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Islamic World News (08 Jun 2019 NewAgeIslam.Com)



Hindi Words on Name Boards of Central Govt Offices Blackened In Tamil Nadu

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India

Hindi Words on Name Boards of Central Govt Offices Blackened In Tamil Nadu

Eid Milap: Hyderabad Mosque Opens Doors for All Communities

Islamic State Man from Kerala Tells Family He Wants To Return

Imran Khan Writes to PM Modi, seeks to resolve all disputes for stability

2 ex-SPOs among 4 JeM men killed in Pulwama encounter

Formalities in process to repatriate bodies of 12 Indians killed in bus accident in Dubai

PM Modi arrives in Maldives on his first foreign visit of second term

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Africa

In Northern Nigeria, Muslims and Christians Take Small Steps toward Reconciliation

Ghana: Barclays Hosts Muslim Clients

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Australia

NSW Electrician Jailed For Providing Missile Advice To Islamic State

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North America

Onus on Islamabad For India-Pakistan Peace: White House

US hits Iran petrochemical group with sanctions

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Pakistan

2 Hazara Tourists from Quetta Killed In Blast In Balochistan's Ziarat

3 Pakistan Army officers, one soldier martyred in IED blast in North Waziristan: ISPR

Six Iranian fishermen released by Pakistan

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Mideast

Iran Warning: ‘Threat Is Very Real’ As Tehran Still A Danger Says Us Military Chief

Israel Prevents Hamas-Affiliated Group from Receiving UN Status

Qatar emir to visit White House next month amid Gulf tensions

Minister: No Country Can Make up for Loss of Iran's Crude Supplies in Market

Army Assaults and Abducts A Guard Of The Al-Aqsa Mosque

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South Asia

Myanmar’s Suu Kyi, Hungary’s Far-Right PM, Lament 'Growing Muslim Populations'

Kidnap kingpin shot dead; 4 female hostages freed in Faryab province

Afghan Special Forces destroy large amounts of explosives, narcotics in Helmand

Famous Taliban commander Shah Maqsood, alias Dentist killed by own bomb in Farah

3 suspects held, large amount of explosives destroyed in Ghazni operations

Afghan forces conducted 78 special operations in past 24 hours: MoD

Sri Lanka president vows to block Easter attacks probe

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 URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/hindi-words-on-name-boards-of-central-govt-offices-blackened-in-tamil-nadu/d/118829

 

Arab World

Tahrir Al-Sham Launches Chemical Attack on Syrian Army in Hama

Hama: Hundreds of Terrorists Killed in Foiled Attacks to Regain Lost Regions

Moscow Warns Ankara to Stop Military Support for Tahrir Al-Sham Terrorists in Idlib

Yemeni Popular Forces Repel Saudi-Led Attacks in Najran, Aseer

Army Aims to Capture Tahrir Al-Sham's Largest Bastion in Southern Idlib

Homs: ISIL Backed by US Army Heightens Movements against Syrian Army in Badiyeh Region

Aleppo: 14 Turkish Army Officers, Ankara-Backed Elite Militants Killed in Kurdish Offensive

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Europe

Drunk Law Student Who Yelled 'Muslims Go Home' The Day After Christchurch Mosque Massacre Is Ordered To Do Community Service

European study: Muslims, refugees bear brunt of journalistic bias

Govt Report: Muslim Prison Gangs Forcing Inmates to Convert to Islam

Non-Muslims take part in charity fast

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Hindi Words On Name Boards Of Central Govt Offices Blackened In Tamil Nadu

By PTI |

Tiruchirappalli (tn) |

Updated: June 8, 2019

The Hindi text on the name boards of central government offices here including the BSNL and Airport, was blackened, police said Saturday.

The matter came to light this morning, they said adding the text in English was left untouched.

The incident comes in the backdrop of the raging controversy over the three-language formula initially proposed by the Centre, which the opposition parties in the state termed as an attempt of “imposing” Hindi.

Principal opposition party DMK and others had stoutly opposed the move and insisted that only two-language formula should continue.

The cantonment and airport police have been informed about the incident.

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/hindi-words-on-name-boards-of-central-govt-offices-blackened-in-tamil-nadu-5771139/

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Eid Milap: Hyderabad Mosque Opens Doors For All Communities

June 8, 2019

In an example of communal harmony, a mosque in Hyderabad opened its doors for members of all communities to visit and understand the principles of Islam.

As part of its 'Visit My Mosque' program, the mosque opens its doors on one day in the year for members of all religious communities to visit the shrine and understand the various religious practices under Islam.

This year, 'Eid Milap' was held on June 6, and on the occasion, locals were given a chance to visit Masjid-e-Quba.

Speaking to ANI, Mahita, a visitor, said, "This is my first visit to a mosque. We thought that normally they don't allow us into a mosque. But the mosque management has allowed and for the first time, we witnessed how prayers are held. We also got to know many things after coming here about Islam."

Syed Mohsin Ali, the organiser of this event, said the main objective is to spread awareness on Islam as well as to bridge the existing gap between religious communities.

"We have conducted Visit My Mosque program mainly to promote social harmony and brotherhood and reduce the gap between communities. The objective of this initiative is to invite other communities to our mosque and make them understand how our religious activities take place," he said.

"Muslims who come here will also get a chance to interact with people from other communities," Ali added.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

https://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ani/eid-milap-hyderabad-mosque-opens-doors-for-all-communities-119060800084_1.html

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In northern Nigeria, Muslims and Christians take small steps toward reconciliation

June 7, 2019

Nigerian women attend an inter-faith prayer rally organized by the Freedom and Justice Party in Abuja, Nigeria, on Feb. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

(RNS) KAMPALA, Uganda — Recently, a group of Muslims visited Christian widows and orphans in northwestern Nigeria and donated food, clothing and school items as part of efforts to enhance peaceful coexistence among different faiths.

“I can’t believe they came and visited me,” said Judy Ugwu, a mother of four who lives in Kaduna state in northwestern Nigeria. “They have given me enough food and clothes. I want to forgive every Muslim who has wronged me in any way.”

Ugwu, 38, who is a Christian, lost her husband early this year when gunmen dressed in military uniforms and armed with AK47 rifles, machetes and sticks attacked her village of Kajuru and killed more than 60 people. She accused the majority Hausa-Fulani tribe, who are predominantly Muslim and herders of cattle, for brutally murdering her husband.

“I had vowed never to forgive them,” she said. “They wanted to finish us (non-Muslim) during elections so that their people can ascend to power, but God protected his people.”

There has been constant conflict in northern Nigeria for decades, pitting the majority Muslim population against the minority Christian population.

Young Muslim boys wait for traditional Friday prayers to begin at a mosque near the Emir’s palace a day prior to the start of the elections, in Kano, northern Nigeria, on Feb. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

In Kaduna state, the Hausa-Fulani tribe makes up 60% of the population, and the non-Muslim minorities who are mainly farmers make up the remaining 40%.

The minority Christian populations have for decades accused Muslims of using elections to control political and economic power in the state by only electing Muslim leaders. They have also felt marginalized in terms of development and job opportunities. The difference between them became more pronounced early this year during national Nigerian presidential elections when the Hausa-Fulani faction of Kaduna state’s residents (who are majority Muslims) voted for the president, who is a Muslim. All other elective seats in the state (like governorship, House of Representatives and the Senate) went to Muslim candidates. No Christian candidate was elected in the election in Kaduna state or in the majority of the northern region states

As a result, there have been nonstop attacks on communities, leading to the loss of thousands of lives, with several others injured. In recent weeks some churches, Mosques and Islamic schools have been burned in retaliation.

However, the tide is slowly turning — at least on a small scale. Lately, Muslims have been reaching out to Christians in northern Nigeria to seek reunion and deliver a message of peace, hope and solidarity that all Muslims are peace-loving people.

“I urge Muslims and Christians to live in peace and harmony,” Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II said by phone from northern Nigeria. “Jihad is not about killing people in the name of Jihad. That’s not Islam. People who are killing others and looting their properties are criminals. Islam promotes peace, and I urge Muslims to show their Christian brothers that Islam is a peaceful religion.”

Nigeria, in red, in western Africa. Image courtesy Creative Commons

MahamadouAliyu, a Muslim from Kaduna state in northwest Nigeria, said he recently reconciled with his Christian neighbor after he realized that Islam was a peaceful religion and that both the Bible and Qur’an are Holy Books.

“We reconciled and shared a meal together,” said Aliyu, 35, a father of five. “We all worship one God who loves peace, and we should respect and tolerate each other as brothers and sisters. We should never kill each other and hide behind religion.”

Pastor Yohanna Buru of Christ Evangelical and Life Intervention Ministry welcomed this act of kindness by Muslims and reminded Christians to be peace-loving people. He urged Christians to also reach out to Muslims and help promote peace and unity among people despite their religious differences.

“Let us live in peace and tolerate each despite our religion differences,” he urged. “We should preach peace everywhere we go to bring the lost love between us. Christians and Muslims are one people and we should love one another.”

Ugwu, a Christian woman from Kaduna state, agreed.

“If we continue with this act of kindness then we can heal and forgive each other,” she said. “There’s nothing impossible before God. We can forgive each other and forget.”

https://religionnews.com/2019/06/07/in-northern-nigeria-muslims-and-christians-take-small-steps-toward-reconciliation/

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NSW electrician jailed for providing missile advice to Islamic State

Judge dismisses HaisemZahab’s claim that he believed Isis was a force of good rather than evil

Australian Associated Press

Sat 8 Jun 2019

The NSW supreme court has sentenced HaisemZahab to nine years in jail, with a non-parole period of six years and nine months. Photograph: Brendan Esposito/AAP

An electrician from rural New South Wales has been jailed for at least six years and nine months after he designed missiles for Islamic State

HaisemZahab, an Australian-born citizen, had pleaded guilty last year to knowingly providing support or resources to a terrorist organisation after working on a laser warning receiver, rockets and a rocket guidance method for Isis from 2014.

The 44-year-old, from the NSW town of Young, also admitted he failed to comply with an order to help police access encrypted data on his phone and other devices.

On Friday, the NSW supreme court justice Geoffrey Bellew sentenced Zahab to nine years in jail, with a non-parole period of six years and nine months.

The judge dismissed Zahab’s claim that he genuinely believed at the time of his offending that Isis was “a force of good” rather than evil and could, therefore, help civilians in Syria fight the regime of president Bashar al-Assad.

He also rejected Zahab’s testimony that he had been in a cult or bubble of Isis supporters – including on Twitter where he assumed the alias “Stranger” – and had divorced himself from mainstream news.

Bellew was also sceptical of the electrician’s subsequent contrition.

With time already served, Zahab will be eligible for release in December 2023.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/jun/08/nsw-electrician-jailed-for-providing-missile-advice-to-islamic-state

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Onus On Islamabad For India-Pakistan Peace: White House

By PTI |

Washington |June 8, 2019

 Amidst new peace overtures from the Imran Khan government after the re-election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the White House has made it clear to Pakistan that the onus for sustained peace in South Asia was on it by putting the terror groups out of business.

Khan has written a second letter to Prime Minister Modi after his re-election, saying that Pakistan wants talks with India to resolve all differences, including on the Kashmir issue.

The Pakistani premier said talks between the two nations were the only solution to help both countries’ people overcome poverty and that it was important to work together for regional development.

However, India has rejected Pakistan’s offer of talks, maintaining that terror and talks cannot go together and said that no bilateral meeting has been planned between the two premiers on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Summit (SCO) in Kyrgyzstan’s capital Bishkek on June 13-14.

“What the United States is really looking for in Pakistan are arrests and prosecutions and not allowing these groups to operate and move around freely, acquire weapons, cross into India, carry out attacks,” a senior White House official told PTI this week.

The United States is looking for sustained and irreversible steps that shut down their operations, asserted the official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“Until these groups are put out of business, it’s going to be very difficult for India and Pakistan to achieve a sustained peace. So the onus is on Pakistan to ensure that they crack down on these groups,” said the White House official responding to a question on the US assessment of the Indo-Pak tension.

A senior State Department official said that in the wake of the Pulwama terrorist attack, the US has seen Pakistan taking some initial actions against designated terrorist organisations and more steps to enhance counter terrorism financing measures.

“We welcome those steps,” the official said.

“We have always agreed that the underlying causes of the tensions between India and Pakistan needed to be addressed … and the underlying tension has been the role of terrorist forces that have sanctuary on Pakistani soil. So we certainly encourage the creation of an environment that will lead to a dialogue,” the official said.

Pakistan needs to take practical steps to demonstrate that it is countering terrorist financing and extremists that are located on their territory, a senior State Department Official told reporters last week.

Paris-based international terror financing watchdog FATF in June last year placed Pakistan onto its watch list in a bid to push the country to halt support for militant groups.

In February, the FATF decided to continue the ‘Grey’ listing of Pakistan for its failure to stop funding of terrorist groups such as the JeM, the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD).

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/onus-for-indo-pak-peace-on-pakistan-white-house-5771187/

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2 Hazara tourists from Quetta killed in blast in Balochistan's Ziarat

Syed Ali Shah

June 08, 2019

Two people belonging to the Shia Hazara community were killed in an explosion in Balochistan's Ziarat district on Friday, Levies sources said.

At least seven other Hazaras were also injured when the blast targeting their vehicle took place in Kawas area of Ziarat.

The deceased belonged to the Hazara community of Quetta and were part of a group that was visiting Ziarat for sightseeing, Levies sources told DawnNewsTV.

The injured were rushed to a hospital in Quetta immediately after the incident.

Quoting initial investigation, sources said the nature of the blast could not be immediately confirmed. It was also not clear whether the bomb was planted inside the vehicle or on the roadside.

Also on Friday, a second explosion in a vehicle earlier in the day left three tourists from Karachi dead in Ziarat. Two others sustained injuries in the incident.

The deceased were tourists from Karachi who were in Ziarat to spend their Eid holidays, Ziarat Assistant Commissioner Maj Kabeer Zarqoon said.

Levies sources said the blast occurred when a gas cylinder in the car exploded at a picnic point in Kharwari Baba area. However, an official of the counter-terrorism department who declined to be named told DawnNewsTV that security officials were investigating the incident to determine the exact nature of the blast.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1486746/2-hazara-tourists-from-quetta-killed-in-blast-in-balochistans-ziarat

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Iran WARNING: ‘Threat is VERY real’ as Tehran still a DANGER says US military chief

IRAN still poses a ‘very real’ threat, a US military commander who did not rule out sending more troops to the beleaguered region, has warned.

By SAM STEVENSON

Jun 8, 2019

General Frank McKenzie, head of US Central Command, issued the chilling warning to several reporters on Friday. Newsweek reports the US military chief said: “I don't actually believe the threat has diminished.” General McKenzie insisted despite Iran’s attempts to “step back and recalculate” the Islamic Republic could still harbour plans to attack US troops stationed in the Middle East.

His words come after US National Security Adviser John Bolton said in May the US would send an aircraft carrier and bomber planes to the Middle East “to send a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime that any attack on United States interests or on those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force”.

US-Iran tensions have been on a knife edge since US President Donald Trump withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or so-called Iran Nuclear Deal.

The accord was struck in July 2015 between the Islamic Republic of Iran and a group of world powers: the P5+1 (the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council—the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, France, and China - plus Germany) and the European Union.

The agreement was intended to thwart Iran’s nuclear energy programme, which the West maintained was a front to produce a nuclear bomb, in return for the lifting of crippling economic sanctions.

But Trump later withdrew from the deal calling it “decaying and rotten”.

Following his executive action, Trump began to reinstate the sanctions which had been lifted as part of the terms of the JCPOA.

In 2017, the President also implemented a travel ban on citizens from seven countries, one of which was Iran.

The move ignited fury in Tehran and, alongside the reimposing of economic sanctions, has led to an almost constant war of words between the two nations.

The fiery rhetoric has escalated in recent weeks with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s Foreign Minister Mohammad JavadZarif hitting out at Trump in response to his Twitter tirades.

Four oil tankers were attacked in the Gulf last month pouring fuel on an already volatile situation.

Saudi Arabia, Norway, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), all of which are US allies, owned the oil tankers.

The UAE recently lashed out at Tehran and blamed the Islamic Republic for the attack.

The Arab nation released a report noted claiming the attack was a “sophisticated and coordinated operation carried out by an actor with significant operational capacity”.

https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1137867/Iran-news-world-war-3-Trump-US-tension-tehran-hassan-rouhani-nuclear-weapon

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Myanmar’s Suu Kyi, Hungary’s far-right PM, lament 'growing Muslim populations'

Sat Jun 8, 2019 08:17AM [Updated: Sat Jun 8, 2019 08:47AM ]

Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi and Hungary's far-right nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban have lamented the “continuously growing Muslim populations” in their countries.

Suu Kyi, who has been internationally condemned for the persecution of Rohingya Muslim refugees in Myanmar’s northwestern state of Rakhine, held talks with the Hungarian leader in Budapest this week as part of a rare trip to Europe.

Reports suggested that the two leaders had found common ground on the subject of immigration and Islam.

“The two leaders highlighted that one of the greatest challenges at present for both countries and their respective regions – south-east Asia and Europe – is migration,” read a statement released after their meeting.

“They noted that both regions have seen the emergence of the issue of co-existence with continuously growing Muslim populations,” the statement added.

The meeting comes as Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize winner who was once hailed as a champion in the fight for democracy, has been stripped of a series of international honors over the Rohingya exodus that began in August 2017.

Amnesty International has withdrawn its most prestigious human rights prize from Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi over her human rights abuses.

Thousands of Rohingya Muslims were killed, injured, arbitrarily arrested, or raped by Myanmar soldiers and Buddhist mobs mainly between November 2016 and August 2017, when many of the surviving members of the community started fleeing to Bangladesh en masse.

More than 700,000 members of the mostly stateless group fled across Myanmar's western border into Bangladesh after the Myanmar military’s crackdown.

The United Nations has blamed Suu Kyi for failing to prevent the brutal violence and atrocities, which the international organization says constitute genocide.

The United Nations (UN)’s top human rights official says Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi should have resigned last year over a state-sponsored campaign of terror against Rohingya Muslims in the country.

Meanwhile, Orban has branded refugees from the Middle East and central Asia who are fleeing violence and economic hardship as “Muslim invaders” and has taken dramatic measures to curtail the their numbers entering Hungary.

The government in Budapest has ordered the construction of a massive barbed-wire fence along its border with Serbia.

The far-right leader has repeatedly clashed with the European Union over the issue of immigration after his government declared "a crisis situation due to mass immigration" in 2015.

The Orban administration was accused of using anti-refugee rhetoric that fuels "xenophobic attitudes, fear and hatred" in a report by the Council of Europe's commissioner for human rights.

Hungary's prime minister urges anti-migration politicians to take over EU.

After his meeting with Myanmar's leader, Orban said he had "great respect for Aung San Suu Kyi and all she has done for her country's freedom and democratic transformation.”

Myanmar leader fallen from EU's grace

The meeting between the two far-right leaders drew instant criticism from the Human Rights Watch (HRW).

“Aung San Suu Kyi has fallen so astonishingly far from being the darling of the EU that she now counts a meeting with Orban, the pariah of Europe, as an important accomplishment,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at the HRW.

“After shamefully helping the Myanmar military cover up their genocide against Rohingya Muslims, now she’s glad-handing and making friends with Europe’s most xenophobic, anti-democratic leader,” Robertson added.

Robertson also noted that, “The message of this meeting to Brussels should be clear: Myanmar is not listening to your quiet diplomatic niceties.”

Suu Kyi’s trip to central Europe was with the aim to strengthen economic ties in the region. Prior to Hungary, she had visited the Czech Republic and met with Prime Minister Andrej Babis.

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/06/08/597985/Myanmar-Aung-San-Suu-Kyi-Hungary-Viktor-Orban-Budapest-Rohingya-Islamophobia

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India

Hindi Words On Name Boards Of Central Govt Offices Blackened In Tamil Nadu

By PTI |

Tiruchirappalli (tn) |

Updated: June 8, 2019

The Hindi text on the name boards of central government offices here including the BSNL and Airport, was blackened, police said Saturday.

The matter came to light this morning, they said adding the text in English was left untouched.

The incident comes in the backdrop of the raging controversy over the three-language formula initially proposed by the Centre, which the opposition parties in the state termed as an attempt of “imposing” Hindi.

Principal opposition party DMK and others had stoutly opposed the move and insisted that only two-language formula should continue.

The cantonment and airport police have been informed about the incident.

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/hindi-words-on-name-boards-of-central-govt-offices-blackened-in-tamil-nadu-5771139/

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Eid Milap: Hyderabad Mosque Opens Doors For All Communities

June 8, 2019

In an example of communal harmony, a mosque in Hyderabad opened its doors for members of all communities to visit and understand the principles of Islam.

As part of its 'Visit My Mosque' program, the mosque opens its doors on one day in the year for members of all religious communities to visit the shrine and understand the various religious practices under Islam.

This year, 'Eid Milap' was held on June 6, and on the occasion, locals were given a chance to visit Masjid-e-Quba.

Speaking to ANI, Mahita, a visitor, said, "This is my first visit to a mosque. We thought that normally they don't allow us into a mosque. But the mosque management has allowed and for the first time, we witnessed how prayers are held. We also got to know many things after coming here about Islam."

Syed Mohsin Ali, the organiser of this event, said the main objective is to spread awareness on Islam as well as to bridge the existing gap between religious communities.

"We have conducted Visit My Mosque program mainly to promote social harmony and brotherhood and reduce the gap between communities. The objective of this initiative is to invite other communities to our mosque and make them understand how our religious activities take place," he said.

"Muslims who come here will also get a chance to interact with people from other communities," Ali added.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

https://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ani/eid-milap-hyderabad-mosque-opens-doors-for-all-communities-119060800084_1.html

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Islamic State Man from Kerala Tells Family He Wants To Return

byShaju Philip

June 8, 2019

A 25-year-old man from Kerala, who is believed to be fighting for the Islamic State in Syria, has expressed his desire to return home after the fall of the terror outfit’s so-called caliphate in that country, security sources told The Indian Express. He also told his family in a phone call that the IS members in Syria were in “utter poverty, fighting for food”.

Sources said that Firoz alias Firoz khan, who hails from Elambachi village in Kasaragod, was among the over dozen youths who left the district in June 2016 to join the IS. While most of the others in that group moved to Afghanistan, Firoz illegally entered Syria.

“We got a call from Firoz last month. He spoke to his mother Habeeba and expressed his desire to return and surrender. The call came after their caliphate fell to US-backed forces in Syria. He told his mother that they were in great trouble and in utter poverty, fighting for food,’’ a close relative told The Indian Express.

According to the relative, Firoz told his family that the IS had conducted his marriage with a woman from Malaysia, who later left him. “Firoz wanted to know whether he would face any case if he returned home. He wanted to surrender, but did not mention where he planned to do so. We have not heard anything from him since then,’’ the relative said.

Security sources said they were aware of the phone call. “Firoz had been in touch with his family. We had information that he had exhorted his relatives and friends to join the IS and indulge in terror activities. He is one of the accused in the Kasaragod IS module case,’’ sources said.

Intelligence agencies had also found that scores of youths from Kannur district had migrated to Syria to fight for Islamic state. Last year, a youth named ShajahanValluvakandy, 32, of Koodali in Kannur, was deported from Turkey while trying to enter Syria. “From Kannur district, around 35 persons, including women, had left for Syria. Most of them got killed fighting for the IS,’’ said an officer.

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/islamic-state-man-kerala-family-want-to-return-5770387/

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Imran Khan writes to PM Modi, seeks to resolve all disputes for stability

byShubhajit Roy

June 8, 2019

Reaching out to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the second time since May 23, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has written a congratulatory letter in which he is learnt to have advocated working for durable peace and stability in South Asia and the peaceful resolution of all outstanding issues, including the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. The letter, The Indian Express has learnt, arrived through diplomatic channels about two days ago.

Sources confirmed that Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has also written to new External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, where he congratulated him and maintained similar views as Khan. Qureshi’s letter also arrived earlier this week, said sources.

It is learnt, however, that there has been no proposal for a meeting in Bishkek in Khan’s letter to Modi. The letter follows an exchange of tweets between the two leaders after May 23 and a phone call between them on May 26.

This comes days before the two Prime Ministers are scheduled to be in the Kyrgyz Republic’s capital, Bishkek, for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit on June 13 and 14. While the MEA spokesperson maintained that no meeting is being planned or organised to the best of his knowledge, sources did not rule out the possibility of a “pull-aside” meeting between the leaders.

Khan, in his letter, is also learnt to have said that Pakistan follows a policy of peaceful neighbourhood. Sources also said that the Pakistan PM is understood to have stressed on the need to work together on the basis of “mutual respect and trust” to address challenges faced by people of both the countries, including poverty and underdevelopment.

In the letter to both Modi and Jaishankar, sources indicated that the need to advance the goals of regional peace, progress and prosperity through collective endeavours has also been underscored.

This is similar to the readouts of the phone conversation on May 26, which were made public.

In their first conversation since the NDA government was re-elected for a second term, Khan had dialled Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 26 and said that he looked forward to advancing his vision for “peace, progress and prosperity”.

In response, Modi had said that “creating trust and an environment free of violence and terrorism were essential” for cooperation in fostering “peace, progress and prosperity” in the region. The indication was that India would stick to its red lines on dialogue with Pakistan, where it has maintained that talks and terror cannot go together.

This was also the first conversation between the two leaders after the Pulwama terror attack in February this year, which was followed by the Balakot airstrikes and Pakistan’s retaliation.

Khan had also congratulated Modi on his electoral triumph. “I congratulate Prime Minister Modi on the electoral victory of BJP and allies. Look forward to working with him for peace, progress and prosperity in South Asia,” Khan had tweeted in both English and Urdu.

In fact, a day before the election results were announced, Qureshi and his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj exchanged pleasantries on the sidelines of the SCO Council of Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Qureshi had then conveyed Pakistan’s desire to resolve all issues through dialogue.

Earlier this week, Pakistan Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood arrived in Delhi for what officials said was a three-day “private visit”. On Wednesday, Mahmood, who was the envoy to India until mid-April and whose family is still in Delhi, offered prayers at the Jama Masjid to mark Eid. He was accompanied by Acting High Commissioner Syed Haider Shah and other Pakistan diplomats. Sources said Mahmood’s family is likely to return with him to Pakistan.

In Islamabad, Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan Ajay Bisaria met Pakistan President Dr ArifAlvi on the occasion of Eid, where they exchanged greetings. “Exchanged #Eid greetings with President @ArifAlvi in #Islamabad this morning. The President expressed hope for #peace in our region.@IndiainPakistan,” Bisaria tweeted.

However, not everything is going as per script. Last Saturday, guests at the Indian High Commissioner’s Iftaar party in Islamabad were harassed and intimidated by Pakistan’s security agencies, prompting Delhi to lodge a strong protest through a note verbale.

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/imran-khan-writes-to-pm-modi-seeks-to-resolve-all-disputes-for-stability-5770398/

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2 ex-SPOs among 4 JeM men killed in Pulwama encounter

byAdilAkhzer

June 8, 2019

Two Special Police Officers (SPOs) who joined militant ranks were among four Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) men killed in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Friday.

Shabir Ahmad Dar and Mohammad Salman Khan, residents of Pulwama and Shopian districts respectively, were killed less than 24 hours after they abandoned their posts. J&K police said after deserting, the SPOs had become the members of JeM and were killed in an encounter.

A police spokesperson said that a cordon and search operation was launched by joint forces at Panjran village in Litter area of Pulwama district on Thursday evening following the presence of militants in the area.

“During the search operation, the hiding terrorists fired on the search party. The fire was retaliated leading to an encounter,” the spokesperson said.

The gunbattle, which continued for more than 12 hours, led to the death of four militants.

“In the ensuing encounter, two listed terrorists and two SPOs who had recently deserted (the force) and become members of the proscribed terrorist organisation JeM were killed,” the police spokesperson said.

The slain militants have been identified as Ashiq Hussain Ganaie of Panjran in Pulwama, and Imran Ahmad Bhat, a resident of Arihal, Pulwama.

A senior police officer in South Kashmir termed the desertion of the SPOs and their subsequent joining of militant ranks a “serious” matter, but added that counter measures are already in place to deal with the “challenge”, and now measures are being further “strengthened”.

“We are further investigating the matter very thoroughly and checking if any of their (the SPOs’) colleagues were aware about the plans to joining the militant ranks,” said the officer.

Militants lob grenade, 2 cops injured

Srinagar: Two policemen were injured after militants lobbed a grenade at a police station in North Kashmir’s Sopore on Friday afternoon.

“Terrorists lobbed a #grenade at Police Station @SoporePolice. Area under cordon,” Kashmir police zone tweeted.

A senior police officer in North Kashmir told The Indian Express that both of the injured policemen are stable. ENS

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/jammu-kashmir-ex-spos-among-4-jem-men-killed-in-pulwama-encounter-5770399/

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Formalities in process to repatriate bodies of 12 Indians killed in bus accident in Dubai

June 8, 2019

The Indian Consulate in Dubai is in the process of completing formalities related to forensics and other documentation required to repatriate the bodies of the 12 Indians who were among the 17 killed in a horrific road accident here when a bus coming from Oman entered a restricted lane and rammed into a low-clearance sign.

Nine persons were also seriously injured when the driver of the bus, carrying mostly Eid vacationers and coming from Oman’s capital Muscat to Dubai, wrongly entered a road not designated for buses towards Al Rashidiya metro station here on Thursday evening.

Eleven clearance certificates have been issued by forensics, while one forensic report is pending from the authorities, Vipul, India’s Consul General in Dubai, tweeted late Friday.

“After this, with full documentation mortal remains will be sent for embalming and then to India,” he said.

“We hope that all mortal remains will be repatriated to India tomorrow (Saturday) and day after. Air India is providing all help. We would like to sincerely thank Dubai Police and all hospital authorities for their assistance,” he said in another tweet.

He said that the Consulate formalities for the deceased Indians were done on the spot and the their team worked with local authorities and community volunteers whole day.

The bus, belonging to the Omani bus transport company Mwasalat, carrying 31 passengers, crashed into a height barrier that cut the left side of the bus and killed passengers sitting on that side.

Dubai Police blamed the Omani driver, who was moderately injured, for the accident, saying “at times a small mistake or negligence can lead to adverse consequences”.

The names of the Indians who passed away are: VikramJawahar Thakur, Vimal Kumar KarthikeyanKesavapilaikar, Kiran JohnyJohnyVallithottathilPaily, Firoz Khan Aziz Pathan, ReshmaFeroz Khan Pathan, JamaludeenArakkaveettil, VasudevVishandas, RajanPuthiyapurayilGopalan, PrabulaMadhavan Deepa Kumar, RoshniMoolchandani, UmmerChonokatavathMammadPuthen, NabilUmmerChonokatavath.

https://indianexpress.com/article/world/formalities-in-process-to-repatriate-bodies-of-12-indians-killed-in-bus-accident-in-dubai-5770736/

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PM Modi arrives in Maldives on his first foreign visit of second term

The visit is reflective of the new momentum in high-level exchanges between India and the Maldives, the External Affairs Ministry said. The PM will address the People’s Majlis, the Maldives’ parliament.

INDIA Updated: Jun 08, 2019

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in the Maldives on Saturday afternoon to strengthen New Delhi’s ties with Male in his first foreign visit after retaining power.

He will hold talks with President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

“We regard the Maldives as a valued partner with whom we share deep bonds of history and culture. Our bilateral relations with the Maldives have been greatly strengthened in the recent past. I am confident that my visit will further deepen our multifaceted partnership,” Modi said in a statement before his departure.

He will also visit Sri Lanka as Indian underlines its ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy.

Modi had visited the Maldives last November to attend President Solih’s swearing-in but it wasn’t a full-fledged state visit.

“We had the pleasure of receiving President Solih in December last year. I also had the opportunity to attend the inauguration of President Solih in November 2018. My visit to the Maldives is reflective of the importance we both attach to our relationship as maritime neighbours and long-standing friends,” Modi said.

According to ANI, President Solih will confer on Modi,Maldives’ highest honour accorded to foreign dignitaries, ‘The Most Honourable Order of the Distinguished Rule of NishanIzzuddeen’.

Bilateral ties with the Maldives had soured after then President Abdulla Yameen declared emergency last February. The frayed relationship has been repaired under Solih’s leadership.

The visit is reflective of the new momentum in high-level exchanges between India and the Maldives, the External Affairs Ministry said. The PM will address the People’s Majlis, the Maldives’ parliament. Modi is visiting the Maldives at the invitation of Solih.

India is also helping Maldives to develop cricket in the country. Foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale said on Thursday that New Delhi will help Male groom its national cricket team to international standards, build a stadium there and also train umpires and scorekeepers.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/pm-modi-arrives-in-maldives-on-his-first-foreign-visit-of-second-term/story-TAKWpvdtI1MfU3wTQJEsBK.html

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Africa

Egypt says 4 suspected Islamists killed in Sinai

8 June 2019

Egyptian security forces killed four suspected jihadists in restive North Sinai allegedly involved in a deadly attack this week on a police checkpoint, the interior ministry said Saturday.

It said the suspects were killed in a shootout as security forces raided a building used as a hideout in the town of El-Arish, and three assault rifles and a explosive vest were seized.

Since Wednesday's attack claimed by the Islamic State group on a checkpoint, southwest of El-Arish, the capital of North Sinai, in which eight policemen died, operations by security forces have killed a total of 26 "terrorists", according to the ministry.

The hotspot of North Sinai in eastern Egypt has long been a centre of insurgents affiliated with IS.

In February 2018, the army launched a nationwide offensive against the militants.

According to official figures, around 650 militants have been killed since the start of the operation, while the army has lost some 50 soldiers.

No independent statistics are available and the region is largely cut off to journalists, making verification of casualty figures extremely difficult.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-7118933/Egypt-says-4-suspected-Islamists-killed-Sinai.html+

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Ghana: Barclays Hosts Muslim Clients

 

Barclays Bank Ghana has held IFTAR, an evening meal to end the daily Ramadan fast, for some of its Muslim clients at the Kempinski Gold Coast Hotel, Accra.

The evening meal which was taken after short Islamic prayers were recited was attended by high-profile Muslim clerics and persons who are clients of Barclays Bank.

Ramadan, which takes place during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, is a period for fasting and piety by Muslims.

In a speech, Corporate Banking Director at Barclays Bank, Mrs Ellen Ohene-Afoakwa, commended the invited clients for their support and loyalty to the bank over the years.

She assured them, of the bank's continuous support towards the growth of their businesses.

'I am especially proud, to note that for some of you, we have worked together and supported your companies to grow into the budding businesses, serving millions of Ghanaians. Now that's what true partnership is all about, and we are committed to go the extra mile with you," she affirmed.

Touching on the transitioning from Barclays to Absa, Mrs Ohene-Afoakwa indicated that the bank remains committed to providing clients with the best service, best products, digital innovations and increased flexibility among others.

"Our new brand and new identity reflects our larger, shared purpose of 'bringing your possibilities to life'. We are excited about the opportunity that this change brings as part of our journey towards becoming a truly transformative bank that is modern, fast-thinking and relevant for the future," she added.

https://allafrica.com/stories/201906070388.html

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Australia

NSW electrician jailed for providing missile advice to Islamic State

Judge dismisses HaisemZahab’s claim that he believed Isis was a force of good rather than evil

Australian Associated Press

Sat 8 Jun 2019

The NSW supreme court has sentenced HaisemZahab to nine years in jail, with a non-parole period of six years and nine months. Photograph: Brendan Esposito/AAP

An electrician from rural New South Wales has been jailed for at least six years and nine months after he designed missiles for Islamic State

HaisemZahab, an Australian-born citizen, had pleaded guilty last year to knowingly providing support or resources to a terrorist organisation after working on a laser warning receiver, rockets and a rocket guidance method for Isis from 2014.

The 44-year-old, from the NSW town of Young, also admitted he failed to comply with an order to help police access encrypted data on his phone and other devices.

On Friday, the NSW supreme court justice Geoffrey Bellew sentenced Zahab to nine years in jail, with a non-parole period of six years and nine months.

The judge dismissed Zahab’s claim that he genuinely believed at the time of his offending that Isis was “a force of good” rather than evil and could, therefore, help civilians in Syria fight the regime of president Bashar al-Assad.

He also rejected Zahab’s testimony that he had been in a cult or bubble of Isis supporters – including on Twitter where he assumed the alias “Stranger” – and had divorced himself from mainstream news.

Bellew was also sceptical of the electrician’s subsequent contrition.

With time already served, Zahab will be eligible for release in December 2023.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/jun/08/nsw-electrician-jailed-for-providing-missile-advice-to-islamic-state

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North America

88Onus On Islamabad For India-Pakistan Peace: White House

By PTI |

Washington |June 8, 2019

 Amidst new peace overtures from the Imran Khan government after the re-election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the White House has made it clear to Pakistan that the onus for sustained peace in South Asia was on it by putting the terror groups out of business.

Khan has written a second letter to Prime Minister Modi after his re-election, saying that Pakistan wants talks with India to resolve all differences, including on the Kashmir issue.

The Pakistani premier said talks between the two nations were the only solution to help both countries’ people overcome poverty and that it was important to work together for regional development.

However, India has rejected Pakistan’s offer of talks, maintaining that terror and talks cannot go together and said that no bilateral meeting has been planned between the two premiers on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Summit (SCO) in Kyrgyzstan’s capital Bishkek on June 13-14.

“What the United States is really looking for in Pakistan are arrests and prosecutions and not allowing these groups to operate and move around freely, acquire weapons, cross into India, carry out attacks,” a senior White House official told PTI this week.

The United States is looking for sustained and irreversible steps that shut down their operations, asserted the official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“Until these groups are put out of business, it’s going to be very difficult for India and Pakistan to achieve a sustained peace. So the onus is on Pakistan to ensure that they crack down on these groups,” said the White House official responding to a question on the US assessment of the Indo-Pak tension.

A senior State Department official said that in the wake of the Pulwama terrorist attack, the US has seen Pakistan taking some initial actions against designated terrorist organisations and more steps to enhance counter terrorism financing measures.

“We welcome those steps,” the official said.

“We have always agreed that the underlying causes of the tensions between India and Pakistan needed to be addressed … and the underlying tension has been the role of terrorist forces that have sanctuary on Pakistani soil. So we certainly encourage the creation of an environment that will lead to a dialogue,” the official said.

Pakistan needs to take practical steps to demonstrate that it is countering terrorist financing and extremists that are located on their territory, a senior State Department Official told reporters last week.

Paris-based international terror financing watchdog FATF in June last year placed Pakistan onto its watch list in a bid to push the country to halt support for militant groups.

In February, the FATF decided to continue the ‘Grey’ listing of Pakistan for its failure to stop funding of terrorist groups such as the JeM, the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD).

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/onus-for-indo-pak-peace-on-pakistan-white-house-5771187/

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US hits Iran petrochemical group with sanctions

AFPUpdated June 08, 2019

WASHINGTON: The United States has hit Iran’s petrochemical group PGPIC with economic sanctions due to its ties with the country’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), the Treasury Department announced on Friday.

The move aims to choke off financing to the country’s largest and most profitable petrochemical group and extends to its 39 subsidiaries and “foreign-based sales agents,” Treasury said in a statement.

Those include UK-based NPC International and Philippines-based and NPC Alliance Corporation that are controlled by PGPIC.

“This action is a warning that we will continue to target holding groups and companies in the petrochemical sector and elsewhere that provide financial lifelines to the IRGC,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in the statement.

Treasury warned that international companies continuing to partner with PGPIC or subsidiaries and sales agents “will themselves be exposed to US sanctions.” Following President Donald Trump’s decision to abandon the 2015 nuclear deal negotiated by his predecessor, US efforts over the past year to choke off Iran’s economy have angered allies as foreign companies get caught up in the dispute. Several countries have halted oil imports from Iran, while Europe has tried to design a mechanism to continue trading with the country without violating US sanctions.

Treasury said it is penalising PGPIC due to its links to the economic arm of the IRGC, known as Khatam al-Anbiya. The holding company has awarded contracts to Khatam al-Anbiya “generating hundreds of millions of dollars for an IRGC economic conglomerate that stretches across Iran’s major industries.” Washington in April branded the IRGC a terrorist organisation, the first time it has taken the step against part of a foreign government. The move meant anyone who deals with the Revolutionary Guards could face prison in the United States.

The new sanctions prohibit the firm and its subsidiaries from accessing the US market or financial system, including through other foreign companies, and blocks all funds or property that is in the United States or held by a US firm.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1486786/us-hits-iran-petrochemical-group-with-sanctions

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Pakistan

2 Hazara tourists from Quetta killed in blast in Balochistan's Ziarat

Syed Ali Shah

June 08, 2019

Two people belonging to the Shia Hazara community were killed in an explosion in Balochistan's Ziarat district on Friday, Levies sources said.

At least seven other Hazaras were also injured when the blast targeting their vehicle took place in Kawas area of Ziarat.

The deceased belonged to the Hazara community of Quetta and were part of a group that was visiting Ziarat for sightseeing, Levies sources told DawnNewsTV.

The injured were rushed to a hospital in Quetta immediately after the incident.

Quoting initial investigation, sources said the nature of the blast could not be immediately confirmed. It was also not clear whether the bomb was planted inside the vehicle or on the roadside.

Also on Friday, a second explosion in a vehicle earlier in the day left three tourists from Karachi dead in Ziarat. Two others sustained injuries in the incident.

The deceased were tourists from Karachi who were in Ziarat to spend their Eid holidays, Ziarat Assistant Commissioner Maj Kabeer Zarqoon said.

Levies sources said the blast occurred when a gas cylinder in the car exploded at a picnic point in Kharwari Baba area. However, an official of the counter-terrorism department who declined to be named told DawnNewsTV that security officials were investigating the incident to determine the exact nature of the blast.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1486746/2-hazara-tourists-from-quetta-killed-in-blast-in-balochistans-ziarat

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3 Pakistan Army officers, one soldier martyred in IED blast in North Waziristan: ISPR

June 07, 2019

Three officers and a soldier of the Pakistan Army were martyred in an improvised explosive device (IED) explosion in Kharqamar area of North Waziristan tribal district on Friday, an Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) statement said.

Four other soldiers also sustained injuries when terrorists targeted a military vehicle through an IED planted on the roadside, the military's media wing said.

The martyred personnel were identified as Lt Col Raashid Karim Baig, a resident of Karimabad, Hunza; Major Moeez Maqsood Baig, a resident of Karachi; Capt Arif Ullah, a resident of Lakki Marwat; and Lance Havaldar Zaheer, a resident of Chakwal.

"This is the same area where forces had conducted search operations and arrested [a] few facilitators," the ISPR statement said.

It noted that 10 security personnel have been martyred and 35 injured due to terrorist violence in the area over the course of the last one month — a figure that includes today's casualties.

The incident, which coincides with the third day of Eidul Fitr, comes a day after two Frontier Corps (FC) soldiers were martyred in Balochistan's Harnai district while on Eid patrol duty. The security personnel were targeted through an IED as well, sources within the Balochistan Levies had said.

It also comes less than a week after a Pakistan Army soldier was martyred in a gun-and-bomb attack on a security vehicle in North Waziristan. The military's media wing had noted at the time that "terrorist activities in North Waziristan have increased lately."

https://www.dawn.com/news/1486745/3-pakistan-army-officers-one-soldier-martyred-in-ied-blast-in-north-waziristan-ispr

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Six Iranian fishermen released by Pakistan

The Newspaper's Staff ReporterUpdated June 08, 2019

KARACHI: Pakistan has released six Iranian fishermen who were detained by the Maritime Security Agency (MSA) for fishing in Pakistani waters, Iranian media and local sources said on Friday.

Radio Farda while quoting Mehr News Agency said that all the six men released on Thursday reached their homes the same day. “The sailors were arrested on the charges of illegal entry into Pakistan’s waters.”

It said this was the fourth group of Iranian fishermen jailed in Pakistan over the past two years. Pakistan had so far released 41 other Iranian fishermen on three occasions, reported the agency.

A security source said that like Indians, Iranian fishermen were often caught by the marine authorities while fishing in Pakistani waters and booked by the police under Sections 3/4 of the Foreign Act and 3/9 of the Fishery Act.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1486803/six-iranian-fishermen-released-by-pakistan

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Mideast

Iran WARNING: ‘Threat is VERY real’ as Tehran still a DANGER says US military chief

IRAN still poses a ‘very real’ threat, a US military commander who did not rule out sending more troops to the beleaguered region, has warned.

By SAM STEVENSON

Jun 8, 2019

General Frank McKenzie, head of US Central Command, issued the chilling warning to several reporters on Friday. Newsweek reports the US military chief said: “I don't actually believe the threat has diminished.” General McKenzie insisted despite Iran’s attempts to “step back and recalculate” the Islamic Republic could still harbour plans to attack US troops stationed in the Middle East.

His words come after US National Security Adviser John Bolton said in May the US would send an aircraft carrier and bomber planes to the Middle East “to send a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime that any attack on United States interests or on those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force”.

US-Iran tensions have been on a knife edge since US President Donald Trump withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or so-called Iran Nuclear Deal.

The accord was struck in July 2015 between the Islamic Republic of Iran and a group of world powers: the P5+1 (the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council—the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, France, and China - plus Germany) and the European Union.

The agreement was intended to thwart Iran’s nuclear energy programme, which the West maintained was a front to produce a nuclear bomb, in return for the lifting of crippling economic sanctions.

But Trump later withdrew from the deal calling it “decaying and rotten”.

Following his executive action, Trump began to reinstate the sanctions which had been lifted as part of the terms of the JCPOA.

In 2017, the President also implemented a travel ban on citizens from seven countries, one of which was Iran.

The move ignited fury in Tehran and, alongside the reimposing of economic sanctions, has led to an almost constant war of words between the two nations.

The fiery rhetoric has escalated in recent weeks with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s Foreign Minister Mohammad JavadZarif hitting out at Trump in response to his Twitter tirades.

Four oil tankers were attacked in the Gulf last month pouring fuel on an already volatile situation.

Saudi Arabia, Norway, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), all of which are US allies, owned the oil tankers.

The UAE recently lashed out at Tehran and blamed the Islamic Republic for the attack.

The Arab nation released a report noted claiming the attack was a “sophisticated and coordinated operation carried out by an actor with significant operational capacity”.

https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1137867/Iran-news-world-war-3-Trump-US-tension-tehran-hassan-rouhani-nuclear-weapon

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Israel Prevents Hamas-Affiliated Group from Receiving UN Status

"Witness" was declared a terror organization in Israel in March.

BY OMRI NAHMIAS   JUNE 7, 2019

Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Danny Danon speaks during a meeting of the UN Security Council at UN headquarters in New York, February 20, 2018. (photo credit: LUCAS JACKSON/REUTERS)

WASHINGTON - Israel's Mission to the UN led a diplomatic effort to prevent a Hamas–aligned group called "The Palestinian Association for Human Rights - Witness" from receiving a prestigious status at the UN.

The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) on Thursday granted a special UN status to several global NGOs, a step that would enable these organizations to advise the UN in various fields and take part in its activities.

Some 236 NGOs were granted this status on Thursday. Among those who applied for the special status, there was a Palestinian organization registered in Lebanon under the name "Witness," which allegedly promotes the rights of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.

Its stated goals, as they appear in the organization's website, are: "Improving the living conditions of the Palestinian refugees," "defining the rights of the Palestinian refugees and protecting it," "promoting the culture of the children's rights among the Palestinian community of refugees in Lebanon," and "giving the Palestinian youth and children the needed attention and meeting their demands."

But according to Israel, this organization was, in fact, a Hamas-aligned group. Last March, Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Benjamin Netanyahu signed an order declaring "Witness" a terrorist organization in Israel.

Israel's Mission to the UN said in a statement on Thursday that "in recent months, Israel's security establishment has revealed that Witness belongs to the Hamas movement and acts on its behalf against Israel as part of a network of institutions and organizations the terrorist organization operates outside the Gaza Strip."

According to the Israeli Mission, "Witness's chairman, Mahmoud al-Hanafi, frequently met with the leadership of Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Lebanon to promote legal proceedings for Palestinian prisoners jailed in Israel. Although Witness engages in humanitarian aid and human rights in Lebanon, it actively promotes political terrorism against Israel, thus misleading the international community."

Following the diplomatic effort, led by Israel's Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, 28 out of 48 countries in the UN's Economic and Social Council objected to granting the organization the special status.

Among the countries that voted in favor: Brazil, Canada, Colombia, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and the United States. The countries that voted against include Egypt, Iran, Morocco, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, and Yemen.

Ambassador Danon said that "Hamas has learned that it has no immunity in Gaza, and now not in the international community. The UN should declare Hamas a terrorist organization and not recognize its affiliates in any international forum. We demand that the United Nations act uncompromisingly against terrorist organizations that are attempting to engage in political terror against the State of Israel."

https://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Israel-prevents-Hamas-affiliated-group-from-receiving-UN-status-591853

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Qatar emir to visit White House next month amid Gulf tensions

AFPJune 08, 2019

Qatar Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani will meet with United States President Donald Trump next month as the country continues to endure the two-year economic squeeze from its US-backed Gulf Arab rivals, the White House announced on Friday.

The emir will meet Trump in Washington on July 9 for talks on regional politics, security and counter-terrorism cooperation, according to the announcement, amid a US effort to build pressure on Gulf power Iran.

“The visit will build on the longstanding partnership between the United States and Qatar and further strengthen our already substantial economic and security ties,” the White House said.

Washington has sought to keep up relations with Qatar, an oil-and-gas rich state which has maintained cordial relations with Tehran even as other Gulf Arab states led by Saudi Arabia have cooperated with Trump's “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran.

For two years Saudi Arabia and its allies the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt have barred Qatari flights from their airports and airspace, banned most Qatari visitors, cut trade and shipping links, and closed their borders, unhappy about Doha's insistence on maintaining its own approach to regional relations.

Washington was less than enthusiastic about the embargo on Qatar, which hosts two US military bases and the forward headquarters of the US Central Command, which oversees the Pentagon's operations across the Middle East.

Qatar is also slated to take part in the June 25-26 Bahrain conference on the Trump administration's Israeli-Palestinian peace initiative, where Washington hopes to raise financial pledges to support the Palestinian economy.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1486919/qatar-emir-to-visit-white-house-next-month-amid-gulf-tensions

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Minister: No Country Can Make up for Loss of Iran's Crude Supplies in Market

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Oil Minister BijanNamdarZanganeh said Saudi Arabia and other oil producers do not enjoy the needed capacity to compensate for any loss in the market due to the US sanctions on Iran.

"No one can compensate for this vacuum. They can do nothing. The market is unstable and fragile and these countries (the US and its Arab allies) will make their utmost efforts to impede an oil price surge by means of propaganda and downplaying the events," Zanganeh said on Saturday.

He blamed the US and Israel for propaganda war against Iran to keep the oil prices low, and said what they are doing will harm the OPEC members, oil producers and even consumers because of sparking instability in the market.

Zanganeh said that the media outlets obedient to the US policies also try to play down the events and exaggerate the Saudi crude reserves to keep the market calm.

Secretary-General of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Mohammed Barkindo recently said that it is impossible to remove Iran’s oil from the international market, asserting that the organization would keep supporting Tehran against the US unilateral sanctions.

Speaking on the sidelines of the 24th International Oil, Gas, Refining and Petrochemical Exhibition in the Iranian capital city of Tehran early last month, Barkindo said that it was "impossible" to eliminate Iranian crude from the global market.

His remarks came in the time that Washington is stepping up a Saudi-sponsored push to force Tehran's crude exports to "zero" as part of its unilateral sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

Barkindo further pointed to the challenges facing OPEC member Iran after the US tightened its oil sanctions against the country, saying he was certain that Tehran would successfully overcome the issues thanks to the experience it has gained in dealing with such restrictive measures over the past years.

Asked whether Iranian crude could be excluded from the market, the OPEC secretary general replied, “There is no need to repeat it. It is impossible to eliminate Iranian oil from the market.”

"As an organization, we will remain focused on our goal of avoiding an energy crisis that may affect the global economy," he said.

Barkindo also elaborated on Riyadh and Abu Dhabi's pledge to fill in the Iran gap, emphasizing, "OPEC takes collective decisions and there's no individualism."

The senior official highlighted the influential role of Iran as a founding member of OPEC, saying that the challenges posed to Iran would leave an impact on the entire organization of crude exporters.

OPEC, Barkindo added, is "not a mere organization" and could affect the global oil industry in its entirety.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980318000625

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Army Assaults And Abducts A Guard Of The Al-Aqsa Mosque

08 JUN

Israeli soldiers assaulted, Saturday, a civilian guard of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, in occupied East Jerusalem, and abducted him.

Media sources said the soldiers assaulted MohannadEdrees, causing various cuts and bruises, before abducting him.

He was taken prisoner in the eastern area of Bab ar-Rahma mosque in Al-Aqsa, after he intercepted several colonists and officers who entered the mosque without removing their shoes, in violation of Muslim traditions.

They added that the guard is a former political prisoner, who was abducted and imprisoned in various previous invasions into the holy site, during provocative tours by soldiers, officers and illegal colonialist settlers.

On Saturday at dawn, the soldiers five Palestinians, including a young woman, from their homes in Jabal al-Mokabberneighborhood, southeast of Jerusalem.

https://imemc.org/article/army-assaults-and-abducts-a-guard-of-the-al-aqsa-mosque/

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South Asia

Myanmar’s Suu Kyi, Hungary’s far-right PM, lament 'growing Muslim populations'

Sat Jun 8, 2019 08:17AM [Updated: Sat Jun 8, 2019 08:47AM ]

Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi and Hungary's far-right nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban have lamented the “continuously growing Muslim populations” in their countries.

Suu Kyi, who has been internationally condemned for the persecution of Rohingya Muslim refugees in Myanmar’s northwestern state of Rakhine, held talks with the Hungarian leader in Budapest this week as part of a rare trip to Europe.

Reports suggested that the two leaders had found common ground on the subject of immigration and Islam.

“The two leaders highlighted that one of the greatest challenges at present for both countries and their respective regions – south-east Asia and Europe – is migration,” read a statement released after their meeting.

“They noted that both regions have seen the emergence of the issue of co-existence with continuously growing Muslim populations,” the statement added.

The meeting comes as Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize winner who was once hailed as a champion in the fight for democracy, has been stripped of a series of international honors over the Rohingya exodus that began in August 2017.

Amnesty International has withdrawn its most prestigious human rights prize from Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi over her human rights abuses.

Thousands of Rohingya Muslims were killed, injured, arbitrarily arrested, or raped by Myanmar soldiers and Buddhist mobs mainly between November 2016 and August 2017, when many of the surviving members of the community started fleeing to Bangladesh en masse.

More than 700,000 members of the mostly stateless group fled across Myanmar's western border into Bangladesh after the Myanmar military’s crackdown.

The United Nations has blamed Suu Kyi for failing to prevent the brutal violence and atrocities, which the international organization says constitute genocide.

The United Nations (UN)’s top human rights official says Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi should have resigned last year over a state-sponsored campaign of terror against Rohingya Muslims in the country.

Meanwhile, Orban has branded refugees from the Middle East and central Asia who are fleeing violence and economic hardship as “Muslim invaders” and has taken dramatic measures to curtail the their numbers entering Hungary.

The government in Budapest has ordered the construction of a massive barbed-wire fence along its border with Serbia.

The far-right leader has repeatedly clashed with the European Union over the issue of immigration after his government declared "a crisis situation due to mass immigration" in 2015.

The Orban administration was accused of using anti-refugee rhetoric that fuels "xenophobic attitudes, fear and hatred" in a report by the Council of Europe's commissioner for human rights.

Hungary's prime minister urges anti-migration politicians to take over EU.

After his meeting with Myanmar's leader, Orban said he had "great respect for Aung San Suu Kyi and all she has done for her country's freedom and democratic transformation.”

Myanmar leader fallen from EU's grace

The meeting between the two far-right leaders drew instant criticism from the Human Rights Watch (HRW).

“Aung San Suu Kyi has fallen so astonishingly far from being the darling of the EU that she now counts a meeting with Orban, the pariah of Europe, as an important accomplishment,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at the HRW.

“After shamefully helping the Myanmar military cover up their genocide against Rohingya Muslims, now she’s glad-handing and making friends with Europe’s most xenophobic, anti-democratic leader,” Robertson added.

Robertson also noted that, “The message of this meeting to Brussels should be clear: Myanmar is not listening to your quiet diplomatic niceties.”

Suu Kyi’s trip to central Europe was with the aim to strengthen economic ties in the region. Prior to Hungary, she had visited the Czech Republic and met with Prime Minister Andrej Babis.

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/06/08/597985/Myanmar-Aung-San-Suu-Kyi-Hungary-Viktor-Orban-Budapest-Rohingya-Islamophobia

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Kidnap kingpin shot dead; 4 female hostages freed in Faryab province

By Khaama Press / in Afghanistan / on Saturday, 08 Jun 2019

The Afghan police forces have killed a kidnap kingpin during an operation in northern Faryab province of Afghanistan.

The Ministry of Interior (MoI) said the police forces also rescued four women who were being kept as hostages.

The operation was conducted in Pashtun Kot district of Faryab province on Friday, the Ministry of Interior added.

The ministry also added that police forces shot the kidnap kingpin dead after he opened fire on them.

The police forces also arrested four accomplices of the kidnap kingpin during the same operation.

This comes as there has been a sharp rise in criminal incidents in key provinces and cities including capital during the recent months.

Meanwhile, the security officials are saying that efforts are underway to curb the activities of the criminal groups.

https://www.khaama.com/kidnap-kingpin-shot-dead-4-female-hostages-freed-in-faryab-province-03561/

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Afghan Special Forces destroy large amounts of explosives, narcotics in Helmand

By Khaama Press / in Afghanistan / on Saturday, 08 Jun 2019

The Afghan Special Forces conducted separate operations in southern Helmand province and destroyed large amounts of explosives and narcotics.

“In Nahr-e Saraj district an Afghan special forces operation destroyed a large amount of explosive materials,” the military officials said Saturday.

The sources further added that Special Forces conducted a similar raid in Marjah district and destroyed 250kgs of narcotics.

They also destroyed 2 vehicles and a weapons cache during the same operation.

This comes as the security situation in some districts of Helmand has deteriorated during the recent months.

Taliban militants are active in the restive areas of Helmand and often conduct terrorist related activities.

In the meantime, the Afghan forces are busy conducting counter-terrorism operations against the anti-government armed groups in the two 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-special-forces-destroy-large-amounts-of-explosives-narcotics-in-helmand-03560/

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Famous Taliban commander Shah Maqsood, alias Dentist killed by own bomb in Farah

By Khaama Press / in Afghanistan / on Saturday, 08 Jun 2019

An explosion in western Farah province killed a famous Taliban commander Shah Maqsood who was also famous as Dentist.

The Ministry of Interior (MoI) in a statement said Shah Maqsood and one was his accomplices were killed in an explosion triggered by a roadside bomb.

The statement further added that the two men were planting a roadside bomb in Pashtun Kot district when the incident took place.

The Ministry of Interior also added that Shah Maqsood was in charge of a group of 30 militants in Farah province.

He was involved in various terrorist related activities in various parts of Farah province, the Ministry of Interior added.

https://www.khaama.com/famous-taliban-commander-shah-maqsood-alias-dentist-killed-by-own-bomb-in-farah-03559/

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3 suspects held, large amount of explosives destroyed in Ghazni operations

By Khaama Press / in Afghanistan / on Saturday, 08 Jun 2019

The Afghan Special Forces have arrested three suspected militants during an operation in Ghazni province.

The informed military sources said Saturday that the suspected militants were arrested in Andar district.

The security forces also carried out an airstrike in Andar district and destroyed a large amount of explosives.

This comes as the security situation in some districts of Ghazni provinces has deteriorated during the recent years.

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

In the meantime, 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/3-suspects-held-large-amount-of-explosives-destroyed-in-ghazni-operations-03558/

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Afghan forces conducted 78 special operations in past 24 hours: MoD

By Khaama Press / in Afghanistan / on Saturday, 08 Jun 2019

The Ministry of Defense says that Afghan National Defense and Security Forces conducted 78 special operations in the past 24 hours.

The Ministry of Defense said Friday that the security forces also conducted 10 joint operations during the same operations.

Meanwhile the Air Forces carried out 22 airstrikes and 44 other air sorties in support of the armed forces.

According to defense ministry, the security forces killed at least 31 militants during the same operations and injured 17 others.

The security force also arrested three suspected militants during the operations, the ministry fodefense added.

The defense ministry also added that the security forces conducted the operations in Baghaln, ZAbul, Badghis, Helmand, Ghor, Kandahar, Wardak, Kapisa, Herat and Nimroz provinces.

https://www.khaama.com/afghan-forces-conducted-78-special-operations-in-past-24-hours-mod-03557/

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Sri Lanka president vows to block Easter attacks probe

AFPJune 08, 2019

Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena has told his cabinet that he will not cooperate with a parliamentary investigation into security lapses leading to the Easter suicide bombings, official sources said on Saturday.

Sirisena summoned an emergency meeting of his cabinet on Friday night to oppose the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) probing the April 21 attacks that killed 258 people and wounded nearly 500.

A ministerial source told AFP that Sirisena has refused to allow any police, military or intelligence personnel to testify before the committee.

“The cabinet meeting ended inconclusively,” the source said on condition of anonymity. “The government did not agree to suspend the PSC either.”

Sirisena's office did not comment on the outcome of the heated cabinet meeting, but said the president had told senior police officers on Friday that he will not allow any serving officer to testify before the PSC.

Last week, Sirisena's intelligence chief SisiraMendis told the committee that the president had failed to hold regular security review meetings to assess the potential threat from radicals.

Halfway through his testimony, the live telecast of the proceedings were stopped on Sirisena's orders, official sources said.

Sirisena's defence secretary and police chief have suggested that the president, who is also the minister of Defence and Law and Order, did not follow proper protocols in dealing with intelligence reports, including advance warnings about the April 21 bombings.

Sirisena has repeatedly denied he was aware of an impending threat.

A local terrorist organisation and the militant Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attacks against three churches and three luxury hotels.

Sirisena said last week that he had met with the national police chief and his top brass 13 days before the Easter Sunday attacks but no officer had raised the warnings which had been relayed by India.

Official sources said New Delhi had provided details of planned attacks based on information from a terrorist in Indian custody.

The government has admitted there were intelligence failures before the attacks, in which 45 foreign nationals died.

Sirisena subsequently suspended police chiefPujithJayasundara and dismissed his top defence official Hemasiri Fernando.

Sri Lanka has been under a state of emergency since the attacks.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1486909/sri-lanka-president-vows-to-block-easter-attacks-probe

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Arab World

Tahrir Al-Sham Launches Chemical Attack on Syrian Army in Hama

 

TEHRAN (FNA)-Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) terrorists backed by the Turkish Army attacked the Syrian Army's military positions in Northern Hama with poisonous gas.

The Arabic-language website of Sputnik news agency quoted a battlefield source as saying that Tahrir al-Sham terrorists using Turkish military and armored vehicles as well as missiles armed with chemical warheads pounded the Syrian Army's military points in Tal Malh and Jabin in Northern Hama from the two axes of al-Zuka and al-Arbaeen.

The source pointed to the continued clashes in the region, and said that the Syrian Army's artillery units and air force pounded the terrorists' movements, destroying terrorists' convoy of military vehicles moving from Khan Sheikhoun in Southern Idlib towards al-Zuka in Northern Hama.

Meantime, another military source said that Tahrir  al-Sham and Jeish al-Izza terrorists launched rocket attacks on the city of Mahradeh concurrent with other terrorists' attacks from the axes of al-Zuka and al-Arbaeen.

The source pointed to the tactical withdrawal of the Syrian Army from some of its military positions in al-Jabin region in Northern Hama, and said that the army has dispatched massive military equipment to the battlefronts.

Meantime, the local sources in Idlib province also said that Tahrir al-Sham and Jeish al-Izza terrorists made use of elite and foreign militants in their attack.

In a relevant development on Wednesday, it was announced that the Syrian Army had seized full control of 23 villages and towns from the terrorists since the beginning of its military operations in Hama province.

The Syrian Army's massive military operations started in Hama and Idlib provinces after the terrorists violated the Sochi Agreement on April 26 and the government forces have spread their rule to Southern Idlib.

A sum of 18 towns and villages have been liberated in Northern and Western parts Hama province and the Syrian Army has also imposed full control over five other regions in Southern Idlib, the pro-militant AnabBaladi news website reported.

In Northern and Western Idlib, the Syrian Army has earned control of Janabareh, Tal Osman, Jaberieh, Tal Hawash, Toyieh, Sheikh Idris, KafarNaboudeh, Qala al-Maziq, al-Tavineh, al-Sharia, Bab Taqa, al-Hamreh, al-Hawiz, al-Mohajerin, al-Karkat, al-Mostariheh, al-Khaledi and al-Hardan.

In Southern Idlib, the Syrian Army started its military operations on Monday and it has already regained control of al-Qasabiyeh, al-Hardaneh, al-Hamirat, al-Qaroutiyeh and Qaraseh.

Meantime, the Syrian State television reported that the Syrian Army has kicked off new military operations in Tarmala, al-Nafir and the surrounding areas of Khan Sheikhoun in Southern Idlib.

The Arabic-language SANA news agency also reported that the Syrian Army's artillery units has been heavily pounding the al-Nusra Front and Jeish al-Izzeh terrorists' military positions in al-Zaqoum, Qalididan and al-Zuka regions in Northwestern Hama Province in the last few days.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980317000253

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Hama: Hundreds of Terrorists Killed in Foiled Attacks to Regain Lost Regions

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Army backed by Syrian and Russian air force warded off several attacks launched by Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) in several regions to regain the regions they have already lost in Northern Hama, killing over 140 terrorists.

The Arabic-language website of the Russian Sputnik news agency quoted a military source as saying that the Syrian Army in a coordinated military operation from the towns of al-Jobin, al-Hamamiat and Karnaz in Northern and Northwestern Hama launched counterattacka after fending off terrorists' offensives, and killed tens of militants after fully cleansing the towns of KafarHoud and Tal al-Melh.

It pointed to the Syrian Army's continued military operations to clean up the remnants of terrorists, and said after purging terrorists from the farms located between Tal Melh and al-Jobin town in Northern Hama, the Syrian Army liberated all the positions that it had temporarily withdrawn from.

The Syrian Army also held captive several terrorists in an ambush operation in Karnaz and Tal Melh in Northern Hama.

The Syrian and Russian fighter jets also heavily pounded the terrorists' lines of movement in different axes, including al-Zuka, al-Arbaeen, al-Latamneh and Kafar Zita, the surroundings of Mourek, Khan Sheikhoun and the town of al-Sayyad in Northern Hama and Southern Idlib. The Syrian and Russian air forces managed to cut the terrorists movements from Idlib to Northern and Northwestern Hama.

In a relevant development on Wednesday, it was announced that the Syrian Army had seized full control of 23 villages and towns from the terrorists since the beginning of its military operations in Hama province.

The Syrian Army's massive military operations started in Hama and Idlib provinces after the terrorists violated the Sochi Agreement on April 26 and the government forces have spread their rule to Southern Idlib.

A sum of 18 towns and villages have been liberated in Northern and Western parts Hama province and the Syrian Army has also imposed full control over five other regions in Southern Idlib, the pro-militant AnabBaladi news website reported.

In Northern and Western Idlib, the Syrian Army has earned control of Janabareh, Tal Osman, Jaberieh, Tal Hawash, Toyieh, Sheikh Idris, KafarNaboudeh, Qala al-Maziq, al-Tavineh, al-Sharia, Bab Taqa, al-Hamreh, al-Hawiz, al-Mohajerin, al-Karkat, al-Mostariheh, al-Khaledi and al-Hardan.

In Southern Idlib, the Syrian Army started its military operations on Monday and it has already regained control of al-Qasabiyeh, al-Hardaneh, al-Hamirat, al-Qaroutiyeh and Qaraseh.

Meantime, the Syrian State television reported that the Syrian Army has kicked off new military operations in Tarmala, al-Nafir and the surrounding areas of Khan Sheikhoun in Southern Idlib.

The Arabic-language SANA news agency also reported that the Syrian Army's artillery units has been heavily pounding the al-Nusra Front and Jeish al-Izzeh terrorists' military positions in al-Zaqoum, Qalididan and al-Zuka regions in Northwestern Hama Province in the last few days.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980318000415

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Moscow Warns Ankara to Stop Military Support for Tahrir Al-Sham Terrorists in Idlib

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Russia has warned Turkey that it will provide military support for the Kurdish militias in Northern Aleppo in case Ankara continues supplying weapons and equipment to the terrorists against the Syrian army in Idlib province.

The Arabic-language al-Rai al-Youm news website quoted an informed source as saying on Friday that Ankara has received a clear warning from Moscow after it extended military support for Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) and other terrorist groups in attacks against the Syrian army in Northern Hama and Southern Idlib.

It added that Moscow has cautioned Ankara that in case of continued supply of weapons and equipment to the terrorists in Idlib, it will provide the Kurdish forces in Tal Rafa'at with military support.

Based on the report, the Ankara-backed Faylaq al-Sham terrorist group receives weapons, military equipment and ammunition from Turkey and supplies them among the terrorist groups in different fronts across Northern Syria.

Syrian media said last Sunday that the Ankara-backed militants had infuriated Turkey for their poor performance and incapability to confront the Syrian Army and regain back the regions they had already lost to the government forces.

The Ankara's fury came as the Syrian Army thwarted fresh attacks by the Turkey-backed militants in Northern Hama.

The Syrian army troops engaged in fierce clashes with the terrorist groups who had attacked their military positions in the surrounding areas of Jab Ramaleh in Northwestern Hama, and inflicted heavy losses on them after thwarting their attacks.

The Damascus army also destroyed four drones belonging to the terrorists in the outskirts of Jab Ramaleh.

A military source, meantime, pointed to the intensified attacks by the terrorists on the Syrian army's military positions in the vicinity of Qala al-Maziq Northwest of Hama, and said that terrorists pounded the region and the town of Shatheh with several rockets.

It noted that the Syrian army responded to the terrorists' attacks, and pounded their military positions and movements in Mourek, Kafar Zita, al-Latamaneh, Latmin, Tahtaya, al-Arabaeen, Hasraya, al-Zuka and al-Hobait in Northern and Northwestern Hama, destroying several of their centers.

The Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper, meantime, quoted sources close to Ankara-backed National Liberation Front (NFL) terrorists as saying that Turkey was very angry with consecutive defeats by Tahrir al-Sham and other Ankara-backed militants in Northern and Northwestern battlefronts of Hama despite Turkey's logistical aids.

It noted that Ankara is more concerned with terrorists' incapability to resist and confront the Syrian Army's military tactics as well as new the new wave of defection of terrorists enjoying Ankara's support.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980318000667

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Yemeni Popular Forces Repel Saudi-Led Attacks in Najran, Aseer

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Yemeni Army and Ansarulah Popular Forces managed to repel an offensive of the Saudi-led coalition in a battlefield near Najran, and stopped another assault near Aseer.

Yemeni forces managed to push back two offensive operations of the Saudi-led forces in Saudi Arabia’s Southern Najran region and Southwestern Aseer province.

In a 12-hour exchange of fire, Apache choppers supported the forces of the Saudi-led coalition with opening fire on Yemeni forces.

Meanwhile, the Arabic-language Elam al-Harbi news website released photos and videos showing Yemeni forces' dominance over the axis in Najran and the casualties suffered by the Saudi forces.

Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the aim of bringing the government of former Yemeni President AbdRabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing the Ansarullah movement.

Despite Riyadh's claims that it is bombing the positions of the Ansarullah fighters, Saudi bombers are flattening residential areas and civilian infrastructures. Weddings, funerals, schools and hospitals, as well as water and electricity plants, have been targeted, killing and wounding hundreds of thousands.

According to a December 2018 report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, the Saudi-led war has claimed the lives of over 60,000 Yemenis since January 2016.

Save the Children, a charity, has reported that more than 84,700 children under the age of five may have starved to death in Yemen since the Saudi regime and a coalition of its allies launched the brutal war on the already-impoverished nation.

France, the United States, the United Kingdom and some other Western countries have faced criticisms over arms sales to the Saudi Arabia and the UAE, whose aggression against Yemen has affected 28 million people and caused what the United Nations calls “one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world". According to the world body, Yemen is suffering from the most severe famine in more than 100 years.

A UN panel has compiled a detailed report of civilian casualties caused by the Saudi military and its allies during their war against Yemen, saying the Riyadh-led coalition has used precision-guided munitions in its raids on civilian targets.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980318000703

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Army Aims to Capture Tahrir Al-Sham's Largest Bastion in Southern Idlib

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Damascus Army aims to capture the largest stronghold of Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) in Southern Idlib as Damascus has sent massive military convoys to continue battle against the terrorist groups in Hama, Idlib and Lattakia.

"The Syrian Army troops have now entered the Southern part of Jabal al-Zawiya strategic region after its advances in Southwestern Idlib and taking control of the town of al-Qasabiyeh North of KafarNaboudeh," a military source said.

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.

Idlib

The Syrian Army aims to capture the largest stronghold of Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay'at in Southern Idlib as Damascus has sent massive military convoys to continue battle against the terrorist groups in Hama, Idlib and Lattakia.

A military source said that the Syrian Army troops have now entered the Southern part of Jabal al-Zawiya strategic region after its advances in Southwestern Idlib and taking control of the town of al-Qasabiyeh North of KafarNaboudeh.

The source, meantime, reiterated that the Syrian Army intends to advance towards Tahrir al-Sham's largest stronghold town of al-Hobait in Southwestern Idlib and maintain full security of KafarNaboudeh after capturing Tal al-Sakhar strategic region.

Meantime, the Syrian Army has sent a large number of its troops and military equipment to contact lines with terrorist groups in Southern Idlib and Northern Hama after new advances in over 20 regions there in the last two days.

The Damascus Army has also sent a large number of troops and military hardware to contact lines with Harasuddin, Tahrir al-Sham and Turkistani Party terrorists in Taleh al-Zaviqiat in Northern Lattakia.

Tahrir al-Sham and Islamic Turkistani Party terrorists have also dispatched military and logistical aid, including military vehicles and heavy weapons, to their militants in JabalShahshabou and Sahl al-Ghab in Northern Hama.

Hama

Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay'at terrorists backed by the Turkish Army attacked the Syrian Army's military positions in Northern Hama with poisonous gas.

The Arabic-language website of Sputnik news agency quoted a battlefield source as saying that Tahrir al-Sham terrorists using Turkish military and armored vehicles as well as missiles armed with chemical warheads pounded the Syrian Army's military points in Tal Malh and Jabin in Northern Hama from the two axes of al-Zuka and al-Arbaeen.

The source pointed to the continued clashes in the region, and said that the Syrian Army's artillery units and air force pounded the terrorists' movements, destroying terrorists' convoy of military vehicles moving from Khan Sheikhoun in Southern Idlib towards al-Zuka in Northern Hama.

Meantime, another military source said that Tahrir al-Sham and Jeish al-Izza terrorists launched rocket attacks on the city of Mahradeh concurrent with other terrorists' attacks from the axes of al-Zuka and al-Arbaeen.

The source pointed to the tactical withdrawal of the Syrian Army from some of its military positions in al-Jabin region in Northern Hama, and said that the army has dispatched massive military equipment to the battlefronts.

Meantime, the local sources in Idlib province also said that Tahrir al-Sham and Jeish al-Izza terrorists made use of elite and foreign militants in their attack.

Homs

The ISIL terrorist group backed by the US troops stationed in al-Tanf region has heightened its movements against the Syrian Army in Eastern Badiyeh (desert) of Homs province, the Arabic-language media outlets reported.

The Arabic-language al-Mayadeen Television news network reported that the ISIL has recently increased its movements in Homs' desert region.

The intensified ISIL attacks on the Syrian Army's military positions in Eastern Homs have increased while the US-led coalition has prepared the grounds for the presence of hundreds of ISIL terrorists in the depth of Badiyeh region with the aim of exerting pressures on the Syrian Army in the military operations against the ISIL in Baqouz region in Eastern Euphrates.

Al-Mayadeen, meantime, pointed to the massive spread of terrorists in the surrounding areas of Jabal al-Bashri in Southeastern Raqqa and al-Dafineh in Southern DeirEzzur and between Palmyra desert and Al-Sukhneh and the surrounding areas of al-Tanf in Eastern Homs, and said that the ISIL's movements have taken place in line with US' objectives to exert pressure on the Syrian Army and its allies in Syria.

Syrian military expert Mohammad Abbas in an interview with al-Mayadeen pointed to the strategic importance of the area stretching from al-Tanf to Bu Kamal and al-Sukhneh, and said that by carrying out mop-up operation in that region, the Syrian army, in fact, will put an end to war in the region.

He pointed to the US logistic, political and military supports for the militants in the same region, and said that Washington is trying to make use of the notion of alternate army to cut the path used by the resistance front.

Meantime, it is believed that about 2,000 terrorists are stationed in Eastern Badiyeh of DeirEzzur.

Quneitra

The Syrian Army found a large quantity of weapons and military equipment, including arms made in the US, from the former bases and hideouts of the terrorists in Quneitra province in Southern Syria.

The Syrian Army's engineering units continued their clean-up operations in al-Shahar region near Jbata al-Khashab town in Northern Quneitra and near the border with Occupied Golan and discovered two terrorists' hideouts containing large numbers of arms and military equipment there.

The Syrian government forces found different kinds of ammunition, canon, anti-tank missiles, different kinds of machineguns, combat rifles, mine, night-vision cameras and US-made TOW missile-launchers.

A military source, meantime, reiterated that discovery of weapons and military equipment in this region shows the extent of Israel's supports for the terrorist groups in Syria and its strong links to them.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980318000311

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Homs: ISIL Backed by US Army Heightens Movements Against Syrian Army in Badiyeh Region

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The ISIL terrorist group backed by the US troops stationed in al-Tanf region has heightened its movements against the Syrian Army in Eastern Badiyeh (desert) of Homs province, the Arabic-language media outlets reported.

The Arabic-language al-Mayadeen Television news network reported that the ISIL has recently increased its movements in Homs' desert region.

The intensified ISIL attacks on the Syrian Army's military positions in Eastern Homs have increased while the US-led coalition has prepared the grounds for the presence of hundreds of ISIL terrorists in the depth of Badiyeh region with the aim of exerting pressures on the Syrian Army in the military operations against the ISIL in Baqouz region in Eastern Euphrates.

Al-Mayadeen, meantime, pointed to the massive spread of terrorists in the surrounding areas of Jabal al-Bashri in Southeastern Raqqa and al-Dafineh in Southern DeirEzzur and between Palmyra desert and Al-Sukhneh and the surrounding areas of al-Tanf in Eastern Homs, and said that the ISIL's movements have taken place in line with US' objectives to exert pressure on the Syrian Army and its allies in Syria.

Syrian military expert Mohammad Abbas in an interview with al-Mayadeen pointed to the strategic importance of the area stretching from al-Tanf to Bu Kamal and al-Sukhneh, and said that by carrying out mop-up operation in that region, the Syrian army, in fact, will put an end to war in the region.

He pointed to the US logistic, political and military supports for the militants in the same region, and said that Washington is trying to make use of the notion of alternate army to cut the path used by the resistance front.

Meantime, it is believed that about 2,000 terrorists are stationed in Eastern Badiyeh of DeirEzzur.

In a relevant development in late May, the Arabic-language media outlets said that "the

US is supporting the terrorist groups' on the Syrian Army positions in Homs as the Syrian Army is conducting military operations to cleanse the ISIL's remnants from the Eastern Badiyeh in the province,.

The Syrian Army backed by Russian air force has reinforced its military points on the hills overlooking al-Aqirbat and al-Balas regions as well as their surrounding areas in Eastern Homs, the Arabic-language website of the Russian Sputnik News Agency quoted a Syrian Army battlefield commander in Eastern Homs as saying.

The source pointed to the Syrian Army's military operations to clean up the remaining ISIL terrorists in the Northeastern part of al-Aqirbat in Eastern Homs, and said the Syrian Army troops are preparing for new battle against the ISIL on the road leading to DeirEzzur.

Meantime, another military source pointed to the ISIL's continued attacks on army positions in Eastern al-Sukhna, and said that the US is supporting the ISIL terrorists with logistical aid and attacks on Army positions in T3 Station and roads along which army units move.

The source went on to say that the US is trying to help the ISIL block roads leading to Badiyeh due to Badiyeh's strategically important oil and gas reserves.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980317000301

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Aleppo: 14 Turkish Army Officers, Ankara-Backed Elite Militants Killed in Kurdish Offensive

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- At least 14 officers of the Turkish army and Ankara-backed elite militants were killed in recent attacks by the Kurdish fighters in Afrin and Izaz in Northern Aleppo, Kurdish sources said.

The Kurdish-language Afrin news website reported that the Afrin Liberation Forces pounded the Turkish Army's military position in Jalbareh town in Afrin's Shirawa region in Northwestern Aleppo, killing two Turkish Army forces and injuring another one.

Meantime, at least five Turkish Army military men and Ankara-backed militants were killed and wounded in Kurdish military operations against them in Marsa town in Afrin and near KafarKhasher region of Izaz in Northern Aleppo.

The Kurdish fighters also launched an offensive against the so-called Military Police backed by Turkey in Jandaris region in Afrin, destroying their military vehicle as well as killing three of them and wounding three others.

Last 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=13980318000470

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Europe

Drunk law student who yelled 'Muslims go home' the day after Christchurch mosque massacre is ordered to do community service

Sam Brittenden, 19, said he was drunk and his actions were out of character

The law student yelled the slur at police before calling them 'right-wing fascists'

Brittenden said he was not aware of the attack when he made the comments

He also denied anonymous claims he had once worn a Ku Klux Klan-style hood

By TOM PLACE FOR DAILY MAIL AUSTRALIA

PUBLISHED: 11:18 BST, 8 June 2019 | UPDATED: 11:30 BST, 8 June 2019

A law student who yelled racist comments the day after the Christchurch massacre has been ordered to do community service.

Sam Brittenden, 19, was partying in Dunedin on New Zealand's south island in March when he approached a police patrol car.

He said words to the effect of 'Muslims are not welcome in our country, go home Muslims.'

He labelled the police 'right-wing fascists' and said he was exercising his freedom of speech before he was arrested, reported the NZ Herald.

Brittenden pleaded guilty to disorderly behaviour in court on Friday.

His lawyer argued that Brittenden should have his name suppressed from the conviction as it would be a permanent mark on the young man's life.

But Judge John Macdonald disagreed and said he did not believe it was an extreme hardship.

In his defence Brittenden wrote to Dunedin District Court arguing that it was not testament of his character or his views but a brief moment of drunken stupidity.

Brittenden also said to the Otago Daily Times following the hearing that he was not a racist and wasn't aware of the details around the massacre when he lashed out.

The law student from the University of Otago also claimed to have a Muslim friend whom he contacted following the massacre to see if he was safe.

Judge Macdonald wasn't entirely convinced of Brittenden's claim his words were fuelled by alcohol alone.

'You may have been intoxicated but where did these views come from?' Judge Macdonald said.

There were also concerns raised by former flatmates who who said Brittenden had made racist comments before.

One said he had once worn Ku Klux Klan-style hood.

In responding to these allegations, Brittenden said the hood was worn by a friend of his and labelled the comments either malicious attempts to attack his character or simply miscommunication.

Brittenden's father Scott said his son is now seeing a psychologist and that he needs to learn from his mistakes.

The law student has since made a $500 donation to the victims of the attack.

Brittenden, pleading guilty to disorderly behaviour and will serve 125 hours of community work under six months of supervision.

Several people have now been brought before the court in response to inappropriate or racist comments made about Muslims of the attack that killed 51 people in the horrific attack.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7118589/Drunk-law-student-yelled-Muslims-home-pleads-guilty.html

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European study: Muslims, refugees bear brunt of journalistic bias

Sat Jun 8, 2019

A recent EU-funded academic study reveals that Muslims, refugees and migrants bear the brunt of journalistic bias across Europe. The study says that online, print and broadcast media in Europe are violating the presumption of innocence by presenting allegations as facts and deliberately underscoring foreign citizens, Muslims and refugees.

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/06/08/597968/European-study-Muslims-refugees-bear-brunt-of-journalistic-bias

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Govt Report: Muslim Prison Gangs Forcing Inmates to Convert to Islam

In this photo taken on Friday, June 23, 2017, inmates pray with the Imam Mimoun El Hachmi, left, inside the Terni penitentiary. Stunned that Berlin market attack suspect spent time in Italian jails, Italy turns to “moderate” imams to discourage radicalization among Muslim inmates. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)Gregorio Borgia/Associated Press

JOE MARKHAM8 Jun 2019

Muslim prison gangs are forcing inmates to convert to Islam and follow religious practices or face violent repercussions, according to a government report.

The report, carried out by the Ministry of Justice, surveyed 83 male prisoners and 73 staff at three of the eight high-security prisons in the country. It found that large gangs of Muslim men were using intimidation tactics to force conversions and rules on other prisoners. The gangs were made up of multiple ranks including leadership, foot soldiers, recruiters, and enforcers.

Those who had committed terrorist activities were said to hold key positions of influence among the gangs, as well as those who can speak Arabic and recite the Quran.

It was said that the gangs were establishing Islamic rules within the prisons such as underwear having to be worn in the showers and banning the cooking of bacon.

@BreitbartLondon

 UK Gets First Muslim Majority Prison, Controlled By ‘Islamic Protection Racket’ http://bit.ly/1LXT3Ku 

17

8:36 PM - Oct 18, 2015

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The report highlighted the fact that Muslim gangs were the only serious organised gang threat within the prisons surveyed and that as a result, they wielded considerable influence and power over their fellow inmates.

One non-Muslim prisoner said: “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.”

Meanwhile, a Muslim prisoner spoke of the pressure on other inmates to convert, saying that they could not even escape by moving prisons. “They know they’re only going to three other jails and they know there will be brothers waiting there to stab them,” the prisoner said.

The study echoes a report from The Sun from 2016 which alleged that at one prison, HMP Gartree in Leicestershire, Muslim prisoners had turned sections of the prison into ‘no-go zones’ for non-Muslim inmates, even imposing sharia law.

One source said at the time: “It is so bad non-Muslim prisoners are refusing to move there as they feel intimidated. There is huge pressure put on them to convert and a threat of violence if they don’t. The Muslim gangs have their own rules and use Sharia law to sort out disagreements. In effect, they are setting up their own prison within a prison. There have been stories about non-Muslim inmates being barred from putting up topless pictures of women in their cells and even showering naked.”

Breitbart London

@BreitbartLondon

 ‘Prisoners Forced to Convert to Islam for Protection’ Claims Christian Pastor http://www.breitbart.com/london/2018/02/13/prison-forced-convert-islam-exchange-protection-christian-pastor/ …

240

3:53 PM - Feb 13, 2018

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'Prisoners Forced to Convert to Islam for Protection' Claims Christian Pastor

A Christian chaplain has said that some prisoners are being forced to convert to Islam in exchange for protection from gangs.

breitbart.com

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In 2018, the Ministry of Justice reportedly blocked an independent three-year report from being carried out into the impact of Islamic gangs in UK prisons because of fears of the results. One source said: “The corporate culture of the service is defensive and they will have been concerned about what this proposed project will discover.”

Last year, a Christian pastor who worked as a prison chaplain also claimed that prisoners were being coerced into converting to Islam in exchange for protection from gangs. Pastor Paul Song said of the culture in Brixton prison: “If someone is secular and in prison and they want to lead a peaceful life in prison they need to become Muslim. That way they are protected.”

https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2019/06/08/report-muslim-prison-gangs-forcing-inmates-convert-islam/

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Non-Muslims take part in charity fast

JOEL LAMY

Published: 06:00

Saturday 08 June 2019

Non-Muslims took part in a sponsored fast during Ramadan to raise more than £4,000 for local charity Children of Adam.

Around 40 people avoided food and drink between 3am and 9pm to coincide with the fasting time for Muslims during the holy month.

They were then able to break their fast at Ibrahimi Restaurant, with the restaurant generously slashing the bill as a reward for their efforts.

A delighted AtiqRehman, one of the charity’s co-founders, said: “I’d like to say ‘thank you’ from the whole team at Children of Adam to everyone who fasted and supported our charity.”

He added: “The money raised will go to help orphans around the world.”

https://www.peterboroughtoday.co.uk/news/people/non-muslims-take-part-in-charity-fast-1-8956138

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/hindi-words-on-name-boards-of-central-govt-offices-blackened-in-tamil-nadu/d/118829




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