near Baiji refinery

A still from an Islamic State propaganda video.

Islamic State insurgents battled Iraqi forces in the centre of Baiji, a week after the army broke their prolonged siege.

Yemeni forces free eight al Qaeda hostages

yemen

Yemeni security forces freed seven Yemeni hostages and one foreigner in a special operation.

Women's rights on the line

Afghan women leave after voting at a polling station in Kabul June 14, 2014.

Afghan women excluded from efforts to negotiate peace with the Taliban as hard-won rights could be bargained away.

Iraqi forces retake ground video

A "peshmerga" fighter in action against Islamic State militants in Jalawla, Diyala province.

Iraqi forces retake areas near the Iranian border that the Islamic State jihadist group had held for months.

Benghazi conspiracy debunked

A protester reacts as the US Consulate in Benghazi is seen in flames in September, 2012.

Two-year investigation by Republicans finds CIA acted properly in responding to 2012 attack on diplomatic compound.

Mum busts teen's love mission

A still from an Islamic State propaganda video.

Aicha fled to Syria to marry her "Robin Hood" of Islamic State fighters. But her mother was not about to let that happen.

French IS militant identified video

A screen grab from the execution video. The man on the right is believed to be French citizen Maxime Hauchard. The man on left has been identified as Mickael Dos Santos.

French authorities have identified a second French militant who appears on a beheading video released by IS at the weekend.

Israel blows up Palestinian home

Mourners gather for the triple funeral of Rabbi Kalman Levine, Avraham Goldberg and Arieh Kupinsky in Jerusalem.

Israel destroyed the home of a Palestinian who ran over and killed two people at a Jerusalem tram stop.

Groom lifts veil ... cancels wedding

CHANGE OF HEART: A Saudi bride was jilted at the altar after her groom changed his mind after seeing her face for the first time.

It was divorce at first sight for a Saudi groom when his bride lifted her veil on their wedding day.

Meat cleaver used in attack video

Members of the Israeli Zaka emergency response team clean blood from the scene of an attack at a Jerusalem synagogue.

"Someone came in with a butcher's knife and began lashing out in all directions," witness says after Jerusalem synagogue massacre.

'We won't be cowed by beheadings'

UNCOWED: US Secretary of State John Kerry.

US Secretary of State John Kerry issues a warning to Islamic State militants after slaying of hostage.

Syrian rebels near Damascus

DEVASTATION: Residents search for belongings amongst rubble of damaged buildings after an airstrike by Syrian government forces in a Damascus neighbourhood last week.

Moderate rebel groups in southern Syria warn they might soon enter the capital as civil war rages.

Young Europeans among cold-eyed IS fighters

A masked man stands next to a kneeling man identified as American Abdul-Rahman Kassig.

A young Frenchman and two young men from Wales and England are believed to be among the cold-eyed fighters on an Islamic State propaganda video.

'Smallest solace' in video video

AID WORKER: Peter Kassig is reportedly the latest person to be beheaded by Islamic State militants.

The video of this murder was unlike the others. Did hostage Peter Kassig make one last stand?

'His empathy was so obvious'

TRYING TO HELP: Peter Kassig makes a food delivery to refugees in Lebanon in 2013.

OPINION: Selfless compassion and courage exist in people everywhere, but I've met few people who had as much of both as Peter Kassig.

Militants post beheading video

HELPING MISSION: Peter Kassig delivering aid last year.

A new graphic video by the militant Islamic State group claims that US aid worker Peter Kassig has been beheaded.

SAS may head to Iraq

ONE OPTION: Prime Minister John Key is still not ruling out sending the SAS to Iraq.

New Zealand's SAS could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces.

Air strike 'hits Jihadi John'

Journalist James Foley before his murder.

The British-accented IS militant who claims to have beheaded western hostages has "been wounded".

Truth about 'Syrian Hero Boy'

'Syrian Hero Boy': the clip was actually a fake.

The video made headlines. But the story of the boy who fooled snipers has taken a twist.

US strikes hit 10 Isis units video

US airstrike against Isis

Video shows US-led air strikes hitting Islamic State fighters in Syria.

Isis leader issues new speech

ISIL's khalifa Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The 16-minute voice recording refutes persistent news reports Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had been killed or wounded in an airstrike a week ago.

IS to mint own coins

Proposed Islamic State coins.

The Islamic State jihadist group says it will start minting its own gold, silver and copper coins for use in areas under IS control.

Kiwi pepper sprayer jailed

pepper spray

A Kiwi salesman will spend six months in a Dubai prison after mugging a stranger for $2000.

Iraqi forces advance in bid for Baiji refinery

IN FORCE: Iraqi security forces patrol Jurf al-Sakhar, south of Baghdad, in October.

With the sacking of 26 military commanders in Iraq on Wednesday for corruption and incompetence, there are signs that Iraqi government forces are gaining momentum.

Doors close for Syrian refugees

'COLLAPSE OF SOLIDARITY': A Kurdish boy from the Syrian town of Kobani waits in a Turkish refugee camp.

Syria's neighbours are unable to cope with the influx of people fleeing civil war.

Israel shuns UN Gaza probe

Israel says its troops are ready outside the Gaza border should the ceasefire break down.

Israel won't co-operate with Gaza war investigation and says UN Human Rights Council has 'obsessive hostility to Israel'.