Barcelona mourns terrorist attack
Hundreds of thousands of people marched in protest of the terror attack that killed 15 civilians in central Barcelona last week. The march was attended by Spanish King Felipe IV and Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. The 17 August attack – which saw a van deliberately driven into people on the Las Ramblas boulevard – was claimed by the so-called Islamic State group. The sister of two terrorist suspects has condemned the attacks in an emotional press statement.
Meanwhile in Madrid, a Muslim woman was beaten unconscious by a violent mob in “revenge” for last week’s attacks. Doctors are keeping the victim in hospital while she recovers from her injuries.
Hajj 2017: Pilgrims gather in Makkah
Millions of worshippers have arrived in Saudi Arabia to perform the annual Hajj pilgrimage. More than two million people are expected to participate in this year’s Hajj, a pillar of Islam that capable Muslims must perform at least once in their lives, which starts next week.
This year’s pilgrimage has been clouded by the worst political crisis in the Gulf in decades, with Saudi Arabia leading a four-state bloc that suspended all ties with Qatar in June over accusations the emirate supports terrorism. Qatar denies all allegations.
Myanmar troops open fire on Rohingyan civilians
Myanmar soldiers opened fire on fleeing Rohingya civilians – mostly women and children on Saturday, as they attempted to cross the border into Bangladesh.
The incident happened as thousands of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar are trying to cross the border with Bangladesh after fresh fighting erupted in Myanmar’s northwestern Rakhine state.
About 1.1 million Rohingya live in Myanmar, often described as the world most persecuted minority. Nobel Peace Prize winner and national leader Aung San Suu Kyi has refused to recognise the plight of the Muslim community.
Read more: The forgotten Rohingya Muslims
Moroccans protest sexual assault
Hundreds of Moroccans have staged a mass protest in Casablanca and Rabat against the sexual assault of a girl in a public bus that shocked the country last week. A video uploaded online showed a young woman, 24, being molested and assaulted by a group of teenagers on a bus in Casablanca; the driver ignored her screams for help.
The victim’s sister spoke to AJ+ and said that she had a miscarriage after watching the video of the assault.
The video and reaction to it has led to some victim-blaming and sparked a debate in the North African country about the levels of violence against women and the recurring violence and sexual harassment experienced. Almost two-thirds of Moroccan women have suffered at least one violent assault.
Landslide in Sierra Leone kills over 500
On Aug. 14, after three days of heavy rains, a massive landslide in and around Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown created a national emergency that is fast becoming one of Africa’s worst disasters in recent memory.
At least 500 people have died so far, over 800 are still missing, and 20,000 have been displaced from their homes.
In the wake of the flooding, the United Nations says residents of the affected areas are vulnerable to disease outbreaks and the country might be at risk of a second landslide. The national emergency has also orphaned thousands of children, who are traumatized and are currently in dire need of psychological and social help.