Elodiane Baalbe hid underneath her bed as gunfire echoed around her on Christmas Day in the capital of Central African Republic. When it finally died down on Thursday, she made a dash for safety, hiding behind houses as she fled her neighbourhood. On her way out she passed the calcified car of a unit of Chadian peacekeepers, the charred body of one soldier still upright in the vehicle inside. The sight was so horrifying that she looked away immediately. “I had my 3-year-old on my back. I looked for a second, and then I kept running,” she said.

Egypt's leaders condemned the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. From now on, its members and others who participate in its activities will be treated as terrorists. The military-backed leaders of Egypt outlawed the state's strongest political movement following months of conflict with the government.

Rebels in South Sudan have seized some oil wells and captured half of the capital of the main oil-producing region, the government and army said on Thursday as African leaders held talks to avert civil war. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn met South Sudan's President Salva Kiir in the capital Juba in an attempt to end nearly two weeks of fighting in the world's newest state.

Anti-government protesters in Ukraine are demanding an immediate and independent investigation into a brutal gang attack on an opposition journalist. Police said on Wednesday that Tanya Chornovil was beaten and left in a ditch hours after publishing an article about politicians' assets. Chornovil, who writes for the opposition website Ukrainska Pravda, was attacked overnight on Tuesday outside the capital Kiev, police said in a written statement, citing the journalist.

The United States announced recently that it was suspending aid to the rebels fighting to overthrow the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. This comes amidst reports that other Western countries are now gradually withdrawing their military support to the rebel forces. Should the suspension of U.S. assistance be made permanent?

The Pentagon has announced it is sending 150 U.S. Marines to Africa, for a possible mission to evacuate Americans in South Sudan, where political and ethnic violence has claimed hundreds of lives and left hundreds of thousands homeless. NPR's Tom Bowman says the Marines are being sent from Spain to beef up the U.S. military presence at a base in Eastern Africa. Officials say they'll await orders and could head into South Sudan.

About the foreign policy being carried out with taxpayer money, in our names: Does the American public want to spend billions of dollars helping Colombia to assassinate the leaders of its leftist insurgency movement (with apparent success, such that the rebel forces are in disarray)? Do Americans want their NSA and CIA directly complicit in a Latin American army's program of assassinations?

Pakistani and Indian military commanders are due to meet for their highest level talks on Kashmir in more than 10 years. They say their goal is to strengthen the ceasefire agreement signed in 2003, which has been repeatedly violated along the unofficial border. Al Jazeera's Faiz Jamil reports from the Indian city of Srinigar.