years ago US took note of JeM's major terror training camp in Balakot
Camp Targeted By India Had Produced 42 Highly-Trained Terrorists: Sources
Years Ago, US Took Note Of JeM’s Major Terror Training Camp In Balakot
League Hails Indian Air Force Air Strikes on Jaish-e- Terror Camp
Asks Pakistan to Take 'Meaningful Action' Against Terrorist Groups
Prompts Indonesia's Indonesian Ulema Council to Train Preachers
Base in Western Iraq Protecting Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi
Minister, Settlers Storm Al-Aqsa Mosque in Occupied Al-Quds
City Council, UK, Adopts All-Party Definition of “Islamophobia”
near Balakot Say Nobody Killed or Injured by Indian Aircraft
Buhari Wins Second Term As President
Dispute Case: Nyas, Muslim Litigant against Supreme Court’s Mediation Call
expresses reservation about Islamic meet invitation to India
strike was against terror camp, don’t wish to see escalation: Sushma Swaraj in
man detained for allegedly trying to enter Israeli embassy in Delhi
At Loc, Army Says Pakistan Using Civilians As Human Shields
Jaish-e-Mohammed Terrorists Killed In Encounter in Jammu And Kashmir’s Shopian
Azhar, IC-814 hijacker, was key target of the Balakot air strike
2000 ‘natural choice’ for air strikes at Jaish camp across LoC
troops shell Indian posts in Jammu and Kashmir's Uri sector
Taliban talk troop withdrawal, counter-terrorism at peace talks
Senate bill to force Trump to issue public report on Khashoggi killing
pledges CAN$46.7 million in Yemeni relief
Lodges Police Report Over Alleged Insult of Prophet Muhammad
fighters take control of Philippines Muslim region
Pakatan always strives to protect privileges and rights of Malays, Islam
Proposed amendments to Penal Code to address religious insults
Arabia, UAE and Kuwait pledge $1.25bn to Yemen aid effort
strikes up sharply in rebel-held northwest Syria - monitors
tells EU it will encourage Syrians to return
UNSC members waging economic terrorism against Damascus: Syria UN envoy
more leave Syria Daesh holdout: AFP reporter
Iraqi Official: No Normalization of Ties with Israel without Palestinian State
Ex-Minister Sentenced To 11 Years for Spying For Iran
blasts EU for attending Egypt summit despite executions
4 injured during Gaza night protests
80,000 kids under the age of five have died of starvation in Yemen, UN chief
permanently bans top UK Islamophobe
foils Daesh plots to attack intelligence officers, civilians in Moscow:
has ‘new understanding’ of Middle East, says Arab League spokesman
Muslim “Advisor on Countering Extremism” Says ISIS Bride Must Be Let Back In
Summit wraps up without condemning Iran
terrorist jailed after botched bid to join ISIS
parliament warned Yemen is testbed for Iranian weapons
Minister’s Letter to UN Secretary General on India’s Act of Aggression
Circulated in UNSC
condemns Indian incursion against Pakistan, urges both sides to exercise
calls for early joint session of parliament over LoC violation
claims civilian deaths in Indian cross-LoC firing
bombing Balakot, India has struck ideological heart of Pak-based terror
shoots down 2 Indian warplanes, Taliban call for end to tensions
Airstrike Kills 20 Al-Shabaab Militants In Somalia
Sharara field still closed for security reasons
Official Vows to Help Fight Drug Abuse in Sri Lanka
Taliban talk troop withdrawal at peace talks
peace process at stake due to Indian aggression, US told
pledges $32.5M for Rohingya in Bangladesh
militants suffer casualties in airstrikes, clashes in North of Afghanistan
suicide bombers including a Pakistani national arrested before reaching Kabul
Special Forces conduct raid against Taliban drugs stockpile in Helmand
forces conduct 81 planned, Special Operations and 15 airstrikes: MoD
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Delhi: The Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) camp in Balakot area of Pakistan, which was
targeted by the Indian Air Force, had produced at least 42 highly-trained
terrorists, according to top sources here.
terrorists were from various parts of Pakistan, including Bahawalpur,
Rawalpindi, Attock, Sahiwal, Rajanpur, Muzaffarnagar, Faisalabad, Gujrat, and
Mianwali districts, the sources said.
2000 fighter jets carried out deep penetration attack on the terror camp of the
JeM, 12 days after the terror outfit attacked a CRPF convoy in Pulwama district
of Kashmir, killing 30 personnel.
massive terror camp was located in a thick forest atop a hill, Foreign
Secretary Vijay Gokhale told the media earlier in the day.
terror camp was led by Azhar Yusuf alias Ustad Gauri, brother-in-law of JeM
chief Masood Azhar, Gokhale said.
said the “pre-emptive” strike by India had become absolutely necessary as there
was credible information that JeM, which recently carried out a terror attack
in Pulwama, was planning further attacks in this country.
years ago, US took note of JeM’s major terror training camp in Balakot
years ago, the major terrorist training camp of the Jaish-e-Mohammed in Balakot
in Pakistan found a mention in a purported secret US Defence Department file
leaked by WikiLeaks.
memorandum talks about a Pakistani national Hafez K Rahman, a Guantanamo
detainee, who was 20 years old and born in Gujrar, Pakistan, who turned out to
be a jehadi.
January 31, 2004 document, signed by Major General Geoffery Miller of the US
Army says Rahman received training in Balakot, Pakistan, a location known to
house a “training camp that offers both basic and advanced terrorist training
on explosives and artillery”.
says Rahman has admitted to volunteering to fight jihad against the US and its
allies, remaining after the events of September 1lth to continue to fight, and
receiving training from the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).
JEM espouses Jihad against the US and is directly supported by Al-Qaida, Gen.
says Rahman was influenced by extremist Mullahs in Pakistan and decided he
would go to Jihad in support of the Taliban. “Detainee traveled to Zahir,
Pakistan, and attended a training camp run by the JeM,” he wrote. Miller also
described JeM as a Tier 1 terrorist group, especially those with state support,
that have demonstrated the intention and the capability to attack US persons or
completing basic training, Rahmand travelled along with a larger group of JeM
fighters to the area around Konduz, Afghanistan. He was captured by the
Northern Alliance and turned over to US forces.
was subsequently transported to Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba, on February 7,
2002 because of his knowledge of the Moaskar training camp in Balakot,
Pakistan, and his affiliation with the Taliban as a foreign fighter, the US
Defence Department memorandum says.
of sensitive diplomatic cables, especially those of the US State Department and
Department of Defence, were published by the secretive site WikiLeaks, which
has established a reputation for publishing sensitive material from governments
and other high-profile organisations.
founder Julian Assange, an Australian national, took asylum in the embassy of
Ecuador in the UK in 2012. The US government has sought his extradition from
the UK for publishing US diplomatic and military secrets.
the Indian Air Force (IAF) air strikes on Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terror camp in
Balakot, Pakistan, the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) State general
secretary K.P. A. Majeed has said that the public should stand united with the
Army against going after the mastermind in the Pulwama attack in Kashmir.
a statement issued here on Tuesday, Mr. Majeed said that the terrorists who
carried out the attack on the Indian soil should be dealt with in Pakistan
itself. Pakistan would have to pay a heavy price if the did not stop
supporting, aiding and harbouring terrorists, he said.
said that India was home to 15 crore Muslims and they would not tolerate
Pakistan using Islam to perpetrate violence.
Majeed also exhorted the public to be vigillant against the Narendra Modi
government using the IAF air strikes for political gains.
asks Pakistan to take 'meaningful action' against terrorist groups
The US on Wednesday firmly asked Pakistan to take "meaningful action"
against terrorist groups operating on its soil and underscored the importance
of avoiding escalation at any cost after India targeted terrorist camp in
Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were killed in a suicide attack
by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama
district on February 14, sparking outrage in the country.
the incident, India on Tuesday bombed and destroyed JeM's biggest training camp
in Balakot in Pakistan's restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, about 80-km from
the Line of Control (LoC) early Tuesday, killing a "very large
number" of terrorists, trainers and senior commanders.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a phone call with the Pakistan Foreign
Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi also called for avoiding military action.
a separate call with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Pompeo emphasized
the close security partnership between the US and India and shared goal of
maintaining peace and security in the region.
is currently in Vietnam to attend the second summit between President Donald
Trump and the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on the denuclearsation of the
Indian counter-terrorism actions on February 26, I spoke with Indian Minister
of External Affairs Swaraj to emphasize our close security partnership and
shared goal of maintaining peace and security in the region," Pompeo said
in a statement.
also spoke to Pakistani Foreign Minister Qureshi to underscore the priority of
de-escalating current tensions by avoiding military action, and the urgency of
Pakistan taking meaningful action against terrorist groups operating on its
soil," Pompeo said.
expressed to both Ministers that we encourage India and Pakistan to exercise
restraint, and avoid escalation at any cost. I also encouraged both ministers
to prioritise direct communication and avoid further military activity,"
said the Secretary of State.
week, US National Security Adviser John Bolton told his Indian counterpart Ajit
Doval that America supports India's right to self-defence as both sides vowed
to work together to ensure that Pakistan ceases to be a safe heaven for JeM and
other terror groups.
Prompts Indonesia's Indonesian Ulema Council To Train Preachers
(THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - In an attempt to curb the spread of
radicalism through sermons at mosques, the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) will
provide preachers with training on moderation and nationalist Islam.
the end of the training programme, participants will be tested and receive
head of Islamic preaching Muhammad Cholil Nafis explained that the training
programme would be held periodically, with the first to be held next month at
Pondok Gede Haj Dormitory in East Jakarta.
least 108 participants from various Islamic organisations and the 34 provinces
across the country will take part in the one-week training programme.
aim to train and certify 550 preachers this year through five batches," Mr
further said the MUI was concerned about the rising phenomenon of preachers
using sermons to spread radicalism, which is indicated by hate speech towards
religious minority groups and support for the notion of an Islamic state.
2017 study found that 41 of the 100 mosques in ministerial offices, state
agencies and state-owned corporation complexes in Jakarta had radical teachings
espoused during Friday prayers. Of the 41 mosques, 21 were at state-owned
company buildings, eight at state agencies and 12 at ministry buildings.
study was conducted by the Association for Pesantren and Community Development,
in cooperation with non-governmental organisation (NGO) Rumah Kebangsaan from
Sept 29 to Oct 21, 2017, by analysing 274 video and 357 audio recordings taken
by volunteers. The MUI proposed that mosques managed by the government and
state-owned institutions start an initiative to only invite certified preachers
to give sermons.
are working through it. Hopefully, all of the required documents and
regulations can be completed by the end of 2019," said Mr Cholil.
in March, the MUI will sign a memorandum of understanding with the Religious
Affairs Ministry and the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission to regulate that
only recommended preachers from the MUI are allowed to give sermons on air.
Muslim preacher based in South Tangerang in Banten, Mr Nanang Mubarok,
expressed appreciation for the MUI's intention to certify preachers so that
sermons could be conveyed by trusted and competent preachers, not just anyone
with knowledge about Islam.
cited that several countries with large Muslim populations including Saudi
Arabia, Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam had implemented such regulations.
Nanang, however, warned of a potentially divided society if the plan was not
well-disseminated to the public.
preachers' lack of knowledge about the training and certification programme,
some would fail to seek certification. There would thus be certified preachers
and uncertified preachers in society.
does not mean that uncertified ones are less religiously knowledgeable. They
are just uninformed," Mr Nanang said.
let the preachers be divided, which would lead to a divided society," he
Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin said in 2017 that the government wanted
to ensure that preachers giving Friday sermons were competent and stuck to
their roles as clerics.
ministry would cooperate with Islamic organisations to "standardise"
preachers to ensure they have a full understanding about spreading positive
messages during Friday prayers, he added.
Lukman argued that the government did not mean to intervene but it would be up
to Islamic organisations to decide whether standardisation, including
certification and more comprehensive training, development, coaching and
supervision for preachers, needed to be implemented.
plan has received mixed reactions.
the second largest Islamic organisation, is sceptical about it, saying the
government should not single out Islam as radical teachings.
the country's largest Islamic organisation, welcomed the proposal, highlighting
the importance of preachers spreading peaceful Islamic values and encouraging
Muslims to be kind and tolerant in a pluralist country.
practising Muslims have complained about the content of Friday sermons and are
now looking for mosques with preachers who refrain from talking politics and
Salem, the representative of al-Fatah coalition in the Iraqi parliament, was
quoted by the Arabic-language al-Ma'aloumeh news website as saying on Monday
that al-Baghdadi is being supported by the US forces in the Western desert of
added that Ein al-Assad base provides logistical support for al-Baghdadi,
noting that he is freely trafficking between Iraq and Syria with their backing.
also said that the US forces have trained and equipped over 3,000 ISIL
terrorists in Wadi al-Houran region with the aim of fomenting insecurity and
revival of the ISIL in Iraq and sent them to Nineveh, al-Anbar and Saladin
added that the US support for al-Baghdadi and other terrorists in Iraq comes as
the Iraqi parliament plans to approve a bill to expel all foreign forces from
reports said on Sunday that al-Baghdadi had entered Western Iraq to reorganize
the terrorist group there amid contradictory reports on his fate.
accompanied by a number of his senior commanders, arrived in al-Hasiniat region
in Al-Anbar desert, the Arabic-language Baghdad al-Youm news website quoted an
intel source as saying.
source noted that al-Baghdadi was trying to reorganize the ISIL terrorist group
by utilizing al-Anbar desert and turning it into ISIL's new base.
strategic expert Hesham al-Hashemi told Baghdad al-Youm that al-Baghdadi is in
a region in Raveh Island or West of al-Sarsar in al-Anbar province.
minister, settlers storm al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied al-Quds
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Uri Ariel has stormed the al-Aqsa
Mosque compound in the occupied Old City of East Jerusalem al-Quds together
with a group of extremist settlers amid an escalation of acts of violence by
Israeli forces and settlers against the Palestinian people.
al-Dibs, spokesperson of the Islamic Waqf (Endowment) organization, which
manages the compound’s affairs, said the 66-year-old right-wing politician and
a number of settlers forced their way into the holy site through the Moroccan
Gate under tight protection of several groups of Israeli soldiers and special
pointed out that Ariel took footage of the al-Rahma Gate (Gate of Mercy) prayer
area that was opened recently.
area of the al-Rahma Gate was closed on Monday evening upon an order by Israeli
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and reopened the following day.
had closed the gate that leads to the prayer space in al-Aqsa Mosque since 2003
in the face of the Second Intifada (uprising) against the regime’s occupation.
Friday, however, the Waqf council decided to re-open the prayer space at the
Bab al-Rahma Gate in defiance of Israel’s 16-year-old ban. Hundreds of
worshipers, led by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem al-Quds Sheikh Mohammad
Hussein, entered the area for the first time since 2003 for Friday prayers.
by the move, the Tel Aviv regime launched an arrest campaign against
arrests drew criticisms from Palestinians and Jordan, which is the custodian of
the holy sites in occupied Jerusalem al-Quds.
Islamic Waqf organizations and Palestinian institutions have insisted on
keeping the Bab al-Rahma prayer area open for Muslim worship.
have repeatedly warned of Israeli attempts to change the status quo of the al-Aqsa
compound, the third holiest site in Islam.
occupied Palestinian territories have witnessed new tensions ever since US
President Donald Trump announced his decision on December 6, 2017 to recognize
Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s capital and relocate the US embassy in Israel
from Tel Aviv to the occupied city.
December 21, 2017, the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly voted in
favor of a resolution that calls on the US to withdraw its controversial
recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israeli “capital.”
an attempt to prevent the passing of the resolution, Trump threatened reprisals
against countries that backed the measure, which had earlier faced a US veto at
the UN Security Council.
however, rejected the world body’s resolution while thanking Trump for his
decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem al-Quds.
City Council, UK, adopts all-party definition of “Islamophobia”
28 January Oxford City Council voted unanimously on a motion to adopt the APPG
(All-Party Parliamentary Group) definition of Islamophobia that states:
is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of
Muslimness or perceived Muslimness."
is the third council in the UK to adopt the APPG definition which includes
vague and ambiguous criteria such as, "Accusing Muslims as a group of
being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Muslim
person or group of Muslim individuals, or even for acts committed by
2017, Barnabas Fund published a statement recommending the use of the word
“Muslimophobia” when condemning a fear and hatred of Muslim people. In the
statement we said that the word “Islamophobia” should be used only to mean fear
and hatred of the religious ideology Islam. Our statement also highlighted that
it is a cause of much confusion that “Islamophobia” is commonly used to include
fear and hatred of Muslim people as well.
restate our view that Religion/ideology/worldview or any other set of beliefs
are separate from the human beings who hold those beliefs. People (e.g.
Muslims, Christians) should always be protected; ideas and ideologies (e.g.
Islam, Christianity) should not be. It should always be possible to critique
and criticise ideas, even though this may hurt people’s feelings. But any other
kind of hurt to people because of what they believe should never be tolerated.
near Balakot say nobody killed or injured by Indian aircraft
Villagers in Jabba were woken up by successive explosions in the early hours of
Tuesday morning when Indian aircraft reportedly dropped bombs on a hill
overlooking their small hamlet, thirty kilometres to the north-east of Balakot
city that was devastated by a huge earthquake in 2005.
were woken up by five big explosions,” said a local resident, followed by
sounds of the aircraft in the distance, he added. The bombs hit downward slopes
of the hill dotted with green fields and surrounded by pine trees, creating a
big crater, he said.
described what happened during a visit to Jabba in Balakot tehsil of Khyber
the first explosion I ran out of the room to ascertain as to what had happened.
I saw a beam of light and rushed back to my room when my mother called out to
me. I heard three other big bangs in succession. It was a horrible sound, I
cannot explain to you,” said Mohammad Zakir.
nearly 10-foot-deep depression appeared in front of his house without damaging
Shafqat Awais, 28, said initially he thought an earthquake had struck them,
reminiscent of the 2005 one that had laid waste to Balakot and Muzaffarabad.
loud bangs literally shook our houses and then there were sounds of the
aircraft. I visited the site at about 10am and saw four craters at two
different places,” he said showing visuals of the craters he had captured from
visuals showed crust of greyish gravel and some fallen pine trees in and around
fragments, trees on fire
other villagers also shared their eyewitness account of the area. Some had
brought the fragments of the ammunition.
saw trees on fire. “There are just some burnt trees and nothing else,” said
Zahid Hussain Shah. “Some trees appeared to be on fire,” another witness said.
locals from the village, known for sheep breeding traditions, said they saw
Pakistan Airforce jets hovering overhead.
the area of the air strike stood a single-storey mud house and no other
structure nearby, lending credence to view that the Indian planes “dropped
their payload” while escaping.
area was later cordoned off by the military to check for any unexploded
lone injury case reported was that of a 60-something Nooran Shah, whose nearby
mud house door was ripped from a wall by the impact of the explosion which hit
him in the head. He was discharged from a local hospital after first aid was
administered to him.
residents said they did not see any ambulances or any evacuation soon after the
bombing that could lend credence to India’s claim of having targeted a militant
training camp or killing several hundred of them.
has been no such activity here, no camp, no militant, nothing,” said Shaukat
Qureshi, a local resident. “This is total rubbish,” he added.
Mohammad Javed Tanoli, Medical Superintendent of the King Shah Abdullah
Teaching Hospital, the only tertiary care hospital in the district, said no
casualty was brought from the scene of the bombing, except for the lone wounded
would have been chaos here, had there been casualties of the scale the Indians
are claiming,” Dr Tanoli said. “This is like any other day, routine work and
nothing else. No wounded person from the strike area was brought here and the
government did not issue any [emergency] alert,” the medical superintendent
cab driver, Mohammad Jibran, who regularly takes passengers to Balakot city and
the district headquarters, said he returned to his work on Tuesday morning and
found no unusual activity, except that local residents spoke of an early
morning air strike on the hill.
traffic on Mansehra-Naran-Jalkhad road which passes through Jabba remained
normal and the local bazaar with nearly 50 shops was also busy and bustling.
Safeer, a hotelier along this road, said his eatery remained open from Fajr
till midnight. “I did not see a single ambulance running through this road. If
any deaths had occurred here, as claimed by the Indian government, they would
have been evacuated through the same route,” he said.
Buhari wins second term as president
President Muhammadu Buhari won a second term at the helm of Africa's largest
economy and top oil producer, a tally by Reuters based on electoral commission
won by 56 percent compared with 41 percent for the other candidate, businessman
and former vice president Atiku Abubakar of the People's Democratic Party.
president won by 3.9 million votes, having garnered 15.2 million to Atiku's
11.3 million. The turnout, based on valid votes, was 33.2 percent. In the 2015
presidential election, turnout was 44 percent.
Shehu, Buhari's spokesman, said the president's office would have no comment
until the electoral commission announces the winner.
of the All Progressive Congress party proved wrong those who doubted he could
survive the blows of recession, militant attacks on oilfields, and Islamist
insurgency that blighted his first term.
faces a daunting to-do list, including reviving an economy still struggling to
recover from a 2016 recession and quelling a decade-old Islamist insurgency
that has killed thousands of people in the northeast, many of them civilians.
dispute case: Nyas, Muslim litigant against Supreme Court’s mediation call
the Supreme Court on Tuesday suggested a resolution of the Ram
Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute through mediation, the Ram Janmabhoomi
Nyas (RJN) and Muslim litigant Iqbal Ansari in the case opposed the proposal,
saying such efforts have failed in the past.
Supreme Court also fixed next Tuesday as the date for passing its order on
whether to appoint a mediator and gave eight weeks’ time for verification of
the translation of the documents, translations and records in the case.
if there is 1% chance for mediation between the parties (Hindus-Muslims) we
should give it an opportunity,” justice SA Bobde, one of the five judges
comprising the Constitution Bench hearing the title suit, said.
Nritya Gopal Das, head of the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas which has been spearheading
the Ram Mandir movement across the country, said all forms of mediation on the
issue have “failed to deliver results in the past.”
will simply kill time and delay any verdict on the title dispute. After waiting
patiently for such a long duration for judgment on the Ram Janmabhoomi issue,
we do not want mediation anymore,” Das said.
Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) was also against any form of mediation.
the court case has reached its last phase (in the Supreme Court) appointing a
mediator will further delay the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya,”
said VHP’s regional spokesperson Sharad Sharma.
Muslim litigant in the case Iqbal Ansari also came out strongly against the
Supreme Court’s suggestion for a mediator.
father late Hashim Ansari (the original litigant in the Ayodhya dispute) tried
to have out of court settlement on many occasions but all efforts failed,” he
both Hindu and Muslim litigants have agreed to abide by the court’s order, why
this new mediation process? All forms of mediation have failed,” Ansari
five-judge bench was reconstituted after justice UU Lalit, on January 10,
recused himself from hearing the matter after it was pointed out to him that he
has in the past appeared in a contempt case related to the title suit. Justice
NV Ramana was also replaced on the bench.
Bhushan and justice Nazeer, who came in instead of justice Lalit and justice
Ramana, were part of a bench headed by the then Chief Justice of India Dipak
Misra which last year declined to refer an old judgment about whether a mosque
is integral to Islam or not, to a larger bench.
top court had on January 27 cancelled a scheduled January 29 hearing because
justice Bobde was not available that day.
appeals have been filed in the top court against a 2010 Allahabad High Court
judgment, delivered in four civil suits, that the 2.77-acre disputed land in
Ayodhya be partitioned equally between three parties — the Sunni Waqf Board,
the Nirmohi Akhada and Ram Lalla, the child deity.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Tuesday that he has spoken to his
UAE counterpart and "expressed reservations" about invitation to
India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to attend the OIC meeting
scheduled later this week.
a strategically significant development, India has been invited to the
inaugural plenary of the foreign ministers' conclave of the Organisation of
Islamic Cooperation (OIC), a powerful grouping of Muslim majority nations, in
Abu Dhabi from March 1 to 2. Swaraj will attend the meeting as the 'guest of
a press conference here after a special meeting of the National Security
Committee (NSC) in the wake of India's air strikes inside Pakistan early
Tuesday, Qureshi said the situation has changed now.
has been done against a founding member of the OIC," he said, referring to
the Indian attack that destroyed Jaish-e-Mohammed's biggest training camp in
Balakot in Pakistan's restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, killing a "very
large number" of terrorists, trainers and commanders.
air strikes came 12 days after the JeM carried out the Pulwama terror attack in
Jammu and Kashmir that killed 40 CRPF soldiers.
said that he has spoken to the foreign minister of the UAE and expressed
Pakistan's reservations for inviting the Indian foreign minister as chief of
guest in the OIC meeting.
the situation following the Indian air strikes as "serious", Qureshi
said that Prime Minister Imran Khan also had telephonic conversations with UAE
Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan as well as Saudi Crown Prince
Mohammad bin Salman over the development.
OIC is a grouping of 57 countries, majority of which are Muslim majority. It
has usually been supportive of Pakistan and, often sided with Islamabad on the
the request of Pakistan, the OIC summoned an emergency meeting of its Kashmir
Contact Group at its General Secretariat in Riyadh on Tuesday.
Contact Group expressed deep concern over the heightened tension and called for
immediate de-escalation in the region, the Foreign Office said.
a tweet, the OIC "condemned" India's "action against an OIC
founding member state."
Sowmiya Ashok | Beijing |
day after India conducted air strikes in Pakistan’s Balakot, External Affairs
Minister Sushma Swaraj Wednesday said the objective was to act against a terror
camp and that India doesn’t wish to see a “further escalation.” Addressing
Foreign Ministers of China and Russia at the Russia-India-China (RIC)
Trilateral meeting in Wuzhen, she said, that “India will continue to act with
responsibility and restrain.”
comments come a day after the Indian airforce carried out a strike in the
Balakot region of Pakistan, following which China said it hoped both India and
Pakistan will exercise “restraint” and “do more to improve bilateral
relations.” In her opening remarks during her bilateral meeting with Chinese
counterpart Wang Yi, Swaraj also blamed Pakistan for its “refusal” to
“acknowledge and act against terror groups in its territory.”
the light of the continuing refusal of Pakistan to acknowledge and act against
terror groups on its territory and based on information that JeM was planning
other attacks in parts of India, Government of India decided to take preemptive
action and the target was selected in order to avoid civilian casualties,”
said that terrorism tops the list of “existential threats that the world faces
today.” Referring to the recent terrorist attack on security forces in Pulwama,
Jammu and Kashmir which left 40 security personnel dead, she said: “Such
dastardly terrorist attacks are a grim reminder for the need for all the
countries to show zero tolerance to terrorism and take decisive action against
it. Following the Pulwama terrorist attack, instead of taking seriously the
call by the international community to act against Jaish-e-Mohammad and other
terror groups based in Pakistan, Pakistan denied any knowledge of the attack
and outrightly dismissed claims by Jaish-e-Mohammed.”
she said that the target for the airstrikes by India was selected in order to
avoid civilian casualties. “This was not a military operation. No military installations
were targeted. The limited objective of the pre-emptive strike was to act
decisively against the terrorist infrastructure of JeM in order to pre-empt
another terror attack in India,” she said.
the meeting held on the sidelines of Russia, India, China Foreign Ministers
meeting, Swaraj also raised the Pulwama terror attack. Forty CRPF officers were
killed after a suicide bomber rammed his car into the convoy in Jammu and
Kashmir’s Pulwama district on February 14, sparking outrage in the country.
Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad claimed the responsibility for the attack.
am visiting China at a time when there is grief and anger in India. It is the
worst terrorist attack directed against our security forces in Jammu and
Kashmir. Such dastardly terrorist attacks are a grim reminder for the need of
all the countries to show zero tolerance to terrorism and take decisive action
against it,” she said.
that the JeM is banned by the UN and other countries, Swaraj told Wang that
“this terrorist attack is the direct result of the impunity and cover provided
to the JeM and its leaders by the Pakistani side”.“After the Pulwama attack the
entire UN has spoken with a full voice to condemn it,” she said.
personnel at the embassy of Israel in the national capital on Tuesday detained
an Afghan man and handed him over to the Delhi Police over suspicion of trying
to enter the embassy.
said the man’s antecedents are being verified.
to the police, the man was detained around 1 pm when the police got a call from
the embassy about the man attempting to trespass. He was brought to the Tughlak
Road police station and questioned later, said a police officer privy to the
details of the case.
police team was rushed to the embassy and the Afghan national was handed over
to them. The security men at the embassy said the suspect claimed to be a
dentist who had come to visit India. During questioning the man said he had
gone to the embassy to inquire about his travel plan to visit Jerusalem. We are
verifying his antecedents. No case has been registered against him yet,” the
firing at LoC, Army says Pakistan using civilians as human shields
least five Indian soldiers were injured as Pakistan fired mortar shells and
missiles across the Line of Control at several areas in Jammu and Kashmir on
Tuesday, officials said, prompting authorities to shut schools and defer
examinations within five kilometres of the border.
Pakistan Army initiated unprovoked ceasefire violation by shelling with heavy
calibre weapons in 12 to 15 places all along the LoC in Jammu, Rajouri and
Poonch districts since, since 6:30pm on Tuesday, a defence spokesperson said.
Indian Army retaliated for effect and our focused fire resulted in severe
destruction to 05 posts and number of casualties to the Pakistani army.
Pakistani troops were also seen firing mortars and missiles from civilian
houses, using villagers as human shields. However, the Indian Army targeted the
Pakistani posts away from civilian localities,” Lt Col Devender Anand said.
(Follow live updates here)
army soldiers suffered minor injuries in the exchange of fire and out of which
two were evacuated to the military hospital for treatment and are stable, he
Pakistan army targeted Akhnoor, Pallanwala in Jammu district, Nowshera, Laam,
Jhangar in Rajouri and Mankote, Mendhar, KG sector, Khari Karmara, Balakote and
Poonch in Poonch.
magistrates of Rajouri and Poonch have closed government and private schools
within five km radius of LoC on Wednesday as a precautionary measure.
situation was tense on the LoC in Kashmir’s Uri sector amid ceasefire
violations during Tuesday night and shelling in the forward posts. Locals said
that the army fired shells towards Pakistani posts from Kalgai village.
Officials said villagers in some areas in Uri are being shifted to safer places
after the ceasefire violations.
escalation came after the Indian Air Force (IAF) conducted a massive
pre-emptive strike early on Tuesday on Jaish-e-Mohammed’s biggest camp acting
on “concrete intelligence inputs” about the terror group preparing to carry out
more attacks in India. IAF dropped 1,000-pound bombs in a thickly-forested
hilltop killing a large number of terrorists.
had claimed responsibility for the Pulwama terror attack on February 14, when
at least 40 CRPF jawans were killed.
camp was headed by Jaish chief Masood Azhar’s brother-in-law Maulana Yousuf
skirmishes started around 5.30pm on Tuesday and the intermittent exchange of
fire lasted till 6am on Wednesday,” said an army officer.
from Poonch and Rajouri districts said they were being directly targeted by
Pakistan army, which has been using 120 mm mortars, a battalion level flat
shelling is on and we have been compelled to flee our houses,” said Mohammed
Rashid of Mankote.
Dawn newspaper blamed India for firing on Pakistani posts and civilian areas.
It reported that four civilians were killed and 11 others were injured in
to PTI, 2018 witnessed the highest number of ceasefire violations — 2,936 — by
Pakistani troops in the last 15 years along the India-Pakistan border.
Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists killed in encounter in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian
terrorists belonging to Jaish-e-Mohammed were gunned down in an encounter in
Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday. The encounter broke out
this morning between terrorists and security forces in Shopian.
forces launched a cordon and search operation in Meemendar area of Shopian
following information about presence of militants there, news agency PTI
reported quoting unnamed officials.
said the search operation turned into an encounter after militants opened
firing towards the security forces, who retaliated.
exchange of fire comes a day after India bombed and destroyed
Jaish-e-Mohammed’s (JeM) biggest training camp in Balakot in Pakistan’s restive
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, about 80-km from the Line of Control (LoC),
killing a “very large number” of terrorists, trainers and senior commanders.
Azhar, one of the terrorists involved in the December 1999 hijacking of Indian
Airlines flight IC-814 from Kathmandu to Kandahar, and brother-in-law of
Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar, was one of the main targets of the Balakot
air strike, and post-attack chatter suggests he may have been killed in the
pre-dawn air strike on the camp, officials familiar with the matter said on
condition of anonymity.
who headed one of the oldest training facilities of the JeM, in Balakot, in the
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, is wanted by the Central Bureau of Investigation
(CBI) and an Interpol Red Notice (number A-565/6-2000) has been pending against
him for the last 19 years.
is also known as Mohammed Salim and Ustad Ghouri and his name has figured in
the list of wanted terrorists that India has repeatedly handed over to Pakistan
over the years.
the symbolic value of the camp and its importance for Jaish’s war against
India, Azhar’s continuous presence there was one of the main reason that the
government decided to target the Balakot camp,” said a security official.
is one of seven accused in the IC-814 hijacking case along with Ibrahim Athar,
Sunny Ahmed Qazi, Zahoor Ibrahim, Shahid Akhter, Sayed Shakir and Abdul Rauf.
The flight was hijacked over Indian skies on December 24, 1999 and taken to
Kandahar in Afghanistan. The city was then controlled by Mulla Umar’s Taliban.
had to release Masood Azhar, Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar and Ahmed Omar Syed Sheikh,
who is now awaiting a death sentence in Pakistan for his involvement in the
murder of the American journalist Daniel Pearl, in exchange for the release of
154 passengers aboard IC-814.
CBI, which investigated the hijacking, sought the Red Notice against all the
accused and it was issued in 2000.
is mostly a family run enterprise with brothers of Masood Azhar Rauf and
Ibrahim and brothers-in-law like Yusuf Azhar and Maulana Ashfaq being key
figures in the outfit. Rauf is now de-facto chief of the outfit as Masood Azhar
is not known to be keeping well,” said an intelligence official.
French-origin Mirage 2000s that carried out the predawn air strike on a
Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorist camp across LoC on Tuesday are among the most
reliable fighter jets in the Indian Air Force’s combat fleet and were a natural
choice for the unprecedented peacetime, cross-border mission, officials and
experts said on Tuesday.
into the air force in 1984, the single-engine fighters performed splendidly
during the 1999 Kargil war and recorded an impressive serviceability rate. The
Mirage 2000 is an extremely versatile aircraft that can carry out precision
strikes during day and night, two IAF officials said on condition of anonymity.
Mirage 2000s, the officials said, struck their target with Israeli-origin SPICE
2000 bombs from a stand-off distance, which wasn’t immediately known. Popeye
missiles were on standby. The 2,000-pound GPS-guided SPICE (Smart, Precise
Impact, Cost-Effective) bombs can hit targets up to 60km away with an accuracy
of three metres, while the Popeye’s range is around 80km.
Read: Mirage 2000, Sukhoi-30s, AWACS part of IAF’s operation on JeM camp in
fighters, manufactured by French planemaker Dassault Aviation, can carry a mix
of bombs and missiles on its nine hard points.
Mirage 2000 is a highly serviceable aircraft and had a mission accomplishment
rate of 98% during the Kargil war. It is equipped with good precision weapons.
The fighter would have been a natural choice for such a mission,” said Air
Marshal PS Ahluwalia (retd), who commanded the Gwalior air base (home to Mirage
fighters) during the Kargil war, in which more than 30 Mirage 2000 jets were
IAF ordered a total of 59 Mirage 2000 jets from France, but it is currently
left with 48; 11 have crashed over the years.
2011, India signed a $2.4-billion contract with Dassault Aviation and Thales
Group, another French entity, to upgrade 51 Mirage 2000 fighters with new
weapons, radars and avionics. The first two aircraft were upgraded by the firms
in France followed by another two at state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, which
is upgrading the remaining planes. The Mirage 2000 upgrade is five years behind
planes may be 35 years old but they have 20 years to go after the upgrade is
completed,” said Ahluwalia, who flew one of the IAF’s first Mirage 2000s from
France to India in the mid-1980s.
Mirage 2000s took part in a major fire power demonstration by the IAF involving
nearly 140 aircraft including 81 fighter jets at the Pokhran field firing range
on February 16, two days after the Pulwama suicide car bomb attack in which 40
Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers were killed. The jets attacked
simulated targets with 250kg bombs during Vayu Shakti 2019 where IAF chief Air
Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa declared that the air force was prepared to deliver an
appropriate response assigned by the country’s political leadership. That
response was delivered on Tuesday.
IAF chief Air Chief Marshal Fali Major (retd.) said the Mirage 2000s were tried
and tested during Kargil, and would have been the first choice for the
cross-border air strikes. “It’s an excellent weapons delivery platform,” Major
said. The IAF also feels that the Mirage 2000 is a dependable and versatile
Pakistani troops on Wednesday intensely shelled Indian posts in Uri Sector of
Jammu and Kashmir, officials said.
shelling comes a day after the IAF carried out air strikes on Jaish-eMohammad
terror camps inside the neighbouring country.
Army fired mortar shells towards Indian posts in the early hours of Wednesday,
a police official said.
said there were no reports of any casualties so far.
official said the Indian Army retaliated to the Pakistani action in an equal
and Taliban officials looking to end a 17-year war in Afghanistan began their
most detailed and high-level discussions yet on foreign troop withdrawals and
counter-terrorism on Tuesday, officials close to the peace negotiations said.
talks, which kicked off in Doha on Monday with a meet-and-greet lunch, are seen
as the most promising yet between the warring parties after the Taliban’s
newly-appointed political chief Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar joined for the first
time, flying in from Pakistan.
two sides are looking to hammer out a timeline and logistics for a potential troop
withdrawal, as well as guarantees that the Taliban will not host militant
groups as the US winds down its presence, sources close to the talks said.
Taliban knows foreign forces are committed to withdrawal, but we have the
responsibility to ensure that Afghanistan does not get used as a base to launch
terror attacks on foreign nations,” one of the officials said.
14,000 US troops are based in Afghanistan as part of a US-led NATO mission to
train, assist and advise Afghan forces. Some US forces also carry out
military officials have been brought in to join this week’s talks in Doha, a
second official said, raising hopes for progress after the last round in
January secured a broad framework agreement but few details on critical aspects
of a ceasefire and withdrawal.
have all the right people in the room on both sides,” the second official said.
President Donald Trump told Congress this month he intended to reduce US forces
from Afghanistan as negotiators make progress in talks with Taliban insurgents,
saying: “Great nations do not fight endless wars.”
US team, led by special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, is also pushing for the Taliban
to meet with the Afghan government, which the group has so far snubbed, and to
agree on a ceasefire ahead of its annual spring offensive, sources said.
hardline Islamist movement considers the Afghan government a puppet regime of
the US and has refused direct talks.
senators have introduced a bill aimed at forcing the administration of
President Donald Trump to issue a public report on the killing of Saudi
dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom’s Turkey consulate last
Tuesday, Democrats in the upper chamber of US Congress filed the bill that
would require US Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats to release a
report on the murder of the US-based columnist within 30 days of passing the
later than 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Director of
National Intelligence shall submit to Congress a report on the death of Jamal
Khashoggi," the legislation states.
Ron Wyden, Chris Coons, Martin Heinrich, Kamala Harris and Jack Reed have
endorsed the measure.
murder of Jamal Khashoggi was a tragedy and represented an attack on
journalists everywhere,” said Harris, the only 2020 contender backing the bill.
“Unfortunately, the White House has not provided clear answers about what
happened or who in the Saudi government might bear responsibility for the
attack. We must always defend the rights of a free and independent press both
at home and abroad, which is why I’m standing with my colleagues to demand a
public report on this incident.”
has thrown his support behind Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman - known as
MbS – despite allegations implicating him in the murder.
brutal murder of U.S. resident and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi
and the brazen cover up by the Saudi government cannot be tolerated. The
American people deserve to know the truth about what happened," said Senator
Reed, ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee.
lawmakers and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan maintain that the crown
prince and other top Saudi leaders should be held accountable for Khashoggi's
intelligence intercepts reportedly show that Khashoggi, who was last seen entering
the Saudi mission in Istanbul on October 2, was murdered on a direct order from
Saudi de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.
had been there to obtain a document certifying he divorced his ex-wife.
Salman reportedly ordered the assassination of the former Washington Post
columnist at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
announced Tuesday it would provide CAN$46.7 million ($35.4 million) to Yemen in
a bid to help relieve the humanitarian crisis.
funds are on top of CAN$130 million ($98.6 million) pledged since 2015,
bringing the total to CAN$176.7 million ($134 million).
support in Yemen is driven by our desire to end a terrible situation that has
caused the suffering of so many people – especially women and children who bear
the brunt of the crisis,” Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said in
making the announcement.
U.N. reported near the end of last year that about 20 million people in Yemen
are hungry and as many as 250,000 were in danger of starvation. The conditions
remain relatively unchanged.
human cost of the ongoing conflict in Yemen is dire,” Freeland said.
Yemeni conflict was ignited in 2014 when Iranian-sponsored Houthi rebels
captured the capital of Sanaa.
Arabia led a coalition against the Houthis and airstrikes have taken a terrible
toll on Yemen civilians, killing at least 10,000 people and hitting schools and
millions of Yemenis who are hungry and sick and scared and desperate and
starving, but they’ve all got one message and their message is that they’re at
the end of their tether and they want this war to stop,” UN humanitarian chief
Mark Lowcock said in December.
said the UN plans to get aid to 15 million people this year. An appeal went out
Feb. 24 globally to raise $4.2 billion in 2019.
lodges police report over alleged insult of Prophet Muhammad
Feb 27 — Negri Sembilan PAS today lodged a police report against two Facebook
account holders for having allegedly insulted Prophet Muhammad and Islam.
acting commissioner, Rafiei Mustapha, made the report at the Seremban District
Police headquarters here at 9am.
police report was made to request the government to take stern action against
the (Facebook) account holders by prosecuting and penalising them as a lesson
for other people,” he told reporters after making the report. — Bernama
Former Muslim guerrillas took over governance of a poverty- and conflict-wracked
Muslim autonomous region on Tuesday under a peace deal partly aimed at
combating the militant Islamic State group-aligned militants in the southern
Islamic Liberation Front rebel chairman Murad Ebrahim assumed leadership in a
ceremony in Cotabato city of an 80-member transition authority dominated by his
guerrilla group to govern a five-province region called Bangsamoro.
first large group of about 12,000 combatants is expected to be demobilised
starting this year under the deal.
Philippine and Western governments and the guerrillas see effective Muslim
autonomy as an antidote to nearly half a century of Muslim secessionist
violence, which the Islamic State group could exploit to gain a foothold in the
region. “Our enemy during this struggle is not the soldiers. Our enemy is not
the government,” Murad said in a speech after taking leadership of the
Bangsamoro Transition Authority as interim chief minister. He said he and his
men would wage a new jihad, or holy war, against graft and mismanagement.
enemies are all the ills of governance in this system. Our enemies are graft
and corruption. Our enemy is manipulation of government. Our enemy is
nepotism,” said Murad, who once led rebel forces in marshy battlefields that
his group will now try to turn into progressive communities.
and his insurgent group inherit a region of more than 3.7 million people,
nearly half of whom wallow in poverty. Many have been exposed to decades of
violence and fighting, according to regional government reports prepared for
Feb 27 — Pakatan Harapan (PH) deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin
stressed that the government will always strive to safeguard the rights and
privileges of the Malays and Islam.
pointed out that the PH government was currently being accused of selling out
the rights of Malays and Islam when the three non-Malays being appointed as
finance minister, attorney general and chief judge.
I am going to say is that PH’s government does not contradict the Constitution,”
he said in his speech at the ‘Bicara Rakyat’ programme at Sungai Kembung Hilir
here last night in a series of PH campaigns ahead of the Semenyih state
by-election on March 2.
said the PH government was prepared to be brought to court by any party
claiming what the government was doing was contradictory to the nation’s
development because the government knew the truth.
Saturday, Barisan Nasional (BN) secretary-general Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz
was reported to have questioned some of the government’s appointments while
of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun yesterday said the police were
investigating Mohamed Nazri under the Sedition Act.
said the race was not the main criteria to hold office but the individuals
needed to be trustworthy and responsible.
LUMPUR, Feb 26 — The proposed amendments to the Penal Code (Act 574) is to
provide heavier penalties to those who have insulted the religions, says
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Dr Mujahid Yusuf Rawa.
said the proposed amendments had been agreed in essence and expected to be
brought up in the Cabinet meeting in the near future before being tabled at the
Dewan Rakyat sitting next month.
amendments to the Act would see more severe penalties awaiting offenders, in
addition to tightening several prosecution processes including the standard
operating procedures (SOP) in court.
propose the amendments to be made as we feel that there is already such
provision in the Penal Code and we just want to tighten it with heavier
penalties,” he told reporters after delivering a speech at the launch of the
mosque standard rating at the Federal Territory Mosque here, today.
said that the proposed amendments were not only related to Islam, but also
covered other religions in the country.
proposed amendment encompasses) issues such as causing hate among religions,
creates an issue to cause discord and anger between religions are also included
in the context of religious hatred.
why we see this (the amendment) will offer broader definition and of course,
whoever insults the Prophet will also be included in this specific clause to be
created with set conditions that have yet to be determined,” he said.
in his speech, Mujahid said the Pakatan Harapan government was highly committed
in the issue of maintaining the glory of Islam and the unity of all religions
in Malaysia as a whole.
not mess with us, you can play politics by saying that we care less when comes to
religion, you can politically say that you are the one who cares about religion
but you are playing with dangerous game here. This is not about politics and
parties, this issue is very dangerous as it involves the sentiment of the
why I want to emphasise that we prioritise all issues and the existing laws
will be strengthened to prevent people from criticising Islam and other
religions,” he said.
Saudi Arabia pledged $500 million on Tuesday in humanitarian assistance for
Yemen this year during a UN money-raising conference in Geneva.
UAE also pledged $500 million while Kuwait committed $250 million for Yemen.
Thank you to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia #KSA 🇸🇦for this year’s increased
pledge of 750 million USD and your continued support to the humanitarian
response in #Yemen @KSRelief_EN @ksamissionun
PM - Feb 26, 2019
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UN said 40 pledges totaling $2.6 billion were received during the day-long
conference, a 30-percent increase from the amount drummed up at a similar
conference a year ago.
United Nations' "Humanitarian Response Plan for Yemen" in 2019 seeks
$4 billion to reach 15 million people across the country, after raising nearly
$2.6 billion last year.
Antonio Guterres, opening the conference, lamented "an overwhelming
humanitarian catastrophe" in Yemen, where some 24 million people, or
four-fifths of Yemen's total population, require aid and protection.
million people cannot reliably feed themselves or their families," he
said. "Almost 10 million are just one step away from famine."
promised $264 million, and the U.S. Agency for International Development
(USAID) $24 million. Malaysia was also pledging $100,000 during the conference.
is the third pledging conference hosted by the United Nation to help what the
organization deemed as the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.
pledges came as UN officials said on Tuesday that aid workers regained access
to key grain storage silos in Hodeida for the first time in six months.
Houthis militants fighting the legitimate government had blocked the World Food
Program from crossing a front line into the government-controlled area where
the silos are located.
spokesman Herve Verhoosel said some 51,000 metric tons of wheat — enough to
feed 3.7 million people for a month — had been in storage at the site when it
was rendered inaccessible. He said an assessment is under way to determine the
state of the wheat.
monitors said on Tuesday there had been a marked escalation in air strikes in
rebel-held northwestern Syria, the last major bastion of opponents of President
Bashar al-Assad, prompting thousands of civilians to flee the town of Khan Sheikhoun.
Abdulrahman, the director of the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human
Rights, said government forces had intensified artillery shelling and air
strikes that have been ramping up over the past 10 days.
bombing is focused mainly on towns along the Damascus-Aleppo international
road,” he said. “Khan Sheikhoun has turned into a ghost town.”
to a senior data analyst at Hala Systems, which operates an early warning
system for aerial bombardment called Sentry, 13 strikes had been observed in
Idlib and northern Hama on Tuesday.
is the third straight day in which a significant increase in air strikes has
been observed. The pace of attacks seems high — and certainly unusual compared
to the last few months,” the analyst, who declined to be named, told Reuters.
state media said insurgents had fired rockets at several towns in the northern
part of Hama province, killing one civilian and wounding seven others in what
it said was a violation of a de-escalation agreement.
and Turkey brokered a deal in September to create a demilitarized zone in the
northwest Idlib region that would be free of all heavy weapons and extremist
agreement helped avert an assault on the region by government forces. However,
Moscow has complained about escalating violence in Idlib and said that
militants who used to belong to the Nusra Front group are in control of large
swathes of territory.
President Michel Aoun has told EU Foreign Policy Chief Frederica Mogherini that
Beirut will continue to work for the return of Syrian refugees to safe areas in
their war-torn country without waiting for a political solution.
President added that Lebanon will try to ensure that Syrian returnees are not
of Syrian refugees returned home from Lebanon last year after government forces
captured wide parts of the country.
nearly eight-year conflict has led to the displacement of half the country’s
population and created more than five million refugees, who fled mostly to
neighboring Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey.
Ambassador to the United Nations Bashar al-Ja’afari says a number of countries,
some of them UN Security member states, are conducting a campaign of economic
terrorism against his country, stating that active humanitarian support to
Syrians could only be provided in case the process is not politicized.
a Security Council meeting in New York on Tuesday, Ja’afari argued that while a
number of world countries, some of which are permanent members of the Council,
claim to be working to improve the humanitarian situation in Syria, they
simultaneously support terrorism, illegitimately deploy their troops to the
country and launch acts of aggression on it.
added French Colonel Francois-Regis Legrier has acknowledged that the US-led
coalition, purportedly fighting the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group, has largely
destroyed infrastructure in Syria, leaving thousands of civilians dead and
goal of this illegal coalition was not combating terrorism, but rather
targeting the capabilities of the Syrian state and prolonging the crisis that
has beleaguered it,” Ja’afari commented.
countries are broadening their political terrorism against Syria to economic
terrorism through imposition of unilateral and coercive measures on the
country,” he said.
highlighted that a number of states still obstruct the return of Syrian
refugees to their homeland, and seek to politicize humanitarian assistance.
calls for genuine humanitarian cooperation in compliance with the General
Assembly Resolution 46/182 and fully committed to its sovereignty,” the Syrian
highlighted that Damascus has opened two humanitarian corridors to provide a
safe exit for displaced people stranded at Rukban camp in southern Syria.
aspires for an end to the sufferings of people at Rukban camp, where most of
the residents want to return to state-controlled areas, and demands an end to
the illegitimate presence of US troops and terrorist gangs there,” the senior
Syrian official commented.
BAGHOUZ, Syria: Hundreds of suspected terrorists and their relatives exited the
last Daesh group holdout in eastern Syria aboard 11 trucks on Tuesday, an AFP
huge double-trailer trucks snaked toward a screening point manned by the
US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces across the plain from Baghouz, the last
hamlet still held by Daesh.
could be seen spilling out of the trucks as SDF fighters prepared to screen yet
another batch of survivors from the last speck of the terrorists “caliphate.”
Monday alone, 46 such trucks left the Daesh pocket, bringing to around 50,000
the number of people who quit terrorist-held territory since December.
Iraqi official: No normalization of ties with Israel without Palestinian state
high-ranking Iraqi official has stressed that the Baghdad government will not
normalize diplomatic relations with the Tel Aviv regime, unless Israeli
officials sign a deal with the Palestinians, which would pave the way for the
establishment of an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem al-Quds as its
will not join the Arab countries that promote the establishment of relations
with Israel, as long as the establishment of a true and full Palestinian state
with Jerusalem (al-Quds) as a capital, an airport, a flag and an anthem is not
guaranteed,” Israel’s English-language daily newspaper The Jerusalem Post
quoted the unnamed official as saying.
Hadashot television network asserted on January 6 that three delegations from
Iraq had visited the Israeli-occupied territories in recent months, the last of
which arrived last December.
delegations included a total of 15 influential people from Iraq, including
local religious leaders, the report claimed.
report stirred controversy in Iraq, where the deputy parliamentary speaker
demanded a probe to identify those who had crossed a “red line.”
Karim al-Kaabi called in a statement for “an investigation... to identify those
who went to the occupied territory, particularly if they are lawmakers.”
go to the occupied territory is a red line and an extremely sensitive issue for
all Muslims,” the statement pointed out.
does not recognize Israel and is technically in a state of war with it.
and several Arab states have had secret contacts for years, but the two sides
have stepped up their attempts to bring their clandestine relations out in the
this month, a US-organized summit in the Polish capital of Warsaw brought
together Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and representatives from a
number of Arab states, including Oman, Morocco, Saudi Arabic, the United Arab
Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Kuwait, among other
the event, Netanyahu said statements by Arab leaders at the so-called Middle
East security conference have laid the groundwork for the Arab public to accept
normalization of ties with Israel.
Israeli regime recently re-launched a “virtual embassy” in a bid to “promote
dialogue” with the Persian Gulf Arab states.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in late November last year visited Oman,
where he met Sultan Sayyid Qaboos bin Said Al Said at the Bait al-Barakah Royal
Palace in the coastal city of Seeb near the capital Muscat.
Jerusalem Post reported that the two men had discussed ways to advance the
so-called Middle East peace process as well as matters of mutual interest.
ex-minister sentenced to 11 years for spying for Iran
Israeli ex-minister was sentenced to 11 years in prison on Tuesday for spying
for his country’s main enemy Iran after a plea bargain in the case, the
Segev, who served as Israel’s energy and infrastructure minister from 1995 to
1996, had previously agreed to a plea bargain on charges of serious espionage
and transfer of information to the enemy.
hearings were held in secret due to the nature of the case.
Geula Cohen confirmed to journalists outside the Jerusalem court that the judge
had accepted the plea bargain and issued the sentence.
served in the Labor government of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin after defecting
from the far right to cast the decisive vote in favor of the Oslo II peace
agreement with the Palestinians.
has previously served prison time on criminal charges.
2004, he was charged with trying to smuggle 30,000 ecstasy pills into Israel
from the Netherlands using a diplomatic passport with a falsified expiry date.
following year, he admitted the charges as part of a plea bargain.
has lashed out at European Union leaders for their double standards on the
issue of human rights after they attended a summit in Egypt while turning a
blind eye to the recent much-criticized executions in the North African state.
at an election campaign rally in Giresun Province on Tuesday, Turkish President
Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the EU’s acceptance of an invitation by his
Egyptian counterpart, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, to the first joint EU-Arab meeting
in the city of Sharm el-Sheikh “shows how insincere” the 28-nation bloc is.
EU is against death penalties and execution is prohibited in EU member
countries. So how can one speak about democracy in these EU states, which
accepted the invitation of Sisi, who executed nine young men last week?” he
also accused Sisi of having executed at least 42 people since coming to power.
on Tuesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said it was hypocritical
for EU leaders to attend the Egypt meeting, noting that they “do not have
values; they just have interests.”
whole EU leadership supporting Sisi and being in the same place as him on the
days after these young saplings were martyred, executed is a photograph of
exactly what we are saying,” he said. “This is a double standard, it is
nine Egyptians were convicted of involvement in the 2015 killing of Public
Prosecutor Hisham Barakat.
between Ankara and Brussels have been strained, especially since 2016 over the
EU’s criticism of the scale of the post-coup crackdown and Turkey’s claim the
bloc failed to show solidarity after the attempted overthrow.
International said the victims’ “trials had been marred by torture
allegations,” adding that it was just “a testament to the magnitude of
injustice in the country.”
UN human rights experts voiced alarm at the executions, saying, “These
convictions appear to be in direct disregard of both Egyptian and international
law and procedure.”
are all the more concerned that several other cases pending in the courts of
individuals convicted in similar circumstances and facing the death penalty
amid reports of a lack of due legal process,” they said.
Ahmed el-Attar of the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms emphasized
that the Egyptian authorities should have suspended the executions until formal
requests for their re-examination had been studied.
(the Egyptian authorities) didn’t follow procedure and carried out the death
sentences on all the defendants,” violating “their own procedural laws, Article
448 of the Egyptian Code of Criminal Procedure,” he said in a statement.
Palestinians were injured by Israeli forces during protests near Malaka, east
of Gaza City, on Tuesday, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
shows Palestinian protesters wearing masks and burning tires. The protesters
are demonstrating against the blockade of Gaza by Israel.
Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says tens of thousands of children
under the age of five have died of starvation in Yemen ever since Saudi Arabia
and a number of its allies launched an atrocious military aggression against
the impoverished country nearly four years ago.
did not start the war in Yemen, but they are paying the highest price. Some 360,000 children are suffering from
severe acute malnutrition, fighting for their lives every day. And one credible report put the number of
children under 5 who have died of starvation at more than 80,000,” Guterres
told a donor conference in the Swiss city of Geneva on Tuesday.
went on to say that continued Yemen conflict has significantly increased the
number of internally displaced people to 3.3 million, and the figure marks a
sharp uptick from 2.2 million recorded last year.
UN chief warned of the worsening health and humanitarian situation in Yemen,
saying, “Over half of all health facilities are out of action, and nearly 20
million people lack access to adequate health care.”
2017, the worst cholera epidemic in history reached unprecedented levels as
water supplies and sanitation and public health services collapsed… Almost 18
million Yemenis still do not have adequate access to safe drinking water or
sanitation,” Guterres noted.
UN secretary-general added that Yemen’s crisis has taken a heavy toll on the
education of students in the war-torn country.
million children in Yemen are out of school, and 2,000 schools have been
directly affected by the conflict:
damaged, destroyed, converted to shelter for the displaced or occupied
by armed groups. And half of the
teachers in Yemen have not been paid in over two years,” he said.
touched on the truce deal in the strategic Yemeni port city of Hudaydah,
emphasizing that progress has been slow in implementing a troop withdrawal.
from the Houthi Ansarullah movement and representatives loyal to former Yemeni
president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi held face-to-face peace negotiations in Rimbo,
north of the Swedish capital city of Stockholm, late last year. The talks
resulted in the announcement of a break-through agreement.
document includes three provisions: a ceasefire along the Hudaydah front and
the redeployment of armed forces out of the city and its port; an agreement on
prisoner exchange; and a statement of understanding on the southern Yemeni city
forces shoot down Saudi reconnaissance drone in Hudaydah
Yemeni army forces, supported by allied fighters from Popular Committees, have
intercepted and targeted an unmanned aerial vehicle, belonging to the Saudi-led
military coalition, as it was flying in the skies over Hudaydah.
unnamed Yemen military source told Yemen’s Arabic-language al-Masirah
television network that Yemeni air defense forces and their allies shot down
the drone as it was on a reconnaissance mission over Kilo 16 area on Tuesday
in the day, Saudi mercenaries had lobbed a salvo of mortar shells at Hudaydah
International Airport, with no immediate reports about casualties and the
extent of damage.
Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating campaign
against Yemen in March 2015, with the aim of bringing Hadi’s government back to
power and crushing Ansarullah.
to a new report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED),
a nonprofit conflict-research organization, the Saudi-led war has so far
claimed the lives of around 56,000 Yemenis.
Saudi-led war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure,
destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN has already said that a
record 22.2 million Yemenis are in dire need of food, including 8.4 million
threatened by severe hunger. According to the world body, Yemen is suffering
from the most severe famine in more than 100 years.
top Islamophobic figure in the United Kingdom has been fully banned from
Facebook and Instagram after he repeatedly broke hate speech policies.
Facebook spokesperson said on Tuesday that Robinson’s page on the social media
platform had been banned over numerous attempts to attack Muslims and spread
hate against them and others.
Robinson’s Facebook page has repeatedly broken standards, posting material that
uses dehumanizing language and calls for violence targeted at Muslims,” said
the official, adding that Robinson’s profile on Instagram, which is also
controlled by the Facebook organization, had also been removed.
known for his numerous attempts to depict Muslims as a threat to the UK
security, has already been banned from Twitter and Paypal, a major online
payment platform. YouTube, where he posts his hate films against the Muslims,
also decided recently to demonetize his account, depriving Robinson from a
major source of his income that came from advertisements. Facebook had already
deprived Robbinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, from receiving
donations on his page.
ban come following his renewed call on the public to take to the streets of
Britain to condemn what he calls the deliberate attempt of the government and
the media to target him. He led a demonstration on Saturday in front of a BBC
office in northern England over the broadcaster’s planned release of a film
focused on his hate activities. The Islamophobe then released his own film on
convicted several times in the UK for various charges, has been banned from
travelling to the United States, where he enjoys support for his anti-Islam
attorney general is expected to decide on charges of contempt of the court
against Robinson which caused him to go to jail for a short period in August.
domestic security apparatus reportedly thwarts two plots hatched by the Daesh
Takfiri terror group to attack targets in Moscow.
plots foiled by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) would see the group’s
terrorists attack military intelligence officers and railway passengers in the
capital, Russian news agency ITAR-TASS reported on Tuesday, citing Kommersant
paper said a Daesh leader, which it named as Todzhiddin Nazarov, “who had
engineered terrorist attacks in Sweden and Tajikistan and personally oversaw
them,” had planned the attacks.
ordered his accomplices to blow up military servicemen deployed to the GRU (the
foreign military agency of the Russian Armed Forces’ General Staff)’s
headquarters on Khoroshevskoye Highway and attack railway passengers,” it
FSB officers managed to zero in on and detain the soon-to-be attackers,"
the daily added.
began bombing targets belonging to Daesh and other terrorist groups in Syria at
Damascus’ request in September 2015, a year after the outfit began its campaign
of bloodshed and destruction in the Arab country and neighboring Iraq.
There is a new understanding between European leaders and their Middle Eastern
counterparts following an historic summit, the Arab League spokesman said.
two-day meeting took place in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, and it was the first ever
summit between the two regions.
Council President Donald Tusk co-chaired it with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah
Al-Sisi. Tusk represented the European Union (EU), along with European
Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
and migration were among the issues discussed, said League of Arab States (LAS)
spokesman Mahmoud Afifi.
is the first summit between the two sides on a leadership scale. We look at it
as the cornerstone for establishing a new institution of values between the
Europeans and Arabs,” Afifi told Arab News. “We have been in contact with the
Europeans for years in different forums at the ministerial level, senior
official levels, but to take it to the highest level – the level of
was the frank discussions between people from both sides during the bilateral
meetings, in addition to the high commitment and solidarity shown between Arab
leaders while explaining the real situation in the region and defending Arab
interests vis-a-vis the Europeans.”
most significant summit outcome, he said, was not in the final communique
although everyone was aware of it. “(It) is this new understanding for how
things really work in the Arab region and Middle East. Because eight years ago,
many European countries were in support of what happened there. It wasn’t an
Arab Spring at all, but a destruction.”
said that Europeans at the time thought it was nice, assuming that the
countries would turn into Switzerland. The opposite proved to be true, he
EU understands and the most important thing for the two sides is to maintain
the concept of a nation state. Because, without having stability inside a
country, that would lead to a major catastrophe like what we have witnessed in
the past years, which lead to terrorism and the massive flows of migration.”
sharing was discussed at the summit, he said, although it attracted little
media attention. It could be in the form of politics or humanitarian
assistance. Europeans came from wealthy countries with ageing populations and
complaining about illegal immigrants led to terrorism. “Now, however, they have
a better understanding of the
situation,” he added.
said that some Arab states told the Europeans they had to “open their doors”
for a more orderly migration and that Arab countries were discriminated
against. Arab delegates said Europe could benefit from young people, according
to the LAS spokesman. While the ideas were taken on board, he said, they needed
to be implemented.
Arabs, from their side, have shown flexibility and good intentions. For
example, in 2018, there were zero illegal immigrants (and) that shows that the
Egyptian government is a responsible government.”
summit also looked at foreign policy issues, including the crucial issue of
no secret, that for a year and a half, the Palestinians, their authority and
leadership have been facing major pressures from the current American
administration and Israel of course.
EU as a group, supports the two-state solution and the rights of the
Palestinian people to have their independence and space. We were looking to
have this support explicitly at this time coming from the EU and, as the Arab
side, we got that.”
another pressing area of concern for the Arab region, was not discussed
directly at the summit. But Afifi said the Arab side was “very expressive”
about the threat nearby, not only from Iran, but from other neighbors such as
Turkey, and the way these countries had been acting in recent years.
Iran, it’s not only about Yemen, they’ve been sowing their seeds in Syria, Iraq
and Lebanon. Turkey is the same but especially in northern Syria, because there
is a presence of the Turkish roots over there. We have problems with those
came while the summit was ongoing that the UK parliament is set to pass new
rules classifying Hezbollah as a terrorist group.
Prime Minister Saad Hariri was at the summit but did not comment on the matter.
Muslim “advisor on countering extremism” says ISIS bride must be let back in
Khan’s premise is that Muslims only turn to jihad because Infidels are unkind
to them. If we turn in kindness to Muslims, all will be well. So if this
unrepentant jihadi bride is let back into Britain, and raises more jihadis, all
will be well, but if she is barred from the country, more Muslims in Britain
will turn to jihad. Ultimately, resistance to jihad angers Muslims and thus
creates more jihadis, so what Sara Khan is really counseling here is that
Britain should simply surrender and adopt Sharia, and then all will be well.
jihadi bride Shamima Begum of her British citizenship could spark extremist
backlash against UK, warns Home Office advisor,” by Martin Robinson,
Islamists could exploit the decision to strip Shamima Begum of her British
citizenship, the Government’s chief adviser on countering extremism has warned.
Secretary Sajid Javid made the move after the teenager, who fled London aged 15
to join the so-called Islamic State caliphate in Syria, said she wanted to
return to the UK with her newborn son.
adviser Sara Khan has cautioned that the Government must acknowledge the
anxiety caused by the decision, with extremists being eager to ‘exploit
alienation and grievance’.
it is for courts to test the legality of decisions such as deprivation of
citizenship, we have to also ask how measures such as this impact wider work on
countering extremism,’ she said.
Government has to recognize the unease felt by a wide range of people about
decisions of this kind, not least those from minority communities with dual
has to build trust in its approach, because Islamist extremists will exploit
alienation and grievance to turn people against their country.’
family of jihadi bride Shamima Begum have written to the Home Secretary
challenging his decision to revoke her British citizenship.
Javid blocked the 19-year-old’s return earlier this week, saying she poses a
risk to the country’s security.
week’s EU-Arab Summit wrapped up in Cairo without condemning Iran, despite the
participation of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), all
of whom frequently accuse Tehran of “meddling in their domestic affairs”.
the summit’s conclusion on Monday, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi
said: "It is normal for our views [i.e., those of summit participants] to
diverge at our first meeting at the summit level."
brings our two regions [Europe and the Arab world] together is much greater
than what divides them," al-Sisi said in a closing address broadcast on
final joint statement issued on Monday evening, he added, “reflects the most
vital strategic issues of interest to both sides”.
the top of these issues, al-Sisi said, was the need to bolster Arab-European cooperation
“with a view to confronting regional challenges”.
to sources close to the event, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE had all wanted
the final statement to include the usual references to alleged Iranian efforts
to “interfere in Gulf affairs and destabilize the region”.
League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit was quoted as saying: "Saudi
Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain, in addition to Lebanon, all sent proposed wording
[for the final statement]."
following dialogue with the European side, we decided to maintain the current
formula,” he added.
two-day summit began in the Egyptian resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh on Sunday.
It was widely attended by European officials despite an uproar caused by the
recent execution of nine young men by the Egyptian authorities.
friend of a failed ISIS suicide bomber has been jailed after police uncovered
his plan to use a martyr’s video to sign up to the terror group.
Imran, 23, was sent a video by a man plotting to kill UK prime minister Theresa
May in a suicide attack so he could use it as a calling card when he travelled
to meet extremists in Libya.
attempt unravelled after would-be bomber Naa’imur Rahman was arrested shortly
before a mission to detonate a bomb at the gates of Downing Street and then
kill Mrs May with a knife or gun.
20, was stopped after meeting a handler to pick up a jacket and bag that he
thought had been rigged with explosives. His contact turned out to be a member
of the British security service MI5 who was posing as an ISIS operative.
subsequent police investigation revealed that Rahman had met with Imran and
sent him a ‘sponsor’ video that he could use to gain acceptance with senior
ISIS members. Imran also tried to get a false passport because he feared his
mother would stop him if he tried use his own to travel to Libya.
found the video message on a phone belonging to Imran and a terrorist guide
book on another of his electronic devices.
of Birmingham, was found guilty at two trials last year of collecting
information for terrorism and preparing for terrorist acts. He was jailed for
eight-and-a-half years on Tuesday.
leading British lawmaker has warned that the Yemen conflict is being used by
Iran to test advanced missile developments that have violated United Nations
resolutions on Tehran's ballistic weapons programme.
Jones, a Labour MP who chairs parliament's committee to scrutinise global
military sales, asked if officials shared his concern that "Iran is using
Yemen as a testing ground for its missile programme".
seen the UN panel of experts talk about the new Kamikaze drones that are coming
out of Iran, we've had the Badr-1, which is the missile system that looks like
a V2, being launched into Saudi Arabia and we have seen from technical reports
that the enhancements that are being applied to that war by Iran are
considerable," he said.
ballistic missiles represents a threat to the region despite the signing of the
2015 nuclear deal, according to the Foreign Office's Middle East minister
Alistair Burt. "Alongside our partners we continue to call on Iran to act
consistently with all UN security council resolutions in relation to ballistic
missile programme," he said. "It is essential to get the conflict in
Yemen to an end, to prevent that sort of threat, to prevent it being used as a
based for the testing of weapons."
Burt added that while London continued to believe that Iran was complying with
the restrictions on its nuclear programme set out in the 2015 nuclear deal, it
needed to be clear about that the issues around weaponry was equally critical.
Hunt, the British foreign secretary, announced that he would visit Saudi
Arabia, Oman and UAE within days in order to promote diplomatic efforts centred
on the peace efforts of the UN envoy, Martin Griffith.'
told parliament that he hoped the upcoming trip would add further impetus to
the Stockholm process and build on the agreement, which he described as the
first prospect of peace in four years.
may be one of the last opportunities to prevent a return to fighting and secure
desperately needed humanitarian aid," he said.
The UK’s new £200m aid package will help
millions of desperate Yemenis facing the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Our
vital work to build support for the UN-led peace process continues. Political
settlement is the only way to end the terrible suffering
PM - Feb 24, 2019
woman feeds a malnourished child with therapeutic food in Yemen, September 2018
UK aid to feed millions of people in Yemen
UK is stepping up its humanitarian support to help millions of people at risk
of starvation in Yemen, the Prime Minister announced today.
people are talking about this
other item on the agenda is likely to be military equipment exports to Saudi
Arabia. Mr Hunt is involved talks with the Germany and France over Berlin's
continuing restrictions on arms exports. He used a letter leaked last week week
to stress that strict rules on arms exports, including the role of Mr Jones
committee, was built on independent assessments of exports and assesses the
risks of breaches of international humanitarian law.
minister’s letter to UN secretary general on India’s act of aggression
circulated in UNSC
Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi's letter to the United Nations Secretary General
António Guterres — about India’s act of aggression against Pakistan — was
circulated as a document in the UN Security Council at Pakistan's request.
Permanent Representative to the UN Maleeha Lodhi shared this information on
Wednesday via Twitter.
on Tuesday, Indian aircraft had violated the Line of Control (LoC), intruding
from the Muzaffarabad sector, following which "Pakistan Air Force
immediately scrambled" and Indian aircraft went back.
in a letter to Guterres, had informed him of the violation and said that the
aggressive act by India will have "severe repercussions for the regional
peace and security", RadioPakistan reported. The foreign minister also
maintained that Pakistan reserves the right to respond in self-defence.
briefed the diplomatic corps about the Indian breach and refuted New Delhi's
claims of having targeted a terrorist camp and killing hundreds of people,
calling them "absurd".
is completely absurd and is based on a false narrative designed to placate
domestic audience," he said.
Delhi, Qureshi said in his letter, had been issuing threatening statements
since the Pulwama attack — in which more than 40 Indian paramilitaries were
killed — in order to "divert" the international community's attention
from the human rights violations committed by the Indian forces in occupied
secretary general calls foreign minister
called the foreign minister and discussed the regional security situation and
assured Pakistan of UN's support, a press statement by the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs said on Wednesday. During the phone conversation, that followed the LoC
breach, the foreign minister said that he had expressed Pakistan's
apprehensions that India might attempt to ruin regional peace for the sake of
also referred to the two letters he had written earlier to Guterres as well as
the UNSC about the regional situation following the Pulwama attack. Qureshi
pointed out that Indian act of aggression is a violation of international laws
and UN charter.
Ambassador Lodhi also held a series of intense meetings with key diplomats and
UN officials following the breach, said Radio Pakistan.
will not sit back,” she told BBC radio when asked whether Pakistan will respond
to India’s attack.
Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Tuesday condemned India's
violation of the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan earlier in the day, urging
both countries to exercise restraint.
the early hours of Tuesday, the Pakistan Army had revealed through a tweet that
the "Indian Air Force violated Line of Control", following which
"Pakistan Air Force immediately scrambled" and the Indian aircraft
General Secretariat of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation condemned this
action against an OIC founding member state," the Organisation stated in
one of a series of tweets.
Twitter statement went on to say that the OIC "condemned the Indian
incursion and aerial violation and dropping of four bombs today, 26 February,
urged both sides to "exercise restraint and avoid any steps that could
endanger peace and security in the region".
OIC also called upon India and Pakistan "to act responsibly and encouraged
them to seek [a] peaceful solution to the current crisis without resort[ing] to
use of force".
further called on them to "embrace dialogue and work towards de-escalation
of [the] current situation as a matter of priority".
OIC statement comes hours after Pakistani politicians in a National Assembly
session held in the aftermath of the Indian LoC violation severely criticised
the OIC decision to invite Indian foreign minister Sushma Swaraj as a 'guest of
honour' at an inaugural session of the OIC foreign ministers' conclave
scheduled for next month in Abu Dhabi.
stalwart Khwaja Asif suggested that Pakistan boycott the meeting. "It is
an insult that our enemy is being invited as a guest of honour by a country
friendly to us at a time when Kashmiris are facing bloodshed. It has not
happened in the last 45 years," he asserted.
NA speaker Ayaz Sadiq also called on the government to raise the issue with the
OIC, saying the group had "no power to invite India without seeking the
consent of member states".
Tuesday evening, Geo News quoted Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi as
saying that he will boycott the OIC meeting in Abu Dhabi if the invitation to
Swaraj is not withdrawn.
contact group calls for immediate de-escalation
on Tuesday, the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir expressed grave concern
at the rising tensions in South Asia and strongly condemned the recent wave of
repression, killing of innocent civilians, and frequent incidents of rape
perpetrated by Indian forces in occupied Kashmir (IoK).
contact group had held an emergency meeting on Pakistan's request at the OIC
General Secretariat in Jeddah.
meeting was chaired on behalf of the secretary-general by Assistant
Secretary-General Amb Hameed A Opeloyeru, and attended by Pakistan Foreign
Secretary Tehmina Janjua and Permanent Representatives of Azerbaijan, Turkey,
Saudi Arabia, and Niger.
in attendance at the meeting was the president of Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
his opening remarks, the assistant secretary-general reiterated OIC's position
on supporting the people of IoK in achieving their legitimate rights, including
the right of self-determination.
emphasised that the conflict should be resolved in accordance with the
aspirations of Kashmiris and OIC and United Nations resolutions.
Secretary Janjua apprised the participants about the recent Indian threats to
regional peace and security, continued Indian repression, and recent escalation
in atrocities against innocent Kashmiris.
reaffirmed Pakistan's political, moral and diplomatic support to the people of
IoK in their struggle to achieve the right to self-determination. She reminded
the participants of Prime Minister Imran Khan's concrete offer for dialogue to
President Masood Khan also briefed the members on the "continued
oppressive policies of Indian security forces in occupied Jammu and Kashmir
that [have] alienated Kashmiris".
contact group, in response, appreciated the prime minister's offer for peace
and dialogue to India to resolve all issues.
group also expressed deep concern over heightened tensions between Pakistan and
India and called for an immediate de-escalation in the region.
members of the body reiterated their support to the people of IoK and called on
India to "immediately stop repressive security operations against the
people of Jammu and Kashmir and respect fundamental and basic human
group asked India to address the dispute in accordance with the relevant OIC
and UN Security Council resolutions, the wishes of the Kashmiri people, and the
"principle of self-determination and human rights".
Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rahman on Tuesday called
for urgently summoning a joint session of parliament to discuss the fresh
violation of the Line of Control (LoC) by India.
a congregation at a seminary, Jamia Islamia Isha’atul Quran-o-Hadith, he said
an in-camera session of parliament should discuss the issue which was vital for
national security. Describing the matter of intrusion of the enemy into
Pakistan’s boundaries as very serious, he observed that India had under the
cover of night violated the LoC.
said the entire nation stood with the country’s defence forces in protecting
the frontiers; all issues should be placed before the joint session of
parliament. He appealed to the nation to demonstrate strong unity at this
critical moment and prayed for the armed forces.
maulana, who also heads Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA), also talked about the
rallies the JUI-F and MMA was successfully holding under the title of ‘million
march’ throughout the country and referred to a recent rally held one in Badin.
He said the huge public participation spoke volumes about peoples’ commitment
to safeguard the Islamic identity of Pakistan and its ideology. He said the
eighth ‘million march’ would be held in a couple of days in Nasirabad
an apparent reference to the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI)-led government, he
alleged that they were attempting to go against the ideology of Pakistan and in
the same breath added that they would not succeed.
on the occasion, JUI-F Sindh chapter general secretary Maulana Rashid Mehmood
Soomro claimed that the JUI-F occupied central position in the province and had
emerged as a genuine representative party of the people of Sindh. According to
him, the movement launched would continue to help redress public problems. “We
condemn in strongest terms the violation of the Line of Control by India,” he
said and pledged to protect every inch of the country.
who also spoke on the occasion included Maulana Mohammed Ramzan Phulpoto,
Maulana Abdullah Pahore, Maulana Mohammed Aslam Ghouri, Qari Mohammed Usman and
Maulana Mohammed Amjad Khan.
another religious event, Dastar-i-Fazilat, held in the same Jamia, Maulana Fazl
had performed turban-wearing ceremony of six muftis, 45 ulema and 55
Huffaz-i-Quran on completion of their religious education.
congratulated the scholars and others who had successfully completed their
studies at the Jamia.
Pakistani police say mortar shells fired by Indian troops from across the
frontier in the Himalayan region of Kashmir have struck homes, killing six
civilians and wounding several others amid increasing tensions between the two South
Asian nuclear rivals.
police official Mohammad Altaf says six people, including children, were killed
Wednesday in Kotli village in PoK.
latest civilian casualties came a day after tensions escalated sharply
following a pre-dawn airstrike by India that New Delhi said targeted a
terrorist training camp in northwest Pakistan.
Indian Air Force (IAF) jets on Tuesday bombed a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) camp in
Pakistan’s Balakot, a pre-dawn strike, they might also have struck at the
ideological root of Maulana Masood Azhar's terrorist organisation.
Pakistan claims ‘payload’ was dropped in Balakote, a place with a similar name
within Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, IAF’s Mirage 2000 aircraft are said to have
crossed the Line of Control (LoC) and struck a JeM camp on the banks of the
Kunhar river in Balakot, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), one of the four
administrative provinces of Pakistan.
the media on Tuesday, Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said: "In an
intelligence-led operation in the early hours of today, India struck the
biggest training camp of JeM in Balakot... This facility at Balakot was headed
by Maulana Yousuf Azhar (alias Ustad Ghouri), the brother-in-law of JeM chief
Gunaratna and Khuram Iqbal’s 2011 book Pakistan: Terrorism Ground Zero, seems
to confirm that JeM operated a "large training camp for between 800 and
1,000 recruits at Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa". According to the book,
the camp was administered by "Yousuf, a Christian convert to Islam from
Sindh who is married to Azhar's sister". The JeM facility at Balakot was
called the ‘Syed Ahmad Shaeed’ training camp, Gunaratna and Iqbal wrote, adding
that Indian sources said the camp was still functional in early 2003, even
after the group was banned in January 2002.
the name of the camp is anything to go by, JeM's “biggest training camp” that
India struck, and the town that it is associated with, might have had an
ideological and symbolic significance for many Pakistan-based terrorist
organisations. That seems to be borne by the association of Sayyid Ahmad of Rae
Bareli, or Syed Ahmad Shaheed Barelvi as he is also known, with Balakot in
Ahmad famously waged a war — a ‘jihad’, in fact — against Ranjit Singh's Sikh
kingdom in the early years of the 19th century. In her book Partisans of Allah:
Jihad in South Asia, historian Ayesha Jalal wrote: "The historical
significance of the war (Sayyid Ahmad's jihad) lies in the indelible imprint it
has left on the subcontinental Muslim psyche."
Ahmad's "revival of the ideology of jihad became the prototype for
subsequent Islamic militant movements in South and Central Asia," writes
Husain Haqqani, the former ambassador of Pakistan to the US, in The Ideologies
of South Asian Jihadi Groups. "It is also the main influence over the
jihad network of Al Qaeda and its associated groups in the region," he
adds. In fact, Haqqani credits Sayyid Ahmad of Rae Bareli as the founder of the
first jihadi group that emerged in India.
Ahmad, along with Shah Ismail, the grandson of well-known 18th-century Islamic
scholar Shah Waliullah Dehlawi, was killed in a battle against Sikh forces in
Balakot on May 6, 1831.
this day, Balakot, where Sayyid Ahmad lies buried, is a spot "that has
been greatly revered" by "militants in contemporary Pakistan",
wrote Jalal in her book. In fact, the JeM camp that was struck by India appears
to have been named after the same Sayyid Ahmad.
further wrote that Balakot's "association with the idea and practice of
jihad in South Asia was reinforced in the 1990s, when militant groups set up
training camps in its environs to prepare for their campaign against Indian
security forces stationed in predominantly Muslim Kashmir." To these
militants, she writes, Sayyid Ahmad and Shah Ismail are "great
heroes"; their "admirers" seek to emulate their jihad in a bid
to "redress what they perceive as current injustices".
Ahmad also appears to have been an inspiration for Masood Azhar. According to
Haqqani, Azhar, as a tribute to Sayyid Ahmad, wrote the preface of 'Ma'arka'
(The Struggle), one of the books in which the JeM chief explains the ideology
of the various Deobandi jihadi groups in Balakot, where Ahmad died.
his lifetime, Sayyid Ahmad went on to declare himself Amir al-Mu'minin
(commander of the faithful). Later, Mullah Mohammad Omar, the leader of the
Taliban (dead now), would follow in Ahmad’s footsteps and assume the same
India: The Pakistan air force shot down
two Indian warplanes after they crossed over the Kashmir border, capturing one
pilot, a military spokesman confirmed on Wednesday.
General Asif Ghafoor said Pakistani troops on ground captured the Indian pilot.
said one of the planes crashed in Pakistan’s part of Kashmir, while the other
went down in the Indian territory.
said “one Indian pilot was arrested by troops on ground while two are in the
area” on Wednesday.
Indian air force spokesman Anupam Banerjee in New Delhi said he had no
information on Pakistan’s statement.
capture followed an earlier report of an Indian Air Force plane which crashed
in the disputed area on Wednesday, killing two pilots and a civilian, a police
official said, amid heightened tensions with neighboring Pakistan.
details about the incident were not immediately available.
Pakistani fighter jets violated airspace over Indian Kashmir on Wednesday but
were forced back over the de facto border of the disputed territory, sources
and local media said.
the ground troops from both countries exchanged fire along their contested
on Tuesday said it had launched an air strike inside Pakistan and that its
warplanes killed “a very large number” of fighters at a militant training camp,
raising the risk of conflict between the nuclear-armed neighbors. Pakistan
denied there had been casualties, but has warned that it will respond to Indian
have been elevated since a suicide car bombing by Pakistan-based militants in
Indian-controlled Kashmir killed at least 40 Indian paramilitary police on Feb.
14, but the risk of conflict rose dramatically after India's air strike on
attack targeted the Jaish-e-Mohammed militant, the group that claimed credit
for the suicide attack. But while India said a large number of JeM fighters had
been killed, Pakistani officials said the Indian airstrike was a failure and
inflicted no casualties.
Tuesday, evening Pakistan began shelling using heavy caliber weapons in 12 to
15 places along the de facto border in Kashmir, known as the Line of Control
(LoC), a spokesman for the Indian defense forces said on Wednesday.
Indian Army retaliated for effect and our focused fire resulted in severe
destruction to five posts and number of casualties,” the spokesman said.
Indian soldiers suffered minor wounds in the shelling that ended on Wednesday
morning, he added.
far there are no (civilian) casualties but there is panic among people,” said
Rahul Yadav, the deputy commissioner of the Poonch district where some of the
shelling took place.
have an evacuation plan in place and if need arises we will evacuate people to
safer areas,” he said.
officials on the Pakistani side said at least four people had been killed and
seven wounded, though it was unclear if the casualties were civilian or
has also continued its crackdown on suspected militants operating in Kashmir, a
mountainous region that both countries claim in full but rule in part.
Wednesday, security forces killed two Jaish militants in a gun battle, Indian
has promised to retaliate to Tuesday's air strikes, and security across India
has been tightened.
two countries have fought three wars since independence from British colonial
rule in 1947 and went to the brink a fourth in 2002 after a Pakistani militant
attack on India's parliament.
Punjab, an Indian state that borders Pakistan, security alerts are in place in
several districts, according to media reports.
within five kilometers of LoC were closed in one district in Kashmir.
Mumbai, India’s financial capital, there was a visible increase in security
levels for a city that has suffered numerous militant attacks in the past.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke separately with the foreign ministers of
India and Pakistan and urged them to avoid “further military activity”
following Tuesday’s airstrike.
expressed to both ministers that we encourage India and Pakistan to exercise
restraint, and avoid escalation at any cost,” Pompeo said in a statement on
also encouraged both ministers to prioritize direct communication and avoid
further military activity,” he said.
China and the European Union have also called for restraint. On Wednesday New
Zealand's foreign minister Winston Peters also voiced concern over the
escalation in tensions.
airstrike kills 20 al-Shabaab militants in Somalia
forces conducted its second airstrike in a week in the Hiran province of
Somalia, killing 20 al-Shabaab militants, U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) said
strike targeted a location Monday which AFRICOM said was an al-Shabaab training
camp and had been used to facilitate attacks in Beledweyne.
forces have been conducting strikes in Somalia as part of a strategy to help
the Somali National Army reduce the strength of al-Shabaab in the region.
said no civilians were injured in the tactical bombing.
are committed to supporting our Somali partners in our shared goal of
diminishing al-Shabaab's networks and disrupting its operations,"
AFRICOM's deputy director of intelligence Gen. Gregory Hadfield said in a
statement. "This precision airstrike successfully targeted an encampment
from which al-Shabaab could stage, coordinate, and execute attacks on
strike comes one day after another airstrike killed 35 militants 20 miles (32
kilometers) east of Beledweyne.
month, a U.S. airstrike killed at least 24 fighters in the Shebeeley village of
the central Hiran region. A few days later another strike in the Lower Shabelle
region killed 13 fighters, according to AFRICOM.
forces will use all effective and appropriate methods to assist in the
protection of the Somali people, including partnered military counter-terror
operations with the Federal Government of Somalia, AMISOM and Somali National
Army forces," the statement added.
biggest oil field, Sharara, will remain closed until sufficient security
measures are put in place for its safe operation, the Libya's National Oil
Company (NOC) chairman said in a video message on the NOC website on Monday.
oil field (Sharara) is closed because of the presence of a group of civilians,
armed militia, and some military people with them. The oil field is not yet
safe,” Mustafa Sanalla said in the video statement.
conditions for reopening Sharara, including safety for oil workers and the departure
of the armed group responsible for the field’s closure, had not yet been
met," he continued.
added that oil production would not restart at the field in southern Libya,
which is currently under control of forces loyal to east Libya-based commander
Khalifa Haftar, known as the Libyan National Army (LNA).
Haftar forces, who are supported by the Tobruk-based House of Representatives
(HoR) forces, announced three weeks ago that they also took “full control” of
the nearby Sharara oilfield. They also took control of the Elephant oil field
in Libya's Murzuq Basin last week.
Sharara field has been closed since December after members of the Maghawir
Brigade seized control, crippling oil exports that the country mainly depends
on for revenue.
NOC declared a force majeure on Dec. 10, stating the Sharara oil field shutdown
would cause a production loss of 315,000 barrels per day (bpd).
Jan. 15, Haftar forces in southern Libya aim to “fight against Al-Qaeda and
Daesh terrorist groups, clear out Chadian opposition groups, and dismiss human
traffickers in the region”.
official vows to help fight drug abuse in Sri Lanka
A senior Saudi adviser to the Muslim World League (MWL) has pledged the
organization’s help in fighting drug abuse in Sri Lanka.
a four-day visit to the country, Dr. Ahmed Hamad Jilan also promised support
for the development of education there.
East Asian nations adviser for the MWL in Makkah, was speaking to Arab News on
Monday after meeting with Sri Lanka’s Western Province Gov. Azath Salley at the
governor’s offices in the capital Colombo.
pointed out that peaceful coexistence with other communities was imperative for
the development of any nation and said that the MWL was committed to
cooperating in the fight against drug abuse and promoting education in Sri
said that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman followed a moderate path by
respecting the values of all other faiths. “Islam believes in tolerance,
compromise, peace, and brotherhood among all ethnic groups,” Jilan added.
KABUL: American and Taliban officials looking to end a 17-year war in
Afghanistan began their most detailed and highlevel discussions yet on foreign
troop withdrawals and counter-terrorism on Tuesday, officials close to the
peace negotiations said.
talks, which kicked off in Doha on Monday, are seen as the most promising yet
between the warring parties after the Taliban's newly-appointed political chief
Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar joined for the first time, flying in from Pakistan.
two sides are looking to hammer out a timeline and logistics for a potential
troop withdrawal, as well as guarantees that the Taliban will not host militant
groups as the US winds down its presence, sources said. "The Taliban knows
foreign forces are committed to withdrawal, but we have the responsibility to
ensure that Afghanistan does not get used as a base to launch terror attacks on
foreign nations," one of the officials said.
the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) violation of the Line of Control (LoC) on Tuesday,
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, in a telephonic conversation, told US
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that India is putting the regional peace and
stability at risk in pursuit of its political and electoral targets.
to the Foreign Office (FO), Qureshi told Pompeo that Indian aggression was
worthy of condemnation and hoped that the United States will play its role in
the situation. He apprised Pompeo about India’s violations at the LoC as well
as the emotions of the Pakistani government, parliament and the people.
desires regional peace and stability but we cannot compromise on our
stability,” Qureshi told his US counterpart. He said that Islamabad has already
informed the international community about New Delhi’s intentions following the
Pulwama attack. However, he said, Pakistan has adopted an ‘extremely
responsible attitude’ despite threats from India.
told Pompeo that the joint peace efforts in Afghanistan can be affected by the
Japanese government will provide $32.5 million in aid for the Rohingya refugees
in Bangladesh, its embassy in Dhaka said on Tuesday.
aid will be used to support the Rohingya sheltered in Cox’s Bazar of Bangladesh
and the host communities there, Japan’s embassy in Bangladeshi capital said in a
decision was taken on Feb. 7, it added.
the massive influx of refugees into Bangladesh in August 2017, the Japanese
government has granted approximately $50.2 million to some international
organizations, excluding the latest pledge, according to the statement.
will extend the humanitarian assistance for the Rohingya refugees and host
communities in Cox’s Bazar through site management of refugee camps, providing
food, shelter, medical services and trainings.
aid will be given through international agencies -- United Nations High
Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Organization for Migration
(IOM), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations
International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), the Food and Agriculture
Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Entity for Gender
Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UNWomen), the World Food Programme
(WFP), the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Committee of the
Red Cross (ICRC), the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), the Médecins Sans
Frontières (MSF, also known in English as Doctors Without Borders).
Rohingya, described by the UN as the world's most persecuted people, have faced
heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in
to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly women and
children, have fled Myanmar and crossed to Bangladesh after Myanmar forces
launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in August 2017.
Aug. 25, 2017, nearly 24,000 Rohingya Muslims have been killed by Myanmar’s
state forces, according to a report by the Ontario International Development
than 34,000 Rohingya were also thrown into fires, while over 114,000 others
were beaten, said the OIDA report, titled "Forced Migration of Rohingya:
The Untold Experience."
18,000 Rohingya women and girls were raped by Myanmar’s army and police and
over 115,000 Rohingya homes were burned down and 113,000 others vandalized, it
UN has also documented mass gang rapes, killings – including of infants and
young children – brutal beatings and disappearances committed by Myanmar state
least fifteen Taliban militants have been killed or wounded during the
airstrikes and clashes in North of Afghanistan, the Afghan Military in the
North said Tuesday.
to a statement released by 209th Shaheen Corps of the Afghan Militry in the
North, at least two Taliban militants were killed and two others were wounded
during a clash with the armed forces in Almar district of Faryab province at
around 11:50pm local time.
statement further added that the security forces also discovered and defused
two improvised explosives during an operation which conducted at around 9:00pm
local time in Kotal Sherinak area of Almar district in Faryab.
least one Taliban militant was killed and two of their fighting positions were
destroyed during an airstrike which was conducted at around 12:30pm on Monday
in the vicinity of Sancharak district of SAr-e-Pul province, the 209th Shaheen
suicide bombers including a Pakistani national were arrested by the security
forces in the vicinity of eastern Nangarhar province before they manage to
reach Kabul and conduct attacks.
governor of Nangarhar Shah Mahmood Miakhel told reporters that the two suicide
bombers were arrested by the operatives of the National Directorate of
further added one of the detaind individuals has been identified as Khademullah
who is originally a Pakistani citizen and his comrade has been identified as
Usman who hails from Watapur district of Kunar province.
to Miakhel, the two individuals were looking to carry out suicide attacks in
Kabul city and were being deployed to Kabul from Haska Mina district by ISIS
also added that the two suicide bombers were travelling with fake national
Special Forces of the National Directorate of Security, the Intelligence
Department of Afghanistan, conducted an operation against the drugs stockpile
of Taliban in southern Helmand province.
National Directorate of Security (NDS) in a statement said the operation was
conducted jointly and in coordination with the Special Unit of the
Counter-narcotics forces in the vicinity of Nowzad district of Helmand
statement further added that the security forces discovered 550 kilograms of
narcotics, 30 military uniforms, 2 military steel helmets, and three
least three hideouts of the militants were also destroyed during the same
operation, the National Directorate of Security added in its statement.
Ministry of Defense of Afghanistan has announced that the Afghan army soldiers
have condcutd 6 planned operations jointly with the other security forces, 75
Special Operations and 15 airstrikes in the past 24 hours to eliminate enemy
hideouts and threats while the Air Force has also conducted 160 flights in
support of the armed forces.
to a statement released by the Ministry of Defense, at least 38 militants were
killed, 19 were wounded, and 4 others were detained during these operations.
statement further added that 11 of the terrorists were killed and 4 others were
wounded in Qarabagh, Andar, and Rashidan districts of Ghazni, 7 were killed in
Chahar Bolakand Chemtal districts of Balkh, 3 more were wounded and a
motorcycle was destroyed, 6 other militants were killed and two others were
wounded in Sangin district of Helmand, 4 militants were killed and 5 more were
wounded in Meezan district of Zabul, 4 militants were killed and vehicle packed
with explosives was destroyed in Zurmat district of Paktia province.
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