Islamic World News(13 Mar 2014 NewAgeIslam.Com)
UN: Muslim and Christian Heritage under Threat in Syria

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: Syrian Army Arrests Several Female Terrorists in Damascus Countryside

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Europe

UN: Muslim and Christian heritage under threat in Syria

Kyrgyzstan to host 5 months of Islamic cultural activities

Claim of captive Saudi princesses received: UN

Four jailed in France for attempting to wage jihad abroad

Sweden pledges $1.2 billion in aid to Afghanistan

British PM Cameron: Rocket attacks 'barbaric'

 

Arab World

Syrian Army Arrests Several Female Terrorists in Damascus Countryside

Maliki: Some States Become True Incubator of Terrorism

No pilgrimage ban on members of Brotherhood, announces Saudi Arabia

Syria Closes Embassies in U.S., Saudi Arabia, Kuwait

Terrorists 'feel the noose around their necks': Lebanese Army

Project launched for live translation of Madinah sermons

UAE summons Iraq ambassador over Saudi "terrorism" charge

Interpol arrests two Egyptian Brotherhood leaders

Egyptian soldier shot dead in Cairo bus attack

 

South Asia

Update terrorist list, PM Sheikh Hasina asks police

Operations in Afghanistan kill 26 Taliban members

Rohingya dying from lack of health care in Myanmar

Bangladesh presses for ending violence against women

Government calls on international partners to respect Maldivian constitution

 

Mideast

Islamic Jihad in Hebrew - 'Get out of our country'

Two Yemeni soldiers killed as Houthi fighters hit army base

Egypt attempting to broker truce with Israel, Gaza authorities

Local polls will shape Turkey’s direction: PM Erdoğan

Abbas demands Israel halt its 'escalation' in Gaza

 

North America

Gitmo Inmate: 'All I Want Is What President Obama Promised'

Muslim-Americans form umbrella group

Kerry says mistrust between Israel, Palestinians higher than ever

John Kerry to decide 'soon' on resuming Egypt aid

US most wanted domestic terror suspect may be in Hawaii

Russia can't derail US withdrawal from Afghanistan: general

US to upgrade Pakistan C-130 fleet

 

India

Indian expats in Saudi Arabia demand online voting rights

Muslim Cleric Warns Mamata against Ties with Hazare

AAP’s Dargah campaign in Bareilly draws flak from religious leaders

31 Jamia Millia, 08 ZFI candidates crack Civil Services Mains Exam

 

Pakistan

First interview after attack: Malala backs dialogue with militants

CII trying to foist militants’ agenda on masses: PPP

Govt serious about peace talks, Nawaz tells Ulema Council

TTP negotiators in North Waziristan to meet Taliban Shura

Gunmen kill four in Miranshah

Famine stalks Sindh area in Pak, 160 dead

 

Africa

Offensive forcing rebels to flee five Somalian towns

Libya asks Interpol to arrest sacked PM Zeidan

South Sudan army battles rebels in key oil town

Mali Assembly to Discuss Truth Commission

Ugandan Men Steal Aids Drugs from Wives

 

Southeast Asia

Teachers to face imprisonment for sharing Christianity in Brunei

Terror plotter says he was aware of shoe-bomb attack in Malaysia

Thailand finds 200 ‘Turkish refugees’ at secret camp

Now Arabs say Putrajaya using ‘magic’ to locate the missing Malaysia Airlines

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/un--muslim-and-christian-heritage-under-threat-in-syria/d/56125

 

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Europe

 

UN: Muslim And Christian Heritage Under Threat In Syria

March 13, 2014

The UN warned that ancient Muslim and Christian places of worship were under threat in Syria and urged an end to the destruction of the country's cultural heritage.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova and mediator Lakhdar Brahimi came together on Wednesday, citing that religious buildings were being targeted for ideological reasons.

"Human representations in art are being destroyed by extremist groups’ intent on eradicating unique testimonies of Syria's rich cultural diversity," they said.

"Archaeological sites are being systematically looted and the illicit trafficking of cultural objects has reached unprecedented levels," it was added.

"The destruction of such precious heritage gravely affects the identity and history of the Syrian people and all humanity, damaging the foundations of society for many years to come," the officials said.

"Destroying the inheritance of the past robs future generations of a powerful legacy, deepens hatred and despair and undermines all attempts to foster reconciliation."

"The protection of cultural heritage, both tangible and intangible, is inseparable from the protection of human lives, and should be an integral part of humanitarian and peacebuilding efforts," they said.

Some of the six sites listed as World Heritage sites by UNESCO are said to be being used for military purposes and have suffered "considerable and sometimes irreversible damage," in the three-year conflict.

http://www.worldbulletin.net/headlines/130945/un-muslim-and-christian-heritage-under-threat-in-syria

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Kyrgyzstan to host 5 months of Islamic cultural activities

March 13, 2014

Kyrgyzstan's deputy prime minister, Kamila Taliyeva, hosted a meeting on Wednesday for the organization of five months of activities to mark the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek being declared the capital of Islamic culture in 2014.

It was decided that events will be held between May 20 and October 19, including art exhibitions, film festivals, workshops, conferences and a trade fair.

A government press statement said that the activities would be aimed at promoting and developing Islamic culture as well as strengthening cultural ties between the countries of the OIC.

http://www.worldbulletin.net/todays-news/130941/kyrgyzstan-to-host-5-months-of-islamic-cultural-activities

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Claim of captive Saudi princesses received: UN

 March 13, 2014

GENEVA: The United Nations has received pleas to help free several Saudi Arabian princesses allegedly being held against their will in a royal compound, officials confirmed Wednesday.

Allegations submitted to the UN human rights office claim that several daughters of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia have been held for the past 13 years in the royal compound in Jeddah.

In a rare disclosure about allegations received by not yet investigated, the UN's Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights confirmed receipt of the emailed complaints but said it could be several months at least before anything is officially published about the case.

The office did not say whether it considered the complaints substantial enough to warrant a follow-up investigation.

Xabier Celaya of the UN's Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights told The Associated Press that UN officials are ''not in a position to confirm if any action has been taken on this case.''

She said Wednesday that the claims were brought to the attention of the UN special investigator on violence against women, who along with investigators on other issues receives complaints from around the world and must determine which ones merit a closer look.

There was no immediate reaction from the Saudi UN mission in Geneva.

The case stems from an email sent to the United Nations and The Sunday Times of London, which published a story saying two daughters of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia - Princesses Sahar, 42, and Jawaher, 38 -had appealed for help claiming they and their sisters have been held for 13 years in the royal compound.

The newspaper said that their mother, Alanoud Alfayez, who lives in London and is divorced from the king, also contacted the United Nations seeking help with the case.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1092705/claim-of-captive-saudi-princesses-received-un

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Four jailed in France for attempting to wage jihad abroad

March 13, 2014

PARIS: A French court sentenced four men to up to seven years in jail for having tried to wage jihad abroad, at a time of concern over the mounting number of nationals going to fight in Syria.

The four were accused of having tried — and failed — to reach militant’s hotspots in 2009 and 2010 and of having facilitated the departure to a zone on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan of two other Frenchmen who were later killed in a US army raid.

Ibrahim Ouattara, 26, one of the accused and the leader of the group, was sentenced to seven years in prison.

Of Malian origin, Ouattara converted to Islam when he was 16 and later attempted on several occasions to join militants in Pakistan, Afghanistan or Somalia, without ever managing to do so.

In the Pakistani city of Peshawar, for instance, he asked to be taken to a madrassa, according to one of his testimonies in court last month.

“I was brought to a mosque, but I was phoning my wife in France and it annoyed them. They chased me away,” he said.

“Another mosque said I couldn’t stay as I was black. Have you been to Peshawar? When you’re black, everyone looks at you.”

He also tried to reach the Somali Al-Shebab militant group, which has links to Al-Qaeda, via Egypt and Sudan.

“Egyptian police arrested and tortured me, before deporting me to France”, he said.

Another member of the group was also jailed for seven years, and two co-defendants were sentenced to four and five years in prison.

The court case came amid mounting concerns over the number of people heading to fight in Syria, whom authorities fear could pose a major security threat if they return home as battle-hardened veterans.

According to Interior Minister Manuel Valls, as many as 700 French nationals could have joined the fighting in Syria.

France is also still haunted by gunman Mohamed Merah, who killed seven people in a 2012 shooting spree in the southwestern city of Toulouse.

Since Merah was shot in a police siege, it has emerged that he had visited Pakistan and Afghanistan prior to his attacks and had been on the radar of French intelligence, who had gravely underestimated the threat he posed.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/681336/four-jailed-in-france-for-attempting-to-wage-jihad-abroad/

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Sweden pledges $1.2 billion in aid to Afghanistan

Mar 13 2014

Sweden reaffirmed it’s long term financial assistance to Afghanistan by pledging $1.2 billion in aid to Afghanistan which would be spent over the next decade in various sectors.

Jonas Westerland, Sweden’s senior civilian representative in northern Afghanistan said Wednesday that the funds will be spent over the next decade to improve education, private sector, democracy, gender equality and human rights.

Mr. Westerland further added that half of the funds would be spent by the government of Afghanistan while the remaining funds would be spent through Swedish non-governmental organizations in Afghanistan.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/sweden-pledges-1-2-billion-in-aid-to-afghanistan-2862

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British PM Cameron: Rocket attacks 'barbaric'

March 13, 2014

Violence is not the route to statehood, says British prime minister at meeting with Peres.

There is no violent route to statehood, British Prime Minister David Cameron told President Shimon Peres at his official residence in Jerusalem on Wednesday night.

Cameron, who condemned the rocket attack from Gaza which earlier in the evening had once again sent residents of communities close to the Gaza Strip scurrying for shelter, said that the only route to statehood was through negotiation.

In addition to reaffirming Britain’s strong ties to Israel, the reason that he had come at this time, he said, was to demonstrate Britain’s strong support for the peace process.

Now is the time for Israeli and Palestinian leaders to take courageous steps and risks toward achieving a two-state solution, he said.

Full report at:

http://www.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Politics/Cameron-Rocket-attacks-barbaric-345176

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Arab World

 

Syrian Army Arrests Several Female Terrorists in Damascus Countryside

March 13, 2014

The Syrian army arrested several women militants as they were conducting a bombing operation in Damascus countryside.

The army units detained 4 terrorists in the town of Qatna in Damascus countryside as they were planting bombs in trash cans around the town.

The captured terrorists have confessed during the early stages of interrogation that they planned to bomb crowded areas and streets in a bid to take the largest number of victims and target more Syrian soldiers in those areas.

Syria has been the scene of deadly violence since March 2011. Over 130,000 people have reportedly been killed and millions displaced due to the crisis.

According to reports, the western powers and their regional allies -- especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey -- are supporting the militants operating inside Syria.

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13921221000940

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Maliki: Some States Become True Incubator of Terrorism

March 13, 2014

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki warned that terrorism may spread to all countries of the world, voicing regret that some state became the true incubator for terrorism in the region.

Speaking at the opening of International Counterterrorism Conference in Baghdad, Maliki said the goal of this event is to rally the world against terrorism in order to isolate it and make capitals and cities safe.Iraqi PM nOURI AL-Maliki

He viewed the conference as a main station for cooperation and expertise exchange to achieve the aim of confronting terrorism, “the most dangerous phenomenon in the world.”

He warned against the spread of terrorism from Syria to the rest of the region and then the world, noting that Iraq was the forerunner of combating terrorism on behalf of the world.

The Iraqi Premier voiced regret that some states have allowed their establishments to become a true incubator of terrorism, takfiri concepts, hatred, and funding for terrorists and suicide bombers who flock from around the world to Iraq and elsewhere in the region to sow death and destruction.

Full report at:

http://www.almanar.com.lb/english/adetails.php?fromval=1&cid=23&frid=23&eid=140358

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No pilgrimage ban on members of Brotherhood, announces Saudi Arabia

 March 13, 2014

Saudi Arabia announced on Wednesday that it would not stop members of the Muslim Brotherhood — listed among terrorist organizations in the Kingdom — from coming to perform Haj and Umrah.

“We have got special instructions from higher authorities on treatment of such people coming for pilgrimage,” said Lt. Col. Ahmed Al-Laheedan, director general of the Passport Department.

“Those who are banned from entering the Kingdom may be allowed to come for Haj and Umrah, if there are no specific instructions to prevent some individuals from entering the country,” he pointed out.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/news/539391

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Syria Closes Embassies in U.S., Saudi Arabia, Kuwait

March 13, 2014

Syria flagSyria has decided to shut down its embassies in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the united States in an unprecedented step on the diplomatic level due to mounting pressures on its diplomatic missions in the U.S. and Gulf monarchies, local daily Al-Akhbar reported.

The Syrian government made the decision because the country’s envoys have been facing increasing limitations for extending their stay and receiving visas for new embassy staff in Riyadh and Kuwait City.

Full report at:

http://www.almanar.com.lb/english/adetails.php?eid=140347&cid=23&fromval=1&frid=23&seccatid=20&s1=1

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Terrorists 'feel the noose around their necks': Lebanese Army

March 13, 2014

BEIRUT: Heightened security measures have succeeded in curbing the number of car bombings in Lebanon, the Army said in a statement Thursday.

The statement went on to suggest that the issue of car bombs and their causes should not be exploited for political ends by warring factions.

"Effective security efforts to monitor rigged cars and those connected to bombings ... are ongoing," the statement said.

"These efforts have resulted in the detention of one of the most wanted suspects; the discovery of a number of rigged cars; in terrorist groups feeling the noose around their necks; and have made the targeting of civilian areas more difficult, as evidenced by these groups resorting to firing rockets at some villages in the Bekaa Valley."

Full report at:

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Lebanon-News/2014/Mar-13/250142-increased-security-curbed-car-bombs-lebanese-army.ashx#ixzz2vtxH1vK0

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Project launched for live translation of Madinah sermons

 March 13, 2014

MADINAH – Foreigners from non-Arab countries attending Friday prayers at the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah can now listen to the sermons in English and other languages.

Emir of Madinah Prince Faisal Bin Salman on Wednesday formally launched a program for simultaneous translation of Friday sermons at the Prophet’s Mosque, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Live English and Urdu translations of the Friday sermon began two weeks ago at the Grand Mosque in Makkah.

Speaking at the ceremony, Prince Faisal said the project was one of the noble initiatives of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, who spares no effort to serve Islam and Muslims.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20140313198530

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UAE summons Iraq ambassador over Saudi "terrorism" charge

March 13, 2014

The United Arab Emirates summoned Iraq's ambassador on Wednesday to protest against his prime minister's accusations that its ally Saudi Arabia was funding terrorism, state news agency WAM reported, while Bahrain called the comments "irresponsible".

Saudi Arabia has already rejected Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's assertion on Saturday that it and Qatar were funding Sunni Muslim insurgents fighting in Iraq's western Anbar province.

Maliki has long had chilly ties with Sunni-led Gulf Arab states, which in turn view him as too close to Shia Muslim Iran.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/96558/World/Region/UAE-summons-Iraq-ambassador-over-Saudi-terrorism-c.aspx

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Interpol arrests two Egyptian Brotherhood leaders

March 13, 2014

Two Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leaders, Akram El-Shaer and Mohamed El-Qabouty, have been arrested by INTERPOL in neighboring Gulf states, according to a statement issued by the Egypt's prosecutor-general on Wednesday.

El-Shaer, a former MP for the Suez Canal city of Port Said, was arrested in Saudi Arabia, while El-Qabouty was found in Kuwait.

According to the prosecutor's statement, both Islamists leaders are accused of "committing terrorism, violence and inciting the killing of citizens." They are also accused of plotting a raid on police stations in Port Said.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/96539/Egypt/Politics-/INTERPOL-arrests-two-Egyptian-Brotherhood-leaders.aspx

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Egyptian soldier shot dead in Cairo bus attack

March 13, 2014

An Egyptian soldier has been shot dead by gunmen who attacked an army bus in a district of eastern Cairo, the military says.

Masked men opened fire on the vehicle, injuring three other soldiers, it said.

It accused the banned Muslim Brotherhood of being behind the attack. No group has claimed responsibility.

It is the latest in a series of attacks on security forces across Egypt in recent months and comes amid a crackdown on the Brotherhood movement.

The BBC's Orla Guerin in Cairo says this attack will raise concerns that Islamist militants are broadening their campaign of violence, which has killed hundreds of police and soldiers in recent months.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-26559184

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South Asia

 

Update terrorist list, PM Sheikh Hasina asks police

March 13, 2014

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has ordered the police administration to update the terrorist lists on Thursday afternoon.

State Minister for Home Affairs Asaduzzaman Khan made the disclosure on Thursday. He was talking to the journalists after a meeting between the prime minister and officials of home ministry in the afternoon at the ministry.

He said: “Previously it had been noticed that the names of the freedom fighters were found in the list. The prime minister has ordered the police to create the list neutrally so that these things do not happen again.”

Full report at:

 http://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/2014/mar/13/update-terrorist-list-pm-asks-police#sthash.uj0wNlDF.dpuf

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Operations in Afghanistan kill 26 Taliban members

March 13, 2014

The Afghan National Security Forces have conducted a series of operations across the country in which 26 Taliban rebels have been killed, 17 wounded and 11 arrested, Afghanistan's Ministry of Interior Affairs has said.

The operations were conducted in Kunar, Nangarhar, Samangan, Faryab, Sar-e-Pul, Zabul, Uruzgan, Maidan Wardak, Logar, Ghazni, Paktika and Helmand province.

During these operations, light and heavy rounds of ammunition and improvised explosive devices (IED's) were discovered and confiscated, the statement said.

Meanwhile, the Afghan National Police discovered and defused 19 different types of IED's placed in Kabul, Laghman, Baghlan, Faryab, Kandahar, Uruzgan and Paktika provinces, according to a statement.

http://www.worldbulletin.net/todays-news/130939/operations-in-afghanistan-kill-26-taliban-members

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Rohingya dying from lack of health care in Myanmar

 March 13, 2014

THE’ CHAUNG, Myanmar — Noor Jahan rocked slowly on the floor, trying to steady her weak body. Her chest heaved and her eyes closed with each raspy breath. She could no longer eat or speak, throwing up even spoonfuls of tea.

Two years ago, she would have left her upscale home — one of the nicest in the community — and gone to a hospital to get tests and medicine for her failing liver and kidneys. But that was before Buddhist mobs torched and pillaged her neighborhood, forcing thousands of ethnic Rohingya like herself to flee to a hot, desert-like patch of land on the outskirts of town.

She was then stuck in a dirt-floor bamboo hut about a quarter-mile from the sea. She and others from the Muslim minority group have been forced to live segregated behind security checkpoints and cannot leave, except for medical emergencies. Often not even then.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20140313198457

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Bangladesh presses for ending violence against women

March 13, 2014

Gender violence costing country 2% of total GDP

With the backdrop of recent studies finding that 87% married women in the country experience violence by their spouses, Bangladesh has been pressing for a stop to violence against women and the elimination of child marriage at the ongoing session of the Commission on Status of Women.

Bangladesh has put forward its proposal to the UN for post-2015 development agenda, which includes two goals on ensuring equal opportunity and benefit for all women, and ensuring the role of women in decision-making process.

The matter will be discussed during the 58th session of the Commission on Status of Women that started on March 10 and will continue until March 21 in New York.

Speaking on the issue, Christine Hunter, country representative for UN Women Bangladesh, told the Dhaka Tribune: “I am really hoping that Bangladesh will continue to advocate for these positions.”

Full report at:

http://www.dhakatribune.com/law-amp-rights/2014/mar/13/bangladesh-presses-ending-violence-against-women#sthash.beFe7JBC.dpuf

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Government calls on international partners to respect Maldivian constitution

By Ahmed Naish | March 13th, 2014

The government has called on international partners to respect the Maldivian constitution and democratic processes following condemnation of the Supreme Court’s controversial removal of the Elections Commission (EC) chair and deputy chair.

The appeal was made in a statement released by the President’s Office last night welcoming parliament’s approval of a new EC member, which “enables the EC to function with the legally required quorum and hold the general elections scheduled for 22 March 2014.”

“Negative external reaction to judicial decisions of the Maldives challenges the domestic institutions and national processes, thereby undermining the constitution of the Maldives and hindering the ongoing process of democracy consolidation,” the statement read.

It added that strengthening of state institutions was “an ongoing process,” and noted that Full report at:

http://minivannews.com/politics/ec-dismissals-government-calls-on-international-partners-to-respect-maldivian-constitution-79780

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Mideast

 

Islamic Jihad in Hebrew - 'Get out of our country'

March 13, 2014

In a Youtube video posted on Wednesday night after a barrage of more than 40 rockets from Gaza fell in Israel, a member of the Islamic Jihad threatened the IDF against invading Gaza.

"Al-Quds Brigades is ready for your invasion and if you come there will be no other option than for you to die or become prisoners," the anonymous jihadist, laden in head-to-toe black, read from a piece of paper.

"You wont ever have security in 'our' country. Don't sacrifice your life for your leaders. We are inviting you to get out of our country and search for a new country," he added.

Full report at:

http://www.jpost.com/Defense/WATCH-Islamic-Jihad-in-Hebrew-get-out-of-our-country-345227

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Two Yemeni soldiers killed as Houthi fighters hit army base

March 13, 2014

Two Yemeni soldiers were killed on Thursday when Houthi tribal fighters attacked an army base near the capital Sanaa, military sources said.

Another four soldiers were injured in the attack, the sources added, as sectarian fighting that flared up in October in the north spread closer to Sanaa.

Four Houthi rebels were also injured, they said.

Yemen deployed soldier to the northeastern part of the capital this week after at least 40 people were killed in clashes between Houthis and Sunni Muslim tribesmen.

Mediators have been trying to persuade the warring parties to retreat from positions they were holding near Sanaa and replace them with government soldiers but without success yet.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/todays-news/130955/two-yemeni-soldiers-killed-as-houthi-fighters-hit-army-base

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Egypt attempting to broker truce with Israel, Gaza authorities

March 13, 2014

Egypt was reportedly attempting to broker a truce between Israel and authorities in Gaza amid an escalation of tensions in the South.

The news came after two rockets fired on Thursday morning by Palestinian terrorists in Gaza landed in open territory near Ashkelon and Ashdod, following several hours of tense quiet after Wednesday night's barrage of heavy fire.

A Palestinian official told Reuters that Egypt, which made peace with Israel in 1979 and controls the Rafah border crossing that is Gaza's transit point to the outside world, had stepped in.

Full report at:

http://www.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Politics/Palestinian-official-Egypt-attempting-to-broker-truce-with-Israel-Gaza-authorities-345254

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Local polls will shape Turkey’s direction: PM Erdoğan

March 13, 2014

The upcoming municipal elections will shape Turkey’s future direction, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said, stressing once again that the polls would be a choice between “the old Turkey and the new Turkey.”

“We go to the polls, which will not only decide mayors but also parties,” Erdoğan said during a campaign rally in the southeastern province of Siirt on March 12.

Citing the ongoing peace process that aims to end three-decade-long Kurdish problem, he asked the crowd to “protect the initiative.”

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/local-polls-will-shape-turkeys-direction-pm-erdogan.aspx?pageID=238&nID=63508&NewsCatID=338

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Abbas demands Israel halt its 'escalation' in Gaza

March 13, 2014

Israel pounded nearly 30 targets in Gaza overnight after militants fired scores of rockets into the south, prompting Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas to demand Thursday that it halt its "escalation."

The rocket barrage, which was the heaviest since an eight-day conflict between Israel and Gaza's Hamas rulers in November 2012, sent thousands of Israelis fleeing for cover across the south on Wednesday afternoon.

So far, there have been no reports of casualties on either side of the border.

And experts said Israel was not interested in a major confrontation with Gaza's Hamas rulers.

The latest tit-for-tat violence was sparked by an incident on Tuesday when militants of the hardline Islamic Jihad group fired a mortar round at troops allegedly trying to enter southern Gaza, prompting an Israeli air strike which killed three of them.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/96554/World/Region/Abbas-demands-Israel-halt-its-escalation-in-Gaza.aspx

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North America

 

Gitmo Inmate: 'All I Want Is What President Obama Promised'

March 13, 2014

In what is being hailed as a "historic legal challenge" to the United States government, a U.S. court will hear for the first time from a Guantánamo detainee who claims that force-feeding at the U.S. military prison amounts to torture.

Emad Hassan, who is severely ill and suffers from serious internal injuries — which his lawyers at the human rights group Reprieve say are the direct result of force-feeding— has been held without charge since 2002 despite having been cleared for release since 2009.

Hassan has been force-fed 5000 times since 2007 "as part of the military’s efforts to break his hunger strike," said Reprieve.

"All I want is what President Obama promised – my liberty, and fair treatment for others," stated Hassan. "I have been cleared for five years, and I have been force-fed for seven years. This is not a life worth living; it is a life of constant pain and suffering."

Full report at:

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2014/03/11-2

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Muslim-Americans form umbrella group

World Bulletin / News Desk

March 13, 2014

The leaders of 8 Muslim-American organizations on Wednesday announced the launch of an umbrella group to better voice the concerns of the country’s Muslim community.

"This is an announcement which has been long-awaited by the Muslim-American community," said Oussama Jammal, secretary general of the newly formed U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO).

"We’re delighted that these major organizations have gotten together in response to the aspirations and hopes of the American Muslim community to have a voice and an umbrella organization."

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/muslim-world/130916/muslim-americans-form-umbrella-group

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Kerry says mistrust between Israel, Palestinians higher than ever

March 13, 2014

US Secretary of State admits "gaps" between sides; says both sides are serious and that he still believes peace is possible.

The mistrust between Israel and the Palestinians is higher than ever, US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Wednesday at a hearing into the 2015 State Department budget request.

Kerry was however optimistic about coming to "some kind of understanding of the road forward" for reaching a framework agreement between the two sides.

The secretary of state admitted that while there are still major issues in the progress of the negotiations, such issues are part of the bigger picture.

"You have to see those gaps in the context of the negotiations," he said. "I do believe both parties are serious and want to find a way forward."

Full report at:

http://www.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Politics/Kerry-says-mistrust-between-Israel-Palestinians-higher-than-ever-345225

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John Kerry to decide 'soon' on resuming Egypt aid

March 13, 2014

US Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday he hoped to decide soon on whether to restore the full $1.5 billion in American aid to Egypt.

"We want this interim transitional government to succeed. We are committed to try to help make that happen," Kerry told lawmakers at a hearing into the State Department's 2015 budget request.

Washington has struggled to define its policies towards Egypt since the ouster of the democratically-elected Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July.

While refusing to term Morsi's ouster a "coup" arguing he had failed to heed the call for democratic reforms after long-term autocratic leader Hosni Mubarak was removed from office, Washington has warily eyed crackdowns by Egypt's new leadership.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/96544/Egypt/Politics-/Kerry-to-decide-soon-on-resuming-Egypt-aid.aspx

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US most wanted domestic terror suspect may be in Hawaii

March 13, 2014

America's most wanted domestic terrorism suspect — an alleged animal rights extremist — may be hiding in Hawaii.FBI agents are hunting for Daniel Andreas San Diego on the state's Big Island after receiving "credible intelligence" that he might be there.Agents are focusing on the island's eastern district of Puna and in the small, eclectic town of Pahoa, the FBI office in San Francisco announced Wednesday.

San Diego, 36, is suspected to be an animal rights extremist. He is charged with exploding pipe bombs in front of two San Francisco Bay Area companies with ties to a lab that conducted animal experiments.

Full report at:

http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_03_13/US-most-wanted-domestic-terror-suspect-may-be-in-Hawaii-9130/

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Russia can't derail US withdrawal from Afghanistan: general

2014-03-13

WASHINGTON: Russia would be unable to disrupt the US military's withdrawal from Afghanistan even it cut off access to supply routes across its territory, a top US commander said Wednesday.

Amid rising tensions between Washington and Moscow over the crisis in Ukraine, the head of Nato-led forces in Afghanistan reassured lawmakers that Russia could not hold up a planned troop drawdown there.

“I'm absolutely confident we'll be able to” remove all US equipment on schedule, General Joseph Dunford told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Full report at:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1092731/russia-cant-derail-us-withdrawal-from-afghanistan-general

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US to upgrade Pakistan C-130 fleet

March 13, 2014

ISLAMABAD- US Defense Security Cooperation Agency has notified Congress of Foreign Military Sale to Pakistan for a C-130 Fleet Upgrade Programme.

It will facilitate the continued operation of the Pakistan's Air Force C-130 fleet for counter-terrorism flights, regional humanitarian operations, troop transport; and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions within Pakistan and in the region.

It said the proposed sale of equipment and logistical as well as training support will help improve the security of Pakistan.

http://www.nation.com.pk/national/13-Mar-2014/us-to-upgrade-pakistan-c-130-fleet

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India

 

Indian expats in Saudi Arabia demand online voting rights

IANS | March 13, 2014

DUBAI: Expatriate Indians in Saudi Arabia have demanded that the Indian authorities facilitate online voting for them through biometric system in the general elections due next month.

Although non-resident Indians (NRIs) have been permitted to register online and granted the right to vote in the elections, the registered voters can only exercise their franchise by being present in their respective constituencies in India.

However, millions of NRIs continue to demand online voting rights as most consider it impractical to travel and spend money just for voting.

Zubair Siddique, a resident of Jeddah, a coast city in western Saudi Arabia, regrets not being able to participate in the elections for the last 15 years.

"I am never able to travel back home due to my hectic work schedule. I was hoping that the government would at least consider online voting this year," Arab News quoted Siddique as saying Wednesday.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/specials/lok-sabha-elections-2014/news/Indian-expats-in-Saudi-Arabia-demand-online-voting-rights/articleshow/31903112.cms?

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Muslim Cleric Warns Mamata against Ties with Hazare

March 13, 2014

A day before Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee's joint rally with Anna Hazare at Delhi's Ramlila Maidan, a prominent city cleric has called for shunning the party's ties with the social activist.

Shahi Imam of city's Tipu Sultan Mosque Maulana Noor-Ur-Rahaman Barkarti, questioned Hazare's secular credentials and warned Banerjee against sharing the dais with him.

"She will have to rethink whether it is appropriate for her to share dais with Anna Hazare. She will have to think about the signal which it will send to the Muslims of the state," said Barkati who has supported Banerjee as a prime ministerial candidate.

Full report at:

http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/Muslim-Cleric-Warns-Mamata-Against-Ties-with-Hazare/2014/03/11/article2103581.ece#.UyIsVz9dUqM

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AAP’s dargah campaign in Bareilly draws flak from religious leaders

Mrigank Tiwari,TNN | Mar 12, 2014

BAREILLY: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) offering 'chadars' at dargahs and performing pujas at prominent temples in Bareilly and Aaonla to kick-start its election campaign in the district has invited sharp criticism from rival parties as well as religious leaders.

Dubbing AAP as "rank opportunists who have started showing their true colors like any other political party in the country", prominent Muslim leader and cleric Maulana Tauqir Raza said, "Their claims to safeguard the interest and honour of the Muslim community fall flat given the absence of Muslims candidates from their list of contestants. Clamouring for power by practising vote-bank politics seems to be their sole agenda, but Muslims in UP are still undecided on the issue of supporting any political party in the elections."

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/AAPs-dargah-campaign-in-Bareilly-draws-flak-from-religious-leaders/articleshow/31908682.cms

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31 Jamia Millia, 08 ZFI candidates crack Civil Services Mains Exam

March 13, 2014

Mumbai: As many as thirty-nine students of different states who got trainings at two prominent coaching centres run by Jamia Millia Residential Coaching Academy and Zakat Foundation of India (ZFI) have cracked the UPSC Mains Exams held in November 2013.

Among them thirty-one students are those who were trained at Residential Coaching Academy run by the Centre for Coaching and Career Planning, Jamia Millia Islamia, and eight students got the needed training at the coaching centre run by Zakat Foundation of India (ZFI).

They will now appear for personal interviews which will begin shortly.

These successful candidates will also be trained for the interview by the two coaching centres.

Full report at:

http://www.ummid.com/news/2014/March/13.03.2014/muslims-in-upsc.html#sthash.QnitdqAb.dpuf

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Pakistan

 

First interview after attack: Malala backs dialogue with militants

March 13, 2014 

While there is an ongoing debate on the merit and demerit of pursuing peace dialogue with Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Malala Yousafzai, who was herself targeted by militants on November 9, 2012, supports talks.

She said the problem of militancy should be addressed through dialogue. “You cannot end a war through war nor peace is possible though bloodshed,” she said, talking to Express News from Birmingham in a special programme hosted by Javaid Chaudhry.

This was her first interview to any Pakistani news network since after the assassination attempt. Malala urged the TTP chief Mulla Fazlullah and other Taliban groups to lay down their weapons for the sake of peace and adopt the path of democracy.

“If Taliban want to implement the Islamic system then they should lay down their weapons, adopt the path of democracy, ask forgiveness from the families of those who became a victim of terrorism and take part in the elections,” Malala recommended.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/682260/first-interview-after-attack-malala-backs-dialogue-with-militants/

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CII trying to foist militants’ agenda on masses: PPP

March 13, 2014

ISLAMABAD - The latest pronouncement of Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) is condemned as an unacceptable attempt to foist the obscurantist agenda of the militants on the people of Pakistan in the name of religion.

The call for the restoration of child marriages and declaring the requirement of written permission from wife for a husband before contracting a second marriage as 'un-Islamic,' the CII has exposed itself to the charge that it is purveying 'medieval nonsense at public expense, said PPP Senator Farhatullah Babar in a statement issued here on Wednesday.

The CII had already reviewed all the laws and according to its special 2008 report it had declared that over 90 per cent of the laws, including the ones relating to the child marriages and family laws, were not in conflict with Islam. How can the Council now reverse its report? Full report at:

http://www.nation.com.pk/islamabad/13-Mar-2014/cii-trying-to-foist-militants-agenda-on-masses-ppp

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Govt serious about peace talks, Nawaz tells Ulema Council

 March 13, 2014

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday said the government was serious about talks with Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), aiming to bring peace to the country, Radio Pakistan reported.

During his meeting with a delegation of All Pakistan Ulema Council in Islamabad, the premier said demands made by the TTP were under consideration. He, however, added that nothing against the constitution will be accepted.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/682340/govt-serious-about-peace-talks-nawaz-tells-ulema-council/

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TTP negotiators in North Waziristan to meet Taliban shura

2014-03-13

ISLAMABAD: Members from the negotiating committee representing the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in talks with the federal government on Thursday reached North Waziristan via special helicopter to meet with leaders from the Taliban shura, DawnNews reported.

The members who had left for the talks in North Waziristan were Maulana Yousuf Shah, who acts as contact person for the TTP, and Jamaat-i-Islami's Professor Ibrahim Khan.

Today’s meeting is aimed at deciding a time and venue for the shura's talks with the new government committee which would leave for tribal region soon after the details become clear.

Full report at:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1092882/ttp-negotiators-in-north-waziristan-to-meet-taliban-shura

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Gunmen kill four in Miramshah

 March 13, 2014

PESHAWAR: Gunmen shot dead four people, including three militants, in a restive Pakistani tribal district near the Afghan border on Wednesday, officials said.

The attack took place in Miramshah, the main town in the troubled North Waziristan district, also known as a stronghold of Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked militants.

“Several gunmen opened fire on a vehicle in Miramshah Bazaar, killing four people,” a senior security official told AFP.

He said the gunmen also fired rockets at the vehicle, adding “those killed in the attack included three militants and a passer by”.

Another local security official confirmed the incident and casualties.

“We are trying to ascertain to which group the three militants belonged to,” he said.

No one has so far claimed responsibility for the killings.

Full report at:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1092701/gunmen-kill-four-in-miramshah

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Famine stalks Sindh area in Pak, 160 dead

Omer Farooq Khan,TNN | Mar 13, 2014

ISLAMABAD: The death toll from famine in Pakistan's Hindu-dominated Tharparkar district has mounted to 160. More deaths are feared as two to three children are reported dead daily due to malnutrition and related diseases.

The region in Sindh, which forms part of the bigger Thar Desert spread across a vast area in Pakistan and India, has been reeling under drought since December. But the government failed to take notice of the situation until the media highlighted its gravity.

The provincial government maintains around 70 people have died, but reliable independent sources contest the figure and put it at 160.

"The deaths are mostly caused by pneumonia, diarrhea, meningitis, neonatal sepsis and pre-mature deliveries," said district hospital medical superintendent Dr Jalil. He said his 76-bed hospital is treating around 300 famished people.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Famine-stalks-Sindh-area-in-Pak-160-dead/articleshow/31912809.cms

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Africa

 

Offensive forcing rebels to flee five Somalian towns

 March 13, 2014

MOGADISHU: Columns of African Union and Somali troops are moving deeper into land controlled by militants, forcing fighters to flee from five towns in quick succession in a further squeezing of Al-Shabab's strongholds.

Al-Shabab has put up little resistance as the AU and Somali troops surged toward their strongholds over the last several days. Towns in the interior of Somalia with little relevance to the outside world — Rabdhure, Ted, Hudur, Wajid and Buudhubow — are now in the nominal control of Somalia's Mogadishu-based government, a further step of success following Al-Shabab's ouster from Mogadishu in 2011.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/news/539256

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Libya asks Interpol to arrest sacked PM Zeidan

March 13, 2014

Prosecutor-General Abdel-Qadir Radwan on Wednesday asked Interpol to issue an arrest warrant for former prime minister Ali Zeidan who left Libya late Tuesday.

"Zeidan left the country even though he knew about the travel ban," Al-Seddiq al-Sewar, spokesman for the prosecutor-general and head of Libya's Investigations Office, said.

Al-Sewar did not say whether the prosecutor-general had received a reply from Interpol regarding his request.

If arrested, Zeidan could face a wide range of charges, including the squandering of public funds and the fabrication and destruction of official state documents, according to a Libyan government report.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/headlines/130920/libya-asks-interpol-to-arrest-sacked-pm-zeidan

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South Sudan army battles rebels in key oil town

March 13, 2014

South Sudan's army on Thursday said it was battling rebels in the strategic oil city of Malakal, the latest clashes in the nearly three-month-long conflict.

"There has been fighting between our forces and the rebels in and around Malakal town for the last two days," army spokesman Philip Aguer told AFP, adding the clashes were sporadic.

The fighting comes as regional leaders meet in neighbouring Ethiopia in a renewed push for peace.

The northeastern town of Malakal, capital of oil-producing Upper Nile state, has been one of the hardest fought battlegrounds in the conflict, in which thousands have been killed.

It has switched hands multiple times, with both rebels and government claiming to be in control.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/96578/World/Region/South-Sudan-army-battles-rebels-in-key-oil-town.aspx

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Mali Assembly to Discuss Truth Commission

March 13, 2014

Dakar — Mali's National Assembly is expected to discuss the creation of a Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission this week. Human rights groups have expressed concern that the proposed commission will not have the necessary independence to make a difference.

The new Mali is a work in progress. The crisis of 2012 and 2013 divided the country like never before, both literally and figuratively. French-led military intervention may have physically reunited much of the country early last year, but communal divisions are far from healed.

President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita said national reconciliation is a top priority but first Malians must figure out what exactly happened and why.

This week, the National Assembly will debate the legal framework to create a commission to do just that.

Full report at:

http://allafrica.com/stories/201403130050.html?aa_source=sptlgt-grid

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Ugandan Men Steal Aids Drugs From Wives

March 13, 2014

Ugandan men who are living with HIV but are not open about their status are stealing antiretroviral medication from their wives who get the drugs from health facilities.

A report released on 19 December 2013 by The Aids Support Organization (TASO), which supports 19,000 people living with HIV, reveals how stigma, secrecy and fear of disclosure prevent men from going to health facilities themselves.

Rose Akiror, the TASO Clients Council's representative of people living with HIV, said: "Few men who are living with HIV get drugs [HIV medication] from health centres but unfortunately many force their women who are on treatment to share their drugs with them, which is putting those women's lives in danger."

Full report at:

http://allafrica.com/stories/201403120634.html

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Southeast Asia

 

Teachers to face imprisonment for sharing Christianity in Brunei

March 13, 2014

Brunei is due to implement Sharia law in all Muslim and Christian schools in the country, this means that any teacher or principal that shares Christianity or any religion other than Islam will face imprisonment and punishment.

The Fides News Agency have revealed that starting this April, it will be a crime to “persuade, influence, incite, encourage a child with non-Islamic teaching,” as well as to “expose the child to any ceremony or act of worship which is not Islamic or allow the child to participate in activities for the benefit of other religions.” If a teacher is caught doing any of the latter, he/she could face five years in prison or have to pay up to $20,000 in fines. Christian school principles, pastors and ministers hope that these restrictions will only apply to Muslim schools.

Full report at:

http://www.theway.co.uk/news-9504-teachers-to-face-imprisonment-for-sharing-christianity-in-brunei-even-in-christian-schools

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Terror plotter says he was aware of shoe-bomb attack in Malaysia

March 13, 2014

Could a shoe bomb have exploded on Malaysia Airlines flight MH370?

British terror plotter Saajid Muhammad Badat was quoted by the Daily Star as saying he was aware of plans for an earlier shoe bomb attack in Malaysia.

He said: “I gave one of my shoes to the Malaysians. I think it was to access the cockpit," Saajid was quoted as saying by the Daily Star.

“I said: ‘How about I give you one of my bombs to open a cockpit door?’”

Saajid's account of the 2002 plot prompted new terror fears as he testified to an American court via a video link from London during the trial of Osama bin Laden's son-in-law in relation to the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/shoe-bomb-could-have-exploded-on-mh370-says-terror-plotter

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Thailand finds 200 ‘Turkish refugees’ at secret camp

 March 13, 2014

BANGKOK: Thai police have discovered about 200 suspected Turkish refugees at a secret camp in the kingdom’s deep south, officials said Thursday, describing the case as “unprecedented.”

Thailand has long been a hub for people trafficking, with thousands of Rohingya boat people from neighboring Myanmar believed to have passed through the kingdom in recent years.

The 200 refugees, whom police said identified themselves as Turkish, were detained after a raid on a camp in a mountainous rubber plantation on Wednesday night in the southern province of Songkhla.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/news/539471

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Now Arabs say Putrajaya using ‘magic’ to locate the missing Malaysia Airlines

March 13, 2014

An Arab news portal has reported that Malaysia had resorted to using “magic” as a last resort to locate the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370.

Alarabiya.net in a report about the bomoh (Malay for shaman) carrying out rituals at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) had said that Putrajaya had allowed witch doctors to carry out rituals at the KLIA in a desperate attempt to find the plane.

The website also aired a video that showed the ritual being carried out by well-known Malaysian Bomoh who calls himself Raja Bomoh Sedunia.

In the article, entitled “Malaysia uses magic as a last resort to find flight MH370”, the portal said that the bomoh had come with several assistants to KLIA and carried out the ritual that involved the use of two coconuts, a magic carpet and the continuous chanting of "Allahu Akbar".

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/now-arabs-say-putrajaya-using-magic-to-find-plane-with-bomohs-antics-at-kli

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/un--muslim-and-christian-heritage-under-threat-in-syria/d/56125