initially ignored the religious insults, but later got into an argument.
National Capital Region, Muslim Man Forced To Shave Beard after Argument
Court Recognizes Marriage under Islamic Law
Opposition to Challenge Imran Khan With Own PM Candidate in Parliament
PM Says Different Interpretations of Islam at Fault for Global Conflicts
Says Daesh Threat Eliminated In North
Courts Break Families': Muslim Rashtra Manch Set to Launch Parivar Kendras to 'Prevent'
Agenda": Indian-American Body Wants Assam Citizens' List Dropped
of Assam NRC: Muslim Leaders Urge Members to Ensure Proper ID Proof For All
welcomes Modi’s phone call to Imran Khan, wants resumption of talks with India
breaks out between security forces, terrorists in J-K's Baramulla
invitation, great honour: Navjot Singh Sidhu on Imran Khan’s invite
Hizbul militants killed after gunfight in Kupwara
Navjot Singh Sidhu to attend Imran Khan’s swearing-in
Govt Regains Control of Three Southern Provinces: Moscow
blames Tehran over attack, Iran summons Tajikistan's ambassador
Border staff ‘seize missile parts that were being sent to Iran’ at Heathrow
Hopeful Of Restart Of Dialogue With India
rejects allegations ISI interfered in judicial proceedings
protest against ‘rigging’, Nawaz tells workers from jail
of APS students to be compensated like staffers
PTI chief Imran Khan gets MQM-P support for government formation at Centre
entrepreneur launches ‘Khan Meter’ to monitor PTI’s 100-day agenda
parties heavily dented PML-N vote bank
PM Says Different Interpretations of Islam At Fault For Global Conflicts
Launches New Group to Combat Extremism
nabs cleric over bomb claimed by Islamic State
Malay genes second oldest in the world
US Airstrikes Pound ISIS, Taliban Positions, Leaving Seven Militants Dead
foreign workers abducted and killed in Afghan capital
blamed for repatriation delay
militants suffer casualties in Ghazni artillery strikes
Least 55 Yemenis Killed In Saudi Strikes on Hospital, Fishing Harbour in Hudaydah
Main Victims of Saudi War On Yemen: Activists
security forces confiscate drugs coming from Lebanon to Houthis
army seizes control of road from Saada to Saudi Arabia
vows retaliation against US sanctions over jailed pastor
Blast Kills Tens of People at Tahrir Al-Sham Base in Idlib
Groups in Northern Syria Merge to Confront Army
Trucks Carrying Chlorine Enter Terrorists' Bases in Idlib
Army Pounds Terrorists' Positions, Moves in Hama, Idlib
Drones Found at ISIL Bases in Southern Syria
Sources: Israeli Plots Foiled by Army in Southern Syria
Military Commander of Terrorists Killed in Aleppo
Coptic Church halts entry of monks after mystery death
air defences destroy ‘hostile target’ near Damascus
Lieberman admits Assad back in charge in Syria
Daesh terrorists in Syria flee toward Jordan border’
Hajj pilgrims praise Saudi Arabian welcome
irregular migrants rescued off Libya coast
Terror Trial Speaks to an Emerging Threat in Senegal
says not yet ready to open border crossing with Syria
raid on Tunisian bank treated as terrorism-related — official
Yes Vote in Comoros Referendum Gives President More Power
Group Slams Mailer Attacking Congressional Candidate
vows retaliation in crisis with US over pastor
by New Age Islam News Bureau
A Muslim man was allegedly forced to shave his beard and thrashed following an
altercation in Gurugram's Sector 29. A resident of Haryana's Mewat, Jaffruddin
had come to Gurgaon to meet his friend when the accused started abusing the
victim in Khandsa Mandi area on Tuesday.
initially ignored the religious insults, but later got into an argument. Then
the accused started thrashing Jaffruddin. They took him to a salon and chopped
his beard off," Gurgaon Police public relations officer Subhash Bokan told
also threatened to kill Jaffruddin if he approached the police. However, the
next morning, Jaffruddin went to Sector 37 police station and filed an FIR.
persons have been arrested. This is an isolated incident and no organisation is
involved in it," said Sumit Kuhar, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP)
accused have been identified as Gaurav, Eklash from Uttar Pradesh and Nitin
court in Britain has ruled that all marriages conducted under the Islamic laws,
or the Sharia, could be recognized as a legal marriage as they fall under
British matrimonial law.
British High Court ruled Wednesday that an Islamic faith marriage, or Nikah,
would be a valid marriage under the British law despite not being legally recognized
ruling came after a British Muslim woman of the Pakistani background filed for
divorce from her husband, also a Pakistani Muslim. Nasreen Akhtar can now be
free to bring her case to the divorce court and claim her share of the assets
of her marriage. Mohammed Shabaz Khan, the husband, had sought to block the
application for divorce in the UK court, arguing that he and Akhtar were never
estranged couple took their vows in 1998 while taking part in a nikah ceremony at
a restaurant in Southall, west London, where an Imam conducted the marriage
before some 150 guests. Akhtar and Shabaz Khan have lived in London, Birmingham
and Dubai over the years.
his ruling, Justice Williams ruled that the union was “entered into in
disregard of certain requirements as to the formation of marriage", saying
therefore that it was “void” and Akhtar was entitled to a decree of nullity.
ruling is the first as judges had decided in similar cases in the past that
nikah was a non-marriage, depriving the women of the ability to make a case for
compensations. Muslim woman had to appeal to Sharia councils for divorce and
most of the time their release from marriage came with making concessions.
Prime Minister Theresa May commissioned a report on the issue of Islamic
marriages when she was home secretary. The report revealed earlier this year
that unless accompanied by a civil ceremony, the Nikah would prevent many women
in Islamic marriages to enjoy legal protections. The report said most of the
women in such conditions did not know the facts about their marriage.
opposition to challenge Imran Khan with own PM candidate in parliament
Pakistan's two former dominant political parties said on Thursday they would
join forces to field their own candidate for prime minister in parliament,
challenging former cricket star Imran Khan, whose party won last week's general
alliance with several other smaller parties appeared unlikely to derail Khan's
election as prime minister, but it could leave him with a thin majority that
could make enacting his agenda difficult.
Khan's party, which won 116 of the 272 elected seats in the National Assembly,
is believed to have enough would-be coalition partners among smaller parties
and independents to win a majority vote to form a government.
the main rival parties, which on Thursday repeated accusations that the July 25
vote was rigged by the powerful military, vowed to vote together with several
smaller parties against Khan's election as prime minister in parliament.
is an alliance which is against the rigged elections, and where all the
political parties were not provided a free and fair, level playing field,"
said Maryam Aurangzeb, speaking for the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) of
jailed ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
opposition alliance was not believed to have the numbers to block Khan's election.
European Union election monitoring team in its initial assessment described the
election campaign as an unequal playing field but said it was up to the people
of Pakistan to decide on the vote's legitimacy.
PML-N joined with the Pakistan People's Party (PPP), led by the son of
assassinated former premier Benazir Bhutto, and several smaller nationalist and
religious parties in forming the opposition alliance, known as the All Parties
PMN-L and PPP have traded power in Pakistan for most of its history in between
periods of military rule after the army seized power, which itself accounts for
nearly half of the 71 years since independence from Britain.
PM Says Different Interpretations Of Islam At Fault For Global Conflicts
LUMPUR, Aug 3 — Islam as we know it today is not what the religious scripture
taught it to be, as it has been variedly interpreted by leaders of the world,
says Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
said the real teachings of the al-Quran call for moderation in every aspect of
life where Muslims should treat each other like brothers and sisters.
true Islam, he added, abhors the practice of war.
doesn't preach war, it calls upon all Muslim to be brothers. It forbids
killing; well, we are doing all those things which are forbidden by Islam. So,
it is the interpretation of the religion that has got us into that world state.
comes along, becomes a very popular leader and he interprets in his own way —
that you should fight, you should kill, you should be opposed to people of
among yourselves, you don't accept people who have other interpretations. All
these things have resulted in instability, even in conflicts and civil wars,
and also wars within nations,” he told American news agency CNN in an exclusive
Mahathir is known to be highly critical of what he called “the endless wars of
Europe and its colonies” on Muslim countries and its people ever since his
first term as prime minister.
had also openly condemned the US-led war on Iraq and Afghanistan.
a 2003 interview with BBC, he called for Muslim countries to embrace Islamic
reformation by practicing what Islam advocates — peace, brotherhood and
says Daesh threat eliminated in north
The surrender of nearly 200 Daesh affiliates following deadly infighting with
Taliban insurgents in the northern region of Afghanistan, marks the end of the
network’s threat in the area, government officials said on Thursday.
fate of the combatants who surrendered in Darzab district of Jowzjan on
Wednesday will be decided by the government in future, they said.
women and two of Daesh’s top leaders in northern Afghanistan, along with a
group of foreign militants from Central Asia, were among those who surrendered,
was unable to confirm that European or Arab fighters were among those who
is basically the end of Daesh in the north. This will hopefully provide
assurance to Central Asia and Russia who expressed fear about the presence of
Daesh in northern Afghanistan,” Mohammad Reza Ghafoori, spokesman for Jowzjan’s
governor told Arab News.
said most of Daesh’s combatants, including their two leaders, were former
surrender comes after days of deadly clashes between Taliban fighters and Daesh
in Darzab, a strategic area where both sides vied for power.
were exhausted so had no option but to surrender, General Mohammad Radmanesh, a
spokesman for the defense ministry told Arab News.
group will no longer have the ability to create fear and threat in the area,”
spokesman for Afghanistan’s commando forces, Maj. Ahmad Jawid Salim, said that
the move marked the end of Daesh in northern Afghanistan.
Mujahid, spokesman for the Taliban, said after the attack on Daesh, they took
scores of their rivals prisoner, with the rest fleeing to government side.
said the Taliban leadership will decide their fate.
Courts Break Families': Muslim Rashtra Manch Set to Launch Parivar Kendras to
Delhi: A special court to resolve the private affairs of the Muslim community
has become the latest bone of contention between the All India Muslim Personal
Law Board and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-supported Muslim Rashtra Manch (MRM).
a fortnight after AIMPLB announced to open 10 Sharia courts (Darul Qaza) in
various parts of the country, the MRM is all set to establish 'Parivar
Samjhauta Kendras'. The first Kendra will be inaugurated in Delhi, following
which it set up across India.
to a Muslim Manch member, the Sharia courts 'break families', however, their
motive would be to initiate negotiations and help couples find solutions to
make their marriage work.
Kendras will be to act as 'facilitators' in family disputes and prevent the
incidence of divorce among Muslim households. The decision was made at the
three-day long Executive Members meeting at Haryana Bhawan in Delhi, on
All India Muslim Personal Law Board, which is a non-governmental organization
that works for towards protecting the Muslim personal law, announced to open
Darul-Qaza (Shariat courts) in all districts of the country in order to resolve
marital disputes in the light of Islamic laws.
centres are supposed to function as mediation centres that help in resolving
civil and primarily family disputes.
to News18, Mohammad Afzal, the National Convener of MRM said, “All India Muslim
Personal Law Board announced that there will be Darul Qazas in every district –
following that announcement, they got 10 applications, and many didn’t even
fill the criterion. Hence they were rejected. They won’t be able to realize
their ambition at this pace.”
informed that at MRM, the members have proposed the idea of Parivar Samjhauta
Kendras to “make Muslim families stronger and strengthen the ties.”
Kendras have been imagined on the lines of the Shariat courts but will work
differently. The Shariat Courts break families but our centres won’t. The
organization will step in at the earliest so that the problems don’t arise
later. Our work will be about negotiations if the marital problems crop up. In
that sense we are going to be different,” he said.
meeting on Thursday was attended by the members of the executive committee of
MRM. There were sessions that involved the youth and women as well. Over three
days, about 700 people attended the meeting. Indresh Kumar, the patron of MRM
was also present. The MRM has also proposed to start a non-governmental widow
pension of Rs 500.
of Eid, the members of MRM are set to launch a campaign among Muslims to
discourage the slaughtering of cattle. "This month we will be celebrating
Eid, and will sacrifice the goat. We will also propagate that no cattle should
be slaughtered. It will be a planned campaign,” said Afzal.
An Indian-American advocacy group today called for immediate suspension of the
National Registry of Citizens until the irregularities resulting in four
million people being excluded from the list are fixed.
names of 40.07 Lakh applicants in Assam did not find a place in the
much-anticipated second and final draft of the National Register of Citizens
(NRC), a historic document touted to be a proof of Assamese identity.
ethnic group that is the worst victim of this mass disenfranchisement is the
Bengali-speaking Muslim community in Assam, accused of being 'infiltrators,'
although they are Indian citizens," the Indian-American Muslim Council
(IAMC) said in a statement.
fact that this is an exercise in subversion of democracy and has a clearly
bigoted, discriminatory agenda is reflected in the exclusion of the relatives
of the former President of India," IAMC president Ahsan Khan said.
entire programme should be suspended until the criteria for exclusion are
clearly defined," he said.
called on the Indian government not to allow religious differences to define
the socio-political landscape of the country, where something as basic as a
citizen's right to be called a citizen of the country is arbitrarily snatched
of Assam NRC: Muslim leaders urge members to ensure proper ID proof for all
the aftermath of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) created in Assam that
led to names of over 40 lakh people being left out of the first draft, some
leaders of the Muslim community have appealed to the people to ensure they have
proper documentation for all family members. One of the measures suggested at a
press conference held by leaders of the community on Thursday was to use the
pulpit during Friday prayers to ask community members to ensure that they have
their documents updated in case there is an Assam-like situation in the future.
Syed Moinuddin Ashraf, also known as Moin Miya — one of the main speakers at
the press conference — told The Indian Express: “The main issue is to raise
awareness among people regarding identity documentation. People need to keep
their documents, like voter ID, Aadhaar, passport and domicile certificate safe.
In order to raise awareness, we told the over 50 ulemas (religious scholars)
present to ensure that they should mention the importance of having such
documents in place even during the khutba (sermon) during the Friday prayers.”
read | Those out of register can provide new papers as proof: NRC official
issue at hand does not impact a particular community. Rather it goes against
people who are uneducated and come from the lower strata of the society, who
would normally not be much aware about the documents that they should have to
prove their citizenship,” he added.
Amanullah Raza Shaikh, who leads prayers at a mosque in Byculla, said, “I will
be making an announcement to raise awareness among people during the sermon. We
are also trying to spread this message through WhatsApp and phone calls. This
is a message for everyone as on several occasions, the name of one family
member is missing or someone’s name is spelt wrong in their identification
papers. They should realise the importance of having proper documentation.”
Noorie, general secretary of Raza Academy, who was also present at the press
conference, said: “We will also write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the
home minister, asking them to look out for people who are misusing the NRC and
making it a communal issue. The Supreme Court is monitoring the issue and we
have full faith in it.”
on Thursday welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s congratulatory phone call
to Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan and said it wants resumption of
bilateral talks which were halted in 2015.
Monday, Prime Minister Modi telephoned Khan to congratulate him on his party’s
victory in the general elections and hoped that “Pakistan and India will work
to open a new chapter in bilateral ties”.
thanked Modi for his wishes and emphasised that disputes should be resolved
his weekly press briefing here, Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal
said that he hoped the phone call would pave the way for bilateral talks
between both India and Pakistan.
said that Pakistan was ready to host the SAARC Summit postponed in November
2016, which will help to address regional issues.
hoped that it would lead to an improvement in ties with the South Asian
Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) member states, including
Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Maldives and Sri Lanka, in addition to
2016 SAARC Summit was to be held in Islamabad but after a major terror attack
on an Indian Army camp in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir on September 18 that year,
India expressed its inability to participate in the summit due to “prevailing
circumstances” and stepped up diplomatic pressure on Pakistan.
summit was called off after Bangladesh, Bhutan and Afghanistan also declined to
India-Pakistan ties nose-dived in recent years with no bilateral talks taking
ties between the two countries had strained after the terror attacks by
Pakistan-based groups in 2016 and India’s surgical strikes inside
Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. The sentencing of alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan
Jadhav to death by a military court in April last year further deteriorated
two sides often accuse each other of ceasefire violations along the Line of
Control, resulting in civilian casualties.
An encounter broke out between security forces and terrorists at Sopore
township in Jammu and Kashmir's Baramulla district on Friday, police said.
on specific information about presence of terrorists in Watergam area of
Sopore, security forces launched a cordon and search operation there, a police
said as the forces were conducting the searches, the terrorists fired upon them
and the security personnel retaliated.
gunfight was going on when the last reports came in, the police official said.
Navjot Singh Sidhu said Thursday that he was keen on attending the oath-taking
ceremony of Imran Khan as Pakistan’s Prime Minister. “It’s a personal
invitation. It’s great honour. And it’s wonderful gesture… If I am allowed (by
the government), I will go there as a goodwill ambassador…being instrument of
God’s goodwill,” said Sidhu while addressing a press conference at Chandigarh
if he would raise the cross-border issues during his visit to Pakistan, Sidhu
said, “Let me first go there. Each and every issue related to Punjab will be
raised…I want to take our Chief Minister to Nankana Sahab (where first guru of
the Sikhs Guru Nanak born and preached) in Pakistan to start celebrations of
550 years (of Sikhism in 2019),” said the Congress leader.
the Congress leader made it clear that he “would not encroach upon the view
point of the Centre (regarding country’s relations with Pakistan)”. When asked
whether the cricket matches between Indian and Pakistan should be allowed
again, Sidhu said, “I believe sportsmen break barriers.”
reply to a question regarding Imran Khan’s statement over Kashmir, Sidhu said,
“I don’t have a different opinion than of Indian government on this issue.”
Replying a separate question, the Congress leader said, “The issues are
resolved with mutual dialogue.”
about his relations with Imran Khan, a cricketer-turned-politician like him, Sidhu
said, “We have shared a relationship since 1983 when I met him first time in
Faridabad. I had heard he was a Greek god, but when I saw him I found him even
ahead of Greek god. I saw him a person of pure soul… A person can trust on
Imran Khan as soon as he sees him… Today, he is empowered to change the
Hizbul Mujahedeen militants, allegedly involved in a rifle-snatching incident
in Lolab, were killed in an encounter in Kupwara on Thursday.
Ahmad Shah, of Shatmuqam, and Zahoor Ahmad, of Thayeen village, were locals
from Kupwara who had joined the Hizbul Mujahideen ranks this year.
were killed at Khumriyal, around 12 km from Kandhar village where they had
snatched the rifle of a policeman on Wednesday.
said the police had been tracking movement of the militants involved in rifle
snatching as it was the first rifle snatching incident in Kupwara district in
said the militants who were travelling in a car were intercepted by joint team
of police and the army, two kilometres before Kupwara town, and were killed
after a brief encounter.
police spokesman said the militants fired at cops conducting checking at a
post, prompting retaliation.
militant were involved in several attacks on the security establishments and
civilian atrocities in the area. An AK 47 rifle and an INSAS rifle was
recovered from the slain militants which was yesterday snatched from a
policeman in Kandhar,’’ the spokesman said.
March, a picture of Bilal Ahmad Shah, who had been missing, appeared on the
social media holding the rifle. His father was a former Hizbul Mujahideen
militant, who was killed in an encounter during the initial years of the
militancy in 1991. Shah was working in Srinagar fruit market before he joined
the militant ranks. Zahoor was a former militant and had rejoined two months
the youths joined militancy after Manan Wani, a research scholar who also
hailed from the Kupwara district joined militancy. Last month, a militant from
Chogal village in Kupwara district was killed in Pulwama during an encounter.
Punjab Cabinet Minister and former cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu said on
Thursday he would attend Imran Khan’s swearing-in ceremony as the Prime
Minister of Pakistan and described the Pakistani World Cup-winning captain as a
man of character who “can be trusted”, reported Hindustan Times.
also described Imran as “a ray of hope”.
went on to describe the invitation to attend the oath-taking ceremony as a
Sidhu had said that sportsmen build bridges to unite people.
is (a) great honour, I accept the invitation. Men of genius are admired, men of
power are feared, but men of character are trusted. Khan Sahab is a man of
character. He can be trusted. Sportsmen build bridges, break barriers, unite
people,” Sidhu had said in a statement.
was among those who had reportedly been invited by Khan to attend his
oath-taking ceremony. Imran Khan’s party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)
emerged as the single-largest party in the National Assembly after the general
election on July 25.
won 115 of the 269 seats in the National Assembly for which elections were
held. The party fell 12 short of the 137 seats it needed to form a government
on its own.
on Wednesday, a PTI spokesperson said that the party plans to invite former
cricketers Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev and Navjot Sidhu and Bollywood star Aamir
Khan to Imran Khan swearing-in ceremony.
govt regains control of three southern provinces: Moscow
Russian army on Thursday said the Syrian government had recaptured three of the
country's southern provinces from rebels and jihadists, and regained control of
the border zone with Jordan.
forces, supported by Russian aviation, liquidated (Islamic State) and former
al-Nusra groups and retook control of Sweida, Daraa and Quneitra," Russian
army general Sergei Rudskoy said at a briefing in Moscow.
praised the "unique operation" that allowed Syrian forces to retake
"3,332 square kilometres" of territory from jihadist and rebel
Moscow-supported Damascus regime "entirely retook control of the border
between Syria and Jordan", Rudskoy said.
added that "conditions have been created for the resumption of the
activities of UN peacekeeping forces in the Golan Heights" near the border
which intervened military in Syria on the side of Bashar al-Assad's regime in
2015, will deploy "eight military police observation posts" in order
"to prevent possible provocations."
than seven years since the conflict began, regime forces have managed to retake
entire regions from rebels and jihadists and now control nearly two-thirds of
troops are supported military by their Russian and Iranian allies, as well as
by Lebanese Hezbollah fighters and Iraqi, Iranian and Afghan militiamen.
Foreign Ministry has summoned Tajikistan’s ambassador to protest the allegation
of Tehran’s links to a recent attack that killed four Western tourists in the
Central Asian country.
police in Tajikistan Tuesday appeared to blame a banned opposition party for an
attack previously claimed by ISIS that left four tourists dead and was
originally reported as a hit-and-run road accident.
police statement called a detained man identified as leading an attack that
killed two tourists from the United States and one each from Switzerland and
the Netherlands an “active member” of the Islamic Renaissance Party of
Tajikistan, which was banned in 2015.
in the Central Asian country offered no immediate proof of the assertion.
to the police statement Hussein Abdusamadov, 33, who police identified as the
leader of the group that attacked the tourists, is an “active member” of the IRPT
and also “underwent training in Iran”, a country with whom Tajikistan has poor
extremist group had on Monday claimed the attack on a group of seven tourists
cycling in the Danghara district, about 100 kilometres from Tajikistan’s
the attack was initially reported as a hit-and-run, Tajikistan’s interior
minister Ramazon Hamro Rahimzoda said on Monday that the group was armed with
“knives and firearms.”
least one of the three tourists that survived was stabbed and is being treated
in hospital, he told a press conference.
a statement published Monday, ISIS claimed a “detachment from the soldiers of
the Caliphate” had carried out the attack against “citizens of Crusader
Attempts to ship missile parts to Iran have been thwarted by UK border agents
at Heathrow Airport.
‘O rings’ — small components made of rubber used to form seals in warheads to
stop leakages — were detected during an inspection of cargo leaving the
airport, according to a report in London’s Evening Standard.
parts were described as being sent for use in Iran’s oil industry. But UK
Border Force staff stopped the shipment, suspecting that they were actually
going to be used in the construction of missiles.
Wrench, UK Border Force’s deputy director at Heathrow Airport, told the
newspaper: “We had a couple of O rings that we identified. O rings are pieces
of rubber that go between tubes to stop leakage to seal them. They can be used
in oil, but they can also be used for warheads and the like. Our staff stopped
them from going to Iran.
is a component part. It looked like it was going to an oil refinery. But the
dots don’t quite join up here.”
refused to comment on whether any arrests were made in connection with the
incident and confirmed that an investigation was being launched by HM Revenue
selling, supplying or transportation of missile-related goods or technology to
Iran is banned in the UK, and those found guilty face heavy fines and a
possible prison sentence.
June, UN tests found that Houthi militia missiles fired at Saudi Arabia from
Yemen had been manufactured in Iran.
Turki Al-Maliki of the Saudi-led coalition operating in Yemen against the
Iranian-backed Houthis said last month that as many as 163 ballistic missiles
and 66,362 projectiles have targeted Saudi Arabia since the beginning of the
has continued to expand its missile arsenal despite the deal with international
powers signed in 2015 to curb its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions
hopeful of restart of dialogue with India
Foreign Office spokesman Dr Faisal on Thursday applauded Indian Prime Minister
Narendra Modi’s phone call to Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan to
congratulate him on winning the general election and expressed the hope that
this could pave the way for restart of talks between the South Asian neighbors.
a weekly press briefing here at the Foreign Office, the spokesman said that
Narendra Modi in his phone call had told Imran Khan that India was ready to
enter a new era of relations with Pakistan and that both countries should adopt
a joint strategy for progress in the bilateral ties. He hoped that it would
lead to an improvement in Pakistan’s relations with South Asian Association for
Regional Cooperation (SAARC) member states, including Afghanistan, Bhutan,
Bangladesh, Nepal, Maldives and Sri Lanka, in addition to India. The spokesman
said resumption of comprehensive dialogue between Pakistan and India and
holding of SAARC summit were the areas that required particular focus by the
Foreign Office spokesman said Pakistan was witnessing a continued journey
towards consolidation of democracy with the completion of tenures of two
democratically elected governments. He said international election observers
from Commonwealth and the European Union have expressed satisfaction on the
conduct of elections.
a question, Dr Faisal said that foreign heads of state have not been invited to
attend the inauguration ceremony of the newly elected prime minister.
to situation in Indian-held Kashmir, the spokesman said the human rights
situation in the occupied valley reflected the unabated use of force,
oppression and mass killings of innocent and defenseless Kashmiris by the
Indian forces. He said Indian troops in unabated acts of state terrorism
martyred 21 Kashmiris during the last month. Over 300 Kashmiris were also
critically injured when Indian police and paramilitary personnel used force and
fired pellet guns and teargas shells on peaceful demonstrators during the same
spokesman expressed deep concerns over the unhygienic conditions in Central
Jail of Srinagar and District Jail in Rajouri, where a number of political
prisoners have been packed beyond capacity. He urged the international
community to take notice of all these injustices.
Faisal said if India has nothing to hide, it should allow the foreign
journalists and Commission of Inquiry as recommended by the Office of the High
Commissioner for Human Rights to visit the areas.
asked to comment on a bill passed by US Congress to slash Pakistan’s defence
aid to 150 million dollars, the spokesman confirmed that the Coalition Support
Fund had been discontinued.
said Afghanistan and Pakistan in their meetings of the five working groups in
Kabul assessed prospects in all areas of mutual interest, including
counter-terrorism, security, bilateral trade and transit and repatriation of
also apprised the media about the daring rescue mission conducted by the
Pakistan Army on July 31 which saved the life of stranded Russian climber
Alexander Gukov from Gilgit-Baltistan’s Latok-I peak. “The Russian government
has conveyed deep gratitude to Pakistan for the rescue and lauded the
professionalism of Pakistan Army for successfully carrying out this courageous
operation,” he noted.
Chief Justice of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) Mohammad Anwar Khan Kasi has
rejected allegations of interference by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)
in judicial proceedings, especially in the constitution of benches.
a division bench of the IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Miangul
Hassan Aurangzeb hearing an intra court appeal (ICA) of the ISI expunged
adverse remarks of Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui from a judicial order. The ISI
in the appeal asserted that the court order widely circulated on the social
media within the country and abroad and damaged the reputation of the army, ISI
and judiciary across the world.
requested the court to expunge the adverse remarks from the court order and
also impose cost of litigation on the petitioner for filing a frivolous
per background of the case, one Mohammad Iftikhar Raja filed a petition before
the IHC saying that his brother Rabnawaz was abducted by spy agencies. However,
Rabnawaz when produced before Justice Siddiqui on July 18 stated that he had
gone to Vehari on his own.
petitioner Raja insisted that his brother was in immense fear and that he had
lied before the court.
IHC division bench comprising Justice Farooq and Justice Aurangzeb took up the
ICA on Aug 1. The court had issued notices to the petitioner as well as the advocate
general for Islamabad.
General Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri appeared before the bench. He told the court
that the IHC registrar conveyed the message of IHC Chief Justice Kasi that he
never allowed outside interference of any person or institution in the judicial
said that the IHC chief justice further said that he had never taken
instructions from any quarter while working as a sessions judge or after his
elevation to the IHC.
Former prime minister and supreme leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-N
(PML-N) Nawaz Sharif has sent a message to his party leaders and workers from
Adiala jail, asking them to continue protest against alleged rigging in the
July 25 elections.
to PML-N leaders who met Mr Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law
retired Capt Muhammad Safdar in the jail on Thursday, the former PM has also
asked them to make a joint strategy with other opposition parties.
number of PML-N leaders and family members met the incarcerated leaders of the
PML-N in jail. Prison authorities arranged the meeting in a conference hall
adjacent to the jail superintendent’s office.
to reporters outside the jail later, they said Mr Sharif was of the opinion
that people’s mandate had been stolen in the elections.
Mushahid Hussain Syed said the morale of Mr Sharif and Ms Maryam was high. He
said they both wanted the PML-N leaders and workers to continue protest against
alleged rigging in the elections.
senior PML-N leader later told Dawn that the party leaders briefed Mr Sharif on
their talks with other opposition parties in their recent meetings. They also
got former PM’s approval for the opposition parties’ expected nominees for the
election of prime minister, speaker and deputy speaker in the National
said PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif informed the former PM about the party’s
efforts for the formation of its government in Punjab.
request of a number of other PML-N leaders and workers to meet the former PM
was rejected by the jail authorities after which charged workers confronted
security personnel outside the jail.
jail authorities banned the entry of media DSNGs on the outer side of the jail
which sparked unrest among media personnel.
female workers of the PML-N staged a demonstration outside the jail and
demanded release of Ms Maryam.
family members and relative who met the Sharifs in the jail included PML-N
president Shahbaz Sharif, Mian Yousuf Abbas and Mian Aziz Abbas (nephews of
Nawaz Sharif), Junaid Safdar (son of Maryam Nawaz), Sajjad Ahmed and Dr Waqar
Awan (brothers of Mr Safdar) and Col Zafar (cousin of Mr Safdar).
the PML-N leaders who visited the jail are: National Assembly Speaker Sardar
Ayaz Sadiq, Punjab Assembly Speaker Rana Iqbal, Senators Pervaiz Rashid,
Chauhdry Tanvir Khan, Begum Najma Hameed, Begum Tahira Aurangzeb, Raja Zafarul
Haq, Javed Hashmi, former federal minister for health Saira Afzal Tarar,
Marriyum Aurangzeb, Ahsan Iqbal, Tariq Fatemi and his wife, Irfan Siddiqui,
Khawaja Asif, Dr Tassaduq Malik, Miftah Ismail, Siddiqul Farooq, Malik Abrar
Ahmed, Sardar Mumtaz and Rana Mubashir.
minister meets Sharif
federal Minister Barrister Ali Zafar also met Mr Sharif in the jail.
team of doctors from the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences also visited Adiala
jail and examined Mr Sharif. They termed his condition better.
the medical examination, Mr Sharif’s personal physician Dr Adnan Khan was also
leader Tallal Chaudhry, who was awarded sentence in a contempt of court case,
also met the former PM in the jail.
questions of reporters about his sentence outside the jail later, Mr Chaudhry
said that he was expecting such a judgement.
The Peshawar High Court has directed the provincial government to compensate
the families of students killed in the 2014 Peshawar Army Public School
terrorist attack like those of martyred school employees under the Special
Shaheed (martyr) Package.
bench consisting of Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth and Justice Mussarat Hilali
observed that the government had discriminated against the martyred APS
students during the payment of compensation for the terrorist attack.
bench issued the orders accepting a petition of Ajun Khan, father of martyred
student Asfand Khan, and other parents seeking the Special Shaheed compensation
Package equivalent to either the one provided to the martyred staffers
including APS Principal Tahira Qazi or the one provided to families of the
lawyers who were martyred in terrorist attack at a hospital in Quetta in Aug
bench had decided the case on July 17.
a detailed judgment in the case, it ruled: “What has been discussed above, it
is proved that discrimination has been done by the Provincial Government: thus,
in this scenario petition in hand is allowed.”
respondents (KP Government) are directed to treat the petitioners’ instant
petition alike with the others by awarding them a handsome full package as
early as possible. In case of failure, petitioners would be at liberty to file
contempt petition,” the order states.
bench ruled that keeping blind eye and deaf ears towards the little flowers
martyred in APS incident was highly deplorable.
is further noted that as per available record handsome package was given to the
family of martyred Principal Tahira Qazi and other staff members of APS as per
minutes of the meeting of Senate Standing Committee on defence dated
28.12.2015, attended by notified dignitaries.”
Mohammad Ayaz had appeared for the petitioners and contended that after the
brutal incident compensation package awarded to the aggrieved parents included
payment of Rs2 million along with Umra trip, which was too nominal keeping in
view the brutal nature of the incident.
said the affected parents had been looking forward for some handsome package
from government machinery as well as Armed Forces, but till date no attractive
package was announced.
pointed out that handsome Shaheed Package was announced for the aggrieved
families of the staff members killed in the incident as Rs9.4 million was
awarded to them.
Ayaz contended that over three years had passed since the tragic incident had
taken place but the federal and provincial governments had failed to give
appropriate Shaheed Package to the parents of the APS martyrs.
submitted that there were double standards for compensating the families of the
representative of the Accountant General office had told the bench that the
matter in hand was totally administrative in nature and related to the
provincial government and the accountant general office had no concern with the
Imran Khan received a shot in the arm on Thursday after the Muttahida Qaumi
Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) extended support to his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf
(PTI) for forming the new federal government.
Maqbool Siddiqui, the convener of MQM, confirmed to Geo TV that his party has
agreed to cooperate with PTI for the formation of a coalition government at the
we have agreed to cooperate with them (the PTI) for the formation of (a
coalition) government at the Centre," he told Geo TV.
Khan’ s PTI had sought support of MQM as well as Balochistan National
Party-Mengal (BNP-M) for the formation of a new government at the Centre.
Siddiqui added that after a series of past experiences, the party does not want
to side with the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). "The PPP does not need
anyone in Sindh. The MQM-P will sit alongside the PTI on government
have decided to sit on treasury benches instead of the opposition. Sitting with
the opposition would have created doubts about our stance and because of this,
the MQM-P has arrived at a consensus on this move."
respect everyone's mandate and want everyone to respect ours," said the
also said that the MQM-P will not be attending the All Parties' Conference on
Thursday. It will be a meeting of opposition parties led by the Pakistan Muslim
League-Nawaz (PML-N) to hold talks on alleged rigging in the July 25 general
MNA and coordination committee member Aminul Haq said though MQM decided to
support Khan for the Prime Minister slot, they were yet to decide if they will
take any ministries. The final decision in this regard will be taken in a few
days, he added.
a PTI delegation led by leaders Naeemul Haque and Sardar Yar Muhammad Rind met
BNP-M chief Sardar Akhtar Jan Mengal in Islamabad to seek their backing.
the meeting, Mengal said: "I am thankful to the PTI leadership for
extending us an invite to be part of the federal government." Talking
about the demands he put forth, the leader said that "we want missing
persons to be recovered as well as implementation of China Pakistan Economic
we are given a satisfactory response to our demands then we are ready to
support the party," he said.
News quoted sources as saying that the PTI also invited Mengal for a one-on-one
meeting with Khan.
website called the ‘Khan Meter’ has been launched to monitor Pakistan
Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s performance as the country’s top
leader in light of PTI’s 100 days plan, reported a local media outlet.
social entrepreneur Salman Saeed launched the website and got his inspiration
from the Obamametre.
website provides a detailed breakdown of the promises that the PTI chief had
made and they have been divided further into seven categories; economy,
agriculture, water, society, security, governance and federation.
while talking on a morning show, said, “Those who have voted for Imran Khan and
his party are active now to keep an eye on their performance after they form
the government in the federation.”
- Besides severe pre-polling odds, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz had to face
presence of eleven politico religious parties in election arena, which also
factored in denting its vote bank, leading to reduction of its national and
provincial assembly seats.
the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA), eleven politico religious parties which
contested the 2018 general elections had secured about 2.9 million votes in
total which previously PML-N used to get basically on ideological affinity.
MMA has secured 2.5 million votes and bagged 12 National Assembly seats, none
of the eleven religious parties could bag a National Assembly seat as only
Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) could win two provincial assembly seats in the
Sindh Assembly. A cursory analysis of the pre-poll election campaign suggests
that by and large all the eleven parties with Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP)
ostensibly played a leading role against the PML-N highlighting the issue of an
amendment in the law regarding finality of the Prophethood.
analysts believed this slogan had helped the eleven religious parties in
securing a total of 2.9 million votes in the general elections.
to data uploaded by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), the highest
number of votes polled in favour of these parties was in Punjab followed by
Ulema-i-Islam Nazryati-Pakistan managed to bag 34,170 votes as compared to
1,030,98 votes in 2013. Another religious party that did not leave an impact on
the electoral battleground was Jamiat Ulema-i-Pakistan (Noorani) that received
22,918 votes in contrast to 67,966 votes in 2013.
Majlis Wahdatul Muslimeen that bagged 41,520 votes last time managed to only
get 19,597 votes this time. The Sunni Ittehad Council also witnessed a
significant drop in its popularity as it received 5,939 votes only as compared
to 37,732 votes in 2013. On the other hand, the new splinter groups have
remarkably marked their presence as compared to the old parties.
newly formed Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) led by clerics of the Barelvi
sect emerged as the top fifth party which received 2,234,138 votes for the
National Assembly, outranking major parties like the Muttahida Qaumi
Movement-Pakistan and Awami National Party among others.
the TLP did not secure a seat in the lower house of parliament, its 178 NA and
over 500 provincial assembly candidates contesting elections across the country
contributed significantly to its vote bank.
party bagged the most votes in Punjab (1,887,419) where it was the only party
that had fielded over 100 candidates from the 117 constituencies of the
TLP also managed to govern Punjab’s religious poll bank as its votes make up 69
per cent of the total votes given to religious parties (2,704,856) in the
Sindh, the party candidates gave a tough time to prominent leaders like Dr
Farooq Sattar of MQM-P and PPP’s Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari in the election.
NA-246 (Karachi South-1), TLP’s candidate Ahmed secured over 3,000 more votes
than the PPP chairman whereas in NA-247 (Karachi South-2), the party’s
candidate secured second position and beat Dr Sattar by a margin of over 500
TLP bagged two seats in the provincial assembly one from Lyari’s PS-107 and the
other from PS-115 (Baldia Town).
Tehreek-i-Labbaik (Islam), the political wing of TLP’s Jalali group also
influenced religious vote bank as it managed to secure over 55,000 votes for
the National Assembly.
the TLP, Allah-o-Akbar Tehreek (AAT) allegedly led by the Hafiz Saeed and was
introduced after the ECP denied registration of Milli Muslim League has also
secured 171,356 votes.
launches new group to combat extremism
Muslims in Indonesia have launched a new civil society group to promote
interreligious tolerance in a country where religious and ethnic sentiments are
on the rise ahead of a presidential election in 2019.
than 200 people, including religious leaders such as Jakarta's Catholic
archbishop, as well as politicians, attended the Aug. 1 launch of the Said Aqil
Siroj Institute in Jakarta.
new non-profit organization is named after a prominent Muslim cleric who now
serves as chairman of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), Indonesia's largest Islamic
thoughts and ideas highlighting tolerance, mutual respect, peace and
willingness to work together with people from different religious and ethnic
backgrounds have inspired the establishment of this institute. These are
important pillars for the existence of our diverse nation," Imdadun
Rahmat, the organization's executive director, said at the launch.
institute has come about because of concerns among young people about problems
and challenges faced by our nation, especially the weakening of national unity
as a result of segregation based on religion, ethnicity and ideology," he
said the organization would take up the same fight as similar organizations
including the Jakarta-based Wahid Institute, an organization that focuses on
the creation of peace and non-violence espoused by former Indonesian president
Abdurrahman Wahid, who was also a former NU chairman.
organizations need to expand to serve as 'shields' to protect our younger
generation from radicalism," he told ucanews.com.
near future, he said, the institute will share moderate Islamic teachings
through social media and conduct research, seminars and discussions.
to reporters, Siroj said the institute would promote Islam Nusantara (Islam of
the Archipelago) as many people still don't have a clear understanding of it.
Nusantara means an Islam which promotes cultural values that are dignified,
friendly and polite," he said.
think Islam Nusantara is a solution to the wave of globalization which is very
radical and extreme.
believe Indonesian Muslims can show people that they respect differences and
other cultures," he said.
Minister for Maritime Affairs, Luhut Binsar Panjaitan, said the launch of the
new organization comes at the right time.
year] is the year of politics. Regional elections [held in June] ran
peacefully. Yet, we see that in some regions the issues of religion, ethnicity
and ideology were used to influence public opinion. We predict these issues
will grow ahead of the presidential election next year," he said.
Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo of Jakarta, who attended the launch, welcomed
the institute's establishment.
is the actualization of Said Aqil Siroj's thoughts and ideas summarized in
Islam Nusantara, a movement of peace and tolerance. This is the answer to the
very worrying situation in our country today," he told ucanews.com.
The Philippine military said on Thursday it has arrested a Muslim cleric who
knew in advance about a bomb that killed 11 people on Basilan island in an
attack earlier this week that raised fears of Islamic State involvement.
on a tip off, scout rangers raided the home of Indalin Jainul, alias Ustadz
Abdulgani, 12 hours after Tuesday's bombing in Lamitan town.
told the army that the cleric, 58, knew the bomb would go off and had been
helping foreign operatives reach Basilan from Malaysia, according to army
spokesman Gerry Besana. A grenade was found at his home.
is charged with multiple murder and illegal possession of explosives. His
family protested what they said were trumpedup charges. Islamic State claimed
responsibility for the attack which killed five militias, a soldier, and four
civilians, including a child, calling it a "martyrdom operation". The
driver of a van carrying the device also died. He was believed to have
detonated the device when questioned at the checkpoint. Defence and military
officials dismissed the Islamic State claim as propaganda, with defence
secretary Delfin Lorenzana describing the claim as "just
speculation". Basilan is a stronghold of the Abu Sayyaf, a group better
known for its banditry and kidnapping, though it has pledged loyalty to Islamic
attack came days after Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte made peace
overtures towards the Abu Sayyaf, following his approval for an autonomy plan
sought for decades by leaders of the region's Muslim minority.
bombings are rare in the Philippines, despite decades of separatist and
Islamist violence that have destabilised the southern Mindanao region.
experts say that although Islamic State has no known affiliate in the southern
Philippines, it has ties with local extremists who have given refuge to foreign
radicals, particularly from Malaysia and Indonesia.
LUMPUR, Aug 2 — The Malays have the second oldest set of mitochondrial DNA
(mtDNA) in the world, second only to the Africans and making the ethnicity the
second oldest in the world, writer and historian Zaharah Sulaiman told a forum
at “The Origins of the Malay” forum organised by the Muslim Youth Movement of
Malaysia (Abim), Zaharah said roughly 60,000 to 75,000 years ago, there was a
migration by some of the shortest people from humanity’s cradle in Africa to
Sundaland, which is now known as Southeast Asia.
study conducted by the Human Genome Organisation (Hugo) that was published in
2013 showed that the ancestors of the Malay people, the Semang and Senoi,
migrated to the ancient kingdom of Champa that is now located in parts of
Vietnam and Cambodia.
ancestors were the first African tribes that migrated to the lands around Saudi
Arabia and the Middle East.
Semang and Senoi came the rest of the ethnic tribes including the indigenous
peoples such as the orang Asli, Iban, Dayaks and so on. In fact, the Malays’
closest ancestor is the Jakun tribe. So for politicians, regardless of which
party to say that the Malays are migrants, that is not true,” said Zaharah.
academic then pointed out that based on scientific evidence, the Malay set of
mtDNA is 63,000 years old when compared to the Chinese mtDNA that is 43,000
years old. The youngest set of mtDNA in the world belongs to the South American
civilisation at 10,000 years old.
was positing a theory first put up by Professor Stephen Oppenheimer of the
School of Anthropology and Museum Archeology of the University of Oxford.
work on genetics, particularly on the mtDNA — which is the science of tracing
genetic material through the maternal lineage — was first proposed in his 1998
book titled Eden in the East: The Drowned Continent of Southeast Asia.
was also the first time the “Out of Sundaland” theory, in which ethnic Malay
tribes were a part of one of the world’s ancient civilisations, was proposed.
elaborated further saying that some of the Malay tribes residing in Champa and
the Phillippine islands later moved northward to settle China and later
establishing the Chinese civilisation.
she said this did not make the Chinese people an offshoot of the Malay tribes.
takes tens and thousands of years for an ethinicity, for a civilisation or a
race to evolve. The roots of the Greeks also came from the settlers in Champa
but it does not make them Malays,” she explained.
added that the original Malay script — the Rejang Script— is an offshoot of
Sanskrit and that Sanskrit first came to Sundaland before it reached the Indian
explained that Sanskrit was actually an Indo-Aryan script and language
originating from Persia (modern day Iran) and the Arabian peninsula.
the Indians had studied Sanskrit extensively, people thought the language
originated from there and the Malays borrowed many words from Sanskrit. I
believe it is the other way around. Sanskrit came to Sundaland first before it
at Kemboja (modern day Cambodia), the word Kemboja is Persian because they
settled from a land known as Kembojas in modern day Iran. They settled there
and intermingled with the Malay tribes there first before heading to India,”
US airstrikes pound ISIS, Taliban positions, leaving seven militants dead
Aug 2 (IBNS): The US forces based in Afghanistan carried out a series of
airstrikes on ISIS and Taliban positions in eastern Kunar and Nangarhar
province of Afghanistan leaving at least seven militants dead.
Khaama Press quoted a military statement, saying that the US unmanned aerial
vehicles pounded the ISIS hideouts in Milwa and Gorgori areas of Deh Bala in
statement further added that the airstrikes left at least six ISIS militants
and their hideouts were totally destroyed.
said the US unmanned aerial vehicles also targeted the Taliban targets in
Watapur district of Kunar and as a result, a Taliban group member identified as
Masiullah was killed.
airstrikes did not inflict casualties on the local residents of the two
provinces, the statement said.
abducted and killed three foreign nationals working for international food
company Sodexo in Kabul on Thursday, deepening concerns about security of
expatriates in Afghanistan.
senior diplomat and two Afghan security officials said the three worked as
cooks at Sodexo, the world’s second-largest food and catering services company.
Indian, a Malaysian and a Macedonian citizen were abducted and killed. We have
found their bodies,” Hashmat Stanekzai, spokesman for Kabul’s police chief,
has been a major problem in Afghanistan in recent years.
it mainly affects Afghans abducted for ransom, foreigners have also been
targeted, either by criminals looking for ransom or by militant groups.
Malaysian national was 64, the Indian was 39 and the Macedonian was 37. They
were all travelling for work with a local driver.
Afghan security official said they found identity cards next to the bodies and
officials at Sodexo in Afghanistan have confirmed their identities.
company had no immediate comment.
said the three men were abducted near Pul-e-Charkhi on the eastern outskirts of
Kabul but their bodies were found in a car parked in the Mussahi district in
the southern part of Kabul province.
were shot dead and their bodies were found inside a car,” said Nusrat Rahimi,
deputy spokesman for the interior ministry.
manages canteens and facilities for offices, the military, schools, hospitals
and prisons, and also supplies vouchers for meals and gifts.
Bazar locals have accused the Rohingyas of intentionally stalling the
repatriation process by raising multiple demands, one after another.
than 700,000 Rohingyas fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar, since late August last
year, to escape a brutal military crackdown in Rakhine state. More than 400,000
Rohingyas already lived in Bangladeshi camps.
denies allegations of: killing, rape, arson, looting, and torture used in its
military campaign targeting the mainly-Muslim ethnic minority. Naypyidaw denies
the Rohingyas citizenship and forces many of them to live in squalid camps in
global leaders have visited Bangladesh since the world’s largest refugee crisis
unfolded. They promised support for the Rohingyas and their repatriation.
has signed an agreement with Naypyidaw to return the refugees— but the
repatriation process has stagnated.
will go back to our motherland only if we are guaranteed citizenship and equal
rights,” Abdur Rahim, a Rohingya community leader at Kutupalong camp, told the
Rohingya leader at Palongkhali camp, seeking to remain anonymous, said they
want repatriation to be supervised by global leaders, the UN, and international
want to go back peacefully. The situation in Rakhine state will have to be
secure for us to live there,” he added.
Social Welfare Minister Win Myat Aye met about 40 refugees at Kutupalong camp
on April 11. The refugees gave him a list of their repatriation-related
Cox’s Bazar locals claim some Rohingya leaders have secret agreements with
Myanmar. They claimed the Rohingyas were making new demands to stall
repatriation. The claim could not be verified independently.
are making demands one after another. This clearly shows that they are trying
to delay repatriation,” Rohingya Prevention and Repatriation Committee chief
Mahmudul Haque told the Dhaka Tribune.
Taliban militants suffered casualties during the artillery strikes conducted in
support of the armed forces operations in southeastern Ghazni province of
203rd Thunder Corps of the Afghan Military in the Southeast said at least five
militants were killed or wounded during the operations.
statement by Thunder Corps stated that the Afghan armed forces conducted
operations with the help of artillery support in Andar district, leaving at
least four militants dead and another militant wounded.
statement further added that the operations were conducted in Shash Khel area
of the district.
the meantime, the Afghan armed forces discovered and defused five different
types of improvised explosive devices during the separate operations conducted
in Moqor district of Ghazni, the Thunder Corps added.
Least 55 Yemenis Killed In Saudi Strikes on Hospital, Fishing Harbour in
least 55 people have been killed after warplanes of the Saudi-led military
coalition hit a hospital and a fishing harbor in Yemen’s western province of
Health Ministry said the Thursday brutal strikes also left at least 130
wounded, some in critical condition.
Arabic-language al-Masirah television network, citing its correspondent,
reported that Saudi-led jets struck al-Thorah Hospital in the provincial
capital Hudaydah and a fishing port in the province almost simultaneously.
to the correspondent, the death toll was expected to rise due to the magnitude
of the airstrikes, particularly on the hospital.
report also said that the attacked hospital had launched an urgent appeal for
Yemeni citizens to donate blood.
Wednesday, at least nine fishermen were killed after Saudi-led warplanes
targeted their ship off the coast of Hudaydah.
Arabia and some 20 of its allies, including the United Arab Emirates, Morocco
and Sudan, launched a brutal war, code-named Operation Decisive Storm, against
Yemen in March 2015 in an attempt to reinstall former Yemeni President Abd
Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh, and crush the popular Ansarullah
offensive initially consisted of a bombing campaign, but was later coupled with
a naval blockade and the deployment of ground forces into Yemen.
imposed war, however, has so far failed to achieve its goal, thanks to firm
resistance mounted by Yemeni troops and Houthi fighters in defense of the city.
The war was also launched despite warnings that it would compound the
impoverished nation’s humanitarian crisis.
Yemeni Ministry of Human Rights announced in a statement on March 25 that the
war had left 600,000 civilians dead and injured until then. The war and the
accompanying blockade have also caused famine across Yemen.
Saudi-led aggression has also taken a heavy toll on the country's
infrastructure, destroying many hospitals, schools, and factories. The United
Nations has already said that a record 22.2 million Yemenis are in need of food
aid, including 8.4 million threatened by severe hunger.
Western countries, the United States and Britain in particular, are also
accused of being complicit in the ongoing aggression as they supply the Riyadh
regime with advanced weapons and military equipment as well as logistical and
main victims of Saudi war on Yemen: Activists
Arabia’s ongoing military aggression against the Yemeni city of Hudaydah has
put thousands of children at risk of death, starvation and disease, says an
charity Save the Children said Thursday that around 6,000 people – half of them
children -- are leaving the war-ravaged city every day, bringing the total
number of people forced out of the city since the start of the offensive in
June to more than 330,000.
the economy in tatters and health and sanitation facilities throughout the
country destroyed, conditions are now rampant for disease and starvation to
spread," said Tamer Kirolos, Save the Children's Yemen Country Director.
agencies are doing what they can to keep people alive but ultimately, our
efforts are just a sticking plaster on a gaping wound," he added.
Arabia and several of its allies, including the United Arab Emirates, Morocco
and Sudan, launched a brutal war, code-named Operation Decisive Storm, against
Yemen in March 2015 in an attempt to reinstall former Yemeni President Abd
Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh, and crush the popular Ansarullah
the impoverished Arab country’s main port city, has been under aerial and
maritime siege by the Saudi military forces. The blockade has prevented
medicines and other critical commodities from reaching around 8.4 million
people who are believed to be on the verge of starvation.
in June by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the Hudaydah offensive is
the largest battle in the Saudi-led war, which Yemeni officials say has killed
and injured over 600,000 people.
round of fresh airstrikes by Saudi warplanes left 26 people dead and 35 others
injured, medical sources told Reuters.
the Children warned in its Thursday statement that Hudaydah’s neighboring areas
did not have the means to accommodate the huge influx of people and many of the
refugees were struggling to find food, water and medicine.
Juliette Touma, a spokeswoman for the United Nations children's agency, warned
that a series of Saudi attacks on the city last week had a
"catastrophic" impact on organization’s ability to supply clean water
and sanitation to the population, raising the specter of a new disease
attacks may contribute to the increase of water-borne diseases - especially to
children who are prone to diseases like cholera, and (getting) diarrhea,"
the Jordan-based official told the Thomson Reuters Foundation on Thursday.
is a war on children in Yemen - very few places are safe for a Yemeni
child," she added.
UN has also warned of risks that the war has posed against pregnant women in
Yemen, which already holds one of the world's highest rates of maternal
90,000 women are reportedly due to give birth in the next nine months.
UN initiative for peace
another development, Martin Griffiths, Yemen’s envoy to the UN, said the world
body was going to invite warring sides for talks on September 6 in Geneva.
security forces in Marib governorate confiscated a shipment of drugs coming
from Lebanon, on its way to the Houthi militias in the capital Sanaa, according
to the Yemeni Information Ministry.
Yemeni minister of Information Mouammar al-Aryani said on Thursday on his
tweeter account that the seized drug shipment was hidden inside coffee packets.
investigation it was revealed that the shipment was on its way to the
pro-Iranian militia in Sanaa.
sources reported on Thursday that the Yemeni national army supported by the
Arab coalition, seized control over the international road between Saada and Saudi Arabia.
sources confirmed that the army backed by the Arab coalition is battling, in
the last few days, with the Houthi militias in the mountainous areas
surrounding the district of Baqim near Saada and that the national army gained
full control over a town at the entrance of the district after inflicting loses
among the militias.
the western coastal front of Yemen, many casualties were reported among the
Houthis after the Arab coalition staged air strikes targeting a training camp
in Abs district in Hajjah governorate.
air strikes also destroyed a gathering for the militias as well as an
ammunition depot at a military camp east of Hodeidah port city.
has vowed to take retaliatory measures against the United States after
Washington slapped two Turkish ministers with sanctions over the trial of a
jailed American pastor in the Anatolian country.
a statement on Thursday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry warned the White House
that the move “will greatly damage constructive efforts” to settle outstanding
issues and that Ankara would surely retaliate.
delay, there will be a response to this aggressive attitude that will not serve
any purpose,” it further said.
between the two NATO allies have heightened over Turkey's detention on alleged
terror charges of American pastor Andrew Brunson, who was in custody for 21
months in a Turkish prison until he was transferred to house arrest last week.
American pastor, who has lived in Turkey for more than two decades, was ordered
by a Turkish court to wear an electronic bracelet at all times. The court also
prevented him from traveling outside of the country.
Wednesday, the White House announced that it was imposing sanctions on Turkish
Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul and Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu. The
sanctions involve freezing any property or assets on the US soil held by the
two ministers. The sanctions also prevent American citizens from doing any business
with the two ministers.
had been unprecedented for the US so far to slap a NATO ally with sanctions.
a separate statement, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, who is set to meet his
American counterpart Mike Pompeo in the coming days, also warned that the
provocative move “will not go without response.”
50, was indicted by a Turkish court on charges of having links with the
Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group and the movement of the US-based
opposition cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara accuses of having masterminded
the July 2016 coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
has already denied the charges, calling them “shameful and disgusting.” If
evangelical pastor is found guilty, he will face up to 35 years in jail.
President Donald Trump has repeatedly demanded Brunson’s release and said on
Twitter last month that the pastor’s detention over terrorism and espionage
charges was “a total disgrace.” He also called the prisoner “a great Christian,
family man and wonderful human being.”
sources in Idlib city reported on Thursday that a bomb-laden car was detonated
at the former Central Bank building in the Eastern district of the city which
is used by Tahrir al-Sham for military operations.
added that at least 20 people, including 4 foreign members of Tahrir al-Sham
and several civilians, were killed and a number of others were wounded, saying
that the explosion also left heavy damage.
reports also said that one of the Muftis (religious leaders) of terrorist
groups in the town of Ma'arat al-No'eman in Southern Idlib, named Abu al-Bara
al-Hamawi, was killed by unknown assailants in Kafr Nobl-Ma'arat No'eman road.
a relevant development on Tuesday, three more senior commanders of Tahrir
al-Sham Hay'at (were killed in attacks by unknown raiders in Idlib and Lattakia
Homam al-Lazeqani, one of the commanders of Tahrir al-Sham, was gunned down by
unidentified assailants in the village of Balyoun in Northern Lattakia.
the meantime, Abu Bakr al-Mesri, another commander of Tahrir al-Sham, was
killed along a road connecting Idlib to Saraqib.
Abu Islam Uzbeki, a commander of military training in Tahrir al-Sham, was
killed after unknown attackers opened fire at him along a road that connects
Darkoush to al-Yaqoubiyeh in Western Idlib.
websites affiliated to the terrorists reported on Wednesday that the five
groups of Syria's Tahrir Front, al-Wieh Saqour al-Sham, Jeish al-Ahrar and
Tajamo Damascus have joined the 'National Liberation Front' which had been
formed nearly two months ago by 11 other militant groups.
new coalition of 75,000 terrorists had been formed in Idlib province in
Northern Syria to fight against the Syrian army.
militant-affiliated website reported on Monday that the terrorist groups in
Idlib and Hama provinces started a new coalition, called Jeish al-Fatah, to
counter the Syrian Army's imminent operation after they came under increasing
pressure by Ankara.
al-Baladi website quoted a well-informed source as disclosing that the
terrorist groups' decision to form a new coalition in Idlib was made under
Ankara's pressure, adding that Turkey had forced the entire terrorist groups,
including Syria's Liberation Front, the National Liberation Front, Tahrir
al-Sham Hay'at and Jeish al-Izzah, in Northern Hama to stand united against the
Damascus government before they are annihilated in the upcoming operation of
the Syrian army.
the meantime, Commander of Syria's Liberation Front Abdul Salam Abdul Razaq
claimed that the coalition members have an endorsed an agreement to specify
their battlefield responsibilities across the region which stretches from the
coastal areas to Northern Aleppo.
Arabic-language website of Sputnik news agency quoted local sources in Idlib
province as saying that a Turkish military convoy, consisting of tens of
trucks, and accompanied by Tahrir al-Sham terrorists, entered Syria through
Kafr Lousin passageway in Northern Idlib and were transferred to the region
under the supervision of Turkey in Jisr al-Shaqour in Western Idlib and
added that 8 trucks carrying plastic barrels containing fluid Chlorine were
unloaded in one of the bases of Turkistani terrorist group in the village of
Halouz in Western Jisr al-Shaqour.
18 other trucks, carrying prefabricated residential boxes, cement walls and
other technical equipment, communication systems and electronic sniper guns,
were transferred to Jabal Ishtabraq region.
sources also said that 3 trucks moved towards Turkey at night under heavy
security measures of Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board or the
Al-Nusra Front), raising the speculations that they had transferred the foreign
terrorist commanders of Tahrir al-Sham to Turkey.
the Turkish forces stopped activities of al-Barqoum checkpoint which was the
biggest Tahrir al-Sham checkpoint in Aleppo-Damascus highway.
sources reported on Wednesday that terrorists had been deeply affected by the
possible consequences of the Syrian army's imminent operation in Idlib, trying
to find safe ways to escape the province.
sources said that the Turkish Army has deployed forces along the border with
Syria as the Damascus forces are preparing for an imminent operation in the
Northwestern part of the country.
sources went on to say that the terrorists are deeply concerned about "the
government forces' upcoming operation and Turkish forces' betrayal", and
are paying a hefty amount of money to leave Idlib for Turkey and European
states before the army starts the operation.
sources said that the army has dispatched several convoys, including a large
number of forces and equipment, to the contact lines with the Ankara-backed
terrorists in Idlib, Hama, Lattakia and Aleppo provinces.
Syrian army troops launched heavy artillery and missile attacks against the positions
and moves of the terrorist groups in the towns of al-Latamineh and Kafr Zita
and the adjacent areas as well as the villages of Hasraya, al-Zakat,
Ma'arkabeh, al-Sayad, Tal al-Sakhar and al-Janaberah in Northern and
Northwestern Hama in response to Jeish al-Izzah terrorists' missile strikes
against Zalin military base in Northwestern Hama.
the operations, several positions of the terrorists were destroyed and a large
number of militants were killed and wounded.
the Syrian army forces intensified missile and artillery attacks against Tahrir
al-Sham and other terrorist groups' positions in Tal Wasit, al-Qarqour,
al-Zayareh, al-Mashik and al-Sarmaniyeh in Western Idlib as well as the
triangle of Western Jisr al-Shaqour-Northeastern Lattakia-Sahl al-Iqab.
sources said that the terrorists have sustained heavy casualties, adding that
the Syrian army attacks came in prepration for their massive military
operations in Idlib province.
a relevant development on Tuesday, three more senior commanders of Tahrir
al-Sham Hay'at were killed in attacks by unknown raiders in Idlib and Lattakia
army units found a large cache of ISIL weapons and ammunition and several
Israeli drones during the purging operations in the Abedin township in Hawz
al-Yarmouk on Thursday.
also discovered a large number of missiles, mortars, anti-tank missiles and a
large amount of ammunition.
the Syrian army troops seized a large number of US-made TOW missile-launchers
and 3 warehouses containing foodstuff and medicine, some of them sent by Saudi
Arabia, in another ISIL hideout in the village of Kouya.
Syrian government troops liberated Hawz Yarmouk region in Southwestern Dara'a
on Wednesday, and purged the Southern part of country of terrorists.
army men stormed ISIL positions and captured the villages of Kouya and Beit
Areh in Hawz Yarmouk.
army soldiers further advanced towards al-Qusayr region, the last ISIL
stronghold and captured it, imposing control over the entire Hawz Yarmouk.
suffered heavy casualties and over 100 terrorists surrendered to the Syrian
Syrian military sources said on Thursday that Israel planned to link regions
between Quneitra and Western Ghouta of Damascus followed by connecting
al-Harmoun mountains to Qalamoun mountains.
also underlined the strategic importance of Quneitra province that borders the
Israeli-occupied territories, and said this region bridges Southern and Western
Damascus in addition to connecting the country's Southern and Central parts
from the borders with occupied Golan to the bordering areas with Lebanon.
Syrian army has returned to the disengagement line which was used for field
coordination between terrorist groups, including the al-Nusra Front (Tahrir
al-Sham Hay'at or the Levant Liberation Board), and Israel that linked its
borders with occupied Golan from Sha'aba region at the Lebanese borders to the
village of Ma'ariyeh in the triangle which borders Syria, Jordan and Golan.
the battles in Southern Syria, specially in the town of Jabata al-Khashab,
which has been cleansed by the army, Israel trafficked a large number of
militants through the occupied Golan borders to Syria to support the terrorist
Syrian government forces managed to capture four more regions in Quneitra on
Wednesday after a sum of 300 terrorists retreated towards Northern Syrian, and
is now only a few inches away from declaring Quneitra a free province.
sum of 300 terrorists withdrew from the town of Jabata al-Khashab and the
nearby villages along with their family members on 6 buses and moved towards
Northern Syria via the Ofaniyeh passageway.
the army entered the towns of Jabata al-Khashab, Toranja, al-Horiyeh and
Ofaniyeh in Northern Quneitra to come in control of 99 percent of the province.
Syrian army's missile and artillery units heavily pounded the terrorists'
positions and moves in Hawir al-Ais and al-Rashideen region in Western Aleppo
in response to the terrorists' missile strikes against the safe regions in 1070
residential area in al-Hamdaniyeh region of Aleppo.
and artillery attacks were also launched against the terrorists' positions in
the towns of Zaitan and Khalseh in Southwestern Aleppo.
sources also reported that a number of terrorists, including one of their
military commanders, namely Younes al-Shabli, was killed in al-Rashideen region
during the Syrian army operations in Western Aleppo.
a relevant development on Monday, the Syrian army's missile and artillery units
opened heavy fire at terrorists' positions in three regions in Western Aleppo,
inflicting major losses on them.
terrorists, deployed in Western Aleppo, launched missile attacks on residential
areas in al-Hamdanieh district and the 3,000-unit Housing Project near Aleppo
city, killing and wounding eight civilians.
Coptic Church said Thursday that it will stop accepting any new monks for a
year after the mysterious death of a Bishop at a monastery northwest of Cairo.
body of Bishop Epiphanius, the 68-year-old abbot of Saint Macarius monastery in
Wadi el-Natrun, was found with head injuries on Sunday in what a security
official said was being investigated as a possible murder.
church announced a dozen measures on Thursday related to monks’ activities
after a meeting called “to discuss monastic order in the light of the painful
incident and martyrdom of Bishop Epiphanius”, a church statement said.
said the number of monks at each monastery would be limited “to ensure monastic
order” and they would be restricted from going outside without the abbot’s
are being warned against making media appearances “in any form” or involvement
in unauthorized financial transactions.
are also being given one month “to deactivate and close any social media pages
or accounts and voluntarily renounce these behaviors that are not true to
did not elaborate on why it decided the measures - which were ratified by
Coptic Pope Tawadros II- were necessary in response to the Bbishop’s death.
Christians make up about 10 percent of Egypt’s predominantly Sunni Muslim
population of 100 million.
air defenses have destroyed a "hostile target" near the capital
Damascus, state media say.
air defenses confronted a hostile target and destroyed it west of
Damascus," Syria's official news agency SANA reported late on Thursday,
quoting a military source.
further details about the incident were immediately available, but Israel has
carried out similar attacks over the past months.
week, Israeli military forces targeted a Syrian Air Force fighter jet over the
Golan Heights as it was flying in Syria’s airspace and conducting a series of
airstrikes against the positions of foreign-sponsored Takfiri militants in the
mid-July, Israel targeted a Syrian military site in the Aleppo countryside in a
missile attack causing structural damage. Earlier that month, the Syrian
military said it had repelled an Israeli attack on Syrian army positions in the
country's Quneitra province near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
on May 10, Israel conducted what it called its most intensive airstrikes on
Syria in decades. According to Russia's Defense Ministry, Israel used 28
warplanes in its airstrikes and fired 70 missiles. Both Damascus and Moscow
said the Syrian army managed to shoot down over half of the missiles.
Tel Aviv regime, at the time, claimed that its assault was in response to a
barrage of 20 rockets fired from Syria at Israeli military outposts in Golan.
has on multiple occasions denounced the Israeli regime’s aggression and warned
about the “dangerous repercussions” of such assaults on its territory.
Aviv is also widely believed to have been providing weapons to anti-Damascus
militants as well as medical treatment to Takfiri elements wounded in Syria
inside the occupied Golan Heights.
minister of military affairs has admitted that the government of President
Bashar al-Assad is regaining control of the Syrian territory and that stability
is returning to the occupied Golan Heights.
situation in Syria is returning to how it was before the conflict began in
2011, Avigdor Lieberman told reporters on Thursday while visiting Israeli
military positions near Tzefat.
our perspective, the situation is returning to how it was before the civil war,
meaning there is a real address, someone responsible, and central rule,"
by its allies, namely Iran and Russia, the Syrian government has stepped up its
gains against foreign-backed Takfiri terrorist groups on several fronts.
is especially concerned about Syria’s advances against militants in the south
near the occupied territories in Golan.
Aviv has recently beefed up its military presence on the occupied side of
Syria’s Golan Heights, deploying more military equipment and forces to the
regime has also increased its aerial assaults against the Syrian army in what
is widely viewed as an attempt to prop up anti-Damascus terrorists.
in his remarks, the Israeli minister of military affairs stressed that the
residents of the occupied Golan should be less wary of a potential flare-up in
is also Assad's interest, because he understands what will happen if it does
not return to the previous situation and I assume that he will make his own
decisions," Lieberman added.
also claimed that Israel does not "interfere or intervene in Syria's
internal affairs," adding, however, "this is provided that all three
points that are important to us are fulfilled."
Israeli minister urged Damascus to observe the 1974 armistice, not allow Iran
to use the Syrian territory as a front against Israel and not become a transit
point for alleged arms deliveries to Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement.
are not looking for friction, but we will know how to respond to any
provocation and any challenge," Lieberman said.
strike kills 7 in Golan
after the remarks, the Israeli military said it had carried out an airstrike on
Syria's Golan Heights, killing seven people.
further claimed that the victims were Daesh elements who sought to attack an
army spokesman, Ronen Manelis, said the victims had come as close to 200 meters
to the border with the occupied lands.
deploys military police to Golan
on Thursday, Russia said it had deployed its military police to the Golan
senior Russian Defense Ministry official told a news briefing in Moscow that
the military police had begun patrolling Golan and planned to set up eight
observation posts in support of UN peacekeeping efforts.
UN peacekeepers accompanied by Russian military police conducted their first
patrols in six years in the separation zone," Sergei Rudskoi said, adding,
"With the aim of preventing possible provocations against UN posts along
the 'Bravo' line, the deployment is planned of eight observation posts of
Russia's armed forces' military police."
however, noted that the Russian presence in Golan was temporary and that the
observation posts would be handed over to Syrian government forces once the
PM cancels Colombia visit
another development on Thursday, an Israeli official, speaking on condition of
anonymity, said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had cancelled a planned trip
to Colombia due to the situation around the Gaza Strip.
was due to travel to the Latin American country on August 6-9.
have been running high near the Gaza fence since March 30, which marked the
start of a series of protests, dubbed “The Great March of Return,” demanding
the right to return for those driven out of their homeland.
least 100 members of the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group have fled from Syria’s
southwestern province of Dara’a toward Jordan’s border areas after losing
ground to advancing Syrian army troops, a monitor says.
so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported the development on
Thursday, adding that the Daesh terrorists had escaped from the Yarmouk Base in
in Dara’a toward the villages of Beit Ara and Koya, located in the vicinity of
report added that the terrorists were using local inhabitants of the rural
areas as human shields against alleged airstrikes by the Syrian military. It
further said that dozens of Daesh terrorists had already surrendered to Syrian
government troops, and some 30 others had been executed by the terror outfit
government has been making swift advances in the southern and southwestern
regions of Syria.
Bashar al-Assad said earlier in the week that final victory over terrorism was
close thanks to the sacrifices of the Syrian Armed Forces.
recent weeks, the Syrian army has been trying to wrest control of the southern
provinces of Dara’a and Quneitra, which border the Israeli-occupied Golan
Heights. Takfiri militants have been handing over their heavy weapons to Syrian
government forces and leaving the region in negotiated surrender deals.
full liberation of both Dara’a and Quneitra by Syrian government forces would
cut the much-reported collaboration between Israel and the anti-Damascus
militants operating in the two regions.
has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The Syrian
government says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies are
aiding Takfiri terrorist groups wreaking havoc in the country.
Iranian pilgrims in Madinah have praised the Saudi government’s efforts to
serve Hajj pilgrims, saying services and facilities are being provided without
pilgrim Hassan Turabi thanked the Kingdom for the warm reception he received
upon his arrival, his speedy entry into the country and journey to his
residence, and the distribution of water, flowers and gifts to all pilgrims.
El-Haki, who is in charge of the pilgrims’ convoy from the Iranian city of
Barzak, said he was welcomed in the Kingdom in the best possible way.
praised the various services, easy procedures and good treatment at the airport
naval forces of the UN-backed unity government have rescued 292 irregular
migrants in the country’s northwestern coast.
to a Wednesday statement by the Navy, the migrants were aboard three rubber
boats off Zawiya shores in northwestern Libya.
migrants, including 42 women and 10 children, were mostly from African
countries and Syria, the statement said.
since the collapse of the central authority in Libya in 2011, the country’s
northwestern coast has become a hub for illegal migration to Italy and other
countries in Europe.
other nearby West African countries like Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, and Mali,
Senegal has so far been spared a major attack by Islamist extremists. But
experts say an unprecedented trial of dozens of Senegalese terror suspects that
concluded two weeks ago in Dakar is a timely wake-up call about a nascent and
verdicts and sentences delivered on 19 July in the cases of 29 Senegalese
citizens accused of planning to establish a terrorist cell in Senegal's
southern Casamance region were far from an unmitigated success for the
key defendant, Alioune Ndao, whom the state wanted to see jailed for 30 years,
received only a one-month suspended sentence for the unlawful possession of
firearms, while 15 of the accused were acquitted for lack of evidence, and
sentences handed down to others were shorter than the prosecutors' recommended
of the accused were given prison sentences ranging from five to 20 years for
crimes that included terrorism financing and criminal conspiracy. Lawyers for
at least one of those convicted have said they will appeal.
think that Senegal is safe from this evil would be a dangerous illusion,"
prosecutor Aly Ciré Ndiaye said when the trial began in earnest in April
(multiple adjournments followed the official start date in December 2017).
"Dangerous because it would make us neglect the colossal efforts needed to
dismantle the scaffolding on which terrorism finds strength."
makes for an attractive target for extremists because of its strong international
connections, with military cooperation agreements in place with the United
States and France, and its sizeable troop contribution to the UN's peacekeeping
mission in Mali, MINUSMA, an intervention opposed by many Senegalese.
the regional hub for numerous international institutions, Senegal is "a
luxury target... like the jackpot for terrorist groups," said Bakary
Sambe, director of the Dakar-based Timbuktu Institute, which tracks violent
in Senegal, which is followed by some 94 percent of the population, is
dominated by a moderate, tolerant form of Sufism headed by powerful
brotherhoods that have long been considered the country's principal defence
change is also occurring. Money is increasingly being pumped in from foreign
states to build mosques and open Koranic schools, or daaras, which teach
alternative interpretations of religious texts - more conservative Salafi and
Wahhabi influences are beginning to take hold.
believes Senegal's school system is its greatest vulnerability. "We are
one of the few countries in the world that does not have a complete hold on our
own educational system," he told IRIN. "There is a formal system
controlled by the secular state and another in which foreign powers such as
Saudi Arabia and Iran interfere."
to the prosecution's case, the Casamance cell would have served as a base from
which to carry out attacks against French targets and the Senegalese state. The
court heard that the accused planned to extend the influence of this new
so-called caliphate into neighbouring countries, including The Gambia, Guinea,
of those in the dock were rounded up in 2015 during a large-scale police
operation against what were perceived to be hate-filled sermons in mosques.
Others were detained while travelling to, or returning from, Nigeria.
is a Salafist imam who until his arrest in 2015 preached at a mosque in the
town of Kaolack, 200 kilometres southeast of Dakar. He was accused of being the
spiritual guide and coordinator of the cell.
of some of the accused outside the Dakar courthouse after the verdicts were
appeared in court in the centre of the line of defendants, dressed in flowing
white robes that matched his white beard. The trial was well attended by his
supporters, and the courtroom erupted when the verdict was read out, with
disciples of Ndao either rising to their feet or throwing themselves on the
floor praising God.
such supporter was Imam Diene, who had travelled 100 kilometres for the
occasion. "He is not a terrorist," he asserted. "There are no
terrorists here in Senegal - there's no proof! Only when you have proof can you
say there are terrorists."
jihadist threat in the region has strengthened following the merger in 2017 of
a handful of groups operating mainly out of northern Mali, including Al-Qaeda
in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), to form Jama'at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin
group's leader, Iyad Ag Ghali, confirmed in April 2017 that Senegal is on its
list of target countries. JNIM has been behind numerous attacks in recent
months, including a twin assault in March on the French embassy and the
national army headquarters in Burkina Faso's capital, Ouagadougou, that killed
eight people and wounded 80.
of the defendants in the Dakar trial were accused of having links with Boko
Haram, including the alleged ringleader, Makhtar Diokhané, who received a
20-year prison sentence for terrorist acts by criminal association. The court
heard how Diokhané spent time with Boko Haram militants in northeastern Nigeria
before being sent back to Senegal with six million naira (around $20,000) to
launch an affiliated cell.
of those convicted last month had travelled abroad to receive training from extremist
groups, including Boko Haram and AQIM, but experts like Sambe warn it would be
a mistake to ignore the rising influence of more conservative strains of Islam
within Senegal itself.
northern town of Saint-Louis, once the colonial capital of French West Africa,
is a prime destination for religious learning.
hosts a large number of renowned Koranic teachers, or marabouts, running daaras
that attract students known as talibés - from boys as young as five to young
men in their twenties - from other parts of Senegal and the wider region.
daaras are unregulated by the state in terms of both their curriculum and
living standards. "Anyone can decide to set up a school and start teaching
the Koran," said Baye Ndaraw Diop, a former director of a child protection
service within Senegal's Ministry of Justice.
of Salafi influence is becoming apparent in some daaras in Saint-Louis,
including one located near the northern tip of the historic island town that is
attended by more than 1,000 talibés. Although not a Salafist himself, the
presiding marabout is known for accepting students regardless of their
religious leaning, so long as they wish to study the Koran.
noticed a change in behaviour among some of the older talibés in this daara,"
said Issa Kouyaté, a campaigner working to improve the rights and living
conditions for talibés. "They dress differently and refuse any kind of
physical contact with women."
accompanied Kouyaté on a visit to the daara. Feet protruded from tarpaulin-roofed
rooms set around an open space where clothes were haphazardly hung out to dry.
In keeping with the living conditions in many of the country's Koranic schools,
the students are housed in derelict buildings and bathe in the dirty river
nearby; diseases such as scabies are commonplace.
dozen young men were gathered under a large tree outside their makeshift
lodging. The tinny sound of recorded Koranic verses played from a mobile phone
as one young man made tea, while another shaved the head of a younger talibé.
The majority wore skull caps and plain tunics with trousers cut shorter than
those customarily worn in Senegal - a sartorial hallmark of the more
conservative forms of Islam.
young men originate mainly from The Gambia and Guinea-Bissau and stick
together. Their common language, Mandingo, is not widely spoken in Saint-Louis.
One stated that their sole motivation is to learn the Koran.
Senegalese government has won praise for its efforts to combat extremism in an
increasingly unstable region. February 2016 saw the launch of the
Inter-Ministerial Counter-Terrorism Intervention and Coordination Framework,
known as the CICO. Chaired by the interior minister, the CICO is defined by the
government as a "coordination and strategic monitoring mechanism in the
fight against terrorism".
CICO relies particularly on intelligence, and is focused on monitoring our
borders," a source in the interior ministry, who requested anonymity, told
IRIN. The ability of the state to effectively monitor jihadist activity using
social media was demonstrated by the arrest of Momodou Ndiaye, an accomplice of
Diokhané's, after the Department of Investigations tracked interactions via a
believe the state's efforts are superficial, others that they go too far.
"Senegal wanted to show the world and its donors that it was committed to
the fight against terrorism," said defence lawyer Assane Dioma Ndiaye on
the conclusion of the trial. But, he continued, "there has been an
exaggeration. It may be that some people in Senegal were tempted to respond to
the call of terrorism. But the legal response was disproportionate."
Sambe, however, the Senegalese government is falling short and needs to put
forward some pre-emptive policies to tackle violent extremism.
we need now is an inclusive prevention strategy involving religious leaders,
civil society, and the educational world," he said.
the 2016 edition of the Dakar International Forum on Peace and Security in
Africa, President Macky Sall appealed for a "doctrinal response" to
jihadist propaganda, a vague-sounding call for a coordinated response that goes
beyond simply military action.
while Senegal is a secular state, politicians are heavily dependent on
religious leaders at election time for securing votes.
helps to explain why religious institutions and the extensive daara system are
largely unregulated, and the growth of foreign ideologies - whether benign or
otherwise - is left unchecked. "There is complicity between the religious
power and the political power," said Diop, the former justice ministry
official. Another shortcoming in Senegal's response may be a general
unwillingness to acknowledge the problem. The jihadist threat is not a common
topic of discussion, and few Senegalese journalists cover the issue.
the campaigner, is frustrated by this national complacency. "We need to
de-taboo what is taboo," he said. "It is obviously better to pre-empt
than to heal, but here in Senegal the medicine only comes after death."
will reopen its border with Syria only when it is ready, Foreign Minister Ayman
Safadi said on Thursday, in a signal that Amman could delay a decision that
would boost President Bashar al Assad.
of dollars in annual trade with Europe and the Gulf moved through the
Syrian-Jordanian Nassib crossing until fighting erupted in 2011. It was
captured by rebels in 2015 and its closure hurt the economy of Syria and
said this week the road was ready for use but Safadi said he had received no
request to reopen it.
will deal with the request with all positiveness that serves our interests,” he
told a news conference with visiting French Foreign Minster Jean-Yves Le Drian.
“Matters have to stabilize,” he said.
said he discussed reopening the crossing with Moscow.
crossing’s recapture by Syrian forces was a central goal of a campaign launched
last June by the government and Russian forces to regain control of rebel-held
parts of the southwest.
in principle wants open borders with all its neighbors.. But when and how
(Nassib opening) this will depend on when we ensure our interests and our
security,” he added.
say Amman now wants Russian guarantees to help restore stability in the
sensitive southern border area where officials say a spillover of violence and
radicalism poses a threat.
An armed group robbed a Tunisian bank in the town of Kasserine near the
Algerian border on Wednesday in an attack with a “terrorist background,” a
Tunisian security official said.
men, some armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles, had hijacked a car and four
then stormed the bank and seized an unknown amount of cash, the official said.
They later escaped. The security official had no further details.
has been on high security alert since 2015 when Daesh gunmen killed dozens of
tourists in a museum in the capital and on a beach in the resort city of
then security has much improved with only sporadic smaller attacks, allowing
the vital tourism industry to recover as foreigners have returned to Tunisia’s
Mediterranean beaches. Authorities say more than 3,000 Tunisians have left to
fight for extremist groups in Syria, Iraq and Libya.
president of the Comoro Islands, Azali Assoumani, has won a mandate to simplify
the political system in the Indian Ocean archipelago -- and expand his own
yes vote in a referendum on changing the constitution was 92.74 percent, with a
voter turnout of 63,9 percent, the head of the Election Commission said.
to observers, however, many polling stations were empty on Monday.
opposition had called on the inhabitants of the islands off East Africa to
boycott the poll. It accused President Azali of wanting to cement his power. The
current constitution makes provision for a rotation of the presidency every
five years between inhabitants of the three main islands of Grand Comore,
Anjouan and Moheli.
who is from Grand Comore, wants to change that: in future, the head of state -
regardless of his origin - will have the right to two five-year terms. Instead
of leaving office in 2021, Azali could now stay in office for 10 more years.
president had convened a national conference which recommended the
constitutional reform. The referendum would ensure better development in the
Comoros, he said in his campaign.
argued that the existing political system hinders long-term planning. The
opposition, however, sees the plebiscite as a bid by the president to expand
his powers since the amendment to the constitution would make it possible to
scrap the posts of vice presidents and governors on the three main islands.
the view of the opposition, the referendum was unlawful. But there was no
resistance from the judiciary to be expected. In April, Azali suspended the
constitutional court, saying it was incompetent. A month later, the president
banned demonstrations, prompting critics to accuse him of an increasingly
authoritarian leadership style.
Islam as official religion
anthropologist and Comoros expert Iain Walker of the Martin Luther University
Halle-Wittenberg in Germany sees the referendum as ambivalent. The political
system in the Comoros is certainly complicated, and considering the low
population of some 800,000, bloated. Azali could perhaps indeed be seeking to
combine sensible reform with measures to hold on to power.
the constitutional amendments will not only do away with federalism on the
Comoros. The clause on the separation of religion and state would also
disappear and be replaced with new wording: "Islam is the state
religion" and "the state draws from this religion the principles and
rules linked to adherence to to Sunniism."
percent of Comorians are Muslim and the government has been strongly Islamic
since independence from colonial ruler France in 1975. The explicit reference
to Sunni Islam is new though, according to Walker, who sees it as a possible
attack on Azali's rival Ahmed Abdallah Sambi.
a native of Anjouan, the second biggest island, was Comoros president from 2006
to 2011. On the basis of the rotational presidency, he would have had the best
prospects to succeed Azali. Even though Sambi is Sunni, he is believed to have
close ties to Shiite-majority Iran. By contrast, Azali is seeking closer
political ties to Sunni Saudi Arabia, an enemy of Iran but a financial backer
of the Comoros. Expert Walker said it was due to Saudi pressure that Iran's
embassy on the Comoros was closed several years ago. In May, Sambi was placed
under house arrest.
test of island unity
is not only the outcome of the referendum, but also voter turnout that plays a
role, said Walker. If the president were to go ahead with the constitutional
amendments despite strong resistance, the stability of the government would be
in danger, he told DW.
Comoros has been the scene of 20 coups, four or them successful, since
independence. Azali himself came to power for the first time in a military coup
in 1999. His leadership was endorsed in elections three years later and in 2006
he handed power to Sambi, in keeping with the constitution. Two years later,
Azali returned to power following a disputed election.
Mass. (AP) — Muslim activists are condemning anonymous mailers targeting a
Muslim-American congressional candidate in Massachusetts.
Council on American-Islamic Relations' Massachusetts chapter says the
illustrated mailers attempt to "stoke fears" of Muslims.
criticize attorney Tahirah Amatul-Wadud for serving on CAIR-Massachusetts'
board of directors and as general counsel for The Muslims of America.
two organizations are frequent targets for right-wing groups.
Muslims of America operates Muslim enclaves like Islamberg in New York. CAIR is
often tied to fundamentalist groups like Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood,
which it denies.
is challenging U.S. Rep. Richard Neal in the Sept. 4 Democratic primary.
says the mailers were sent to homes around Westfield following one of
Amatul-Wadud's campaign events.
organization says anyone with information should contact police or the local
Turkey was on Thursday drawing up retaliatory measures after Washington
slapped sanctions on two Turkish ministers in the one of the biggest crises
between the two NATO allies in recent years.
have soared over Turkey's detention on terror charges of American pastor Andrew
Brunson, who was first held in October 2016 and was moved to house arrest last
sanctions targeting Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul and Interior Minister
Suleyman Soylu freeze any property or assets on US soil held by the two
ministers, and bar US citizens from doing business with them.
House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told journalists both ministers had
"played leading roles in the arrest and detention of Pastor Brunson",
who led a Protestant church in the Aegean city of Izmir.
US Treasury implemented the sanctions under the 2016 Global Magnitsky Act named
after Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who died in a Moscow jail, and which
allows the US to sanction foreign officials implicated in rights abuses.
Turkish foreign ministry warned that the move "will greatly damage
constructive efforts" to solve outstanding issues and told Washington it
would retaliate. "Without delay, there will be a response to this
aggressive attitude that will not serve any purpose," it said.
Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, who is set to meet US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
in the next few days, also warned that the move "will not go without
before the sanctions were announced, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused
Washington of showing an "evangelist, Zionist mentality".
standoff appears to be one of the most serious crises between Turkey and the
United States in modern history, along with the rows over the 1974 Turkish
invasion of Cyprus and the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq.
scandalous decision from Washington," said the headline in the
pro-government Hurriyet daily. "A historic rupture," added the
a rare show of unity by Turkey's parliament, two opposition parties joined
Erdogan's ruling party and its main ally by agreeing a joint statement opposing
row over Brunson escalated last week when US Vice President Mike Pence, like
the pastor an evangelical Christian, said Turkey would face "significant
sanctions" if this "innocent man of faith" was not freed.
language was immediately echoed by President Donald Trump, who had enjoyed a
relatively warm relationship with Erdogan and was even reported to have
"fist-bumped" the Turkish president at a NATO summit last month.
media reported there had been a deal with Turkey to free Brunson after
Washington's ally Israel released a Turkish woman held on terror charges. But
Turkish officials have rubbished the claims.
senior US general in Europe, Curtis Scaparrotti, was on Thursday holding talks
with Turkish military officials in Ankara but there was no indication the
Brunson case would be raised.
court trying Brunson has repeatedly refused to allow him to go free. The next
hearing is October 12 with the pastor facing 35 years in jail if convicted.
is accused of acting on behalf of two groups deemed by Turkey to be terrorist
organisations - the movement led by US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen
who Ankara says was behind the 2016 coup bid and the outlawed Kurdistan
Workers' Party (PKK). The row over Brunson is just one of a number of disputes
which have buried any hope of a warming of ties under the Trump presidency.
and Washington are at odds over American support for a Kurdish militia in Syria
and the United States is extremely wary over Turkey's growing cooperation with
Russia and its deal to buy Russian air defence systems. Two Turkish employees
of US consulates in Turkey are also currently in jail on terror charges and
another is under house arrest, while several Americans have been caught up in
the crackdown that followed the failed coup.
is meanwhile furious the United States has failed to extradite Gulen, who lives
in rural Pennsylvania, to face trial over the coup bid.
tweeted that the only thing Turkey wanted in the United States was Gulen's
group, vowing "we won't leave that there, we will get it!"
dismissed the sanctions, saying: "I have neither a tree planted nor one
penny in the US or any other country outside of Turkey."
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