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Islamic World News (07 Jun 2019 NewAgeIslam.Com)



Al-Qaeda Announces New Chief for India-Specific Wing after Death of Zakir Musa

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India

Al-Qaeda Announces New Chief for India-Specific Wing after Death of Zakir Musa

Malegaon Blast Accused Pragya Singh Thakur Appears Before Mumbai NIA Court

Bilkis Bano case: Convicted IPS officer sacked a day before retirement

Dubai: Eight Indians among 17 killed in fatal bus crash

Home for Eid, soldier shot by suspected militants in Valley, dies of injuries

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Pakistan

Pakistan Foreign Minister Writes to Jaishankar; Offers Talks On ‘All Important Matters’

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Australia

A New Mosque in Australia, Architect Angelo Candalepas Was Inspired By His Trips to Ahmedabad and Agra to ‘Embrace the Playful Nature of Concrete

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Arab World

Saudi King Calls on ‘Despots’ to Mecca for Emergency Meeting on Iran

Turkish Army, Kurdish Forces Resume Fierce Clashes in Aleppo

ISIL's Mastermind, Notorious Commander Killed in Iraq's Military Operation near Syria Borders

Turkish Army, Kurdish Forces Resume Fierce Clashes in Aleppo

People Hold Massive Uprising, Ask for Expelling Occupying Turkish Army from Aleppo

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Europe

Fanatics, in England, Who Are Serving Sentences for Terrorism, Are Recruiting Violent Prisoners to Be Their 'Foot Soldiers'

Denmark's anti-Muslim extremist misses out on parliament

Putin: Children to benefit from reading Bible, Quran, Torah

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South Asia

Afghan Forces Retake Khwaja Omari District A Year After It Fell Into The Hands Of Taliban

Afghan forces foiled 35 attacks in Kabul during Eid days including a car bombing plot

Afghan forces kill 15 Taliban militants in Nerkh district

Afghan forces storm another Taliban prison in Zurmat district of Paktiya

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Mideast

Iran Blames Europeans for Failing to Save N. Deal

UAE says ‘sophisticated’ tanker attacks likely the work of a state actor

Tehran: Israel’s Mossad Crying Wolf to Ramp up Anti-Iran Accusations

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Africa

Algeria’s Interim President Bensalah Calls For Dialogue To Prepare New Elections

Eastern Libyan forces attack Tripoli airport for second night

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North America

Iran's Foreign Ministry Describes Trump’s Anti-Iran Claims as Hackneyed

Compiled By New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/al-qaeda-announces-new-chief-for-india-specific-wing-after-death-of-zakir-musa/d/118820


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Al-Qaeda announces new chief for India-specific wing after death of Zakir Musa

Peerzada Ashiq SRINAGAR, JUNE 07, 2019

Musa, who had replaced slain militant Burhan Wani in 2016, was killed in Pulwama’s Tral on May 23.

Global terror outfit al-Qaeda has announced a new chief for its India-specific wing Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind (AGH), two weeks after its top commander Zakir Musa was killed in an encounter in Pulwama’s Tral.

Hameed Lelhari alias Haroon Abbas will replace Musa and Ghazi Ibrahim Khalid will be his deputy, Abu Ubaidah Hafizahullah, a spokesman of the group made these claims in an 11-minute video released on the outfit’s official media handle al-Hurr on the occasion of Id.

AGH chief Musa was killed in an operation on May 23 in Pulwama’s Tral. He had replaced slain militant ‘commander’ Burhan Wani in 2016 but quit the Hizbul Mujahideen. His name first appeared in an Arabic publication close to al-Qaeda in May 2017.

The police suggested that the new chief Lelhari, 30, comes from a poor background unlike Musa and is a resident of Pulwama’s Lelhar area. He received his earlier education from the Evergreen Public School Lelhar and dropped out of the school in Class 8th. The police records suggest Lelhari took up small time jobs line labourer, cook and mason “to meet his two ends”.

Interestingly, his name did not figure in the top ten wanted militants complied by the Union home ministry recently.

Hours after the declaration about the new AGH chief, Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) spokesman Usama Mahmood in another audio praised Musa, in a bid to show global militants sympathy with him. This audio was released by the outfit’s as-Sahab Media group.

“Every militant in Afghanistan is saddened and mourning the killing of Musa. We are with our Kashmiris brothers in this time of grief and pray that may Allah accept his martyrdom, may Kashmir have many more Zakir Musas. Also, Muslims in Kashmir and other Muslims should take ahead the mission of Zakir Musa, Burhan Wani and Afzal Guru,” the spokesman said in the purported message released online.

Al-Qaeda social media platforms have also released a video on militant Faisal Ishfaq Bhatt, a resident of Srinagar and apparently in Afghanistan nowadays. “Jehad in Kashmir is no different than jehad in Afghanistan. The al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent is counseling Afghan Taliban and also many jihadis in Kashmir. Mujahideen and leaders of the AQIS are eager to meet their brethren in Kashmir. They will launch attacks on oppressive army and police,” the speakers, identified as Bhatt, says.

It also criticised the role of Pakistan and its intelligence agencies for its “U-turn on Kashmir”. Bhatt praised Parliament attack mastermind Ghazi Baba, Ilyas Kashmiri and Ahsan Aziz for “abandoning Pakistan sponsored jihad”. Bhatt claimed to have joined militancy in Kashmir in 1990s and was first trained in Bandipora by Ghazi Baba.

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/al-qaeda-announces-new-chief-for-india-specific-wing-after-death-of-zakir-musa/article27677511.ece?homepage=true

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Malegaon blast accused Pragya Singh Thakur appears before Mumbai NIA court

Sonam Saigal MUMBAI, 

JUNE 07, 2019 13:36 IST

The last time she had shown up in the court was during framing of charges in the case in October last year.

Member of Parliament and main accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case Pragya Singh Thakur appeared before the National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Mumbai on Friday.

Ms Thakur arrived from Bhopal in the morning and was questioned by Special Judge Vinod Padalkar. Under Section 313 1 a of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the court can question the accused.

The judge called Ms Thakur to the witness stand and asked, “Do you know how many witnesses have been examined by prosecution? Has your lawyer told you?”

To this, she replied, “No, I don’t know."

Judge Padalkar said, “116 witnesses have been examined and it has been established that a blast took place. I am not asking who did it. Do you know a blast took place on 29th September, 2008?”

Ms Thakur said, “No I don’t know.”

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/malegaon-blast-accused-pragya-singh-thakur-appears-in-nia-court-in-mumbai/article27618462.ece?homepage=true

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Pakistan Foreign Minister Writes To Jaishankar; Offers Talks On ‘All Important Matters’

PTI ISLAMABAD,  JUNE 07, 2019

Mr. Qureshi told Mr. Jaishankar in the letter that “Islamabad wants talks with New Delhi on all important matters and remains committed to efforts for establishing peace in the region.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi in a letter to his new Indian counterpart S Jaishankar on Friday said that Islamabad wants talks with New Delhi on “all important matters” and remains committed to efforts for establishing peace in the region.

Mr. Qureshi wrote the letter to Mr. Jaishankar to congratulate him for taking over as the External Affairs Minister. Former foreign secretary Jaishankar assumed charge as the External Affairs Minister on May 30.

Mr. Qureshi told Mr. Jaishankar in the letter that “Islamabad wants talks with New Delhi on all important matters and remains committed to efforts for establishing peace in the region,” the Dawn newspaper reported quoting diplomatic sources.

Tensions between the two countries worsened after the Pulwama terror attack and both the countries were almost on the brink of a war after India’s military planes struck a terrorist training camp in Pakistan’s Balakot on February 26 and Pakistan carried out a counter-offensive the next day.

Breaking the ice in bilateral ties, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on May 26 spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on phone and expressed his desire to work together for peace and prosperity in the region.

Mr. Modi on his part called for creating trust and an environment free of violence and terrorism for fostering peace and prosperity in the region.

India has rejected Pakistan’s offer of talks, maintaining that terror and talks cannot go together.

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/qureshi-writes-to-jaishankar-offers-talks-on-all-important-matters/article27659614.ece?homepage=true

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A New Mosque in Australia, Architect Angelo Candalepas Was Inspired By His Trips to Ahmedabad And Agra To ‘Embrace The Playful Nature Of Concrete

JUNE 07, 2019 TEXT JOHN JERVIS

SYDNEY – A few days ago, we presented a case of Islamic architecture gone contemporary, by way of a cultural centre in a city right outside of Lisbon. The Muslim diaspora seems to be using architecture to send a new message of self-representation, as there is now a second case under our radar: the Punchbowl mosque.

The recently completed institution is located in Punchbowl – a dense, diverse suburb of Sydney named after the curvaceous sides of a nearby valley – and designed by local firm Candalepas Associates, best known for robust yet refined urban housing. Its raw concrete exterior has attracted the inevitable ‘brutalist’ tag, but its matte finishes are surprisingly soft and enticing, while its strong angles and occasional curves present a series of striking profiles.

Traditional elements such as the minaret and a shallow dome are included but, at the request of the congregation, given a contemporary twist. The former, for instance, is integrated as a jutting projection from the main body of the mosque, acting as an entrance for female worshippers to the two wood-screened balconies that overlook the prayer hall.

Punchbowl has an austere grandeur, but also affords visual pleasure

Stepping into this main space, visitors are met by the project’s real set-piece. Hanging above the entrance are seven steeply raking rows of crisp concrete half-domes, 102 in all, rising up two adjoining walls, offering changing, captivating silhouettes as one moves though the hall. Each of these half-domes is inscribed in golden calligraphy with one of the 99 Names of Allah, and each is punctured by a small 30-mm hole at its centre, drawing in a tiny shaft of light that traverses the interior as the sun passes overhead.

The half-dome forms were cast in situ to exacting standards – a significant feat of engineering in itself – and pay homage to the ornamental muqarnas vaulting of traditional Islamic architecture, in which highly decorated niche-like forms, often arranged in tiers with hanging elements, cover the undersides of arches, gateways and dome chambers. Here at Punchbowl they have an austere grandeur, but also afford visual pleasure, as light from the oculus and clerestory windows of the timber-clad dome moves across their surfaces, articulating their precise, layered geometries and reaching deep into their patinated recesses.

During the project’s 20-year genesis, architect Angelo Candalepas was inspired by his trips to Ahmedabad and Agra to ‘embrace the playful nature of concrete,’ and has succeeded here in creating a humane, intimate space, yet one that also provides hints of the sublime through its simple materiality and its rich geometric forms.

https://www.frameweb.com/news/candalepas-associates-punchbowl-mosque-sydney

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Saudi King Calls on ‘Despots’ to Mecca for Emergency Meeting on Iran

June 7, 2019

Prof. As’ad AbuKhalil says Saudis attempts to create a united front against Iran has dismally failed. Summits categorically reject the `deal of the century' by Jared Kushner

https://therealnews.com/stories/saudi-king-calls-on-despots-to-mecca-for-emergency-meeting-on-iran

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Fanatics, in England, Who Are Serving Sentences for Terrorism, Are Recruiting Violent Prisoners to Be Their 'Foot Soldiers'

07 June 2019

The gangs, often led by fanatics who are serving sentences for terrorism, are recruiting violent prisoners to be their 'foot soldiers', the report reveals.

Inmates who refuse to convert to Islam and join their ranks are being ostracised or attacked.

The report, which examined three unnamed high security prisons in England, also describes how the gangs are instilling fear in staff.

They are particularly keen to target offenders who are already in street gangs and therefore have a 'propensity for violence', it adds.

Experts have previously warned that UK prisons have become a breeding ground for extremists to spread their behaviours and ideas.

Two years ago three men who had met in the high security Belmarsh prison in south-east London were convicted of plotting a terror attack

The trio, who dubbed themselves the Three Musketeers, had planned to use a meat cleaver and pipe bomb on police and military targets.

This latest report was undertaken by the Ministry of Justice with researchers at the University of Birmingham to better understand the nature of these gangs.

Following interviews with 83 offenders and 73 staff members, it concluded that the gangs ruled by 'violence, bullying and intimidation.'

One prisoner told them: 'There is an underlying pressure for people to convert and join the gang. The tactic they use is to befriend someone when they come in. If they don't convert they will then start spreading rumours about them, that the person is a snitch, so that they will be ostracised. Then the beatings will follow.'

The report states: 'Those who had committed terrorist crimes often held more senior roles in the gang, facilitated by the respect some younger prisoners gave them

'While recruitment was relatively indiscriminate, street gang members were particularly targeted for their propensity for violence.'

The report echoes the warnings of whistleblower Pastor Paul Song, who was chaplain at Brixton prison.

He told The Mail on Sunday last year how extremist Muslim gangs came to dominate his jail: intimidating prisoners into converting to Islam and physically assaulting him over his Christian faith.

He said Islamic extremists had hijacked his Bible classes, interrupting a discussion on divine grace to loudly acclaim the killers of Lee Rigby, whose murder by jihadis on a South London street shocked the nation.

He said: 'Some openly spoke in the chapel in support of Islamic State.'

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7115243/Extremist-Muslim-gangs-beating-prisoners-wont-convert-Islam.html

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Afghan forces retake Khwaja Omari district a year after it fell into the hands of Taliban

By Khaama Press / in Afghanistan / on Friday, 07 Jun 2019

The Afghan security forces retook the control of Khwaja Omari district in Ghazni province almost a year after it fell into the hands of Taliban militants.

The Ministry of Defense (MoI) announced earlier today that the security forces have recaptured Khwaja Omari district.

The defense ministry also added that Taliban were in control of the district for the past one year.

The acting minister of defense Asadullah Khalid had earlier vowed that the security forces would recapture all districts and areas which have fallen into the hands of Taliban.

The Afghan forces retook the control of the restive Deh Yak district of Ghazni during a similar operation late last month.

Meanwhile, the ministry of defense has not disclosed further information regarding the operation.

It is yet not clear if the militants and security personnel have suffered casualties during the operation or not.

https://www.khaama.com/afghan-forces-retake-khwaja-omari-district-a-year-after-it-fell-into-the-hands-of-taliban-03555/

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Iran Blames Europeans for Failing to Save N. Deal

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi, in a statement on Friday, criticized European signatories to the nuclear deal, also known as the joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), for falling short of delivering on their promises to save the pact.

In a statement issued today, Mousavi slammed the European parties to the JCPOA for their failure to fulfill their commitments under the deal and their obligations following the US' illegal withdrawal from the agreement.

"The Europeans have failed to prepare the grounds for Iran to fully benefit from the multilateral agreement," he said.

European members of the nuclear agreement - France, Germany and Britain - have been tinkering with a much-hyped special trade vehicle known as INSTEX that purports to circumvent US sanctions and keep some semblance of business channels open to Iran.

The three countries, however, have been struggling to operationalize it, raising serious doubts about their determination to compensate for last year’s unilateral US pullout from the 2015 nuclear deal.

Last month, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said France, Germany and Britain are coming under immense pressure from the US to cancel out their proposed trade channel with Iran, which has yet to see the light of day.

Speaking to reporters in Paris on May 21, Le Maire claimed that Iran’s pledge to withdraw from the agreement was making talks on creating the trade channel difficult.

“Iran is constantly threatening to break the agreement and that doesn’t facilitate the possibility of trade,” he said.

Le Maire also stated that the three European powers were facing huge pressure from the United States to drop the trade channel. 

“Yes, there is American pressure. It’s strong, very strong and very direct on this subject,” Le Maire noted, adding, “There is pressure on political officials, the administration and all those who are implicated on this subject.”

The Europeans want Iran to stick to all provisions of the nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, even after the Trump administration started this month implementing its pledge to zero out Iranian oil exports by halting waivers to world importers.

Nathalie Tocci, the special adviser to EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, acknowledged a week earlier that US pressure was making Iran's compliance with the nuclear deal impossible.

“What is very clear is the fact that, in fact, some of the non-renewal of the sanctions waivers of the United States actually make it impossible for Iran to comply with the JCPOA," she told Canada’s CBC News.

On May 10, Macron had lauded the historical 2015 deal as “a good agreement”, noting that “Iran must remain in this agreement and we must do everything we can to ensure that it stays in”.

Macron also urged the signatories to the nuclear deal with Iran not to “get caught up in any escalation” and to “jointly watch over our collective security".

The French leader stated that the United States will be responsible if Iran decides to pull out of the nuclear deal, stressing that it will be impossible for Washington to make it seem like it was Europe's fault.

"If Iran withdraws from the deal, then the United States will be responsible for this. It will not be possible to turn it out as if Europeans are to blame. Now everything must be done to avoid escalation and to keep this deal," Macron told reporters in the central Romanian city of Sibiu before a scheduled European Union summit.

It comes after top European diplomats stated that the EU is committed to preserving the nuclear deal with Iran and helping the nation dodge US economic sanctions, but will not bend to any ultimatums, as Tehran suspended some of its commitments.

The US withdrew from the internationally-endorsed 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, reimposed the toughest-ever sanctions against the country and started a plan to zero down Tehran's oil sales.

Under the nuclear agreement reached between Iran and six world powers in July 2015, Tehran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions.

In 2018, all the other signatories — Russia, China, Germany, France, the UK, and the EU — refused to follow the US example and confirmed their commitment to the accord, trying to save the deal with the Islamic Republic.

Iranian officials then warned that the European Union’s failure in providing the needed ground for Tehran to enjoy the economic benefits of the nuclear deal would exhaust the country's patience.

Yet, Iran continued compliance with deal, stressing that the remaining signatories to the agreement had to work to offset the negative impacts of the US pullout for Iran if they want Tehran to remain in compliance.

Europeans' honesty in dealing with the Iran nuclear deal has always been seriously doubted by Iranian masses that were discontent with talks with European states.

Almost a year later, however, the EU failed to provide Tehran with its promised merits. Then, on Friday the US state department announced that it had not extended two waivers, one that allowed Iran to store excess heavy water produced in the uranium enrichment process in Oman, and one that allowed Iran to swap enriched uranium for raw yellowcake with Russia.

Until now, Iran was allowed to ship low-enriched uranium produced at Natanz to Russia before it hit the 300-kg limit and the US measure leaves no way for Tehran other than exceeding the ceiling for storing the enriched uranium in violation of the 2015 nuclear deal.

Also, the United States would no longer waive sanctions that allowed Iran to ship heavy water produced at its Arak facility beyond a 300-ton limit set in the 2015 nuclear deal to Oman for storage which again forces Tehran to store it inside country in violation of the nuclear deal.

In return, Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) announced in a statement on Wednesday that the country had modified two of its undertakings under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in return for the US abrogation of the deal and other signatories inability to make up for the losses under the agreement, warning that modifications would continue if the world powers failed to take action in line with their promises.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran declares that at the current stage, it does not anymore see itself committed to respecting the limitations on keeping enriched uranium and heavy water reserves," the statement said.

The statement gave the Group 4+1 (China, Russia, Britain and France plus Germany) "60 days to put into action their nuclear deal undertakings, specially in the banking and oil sectors, warning that "in case these countries fail to meet Iran's demands, the Islamic Republic of Iran will cease implementation of restrictions on uranium enrichment levels and measures related to the modernization of Arak Heavy Water Reactor as well".

"Once our demands are met, we will resume implementation of the ceased undertakings. Otherwise, the Islamic Republic of Iran will stop compliance with its other undertakings in consequent phases," the SNSC warned.

It underlined Iran's readiness to continue its consultations with the countries which have remained in the nuclear deal at all levels "but will show a firm and rapid reaction to any irresponsible measure, including referring the issue to the UN Security Council or imposition of more sanctions".

"The Islamic Republic of Iran's president has in his letter to the leaders of the nuclear deal member states clearly reminded them of the Islamic Republic of Iran's type of reaction," the statement added.

It reminded the G4+1 of Iran's good will during the nuclear talks, implementation of the nuclear deal and giving sufficient time to the other signatories to implement the deal, saying that it is now their turn to prove their good will and adopt serious and practical measures to protect the nuclear deal.

"The door of diplomacy will not remain open for a long time and the US and other members remaining under the nuclear deal are fully responsible for failure of the nuclear deal and any possible consequences," the statement said.

It underlined that the decision was made in line with defending the Iranian nation's security and national interests and materialization of Iran's rights stated in the paragraphs 26 and 36 of the nuclear deal.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in a letter on May 08 informed the Group 4+1 on stopping implementation of a number of Tehran's undertakings stated in the 2015 nuclear deal.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Seyed Abbas Araqchi submitted the letter to the ambassadors of the G4+1 to Tehran after they were called to the foreign ministry on May 08.

The letter contained decisions by the SNSC to "halt implementation of a number of the Islamic Republic of Iran's undertakings under the nuclear deal".

Also, another letter was sent by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini also on May 08 to inform her of details of Iran's measures.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei has warned Iranian officials not to be deceived by the European countries that say they want to salvage the nuclear deal.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980317000224

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India

Al-Qaeda announces new chief for India-specific wing after death of Zakir Musa

Peerzada Ashiq SRINAGAR, JUNE 07, 2019

Musa, who had replaced slain militant Burhan Wani in 2016, was killed in Pulwama’s Tral on May 23.

Global terror outfit al-Qaeda has announced a new chief for its India-specific wing Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind (AGH), two weeks after its top commander Zakir Musa was killed in an encounter in Pulwama’s Tral.

Hameed Lelhari alias Haroon Abbas will replace Musa and Ghazi Ibrahim Khalid will be his deputy, Abu Ubaidah Hafizahullah, a spokesman of the group made these claims in an 11-minute video released on the outfit’s official media handle al-Hurr on the occasion of Id.

AGH chief Musa was killed in an operation on May 23 in Pulwama’s Tral. He had replaced slain militant ‘commander’ Burhan Wani in 2016 but quit the Hizbul Mujahideen. His name first appeared in an Arabic publication close to al-Qaeda in May 2017.

The police suggested that the new chief Lelhari, 30, comes from a poor background unlike Musa and is a resident of Pulwama’s Lelhar area. He received his earlier education from the Evergreen Public School Lelhar and dropped out of the school in Class 8th. The police records suggest Lelhari took up small time jobs line labourer, cook and mason “to meet his two ends”.

Interestingly, his name did not figure in the top ten wanted militants complied by the Union home ministry recently.

Hours after the declaration about the new AGH chief, Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) spokesman Usama Mahmood in another audio praised Musa, in a bid to show global militants sympathy with him. This audio was released by the outfit’s as-Sahab Media group.

“Every militant in Afghanistan is saddened and mourning the killing of Musa. We are with our Kashmiris brothers in this time of grief and pray that may Allah accept his martyrdom, may Kashmir have many more Zakir Musas. Also, Muslims in Kashmir and other Muslims should take ahead the mission of Zakir Musa, Burhan Wani and Afzal Guru,” the spokesman said in the purported message released online.

Al-Qaeda social media platforms have also released a video on militant Faisal Ishfaq Bhatt, a resident of Srinagar and apparently in Afghanistan nowadays. “Jehad in Kashmir is no different than jehad in Afghanistan. The al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent is counseling Afghan Taliban and also many jihadis in Kashmir. Mujahideen and leaders of the AQIS are eager to meet their brethren in Kashmir. They will launch attacks on oppressive army and police,” the speakers, identified as Bhatt, says.

It also criticised the role of Pakistan and its intelligence agencies for its “U-turn on Kashmir”. Bhatt praised Parliament attack mastermind Ghazi Baba, Ilyas Kashmiri and Ahsan Aziz for “abandoning Pakistan sponsored jihad”. Bhatt claimed to have joined militancy in Kashmir in 1990s and was first trained in Bandipora by Ghazi Baba.

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/al-qaeda-announces-new-chief-for-india-specific-wing-after-death-of-zakir-musa/article27677511.ece?homepage=true

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Malegaon blast accused Pragya Singh Thakur appears before Mumbai NIA court

Sonam Saigal MUMBAI, 

JUNE 07, 2019 13:36 IST

The last time she had shown up in the court was during framing of charges in the case in October last year.

Member of Parliament and main accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case Pragya Singh Thakur appeared before the National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Mumbai on Friday.

Ms Thakur arrived from Bhopal in the morning and was questioned by Special Judge Vinod Padalkar. Under Section 313 1 a of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the court can question the accused.

The judge called Ms Thakur to the witness stand and asked, “Do you know how many witnesses have been examined by prosecution? Has your lawyer told you?”

To this, she replied, “No, I don’t know."

Judge Padalkar said, “116 witnesses have been examined and it has been established that a blast took place. I am not asking who did it. Do you know a blast took place on 29th September, 2008?”

Ms Thakur said, “No I don’t know.”

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/malegaon-blast-accused-pragya-singh-thakur-appears-in-nia-court-in-mumbai/article27618462.ece?homepage=true

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Bilkis Bano case: Convicted IPS officer sacked a day before retirement

PTI AHMEDABAD ,  JUNE 07, 2019

The dismissal means IPS officer R.S. Bhagora will not get benefits entitled to retired government employees

Gujarat cadre IPS officer R.S. Bhagora, convicted in the 2002 Bilkis Bano case, was dismissed from service by the Union Home Ministry on May 30, a day before his retirement, a senior State government official said on Friday.

The 60-year-old officer, who was to retire on May 31, was serving as Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) with the Ahmedabad police when his dismissal order came, said M.R. Soni, Deputy Secretary (Inquiry), Gujarat Home Department.

“The state Home Department had received a communication from the Union Home Ministry ordering dismissal of Bhagora from service on May 29. We had served the order on May 30, which effectively means he was sacked a day before his retirement,” said Mr. Soni.

As per the government records, Bhagora, a State police service officer, was promoted to the IPS cadre in 2006. The dismissal means he will not get benefits entitled to retired government employees.

In March this year, the Supreme Court had asked the Gujarat government to take disciplinary action against the erring police officials, including Bhagora, convicted by the Bombay High Court for dereliction of duty in the sensational Bilkis Bano gang-rape case during the 2002 riots in the state. Among the erring police officials, four - a deputy superintendent of police, two inspectors and a constable - have already retired from service.

The Supreme Court had also awarded a compensation of ₹50 lakh to Bano, who was gang-raped in Randhikpur village in Dahod district during the post-Godhra riots. On Bano’s request, the apex court had transferred the case to Mumbai in August 2004.

A special court in Mumbai had awarded life sentence to 11 men for raping Bano, who was five-month pregnant at the time of the crime, and murdering seven of her family members during the riots. The trial court had acquitted five policemen, including Bhagora, who were booked for dereliction of duty in the high-profile case.

After their acquittal was challenged, the Bombay High Court had in 2017 reversed the lower court order and convicted these five policemen under sections 218 (not performing their duties) and 201 (tampering of evidence) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The Supreme Court had on July 10, 2017 dismissed the appeals of Bhagora and the other policemen against the HC order, saying there was “clear-cut evidence” against them.

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/bilkis-bano-case-convicted-ips-officer-sacked-a-day-before-retirement/article27665883.ece?homepage=true

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Dubai: Eight Indians among 17 killed in fatal bus crash

June 7, 2019

At least eight Indians were killed after a bus from Oman met with an accident in Dubai, the Indian consulate in Dubai confirmed on Friday. Taking to Twitter, the embassy announced, “We are sorry to inform that as per local authorities and relatives it is so far confirmed that eight Indians have passed away in Dubai bus accident. Consulate is in touch with relatives of some of the deceased and awaits further details for others to inform their families.”

According to Dubai Police, as many as 17 people lost their lives after the bus crashed into a sign on Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road around 6 pm on Thursday, AP reported.

Mwasalat, a government-owned bus company in Oman, said it would suspend services along the Muscat-to-Dubai route for the immediate future.

Expressing condolences over the losses, the Indian consulate in Dubai said, “Our Consulate expresses sincere condolences to the families of those who passed away in this tragic accident. CG along with other officials and community members met the concerned relatives as well as hospital and police authorities late in the night to assure of all help.”

Police, however, did not comment on what caused the bus driver to hit the sign. It added that the deceased included different nationalities.

The deceased Indians, according to a list released by the Indian Embassy, are: Rajagopalan, Feroz Khan Pathan, Reshma Feroz Khan Pathan, Deepak Kumar, Jamaludeen Arakkaveettil, Kiran Johnny, Vasudev and Tilakram Jawahar Thakur.

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/dubai-bus-accident-death-toll-injured-indians-killed-mea-5769266/

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Home for Eid, soldier shot by suspected militants in Valley, dies of injuries

by Adil Akhzer

June 7, 2019

A Territorial Army jawan, who had come home on leave for Eid, was killed at his residence Thursday evening by suspected militants in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district. J&K police said the attackers fired at Manzoor Beigh, a resident of Sadoora village, who later succumbed to injuries.

A police spokesperson said that Beigh “sustained critical gunshot injuries” and was “evacuated to hospital for treatment where he succumbed”. Police are “investigating the circumstances of this terror crime”, the spokesperson said.

Srinagar-based defence spokesperson Col Rajesh Kalia said in a statement: “Havaldar Manzoor Ahmad Beigh, serving with the Territorial Army unit, was shot at by terrorists and grievously injured at his residence today evening.” He said “the soldier was unarmed and on 12 days leave from June, 4, 2019, to celebrate Eid with his family”.

Dr Majid Mirab, medical superintendent of the district hospital, told The Indian Express that Beigh, in his 30s, was declared brought dead. “He had gun shot injuries on the right chest,” he said.

Residents of Sadoora village claimed that Beigh, who is survived by his wife and three children, was a former counter-insurgent.

Police sources said Beigh and his wife were milking their cow in a shed, when two masked gunmen arrived and tried to call him out. “When he refused, they fired at him,” said sources.

This is the second such incident this year after another Army man on leave was shot dead by suspected militants in north Kashmir’s Sopore town in April.

Meanwhile, J&K police said that two Special Police Officers (SPOs) have gone missing from south Kashmir’s Pulwama district. “We are probing if the missing duo took their service weapons with them,” said a senior officer.

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/kashmir-anantnag-army-jawan-killed-militants-5768846/

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Pakistan

Pakistan Foreign Minister Writes To Jaishankar; Offers Talks On ‘All Important Matters’

PTI ISLAMABAD,  JUNE 07, 2019

Mr. Qureshi told Mr. Jaishankar in the letter that “Islamabad wants talks with New Delhi on all important matters and remains committed to efforts for establishing peace in the region.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi in a letter to his new Indian counterpart S Jaishankar on Friday said that Islamabad wants talks with New Delhi on “all important matters” and remains committed to efforts for establishing peace in the region.

Mr. Qureshi wrote the letter to Mr. Jaishankar to congratulate him for taking over as the External Affairs Minister. Former foreign secretary Jaishankar assumed charge as the External Affairs Minister on May 30.

Mr. Qureshi told Mr. Jaishankar in the letter that “Islamabad wants talks with New Delhi on all important matters and remains committed to efforts for establishing peace in the region,” the Dawn newspaper reported quoting diplomatic sources.

Tensions between the two countries worsened after the Pulwama terror attack and both the countries were almost on the brink of a war after India’s military planes struck a terrorist training camp in Pakistan’s Balakot on February 26 and Pakistan carried out a counter-offensive the next day.

Breaking the ice in bilateral ties, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on May 26 spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on phone and expressed his desire to work together for peace and prosperity in the region.

Mr. Modi on his part called for creating trust and an environment free of violence and terrorism for fostering peace and prosperity in the region.

India has rejected Pakistan’s offer of talks, maintaining that terror and talks cannot go together.

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/qureshi-writes-to-jaishankar-offers-talks-on-all-important-matters/article27659614.ece?homepage=true

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Australia

A New Mosque in Australia, Architect Angelo Candalepas Was Inspired By His Trips to Ahmedabad And Agra To ‘Embrace The Playful Nature Of Concrete

JUNE 07, 2019 TEXT JOHN JERVIS

SYDNEY – A few days ago, we presented a case of Islamic architecture gone contemporary, by way of a cultural centre in a city right outside of Lisbon. The Muslim diaspora seems to be using architecture to send a new message of self-representation, as there is now a second case under our radar: the Punchbowl mosque.

The recently completed institution is located in Punchbowl – a dense, diverse suburb of Sydney named after the curvaceous sides of a nearby valley – and designed by local firm Candalepas Associates, best known for robust yet refined urban housing. Its raw concrete exterior has attracted the inevitable ‘brutalist’ tag, but its matte finishes are surprisingly soft and enticing, while its strong angles and occasional curves present a series of striking profiles.

Traditional elements such as the minaret and a shallow dome are included but, at the request of the congregation, given a contemporary twist. The former, for instance, is integrated as a jutting projection from the main body of the mosque, acting as an entrance for female worshippers to the two wood-screened balconies that overlook the prayer hall.

Punchbowl has an austere grandeur, but also affords visual pleasure

Stepping into this main space, visitors are met by the project’s real set-piece. Hanging above the entrance are seven steeply raking rows of crisp concrete half-domes, 102 in all, rising up two adjoining walls, offering changing, captivating silhouettes as one moves though the hall. Each of these half-domes is inscribed in golden calligraphy with one of the 99 Names of Allah, and each is punctured by a small 30-mm hole at its centre, drawing in a tiny shaft of light that traverses the interior as the sun passes overhead.

The half-dome forms were cast in situ to exacting standards – a significant feat of engineering in itself – and pay homage to the ornamental muqarnas vaulting of traditional Islamic architecture, in which highly decorated niche-like forms, often arranged in tiers with hanging elements, cover the undersides of arches, gateways and dome chambers. Here at Punchbowl they have an austere grandeur, but also afford visual pleasure, as light from the oculus and clerestory windows of the timber-clad dome moves across their surfaces, articulating their precise, layered geometries and reaching deep into their patinated recesses.

During the project’s 20-year genesis, architect Angelo Candalepas was inspired by his trips to Ahmedabad and Agra to ‘embrace the playful nature of concrete,’ and has succeeded here in creating a humane, intimate space, yet one that also provides hints of the sublime through its simple materiality and its rich geometric forms.

https://www.frameweb.com/news/candalepas-associates-punchbowl-mosque-sydney

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Arab World

Saudi King Calls on ‘Despots’ to Mecca for Emergency Meeting on Iran

June 7, 2019

Prof. As’ad AbuKhalil says Saudis attempts to create a united front against Iran has dismally failed. Summits categorically reject the `deal of the century' by Jared Kushner

https://therealnews.com/stories/saudi-king-calls-on-despots-to-mecca-for-emergency-meeting-on-iran

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Turkish Army, Kurdish Forces Resume Fierce Clashes in Aleppo

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Turkish Army and its allied militants attacked the military positions of Kurdish fighters in Northern Aleppo which resulted in fierce clashes between the two sides over the past 24 hours.

"The Turkish Army and the allied militants stationed in the city of Jarablus in Northern Aleppo attacked the Kurdish militants' military positions in the village of al-Awasi near the town of Lower Shoyoukh, West of Kobani (Ain al-Arab) city," the Kurdish-language Hawar News reported.

Meantime, the Syrian army continued its military advances in other parts of Syria over past 24 hours.

Tens of terrorists were killed and dozens more were injured during the Syrian army's operations in provinces across Syria.

Aleppo

The Turkish Army and its allied militants attacked the military positions of Kurdish fighters in Northern Aleppo which resulted in fierce clashes between the two sides, media reports said Thursday.

The Kurdish-language Hawar News reported that the Turkish Army and the allied militants stationed in the city of Jarablus in Northern Aleppo attacked the Kurdish militants' military positions in the village of al-Awasi near the town of Lower Shoyoukh, West of Kobani city.

Meantime, the pro-militant London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) also reported that the Turkish Army launched missile attacks on several regions of Kurdish-controlled Tal Maziq town in Northern Aleppo.

The Xeber24 news website also pointed to the attacks by the Ankara-backed militants on Kurdish Afrin Liberation Forces in Ma'arnaz region in Northern Aleppo, and said fierce clashes are currently underway in Ma'arnaz region.

It also said the Kurdish forces pounded and destroyed a vehicle of the Ankara-backed National Army in Jandaris region of Afrin in Northwestern Aleppo.

Meantime, the people of al-Bab region in Northern Aleppo held massive protest rallies against the occupying Turkish Army and called for their expulsion from the Syrian territories after the Turkish Army enhanced its aggressive moves in the region, Kurdish-language media outlets reported.

The Hawar news reported that a large number of residents of Jalab al-Sheikh Aqil in Al-Bab city staged massive protests, calling for immediate exit of the Turkish Army and its allied militants from those regions.

It noted that the popular uprising by residents of Jabal al-Sheikh Aqil against the occupying Turkish Army took place after hundreds of families were driven out of the region to build a Turkish military base there.

In Turkish and Arabic-language slogans, the protesters reiterated that they will not obey the Turkish Army.

Meantime, the occupying Turkish forces also tried to arrest the civilians in reaction to people's protests, but faced people's resistance.

Hama-Idlib

The Syrian and Russian armies have sent new military convoys to the battlefronts in Northern Hama concurrent with the government forces' intensified attacks on terrorists' military positions and convoys in Northern Hama and Southern Idlib.

The Syrian Army's artillery and missile units heavily pounded the military positions and movements of Jeish al-Izzeh and Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) in the towns of al-Zaqum, Qoleidin and al-Zuka in Northern Hama, destroying several of their military positions and hideouts in the region.

The Syrian Army's artillery and missile units also pounded the lines movements, roads and military convoys of the terrorists in Tarmala and al-Naqir in Southern Idlib, destroying terrorists' military convoy comprising at least 10 military and armored vehicles moving from Khan Sheikhoun in Southern Idlib towards the town of Hasraya in Northern Hama.

Battlefield sources also said that the Syrian Army has dispatched hundreds of fresh forces and military equipment to the surrounding areas of the village of al-Hardanieh in Northern Hama in Jabal Shahshabou region to reinforce its military positions there.

Meantime, the Arabic-language al-Modon news website affiliated to the militants reported that the Russian Army has dispatched troops and military equipment from Bridij Base near the city of al-Saqilbieh in Northern Hama to Tal Hawash region and other battlefronts with the terrorist groups after the recent strategic advances by the Syrian Army in Northern Hama and Southern Idlib.

The terrorist groups stationed in Northern Hama and Southern Idlib also launched rocket attacks on residential areas of the city of Mahradeh and the town of Qamhaneh in Northern and Northwestern Hama.

Deir Ezzur

The Syrian Army continued its mop-up operations in Eastern Deir Ezzur, and found a depot of arms and ammunition, including western weapons, left behind by the ISIL terrorists.

The Syrian Army's engineering units kept on their clean-up operations in Eastern Deir Ezzur, and discovered an underground ammunition and weapons cache of the ISIL in the town of Lower Baqres in the outskirts of al-Mayadeen region.

The Syrian Army troops found large amount of weapons and military equipment, including different kinds of combat rifles, machineguns, canons, mortars, bombs, rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and some western weapons.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980317000138

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ISIL's Mastermind, Notorious Commander Killed in Iraq's Military Operation Near Syria Borders

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- A notorious ISIL commander and mastermind who orchestrated attacks on Iraqi security forces in al-Anbar province in Western Iraq was killed by Hashd al-Sha'abi (Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces) on Wednesday.

Commander of Hashd al-Sha'abi Forces in Al-Anbar Province Qatari al-Abidi announced on Wednesday that the Iraqi forces backed by the Iraqi air forces killed ISIL's mastermind Abdul Farhan, nom de guerre Emir of Al-Jazira region, together with six of his aides in an ambush military operation against the ISIL in Wadi Ja'al region near al-Tharthar lake in Heet city in Western al-Anbar.

The Arabic-language al-Ma'aloumeh news website also said that Abdul Farhan has been in charge of terrorist attacks against the Iraqi security forces and commanded the forced recruiting of soldiers for terrorists.

In a relevant development last week, Iraqi sources reported that ISIL ringleader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was hiding in the Western deserts of al-Anbar province at the border with Syria.

Al-Ma'aloumeh quoted an intelligence source in Hashd al-Shaabi command center in al-Anbar province as saying that according to the latest intel, al-Baghdadi had sheltered in a hidden tunnel in al-Husayniyat region in the Northern parts of the town of al-Ratbah in Western al-Anbar.

He added that the security forces were mulling operations to take control of the tunnel, and said that given the heavy deployment of security forces in al-Ratbah region near the border with Syria and closure of all roads, al-Baghdadi and the militants under his command could not escape.

The source underlined that given the fact that the US fighter jets have not bombed the ISIL's hideouts and tunnels in the region, the American forces are likely aware of his presence in al-Ratbah desert areas.

The speculations come after al-Baghdadi made his first appearance in April, after five years of absence, in a video in which he acknowledged the defeat of the terrorist group's fighters in the battle for Baghouz in Syria.

The video was reportedly filmed earlier in April.

In recent years, Baghdadi's death has been reported multiple times, however, the terrorist leader has re-emerged time and time again.

The Sun claimed, citing Zaid Hamid, who is a co-founder of the BrassTacks threat analysis think-tank, last month that al-Baghdadi is allegedly hiding in a distant region of Afghanistan.

"Note the style of the bedding and the pillows….Is he already in Afghanistan?" Zaid Hamid pointed out.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980316000254

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Turkish Army, Kurdish Forces Resume Fierce Clashes in Aleppo

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Turkish Army and its allied militants attacked the military positions of Kurdish fighters in Northern Aleppo which resulted in fierce clashes between the two sides, media reports said Thursday.

The Kurdish-language Hawar News reported that the Turkish Army and the allied militants stationed in the city of Jarablus in Northern Aleppo attacked the Kurdish militants' military positions in the village of al-Awasi near the town of Lower Shoyoukh, West of Kobani (Ain al-Arab) city.

Meantime, the pro-militant London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) also reported that the Turkish Army launched missile attacks on several regions of Kurdish-controlled Tal Maziq town in Northern Aleppo.

The Xeber24 news website also pointed to the attacks by the Ankara-backed militants on Kurdish Afrin Liberation Forces in Ma'arnaz region in Northern Aleppo, and said fierce clashes are currently underway in Ma'arnaz region.

It also said the Kurdish forces pounded and destroyed a vehicle of the Ankara-backed National Army in Jandaris region of Afrin in Northwestern Aleppo.

In a relevant development on Monday, tens of Ankara-backed militants were killed and wounded in a huge explosion at their headquarters in the city of Izaa in Northern Aleppo concurrent with rising insecurity there.

A bomb-laden vehicle was exploded near a security headquarters of Ankara-backed terrorists in Izaz city center, killing at least 42 militants, the Arabic-language website of Russian Sputnik news agency quoted local sources in the city of Izaz as saying.

The sources noted that at least 14 people were killed and 28 others were wounded in the explosion while the death toll is increasing.

Meantime, Hawar News website reported that two Turkish Army soldiers and an Ankara-backed militant were killed and their military vehicle was destroyed during two military operations by the so-called Afrin Liberation forces against the Turkish Army and its allied militants in Jalbareh town in Afrin and Tal Maled in Ma'areh town in Northern Aleppo.

In a relevant development on Sunday, the Turkish Army and its allied militants attacked the military positions of the Kurdish fighters in Northern Aleppo which resulted in fierce clashes between the two sides.

The Hawar News reported that the Turkish Army and Ankara-backed militants' artillery and mortar units pounded the Kurdish fighters' military positions in the town of Lower Shoyoukh West of the city of Kobani.

The Ankara-backed militants stationed near the city of Jarablus also pounded the military positions of the Kurdish Al-Bab Military Council in the town of al-Baqouz to East of Al-Bab city.

Meantime, the sources affiliated to terrorist groups reported that a group of the Ankara-backed National Liberation Front (NFL) Army militants attacked the Kurdish forces' positions in the town of Ain Daqaneh in Northern Aleppo, destroying their armored vehicle as well as killing and injuring a number of them.

In a relevant development last month, the Kurdish fighters conducted two military operations on Ankara-backed militants in occupied Afrin region in Northwestern Aleppo, killing and injuring 14 of them.

The Hawar News reported that the Afrin Liberation Forces launched fresh military operations against the Turkish Army and its allied militants in Afrin, hitting a military position of al-Jbahat al-Shamia in the village of Shara which resulted in the death of eight Ankara-backed militants and injury of three others.

The Kurdish fighters also pounded a center of Ahrar al-Sharqieh in the town of Bastouleh in Shirava region, killing and injuring three others.

Also last month, the Turkish Army and its allied militants launched massive attacks on Kurdish fighters in Northern Aleppo that was followed by heavy clashes between the two sides.

The Xeber24 news website affiliated to Kurdish forces reported that the Ankara-backed militants attacked military positions of Afrin Liberation Forces in the surrounding areas Tal Ra'afat in Northern Aleppo.

It, meantime, pointed to fierce clashes in Harbal and Am Hush regions near Tal Rafat in Northern Aleppo, and said that the Syrian fighter jets were flying over the region.

Hawar News also pointed to the fierce mortar attacks by the Turkish Army and its allied militants on Mara'anaz and Malekieh towns in Shara region in Northwestern Aleppo, and said that the Kurdish fighters have warded off attacks by the Turkish Army and its allied militants on the villages of Mang and Ain Daqaneh over the past days.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980316000294

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People Hold Massive Uprising, Ask for Expelling Occupying Turkish Army from Aleppo

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The people of al-Bab region in Northern Aleppo held massive protest rallies against the occupying Turkish Army and called for their expulsion from the Syrian territories after the Turkish Army enhanced its aggressive moves in the region, Kurdish-language media outlets reported.

The Kurdish-language Hawar news website reported that a large number of residents of Jalab al-Sheikh Aqil in Al-Bab city staged massive protests, calling for immediate exit of the Turkish Army and its allied militants from those regions.

It noted that the popular uprising by residents of Jabal al-Sheikh Aqil against the occupying Turkish Army took place after hundreds of families were driven out of the region to build a Turkish military base there.

In Turkish and Arabic-language slogans, the protesters reiterated that they will not obey the Turkish Army.

Meantime, the occupying Turkish forces also tried to arrest the civilians in reaction to people's protests, but faced people's resistance.

In a relevant development in late May, the Turkey-backed militants opened fire at civilians to expel them from Afrin region in Aleppo province as Ankara continued efforts to annex more regions to its occupied territories.

The terrorist groups supported by Ankara have forced the residents of the towns of Lower Kukan and Upper Kukan in Moubata region of Afrin to leave their houses, the Kurdish-language Hawar News website quoted local sources in Afrin as saying.

The sources pointed to residents' opposition and protests at militants, and said the terrorists have opened fire at protesting civilians and severely injured 10 of them.

They also said that the terrorists have not allowed the injured people to be transferred to hospitals and have told them to leave the towns in Afrin region or wait for execution.

The Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper, meantime, pointed to Ankara's efforts to annex the Northern parts of Syria to Turkey, and said that the Turkish occupiers plan to build infrastructure in the occupied regions of Northern Aleppo.

Meantime, the residents of the town of Jandaris in Afrin region also staged public strike after a civilian was killed during infighting among terrorists.

In a relevant development earlier, the Ankara-backed militants continued insecurities in Northern Aleppo and intensified their measures against civilians in the region, killing a child in Afrin region.

A group of the Free Syrian Army militants affiliated to Ankara murdered a disabled child in Afrin City of Aleppo after abducting him from Izaz region and the subsequent refusal by his family to pay the ransom money asked by the FSA terrorists, the Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper reported.

It noted that the FSA terrorists had killed the child's father two days ago after his family could not prepare the ransom money asked by the Ankara-backed militants.

Meantime, the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that the Ankara-backed terrorists have asked for $200,000 for releasing a young man after kidnapping him from Afrin region and torturing him.

Over half of the residents of Afrin region have been forced to leave that region since the occupation of Afrin by the Turkish Army and its allied militants as well as intensified insecurity there.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980316000282

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Europe

Fanatics, in England, Who Are Serving Sentences for Terrorism, Are Recruiting Violent Prisoners to Be Their 'Foot Soldiers'

07 June 2019

The gangs, often led by fanatics who are serving sentences for terrorism, are recruiting violent prisoners to be their 'foot soldiers', the report reveals.

Inmates who refuse to convert to Islam and join their ranks are being ostracised or attacked.

The report, which examined three unnamed high security prisons in England, also describes how the gangs are instilling fear in staff.

They are particularly keen to target offenders who are already in street gangs and therefore have a 'propensity for violence', it adds.

Experts have previously warned that UK prisons have become a breeding ground for extremists to spread their behaviours and ideas.

Two years ago three men who had met in the high security Belmarsh prison in south-east London were convicted of plotting a terror attack

The trio, who dubbed themselves the Three Musketeers, had planned to use a meat cleaver and pipe bomb on police and military targets.

This latest report was undertaken by the Ministry of Justice with researchers at the University of Birmingham to better understand the nature of these gangs.

Following interviews with 83 offenders and 73 staff members, it concluded that the gangs ruled by 'violence, bullying and intimidation.'

One prisoner told them: 'There is an underlying pressure for people to convert and join the gang. The tactic they use is to befriend someone when they come in. If they don't convert they will then start spreading rumours about them, that the person is a snitch, so that they will be ostracised. Then the beatings will follow.'

The report states: 'Those who had committed terrorist crimes often held more senior roles in the gang, facilitated by the respect some younger prisoners gave them

'While recruitment was relatively indiscriminate, street gang members were particularly targeted for their propensity for violence.'

The report echoes the warnings of whistleblower Pastor Paul Song, who was chaplain at Brixton prison.

He told The Mail on Sunday last year how extremist Muslim gangs came to dominate his jail: intimidating prisoners into converting to Islam and physically assaulting him over his Christian faith.

He said Islamic extremists had hijacked his Bible classes, interrupting a discussion on divine grace to loudly acclaim the killers of Lee Rigby, whose murder by jihadis on a South London street shocked the nation.

He said: 'Some openly spoke in the chapel in support of Islamic State.'

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7115243/Extremist-Muslim-gangs-beating-prisoners-wont-convert-Islam.html

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Denmark's anti-Muslim extremist misses out on parliament

June 7, 2019

Denmark's notorious anti-Muslim extremist Rasmus Paludan, known for burning the Quran in public places narrowly missed out on a seat in parliament in Wednesday's general election.

AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA): Denmark's notorious anti-Muslim extremist Rasmus Paludan, known for burning the Quran in public places narrowly missed out on a seat in parliament in Wednesday's general election.

Paludan and his Stram Kurs party had been tipped to enter parliament but when the final votes were tallied they failed to get above the 2 percent needed.

Paludan, has espoused vehemently anti-Islam rhetoric and has a criminal conviction (he has appealed) for inciting racial hatred. He also wants to ban Islam -- in breach of the constitution -- and deport swathes of non-ethnic Danes from the country.

He is known, amongst other things, for burning and desecrating the Quran at demonstrations in areas with large minority ethnic populations.

Such action could have resulted in criminal charges in Denmark as recently as 2017, when the country abolished a long-standing blasphemy law.

But in the run up to Wednesday's vote Paludan looked on course to be able to voice his views in parliament.

As the votes were counted his party straddled the crucial two percent mark throughout the night. At one point it seemed they would have enough votes to make it into parliament but as the ballots in urban areas began to add up Stram Kurs percentage of the vote dipped below two percent.

They finished on 1.8 percent.

Denmark uses an electoral system of proportional representation to divvy out its 179 seats (normally referred to as mandates in Danish).

Set at 2 percent, parties who receive a lower national share of the vote than this threshold do not qualify for parliamentary representation.

Denmark’s established center-right parties had largely disavowed Stram Kurs, which says that it won’t support either Lars Løkke Rasmussen or Mette Frederiksen for prime minister. Paludan instead supported himself as PM.

But Wednesday's results confirmed that he will simply remain a provocative figure on the fringes of Danish politics.

http://en.abna24.com/news//denmarks-anti-muslim-extremist-misses-out-on-parliament_947800.html

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Putin: Children to benefit from reading Bible, Quran, Torah

June 7, 2019 

Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated that reading the Bible, Quran and Torah would prove useful for children since all religions are based on humanistic ideas that will lead to a "better world".

AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA): Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated that reading the Bible, Quran and Torah would prove useful for children since all religions are based on humanistic ideas that will lead to a "better world".

"Let them read the Bible, it will, in any case, prove useful, let them read Torah, Quran. It will certainly be good for boys as well as for girls ... because all world religions are based on humanistic ideas", Putin said, asked what book he would recommend children from any country to read.

He also stressed that the world would be a better place if people followed these ideas.

He explained that "in all world religions there are humanistic beginnings, and if we follow these rules, the world will become better, calmer and more stable".

The statement came during Putin's meeting with the heads of major international news agencies during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).

SPIEF began earlier on Thursday and will last through Saturday.

http://en.abna24.com/news//putin-children-to-benefit-from-reading-bible-quran-torah_947799.html

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South Asia

 

Afghan forces retake Khwaja Omari district a year after it fell into the hands of Taliban

By Khaama Press / in Afghanistan / on Friday, 07 Jun 2019

The Afghan security forces retook the control of Khwaja Omari district in Ghazni province almost a year after it fell into the hands of Taliban militants.

The Ministry of Defense (MoI) announced earlier today that the security forces have recaptured Khwaja Omari district.

The defense ministry also added that Taliban were in control of the district for the past one year.

The acting minister of defense Asadullah Khalid had earlier vowed that the security forces would recapture all districts and areas which have fallen into the hands of Taliban.

The Afghan forces retook the control of the restive Deh Yak district of Ghazni during a similar operation late last month.

Meanwhile, the ministry of defense has not disclosed further information regarding the operation.

It is yet not clear if the militants and security personnel have suffered casualties during the operation or not.

https://www.khaama.com/afghan-forces-retake-khwaja-omari-district-a-year-after-it-fell-into-the-hands-of-taliban-03555/

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Afghan forces foiled 35 attacks in Kabul during Eid days including a car bombing plot

By Khaama Press / in Afghanistan / on Friday, 07 Jun 2019

Officials in the Ministry of Interior are saying that the Afghan security forces foiled 35 attacks during the three days of Eid Al-Fitr.

Nasrat Rahimi, a spokesman for the Ministry of Interior said the militants planned to carry out 35 attacks in Kabul city during Eid days.

Rahimi further added that the security forces successfully thwarted the militants bid to conduct terrorist attacks.

He also added that the security forces also confiscated a Vehicle-borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) or car bomb in Kabul city.

Rahimi also added that the security forces foiled at least 70 attacks across the country during the three days of Eid.

https://www.khaama.com/afghan-forces-foiled-35-attacks-in-kabul-during-eid-days-including-a-car-bombing-plot-03554/

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Afghan forces kill 15 Taliban militants in Nerkh district

By Khaama Press / in Afghanistan / on Friday, 07 Jun 2019

The Afghan security forces have killed 15 Taliban militants during an operation in Wardak province.

The 203rd Thunder Corps in a statement said Thursday that the security forces conducted the operation in Nerkh district.

The operation was conducted based on an intelligence tip off, the statement added.

The security forces also arrested two militants and destroyed a weapons depot of the militants.

Wardak is among the relatively volatile provinces in central parts of Afghanistan.

Taliban militants are active in some parts of the province and often conduct terrorist related activities.

Meanwhile, the Afghan forces are busy conducting counter-terrorism operations against the anti-government armed groups in this province.

The U.S. forces also conduct regular airstrikes in restive parts of the country to suppress Taliban and other anti-government militants.

https://www.khaama.com/afghan-forces-kill-15-taliban-militants-in-nerkh-district-03553/

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Afghan forces storm another Taliban prison in Zurmat district of Paktiya

By Khaama Press / in Afghanistan / on Thursday, 07 Jun 2019

The Afghan Special Forces stormed another prison of the Taliban militants in south-eastern Paktia province of Afghanistan.

The Special Operations Corps in a statement said the Special Forces stormed a Taliban prison in Zurmat district and rescued one hostage.

The statement further added that the Special Forces conducted the operation late on Wednesday night.

The Special Forces also destroyed a Taliban prison and a compound of the group during the same operation.

The Afghan Special Forces had earlier rescued 83 people from a Taliban prison in Faryab province.

https://www.khaama.com/afghan-forces-storm-another-taliban-prison-in-zurmat-district-of-paktiya-03552/

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Mideast

Iran Blames Europeans for Failing to Save N. Deal

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi, in a statement on Friday, criticized European signatories to the nuclear deal, also known as the joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), for falling short of delivering on their promises to save the pact.

In a statement issued today, Mousavi slammed the European parties to the JCPOA for their failure to fulfill their commitments under the deal and their obligations following the US' illegal withdrawal from the agreement.

"The Europeans have failed to prepare the grounds for Iran to fully benefit from the multilateral agreement," he said.

European members of the nuclear agreement - France, Germany and Britain - have been tinkering with a much-hyped special trade vehicle known as INSTEX that purports to circumvent US sanctions and keep some semblance of business channels open to Iran.

The three countries, however, have been struggling to operationalize it, raising serious doubts about their determination to compensate for last year’s unilateral US pullout from the 2015 nuclear deal.

Last month, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said France, Germany and Britain are coming under immense pressure from the US to cancel out their proposed trade channel with Iran, which has yet to see the light of day.

Speaking to reporters in Paris on May 21, Le Maire claimed that Iran’s pledge to withdraw from the agreement was making talks on creating the trade channel difficult.

“Iran is constantly threatening to break the agreement and that doesn’t facilitate the possibility of trade,” he said.

Le Maire also stated that the three European powers were facing huge pressure from the United States to drop the trade channel. 

“Yes, there is American pressure. It’s strong, very strong and very direct on this subject,” Le Maire noted, adding, “There is pressure on political officials, the administration and all those who are implicated on this subject.”

The Europeans want Iran to stick to all provisions of the nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, even after the Trump administration started this month implementing its pledge to zero out Iranian oil exports by halting waivers to world importers.

Nathalie Tocci, the special adviser to EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, acknowledged a week earlier that US pressure was making Iran's compliance with the nuclear deal impossible.

“What is very clear is the fact that, in fact, some of the non-renewal of the sanctions waivers of the United States actually make it impossible for Iran to comply with the JCPOA," she told Canada’s CBC News.

On May 10, Macron had lauded the historical 2015 deal as “a good agreement”, noting that “Iran must remain in this agreement and we must do everything we can to ensure that it stays in”.

Macron also urged the signatories to the nuclear deal with Iran not to “get caught up in any escalation” and to “jointly watch over our collective security".

The French leader stated that the United States will be responsible if Iran decides to pull out of the nuclear deal, stressing that it will be impossible for Washington to make it seem like it was Europe's fault.

"If Iran withdraws from the deal, then the United States will be responsible for this. It will not be possible to turn it out as if Europeans are to blame. Now everything must be done to avoid escalation and to keep this deal," Macron told reporters in the central Romanian city of Sibiu before a scheduled European Union summit.

It comes after top European diplomats stated that the EU is committed to preserving the nuclear deal with Iran and helping the nation dodge US economic sanctions, but will not bend to any ultimatums, as Tehran suspended some of its commitments.

The US withdrew from the internationally-endorsed 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, reimposed the toughest-ever sanctions against the country and started a plan to zero down Tehran's oil sales.

Under the nuclear agreement reached between Iran and six world powers in July 2015, Tehran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions.

In 2018, all the other signatories — Russia, China, Germany, France, the UK, and the EU — refused to follow the US example and confirmed their commitment to the accord, trying to save the deal with the Islamic Republic.

Iranian officials then warned that the European Union’s failure in providing the needed ground for Tehran to enjoy the economic benefits of the nuclear deal would exhaust the country's patience.

Yet, Iran continued compliance with deal, stressing that the remaining signatories to the agreement had to work to offset the negative impacts of the US pullout for Iran if they want Tehran to remain in compliance.

Europeans' honesty in dealing with the Iran nuclear deal has always been seriously doubted by Iranian masses that were discontent with talks with European states.

Almost a year later, however, the EU failed to provide Tehran with its promised merits. Then, on Friday the US state department announced that it had not extended two waivers, one that allowed Iran to store excess heavy water produced in the uranium enrichment process in Oman, and one that allowed Iran to swap enriched uranium for raw yellowcake with Russia.

Until now, Iran was allowed to ship low-enriched uranium produced at Natanz to Russia before it hit the 300-kg limit and the US measure leaves no way for Tehran other than exceeding the ceiling for storing the enriched uranium in violation of the 2015 nuclear deal.

Also, the United States would no longer waive sanctions that allowed Iran to ship heavy water produced at its Arak facility beyond a 300-ton limit set in the 2015 nuclear deal to Oman for storage which again forces Tehran to store it inside country in violation of the nuclear deal.

In return, Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) announced in a statement on Wednesday that the country had modified two of its undertakings under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in return for the US abrogation of the deal and other signatories inability to make up for the losses under the agreement, warning that modifications would continue if the world powers failed to take action in line with their promises.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran declares that at the current stage, it does not anymore see itself committed to respecting the limitations on keeping enriched uranium and heavy water reserves," the statement said.

The statement gave the Group 4+1 (China, Russia, Britain and France plus Germany) "60 days to put into action their nuclear deal undertakings, specially in the banking and oil sectors, warning that "in case these countries fail to meet Iran's demands, the Islamic Republic of Iran will cease implementation of restrictions on uranium enrichment levels and measures related to the modernization of Arak Heavy Water Reactor as well".

"Once our demands are met, we will resume implementation of the ceased undertakings. Otherwise, the Islamic Republic of Iran will stop compliance with its other undertakings in consequent phases," the SNSC warned.

It underlined Iran's readiness to continue its consultations with the countries which have remained in the nuclear deal at all levels "but will show a firm and rapid reaction to any irresponsible measure, including referring the issue to the UN Security Council or imposition of more sanctions".

"The Islamic Republic of Iran's president has in his letter to the leaders of the nuclear deal member states clearly reminded them of the Islamic Republic of Iran's type of reaction," the statement added.

It reminded the G4+1 of Iran's good will during the nuclear talks, implementation of the nuclear deal and giving sufficient time to the other signatories to implement the deal, saying that it is now their turn to prove their good will and adopt serious and practical measures to protect the nuclear deal.

"The door of diplomacy will not remain open for a long time and the US and other members remaining under the nuclear deal are fully responsible for failure of the nuclear deal and any possible consequences," the statement said.

It underlined that the decision was made in line with defending the Iranian nation's security and national interests and materialization of Iran's rights stated in the paragraphs 26 and 36 of the nuclear deal.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in a letter on May 08 informed the Group 4+1 on stopping implementation of a number of Tehran's undertakings stated in the 2015 nuclear deal.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Seyed Abbas Araqchi submitted the letter to the ambassadors of the G4+1 to Tehran after they were called to the foreign ministry on May 08.

The letter contained decisions by the SNSC to "halt implementation of a number of the Islamic Republic of Iran's undertakings under the nuclear deal".

Also, another letter was sent by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini also on May 08 to inform her of details of Iran's measures.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei has warned Iranian officials not to be deceived by the European countries that say they want to salvage the nuclear deal.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980317000224

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UAE says ‘sophisticated’ tanker attacks likely the work of a state actor

June 7, 2019

The United Arab Emirates told United Nations Security Council members on Thursday that attacks on four tankers off its coast on May 12 bore the hallmarks of a “sophisticated and coordinated operation,” most likely by a state actor.

In a document on the briefing to Security Council members, the UAE, joined by Norway and Saudi Arabia, did not say who it believed was behind the attacks and did not mention Iran, which has been accused by the United States of being directly responsible.

The attacks required expert navigation of fast boats and trained divers who likely placed limpet mines with a high degree of precision on the vessels under the waterline to incapacitate but not sink them, according to the preliminary findings of the countries’ joint investigation.

“While investigations are still ongoing, these facts are strong indications that the four attacks were part of a sophisticated and coordinated operation carried out by an actor with significant operational capacity, most likely a state actor,” the three countries said in the document.

They believe it was the work of several teams of operatives, which coordinated the timed detonation of all four explosive charges within less than an hour.

The May 12 attacks targeted two Saudi tankers, an Emirati vessel and a Norwegian tanker, causing no casualties but fueling tensions between the United States and Iran during weeks of escalating rhetoric.

US national security adviser John Bolton said on May 29 that the attacks were the work of “naval mines almost certainly from Iran.” Tehran denied the accusations.

A few days earlier in May, at the Pentagon, U.S. Rear Admiral Michael Gilday accused Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) of being directly responsible for the attacks.

While the briefing document did not mention Iran, a Saudi diplomat in New York laid the blame squarely on the country.

“We believe that the responsibility for this action lies on the shoulders of Iran. We have no hesitation in making this statement,” said the Saudi ambassador to the United Nations, Abdallah Y. Al-Mouallimi.

THREAT TO GLOBAL ENERGY SUPPLIES

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration, acting on concerns of a potential attack by Iran on U.S. interests, has deployed 1,500 more troops to the Middle East, accelerated the movement of an aircraft carrier strike group to the region and sent bombers and additional Patriot missiles.

The tanker attacks occurred off the UAE emirate of Fujairah, which lies just outside the Strait of Hormuz, a vital global oil and gas shipping route that separates the Gulf Arab states – allies of the United States – and Iran.

The three countries said the attacks endangered commercial navigation and the security of global energy supplies. They planned to share the findings of their probe with the London-based International Maritime Organization.

In the weeks before the attacks, the Trump administration hardened its policy against Iran by fully reimposing sanctions on Iranian oil exports and designating the IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization.

Trump reiterated this week that he wants to sit down with Iran’s leaders to negotiate a new deal, a year after Washington pulled out of an accord between Iran and global powers to curb Tehran’s nuclear program in return for lifting international sanctions.

Irani Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Tuesday that Tehran would not be “deceived” by Trump’s offer.

https://indianexpress.com/article/world/uae-says-sophisticated-tanker-attacks-likely-the-work-of-a-state-actor-5769400/

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Tehran: Israel’s Mossad Crying Wolf to Ramp up Anti-Iran Accusations

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that Israeli spy agency Mossad was fabricating fake reports to accuse Tehran of involvement in the recent attacks near the Emirati port of al-Fujairah, saying he had warned about such false flag attacks in the region.

In a tweet on Wednesday, Zarif said Mossad was simply peddling an anti-Iranian scenario made up by the B-Team -- referring to US National Security Adviser John Bolton, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

"The #B_Team's boy who cries wolf is crying once again: this time Mossad is fabricating intelligence about Iran's involvement in sabotage in Fujairah. I've warned of “accidents” and false flags—we know what happens when you believe their lies. We've been here before, haven't we?"

Israeli media have reported over the past days that Mossad had collected material at the site of the alleged sabotage of four oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) last month that incriminated Iran.

The reports quoted unnamed Israeli officials as saying that the attack was “a pretty impressive commando operation” that sought to "damage the vessels without injuring those on board.”

After initial reports of the Fujairah explosions emerged on May 12, the UAE denied there had been any incident but later on confirmed that four commercial vessels had been targeted by “sabotage operations” near its territorial waters.

Saudi Arabia announced a day later that two of its vessels had sustained damage in the mysterious attacks.

Israeli reports stated that Mossad had provided its evidence to US intelligence agencies, prompting some American officials pin the attacks on Iran.

Bolton said in late May that the May 12 incident had been caused by Iranian naval mines, without providing any evidence to substantiate his claim.

“I think it is clear these (tanker attacks) were naval mines almost certainly from Iran,” he claimed.

Pompeo repeated the claims last Thursday, telling reporters before leaving for a trip to Europe that Tehran carried out the attacks "to raise the price of crude oil throughout the world."

Iran has slammed the attacks as “lamentable” and “worrying.”

Zarif said in the aftermath of the attacks that he had already warned of such suspicious “accidents” because of Washington’s renewed warmongering policies promoted by Bolton and other US hawks.

On Friday, Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Hossein Salami reminded anti-Tehran accusers that his country was strong enough to act in broad daylight, dismissing any role of Iran in the sabotage attack on 4 oil tankers off the coast of the UAE.

"Iran is a powerful country. We do not need to hide anything. If we do something, we'll announce it publicly," Major General Salami said on Friday, categorically denying Iran's involvement in the vessel attacks in Fujairah port and rejecting accusations raised by the US and its Arab allies.

His remarks came in reaction to allegations by Bolton and some Saudi and Emirati officials that the IRGC launched the attacks through its "proxies".

Speaking on the sidelines of the International Quds Day rallies in Tehran, General Salami said, "Iranians don't take the Arab states' anti-Iran stances and remarks seriously."

"Some primitive Arab regimes in the Persian Gulf are sidekicks of the US and under total control of Washington, and their comments and messages are not even worthy of any response," he added.

Opening a gathering of the foreign ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in the Saudi port city of Jeddah on Wednesday, the kingdom’s Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Assaf blasted “Iranian interference in other nations' affairs” and urged "firmness and determination” over the recent mysterious attacks on commercial vessels off the coast of Fujairah. He made the remarks just hours after Bolton alleged Tehran was almost certainly behind oil tanker attacks.

On laat Wednesday, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araqchi told RIA Novosti that the claims were "ludicrous", and accused Bolton and "other warmongers" of plotting against Iran.

Earlier on the day, the Iranian foreign ministry in similar remarks dismissed the accusation, and blamed Bolton and other members of the B-team for their anti-Tehran plots.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi rejected the allegations strongly, saying that they are the product of the "destructive plans and policies thought of by the B-team".

"Raising such ridiculous allegation in a meeting between two members of the (B-) team who have long-term anti-Iran approaches is not something strange," he added.

Mousavi addressed Bolton and other warmongers, stating that the strategic patience, high vigilance and full defense preparedness of the Islamic Republic of Iran will prevent materialization of their ominous plots for stirring chaos in the region.

Also on the sidelines of the Friday rallies, Foreign Minister Zarif urged the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to stop repeating unfounded claims against Iran which serve Israeli interests, and called on the body to rather focus on supporting the cause of liberating Palestine’s Jerusalem al-Quds.

“It is a petty that a handful of Arab kings, to save themselves and reach their goals, are of the illusion that they will meet their dream if they side with [Israeli Prime minister Benjamin] Netanyahu,” he said regretting the secret alignment of some Arab monarchs with Israel.

“How can Netanyahu and the Zionist regime, who have not been able to keep Israel safe with even the Iron Dome, protect these countries,” the top diplomat said, warning the Arab allies of Tel Aviv.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980316000277

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Africa

Algeria’s interim president Bensalah calls for dialogue to prepare new elections

June 7, 2019

Algeria’s interim President Abdelkader Bensalah called on Thursday for all parties to launch an “inclusive dialogue” to prepare for presidential elections, following the constitutional council’s scrapping of a vote set for July 4.

Bensalah, in a speech broadcast on state television, did not set a date for the new contest.

The constitutional council on Sunday called off the presidential election planned for July 4 citing a lack of candidates, prolonging a period of political transition and risking more anger from anti-government protesters.

Demonstrators are expected to return to the streets on Friday to demand Bensalah’s resignation and an end to the dominance of an elite that has ruled Algeria since it won independence from France in 1962.

Former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika ended his 20-year-long rule two months ago under pressure from protesters. But protests have continued demanding also the resignation of Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui, who was appointed by Bouteflika days before he stepped down.

Armed forces chief, Lieutenant-General Ahmed Gaed Salah, who has been managing the transition, has called on political parties and protesters to meet among themselves to discuss a way out of the crisis.

https://indianexpress.com/article/world/algerias-interim-president-calls-for-dialogue-to-prepare-new-elections-5769311/

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Eastern Libyan forces attack Tripoli airport for second night

June 7, 2019

Eastern Libyan forces on Thursday conducted an air strike for a second night on the military section of the only functioning airport of the Libyan capital, a statement by the force said.

The Libyan National Army (LNA) force of Khalifa Haftar, which controls eastern Libya, has tried to take the capital held by the internationally recognized government in a two-month offensive but has failed to breach defences in southern suburbs.

Civilian air traffic from Tripoli’s Mitiga airport has continued despite the war.

The LNA late on Thursday attacked the military part of the airport, targeting a “Turkish plane,” the force said in a statement. No more information was immediately available.

The LNA reported a similar strike the previous night but air traffic was not affected.

The conflict is part of chaos which has continued in Libya since the toppling of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. Haftar is allied to a parallel government in the east.

The LNA, supported by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, accuses Turkey of backing the Tripoli government and its forces.

https://indianexpress.com/article/world/eastern-libyan-forces-attack-tripoli-airport-for-second-night-5769128/

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North America

Iran's Foreign Ministry Describes Trump’s Anti-Iran Claims as Hackneyed

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iranian Foreign Ministry, in a statement on Friday, said that the hackneyed, unfounded and inconsistent anti-Tehran remarks by US President Donald Trump are worthless to receive a response.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi, in a statement issued today, said that the remarks of Trump made during his Thursday meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron were "hackneyed, baseless, and contradictory", adding that the "worthless allegations" do not deserve a response.

In the Thursday meeting with Macron, Trump claimed that the sanctions imposed by the US after pulling out of the agreement had crippled Iran's economy and left the nation in tatters.

"They’re doing very poorly as a nation," he said. "They’re failing as a nation. And I don't want them to fail as a nation. We can turn that around very quickly, but the sanctions have been extraordinary how powerful they’ve been, and other things. I understand they want to talk and if they want to talk that’s fine."

Last Monday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, in a tweet response to remarks of US President Donald Trump in Japan, highlighted that there are enormous disparities between what the White House is saying and what it does in dealing with Tehran.

Zarif said, in a tweet on May 27, that Trump has to prove in action whether he seeks to fall into line with the league of anti-Iran domestic and regional officials.

The Iranian top diplomat said, “B-Team's Economic Terrorism is hurting the Iranian people and causing tension in the region. Actions—not words—will show whether or not that's Donald Trump's intent.”

According to Zarif’s earlier tweets in April, the B-Team is made up by US National Security Advisor John Bolton, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The top diplomat reminded that the markedly hostile foursome have themselves admitted to targeting the Iranian people with economic terrorism.

The Iranian diplomatic chief separately reiterated absence of whatever intention on the part of Tehran to pursue nuclear arms, reminding how Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, the country’s highest authority, has categorically prohibited the weapons.

In early May 2018, Trump scrapped the nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), blaming his predecessor Barak Obama for signing “the worst ever deal US involved”.

Following the unilateral pullout of Trump from the nuclear agreement, European sides of the agreement issued a joint statement, reassuring Tehran that they would make up for the losses suffered by Iran.

Tehran waited for a year to see if Europe was serious about delivering on its promises, and on the first anniversary of the US exit from the agreement issued a statement to blame the bloc for coming short to observe its commitments and compensate the damages inflicted by Washington.

Tehran announced on May 08 that its decision to partially suspend its compliance with the JCPOA was in response to the US’ withdrawal and the failure by European signatories to alleviate the damage done by American sanctions.

Following Tehran’s ultimatum to European side of the deal, the White House announced on the very same day that it would levy more sanctions on Iran.

According to a White House statement, an executive order issued by Trump targeted Iran’s revenues from exporting industrial metals from iron, steel, aluminum and copper sectors.

Then Trump intensified its rhetoric of threat against Tehran and the US declared that it will increase its military buildup in the Persian Gulf region for unspecified threats from Iran.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980317000286

 

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