audio message believed to be from Hizbul Mujahideen operational commander Riyaz
Ahmad Naikoo sought to assure pilgrims that they could go on the Amarnat yatra
this year even without security cover.
Don’t Need Any Security As You Are Our Guests’: Hizbul Welcomes Amarnath
Calls Islamic Scholars Conferences a US Process, Urges Clerics to Reject the
Wahhabism Bedrock of Takfiri Terrorism
Advocates Saddened over US Supreme Court’s Travel Ban Decision
Pupils Must Learn National Anthem in Drive against Islamism
Imam Treats Patients in Catholic Cathedral
Envoy to India Was Not Invited To Sushma Swaraj's Eid Celebration Yesterday:
Seer Forms Task Force to Save Hindutva And Prevent 'Love Jihad'
Shooter Gets Divorce In Jharkhand ‘Love Jihad’ Case
Rejects Citizenship Reform at Private Rohingya Talks
Ghani invites Taliban to participate in peace negotiations
deadly clash erupt among Taliban, ISIS-K militants in Kunar
suffer heavy casualties in Imam Sahib District of Kunduz
accuses Burma's top military brass of Rohingya atrocities
reject reports of civilian deaths in Nuristan drone strike
Orders Detention of 132 People in Coup Probe
plotting to assassinate leaders of Yemen’s Ansarullah, al-Islah movements’
rally in occupied West Bank in support of detainees
targets Gaza militant’s car, Hamas launch rockets in response
killed in Yemen as UAE demands rebel pullout
Iraq standing up to Israel, US extremism: Velayati
says hike in attacks on civilians show Saudis frustration in Yemen
Rights Bodies Resists Donald Trump's Travel Ban
Americans on Trump's travel ban: 'We live as second-class citizens'
Muslim leaders happy with Turkish election results
sets Iran oil sanction deadline as protests continue in Tehran
Group Accuses Tories of Turning Blind Eye to Islamophobia Claims
Muslims on edge as police probe ‘far-right plot’
man jailed for anti-Islam Twitter hate
EU accession talks deadlocked: EU
to host international humanitarian conference on Yemen
Beyond ‘Half-Hearted’ Efforts To Resolve Kashmir Dispute, Separatists Urge Islamabad
Taliban blames Musharraf for Bhutto's assassination
asks FIA to take steps for bringing Haqqani back from US
Wanted’ In Benazir Assassination Resurfaces, Denies Involvement
tightening noose around Sharifs before polls
out terror for more trade, Americans tell Pakistani delegation
refugee killed in Lower Dir attack
Khan welcomes ECP’s decision to scrutinise foreign funding of PPP, PML-N
Election Season Is a Gauge of Rise of Political Islam
Islamic Bodies Should Cater To Non-Muslims Too
needs to apologise to Malaysians, says Ku Li
mosque bans tourists after 'sexy dance' goes viral
Seized from Suspected Thai Rebels Possibly Built in Malaysia: Authorities
Solution Is Still a Possibility, Says Saudi Arabia
Widening Among Terrorists over Peace with Syrian Army
troops launch assault on Daraa city amid civilian exodus
Uprising against Turkish Army Continues in Northern Syria
Fleeing after Syrian Army Captures Al-Lajah
Army Seizes Terrorists' Key Base in Dara'a
militia declares it would fight alongside Assad’s army in Daraa
hostages who appeared in ISIS video released in Iraq
45,000 civilians displaced following clashes in southwestern Syria: UN
people killed, nearly dozen injured as Saudi-led jets hit bus in Yemen
or Die: Algeria Strands 13,000 Migrants in the Scorching Sahara
Haram Homeless Face Crisis As Rains Hit
govt says oil exports by rival administration ‘illegal’
least 200 migrants rescued off Libya's coast
Al-Shabab kills AU soldiers in bomb attack
Haram: 4,000 displaced Nigerians sleep in open as rains hit Dikwa – Agency
by New Age Islam News Bureau
don’t need any security as you are our guests’: Hizbul welcomes Amarnath
days ahead of the beginning of the annual Amarnath yatra, the Hizbul Mujahideen
militant group in Kashmir has apparently said it has no plans to attack the
audio message believed to be from Hizbul Mujahideen operational commander Riyaz
Ahmad Naikoo sought to assure pilgrims that they could go on the yatra this
year even without security cover. “You don’t need any security as you are our
guests,’’ Naikoo said in the 15-minute audio clip being circulated on social
also stated Kashmiri Pandits who migrated from the Valley in the 1990s could
return, but the group was opposed to the establishment of separate colonies for
J&K DGP SP Vaid said that the security of the Amarnath yatra has been
beefed-up, as militants are planning to attack the yatra. This is not true. We
don’t have any plan to attack Amarnath yatra and will never attack them,’’ the
(yatris) are coming here to fulfill their religious obligations. We have never
attacked the Amarnath yatra in the past as our fight is not with the yatris.
Our fight is with those people who are committing atrocities on our people and
those who forced us to pick up the gun,’’ it added.
fight has never been against the people of India, said Naikoo, who is based in
south Kashmir and high up on the most-wanted list of security forces.
Thursday, the annual Amarnath yatra will begin from Pahalgam in South Kashmir
and Baltal in central Kashmir amid tight security, Last year, eight pilgrims
were killed when suspected militants attacked a bus in Anantnag town.
The Afghan Taliban on Tuesday denounced the so-called Islamic Scholars
conferences in Asia and the Middle East as an “American process” and urged
clerics to reject the gatherings.
Taliban alleged in a statement that the US first gathered religious scholars
for a conference in Indonesia in May, and has since organized similar
conferences in Kabul, Islamabad, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
date has been set for a conference in Saudi Arabia.
Taliban said in the statement they consider the conferences to be anti-Islamic
and led by the US It said the US is using them to seek justification for its
“military occupation” of Afghanistan.
Islamic Emirate urges religious scholars to reject these conferences which are
a scheme of the invaders,” it said.
was no immediate indication the US played a role in organizing the conferences,
and the Taliban statement did not offer any evidence.
this month, a suicide bomber targeted the gathering of Afghanistan’s top
clerics, killing at least seven people and wounding 20 shortly after the
religious leaders issued a decree against such attacks and called for peace
attack was claimed by the Islamic State group.
2,000 members of the council had gathered for the meeting, which was held
beneath a large, traditional tent. The bomber struck near the end of the
meeting, as the participants were about to leave.
before the attack, the clerics had issued an Islamic ruling, or a fatwa,
declaring that suicide attacks are “haram” — forbidden under Islamic law.
fatwa also said that killing people by any means, including with bombs and
suicide attacks, are sins in Islam.
Taliban in April announced the start of its annual spring offensive, but in
recent years, both the Taliban and the Islamic State affiliate have carried out
near-daily attacks year-round. The Taliban have managed to seize control of
several districts across the country and regularly target Kabul, the capital.
militant groups seek to overthrow the US-backed government and impose a harsh
version of Islamic rule, but they are split over leadership, tactics and
ideology. Their relentless assaults underscore the struggles that Afghan forces
have faced since the United States and NATO concluded their combat mission in
Afghanistan at the end of 2014.
of American troops remain in Afghanistan in counterterrorism and support roles.
The Trump administration has sent additional troops to try to change the course
of America’s longest war.
again we respectfully urge the religious scholars of Afghanistan and the Muslim
world to cooperate and help the Muslim nation … instead of assisting and
participating in the conferences of the secret service of the enemy,” the
Taliban said in the statement.
was the ideological bed for Takfiri terrorism and the ISIL was created based on
Wahhabism, a plot hatched by certain world powers and the role played by a
number of ignorant and contending regional states," Shamkhani said in a
meeting with his Uzbek counterpart Viktor Makhmudov in Tehran on Tuesday.
referred to the US attempts to misuse terrorism to its own benefits as well as
regional concerns about the transfer of the ISIL terrorists to Afghanistan and
Central Asia, and said, "The Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to share
its bright and successful experiences in fighting terrorism with other regional
for his part, underscored the extensive exchangeable capacities of the two
countries in the economic, transit and energy fields as well as mutual security
cooperation, and said, "The two countries' constructive relations are not
against any other country and they will not be affected by the third parties'
relevant remarks earlier this month, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani
underlined his country's willingness to cooperate with the Shanghai Cooperation
Organization (SCO) to fight against terrorist groups and drug trafficking.
separatism and extremism have in recent years affected different parts of the
world, specially the regions around us, including the Central Asia and West
Asia," President Rouhani said, addressing the SCO summit in China.
warned that the terrorists use the intelligence vacuum existing among the
regional states to recruit new members, stressing the need for the countries in
the region to increase exchange of intelligence to weaken the terrorist networks.
Islamic Republic of Iran has faced with the ominous phenomenon of terrorism in
the past decades in and around the country and has valuable experiences in
controlling and weakening this stream and our cooperation with the Iraqi and
Syrian governments against ISIL is an instance," Rouhani said.
Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to render the necessary cooperation with the
SCO in campaign against terrorism, extremism, separatism and drugs," he
advocates saddened over US Supreme Court’s travel ban decision
Maryam Bahramipanah is torn between staying with her husband, who came to
Michigan from their native Iran, and returning home to see her mother, who
suffered a stroke.
the US Supreme Court’s decision Tuesday to uphold President Donald Trump’s ban
on travel from several mostly Muslim countries, she expects that she can’t do
very sad,” said Bahramipanah, who cried when she heard about the decision. “I
don’t know what to do. I really don’t know. Now it’s official and I don’t
individuals and groups, as well as other religious and civil rights
organizations, expressed outrage and disappointment at the high court’s rejection
of a challenge that claimed the policy discriminated against Muslims or
exceeded the president’s authority. Protesters voiced their dismay at rallies
across the country.
a protest in New York, Khulood Nasher held back tears as she spoke of her two
sons stranded in Yemen. In 2014, she received asylum and her sons were approved
to join her in the US But after the US embassy in Yemen was closed in 2015,
their processing was delayed. The last year has been filled with starts and
stops for the mother, but today felt like a death blow.
we were broken. I lost my heart to see my family,” said Nasher, who works as a
all reaction was negative, however. A nonprofit group that supports Trump’s
policies called the decision a “tremendous victory.”
Supreme Court ruling is monumental,” America First Policies spokeswoman Erin
Montgomery said. “It states that deciding who can and cannot enter our country
does indeed fall within the realm of executive responsibility. Note the word ‘responsibility.’“
travel ban has been fully in place since December, when the justices put the
brakes on lower court decisions that had blocked part of it from being
enforced. The policy applies to travelers from five countries with
overwhelmingly Muslim populations: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. It
also affects two non-Muslim countries, blocking travelers from North Korea and
some Venezuelan government officials and their families.
a statement emailed to The Associated Press, American Civil Liberties Union
attorney Lee Gelernt said it’s clear “that the president for political reasons
chose to enact a Muslim ban despite national security experts, both Democrat
and Republican” who counseled against it. Heidi Beirich of the Southern Poverty
Law Center called the ban “hateful and discriminatory,” and added that
“immigration policy should never be decided based on race or religion.”
immigration attorney Farah Al-Khersan expects chaos at border crossings and
other points of entry.
anybody who has a nonimmigrant visa who is here — even someone with a green
card — I would not recommend that they leave right now,” she said. “Once you’re
outside of the country and you’re trying to come in, that’s going to be a
Afnan Salem, a Somali refugee living in Columbus, Ohio, the decision reinforces
worries she may never reunite with her grandparents or father.
were hoping that at least the Supreme Court would rule at least for fair play
and let us be reunited with our families,” said Salem, who came to the US eight
years ago and has since become a citizen. “But the decision that came out, our
hearts are broken.”
Syrians face violence in their native country and a ban on entering the US, the
executive director of the Syrian American Council says many are scared.
Meriden, the council’s executive director, choked up as she said, “It’s sad on
so many levels. I never cry. We’re here to calm people, but I just get stressed
out about it all. You try to hold yourself together, but sometimes it’s too
the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a conservative group that
supports tighter immigration policies, heralded the Supreme Court decision,
calling it “a great victory for the security of the American people and the
rule of law.”
O’Keefe, Catholic Relief Services’ vice president for government relations,
said in a statement many of the people seeking refuge in the US are victims of
the same terrorists that Americans are trying to fight, and denying them entry
won’t make the nation safer.
the Iranian woman who lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, had hoped the Supreme Court
would end the ban for good this time so her mother would be able to come to the
US to celebrate Bahramipanah’s birthday next week.
mother told me, ‘What do I buy you for your birthday?’” Bahramipanah said,
choking back tears. “I said, ‘Just pray that this ban does not hold forever.’“
pupils must learn national anthem in drive against Islamism
primary school children will be taught to sing the national anthem in public as
part of a curriculum designed to turn them into both patriots and
the plans approved by Jean-Michel Blanquer, the education minister, pupils will
be required to learn La Marseillaise, understand the meaning of liberty,
equality and fraternity and explain the origins of the tricolour French flag
(which features blue and red, the colours of the 1789 revolutionaries, on
either side of the royal white).
an attempt to guard France against the sort of Euroscepticism that led to
Brexit, children will also be required to know the European flag and to
recognise, although not necessarily to sing, Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, the anthem
of the EU.
imam treats patients in Catholic cathedral
than 100 parishioners of Lahore's Sacred Heart Cathedral were treated at a free
medical camp organized by an imam.
Abdul Qayyum Zaheer, a televangelist, and his team of four doctors offered full
body check-ups and food supplements at the health camp at St. Victoria's
Nursery in the cathedral compound on June 24. Awareness sessions on the health
effects of extreme heat and climate change were also conducted.
only charged 350 rupees (US$2.88) for a test of body organs and vitamins.
That's one third the cost of an ordinary medical test in a private hospital.
Sunstroke, dehydration and gastrointestinal infections were common among the
visitors," Zaheer told ucanews.com
U.N. World Meteorological Organization has confirmed that the hottest April
temperature ever witnessed on earth was recorded at Nawabshah, a southern
district of Sindh province, where the mercury reached a scorching 50.2C
(122.4F). Media reports say 65 people have died due to the heat wave in
the national coordinator of Alliance in Motion, a nutritional and dietary
supplement company, has conducted 15 medical camps in mosques and madrassas
this year. A similar health camp was held in a Protestant church last month.
organizations hold relief camps in Christian settlements only after disasters
or mob attacks. We reached out to them in the spirit of humanity.
Misconceptions about other communities are the main reason behind religious
intolerance," Zaheer said.
Inayat Bernard, rector of the cathedral, thanked the cleric for extending
support to worshippers.
always support interfaith initiatives. The poor need relief amid unscheduled
power cuts and increasing temperatures. We are focusing on both medical
assistance and healing prayers by visiting priests to serve the dedicated
parishioners who continue coming to the church despite the heat wave," he
group was pleased by the good response. Another camp is scheduled in August
during the monsoon season."
Bernard opened the health camp with prayers at the entrance of St. Victoria's
Nursery. Qari Zaheer also recited verses from the Quran.
DELHI: Pakistan's high commissioner to India Sohail Mahmood wasn't invited for
the Eid celebration hosted yesterday by external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj
at Pravasi Bhartiya Kendra, Pakistani sources told news agency ANI.
snub, if it was one, follows the murder of Kashmiri journalist Shujaat Bukhari
+ on June 15, a day before Eid. Kashmir's senior journalist and his two
personal security officers were shot dead in the heart of Srinagar even as a
Ramzan ceasefire was in place in the troubled state.
told TOI two days ago that Bukhari was likely killed as a result of the anger
on the part of the anti-peace talks faction of the separatist Hurriyat as well
as the Pakistani intelligence agency ISI. The journalist advocated engagement
and refused to share their strong opposition of the "Ramzan
separatist hardliners had wanted Bukhari to accept their rejection of any peace
overtures, and pressure was mounted through an increasingly vitriolic campaign
against the journalist, on social media, added well-placed sources at the
bars Indian envoy from visiting Gurdwara; India lodges strong protest
at the Eid event hosted by Swaraj for all foreign envoys in India, Swaraj said
the country will never allow "the forces of hatred and violence" to
come anywhere near its people. She added that like any religious festival in
India, whether Diwali or Christmas, Eid-ul-Fitr too brings together people of
is home to one of the largest population of Muslims. Our celebrations of Eid
are as diverse as our regions, languages, cuisine and traditions, as vibrant as
our clothes and festivities, and as sweet as our traditional meethi sevaiyan
and a host of savoury dishes," she said at the reception for Ambassadors
and High Commissioners based in New Delhi.
long as we truly practice our faiths and, as the Holy Prophet himself said:
'None of you have faith until he loves for his brother, or for his neighbour,
what he loves for himself.
the King of Jordan from his speech in April here, Swaraj said, "It was
wisely said, the world is one family... Compassion, mercy, tolerance -- these
values are shared by billions of Muslims and non-Muslims around the world. And
these values require us, together, to act for our common future.
as His Majesty referred to one global family, we too in India have grown up
believing that the world is indeed one family. The concept of Vasudaiva
Kutumbakam is ingrained in our ethos," Swaraj said.
Rajashekharananda Swamiji of Vajradehi Mutt in Mengaluru has sparked another
controversy after he announced formation of Hindu task force with aims to save
Hindus, Hindutva and to prevent 'love jihad'.
said, "Hindu organisations and religious leaders are fed up of love jihad
cases and his force will focus on stopping the conversions".
task force will start functioning in Dakshina Kannada district and will also
include 30 women, Rajashekharananda said. It will also involve doctors,
psychiatrists, social workers and advocates.
can register themselves on website (hindutaskforce.com).
plans to expand the task force all districts across the state.
Khader, the urban development minister said that if the fight is against jehadi
terrorism, they will also join.
us safety of people living in India is prime concern. Muslims are ready to give
up their lives for this nation and society. Nobody will support anti-national
elements. This can't be done by few people and should fight unitedly,"
said all communities successfully fought against British.
shooter gets divorce in Jharkhand ‘love jihad’ case
Ranchi family court on Tuesday granted divorce to national-level shooter Tara
Shahdeo from her husband Ranjeet Singh Kohli alias Rakib ul Hassan on grounds
her divorce petition filed in January 2017, Shahdeo alleged that Kohli had
married her in July 2014 without informing that he was a Muslim. Post-marriage,
he began torturing her to force her into embracing Islam.
allegations had sparked a controversy with the Union home ministry seeking a
report on the purported case of ‘love jihad’. Then CM Hemant Soren later
referred the case to the CBI on Shahdeo’s request.
lawyer argued that his client was made to believe that Kohli was a Hindu.
“However, when she went to her in-law’s house, she found the environment
similar to that of a Muslim family. The next day, the family brought a Muslim
religious head to the house to solemnize the marriage under Islamic traditions.
When she protested, Tara was confined to a house and was subjected to cruelty,”
rejects citizenship reform at private Rohingya talks
A senior Myanmar official has told Western diplomats that a proposal to review
a citizenship law that effectively renders most Rohingya Muslims stateless
could not be implemented, five people present at the meeting in Denmark in
early June told Reuters.
a meeting in Copenhagen on June 8, Myanmar's Social Welfare Minister Win Myat
Aye told a group of diplomats, analysts and members of a commission chaired by
former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan that eight of its
recommendations - including one that asks authorities to take steps to amend
the 1982 law - were problematic in the current political climate and could not
be immediately fulfilled, the people present said.
made it very clear that citizenship reform was a non-starter," said one of
the people at the meeting. The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because
Myanmar had requested the talks be confidential.
Myat Aye and government spokesman Zaw Htay did not answer calls seeking
the law, which largely restricts citizenship to members of what it terms
"national races" - the 135 ethnic groups deemed by the state to be
indigenous - was a key recommendation of the Annan commission.
Myanmar does not recognise the Rohingya as an indigenous ethnic group and
refers to them as "Bengalis", a term they reject as it implies they
are interlopers from Bangladesh, despite a long history in the country.
Annan commission was created by Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi in 2016 to find
long-term solutions to deep-seated ethnic and religious divisions in Rakhine. A
day after the panel issued its report in August 2017, Rohingya insurgents
launched attacks on security forces, provoking a military crackdown the UN has
called a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing".
admission by Win Myat Aye, who is overseeing plans for reconstruction in
violence-ravaged Rakhine state, casts further doubt on plans to repatriate the
roughly 700,000 Rohingya currently sheltering in crowded refugee camps in
Rohingya refugee leaders say they won't return without guarantees of
Myanmar's National Security Adviser Thaung Tun, who was also at the meeting in
Denmark, told Reuters authorities were implementing the Annan commission's
recommendations "to the fullest extent possible and as expeditiously as we
80 recommendations have been carried out in less than 10 months," he said
in an email.
to the recommendations that had not been implemented, he said they were
"also being looked into".
spokesman referred questions to the Myanmar government.
have reported killings, burnings, looting and rape by members of the Myanmar
security forces and Buddhist vigilantes in Rakhine. Myanmar has rejected
accusations of ethnic cleansing, and dismissed most accounts of atrocities.
January, Myanmar and Bangladesh signed a deal to repatriate the refugees within
two years, but disagreements have held up the implementation of the plan.
Rohingya refugees say they will not return unless the 1982 law is changed.
who identified themselves as Rohingya were excluded from Myanmar's last
nationwide census in 2014 and many had their identity documents taken or
nullified, blocking them from voting in a landmark 2015 election.
Kyi, who before coming to power said the government should have the
"courage" to review the law, is now urging Rohingya to accept the
National Verification Card, a residency document that falls short of full
many Rohingya refuse to accept the document, which they say classifies
life-long residents as new immigrants and does not allow them to travel freely.
military, with whom Suu Kyi shares power, flatly rejects Rohingya calls for
citizenship. In a speech in March, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing said Rohingya
"do not have any characteristics or culture in common with the ethnicities
of Myanmar" and that the current conflict had been "fuelled because
the Bengalis demanded citizenship".
the Copenhagen meeting, diplomats were about to break for lunch when Win Myat
Aye said Myanmar had begun implementing only 80 of the 88 recommendations made
by the commission, due to political and practical differences with the
remaining eight, one of those present said.
to a second person present, Annan responded: "You said you're having
difficulties with eight - which are those? Let's get back to this after the
Myat Aye then listed the recommendations he said Myanmar was struggling to
implement. They included commitments to create an independent body to review
complaints about citizenship verification, empower community leaders and civil
society, and establish a mechanism for feedback on government performance.
diplo-speak when you say that something is difficult it tends to be a
rejection," the second source said. "That is how I understood
Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has invited the Taliban group to participate in negotiations
if the leadership is prepared to hold talks regarding the reconciliation.
Office of the President, ARG Palace, said President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani
renewed the government’s call for peace negotiations as he was speaking with
the members of the Afghan High Peace council and the Afghan Ulema Council.
said the prospect for reconciliation is positive and emphasized for more
efforts as he noted that a consensus exists on national, regional, and
international for peace process.
Ghani also welcomed the administration of ceasefire in a better way and said
the Afghan people have full confidence regarding the future.
to President Ghani, the ceasefire was declared based on the Fatwa/decree of the
religious scholars, calling the demands for ceasefire a spontaneous move by the
nation and the relgious scholars of the country.
said the declaration of ceasefire from the 27th of the holy month of Ramadan
and during the Eid days brought happiness and hope among the people and the
ceasefire declaration showed that the Afghan nation is still pride of their
identity and religion.
Ghani thanked the Afghan nation for welcoming the Taliban during the ceasefire
period and sharing their happiness with them as he emphasized that the Afghan
nation respects consultations and consensus based on the demands of the people.
deadly clash erupted among the Taliban and militants affiliated with the
Islamic State of Iraq and Syria Khurasan (ISIS-K) in eastern Kunar province of
201st Silab Corps of the Afghan Military in the East said the latest clash
between the Taliban and ISIS-K militants took place in the vicinity of Chapara
Corps further added that the clash left at least four ISIS-K militants dead
while at least nine others were detained by the Taliban insurgents.
to the Silab Corps, at least two Taliban insurgents were also captured by
ISIS-K militants during the clash.
comes as a deadly clash took place among the local public uprising forces and
militants affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria Khurasan (ISIS-K)
in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan late on Sunday night in the
vicinity of Nazian district, leaving several people dead from the two sides.
provincial government media office in a statement said the clash erupted after
the local public uprising forces stormed into the hideouts of the terror group
in Morchal area.
statement further added that the clash left at least eight ISIS-K militants
dead while three others were arrested.
Taliban militants have suffered heavy casualties during the clashes with the
Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) in northern Kunduz province
to the local security officials, the latest clash between the Afghan armed
forces and the Taliban militants took place in Imam Sahib District late on
security Chief Brigadier General Abdul Baqi told reporters that a large number
of Taliban militants launched coordinated attacks on security posts in
Imamuddin roundabout on Monday night.
said the Afghan forces responded to the attack sparking heavy clashes which
left at least 21 militants dead.
Baqi did not disclose further information regarding the casualties of the
Afghan forces but added that the clashes also left at least twelve Taliban
anti-government armed militant groups including Taliban militants have not
commented regarding the report so far.
rights group Amnesty International has called for Burma’s army chief and
military top brass to face justice in a searing new report documenting alleged
crimes against humanity that forced over 700,000 of the Rohingya Muslim
minority to flee to Bangladesh last year.
190-page document – “We Will Destroy Everything”: Military Responsibility for
Crimes against Humanity in Rakhine State, Myanmar [Burma] - is based on a nine
month investigation, involving more than 400 interviews and corroborating
evidence including satellite images, photos and videos.
group names 13 officials it alleges played a key role in the murder, rape and
deportation of Rohingya, including accusing Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, the
Burmese military Commander-in-Chief, of being implicated in ethnic cleansing
during a brutal army crackdown that began on August 25.
explosion of violence - including murder, rape, torture, burning and forced
starvation – perpetrated by Myanmar’s security forces in villages across
northern Rakhine State was not the action of rogue soldiers or units,” said
Amnesty senior crisis adviser, Matthew Wells.
is a mountain of evidence that this was part of a highly orchestrated,
systematic attack on the Rohingya population.”
adds to calls for the situation in Burma to be referred to the International
Criminal Court in the Hague for investigation and prosecution. A similar demand
was made by the House of Commons International Development Select Committee in
last week the court’s judges gave Burma a July 27 deadline to respond to a
request by prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, that they consider hearing a case on the
alleged deportation of Rohingya minorities to Bangladesh.
Amnesty’s latest evidence, collected on both sides of the Burma-Bangladesh
border, is an audio recording, which it believes to be a telephone call between
a Rohingya resident of the village of Inn Din and a Burmese military officer.
the recording, the officer says, in Burmese: “We got an order to burn down the
entire village if there is any disturbance. If you villagers aren’t living
peacefully, we will destroy everything… We are starting the operation… If you
just stay quiet, there will be no problems. If not, you will all be in
Din was the site of one of the worst known massacres during the 2017 army
operation. In an earlier chilling report, Amnesty revealed that vigilantes and
the military had looted and burned homes and shot people as they fled.
army has consistently denied charges of ethnic cleansing, made among others by
the United Nations, but in April it did sentence seven soldiers to ten years of
hard labour for their role in the slaughter of ten Rohingya men at Inn Din.
new Amnesty report, citing confidential military documents as evidence, accuses
the very top of Burma’s military command - the office of the
commander-in-chief, or War Office - of having been actively engaged in
overseeing operations during which crimes against humanity were committed.
officials from the War Office physically went to Rakhine State in the lead up
to 25 August and in the weeks that followed. Among them was Senior General Min
Aung Hlaing himself, who travelled to the region from 19-21 September 2017 to
be briefed on the operations,” alleges Amnesty.
claims that senior officials would also have been involved in the deployment of
air assets such as helicopters, which appear to be linked to serious crimes,
and that some of the fiercest fighting battalions were deployed front and
centre of the operation.
military officials knew, or should have known, that crimes against humanity
were being committed, yet failed to prevent it, claims the group.
evidence warrants an investigation into whether some or all may have been
directly involved in planning, ordering or committing murder, rape, torture and
the burning of villages, it adds.
the atrocities detailed in the report are massacres and gangrapes in the
villages of Chut Pyin, Min Gyi and Maung Nu.
woman who was raped by soldiers in a school told Amnesty that when she emerged
from the building she saw many dead bodies.
had been shot, some had been cut. All of the dead bodies were bound [their
hands tied with rope]. There were bullets on the ground everywhere…There was so
much blood. The dead bodies were like stones in a field. I thought I would be
sick. I was only stopped by my tears," she said.
and boys also told Amnesty investigators of how they had been tortured to the
point of death by security forces.
was standing with my hands tied behind my head, then they pulled off my longyi
(sarong) and put a [lit] candle under my penis,” said one farmer. “They were
saying, ‘Tell the truth or you will die’.”
report also expands on alleged abuses by the armed insurgent group, the Arakan
Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), which sparked the military crackdown by
launching coordinated attacks on security posts.
US Forces in Afghanistan rejected the reports suggesting that a drone strike in
eastern Nuristan province has left at least eleven people dead, including six
Col. Martin O’Donnell, U.S. Forces-Afghanistan spokesman, said “U.S. forces did
not conduct a strike in Nuristan province on Monday night. We have, however, received reports of
insurgent-caused civilian casualties in two separate insurgent attacks in
eastern Afghanistan, Monday – a mortar attack on a medical clinic in Andar
district, Ghazni province that killed a pharmacist and injured clinic staff,
and a suicide attack that targeted a gathering of local police and civilians in
Sawkai (Chawkay) district, Kunar province, killing and injuring an unknown
number of both. These deplorable acts by
the enemies of Afghanistan further demonstrate their disregard for the Afghan
people, whose calls for peace and an extension to the cease-fire were rejected
yesterday by the Taliban.”
comes as provincial governor Hafiz Abdul Qayum had earlier told The Associated
Press that the US forces in Afghanistan conducted an airstrike using unmanned
aerial vehicles in Waygal district.
further added that the airstrike targeted a house where a number of Taliban
militants and local residents had gathered to visit a Taliban group member who
was wounded in a separate attack.
to Qayum, at least six civilians and five Taliban insurgents were killed in the
Monday night airstrike in Waygal district.
orders detention of 132 people in coup probe
authorities have ordered the detention of 132 people in nationwide operations
targeting suspected supporters of a US-based Muslim cleric accused of
orchestrating a failed coup two years ago, the state-run Anadolu news agency
said on Tuesday.
on Tuesday, authorities ordered the detention of 30 people in Turkey's
coastguard and navy over their alleged links to Fethullah Gulen's network,
a separate series of operations, authorities ordered the detention of 102
others, including soldiers and security personnel, across 23 provinces, Anadolu
have regularly carried out such operations against alleged Gulen supporters
since the July 2016 coup attempt under a state of emergency that limits certain
freedoms and extends the detention time for questioning of suspects.
latest operations came two days after presidential and parliamentary elections
in Turkey. President Tayyip Erdogan won a further five years in power and his
AK Party and its nationalist allies secured a majority in the new parliament.
has also gained sweeping executive powers under a new constitution backed by a
narrow majority of voters in a 2017 referendum that took effect after Sunday's
has detained 160,000 people and dismissed nearly the same number of state
employees since the abortive putsch, the United Nations said in March. Of that
number, more than 50,000 have been formally charged and kept in jail during
Western allies and human rights groups have criticised the scale of the
crackdown, and Erdogan's critics say Erdogan is using the coup as a pretext to
quash dissent, a charge he denies.
and his AK Party say the measures are necessary to combat threats to national
a former Erdogan ally who has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since
1999, denies involvement in the attempted coup, in which at least 240 people
captured commander of Saudi-sponsored militiamen loyal to resigned Yemeni president
Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi says the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has hatched plots
aimed at the assassination of the high-profile figures of Houthi Ansarullah and
the Yemeni Congregation for Reform, frequently called al-Islah, in a bid to
advance its policies in the Arab country.
al-Azani, in confessions broadcast on Yemen’s Arabic-language al-Masirah
television network, said the UAE has set up numerous terror cells in
conflict-plagued Yemen, which are led by a militant called Ammar Afash.
went on to say all activities of the outfits are being organized at the
al-Safwah Hotel in the western Yemeni coastal city of Hudaydah, located 150
kilometers southwest of the capital Sana'a.
was initially on a committee run by Anwar al-Amiri in the southern city of
Aden, and then forged an alliance with top-brass militants, including Ayman
Hajar and Adnan al-Zuqri, in Hudaydah,” he pointed out.
further noted that Zuqri was the head of assassination squads in Sana'a and the
southwestern province of Ta'izz.
has recruited a large number of people and tasked them with gunning down
leaders of al-Islah and Ansarullah movements. All these would-be assassins have
to obey commands being issued by Afash,” the captured militia commander
Associated Press reported last week that Emirati officers have tortured and
sexually hundreds of detainees at their detention centers in Yemen.
report highlighted that the inmates, who are held without charges, have been
sodomized, raped, probed and stripped down in at least five prisons.
one case, detainees suffered sexual abuse at Beir Ahmed prison in Aden on March
10, when fifteen Emirati officers ordered prisoners to undress and lie down for
cavity checks, claiming they were looking for contraband cell phones.
prisoners who resisted were beaten until they bled, and threatened with barking
tortured me without even accusing me of anything. Sometimes I wish they would
give me a charge so I can confess and end this pain,” said a prisoner, who was
detained last year and has been in three different jails.
worst thing about it is that I wish for death every day and I can’t find it,”
UAE is Saudi Arabia’s key partner in its deadly war against Yemen.
Yemeni Ministry of Human Rights announced in a statement on March 25 that the
Saudi-led war had left 600,000 civilians dead and injured since March 2015.
United Nations says a record 22.2 million Yemenis are in need of food aid,
including 8.4 million threatened by severe hunger.
high-ranking UN aid official recently warned against the “catastrophic” living
conditions in Yemen, stating that there was a growing risk of famine and
of Palestinians have staged a rally in the central part of the occupied West
Bank to express solidarity with detainees, who are languishing in Israeli
prisons and detention centers.
protesters took to the streets in the city of al-Bireh, located 15 kilometers
(9.3 miles) north of Jerusalem al-Quds, on Tuesday, holding up pictures of
their imprisoned loved ones and carrying banners calling for an end to Israeli
violations against Palestinian inmates.
message today is to show support for the detainees’ struggle against Israeli
crimes,” Qadoura Fares, head of the Palestinian Prisoners Club, said.
warned that conditions of Palestinian prisoners were going “from bad to worse”
in Israeli prisons.
than 7,000 Palestinians are reportedly held at Israeli jails. Hundreds of the
inmates have apparently been incarcerated under the practice of administrative
detention, a policy under which Palestinian inmates are kept in Israeli
detention facilities without trial or charge.
Palestinian prisoners have been held in administrative detention for up to
inmates regularly stage hunger strikes in protest at the administrative
detention policy and their harsh prison conditions in Israeli jails.
Israeli aircraft and a tank struck a vehicle belonging to an operative of the
Hamas faction that dominates the Gaza Strip, as militants launched rockets into
Israel, the Israeli military said on Wednesday.
residents in the Nusseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip said nobody
had been hurt when the car exploded in a ball of flames. A picture posted on
social media showed a fireball in an alleyway said to be the car that had been
statement by the Israeli military said the car had belonged to a militant
“heavily involved in launching arson and explosive balloons from the Gaza Strip
into Israel.” Two Hamas observation posts were also hit, it added.
weeks, Palestinians have sent kites and helium-filled balloons dangling coal
embers or burning rags across the Gaza border to set fire to arid farmland and
forests, others have carried small explosive devices in a new tactic.
spokesman Fawzi Barhoum in Gaza said Israel’s targeting of the car had “merited
a quick response” in the firing of the rockets and showed armed factions were
ready to “defend our people and protect their interests.”
Iron Dome anti-missile interceptor was launched at three out of the 13 rockets
that militants had fired, an army spokeswoman said.
Israeli casualties and no damage were reported in Israel after air-raid sirens
sounded in communities around the Gaza Strip in the pre-dawn hours of
ratcheting up of tensions in the Gaza Strip and pledges by Israel and
Palestinian militants to continue to respond to any attacks against them held
the potential for broader conflict.
has accused Hamas of stoking violence in an attempt to deflect domestic opinion
from Gaza’s energy shortages and faltering economy.
maintains a naval blockade of Gaza and tight restrictions on the movement of
people and goods at its land borders. Egypt has also kept its own Gaza frontier
largely closed. Both countries cite security concerns for the measures, which
have deepened economic hardship.
least 130 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli troops during mass
demonstrations along the Gaza border since March 30.
are demanding a right of return to what is now Israel for those who fled or
were forced to flee their homes in the war around its creation in 1948, and for
millions of their descendants. Israel rules that out as demographic suicide.
deadly tactics in confronting the weekly Friday protests have drawn
international condemnation. But support has come from its main ally, the United
States, which like Israel, has cast blame on Hamas.
- Air strikes and artillery fire killed 55 people near Yemen’s Hodeida, medical
sources and residents said Tuesday, as the UAE insisted Huthi rebels pull out
of the key port city.
port has been held by the Iran-backed Huthis since 2014, when the rebels drove
the government out of the capital and seized control of territory across
northern Yemen and the Red Sea coastline.
June 13, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and their allies in a pro-government regional
coalition launched a major offensive to retake the port, through which nearly
three quarters of Yemen’s imports flow.
coalition alleges the port has been used by the rebels as an entry point for
weapons smuggled from Saudi Arabia’s arch-foe Iran.
Tuesday, medical sources and residents said an air strike killed eight people
travelling on a bus on the road to Zabid in southern Hodeida province. Their
identities could not immediately be confirmed.
second strike outside Hodeida killed six Huthi rebels travelling in a military
vehicle, according to the same sources.
Saudi-led coalition, which usually conducts air raids in the area, could not
immediately be reached for comment.
of artillery fire south of Hodeida city also left 38 Huthi fighters and three
pro-government troops dead in the past 24 hours, according to medical and local
UN envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, is due in Yemen’s southern city of Aden
on Wednesday for talks with President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, whose forces have
battled for weeks to regain control of Hodeida. The rebels have said they may
be willing to share control of Hodeida’s port with the United Nations but say
their forces must remain in the docks and the rest of the Red Sea city.
United Arab Emirates, which has US-trained troops deployed on the ground in
western Yemen, is demanding the rebels withdraw from both the port and city to
avoid a military assault on densely-populated Hodeida.
are hopeful and we believe in the political process,” Reem al-Hashimi, the UAE
minister of state for international cooperation, said Tuesday.
“we cannot imagine a setup where the Huthis can be in the city” of Hodeida, she
told reporters in Abu Dhabi.
who held a first round of meetings on the Hodeida crisis in rebel-held Sanaa
earlier this month, is holding talks with both sides to “return rapidly to the
negotiating table”, his office said.
10,000 people have died in the Yemen war since 2015 when Saudi Arabia and its
allies joined the government’s fight against the Huthis.
senior Iranian official says both Iran and Iraq are standing up to the Israeli
regime and extremism of the US and some Western countries.
Americans are the common enemy of both the Iranian and Iraqi nations," Ali
Akbar Velayati, the senior adviser to Leader of the Islamic Revolution
Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on international affairs, said in a meeting with
a delegation of Iraqi intellectuals in Tehran on Tuesday.
added that Tehran and Baghdad are pursuing common policies due to many reasons,
including 1,200 kilometers of common borders, cultural and religious
commonalities, great capacities and privileges, desire for strength and
independence as well as different historical and natural factors.
senior Iranian official emphasized that the two "democratic"
countries have huge energy resources and enjoy deep-rooted culture and their
nations have played a leading role in the formation of the Islamic
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said in February that the Islamic
Republic would continue to play a "supportive and constructive" role
in Iraq's reconstruction and economic development.
added that Iraq is a friendly and neighboring country to Iran and said the
Islamic Republic does not hesitate in supporting the Iraqi nation and
government and as it stood by them in the fight against terrorism, it would
continue to support them.
December 9, 2017, Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared the end of
military operations against Daesh in the Arab country.
July that year, Abadi formally had declared victory over Daesh extremists in
Mosul, which served as the terrorists’ main urban stronghold in the
conflict-ridden Arab country.
the run-up to Mosul's liberation, Iraqi army soldiers and volunteer Hashd
al-Sha’abi fighters had made sweeping gains against Daesh.
says the hike Saudi Arabia's bombardment of civilian targets in Yemen shows the
coalition's frustration in falling short of the goals.
increased hike in Saudi Arabia's bombardment of residential areas such as
Sa'ada and a refugee bus in Hudaydah shows their frustration in not being able
to reach their goals in Yemen," said Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman
Bahram Qassemi on Tuesday.
slamming Saudi Arabia and its allies actions, Qassemi further called UN to halt
the kingdom's atrocities in Yemen, especially the killing of women and
in the day, at least nine civilians have been killed and nearly a dozen others
sustained injuries after warplanes belonging to a Saudi-led military coalition
struck a bus carrying internally displaced persons (IDP) in war-battered
Yemen’s western province of Hudaydah.
Arabic-language al-Masirah satellite television network, citing its
correspondent in the area, reported on Tuesday that the deadly airstrike hit
the bus on a road linking the two towns of Jarrahi and Zabid earlier in the day,
adding that three of the dead had been torn to pieces beyond recognition.
coalition responsible for child deaths in Yemen: UN
the UN's annual "Children and Armed Conflict" report has shown that a
total 1,316 children killed and maimed in the Yemen in 2017.
noted that out of the 552 children killed (398 boys, 154 girls), the majority
were killed in result of action carried out by the coalition, which was also
responsible for 300 child injuries.
Arabia and its allies launched a brutal war on Yemen in March 2015 to reinstall
the Hadi regime and crush the popular Houthi Ansarullah movement.
Yemeni Ministry of Human Rights announced in a statement on March 25 that the
war had left 600,000 civilians dead and injured until then.
Saudi aggression has also taken a heavy toll on the country's facilities and
infrastructure, destroying many hospitals, schools, and factories.
2016, the impoverished nation has also been grappling with a deadly cholera
outbreak, which has already killed thousands of people.
rights bodies resists Donald Trump's travel ban
Top Indian-American lawmaker and right bodies have described as
"troubling" the US Supreme Court's decision to uphold President
Donald Trump's controversial travel ban targeting several Muslim-majority
countries and vowed to resist the "hatred".
one of the biggest victories of Trump during his presidency, the US Supreme
Court yesterday upheld the travel ban that restricted the entry of people from
Iran, North Korea, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Venezuela.
decision calls into question all Americans' basic rights.
sets a standard that the president of the United States can target and
discriminate against anyone, without consequences," Indian-American
Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal said.
demand liberty and justice for all – no caveats.
misguided decision strips that justice away and threatens religious liberty as
we know it.
will continue to resist this ban and this hatred with everything we've
got," she said on the Supreme Court's order.
Muslim Ban, she said, has already inflicted irreparable harm on Muslim families
families remained separated from loved ones while American businesses and
research institutions were denied workers, she noted.
18 months ago, I rushed to SeaTac airport when Trump's Muslim Ban was abruptly
imposed and created absolute chaos for lawful residents and visitors alike.
was clear then, and it's been clear through every iteration of this ban, that
this is part of a larger effort to ban Muslims from the United States,"
Supreme Court's decision "is a troubling first in modern times" for
the nation: one that openly codifies inequality before the law, said South
Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT).
persecution of communities due to their appearance or how they pray is
unacceptable and un-American, and cannot be the law of our land," said
Suman Raghunathan, executive director of SAALT.
decision joins our nation's past shameful decisions on Korematsu and Dred Scott
by upholding discrimination.
this ruling, the highest court has turned its back on our communities who are
already on the front-lines of state-sanctioned hate, violence and
division," she said in a statement.
country was built on diversity and we have always been an amalgamation of
immigrants from across the world.
must continue to uphold high standards of diversity and inclusivity to ensure a
brighter future for our children," said the Sikh American Legal Defence
and Education Fund (SALDEF).
call upon Congress to act and pass legislation to rescind the Muslim Ban and
rebuke any attempts to target Muslims, or anyone on the basis of national
origin, faith or background," it said ruing that the decision to upheld
the travel ban further advances the attack the Trump administration has on
immigrant and minority communities.
hateful rhetoric and blanket statements that the administration has used when
talking about specific groups of people will further create unnecessary bias
against these communities," it said.
is important to push back on policies such as the Muslim Ban and the Zero
Tolerance policy to ensure we live up to the ideals laid out in the US
Constitution," SALDEF said.
Asian Bar Association of North America (SABA) said it is not deterred by the
Supreme Court majority's decision.
again call upon Congress to restore the vision of America as a place that
welcomes, rather than denies immigrants," said SABA president Rishi Bagga.
will continue to assist and support all impacted communities and take actions
necessary to eliminate the targeting of religious and ethnic minorities by the
Federal Government through recent executive actions, Bagga said.
are disappointed by the majority's willingness to rubber stamp this
discriminatory policy without the more rigorous scrutiny of the context that
was warranted," it said.
had announced his first travel ban aimed at seven countries, just a week after
he took office in January 2017, triggering a global uproar.
American courts had deemed the ban unconstitutional, but the US top court
reversed this decision in a 5-4 ruling announced yesterday.
Supreme Court ruling marks the first major high court decision on a Trump
upholds the selective travel restrictions, which critics called a
discriminatory "Muslim ban" but the administration argued was needed
for security reasons.
Alsubai got the news through a text alert. “Supreme court upholds Trump’s
travel ban,” it said. The news filled him with sadness.
21-year-old had been among the thousands of Yemeni-New Yorkers to descend on
Brooklyn’s borough hall in the winter of last year and pray outside, dropping
their work around the city to protest when Trump first announced his
contentious and chaotic ban in January 2017.
18 months and several court battles later, Tuesday’s supreme court ruling
declared that Trump’s third version of the order was lawful. Word of the
decision landed in Bay Ridge with a dull thud. The suburb, with its large
concentration of Yemenis, is one of Brooklyn’s most diverse neighbourhoods and
had reacted with fury and disbelief when the ban was first announced.
who works at the Yemen Cafe on the suburb’s main street, admits he had not
expected the supreme court ruling to go any other way and had grown somewhat
confused by the ban’s various incarnations over the past year.
people just don’t understand what’s been going on. One day it’s cancelled, one
day it’s not,” he says, as customers tuck into baba ghanoush and flatbreads in
his family’s restaurant.
the confusion, Trump’s controversial order, which targets travellers from five
Muslim-majority countries and was labelled Islamophobic by those who challenged
it in court, has had an effect on everyone in the community, he says.
a US citizen who came to America when he was three months old, has a cousin
whose mother is stranded in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, as the country’s bitter
civil war continues and her visa application stalls.
just trying to get his mom out of the war,” he says. “It’s awful to see what
he’s going through. But it’s not just him affected. It’s Muslims spread out
over the US.”
hours after the court’s 5-4 ruling, which maintained the order that has been in
effect since December 2017, Muslim Americans around the country spoke to the
Guardian of their sadness and disappointment.
Omeish, a 23-year-old Libyan American from Fairfax, Virginia, had woken up
nervously on Tuesday, expecting the ruling to come down in the morning.
felt a pit in my stomach as I heard it,” she said.
who has campaigned against the ban for months in the nation’s capital, got
married last weekend. Over a dozen members of her wife’s close family, all
living in Libya, were not able to attend the ceremony due to the ban. She was
like we have to live as second-class citizens. We’re not allowed to access our
families just because we happen to be from a certain background, because we’re
Muslim,” she said.
weeks of international outcry over the Trump administration’s separation of
families entering the US at the southern border, Omeish’s story, like countless
others around the country, is a reminder the administration has been separating
families from the Muslim world for over half a year.
know,” says Omeish, who is launching a career in local politics this year, “the
supreme court has been wrong before, I have to remind myself on that. Both
morally and on social justice and civil rights grounds. But, regardless, we
have not reached a point in our country where we learn from our history, and
where we can make the right decisions despite the fear and pressure that’s out
Hamtramck, Michigan, purportedly the first city in the US to elect a Muslim
majority council, Muad Almogari was equally despondent.
32-year-old Yemeni American has an older sister languishing in the Yemeni
province of Ibb. Her visa petition will probably be held in an indefinite limbo
following Tuesday’s ruling, and Almogari worries she and her five children
could be killed in the interim.
heard the news as he prepared to leave the US to visit her in Yemen. The
journey will take him two full days and will cost the middle school teacher,
who works a second job to make ends meet, thousands of dollars.
think the ruling is just going to make our life much harder than it was,” he
says. “I didn’t know this country, which was originally based on equality and
human rights, and justice for all, was about to be ruled by someone like Donald
Trump, who is willing to throw all of that away to satisfy his ego.”
couldn’t bring himself to tell his sister, Afriqiya, of the ruling over the
phone, and feels it is only right to tell her face-to-face so he can explain
its implications in full.
I get there, I can make her understand that this is only temporary, and things
will change, hopefully, because the American people will not stand for this and
will fight for justice,” he says with cautious optimism. “We haven’t lost hope
in the American people. But we kind of have lost it with Washington DC and the
Bay Ridge, dozens of men descended on the suburb’s Islamic centre for the Asr,
the daily afternoon prayer. The centre is situated on the main street,
surrounded by storefronts that demonstrate the multiculturalism that underpins life
here - pizzerias and Irish bars sit alongside hookah lounges and halal
is not what America is about,” says one worshiper who did not want to be named.
“It’s almost becoming like a dictatorship in the Middle East. Our country is
unique because of its diversity. Head down to the subway and you’ll see
everyone: Irish, Yemeni, Puerto Rican.
group of Muslim American opinion leaders visiting Turkey expressed satisfaction
at the results of Sunday's presidential and parliamentarian elections.
the auspices of Turkey’s Directorate of Religious Affairs, a group of Muslim
American opinion leaders and reverends paid a week-long visit to Turkey,
starting on Sunday.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan won an absolute majority in the presidential election with
52.5 percent of the vote, while his closest rival lagged behind at 30.6
believe that him [Erdogan] and his party coming to the power again will bring a
better future for Turkey,” Naiim Baig, director of Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center
in Virginia, told Anadolu Agency.
praised Erdogan’s “courage” for adopting a leading stance on Muslim issues.
are, unfortunately, not many Muslim leaders who have the courage to take a
stand for global Muslims and their issues,” he added.
Noah from Ohio state said he danced and even shed tears of joy when the results
election was so important for us because Turkish government is the voice of the
voiceless,” Noah said, praising Turkey’s humanitarian support for the Muslim
who is originally from Somalia, emphasized the Somalia’s “emotional attachment”
to Turkey, citing its support to the country in security and infrastructure, as
well as in the fight against terrorists.
that is why the most common female name in Somalia is Istanbul,” Noha said.
Prime, executive director of Barakah Inc. in Washington D.C., was happy to see
“a cheerful spirit” on the capital’s streets on the night of elections.
am just happy to see that Turks are united under the banner of progressing,
under the banner of making sure that people are heard,” Prime said.
happy to see that the people’s opinion was honoured,” she added.
turnout in Turkey’s presidential and parliamentary elections was almost 90
Hafid Djemil, head of the Meclis-i Shura of a New York Islamic Leadership
Council of several masjids in New York, also joined the world leaders in
congratulating Erdogan and Turkish people for the “successful elections”.
election showed that Turkish people are mature and are at the level of
responsibility, at the level of being civilized to conduct an election with no
incidents, that is one of the greatest things,” Djemil said.
Iran oil sanction deadline as protests continue in Tehran
United States warned countries that they must stop buying Iranian oil before
Nov. 4 or face a renewed round of American sanctions.
deadline was set as strikes and protests continued in Iran on Tuesday after the
deteriorating economic situation sparked shopkeepers and traders to close down
senior State Department official said the US would not be “granting waivers” to
any country and described tightening the noose on Tehran as “one of our top
national security priorities.”
third day of demonstrations sparked President Hassan Rouhani to scramble to
reassure Iranians that the country can withstand the financial pressures of new
emerged from decades of crippling sanctions after signing the nuclear deal with
world powers in 2015.
the economic benefits hoped for by many failed to materialise, businesses fear
a return to the dark days of full US sanctions that are expected after Donald
Trump said last month that the US would pull out of the deal.
news agency reported that parts of Tehran’s Grand Bazaar were on strike for the
second day, after traders massed outside parliament on Monday to complain about
a sharp fall in the value of the national currency.
footage posted on social media showed protesters setting fire to garbage
dumpsters in Tehran streets to block riot police from attacking them, Reuters
also showed shopkeepers were on strike in other cities including Arak, Shiraz
Monday, police patrolled the bazaar in Tehran following clashes with protesters
angered by the rial's collapse, which is disrupting business by driving up the
cost of imports.
said on Tuesday the government would be able to handle the economic pressure of
new US sanctions.
his economic record, Rouhani said the government’s income had not been affected
in recent months, and the fall in the rial was the result of “foreign media
in the worst case, I promise that the basic needs of Iranians will be provided.
We have enough sugar, wheat, and cooking oil. We have enough foreign currency
to inject into the market,” Rouhani said in a speech broadcast live on state
rulers are nervous about fresh unrest, particularly related to economic
late December, large demonstrations about the lack of improvement in the
economy spread to more than 80 Iranian cities and towns. At least 25 people
died in the unrest, the biggest expression of public discontent in almost a
initially vented their anger over high prices and alleged corruption, but the
protests took on a rare political dimension, with a growing number calling on
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to step down.
also chanted against the excessive spending on Iran’s foreign military
operations in countries like Syria, while people at home struggled to make ends
Karasik, a senior advisor to Gulf State Analytics, said the eruption of the new
phase of Iranian rioting is now being seen throughout the Iran.
country is entering a phase of discontent with the existing regime,” he told
protests are getting louder and more violent and increasingly targeting the
the new protests are centred around the powerful traders in Iran’s bazaars, is
particularly significant Karasik said.
protests and the closures of bazaars throughout the country are at the heart of
not only the 1979 revolution but also the Tobacco Protests against a British
monopoly in 1891–92, and the Constitutional Revolution of 1905-1911.”
is to start reimposing economic penalties on Tehran in coming months after
Trump quit the agreement, The nuclear deal lifted sanctions in return for curbs
on Tehran’s nuclear program.
may cut Iran's hard currency earnings from oil exports, and the prospect is
triggering a panicked flight of Iranians' savings from the rial into dollars,
judiciary chief warned on Tuesday that the “economic saboteurs,” who he said
were behind the fall of rial, would face severe punishment, including execution
or 20 years in jail.
enemy is now trying to disrupt our economy through a psychological operation.
In recent days some tried to shut down the Bazaar, but their plot was thwarted
by the police," Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani was quoted as saying by Fars news
prosecutor Abbas Jafari-Dolatabadi said some protesters near the bazaar were
arrested on Monday and would not be released before going to trial.
Iranian government is implementing new plans to control rising prices,
including banning imports of more than 1,300 products, preparing its economy to
resist threatened US sanctions.
who is under pressure to change his economic team, said the fresh US sanctions
were part of a "psychological, economic and political war", adding
that Washington would pay a high price for its actions.
group accuses Tories of turning blind eye to Islamophobia claims
Muslim Council of Britain has accused the Conservative party of hoping
allegations of Islamophobia in its ranks will “magically go away” and complained
that the party’s chairman has not responded to its call for an internal
weeks after it first raised the issue, the group wrote again to Brandon Lewis
on Tuesday highlighting further allegations of anti-Muslim prejudice within
Tory ranks. It said it was not acceptable to turn “a blind eye to legitimate
concerns about bigotry”.
MCB said further examples of alleged Islamophobic abuse had emerged, including
the former party chair Sayeeda Warsi saying she had been racially abused at
meetings, and a pro-Tory Facebook group that contained a string of anti-Muslim
MCB letter, a copy of which has been seen by the Guardian, says: “Three weeks
ago we wrote to you requesting an inquiry into Islamophobia within the
Conservative party. Sadly we have neither received an acknowledgement nor a
cannot have an approach where you are hoping that the issue would magically go
away so that it could avoid a bruising inquiry into anti-Muslim prejudice.”
MCB also cited comments by a former parliamentary candidate, Shazia Awan, who
said she had quit the party because it had “a notion that Islam is not
compatible with British values”.
Lewis did not respond directly to the MCB letter, he wrote an article for
Conservative Home 10 days ago in which he said the party would work with the
anti-racism group TellMama, would make diversity training available to party
members and would remind local associations of the standards of behaviour
single case of abuse is one too many, and since becoming chairman I have taken
a zero-tolerance approach,” he wrote.
MCB said it welcomed “at least your willingness to talk about Islamophobia” but
added that it had been approached by “other individuals [who] have shared with
us their stories of experiencing Islamophobia” who did not want to be named
because they were afraid of damaging their prospects in the party.
Tory member had told it about a local party leader who said another member
looked “too Muslim” and “wouldn’t be accepted”, and it had also heard of “five
BME Tory members being seated on a single table at the back of a room at a
Conservative association dinner”.
between the MCB and the Conservatives have been fractious ever since the group
called for an internal inquiry at the end of May. The home secretary, Sajid
Javid, said shortly afterwards that the MCB “does not represent Muslims in this
country”, prompting the MCB to accuse him of “shooting the messenger”.
the time the MCB asked why no action had been taken against Bob Blackman, the
Harrow East MP, after he retweeted an anti-Islam message from the hard-right
activist Tommy Robinson, and hosted a hardline Hindu nationalist, Tapan Ghosh,
in parliament. Blackman said he had retweeted the Robinson post accidentally
and had not known in advance that Ghosh was being invited to an event last
Khan, the secretary general of the MCB, said: “We earnestly hope that the
Conservative party addresses concerns of Islamophobia with the seriousness it
deserves. The true extent of the problem can only be achieved via an
Conservative party declined to comment.
French police on Tuesday continued questioning 10 suspected far-right
extremists over an alleged plot to attack Muslims that has fueled safety
concerns in Europe’s biggest Muslim community. Nine men and one woman aged 32
to 69 were arrested in raids across France on Saturday.
suspects, whose detention was extended late Monday for a further 48 hours, had
an “ill-defined plan to commit a violent act targeting people of the Muslim faith.”
have linked the 10 to a little-known group called Action des Forces
Operationnelles (Operational Forces Action), which urges French people to
combat Muslims, or what it calls “the enemy within.” Rifles, handguns and
homemade grenades were found during searches in the Paris area, the
Mediterranean island of Corsica and the western Charentes-Maritimes region.
man who posted a string of Islamophobic tweets in the wake of the Manchester
Arena attack has been jailed for stirring up racial hatred.
Chand, from Birmingham, posted 32 tweets over a few days after the bombing in
May 2017, police said.
Mat Shaer of West Midlands Police said the messages "left people fearing
some of the threats could be carried out by him or his Twitter followers".
31, was jailed for 20 months at Birmingham Crown Court on Monday.
had admitted publishing threatening, abusive or insulting material intended to
stir up racial hatred.
of Luce Close, Castle Vale, was arrested on 17 June 2017 after a member of the
public reported the tweets to police.
of the messages encouraged violence against Muslims and for mosques to be
attacked, while in one Chand claimed he wanted to "slit a Muslim's
told officers he was "venting" in the aftermath of the Manchester and
London Borough Market attacks and had stopped using Twitter, police said.
said Chand admitted he "felt disgusted at himself for writing the
Shaer said: "This case saw the sustained release of offensive, threatening
material aimed at Muslim and Pakistani communities − it left people fearing
some of the threats could be carried out by him or his Twitter followers.
law is careful to try and not penalise expression of opinion, even in strong
and possibly offensive terms.
European Union (EU) says talks with Turkey to potentially accept Ankara’s
accession to the bloc have reached a deadlock over alleged Turkish rights
violations and judicial failures.
council (of ministers) notes that Turkey has been moving further away from the
European Union,” said a statement issued Tuesday following a meeting of EU
European affairs ministers in Luxembourg.
accession negotiations have therefore effectively come to a standstill,” the
statement said, citing numerous human rights violations as well as the conduct
of the country’s judiciary system.
council is especially concerned about the continuing and deeply worrying
backsliding on the rule of law and on fundamental rights, including the freedom
of expression,” it added.
statement referred to mass arrests and dismissals “targeting journalists,
academics, members of political parties including parliamentarians, human
rights defenders, social media users and others exercising their fundamental
rights and freedoms” as evidence of rights violations.
development came just a couple of days after Turkish President Recep Tayyip
Erdogan won re-election on Sunday. The EU issued only a short statement of
EU ministers said, however, that Ankara remained a “key partner” for the
Western bloc on matters such as aiding to block the persisting stream of
refugees and asylum seekers into Europe.
will host an international humanitarian conference on Yemen on Wednesday to
address the humanitarian situation in the country and find solutions for it.
seminar in which relief organizations and researchers in the humanitarian
situation in Yemeni cities that are suffering from military conflict was held
on Tuesday on the humanitarian situation in Hodeidah and Taiz.
at the seminar called for trying those involved in violating civilians’ rights
and they commended the coalition forces and the French support represented in
sending humanitarian aid workers and 11 doctors.
also intends to send a team specialized in removing mines to Hodeidah.
upcoming conference on Wednesday comes following the major developments
particularly in the port of Yemen. Among the participants are representatives
of states and international agencies that operate in Yemen.
beyond ‘half-hearted’ efforts to resolve Kashmir dispute, separatists urge
United Jihad Council (UJC), an alliance of over a dozen Kashmiri separatist
groups, on Tuesday played down the recent imposition of governor’s rule in
India-held Kashmir as a “non-issue,” noting that New Delhi had always run the
occupied territory “through its stooges and puppet governments”.
the sake of durable peace in the region, it is imperative that India read the
writing on the wall, respect the wishes and aspirations of the Kashmiris and
hold a free and fair plebiscite in accordance with the pledges made by its
leadership after partition of the sub-continent,” the UJC chief, Syed Salahuddin,
was quoted as saying in a press release.
to the press release, issued by the group, the UJC conglomerate held a
high-level meeting with Salahuddin in the chair to discuss recent events in
the meeting, the UJC chief warned against a major humanitarian disaster in the
face of unrelenting atrocities and human rights violations at the hands of
Indian forces in Held Kashmir.
serious concern over the “criminal silence” of the global institutions and
powers, he said that Islamabad should go beyond its “traditional half-hearted”
efforts and launch a forceful diplomatic initiative to draw the attention of
the world community towards the agonising situation in the held territory.
of governor’s rule and termination of the so-called elected government is
insignificant and a non-issue for the people of Jammu and Kashmir because every
state government has always been a puppet and subservient to New Delhi,” the
UJC chief, who is also supreme commander of Hizbul Mujahideen – the largest and
mainly indigenous constituent of the alliance, was quoted as saying.
said the so called Ramazan ceasefire and talks offer by Indian government had
been devoid of sincerity and seriousness.
was referring to a May 16 announcement by India’s Home Ministry that its forces
would not launch any operations in Jammu and Kashmir during the month of
Ramazan. Two weeks later, Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that the
government was ready to hold dialogue with the Hurriyet Conference leadership
if it came forward for talks.
have already said that we are ready for dialogue with all stakeholders in
Kashmir. If Hurriyet comes forward for talks, we don’t mind talking to them.
Whoever wants to talk with us, we are ready for talks,” Singh had told a TV
channel, according to India’s PTI news agency.
Salahuddin said that both promises had turned out to be “hoax” as there had
been no let up in the killing of Kashmiris during the month of fasting.
there been some seriousness and good intention behind these offers, the
militant leadership would certainly have given a positive response,” he said.
the dialogue, he pointed out that “talks for the sake of talks” had miserably
failed in the past and added that their fate in future could hardly be
UJC chief emphasised that the dialogue process could not be made meaningful and
result-oriented without acknowledging and realising the ground reality in Jammu
and Kashmir and historical facts linked with the longstanding issue.
sooner this reality is realised the better it will be for the global peace,” he
also warned that the Bharatiya Janata Party’s outrage at the pro-freedom
Kashmiri people and its plans and actions to suppress the freedom movement
through use of brute force would prove detrimental to India itself.
recalled that over the past 70 years, India had tried both coercion and money
to subdue and lure the Kashmiris but to no avail, as each passing day had
witnessed greater intensity in the resolve of Kashmiris.
UJC also condemned the murder of celebrated journalist Dr Syed Shujaat Bukhari
and criticised accusations in Indian media that those who disagreed with
Bukhari’s views or activities had been responsible for his killing.
Indian media has carried reports blaming the UJC and Lashkar-e-Tayyeba for
orchestrating the attack on the journalist, a charge both outfits have strongly
had reportedly been pro-dialogue and had supported an Indian government ceasefire
in Kashmir during the month of Ramazan, which, as some Indian media outlets
have alleged, had turned hardline separatists against him.
Salahuddin slammed the allegation, condemning Bukhari’s murder as “a ghastly
act of the highest degree” and adding that it was “condemnable to blame those
who differed with his ideology or activities”.
a thought is illogical and unrealistic … It reflects a criminal approach,”
Salahuddin was quoted as saying.
killing of Shujaat Bukhari at a time when the UN Human Rights Commission
released a report on the human rights abuses by Indian forces in Kashmir raises
many questions,” the newspaper Greater Kashmir had previously quoted Salahuddin
had also said they had a “firm belief that Indian agencies and their agents
were behind the murder of Bukhari.”
separatist leader suggested that the Kashmir Bar Association and human rights
watchdogs play a role in exposing the “elements or institutions” involved in
A terrorist associated with the splinter group of banned
Tehreek-e-Taliban-Pakistan (TTP), alleged to be part of the cell that
assassinated former Pakistani PM Benazir Bhutto, has denied his involvement in
the attack. In a video released by the group, the TTP has instead blamed
Pakistan’s former President General Pervez Musharraf for Bhutto’s
was believed to have been a “back-up suicide bomber”, and was allegedly tasked
to detonate his explosive vest if the first attacker failed. According to
investigators, he walked away after the first bomber blew himself up, killing
Bhutto and at least 20 others at a rally in the garrison city of Rawalpindi in
December 2007 at Liaquat Bagh, a venue where Pakistan’s first PM Liaquat Ali
Khan was also murdered on October 16, 1951.
video in which Ikramullah made his first public statement on Bhutto’s
assassination was obtained by BBC. It is believed to have been filmed in
eastern Afghanistan by TTP’s splinter group. Sitting next to Sheharyar, the
group’s commander, Ikramullah repeatedly stated in the video that he was
neither “involved” nor “aware of” the plot to kill Bhutto.
however, claimed that the Pakistani Taliban were not involved in the attack,
and blamed it on the country’s then military ruler Pervez Musharraf and
intelligence services. “Attempts to link Ikramullah to the killing of Benazir
is the work of the infidel media and apostates,” Sheharyar said.
Musharraf has been declared a proclaimed offender after being charged with
“abetment and conspiracy to murder” in relation to Bhutto’s death, he has not
appeared in court. He is currently in self-imposed exile in Dubai and has
denied any involvement in Bhutto’s death or having deliberately not provided
her with adequate security.
interior minister Rehman Malik told BBC that the militant was ‘totally lying’
as other suspects had named him in court as one of the bombers. Malik said that
Ikramullah was ‘the only living person’ with inside information on the Bhutto
case, as the majority of other militants linked to the case have since been
killed. Ikramullah’s denial, he said, could be motivated by fear of being
detained in Afghanistan and handed over to Pakistan.
this year, a book published by the Pakistani Taliban on the history of the TTP
acknowledged that despite earlier denials they had indeed carried out the
attack, and again named Ikramullah as the second suicide bomber. The book, From
British Raj to American Imperialism, was written by Mufti Noor Wali Mehsud, who
was recently named as the new head of the TTP, following the death of the
group’s previous leader Mullah Fazlullah in a drone strike earlier this month.
According to the book, Bhutto was targeted by the militants because she was
planning “to target the mujahideen” and create a government sympathetic to
The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to
take measures for developing necessary rules and framework for bringing former
ambassador to the United States Hussain Haqqani back home.
directives were issued by a three-judge Supreme Court bench headed by Chief
Justice Mian Saqib Nisar when senior counsel Ahmer Bilal Soofi, representing
the FIA, told the court that without a proper mutual legal assistance (MLA),
all efforts to bring Mr Haqqani back to Pakistan would not be fruitful. And in
the absence of such regulations, the FIA did not have the enabling powers to
extradite him from the US, he said.
a suo motu, the apex court had taken up a case pertaining to steps being taken
by the government for ensuring implementation of its earlier order of bringing
Mr Haqqani to Pakistan.
Haqqani was at the centre of a controversy for sending a memorandum allegedly
to former US military chief Admiral Mike Mullen, seeking direct American
intervention to avert a possible overthrow of the civilian government by the
military against the backdrop of US raid at a compound in Abbottabad to kill
Osama Bin Laden on May 2, 2011.
more: Memogate and the aftermath
the Supreme Court constituted a judicial commission which had on June 12, 2012,
held that Mr Haqqani was the originator and architect of the memo.
Tuesday, the chief justice regretted that a person had submitted himself before
the apex court earlier and was allowed to leave Pakistan after an undertaking
that he would return whenever called after a prior notice. Now when the man was
being asked to come he was not obeying.
Advocate Soofi told the court that without MLA no evidence against Mr Haqqani
could be collected by the FIA.
chief justice, however, wondered why the agency failed to make the rules when
the case had been heard for the last few months.
the hearing, the counsel offered his assistance in framing rules without any
charge for providing designated authority to the investigation agency.
of ERRA funds
the same bench set up a commission headed by the district and sessions judge,
Mansehra, to develop terms of reference (ToR) to conduct a thorough probe into
misappropriation of funds and lack of development in Balakot and adjoining
areas in the wake of the 2005 earthquake.
commission will furnish ToR within a week and after the approval of which it
will then embark upon a through inquiry. The time period to complete the probe
will be decided by the court at the next hearing.
a suo motu, the apex court had taken up an application of Shahzad Mehmood
Qureshi of Mansehra who had invited its attention to alleged embezzlement of
funds in the accounts of the Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation
his application, Mr Mehmood had alleged that despite the passage of 13 years,
the people of Balakot were still living in makeshift arrangements without
water, while their children were studying in schools without any roof and not a
single doctor was available for them.
applicant also alleged that Rs55 billion was transferred to the Benazir Income
Support Programme out of Erra funds, while Rs185bn was transferred to other
the insistence of the applicant, the chief justice had even paid a visit to
Balakot on April 25 to get first-hand information about how the area people
Supreme Court on Tuesday came out with an option for 222 firms involved in the
written-off non-performing loans worth billions of rupees from the commercial
banks either to deposit three-fourth (75 per cent) of the principal amount they
had borrowed or face trials before the banking tribunals.
firms will have to come up with their response to the court’s suggestion on
penny will be recovered,” observed the chief justice, adding that the recovered
money could be used to repay the international debt for which every citizen
owed about Rs170,000.
court had taken a suo motu notice in 2008 on press reports that the State Bank
of Pakistan (SBP) quietly allowed commercial banks to write off non-performing
loans (NPLs) under a scheme introduced by former president Pervez Musharraf.
after October 2002 elections, then finance minister Shaukat Aziz and his team
at the SBP approved a loan write-off scheme.
wanted’ in Benazir assassination resurfaces, denies involvement
suspected militant alleged to have been part of the cell that murdered former
prime minister Benazir Bhutto has appeared in a Taliban video denying his
involvement, reported BBC.
is believed to have been a back-up suicide bomber, who was meant to detonate
his explosive vest if the first attacker did not succeed.
officials say he walked away after the other bomber blew himself up, killing
Bhutto and at least 20 others at a rally in Rawalpindi in 2007.
senior Bhutto aide said he was lying.
his first public statement on the case, Ikramullah appears in a video produced
by a splinter group of the Pakistani Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) which was obtained
by the BBC. It is believed to have been filmed in eastern Afghanistan, where
the militants are based.
as a “senior figure” in his group, Ikramullah repeatedly states in the video he
was neither “involved” nor “aware of” the plot to kill Bhutto. He is on a
Pakistani list of most-wanted terror suspects and has been named in court as
the second suicide bomber.
Rehman Malik, a former interior minister who was a close friend of Bhutto’s,
told the BBC that he believed Ikramullah was “totally lying”, and that other
suspects had named him in court as the second bomber.
source with knowledge of Pakistani militant groups told BBC that until recently
Ikramullah was openly and proudly claiming his involvement. But last year he
was attacked by other rival Islamists in Afghanistan, and his family received
threats from the Pakistani security services. As a result, it is believed, he
was advised by his group’s leaders to make a video denying his involvement.
source told the BBC: “The whole of the Pakistani Taliban and even young
children from the tribal areas know he was involved.”
was elected as prime minister in 1988 and 1993. After a period in exile, she
returned to Pakistan in 2007 to campaign for elections.
survived an assassination attempt in October 2007 when suicide bombers targeted
a parade welcoming her at Karachi airport. More than 150 people died.
was killed two months later at a rally in Rawalpindi. Five alleged militants
charged with involvement in the plot were last year acquitted, but remain in
detention pending an appeal.
leader of the Pakistani Taliban at the time, Baitullah Mehsud – who died in US
strike in 2009 – denied that the group was responsible. However, many have
speculated that this was prompted by the public backlash the attack received.
intelligence officials said they had intercepted a phone conversation in which
Baitullah Mehsud was told by an unnamed cleric that the attackers were “our
men” and included Ikramullah, who was then about 16 years old.
National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal has
approved initiating the process of bringing back former prime minister Nawaz
Sharif’s sons Hasan and Hussain, former finance minister Ishaq Dar and PML-N
president Shahbaz Sharif’s son-in-law Ali Imran Yousaf from London through
NAB chairman gave the approval during a meeting with the bureau’s officials in
Lahore on Tuesday.
accountability court has already declared Hasan and Hussain Nawaz and Ishaq Dar
proclaimed offenders (POs) in corruption references against them. Mr Yousaf is
wanted by NAB in the Saaf Pani Company scam.
to a source, NAB has decided to go after them to meet legal requirements in the
cases against them. “Since Hasan, Hussain and Ishaq Dar have been declared POs
and Yousaf skipped three consecutive NAB hearings and is hiding in London, NAB
has to initiate the process of bringing them back to complete the legal
formalities,” he said, adding that NAB was writing to the interior ministry to
take up the matter of bringing the four accused back to the country with the
help of Interpol.
to reporters in London, Hussain Nawaz shrugged off the NAB move, saying “there
is a rule of law in Britain and nothing can happen beyond the ambit of law”.
and Hussain were declared POs last year after they consistently skipped the
court’s proceedings in three graft references pertaining to their Park Lane
flats and the establishment of offshore companies.
Dar, who is facing a corruption reference with regard to assets beyond known
sources of income, left for London last year and extended his stay there on
Yousaf left for London a couple of months ago after evidence emerged that he
allegedly received Rs120 million and Rs28m from officials of the Punjab Power
Development Company and Saaf Pani Company.
NAB chairman also approved an inquiry into those matters referred to it by the
Supreme Court. These included investigation into the affairs of Punjab
Institute of Cardiology, appointment of Overseas Commissioner Afzaal Bhatti and
Wapda officials’ involvement in the Neelum-Jhelum power project affairs and
probe against former chief executive officer of the Punjab Population
Innovation Fund Jawad Qureshi, Punjab Health Management Company CEO Zahir
Abbas, Urban Sector Planning and Management Company CEO Dr Nasir Jawad, Saaf
Pani Company south CEO retired Capt Muhammad Usman, Punjab Health Facilities
Management Company CEO Muhammad Ali Ammar and former vice president of the
National Bank of Pakistan Usman Saeed.
Iqbal also authorised inquiry against two private companies — Agri Tech Limited
and Alizgard Nine — and Hammad Arshad of Globaco and DHA Lahore City.
directed the NAB officials not to take into account the position of any suspect
and go after them (suspects) in accordance with the law. “NAB has not only to
recover looted money but also take culprits to task,” he said, directing them
to ensure 100 per cent transparency in investigation.
Lahore Director General Shahzad Saleem informed the chairman that an amount
of Rs18 billion had been recovered in different scams and distributed among the
to a source in NAB, the anti-graft watchdog has also decided to bring back to
Pakistan Saifur Rehman, a confidant of Nawaz Sharif and former chief of the now
defunct Ehtesab Bureau, through Interpol.
in view media reports and possibilities that Nawaz Sharif might not return from
the UK, NAB was also considering the same option to bring him back through
Interpol, the source said, adding that the bureau also planned to place the
name of former secretary to the prime minister Fawad Hassan Fawad on the Exit
Control List (ECL).
is allegedly involved in the Ashiyana Housing Scheme and Saaf Pani Company
names of Fawad Hassan Fawad and Punjab health secretary Ali Jan and provincial
secretary Najam Shah will be placed on the ECL,” the source said, adding that
recently arrested former CEO of Saaf Pani Company Wasim Ajmal had sought to
become an approver in the case against Shahbaz Sharif after which NAB summoned
the former Punjab chief minister next month to record his statement in the
Ajmal’s decision to become the approver is believed to be a big blow to Shahbaz
Sharif who is still in the country and kicked off his election campaign from
Karachi on Tuesday.
had arrested Wasim Ajmal and Qamarul Islam of Saaf Pani Company on Monday.
Islam, a leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, has been given the party
ticket to contest the election against Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan from NA 59
source said NAB had also prepared a reference against the former director
general of Lahore Development Authority and others in the Saaf Pani Company
scam and it would be filed in an accountability court on Wednesday (today).
Khawaja Saad Rafique, a close aide to the Sharifs and former Railways minister,
can also be in hot water as NAB has decided to challenge his affidavit
submitted to an accountability court that he had no link with Paragon Housing
Society in Lahore.
is accused of being involved in an illegal land deal in the housing society.
Now is the time to implement the “trade-not-aid” policy as establishing strong
business ties is the best way to rebuild once close relationship with the
United States, say the members of a Pakistani delegation visiting the US
delegation, which is the first to visit the United States since the new
ambassador, Ali Jahangir Siddiqui, himself a businessman, came to Washington
late last month. On Tuesday, they met senior US officials at the State
Department and came back with the impressions that the Americans too want
better trade relations with Pakistan.
they told the delegation that “Pakistan must eradicate terrorism, in all its
forms, to create a business-friendly environment,” said Kamran Nasir, CEO, JS
Global Capital Ltd.
believe that to encourage investors, particularly from the United States,
Pakistan must improve the security situation,” said Hubco’s CEO Khalid Mansoor.
Department officials also reminded Pakistan that the Paris-based Financial
Action Task Force (FATF) was already considering a proposal to censure Pakistan
over its alleged failure to stamp out terrorism finance and stressed the need
for Pakistan to take immediate measures for overcoming this problem.
the United States had played a key role in placing Pakistan on FATF’s watchlist
in February, the delegation felt after the meeting that Pakistan may be placed
on the FATF grey list but would avoid getting blacklisted. Being placed on the
blacklist could bring economic sanctions, which Pakistan wants to avoid.
are taking steps to stamp out terrorism financing,” said Nasir, “but being
placed on the grey list is not the end of the world. We were on this list from
2012 to 2015 and yet our economy improved rapidly during that period.”
their discussion with the Pakistani team, US officials also showed a keen
interest in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and “we assured them
that CPEC also creates a lot of opportunities for American businesses,” said
Ehsan A. Malik, Chief Executive Pakistan Business Council.
Siddiqui, CEO Meezan Bank, said that CPEC’s focus was on building
infrastructure, “which will create new investment incentives for all.”
delegation explained to US officials that CPEC had set aside $36 billion for
power generation and most of these projects were using “state-of-the-art”
American equipment, such as GE motors and generators.
there’s an enormous opportunity for US investments in CPEC-backed projects,”
Pakistani delegation also presented statistics, showing that the United States
was one of Pakistan’s a major trading partners. Statistics released by the US
Census Bureau show that between January and April 2018, the US exported
$1.077bn of goods to Pakistan while its imports amounted to $1.199bn. In 2017,
US exported $2.8b worth of goods to Pakistani while imports accounted for
delegation explained to US officials that Pakistan was also a major victim of
terrorism and that terrorism was not Pakistan’s invention as it came to South
Asia during the cold war.
explained that Pakistan was so far the only country to successfully fight back
terrorism, creating an environment that was already encouraging foreign
companies to invest in the country. They pointed out that 35 companies,
including some from the United States, had already invested in Pakistan while
more were coming.
some members of the Pakistani delegation told media representatives that they
also noticed some positive changes in the US attitude. The Trump administration
was making changes that would allow US companies also to invest in coal-based
projects, they said, adding that some US companies were already providing
equipment for coal-based projects in Thar.
Morin, CEO, Pakistan Stock Exchange Ltd, pointed out that a prestigious international
evaluator, MSCI, reclassified PSX from a Frontier to an Emerging Market in May
2017 because of its performance.
said that now was the best time to invest in PSX because of uncertainty in
An Afghan refugee identified as Abdul Karim was killed while six shopkeepers
were injured when some people from the adjoining Bajaur area attacked them with
daggers and sticks at the Munda Bazaar here on Tuesday. The injured were taken
to the DHQ hospital Timergara.
told the Munda police that over a dozen persons from Kulala area of Bajaur attacked
the president of Munda Bazaar traders’ body, Aminullah. They said other
shopkeepers rushed to save him from the attack, but the assailants used daggers
and sticks and injured seven of them, including an Afghan refugee. They later
escaped the scene despite the presence of policemen on the scene. They said the
Afghan national succumbed to injuries in hospital.
Munda police registered a case and started further investigations. It was
stated that motive behind the attack was that a son of the traders’ body
president had quarreled with a man from Kulala Bajaur the other day.
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Tuesday hailed the
decision of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to scrutinize foreign funding
of Pakistan Peoples Party (PTI) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-
Khan, in a statement issued by the PTI Central Media Department here, said the
PTI as a political party had been making its foreign funding public before ECP.
“So we welcome the belated ECP decision to send PPP and PML-N foreign funding
for audit probe before the committee,” he said.
Election Season Is a Gauge Of Rise Of Political Islam
(Reuters) - About 100 residents of a gritty commercial district of Indonesia’s
capital listen intently as a man roars into a microphone: “Are you ready to
change our president? Are you ready for new leadership?”
this is not a political rally. Dressed in white robes and a turban, Novel
Bamukmin of the Jakarta chapter of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), a
hardline Islamist group, addresses evening prayers in a mosque.
a year of local and then national elections begins this week in the world’s
biggest Muslim-majority country, some Islamic leaders have emerged as the most
vocal opponents of President Joko Widodo, who is expected to seek a second term
belong to a loose grouping of Islamists behind protests that culminated in the
election defeat and jailing for blasphemy in 2017 of Jakarta’s ethnic-Chinese
and Christian governor, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, a Widodo ally.
case of Purnama, who had said political rivals were deceiving people by using a
verse in the Koran to say Muslims should not be led by a non-Muslim, showed how
Islam had crept into politics in the officially secular country.
has pledged to protect Indonesia’s tradition of pluralism and moderate Islam,
and he has banned Hizb ut-Tahrir, a hardline group with ambitions for an
a senior government official conceded there are limits to how much the
government can control political messaging in mosques.
action against this phenomenon is blasted as anti-Muslim so our actions are
restricted,” said the official, who declined to be identified because of the
sensitivity of the issue.
former furniture maker and Indonesia’s first president from outside the
political and military elite, Widodo - known as Jokowi - has remained popular
since he took office in 2014.
is widely seen as an honest man of the people, rare for a leader in a country
where the political class is scorned as corrupt and aloof, and his push for
infrastructure and cutting red tape has burnished his image as a hands-on
recent opinion poll gave him a double-digit lead over the opposition Gerindra
party’s Prabowo Subianto, a retired general who is expected to run a second
time against Widodo in 2019.
and hardline Muslim groups, including the FPI, accuse Widodo of failing to stem
income inequality or deliver higher growth, but the most incendiary attacks
have often been around religion and ethnicity.
accusations have spread on social media that the president is not actually
Muslim and is a descendant of ethnic Chinese communists.
has sought to strengthen his ties with moderate Islamic leaders and he recently
appointed a controversial hardline cleric as a communications adviser.
only way for the opposition to win is to debunk the argument that Jokowi is one
of the masses, and to attack his weakest spot, which is his shyness in showing
his religion,” said Achmad Sukarsono, a political analyst at Control Risks.
of local elections across much of the country on Wednesday, the anti-Widodo
sentiment has crystallized into a movement called “#GantiPresiden2019” or
“Change the president in 2019”.
movement’s founder, Mardani Ali Sera, a member of parliament from a
conservative Islamic party, says he has no connection with political messaging
he says the majority of those affiliated with his movement are from Islamic
parties and the groups that opposed Jakarta’s Christian governor.
don’t use mosques but if the hashtag and the movement works for you, then go
ahead and use it,” Sera, who is active on social media, told Reuters.
FPI’s Bamukmin supports the #GantiPresiden2019 movement and said he and other
preachers push that message in sermons.
is the duty of Muslims to try and replace the current president who has
betrayed the country and his religion,” he said, accusing Widodo of “selling
the country to foreigners” and “empowering communists and deviant religious
election laws prohibit political campaigning in places of worship ahead of
President Jusuf Kalla told media political discussion is allowed in mosques
because they are places of education as well as worship, but campaigning is
government can do little to stop such activity in mosques, said a spokesman for
the religious affairs ministry.
there are clerics who use mosques for political interests, it’s better that the
public itself persuades them to stop. It is not in the ministry’s capacity to
identify or stop them,” said Mastuki, who goes by one name.
of millions of Indonesians will vote in 171 elections for mayors, regents, and
governors on Wednesday, an important barometer ahead of presidential and
parliamentary elections in 2019.
polls suggest candidates backed by parties supporting Widodo will win in many
parts of Java, Indonesia’s most populous island, but observers will be watching
for signs of Islamist influence.
man who attended FPI preacher Bamukmin’s sermon in Jakarta this month, said
even if clerics were becoming more political, their congregations were smart
enough to decide for themselves.
just listen to the good points and ignore the rest,” said Huda, 27.
Islamic bodies should cater to non-Muslims too
Khidhir Bin Abu Bakar
JAYA: Activist-lawyer Nik Elin Rashid has urged Putrajaya to ensure that
religious institutions include in their ambit of concern not only Muslims of
all schools of thought but non-Muslims as well.
to FMT, she said the work of government Islamic agencies should reflect
Malaysia’s character as a multicultural country.
would promote understanding among Malaysians of all backgrounds regarding
Islam,” she said.
was commenting on a report that Putrajaya’s top advisory council had invited at
least three muftis as well as independent Muslim scholars and activists to hear
their views on the future of the administration of Islam under the Pakatan
Elin said Putrajaya, in its bid to improve the work of Islamic agencies, should
first of all be discerning in its choice of people to lead the institutions.
should not be political appointees and must be from highly respectable
backgrounds,” she added.
also said the institutions should be prohibited from moral policing.
should remain a personal relationship with God and there should never be a
self-appointed conduit to God,” she said.
criticised the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim), saying it
currently promoted a single system of belief with no room for dissension.
believe that Islam is a religion for all times,” she said. “The doors of
ijtihad did not close 1,430 years ago.”
Ismail, an ex-member of the G25 group of former civil servants and a frequent
critic of Jakim, also weighed in on the issue, saying the new Malaysia that had
emerged with the recent general election should not leave room for heavy-handed
practices by religious institutions.
unacceptable that the government of Malaysia Baru would allow this kind of
behaviour from religious authorities,” he told FMT.
to the anti-khalwat law, he said raids on people suspected of flouting it were
reminiscent of draconian laws of the past, such as the Internal Security Act.
appalling that they arrest on hearsay,” he added.
for the reform of Islamic institutions have been renewed in the wake of the
recent arrest of lawyer Siti Kasim after the mother of her client claimed that
her daughter’s faith was in question. It was reported that police forcibly took
away the client from Siti’s house.
Umno presidential candidate Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah today said the party, from
its grassroots leaders to the top leadership, needed to apologise to Malaysians
for the wrong it had done.
Umno veteran said this was in line with Malaysian culture, and that Islam
taught them to say sorry for any wrongs they had committed.
I can influence the party members, through a consensus, I would like to arrange
for all branches and divisions to apologise to all Malaysians for the wrongs we
have done, which caused them to be angry with us.
have been complacent, and we have shirked our responsibilities as leaders. This
has angered Malaysians.
need to say sorry to them so that we can foster better relations with them,” he
said in his speech to Penang Umno delegates in Seberang Jaya, near here, today.
Razaleigh said he saw no reason why Umno could not apologise, and that he was
of the view that Malaysians would forgive the party.
must do that. It is our duty to do so,” he said.
battle for the Umno presidency will see the Gua Musang MP going up against
Khairy Jamaluddin and Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, among others. Party elections are set
to take place this Saturday.
will be the second time Tengku Razaleigh, who is better known as Ku Li, is
contesting the presidency. He first did so in 1987, against then-Umno president
and Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
in his speech, Tengku Razaleigh said Umno had lost badly in the 14th general
election, demonstrating a clear rejection by the people, adding that the party
was now looked down upon by some.
morale is down. Some have told me they have no more fire in them to meet
people. Others said they do not want to get involved in politics.
feel sad. We did not suffer a small defeat. We lost badly. If previously we
lost in Kelantan, we managed to gain Terengganu. But this time we lost power in
the whole country except for Sarawak. We managed to retain the smallest state
in the country (Perlis) and the biggest state in the peninsula (Pahang).
sure, the morale will be low.”
Gua Musang MP said there were still some who were in denial and refused to
accept that the party had been rejected by the people.
people think it is business as usual, that we still have power and we are still
Malaysian mosque has banned tourists after a video of two female visitors in skimpy
outfits dancing in front of the Muslim holy site went viral online.
pair, of East Asian appearance and believed to be foreigners, were filmed doing
the dance in skimpy shorts and tops exposing their midriffs on a wall outside
the main mosque in the city of Kota Kinabalu, a popular site for visitors and
and local Muslim groups were incensed by the risque moves outside the holy site
on Borneo island, which is renowned for its huge blue and gold dome and ornate
outraged onlooker can be heard in the video saying: "Why don't they just
fall off the wall?"
chairman Jamal Sakaran at the weekend slammed "the unacceptable behaviour
by foreign tourists" and announced a temporary halt to any tourists
visiting the mosque in Sabah state, adding the move was to preserve the
sanctity of Islam.
nationality of the women involved was not clear.
Tourism Minister Christina Liew told The Star newspaper legal action would not
be taken against the pair as they were likely unaware of the severity of their
actions. But authorities wanted to track them down to explain "that
something they deemed as 'fun' was actually disrespectful and not right in
numbers of tourists -- both local and foreign -- visit the mosque, often during
a brief stop in Kota Kinabalu before heading into the jungles of Sabah to see
the jungle-clad state's abundance of wildlife.
can usually visit mosques in Muslim-majority Malaysia, where most practise a
moderate form of Islam, but are advised to wear modest clothing.
is not the first time that foreign visitors have landed in hot water for
disrespecting local culture in Sabah.
police are increasing security along the Thai border, Malaysia’s deputy police
chief said Tuesday while conceding that insurgents from Thailand’s Deep South
may have made bombs just across the frontier in Kelantan state.
in Narathiwat, a neighboring province in Thailand where police recently
arrested a suspect transporting 41 pipe bombs “from a neighboring country,” the
provincial police chief expressed frustration that his jurisdiction would be
peaceful if Malaysia cracked down on suspected militants residing within its
is a possibility that the southern insurgents sneaked into Malaysia and
produced the bombs in Kelantan,” Malaysian Deputy Police Inspector-General Noor
Rashid Ibrahim told BenarNews.
are looking into that angle and we are probing it.”
far there have been no arrests in Kelantan,” he said. “The police are stepping
up security in the area.”
Rashid was reacting to a report from the Malaysian state news agency Bernama
that the homemade bombs seized from a suspected insurgent in the Thai Deep
South five days earlier were assembled in Malaysia.
news service quoted the Thai Army’s Fourth Army Region commander, Lt. Gen.
Piyawat Nakwanich, as saying that the bombs were meant for use in staging
militant attacks after Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting, which ended in
our investigations, we found that the bombs were smuggled in from Malaysia,”
Piyawat, Thai Army's highest-ranking officer in the Deep South, was quoted as
bombs were seized at a checkpoint when Thai police intercepted a suspected
insurgent who was driving a pickup truck from Sungai Kolok town to Yi-ngor, a
district in Narathiwat, officials said.
39-year-old suspect, identified as Zanuzi Yatae, was attempting to smuggle the
pipe bombs into the inner areas of Narathiwat, police said, adding that an
alleged accomplice, identified by Zanuzi as Abdulaziz Samoe, escaped.
found the metal tubes with explosives and timing devices, along with
walkie-talkies and other devices that can be used to remotely detonate the
Manas Sikasamat, commander of Narathiwat provincial police, said many suspected
supporters of Deep South insurgents are dual citizens.
are couples or have relatives on both sides of the borders, very hard to
control,” he said. “But it would be easy if Malaysia could help tighten
border-crossings and crack down on the accused who reside there.”
Pramote Prom-in, spokesman for the Thai military’s ISOC Region 4, said he could
not confirm that the pipe bombs were built in Malaysia.
cannot name the country of origin,” he told BenarNews, citing lack of
documents. “I am not sure about the report quoting the 4th Army Region as
saying the bombs were from Malaysia. Initially, I don’t see official reports
is one of the provinces of the Deep South, where nearly 7,000 people have died
in violence since a separatist insurgency re-ignited in the predominantly
Muslim and Malay-speaking region 14 years ago. On May 20, 16 bombs exploded
within 50 minutes in four provinces in the insurgent-wracked region, police
Assistant Commissioner Din Ahmad, the deputy police chief of Kelantan, told
BenarNews that smuggling contraband was “not a new thing” for people living
near the Sungai Golok River, which acts as a natural border between Malaysia
police can’t be checking each car and vehicle entering Malaysia,” he said. “But
now since the bombs are believed to be made in Malaysia, the police are
stepping up its investigation and tightening the border. Every car is searched
officers are working closely with their Thai counterparts to get more
information and are “on the hunt” to detain the perpetrators in the smuggling
attempt, Din Ahmad said.
are digging more information from Thai police and from the details they have,”
solution is still a possibility, says Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia has affirmed that adherence to peace based on the two-state
solution according to the Arab peace initiative is a way to find a solution to
the Palestinian issue and to end the Arab-Israeli conflict.
came in the Kingdom’s speech on Tuesday before the UN Security Council session
in the open debate on “The situation in the Middle East and North Africa”
delivered by the deputy permanent representative of Saudi Arabia to the UN, Dr.
Palestinian people have suffered a long period of unjust occupation, oppressive
and racist policies of oppression and illegal settlement incursions,” Manzlawi
said, adding that Saudi Arabia is still in solidarity with the Palestinian
cause. A donation of $50 million was provided by the Kingdom to the UN Relief
and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees during the 29th Arab Summit (Jerusalem
Summit) held in Dhahran.
said the Kingdom is working with its coalition partners to restore legitimacy
in Yemen, a military operation aimed at saving the Yemeni people from the dark
forces and restoring some areas from the grip of the Iranian-backed terrorist
military operation was undertaken at the request of the legitimate government
of Yemen and in accordance with Security Council Resolution 2216, which calls
for, among other things, the withdrawal of Houthi rebels from all cities, he
continues to support the forces of rebellion and the coup of the Houthi
militias in Yemen and supply them with weapons, including the missiles that
attack Saudi Arabia from time to time, said Manzlawi, reporting that the number
of rocket attacks on the Kingdom has reached 155.
said Saudi Arabia condemns the reckless planting of thousands of mines by the
Houthis in Yemen in general and Hodeidah in particular. The Kingdom has
launched a $40 million project for landmine clearance.
said the Kingdom strongly condemns the attacks by the Houthi militias on UN aid
organizations, agencies and workers since 2015 as they detained 19 aid vessels
carrying 200,000 tons of oil derivatives. And he affirmed that the most human
degradation is in the areas controlled by the Houthis.
the Syrian issue, Manzlawi pointed out that the Kingdom has provided $100
million to alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people at the conference to
support the future of Syria and the region, which was held in Brussels at the
end of April this year, and provided Syrian brothers inside Syria and
neighboring countries with about $1 billion.
concluded that the Kingdom reiterates the need to stop this tragedy against the
Syrian people and to work toward a peaceful solution based on the principles of
the Geneva Declaration 1 and UN Security Council Resolution 2254. He also
stressed the importance of the international community’s responsibilities to
protect civilians in Syria.
Widening among Terrorists over Peace with Syrian Army
groups in the Southern part of the country threatened civilians and prevented
them from handing over the regions to the Syrian Army and implementing peace
the meantime, local sources said that terrorist front in Dara'a and Sweida has
collapsed following advances of the army in the region.
sources said that the terrorists launched missile and artillery attacks on
residential areas in Dara'a and Sweida, killing and wounding eight civilians in
Monday, over 900 terrorists laid down arms and surrendered to the Syrian Army
troops following rapid advances by the government forces in Eastern Dara'a.
army men stormed terrorists' positions in Eastern Dara'a and captured the
village of Hawsh Hamada.
army forces further seized control over several key points and advanced towards
the small town of al-Matla.
the meantime, the army's artillery and missile units and aircraft pounded
terrorists' movements and positions in the villages and towns in the Northern
part of al-Lajah region and South-East of the town of al-Na'eimeh, inflicting
major losses on the terrorists.
sources, meanwhile, said that the terrorist front collapsed after the army's
advances in the town of Busra al-Harir.
- Syria’s army launched an assault on the flashpoint southern city of Daraa
Tuesday, state media said, after a week of deadly bombardment on the nearby
countryside caused mass displacement.
forces have set their sights on retaking the south of the country, a strategic
area that borders Jordan and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
escalation against rebels in the past week is the latest in a Russian-backed
campaign to retake territory lost since the start of the Syria’s war in 2011.
a week, they have ramped up their bombardment of countryside areas in the
southern province of Daraa, which the United Nations says has forced 45,000
people to flee. But on Tuesday, state media said the army was launching an
“operation” on the provincial capital itself, known widely as the cradle of
Syria’s seven-year uprising.
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, said it was
the first ground operation inside the city since the escalation began.
AFP correspondent on the southern edge of Daraa city said he could see large
columns of smoke along the city’s skyline and two airplanes circling above amid
the steady boom of air strikes and shelling.
television reported: “Syria’s army is carrying out targeted air strikes against
terrorist positions and fortifications in Daraa.”
news agency SANA said the strikes were a prelude “before military units advance
into the southeastern quarter of the city.” Rebel groups mainly hold the
southern half of the city while loyalists control the north. Observatory head
Rami Abdel Rahman said: “Russian and Syrian air strikes, as well as barrel
bombs, targeted rebel areas in Daraa city.”
army is pursuing a divide-and-conquer strategy against rebels in the south,
aiming to chop up the horseshoe-shaped territory that the opposition holds.
regime is seeking to take control of a military base south of the city, which
will allow it to cut the route between Daraa city and the Jordanian border, as
well as further divide the rebel areas,” said Abdel Rahman.
regime forces had recaptured two villages in the east of Daraa province, which
allowed them to cut off a rebel pocket, the Observatory said.
military source cited by state media said the army had seized both Basr
al-Harir and Mlehat al-Atash.
then arrived on the edges of the nearby town of Al-Herak, SANA said.
strikes and barrel bombs on Tuesday caused “unparallelled destruction across
the town and to its infrastructure”, 48-year-old resident Khaleel al-Hariri told
hospital had already been put out of service several days ago by bombardment.
Raids on Tuesday also killed a rescue worker in the town of Basr al-Harir, the
White Helmets rescue service said.
UN humanitarian coordination office (OCHA) in Syria said at least 45,000 people
had fled fighting in the area in recent days. “We haven’t seen massive
displacement in this scale in Daraa,” spokeswoman Linda Tom said.
two Israeli missiles struck targets near Damascus airport early Tuesday, Syrian
state media said, while a monitoring group said they hit arms depots for
Hezbollah. In a report in the early hours of Tuesday, Syria’s state news agency
Sana said “two Israeli missiles came down near Damascus international airport”.
families on Tuesday could be seen streaming out of rebel-held areas in trucks
piled high with mattresses, furniture, and blankets.
the distance, air strikes left massive brown-grey clouds of smoke hanging above
hold most of Daraa and the adjacent province of Quneitra, while the government
holds a majority of Sweida to the east.
army began escalating last week with intense bombardment of Daraa’s eastern
countryside, then started striking the rebel half of Daraa city as well.
Tuesday, regime forces expanded the offensive even further.
and Syrian air strikes began hitting opposition positions in Daraa’s western
countryside near the Golan Heights, for the first time in a year,” said Abdel
Rahman, killing six civilians.
brings to 38 the number of civilians killed in a week of regime bombardment. A
total of 29 rebels and 24 pro-government fighters have been killed so far.
United Nations had previously warned that fighting was putting 750,000 people
in rebel-held areas of the south in harm’s way.
than five million people have fled abroad since the Syrian conflict erupted in
2011. Another six million are displaced inside the country.
said on Sunday it could not absorb a new wave of refugees across its border.
lines had been relatively quiet for nearly a year under a “de-escalation” deal
agreed by Russia, the United States and Jordan in July 2017.
of people took to the streets in al-Bab again and chanted slogan against
Turkish army and its militant allies, calling for their expulsion.
sources said that the Ankara forces' brutalities, including burning farms and
houses, looting their assets and infighting among the militants have angered
civilians' demonstration was the second in the current week.
a similar development on Sunday, people in al-Bab took to the streets and
called for exit of Syria's Tahrir Front affiliated to the Ankara-backed forces
from their region and also called for release of civilians captured by the
Syrian army men managed to complete cleansing operation in strategic al-Lajah
region in Eastern Dara'a.
army men further continued their operation and advanced towards the towns of
Nahat and al-Harak.
units of the army arrived in regions near the town of Azra'a after imposing
control over Maliheh Sharqi in Eastern Dara'a.
field sources reported that a large number of terrorists have started fleeing
the battlefield after the army's advances and losing dozens of fighters in
said earlier today that the army men engaged in fierce clashes with terrorists
in Eastern Dara'a and Western Sweida, taking back control over the villages and
small towns of Sakerah Baraq, al-Lotf, Haman, Khirbet Haman and al-Mojadada.
army men imposed control over more than 130 sq/km of land after their recent
advances in al-Lajah region in Eastern Dara'a and other regions in Western
army's operation inflicted major losses on Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at (the Levant
Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) and other terrorist groups in the
the meantime, a local source said that the army restored security to the roads
between Damascus and Dara'a and from Sweida to Damascus
army men, backed up by artillery units and Air Force, stormed terrorists'
strongholds in the town of Busra al-Harir in Eastern Dara'a and captured the
the army men managed to gain control over the village of Maliha al-Atash after
killing and wounding a large number of terrorists.
sources reported that terrorists' supply line between Northeastern Dara'a and
Southeastern Dara'a have been cut off after the army advances.
sources said that the army intends to advance in Azra'a region to reach other
government forces in the region to lay siege on the terrorists.
army men stormed terrorists' positions in Eastern Dara'a and captured the village
of Hawsh Hamada.
of the Iranian militias in Syria announced that it would fight with the president
of the Syrian regime, Bashar al-Assad, in the latest battle he launched in the
outskirts of Daraa city, in Busra al-Harir district.
its Facebook account, the of “Zulfiqar Brigade” militia said on Tuesday that
they, along with soldiers of the Syrian regime army, were now at “the center of
Busra al-Harir, in the eastern countryside of Daraa”.
Iranian militia in Syria published several photos where some soldiers appeared
but their identities were not clear.
militias said in another news outlet on Tuesday that their secretary general
had been subjected to an assassination attempt by Syrian opposition factions
and published photos for him and his car, which seemed to have several hits due
to heavy gunfire, as per what appears in the photos.
Assad’s regime announced its intention to target south of Syria cities; most of
the Iranian militias avoided to talk about its presence in the region.
Especially after Tehran announced that there are no Iranian militias in the
South of Syria.
“Zulfiqar” announcement that it entered Busra al-Harir, in the eastern
countryside of Daraa came to negate all what the Iranian government had
announced, that there are no Iranian forces in the Southern part of the
militias are one of dozens of Iranian militias in Syria sent by Tehran to fight
with Assad in Syria.
security forces liberated six men who were held captives by ISIS and detained
the kidnappers two days after ISIS threatened to execute them.
made its threat via a video in which masked ISIS members threatened to kill all
six men unless female ISIS members who are sentenced to life in prison and
execution by the judiciary are released.
Iraqi security center said on Monday night that all six hostages were freed
during an operation by the counter-terrorism service and with the security
forces in Kirkuk.
center added that security forces liberated the men following clashes that
lasted for hours.
UN says over 45,000 people have been displaced following the ongoing conflicts
in Syria’s southwestern province of Dara’a, warning that the number could
double if clashes continue.
expect the number of displaced people could nearly double as violence
escalates," Bettina Luescher, spokeswoman for the UN’s World Food
Programme (WFP), said at a briefing on Tuesday.
for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Jens
Laerke said at the same briefing that civilians including children have lost
their lives and been injured during the conflicts and a hospital has been put
out of operation.
on the day, Media run by Lebanon’s Hezbollah and the so-called Syrian
Observatory for Human Rights said that the Syrian army troops had managed to
push the Takfiri Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) terrorists out of the Laja area and
the strategic town of Busra al-Harir in Dara’a Province.
Saturday, Syrian government forces liberated the villages of al-Bustan and
al-Shumariya in Dara’a’s eastern countryside.
southwest region is strategically sensitive because of its proximity to the
frontiers with both Jordan and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
least nine civilians have been killed and nearly a dozen others sustained
injuries after warplanes belonging to a Saudi-led military coalition struck a
bus carrying internally displaced persons (IDP) in war-battered Yemen’s western
province of Hudaydah.
Arabic-language al-Masirah satellite television network, citing its
correspondent in the area, reported on Tuesday that the deadly airstrike hit
the bus on a road linking the two towns of Jarrahi and Zabid earlier in the
day, adding that three of the dead had been torn to pieces beyond recognition.
report further said that at least 11 other people onboard the ill-fated bus had
been wounded in the aerial aggression.
June 13, the Saudi-led military coalition, coupled with the militia loyal to
Yemen’s former President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, have been breathing fire on
Hudaydah port city, the provincial capital, a densely-populated city and the
war-torn country's most vital port, which is the entry point for 70 percent of
the impoverished country.
invaders are trying to seize the vital port and its important international
airport from fighters of the Houthi Ansarullah movement, which is a significant
aid to the Yemeni army in defending Yemen against the invading forces and that
has been running state affairs in the absence of an effective administration
during the past three years.
invasion of Hudaydah has already triggered fears of a fresh humanitarian crisis
in a country where more than 22 million people are in need of aid, including
8.4 million who are at risk of starvation.
or die: Algeria strands 13,000 migrants in the scorching Sahara
this isolated frontier post deep in the sands of the Sahara, the expelled
migrants can be seen coming over the horizon by the hundreds. They look like
specks in the distance, trudging miserably across some of the world’s most
unforgiving terrain in the blistering sun.
are the ones who made it out alive.
in the desert, Algeria has abandoned more than 13,000 people in the past 14
months, including pregnant women and children, stranding them without food or
water and forcing them to walk, sometimes at gunpoint, under temperatures of up
to 48 degrees Celsius (118 degrees Fahrenheit).
Niger, where the majority head, the lucky ones limp across a desolate
15-kilometer (9-mile) no man’s land to Assamaka, less a town than a collection
of unsteady buildings sinking into drifts of sand. Others, disoriented and
dehydrated, wander for days before a UN rescue squad can find them. Untold
numbers perish along the way; nearly all the more than two dozen survivors
interviewed by The Associated Press told of people in their groups who simply
could not go on and vanished into the Sahara.
were lying dead, men [...] other people got missing in the desert because they
didn’t know the way,” said Janet Kamara, who was pregnant at the time.
“Everybody was just on their own.”
body still aches from the dead baby she gave birth to during the trek and left
behind in the Sahara, buried in a shallow grave in the molten sand.
streaked her legs for days afterward, and weeks later, her ankles are still
swollen. Now in Arlit, Niger, she is reeling from the time she spent in what
she calls “the wilderness,” sleeping in the sand.
in a voice almost devoid of feeling, she recalled at least two nights in the
open before her group was finally rescued, but said she lost track of time.
lost my son, my child,” said Kamara, a Liberian who ran her own home business
selling drinks and food in Algeria and was expelled in May.
woman in her early twenties, who was expelled at the same time, also went into
labor, she said. That baby didn’t make it either.
mass expulsions have picked up since October 2017, as the European Union
renewed pressure on North African countries to head off migrants going north to
Europe via the Mediterranean Sea or the barrier fences with Spain. These
migrants from across sub-Saharan Africa — Mali, the Gambia, Guinea, Ivory
Coast, Niger and more — are part of the mass migration toward Europe, some
fleeing violence, others just hoping to make a living.
European Union spokesperson said the EU was aware of what Algeria was doing,
but that “sovereign countries” can expel migrants as long as they comply with
international law. Unlike Niger, Algeria takes none of the EU money intended to
help with the migration crisis, although it did receive $111.3 million in aid
from Europe between 2014 and 2017.
provides no figures for the expulsions. But the number of people crossing on
foot to Niger has been rising steadily since the International Organization for
Migration (IOM) started counting in May 2017, when 135 people were dropped at
the crossing, to as high as 2,888 in April 2018. In all, according to the IOM,
a total of 11,276 men, women and children survived the march.
least another 2,500 were forced on a similar trek this year through the Sahara
into neighboring Mali, with an unknown number succumbing along the way.
migrants the AP talked to described being rounded up hundreds at a time,
crammed into open trucks headed southward for six to eight hours to what is
known as Point Zero, then dropped in the desert and pointed in the direction of
Niger. They are told to walk, sometimes at gunpoint. In early June, 217 men,
women and children were dropped well before reaching Point Zero, fully 30
kilometers (18 miles) from the nearest source of water, according to the IOM.
seconds of setting foot on the sand, the heat pierces even the thickest shoes.
Sweat dries upon the first touch of air, providing little relief from the
beating sun overhead. Each inhalation is like breathing in an oven.
there is no turning back.
were people who couldn’t take it. They sat down and we left them. They were
suffering too much,” said Aliou Kande, an 18-year-old from Senegal.
said nearly a dozen people simply gave up, collapsing in the sand. His group of
1,000 got lost and wandered from 8 am until 7 pm, he said. He never saw the
missing people again. The word he returned to, over and over, was “suffering”.
said the Algerian police stole everything he had earned when he was first
detained — 40,000 dinars ($340) and a Samsung cellphone.
tossed us into the desert, without our telephones, without money. I couldn’t
even describe it to you,” he said, still livid at the memory.
migrants’ accounts are confirmed by multiple videos collected by the AP over
months, which show hundreds of people stumbling away from lines of trucks and
buses, spreading wider and wider through the desert.
migrants told the AP gendarmes fired on the groups to force them to walk, and
multiple videos seen by the AP showed armed, uniformed men standing guard near
bring you to the end of Algeria, to the end in the middle of the desert, and
they show you that this is Niger,” said Tamba Dennis, another Liberian who was
in Algeria on an expired work visa. “If you can’t bring water, some people die
on the road.” He said not everyone in his group made it, but couldn’t say how
many fell behind.
Dennis, another Liberian who is not related to Tamba, filmed his deportation
with a cellphone he kept hidden on his body. It shows people crammed on the
floor of an open truck, vainly trying to shade their bodies from the sun and
hide from the gendarmes. He narrated every step of the way in a hushed voice.
as he filmed, Ju Dennis knew what he wanted to tell the world what was
facing deportation in Algeria — there is no mercy,” he said. “I want to expose
them now [...] We are here, and we saw what they did. And we got proof.”
authorities refused to comment on the allegations raised by the AP. Algeria has
denied criticism from the IOM and other organisations that it is committing
human rights abuses by abandoning migrants in the desert, calling the
allegations a “malicious campaign” intended to inflame neighboring countries.
with the migrants who make their way from Algeria to Niger on foot, thousands
more Nigerien migrants are expelled directly home in convoys of trucks and
buses. That’s because of a 2015 agreement between Niger and Algeria to deal
with Nigeriens living illegally in their neighbor to the north.
then, there are reports of deaths, including one mother whose body was found
inside the jammed bus at the end of the 450-kilometer (280-mile) journey from
the border. Her two children, both sick with tuberculosis, were taken into
custody, according to both the IOM and Ibrahim Diallo, a local journalist and
number of migrants sent home in convoys — nearly all of them Nigerien — has
also shot up, to at least 14,446 since August 2017, compared with 9,290 for all
journey from Algeria to Niger is essentially the reverse of the path many in
Africa took north — expecting work in Algeria or Libya or hoping to make it to
Europe. They bumped across the desert in Toyota Hilux pickups, 15 to 20 in the
flatbed, grasping gnarled sticks for balance and praying the jugs of water they
sat upon would last the trip.
number of migrants going to Algeria may be increasing as an unintended side
effect of Europe’s successful blocking of the Libyan crossing, said Camille Le
Coz, an analyst at the Migration Policy Institute in Brussels.
people die going both ways; the Sahara is a swift killer that leaves little
evidence behind. The arid heat shrivels bodies, and blowing sand envelops the
remains. The IOM has estimated that for every migrant known to have died
crossing the Mediterranean, as many as two are lost in the desert — potentially
upwards of 30,000 people since 2014.
vast flow of migrants puts an enormous strain on all the points along the
route. The first stop south is Assamaka, the only official border post in the
950-kilometer (590 mile) border Algeria shares with Niger.
in Assamaka, there are just two water wells — one that pumps only at night and
the other, dating to French colonial times, that gives rusty water. The needs
of each wave of expelled migrants overwhelm the village — food, water,
come by the thousands [...] I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Alhoussan
Adouwal, an IOM official who has taken up residence in the village to send out
the alert when a new group arrives. He then tries to arrange rescue for those
still in the desert. “It’s a catastrophe.”
Assamaka, the migrants settle into a depression in the dunes behind the border
post until the IOM can get enough buses to fetch them. The IOM offers them a
choice: register with IOM to return eventually to their home countries or fend
for themselves at the border.
decide to take their chances on another trip north, moving to The Dune, an
otherworldly open-air market a few kilometers away, where macaroni and gasoline
from Algeria are sold out of the back of pickups and donkey carts. From there,
they will try again to return to Algeria, in hopes of regaining the lives and
jobs they left behind. Trucks are leaving all the time, and they take their
fare in Algerian dinars.
rest will leave by bus for the town of Arlit, about 6 hours to the south
through soft sand.
Arlit, a sweltering transit center designed for a few hundred people lately has
held upwards of 1,000 at a time for weeks on end.
geographical position is such that today, we are directly in the path of all
the expulsions of migrants,” said Arlit Mayor Abdourahman Mawli.
said he had heard of deaths along the way from the migrants and also from the
IOM. Others, he said, simply turned right round and tried to return to Algeria.
it becomes an endless cycle,” he said wearily.
man at the center with scars on his hands and arms was so traumatized that he
never spoke and didn’t leave.
other migrants assumed he had endured the unspeakable in Algeria, a place where
many said they had been robbed and beaten by authorities. Despite knowing
nothing about him, they washed and dressed him tenderly in clean clothes, and
laid out food so he could eat. He embarked on an endless loop of the yard in
the midday sun.
no name, no confirmed nationality and no one to claim him, the man had been in
Arlit for more than a month. Nearly all of the rest would continue south mostly
off-road to Agadez, the Nigerien city that has been a crossroads for African
trade and migration for generations. Ultimately, they will return to their home
countries on IOM-sponsored flights.
Agadez, the IOM camps are also filling up with those expelled from Algeria.
Both they and the mayor of Agadez are growing increasingly impatient with their
want to keep our little bit of tranquility,” said the mayor, Rhissa Feltou.
“Our hospitality is a threat to us.”
as these migrants move south, they cross paths with some who are making the
trip north through Agadez.
Monday evening, dozens of pickup trucks filled with the hopeful pass through a
military checkpoint at the edge of the city. They are fully loaded with water
and people gripping sticks, their eyes firmly fixed on the future.
Haram homeless face crisis as rains hit
Thousands of men, women and children made homeless by the Boko Haram insurgency
risk disease because of lack of shelter as the rainy season hits northeast
Nigeria, aid workers said Tuesday.
Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) said more than 4,000 people were having to
sleep in the open in the town of Dikwa, where they have fled military
operations against the jihadists.
which maintains the militants are virtually defeated, is encouraging internally
displaced people (IDPs) to return to their homes, as troops wind up operations.
humanitarian organizations say towns outside the Borno state capital,
Maiduguri, do not yet have the minimum standards of basic services to cope with
an influx of so many people.
Nigeria director Cheick Ba said they were “extremely concerned” by the
situation in Dikwa, some 92 kilometers (57 miles) east of Maiduguri.
are sleeping outside with nothing over their heads. With the rains now hitting
the area, they risk becoming sick with malaria, diarrhea or typhoid,” he said
in a statement.
the end of May, there were 1.7 million IDPs in Borno state and neighboring Yobe
and Adamawa, the UN said last week.
“large-scale displacements” were happening every week as a result of increased
fighting this year. In May, 21,207 people arrived in five towns in Borno state,
were stretched and $41.7 million was needed to provide life-saving assistance
to some 115,000 IDPs who are expected to move in the coming months, it added.
NRC said aid agencies were “overwhelmed” and hundreds of IDPs had arrived in
Dikwa since April because of fighting between the military and Boko Haram in
than 600 people awaiting military screening were staying in an unused petrol
station which has no roof; 4,000 others who have been screened were at a
the center was “full to the brink,” forcing families to sleep in the open.
Women were crammed into single rooms while men outside was a common sight, the
need for emergency shelter was immediate, as IDPs had also taken over four
local schools while the military was using another as a base.
was no immediate response from Nigeria’s defense spokesman when contacted by
AFP but a local government official in Dikwa confirmed the situation.
sleep in the open and with the start of the rainy season, their situation is
dire,” he said on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to
the 4,000 are some 1,500 people who were recently brought from Maiduguri after
being rescued from Boko Haram. The remainder saw their tents destroyed by a
windstorm last month.
need urgent support otherwise they will have to live in the open for as long as
the rainy season lasts, which is three months at least,” he added.
UN-backed government warned Tuesday that any new attempt by a rival
administration in the east to export oil independently will be stopped after
the region’s military strongman handed it control of key ports.
by parallel institutions are illegal and will fail as they have failed in the
past,” said the head of Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC), Mustafa
self-styled Libyan National Army of Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar announced on
Monday that all future revenues from the eastern oil ports which it controls
will be handed to the unrecognised administration in the east after it
recaptured two of them in 10 days of deadly fighting with a rival militia.
Benghazi-based authorities made a similar attempt to bypass the Tripoli
government in April 2016 but their planned sale of 300,000 barrels of crude was
stopped by the UN Security Council.
Security Council resolutions are very clear -- oil facilities, production and
exports must remain under the exclusive control of (Tripoli-based) NOC and the
sole oversight of the (internationally- recognised) Government of National
Accord,” Sanalla said.
are confident that the GNA and our international partners will take the
necessary steps to stop all exports in breach of international law.”
NOC warned it would sue any company that tried to buy oil from the eastern
authorities and that no purchase contract signed with them would be honoured.
least 200 undocumented migrants have been rescued off Libya's coast, the Libyan
Navy said late Tuesday.
a statement, navy forces affiliated with Libya’s internationally recognized Government
of National Accord said the migrants were rescued 25 miles off the coast of
migrants are Africans, the statement added.
785 migrants have died in the Mediterranean Sea this year while trying to sail
to Europe, according to the UN Migration Agency (IOM).
to the Libyan Navy, 16,000 undocumented migrants were rescued in 2017.
since the collapse of the central authority in Libya in 2011, the country’s
northwestern coast has become a hub for illegal migration to Italy and other
countries in Europe.
Somalia - Al-Shabab, the Al Qaeda-linked Islamist group, claimed it killed two
Burundian peacekeepers and injured 15 others in an attack on a convoy in
southern Somalia on Tuesday, Garowe Online reports.
soldiers, serving with the AU Mission in Somalia [AMISOM] died after a vehicle
they were travelling in ran over an improvised explosive device (IED) on the
outskirt of Bal'ad city, about 30 kilometres north of Mogadishu.
convoy was ferrying AMISOM reinforcement forces dispatched to the area to
assist Somali military troops after encountering a bomb and gun attack by the
extremists on Monday which left at least two soldiers dead.
sources added that the Somali government forces engaged in a bitter gun battle
with Al-Shabaab attackers, which inflicted heavy casualties on both sides.
Local residents said they heard huge blast followed by gunfire.
Burundian troops are in Somalia as part of 20,000 soldiers from Uganda, Kenya,
Ethiopia and Djibouti who were deployed to help counter Al-Shabaab, which has
been waging a rebellion for almost a decade in the country.
this month, Al-Shabaab has killed two members of HirShabelle parliament, their
bodyguards and a local official in an ambush in the same vicinity on
Bal'ad-Jowhar road in Middle Shabelle region in southern Somalia.
4,000 displaced women, children and men in the North-eastern Nigerian town of
Dikwa are sheltering in the open, while being screened by the Nigerian Army
after fleeing military operations in the area.
extremely concerned by the dire living conditions of families in Dikwa who’ve
recently fled military operations. Children are sleeping outside with nothing
over their heads. With the rains now hitting the area, they risk becoming sick
with malaria, diarrhoea or typhoid,” said Cheick Ba, Country Director,
Norwegian Refugee Council.
agencies are overwhelmed as hundreds of displaced people arrive to Dikwa every
day, after fleeing Mallam Kari village in Bama and other neighbouring
communities, due to hostilities between the Nigerian Army and armed opposition
groups. Before being allowed to settle in new towns, the new arrivals undergo a
screening conducted by the military.
600 displaced people are currently being kept in an unused roofless gas station
while waiting to be screened by the army. Some 4,000 others already screened
are being held at a reception centre before being given temporary shelters. But
the centre is full to the brink, forcing families to sleep outside. It is
common to see up to 15 women cramped in a single room while the men sleep
military reports that it takes an average of two weeks to clear the displaced
people. However, last year the same exercise took as long as one year in cases
when the army claimed women were wives of Boko Haram insurgents.
addition, the new arrivals have put pressure on the lives of the host
schools have been turned into camps for displaced families and our children
can’t access education. This worries me a lot,” says Kachalla Isa, the head of
the community. Only three of the eight schools in Dikwa are functional. Four
schools are housing displaced people, while the army is using one as a military
NRC has so far built over 1,300 temporary homes for the new arrivals, and plans
to build more shelters and toilet facilities in the coming weeks.
population of Dikwa before was estimated at 105,000 pre-2014. It currently
stands at about 120,000, with the arrival of displaced people.
average of 100 displaced people has arrived in Dikwa every day since April, as
they flee military operations in Ngala, Bama and villages surrounding Dikwa.
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@ Kaniz Fatma
You rightly say that Muslims must be united to curb
the takfiri terrorism. But before doing this job, Muslims need to understand
the root of takfiri terrorism. Unless they know it, they can’t prevent takfiri
terrorism. We see all the terrorist organizations killing innocent civilians
including Muslims and non-Muslims belong to wahhabism. They are following in
the footsteps of their master Muhammad b. Abdul Wahhab.
Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab (b. 1705) is known as the
founder of what is known as wahhabism. His followers describe all non-wahhabi
Muslims as Kuffar and legitimize killing of such Muslims. They killed Sunnis
and their ulema (see Shah Waliullah And His Political Movement p. 23- Urdu
version/ Wahabi Mazhab p. 162)
Muhammad b. Abdul Wahhab burnt many religious
books (Al-Hadiyya al-sunniya p.45-46), killed a number of ulema and common
Muslims, justified robbery of their wealth, used blasphemous language against
the prophets, sufis, awliyas, etc (see Al-Durar al-Sunniyyah p. 52-53)
Allama Aafandi writes in his book “Al-Fajr as-Sadiq
p. 19”, “Muhammad b. Abdul wahhab Najdi and his followers used to interpret the
holy Quran according to their will and desire. They did not interpret the Quran
as was done by the holy prophet (peace be upon him), his companions, great
Allama Ahmad bin Zaini Dahlan Makki writes, “Muhammd
Bin Abdul Wahhab used to prevent his followers from studying books of fiqh,
tafsir, hadith, and for this reason he also burnt many religious books” (see
Muslims also need to know that there are some
hidden wahhabi followers who have now started working to promote wahhabism by
hiding their true identity, title and belongingness.
“Iran: Wahhabism Bedrock
of Takfiri Terrorism”
گردی مسلمانوں کے لیے خطرناک ہیں ۔تمام مسلمانوں کو متحد ہو کراس کی روک تھام کی
کوشش کرنی چاہیے