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Islamic World News (27 Aug 2018 NewAgeIslam.Com)



Kerala Floods: After Church, Sikh Volunteers Take Up Temple Cleaning

















As per volunteers, it will take at least two days to complete temple cleaning as it is really in bad shape. (Express Photo)

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Kerala Floods: After Church, Sikh Volunteers Take Up Temple Cleaning

Jamaat-i-Islami for Special Session of OIC on Dutch Caricatures

Jewish Journalist, Mahdi Majeed, Converts to Islam, Harshly Criticizes Israel

Duterte Tells Troops: Destroy Islamist Terrorists

US-Based NGO Reports Custodial Deaths, Tortures at 'Muslim Re-Education Centres' In China's Xinjiang

 

India

Kerala Floods: Village Battling Islamic State Tag Is Part of Relief Team

Maharashtra Muslims to Revive 5% Reservation Demand in Govt Jobs, Education

Pakistani-Origin Woman Becomes Indian PM Modi’s Rakhi Sister

Inspired by Dawood Ibrahim’s Son ‘Maulana Moin’, Chhota Shakeel's Son Chooses the Path of Spirituality

In First Contact with Imran Govt, India, Pak to Discuss Indus Waters

MEA refuses to share details on extradition request of Zakir Naik to Malaysia

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Pakistan

Jamaat-i-Islami for Special Session Of OIC On Dutch Caricatures

Aitzaz, Fazl emerge as nominees for president after consensus eludes opposition alliance

DG ISPR denies giving Miramshah protesters assurances to court-martial army personnel

Attack on Ahmadi worship place: Fake social media posts spurred violence in Ghaseetpura

Qureshi, Sushma may meet in New York next month

TLP to March to Islamabad on Aug 29 against Dutch Blasphemous Cartoons

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Mideast

Jewish Journalist, Mahdi Majeed, Converts to Islam, Harshly Criticizes Israel

Israeli Settlers Raid Aqsa Mosque in Latest Provocation

Erdogan: Issue not about myself, but Turkey, Islam

Arab coalition strikes Houthi training camp southeast of Sanaa

Yemeni army shoots down Houthi drone in al-Bayda province

Two senior Houthi leaders among several killed in Yemen’s Hajjah

Israel issues 36 Palestinians administrative detention orders: PPS

Israel to start building new housing units in East al-Quds next month: Report

Israeli military can’t avoid defeat in spite of advanced weapons: Nasrallah

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Southeast Asia

Duterte Tells Troops: Destroy Islamist Terrorists

Malaysian Def. Min.: Rohingyas Vulnerable To Exploitation by Terror Groups

Indonesia court verdict on call to prayer puts spotlight on blasphemy laws

Indonesian fatwa allows measles-rubella vaccine

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North America

US-Based NGO Reports Custodial Deaths, Tortures at 'Muslim Re-Education Centres' In China's Xinjiang

Rohingya Muslims in U.S. Relive First Year Anniversary of Rakhine Massacre

Islamic Relief Canada calling on faith groups to support Indigenous communities

Pompeo decries 'abhorrent ethnic cleansing' in Myanmar on anniversary

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South Asia

Emir of ISIS Khurasan Killed In Nangarhar Province

Militants Suffer Casualties during Clashes with the Afghan Forces in Kunar

Afghan President Ghani rejects resignations of top security officials

Verdict in case against Reuter’s journalists in Myanmar postponed to Sept 3

Tajikistan Air Force carries out airstrikes in Darqad district of Takhar

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Arab World

US Forces, Allied Militia Start Extracting Crude from Syria's Second Largest Oilfield

Terrorist Groups Suffer More Casualties in Blasts, Infighting in Northwestern Syria

Syrian Army Readying for Heavy Offensive against ISIL near Border with Iraq

US Military Stations Advanced Radars at Bases in Northern Syria to Create No-Fly Zone

Senior Daesh militant commander killed in Iraq’s Diyala infighting

Four militants killed trying to attack Egyptian police checkpoint -agency

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Africa

National Muslim Council of Liberia Hails Muslims for Upholding Unity

2 police killed in Cameroon’s restive Anglophone region

Uganda: Stop Torturing People, Muslim Clerics Tell Govt

Alert Issued on Al Shabaab Militia Planning Attacks in Meru

Somali Deputy Defense Minister Survives Assassination Attempt by Al-Shabaab

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Europe

Foreign Specialists Planning Chemical Attack in Syria: Russia

Illusory to think Syrian refugees can return now, France says

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/kerala-floods--after-church,-sikh-volunteers-take-up-temple-cleaning/d/116210

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Kerala Floods: After Church, Sikh Volunteers Take Up Temple Cleaning

By Divya Goyal | Ludhiana | Updated: August 27, 2018

After cleaning a church in flood-hit Kerala’s Alappuzha district, Sikh volunteers from Khalsa Aid are now working to clean a temple that has become inaccessible for Onam festivities. The volunteers were approached by a man working at Panayannurkavu Devi Temple, also called Panayannur Kavilamma temple,  situated at Thalavady village in Kuttanadu.

Gurpreet Singh from Patiala of Punjab, a Khalsa Aid volunteer, told The Indian Express, “It was Saturday when Onam festivities were underway. We were cleaning a church when a temple worker, Mohandas Prasad, came to us. had a photograph in hand. Our translator told us that he needed help in cleaning a temple. We told him we will help soon after we are done cleaning the church. The man broke down and told us that people were unable to access the temple on Onam. We told him we will help them as soon as possible. For us, the human race is one and if we can clean a church, we can clean a temple too.”

Responding to trolls on social media who criticised them for “cleaning a church, and no a temple”, Amarpreet Singh, Asia Pacific managing director, Khalsa Aid, said, “We work with the motto of ‘Recognise human race as one’. We do not select projects on the basis of caste, class, religion or gender. So when people comment that we are partial towards Muslims or Sikhs, we don’t let it affect us. Rather it makes our resolve stronger to not discriminate.”

Source: indianexpress.com/article/india/kerala-floods-after-church-sikh-volunteers-take-on-temple-cleaning-on-priests-request-5327105/

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Jamaat-i-Islami for Special Session Of OIC On Dutch Caricatures

August 27, 2018

LAHORE Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) emir Senator Sirajul Haq has demanded a special session of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) on the issue of desecration of Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) through a caricature contest in Holland.

Slating the competition of profane caricatures, Mr Haq called for an immediate meeting of the OIC to devise a mechanism to stop the Satanic pursuits.

He said the Muslims could not tolerate desecration of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and added that summoning the Dutch ambassador and lodging protest on this issue was not enough.

He was speaking at the 77th foundation day of the party here on Sunday.

Referring to international establishment’s alleged opposition to the rule of the Muslim movements across the world, he said the world colonialism was not allowing Islamic movements to come to power even through democratic process and the toppling of Dr Morsi’s elected government in Egypt and the West’s refusal to accept victory of Hamas in Palestine election were the irrefutable proofs of the conspiracy.

Sirajul Haq said that in spite of hostility of the international establishment, the JI was against securing power through undemocratic or underground means.

JI deputy chief Dr Farid Ahmed Piracha, Pildat’s president Ahmed Bilal Mehboob and Zikrullah Mujahid also spoke.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1429123/ji-for-special-session-of-oic-on-dutch-caricatures

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Jewish Journalist, Mahdi Majeed, Converts To Islam, Harshly Criticizes Israel

Hend El-Behary

August 26, 2018

Jewish journalist Mahdi Majeed converted to Islam several days ago and has viciously criticized Israel, despite having held close friendships to high-ranking Israeli officials.

“I was not a Muslim, but now I believe in Islam thanks to God who guided me to find the truth after much research. Islam is the correct path, please God protect Islam from the Muslims who have distorted it,” he wrote on his twitter account.

He added that he planned to travel to Mecca for pilgrimage, urging Saudi Authorities to let him in and congratulating people on Eid al-Adha.

“I bear witness that there is no God but Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, I witness that I’m not supporting loyalty to any oppressor, tyrant and bloodshed and aggressor”, he said.

Majeed went on to call Israel a “Zionist state”, despite previously describing Israel as the lighthouse of democracy in the Middle East in February during a visit with a media delegation.

He acknowledged that Israelis have a right to live in peace, without war against Palestinians.

During the delegation’s visit Majeed met with spokesperson of the Israeli army, Avichay Adraee‎, who both went live from Tel Aviv on Facebook through Adraee‎’s official page.

“I urge you all not to trust Israel or any Israeli official, no matter how sweet his words are, as  they only care about their interests. Adhere to Islam and keeping away from evil sheikhs and their misguidance,” Majeed wrote.

He also advised his friend, Jewish writer Edy Cohen to convert to Islam, to which Cohen replied: “You have your own religion and I have mine.”

It isn’t just Israel Majeed criticized, as he also attacked Muslim clerics he perceived as giving the wrong image of Islam and leading people astray.

On August 24, he tweeted that former president Mohamed Morsi and MB leaders Khairat al-Shater, Mohamed al-Beltagy, and Salafist cleric Hazem Salah Abu Ismail were tortured by Israeli intelligence agency Mossad at the Israeli embassy in Cairo before their transfer to Egyptian prison.

“The one responsible for the investigations was Ethan Noam, a Mossad officer, and he is currently a diplomat in Austria,” he said on twitter.

https://www.egyptindependent.com/jewish-journalist-converts-to-islam-harshly-criticizes-israel/

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Duterte tells troops: Destroy Islamist terrorists

August 27, 2018

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte has directed the military to “destroy and kill” extremists whom he said are subscribing to a “bankrupt” ideology.

“I assure you that you have my full support as you conduct intensive military operations against these terrorist groups, particularly those who subscribe to the extremist ideologies of the Islamic State and al-Qaeda,” the President told soldiers at Camp Teodulfo Bautista in Barangay Bus-bus in Jolo, Sulu last Saturday.

“That’s just a bankrupt… useless ideology. It only wants to kill and destroy. Destroy and kill. So my order to you: destroy and kill also,” he added.

Duterte is confident that government forces could win their fight against security threats.

“Please know that I am very humbled by your dedication, inspired by your resilience and thankful for the continued support. With your bravery, selflessness and patriotism, I am optimistic that we will one day defeat all threats to our democratic institutions and secure a brighter future for our beloved country,” he said.

“All I can say with pride: you are not alone in this fight. The Filipino people stand beside you, and I stand with you every step of the way as we advance the common good and promote the safety and security of our nation,” he added.

He reminded the soldiers to take care of themselves during clashes.

“Do not play extraordinary hero. Seek cover... You can only see that in the movies. Here, every step of the way, ensure... your safety first,” Duterte said.

“I pray… for your safety. I ask God that you be given protection so you can come home to your families every now and then,” he added.

21 soldiers awarded

Duterte also conferred the Order of Lapu-Lapu with a rank of Kampilan to 21 soldiers who were injured in recent encoun ters with the Abu Sayyaf in Patikul, Sulu.

The President awarded Sergeant Wilmar Salde, Sgt. Jonathan Mamalompong, Sgt. Alejandro Bautista, Sgt. Agripino Pagauitan, Sgt. Randy Menor, Corporal Jeffrey Zippagan, Cpl. Jeramil Canipas, Cpl. Edward Tamangen Jr., Cpl. Arnel Walay, Cpl. Raffy Jay Hernal, Cpl. Joel Wawoc, Private First Class Delim Cawas, PFC Arnold Daria, PFC Raib Pannal, Private Leo Molina, Pvt. Ronnie Galinggan, Pvt. Jonel Ramiscal, Pvt. Jackson Ramos, Pvt. Ruben Ruping Jr., Pvt. Jobert Galas and Pvt. Jake Venezuela when he visited them at Camp Teodulfo Bautista Station Hospital last Saturday.

Duterte cited their courage and sacrifices in the service of the country, telling them he admires them for their bravery and patriotism, and assured them of the government’s assistance.

The Chief Executive said he wanted all wounded soldiers to receive medals, noting that they endure pain to fulfill their mandate.

“I created the Order of Lapu-Lapu. If stepping on a nail can hurt, how much more for a gunshot wound? So there should be an award,” he said.

New Army officers deployed

Meanwhile, the Philippine Army yesterday announced the deployment of dozens of newly commissioned 2nd lieutenants to various units nationwide to help fight the New People’s Army (NPA) and terror groups in the country.

Some 240 new officers – composed of 102 male and 37 female graduates of Philippine Military Academy’s “Alab Tala” Class of 2018, 88 male and 12 female graduates of the Officer Candidate School “Adusque” Class 49-17 and one graduate of British Army Commissioning Course 163 of Royal Military Academy Sandhurst – were officially filed last Friday in a simple send-off ceremony held at Fort Bonifacio.

Philippine Army acting Commanding General Maj. Gen. Chad Isleta led the activity along with other officials, civilian employees and the families of the new officers to show their infinite support and motivation.

“I commend all of you for making the Philippine Army your choice and for willingly accepting the challenges that come with our profession, even if this means having to voluntarily leave behind your families, friends and loved ones to protect a greater family – the Filipino citizenry. Take pride that you are now part of a force that is rapidly transforming into a world-class organization,” he told the troops.

Army spokesman Lt. Col. Louie Villanueva said bulk of the new officers shall be deployed in various Army field units to strengthen leadership at the tactical level, which is essential in quelling the various threats besetting the country, particularly insurgency and terrorism.

IS becoming covert global network

Despite a major loss of territory, there are still around 20,000 Islamic State fighters in both Iraq and Syria, and a core of fighters is expected to survive and continue the group’s dangerous transformation into a covert global network, while focusing on the activities of its regional offshoots, according to a new United Nations report on the threats posed by IS presented to the Security Council last Thursday by senior UN counterterrorism officials. – Alexis Romero, Edith Regalado, Michael Punongbayan, Pia Lee-Brago

https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2018/08/27/1846164/duterte-tells-troops-destroy-islamist-terrorists

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US-based NGO reports custodial deaths, tortures at 'Muslim re-education centres' in China's Xinjiang

Aug 24, 2018

Washington: A US-based NGO on Friday said that there were credible reports of Muslim re-education centres in China's Xinjiang region where custodial deaths and torture were taking place.

"Credible reports of deaths in custody, torture, and systemic political indoctrination must propel the international community into action on behalf of the Uyghurs," the Washington-based Uyghur Human Rights Project said in a statement.

Recently, China denied the existence of these centres to the US which, as reported by civil organisations, hold up to 1 million Uyghurs, a Chinese Muslim ethnic minority living in Xinjiang, reports Efe news.

"The mass internment of Uyghurs in camps across the region is occurring as the Chinese government promotes itself globally as a model of governance and trade through the Belt and (New Silk) Road Initiative," UHRP said.

The non-profit added that "timing is key in human rights interventions to ensure the collective long-term welfare of vulnerable groups, and the time to publicly seek accountability from China regarding the mass-internment of Uyghurs is now".

It urged the international community to demand Beijing to immediately release all detainees being held without charges in the internment camps and called on the UN to use the Universal Periodic Review of China in November 2018.

In addition, it suggested adopting the "Global Magnitsky Act" under which Chinese officials complicit in human rights violations will be punished and demanded an end to the forced return of Uyghurs from abroad under pressure from the Chinese government.

It is estimated that there are some 23 million Muslims living in China, approximately 1.7 percent of the population, including ethnic minorities such as the Hui (scattered throughout the country) or others linked to the peoples of Central Asia such as Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Uzbeks, Kyrgyz or Tajik.

https://www.firstpost.com/world/us-based-ngo-reports-custodial-deaths-tortures-at-muslim-re-education-centres-in-chinas-xinjiang-5035091.html

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India

 

Maharashtra Muslims to revive 5% reservation demand in govt jobs, education

Aug 27, 2018

After the Maratha and Dhangar communities, the Muslims in Maharashtra have decided to intensify their demand for 5% reservation in government jobs and education by holding non-violent agitations.

A Muslim Reservation Joint Action Committee (MRJAC) was formed on Sunday, in a meeting held at the Anjuman-e-Islam School, to decide future strategies to get their demand approved from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led state government. Nearly 60 different groups from the community have come together to raise the issue, ahead of the 2019 elections.

The action committee has decided to organise rallies, conferences and signature campaign to press for their demand.

Currently, around 50 Muslim sub-castes get reservation under the Other Backward Classes, Scheduled Tribe and Vimukt Jati categories in the state. However, the community is asking for reservation for all in the quota.

The former Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) government had approved 5% reservation to the community in government jobs and education by promulgating an ordinance in 2014. Although the decision was struck down by the Bombay high court (HC), the court in an interim order had allowed reservation in education on grounds of the community’s backwardness in this arena.

The current BJP government, however, did nothing on this front and the ordinance lapsed. The BJP has said it is against reservation on religious grounds.

Educationist PA Inamdar, who is heading MRJAC, however said the community is demanding reservation on the basis of social and educational backwardness. “We want the state to give 5% reservation benefits in both government jobs and education to Muslims in the state as it’s a proven fact that the community is socially and educationally backward. We have reports of four different committees and commissions to prove our side,” he said.

“Let the state government come out with the decision, we are prepared to challenge the HC decision. We are ready to fight for our rights through silent agitations and legal means,” he said.

Hussain Dalwai, Congress’ Rajya Sabha MP, who has taken the initiative to bring all the community organisations on one platform, said they will hold conferences in all five divisions of the state to raise awareness, followed by a signature campaign. “We are demanding reservation on the basis of socio-economic backwardness and not on religious grounds,” he said. The Congress has been claiming that Marathas, Muslims as well as Dhangars need reservation.

The Maratha community has been demanding 16% reservation while Dhangars, who are currently categorised as nomadic tribes and get 3.5% reservation want to be a part of the Scheduled Tribe (ST) category to get 7% reservation.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/mumbai-news/maharashtra-muslims-to-revive-5-reservation-demand-in-govt-jobs-education/story-cl3rCkOHNsml9F0CJbMXmK.html

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Pakistani-origin woman becomes Indian PM Modi’s rakhi sister

Aug 27, 2018

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi celebrated Raksha Bandhan on Sunday with a Pakistan-origin special guest at his residence, a private media outlet reported.

Qamar Mohsin Shaikh paid him a visit to tie rakhi, something which she has been doing for over 20 years. Qamar came to India from Pakistan after her marriage and has been living here since then.

From the time she was a humble RSS worker, Qamar had endearingly kept alive the tradition even after he had become prime minister.

“I have been tying rakhi to Narendra bhai for the last 22-23 years, excited to do it this time too,” Qamar told news agency ANI in New Delhi.

She said PM Modi had returned her call despite his tight work schedule.

“This time I thought PM Modi must be busy but two days back he called, I was very happy to know that; started preparing for Raksha Bandhan,” she said.

Full report at:

https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2018/08/26/pakistani-origin-woman-becomes-indian-pm-modis-rakhi-sister-this-year/

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Inspired by Dawood Ibrahim’s son ‘Maulana Moin’, Chhota Shakeel's son chooses the path of spirituality

Aug 26, 2018

Mumbai: A year after fugitive mafia don Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar's son decided to become a maulana, his close aide Chhota Shakeel's only son has also embraced the spiritual path in Karachi, Pakistan, where they live, reliable sources told IANS. Chhota Shakeel's 18-year-son Mubashir Shaikh -- his third and youngest child -- created a stir recently by becoming a "Hafiz-e-Quran" or one who has memorized the entire Quran -- considered a milestone for any follower of Islam.Many in the Mumbai underworld are dejected to hear the news of another don's descendant taking the religious path. Mubashir has now started teaching and preaching the Quran to people in the Karachi neighbourhood where he lives with his ageing father, Babumiya Shakeel Ahmed Shaikh alias Chhota Shakeel, the second in command in the D Company.

Chhota Shakeel once ran a travel agency at Nagpada in south Mumbai and in the early 1980s; he joined Dawood who was a rising star of Mumbai's criminal underworld. He is the only man in the D Company who enjoys the don's complete confidence. The latest whereabouts of Dawood and his key aides, including Chhota Shakeel, was confirmed by his brother Iqbal Ibrahim Kaskar, who was arrested by the Thane Anti-Extortion Cell 11 months ago. During his interrogation, he told encounter specialist Pradeep Sharma on how his brother (Dawood) was suffering from depression after his only son, Moin, became a maulana (Muslim cleric-cum-religious teacher).Like Moin, Mubashir disapproves of his father's crime and terror activities but continues to live with him. This has raised questions afresh on who will inherit Dawood's business and criminal empires. Besides Mubashir, Chhota Shakeel has two daughters -- Zoya and Anam -- who are married to doctors in Karachi.

https://www.timesnownews.com/india/article/dawood-ibrahim-chota-shakeel-mubashir-shaikh-moin-nawaz-dawood-kaskar-d-company-hafiz-e-quran-mumbai-iqbal-ibrahim-kaskar-pakistan-karachi-pradeep/275243

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In first contact with Imran govt, India, Pak to discuss Indus waters

Aug 27, 2018

NEW DELHI: India will have its first official engagement with the Imran Khan government in Pakistan with a team of officials travelling to Islamabad this week for a meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission.

While India has justified the water talks in the past as a "mandatory requirement" under the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT), the timing of the meeting on this occasion is significant as it will come just a week after Khan took over as PM.

Pakistan under Khan has appealed to India to move beyond the cycle of dialogue and disruption. While India remains cautious mainly because of its concerns over cross-border terrorism, PM Narendra Modi earlier wrote to Khan+ expressing commitment to meaningful and constructive engagement with Pakistan.

Despite both sides wanting "constructive" engagement, any comprehensive dialogue is ruled out for now. Meetings on the Indus waters and also engagement on the sidelines of multilateral events though are being considered by India as these involve little risk of undermining its official position that there can be no substantive engagement with Islamabad until it acts against India-specific terror groups.

Both countries have not yet ruled out the possibility of a meeting between foreign minister Sushma Swaraj and her counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi on the sidelines of the UNGA next month. Pakistan has shared with World Bank, which oversees IWT, its concerns over the inauguration of the Kishanganga hydroelectric power project. Islamabad protested the inauguration by Modi saying the project violated the IWT as it would limit its supplies from a river flowing into Pakistan.

Besides the 330 MW project on the Kishanganga river (tributary of Jhelum), India's 850 mw Ratle run-of-river hydroelectric project, too, has been a bone of contention between the two countries for long. Ratle is being built on the Chenab river in Kishtwar district of J&K.

Though water of eastern rivers (Ravi, Beas and Sutlej) are allocated to India under the 1960 IWT, the country is under obligation to let the water of western rivers (Indus, Jhelum and Chenab) flow to Pakistan. India is, however, permitted to construct hydroelectric projects on the western rivers and can even use the water from these rivers for irrigation and other domestic purposes.

Full report at:

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/in-first-contact-with-imran-govt-india-pak-to-discuss-indus-waters/articleshow/65555609.cms

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MEA refuses to share details on extradition request of Zakir Naik to Malaysia

August 26, 2018

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has refused to share details of the request to Malaysia seeking extradition of controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik citing RTI clauses that bars disclosure of information received in confidence from the foreign government, among others. Naik is being probed in India for alleged terror charges,

In response to an RTI application filed by a PTI correspondent, the ministry said there are 160 extradition requests from India pending with various foreign countries. “The information cannot be provided pursuant to Section 8 (1) (a) (f) and (h) of the Right to Information Act, 2005,” it said.

The Section (h) bars disclosure of information which would impede the process of investigation or apprehension or prosecution of offenders. As per Section (f) of the transparency law, “information received in confidence from foreign government” cannot be disclosed.

The Section 8 (1) (a) bars “information, disclosure of which would prejudicially affect the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security, strategic, scientific or economic interests of the state, relation with foreign state or lead to incitement of an offence”.

The MEA was asked to provide the copy of letter or request made to Malaysia seeking extradition of Naik and also the copy of any communication response from that government. Naik, who left India in July, 2016, is wanted for alleged terror and money laundering charges.

MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had last month said that India’s request to Malaysia to extradite Naik was under active consideration of that country. India has an extradition treaty with Malaysia.

In January, the MEA made a formal request to Malaysia to deport Naik.

Naik, who is in Malaysia, in a statement published in Malaysian newspapers in July, had thanked Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad for examining his case from an “unbiased perspective”.

India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA), that probes terror cases, had last year filed a charge sheet in a court against Naik for allegedly inciting youth to take up terror activities, giving hate speeches and promoting enmity between communities.

It had first registered a case against Naik under anti-terror laws in 2016.

Full report at:

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/mea-refuses-to-share-details-on-extradition-request-of-zakir-naik-to-malaysia-5325668/

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Pakistan

 

Aitzaz, Fazl emerge as nominees for president after consensus eludes opposition alliance

August 27, 2018

PPP's Aitzaz Ahsan and Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Monday emerged as the two candidates who will challenge Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) candidate Dr Arif Alvi in the presidential election of September 4, after the grand opposition alliance failed to reach consensus on a single nominee despite a series of huddles on the matter.

The failure of the opposition parties to field a joint candidate will virtually provide a walkover to the ruling PTI's Dr Alvi, an MNA from Karachi, for the president’s office.

While Ahsan filed his papers for the presidential election hours before the 12-noon deadline on Monday, a JUI-F spokesperson claimed that Fazl would be the single nominee of the opposition parties, with the exception of the PPP.

The JUI-F chief will submit his nomination papers shortly as the joint candidate of the PML-N, Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA), Awami National Party, Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party and National Party, the spokesperson told DawnNewsTV.

Sources in the opposition had earlier told Dawn that PPP and PML-N representatives directly and with the help of mediators remained in touch throughout Sunday in their bid to reach an understanding, but all their efforts failed after the PPP’s refusal to withdraw Ahsan’s name.

A PPP delegation comprising Khursheed Shah, Naveed Qamar, Chaudhry Manzoor and Qamar Zaman Kaira met PML-N leaders at the Parliament Lodges residence of former National Assembly speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq late on Sunday night but later left without talking to reporters who were waiting outside.

PML-N’s acting secretary general Ahsan Iqbal, however, then told media that they had been still making all-out efforts to bring a joint opposition candidate, expressing the hope that the PPP might show “flexibility”.

Iqbal said if they failed to agree on a consensus candidate, it would be a “setback” and a bad omen for democracy.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1429261/aitzaz-fazl-emerge-as-nominees-for-president-after-consensus-eludes-opposition-alliance

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DG ISPR denies giving Miramshah protesters assurances to court-martial army personnel

August 27, 2018

Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor on Sunday rejected a media report claiming that the armed forces had assured protesters in North Waziristan tribal district that the army personnel responsible for the alleged killing of a man would be court-martialed.

On Friday, during a protest against the arrests made in connection with a remote-controlled bomb blast a day earlier, security forces had allegedly opened fire, killing one and injuring 10 others.

The death had sparked a sit-in in Miramshah, which, according to newly elected MNA from North Waziristan Mohsin Dawar, was called off after their demands were accepted.

According to VOA (Voice of America) DEEWA, one of the demands of the protesters was to court-martial "Captain Zarar, who allegedly killed a boy during a protest".

However, the DG ISPR contested that claim on Twitter hours later, saying that "while an inquiry has been ordered to ascertain facts, no assurance [has been] given for any court martial."

Maj Gen Ghafoor denied that the forces had killed or injured anyone, and accused the media outlet of keeping up "its tradition of false reporting.

"People of Waziristan are peace loving and value the attained peace," he wrote.

Full report at:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1429080/dg-ispr-denies-giving-miramshah-protesters-assurances-to-court-martial-army-personnel

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Attack on Ahmadi worship place: Fake social media posts spurred violence in Ghaseetpura

Saleem Mubarak

August 27, 2018

FAISALABAD: Unbridled unauthenticated fake posts on social media created problems for the police to maintain the law and order in Ghaseetpura in the Balochni police area that witnessed an attack on Ahmadi worship place on Thursday.

Scores of such posts were seen on social media which claimed that seven Muslims were killed by the firing of the Ahmadi community and others were injured while police were not providing security to the Muslims. However, not a single casualty has been reported or confirmed by any government institutes like hospitals, Rescue 1122, police and other law enforcement agencies. But the social media worked like fuel to the fire and played a major part in fanning the emotions of the Muslims who did not know the reality.

Meanwhile, sensing the situation of the area, SSP (operations) Haider Sultan has been tasked with ensuring all the preventive measures and picketing and patrol in the area to avert any further untoward incident. Besides, a six-member team of police, headed by the SSP (investigation), has been formed to supervise investigation into the incident which is stated to be the result of a feud between the Ahmadi and Muslims in Ghaseetpura. Eighteen people were injured in the violence. The SP Jaranwala, SP legal, DSP Khurrianwala, DSP organised crime and SHO Sargodha Road Police Station are members of the committee.

The SHO Sargodha Road has been appointed as investigating officer in the case as only an inspector can investigate the case registered under section of 7-ATA and Balochni SHO is a sub-inspector. The police booked about 200 people from both the communities.

The violence in Ghaseetpura had started following a cockfight as two Muslim guys had allegedly hit the rooster of an Ahmadi man.

“We had to struggle on two fronts – Ghaseetpura and social media–and frankly speaking provocative posts of the social media were very tough to tackle. The posts claimed that the Ahmadi community had gunned down the Muslims,” a police officer, requesting anonymity, told Dawn. He said one could independently check that the issue had nothing to do with religion, rather it was a pure personal dispute which was given a religious colour.

The officer said monitor and control of the social media, particularly the posts related to religious issues, for social harmony, were the need of the hour. He suggested strict action against the persons involved in fake social media posts irrespective of their religion as they provoked the people, causing irreparable loss to society.

“We have forwarded some posts of social media to the concerned quarters to check such posts as claimed deaths of the Muslims in the clash though till date no death had occurred and people had sustained minor injuries,” the police officer said.

Ahtshamul Haq, a human rights activist, said we had no check on social media, especially facebook, where pages had launched for spreading wrong information and even misquoting the Hadiths and sayings. He said such pages must be blocked by bringing their administrators to the book.

Full report at:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1429144/attack-on-ahmadi-worship-place-fake-social-media-posts-spurred-violence-in-ghaseetpura

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Qureshi, Sushma may meet in New York next month

August 27, 2018

WASHINGTON: Foreign Ministers of Pakistan and India may meet in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly’s (UNGA) annual meeting next month, diplomatic sources in the US capital said.

“Such a meeting is possible but no decision yet,” said a senior Pakistani diplomat when asked if Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Sushma Swaraj were meeting in New York next month. Both are attending the 73rd UNGA which opens on Sept 18.

The first report of a possible meeting between the two foreign ministers came from India days after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote to Prime Minister Imran Khan, congratulating him on his swearing-in.

The Pakistanis are reluctant to confirm their agenda for the 73rd UNGA also because it is still undecided who will represent the country at the world body.

India has already announced that it is sending Ms Swaraj as Mr Modi cannot leave the country in the middle of an election campaign.

Islamabad had indicated last week that PM Khan may also skip the UNGA as part of his efforts to cut down government expenses.

But since then a number of senior Pakistani diplomats and political commentators have urged Mr Khan to reconsider his decision.

They argued that representing Pakistan at a forum like the UNGA was not a waste of funds, particularly when there’s a new government in Islamabad and the international community wanted to know its views on key issues like Kashmir and Afghanistan.

Pakistani officials, however, feel that the prime minister’s presence in New York will add a new dimension to an India-Pakistan meeting, even though he will not participate in minister-level talks.

Diplomatic sources in Washington argue that Islamabad would also like to see how productive this meeting could be, particularly because India has already said that it’s not ready to resume bilateral or formal talks with Pakistan.

They point out this week India strongly rejected a suggestion that in his letter to Mr Khan, the Indian prime minister had expressed interest in resuming talks.

The Indian reaction forced Islamabad to clarify that the suggestion was a media interpretation of the letter and Foreign Minister Qureshi, in his comments on Mr Modi’s letter, never said that “the Indian Prime Minister had made an offer of a dialogue”.

Since then, reports in the Indian media have suggested that while New Delhi had ruled out formal talks, it “does not preclude interactions with Pakistan leaders at multilateral events”.

“For the Modi government, UNGA offers a great opportunity to break the ice with the new government in Pakistan before it seriously considers moving on to more substantive engagement,” The Times of India newspaper reported.

The Indian media noted that the new Pakistani prime minister also expressed his willingness on to re-start the stalled India-Pakistan peace process, stressing that the two countries must engage in dialogue to resolve their differences, including on the Kashmir issue, and start trading.

Full report at:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1429209/qureshi-sushma-may-meet-in-new-york-next-month

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TLP to march to Islamabad on Aug 29 against Dutch blasphemous cartoons

Aug 27, 2018

Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) has announced that it will begin a “decisive march” from Lahore to Islamabad on Wednesday, and will “stay on the streets until either the publication of blasphemous cartoons in the Netherlands end or the govt immediately ends diplomatic ties with the Dutch”.

Incensed by an announcement by Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders to hold a competition of blasphemous caricatures, the TLP held a meeting in Lahore on Sunday and came up with its line of action and demands.

The religiopolitical party urged the PTI government to not only “discontinue diplomatic and commercial relations with the Netherlands” but also “demand from other Islamic countries to do the same”.

The TLP also demands that since the said competition’s judge is an American national, “therefore, strict measures should also be taken against the US.”

Full report at:

https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2018/08/26/tlp-to-march-to-islamabad-on-aug-29-against-dutch-blasphemous-cartoons/

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Mideast

 

Israeli settlers raid Aqsa Mosque in latest provocation

Aug 26, 2018

Scores of settlers break into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound under the protection of Israeli forces who take away four Palestinians working for a charity organization in Jerusalem al-Quds during a raid.

Over 80 settlers raided the extremely sensitive site in the early hours of Sunday, in the latest provocative act.

The move is considered to be an incursion under a 1967 deal between Israel and Jordan that is the custodian of the mosque. According to the agreement, non-Muslim worshipers can visit the place but are prohibited from praying there.

Tel Aviv, however, often allows settlers to enter the site and carry out religious rituals in defiance of the accord.

Israeli forces meanwhile abducted four Palestinians working for Islamic Waqf (Endowment) organization during a raid on the al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

The raid took place on Saturday targeting those working for the organization’s al-Aqsa Reconstruction Committee.

The Palestinian-run International Middle East Media Center news organization named those targeted as Issa Dabbagh, Bassem Zghayyar, Jom’a Manasra, and Hamad Alqam.

It said the four were taken away while performing their duties, and moved to the al-Qashla detention and interrogation center in the Old City of Jerusalem al-Quds.

The Waqf organization is trusted with controlling and managing the Islamic edifices on and around the Mosque’s compound.

This is not the first time Israeli forces target the body. Last July, it was reported that the forces had stolen a large number of confidential documents belonging to the organization.

Hassan Khater, the head of al-Quds International Center, said at the time that the appropriation had taken place over three days that followed a reported shootout on July 14 near the site.

Israel fully closed off the holy compound after the alleged incident, prompting international protest and angry Palestinian demonstrations that were met with deadly Israeli response.

Separately, it was reported that Israeli forces had ambushed and abducted 68 Palestinian workers across the city of al-Khalil (Hebron) south of the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Ma’an news agency reported.

They handed over those held, all aged between 20 and 60, to the Israeli intelligence service for questioning, it added.

A 20-year-old Palestinian youth was injured in the hand and leg during the sweep, suffering a fracture.

http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/08/26/572284/Palestine-Israel-raid-Aqsa-employees

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Erdogan: Issue not about myself, but Turkey, Islam

27 Aug 2018

ANKARA:  President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday that the "issue" is not about himself and his party but "Turkey and Islam".

Speaking in the eastern province of Mus at a ceremony marking the 947th anniversary of Battle of Malazgirt, Erdogan stressed that Turkey’s security is not limited to its borders, adding it starts wherever there is a brother under threat.

"Thus, we have to be powerful in politics, diplomacy, economy, trade and technology. Otherwise, put this homeland and geography aside, they won’t give us a single day to live in this world,” Erdogan said.

"If we show even a small sign of weakness, or perceive a situation in that way, you will see they will come onto us like hooded crows.”

Pointing at "some unwary people among us”, Erdogan said they assume the issue is about the president himself and the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party.

"No, the issue is about Turkey. The issue is about Islam, which they symbolize with our nation,” he said.

Battle of Malazgirt

Praising Turkish victory in Anatolia nearly a millennium ago, Erdogan said the Battle of Malazgirt (Manzikert) paved the way to Europe for the Turks.

The Battle of Malazgirt of Aug. 26, 1071 saw Seljuk Turks led by Sultan Alparslan defeat a Byzantine army and open up Anatolia for Turkish domination.

Describing Anatolia as a linchpin of the future of humanity, Erdogan said: "If Anatolia falls, neither the Middle East nor Africa, Central Asia, the Balkans, or the Caucasus will remain."

The president also called on Turkish youth to take ownership of the country’s centuries-old legacy.

"Not only were we victorious in [the Battle] of Malazgirt, we also showed the entire world what a nation we are. The young people! Protect this legacy born in the past, moving forward into the future,” Erdogan said.

The president also said the spirit of Malazgirt is the key to the past, as well as the future, referring to Turkey's 2023 objectives, in particular.

"Turkey carries the responsibility of a big civilization, a huge history and great humanity... I expect you, [the young people] to act likewise in whatever field you opt for," Erdogan said.

Normalize ties with US

Turkish Parliament Speaker and former Prime Minister Binali Yildirim also attended the program.

During his speech, Yildirim blasted those, who try to destroy Turkey’s unity, saying: "They will never be able to accomplish this.”

"In Turkey, economic coup attempts or coup attempts such as the one on July 15 carried out by traitors have never borne fruit, nor will they [in the future].”

Referring to the Washington administration, Yildirim called for exerting new efforts to normalize the relations.

Also speaking at the ceremony, Turkey's Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) head Devlet Bahceli, drew parallels between current events and those during the Byzantium era.

"The inspiration for those who brutally fictionalize political and economic operations is driven by Byzantium’s provocation,” Bahceli said.

"The game of foreign exchange and foreign exchange rate are the method of Byzantine.”

Full report at:

https://www.thepeninsulaqatar.com/article/27/08/2018/Erdogan-Issue-not-about-myself,-but-Turkey,-Islam

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Arab coalition strikes Houthi training camp southeast of Sanaa

27 August 2018

The Arab coalition’s fighter jets launched several airstrikes on a Houthi camp southeast of Sanaa.

According to local sources, the coalition targeted a training camp where the Rapid Intervention Battalion is stationed in the Khwlan District.

The sources added that the Houthis were seen transferring dozens of injured and killed militiamen to hospitals following the strikes.

Members of the Rapid Intervention Battalion, who had received intensive training for the past three months, were about to graduate from the camp and be sent to fight in the west coast front.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/gulf/2018/08/27/Arab-coalition-strikes-Houthi-training-camp-southeast-of-Sanaa.html

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Yemeni army shoots down Houthi drone in al-Bayda province

26 August 2018

A military source in al-Bayda said that the Yemeni army shot down a drone aircraft belonging to the Houthi militias on Sunday.

The source pointed out that the army managed to shoot down the plane through a medium-armed machine gun.

The incident took place in the village of Ghoul in the Directorate of Numan al-Awwad in al-Bayda province.

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/gulf/2018/08/26/Yemeni-army-shoots-down-Houthi-drone-in-al-Bayda-province.html

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Two senior Houthi leaders among several killed in Yemen’s Hajjah

26 August 2018

Yemeni military sources said on Sunday that two senior field commanders in the Houthi militias were killed during clashes in Hiran directorate of Hajjah governorate.

The two commanders, Abdul Wahab Mohammed al-Hussam and Salah Massad Khamousi, were killed among other of the militias’ fighters, in battles with the Yemeni national army, according to the sources.

Khamousi was the supervisor of the Houthi militias in the directorate of Mahabsha.

On the other hand, the Yemeni army, on Saturday, with the support of the coalition, was able to detonate 6 naval mines planted by the Houthi militias in international waters in the Red Sea.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/gulf/2018/08/26/Two-senior-Houthi-leaders-among-killed-in-Yemen-s-Hajjah.html

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Israel issues 36 Palestinians administrative detention orders: PPS

Aug 26, 2018

Some 36 Palestinians have been issued administrative detention orders by the Tel Aviv regime, says the Palestinian Prisoner's Society (PPS).

According to PPS lawyer Mahmmud Halabi on Sunday, the prisoners are being held in various Israeli jails and have been incarcerated for three to six months.

Noting that that the prisoners have been held without trial or charge, Halabi added 10 of detainees got administrative detention orders for the first time, while the rest received renewed orders. 

More than 7,000 Palestinian prisoners are currently held in some 17 Israeli jails, dozens of whom are serving multiple life sentences.

It is estimated that between 500 and 700 Palestinian minors, some as young as 12 years old, are arrested and brought to trial in Israeli courts. The most common charge is stone-throwing.

Over 500 detainees are under the so-called administrative detention, which is a sort of imprisonment without trial or charge that allows Israel to incarcerate Palestinians for up to six months, extendable an infinite number of times.

Some prisoners have been held in administrative detention for up to 11 years without any charges brought against them.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/08/26/572348/palestine-israel-administrative-detention

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Israel to start building new housing units in East al-Quds next month: Report

Aug 26, 2018

Israel plans to commence a new settlement project in the heart of occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds early next month, a report says.

Palestinian Ma'an news agency, citing a Hebrew-language news outlet, reported on Sunday that the provocative project, which has been named Nof Shmuel, slated to be constructed within the Palestinian neighborhood of Beit Hanina in early November.

Aryeh Orange, a candidate from the right-wing Me’uchadim (United) political faction running for the city council, announced that the new housing units “are being sold to Jews only,” it added.

The report, citing some unnamed sources, further said that around 124 Israeli settler units had already been approved for the project, out of a total of 324 ones. The housing units are reportedly to be sold to ultra-orthodox Jews at reduced prices.

On Wednesday, the so-called Israeli Civil Administration Higher Planning Council approved construction of 2,000 settler units in the West Bank.

Less than a month before US President Donald Trump took office in January 2017, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 2334, calling on Israel to “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem” al-Quds.

Since the inauguration of President Trump, the regime in Tel Aviv has stepped up its construction of settler units on occupied Palestinian land in a blatant violation of international law.

About 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/08/26/572333/Jerusalem-alQuds-Israel-settlement

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Israeli military can’t avoid defeat in spite of advanced weapons: Nasrallah

Aug 26, 2018

The secretary general of the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement says the Israeli military cannot escape defeat despite its apparent capabilities, stressing that thousands of Israeli troops are now seeking mental health treatment.

Addressing his supporters via a televised speech broadcast from the Lebanese capital city of Beirut on Sunday evening, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah stated that even though Israel has greatly developed its arsenal and acquired state-of-the-art missiles and military hardware, it cannot yet escape defeat in any possible military confrontation.

“The Israeli army is incapable of recruiting a new generation of soldiers as the draftees lack any sense of motivation to fight. According to Israeli media reports, 44,000 Israeli soldiers sought help from psychiatrists last year. Israel cannot change the spirit of the defeat that is with its military personnel,” he pointed out.

Nasrallah then praised Lebanese youths for the outstanding courage they demonstrated in battles to purge the country’s border regions of Daesh Takfiri terrorists.

“Foreign media outlets are seeking to intimidate our nation by over-counting the number of our martyrs. Those who think they can overawe our people are delusional. We achieved full liberation of our border lands through sustained efforts made by Lebanese army soldiers and resistance fighters,” the Hezbollah chief commented.

Nasrallah underlined that the United States has always offered financial support and funneled weapons to Daesh militants, saying, “US forces intervened to stop Lebanese army from launching a military operation against Daesh in Joroud al-Jarajeer area (in western Qalamoun region). On one occasion, US military helicopters even airlifted Daesh commanders from an area in Syria, when the terrorists had been besieged.”

The Hezbollah secretary general noted that the US does not care at all about the interests of regional states in the Middle East, emphasizing that Washington never stands by its allies and simply views them as tools in order to attain its own goals.

Nasrallah also warned against a false flag chemical attack in Syria's northern province of Idlib as a pretext for airstrikes against the Damascus government.

“While the West is looking for an excuse to launch a military aggression on Syria, it is turning a blind eye to the crimes being committed against Yemeni children. Nobody knows into what abyss [Saudi Crown Prince] Mohammed bin Salman is plunging Saudi Arabia and its nation,” he pointed out.

Turning to Lebanon’s internal affairs, Nasrallah stated that the inflammatory rhetoric against Hezbollah has intensified ever since parliamentary elections were held in Lebanon on May 6.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/08/26/572334/Israeli-military-cant-avoid-defeat-in-spite-of-advanced-weapons-Nasrallah

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Southeast Asia

 

Malaysian Def. Min.: Rohingyas Vulnerable To Exploitation by Terror Groups

27 August 2018

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 27 — Malaysia expressed concerns that the Rohingya refugee crisis may become a new resurgence ground for terrorist groups in the region, Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu said today.

Better known as Mat Sabu, the minister said the Rohingya people were vulnerable and could be manipulated by extremist groups to conform to their ideologies of “death in combat”, as the only way to return to their homeland following extremist violence against the ethnic group in the Rakhine region, in Myanmar.

“We are very concern that these Rohingyas could be manipulated to become suicide bombers or recruited into terrorist cells in this region.

“Some of these Rohingya refugees have given up hope and may be willing to conform to such ideologies because they are left with no choice,” he said after launching the International Association of Counterterrorism and Security Professionals Asean Counter Terrorism Symposium at the InterContinental Hotel in here, today.

He drew comparison with a similar crisis between Palestine and Israel, whereby Palestinian refugees have spread around neighbouring Jordan, Syria, Egypt and Lebanon with some recruited to become suicide bombers for terrorist groups.

“At least 100,000 Rohingya refugees have seek safe haven in Malaysia following their exodus from their homeland since violence erupted and this is what worries us,” he said.

Asked if any of the Rohingya refugees in Malaysia have been recruited by terrorist groups, Mohamad said he had no such information but assured that the matter was being monitored by the Armed Forces and internal securities as most of them were registered under the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Earlier during his keynote speech at the event, Mohamad said terrorism globally has taken a toll on the international community with the rise in religious and ideological inspired terrorism for the past two decades have divided communities globally.

Mohamad said the international communities and Asean must work together to ensure the Rohingyas can return to their country peacefully.

“This can no longer be considered as an internal conflict or domestic issue.

“Asean countries, the United Nations and other leading countries should play a bigger role to ensure that those who are driven out of their country may return and live in harmony in their home country,” he said.

https://www.malaymail.com/s/1666318/mat-sabu-rohingyas-vulnerable-to-exploitation-by-terror-groups

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Indonesia court verdict on call to prayer puts spotlight on blasphemy laws

Aug 27, 2018

The "azan" or Muslim call to prayer is no longer just heard in the Middle East, South Asia or South-east Asia, but also increasingly in the West, across many cities in Europe and the United States.

It is played five times a day through loudspeakers at mosques to summon the faithful to pray - an occurrence even Hollywood has often portrayed in films and TV dramas with Muslim characters, or to identify a certain place.

https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/medan-court-verdict-puts-spotlight-on-blasphemy-laws

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Indonesian fatwa allows measles-rubella vaccine

August 23, 2018

The Indonesian Ulema Council has approved conditional use of a measles-rubella vaccine containing biological material derived from pigs even though it is theoretically forbidden by Islamic law.

This was because there are currently no alternatives and the lives of children are at stake.

A fatwa from the Ulema Council, the country's top Islamic authority, was issued on Aug. 20 calling for development of a non-'haram' vaccine.

The existing vaccine was produced by the Serum Institute of India.

The MUI fatwa, or Islamic ruling, allows its use for "the time being" while a religiously acceptable halal version is being developed, something expected to take up to 20 years.

Following the fatwa, the Indonesian state-owned pharmaceutical company Bio Farma stated that it had begun research to find a replacement.

But the company said the Indian vaccine had met the safety, quality and efficacy requirements of the World Health Organization.

According to Doctor Angela N. Abidin from St. Carolus Hospital in Jakarta, the available measles-rubella vaccine could save children from death as well as from being left paralyzed, deaf or blind.

"Yet, we need to be careful as we serve patients from different religious backgrounds," she told ucanews.com.

Vera Astuti, a 36-year-old Indonesia Muslim mother, said she would be having her toddler son vaccinated.

The Ministry of Health has undertaken to eliminate measles-rubella by 2020, including through a campaign to immunize children aged between nine months and 15 years.

In August and September last year, the campaign focused on the populous island of Java.

This year, it is targeting 32 million children in 28 provinces outside of Java.

Full report at:

https://www.ucanews.com/news/indonesian-fatwa-allows-measles-rubella-vaccine/83144

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North America

 

Rohingya Muslims in U.S. Relive First Year Anniversary of Rakhine Massacre

August 26th, 2018

A group of Rohingya Muslims gathered in front of U.S. Capitol building Saturday to mark the first anniversary of violence against their community by the Myanmar army in Rakhine state and their exodus to Bangladesh.

The demonstration was coordinated by multiple Muslim and Rohingya organizations, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center, the International Campaign for the Rohingya and the Burma Task Force.

"We want these massacres to be accepted as genocide by the U.S. and international community," Burmese Task Force Director Hena Zuberi told Anadolu Agency.

More than 750,000 Rohingyas fled Myanmar last August and crossed into Bangladesh, fleeing violence and massacres initiated by the Myanmar army.

Zuberi mentioned the Rohingya community thought that the exodus would be a temporary solution and soon the Rohingya would return to their homes, however, one year later, they remain in refugee camps.

"We thought it would be a temporary stay. But it has been a year, and nothing has changed. The needle is stuck, and we want this needle to move," Zuberi added.

"It is a call of the Rohingya people, they have called for this day to be marked all over the world. So we can support them, so we can stand in solidarity with them, so we can educate people about the genocide," Zuberi said, noting that the U.S. administration should take initiative.

- Persecuted Rohingya

Since Aug. 25, 2017, more than 24,000 Rohingya Muslims have been killed by Myanmar’s state forces, according to the Ontario International Development Agency (OIDA).

In its recent report, Forced Migration of Rohingya: The Untold Experience, the OIDA increased the estimated number of murdered Rohingya to 23,962 (±881) from an earlier Doctors Without Borders figure of 9,400.

More than 34,000 Rohingya were also thrown into fires, while over 114,000 others were beaten, the OIDA report said, adding that 17,718 (±780) Rohingya women and girls were raped by the Myanmar army and police. More than 115,000 Rohingya houses were burned and 113,000 others were vandalized, it added.

The 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 2012.

The UN documented mass gang rapes, killings -- including of infants and young children -- brutal beatings, and disappearances committed by Myanmar state forces. In its report, UN investigators said such violations may have constituted crimes against humanity.

https://www.albawaba.com/news/rohingya-muslims-us-relive-first-year-anniversary-rakhine-massacre-1177372

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Islamic Relief Canada calling on faith groups to support Indigenous communities

Aug 27, 2018

Since Islamic Relief opened its office in Canada a decade ago, we have served as the conduit for Canadians to support thousands of disadvantaged people around the world. But just a short drive away from our office in Burlington, Ont., is a reminder that the Indigenous people of this land struggle to fulfil many of the same basic needs that we try to fulfil abroad.

I am referring, of course, to the largest Indigenous reserve in Canada, located just outside of Brantford, Ont. It is home to nearly 13,000 members of the Six Nations of the Grand River.

As of April 2018, less than 9 per cent of this population had household access to clean water. The rest either use the unclean water coming through their taps — which may be connected to the high rate of fatal cases of cancer in some families — or purchase jugs of water and carry them home. And this is not an isolated case. As of July, 72 Indigenous communities are under long-term drinking water advisories across Canada.

Many Indigenous communities also face a housing crisis. At the Pikangikum 14 Reserve in northwestern Ontario, as many as 10 members of an extended family have been reported to be living in one house, forcing them to sleep in shifts. Such overcrowding can prove fatal; a house fire in Pikangikum killed six adults and three children in 2016.

Food security is another challenge in many Indigenous communities — in some cases, up to 70 per cent of households are food insecure.

This is merely a glimpse into the challenges faced by Indigenous Canadians — challenges that are a product of centuries of marginalization and systemic injustices. In recent years, especially in tandem with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), Canadians of all walks of life have begun to reflect on their relationship with Indigenous communities.

One of TRC’s calls to action was a call for “other faith groups and interfaith social justice groups in Canada who have not already done so, to formally adopt and comply with the principles, norms, and standards of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a framework for reconciliation.”

As we like to say at Islamic Relief Canada, we are ready to answer the call.

Earlier this year, we partnered with I Love First Peoples in their campaign to distribute over 10,000 gift-filled shoeboxes to Indigenous children and youth in 20 remote communities across Canada. Our team visited some of these communities and learned from them about their experiences and their views on reconciliation.

And so we call on all faith groups, and particularly the Canadian Muslim community, to join us in fulfilling this responsibility. We must engage with Indigenous communities, learn about what they and the government are doing in response to the challenges described above, determine our best areas of contribution and then we must roll up our sleeves and work for reconciliation.

Full report at:

https://www.mississauga.com/opinion-story/8859183-islamic-relief-canada-calling-on-faith-groups-to-support-indigenous-communities/

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Pompeo decries 'abhorrent ethnic cleansing' in Myanmar on anniversary

August 27, 2018

ATLANTA: The US will continue to hold accountable those responsible for what he described as the “abhorrent ethnic cleansing” of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Saturday.

Pompeo’s statement came on the one-year anniversary of the conflict in western Myanmar’s Rakhine state that drove more than 700,000 Rohingya from their homes into neighboring Bangladesh.

“A year ago, following deadly militant attacks, security forces responded by launching abhorrent ethnic cleansing of ethnic #Rohingya in Burma,” Pompeo said on Twitter, using an alternative name for Myanmar.

“The US will continue to hold those responsible accountable. The military must respect human rights for #Burma’s democracy to succeed.”

The military ruled Myanmar for nearly 50 years after seizing power in a 1962 coup and retains considerable powers under a 2008 constitution.

Myanmar government spokesmen Zaw Htay was unavailable for comment on Sunday.

The government, led by Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, has denied refugees’ allegations of atrocities, saying security forces lawfully suppressed Muslim militants in Rakhine.

Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh held demonstrations and prayers on Saturday to mark the anniversary of the outbreak of the conflict.

Thousands of refugees marched, prayed and chanted slogans in events across the sprawling camps in southern Bangladesh. Many wore black ribbons to commemorate what they said was the start of the “Rohingya genocide.”

Across the border in Myanmar, the government said security patrols had been increased in the conflict area ahead of the anniversary for fear of further violence.

Members of the mostly Buddhist Rakhine ethnic group and Hindus from Rakhine state said they would hold events to remember those killed by Rohingya militants in attacks that triggered the crisis.

Earlier this month, the US imposed sanctions on four Myanmar military and police commanders and two army units, accusing them of “ethnic cleansing” against Rohingya Muslims and widespread human rights abuses across the Southeast Asian nation.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1362376/world

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South Asia

 

Emir of ISIS Khurasan killed in Nangarhar province

Aug 26 2018

The emir of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group was killed in an airstrike conducted in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.

Informed sources in the National Directorate of Security said the ISIS Khurasan emir, identified as Saad Arhabi, was killed in Khogyani district on Saturday night.

The sources further added that Arhabi, also famous as Abu Syed Orakzai, was killed along with nine other ISIS group members who were accompaying him.

According to the sources, the airstrike was carried out in the vicinity of Jungle village of Khogyani district.

The provincial governor’s spokesman, Ataullah Khogyani, also confirmed the killing of Saad Arhabi and said he was originally a resident of Orakzai Agency and appointed as the ISIS Khurasan emir after the killing of Haseeb Logari.

In the meantime, the provincial government media office, in a statement said the US unmanned aerial vehicles also carried out airstrikes in the vicinity of Ghani Khel district.

The statement further added that the airstrikes left at least three ISIS Khurasan militants dead while three others sustained injuries.

According to the governor’s office, a commander of the terror group identified as Musafir was among those killed in the airstrikes.

The anti-government armed militant and terrorist groups including ISIS Kurasan loyalists have not commented regarding the report so far.

https://www.khaama.com/emir-of-isis-khurasan-killed-in-nangarhar-province-05827/

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Militants suffer casualties during clashes with the Afghan forces in Kunar

Aug 27 2018

A clash took place between the Afghan forces and the anti-government armed militants in eastern Kunar province of Afghanistan, leaving at least four militants dead.

The 201st Silab Corps of the Afghan Military in the East said the incident took place on Saturday in the vicinity of Shegal district.

The source further added that the Afghan force responded to the militants attack in Shinkorak area using heavy and light weapons.

According to the Silab Corps, at least two militants were killed during the clashes and two others sustained injuries.

The security situation in eastern Kunar province has started to deteriorate sharply during the recent months amid growing insurgency activities by the Taliban and ISIS militants.

The US forces based in Afghanistan have carried out a series of airstrikes targeting the hideouts of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group in eastern Kunar province of Afghanistan last week, leaving at least five militants dead.

The 201st Silab Corps of the Afghan Military in the East said the latest airstrikes were carried out in Manogi and Narang district.

https://www.khaama.com/militants-suffer-casualties-during-clashes-with-the-afghan-forces-in-kunar-05833/

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Afghan President Ghani rejects resignations of top security officials

August 26, 2018

Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani rejected on Sunday resignations tendered a day earlier by three senior security officials, the government said.

The resignations from Defence Minister Tariq Shah Bahrami and Interior Minister Wais Barmak, as well as Masoom Stanekzai, the head of the National Directorate of Security, were submitted on Saturday hours after National Security Adviser Hanif Atmar quit.

Government spokesman Haroon Chakansuri said in a statement Ghani had asked the three officials to continue with their duties and “work towards the betterment of the security situation”.

Two senior interior ministry officials said the security officials had cited policy differences with the government amid deteriorating security as the main reason for resigning.

However, Ghani rejected the resignations and instead instructed them to find ways to prevent fresh attacks by militant groups.

Heavy fighting between Taliban insurgents, as well as other militant groups, and security forces has raged across Afghanistan this year. There have also been suicide attacks in Kabul and other major cities.

Full report at:

https://nation.com.pk/26-Aug-2018/afghan-president-ghani-rejects-resignations-of-top-security-officials

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Verdict in case against Reuter’s journalists in Myanmar postponed to Sept 3

August 27, 2018

The verdict in Myanmar's prosecution of two Reuters reporters accused of breaching the country's Official Secrets Act was postponed on Monday until September 3 because the judge overseeing the case is sick, a court official said.

Scores of reporters and diplomats had gathered at the Yangon court to hear the verdict on journalists Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, the culmination of eight months of hearings in a landmark case that has come to be seen as a test of progress towards democracy in the Southeast Asian country.

But the proceedings lasted just a few minutes, long enough for a judge standing in for Judge Ye Lwin, who has overseen the case, to announce that a ruling would be made next week.

"The judge is in poor health, so I am here to announce that the verdict is postponed to the third," said Judge Khin Maung Maung.

Defence lawyer Khin Maung Zaw told reporters that the stand-in judge had said the verdict was ready but it had to be pronounced by the judge assigned to the case.

Wa Lone smiled broadly and made a thumbs-up sign with his hands in cuffs as he walked into the court, with Kyaw Soe Oo just behind him.

"We are not afraid or shaken. The truth is on our side. Whatever the situation is, we will not be shaken. They cannot make us weak," Wa Lone told reporters after the brief hearing.

The Reuters reporters are accused of breaching the colonial-era Official Secrets Act by collecting documents relating to the country's security forces.

They told the court during their trial that two police officials handed them papers at a north Yangon restaurant moments before other officers arrested them last December.

One police witness testified the restaurant meeting was a set-up to entrap the journalists to block or punish them for their reporting of a mass killing of Rohingya Muslims.

The climax of the reporters' case comes amid building pressure on the administration of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi over a security crackdown sparked by militant attacks in August 2017.

More than 700,000 stateless Rohingya Muslims fled across western Myanmar's border with Bangladesh, according to United Nations' agencies.

The Reuters reporters were arrested on Dec. 12 while investigating the killing of 10 Rohingya and other abuses involving soldiers and police in Inn Din, a village in Rakhine state.

Myanmar has denied allegations of killings, rapes and arson made by refugees against its security forces, saying it conducted a legitimate counterinsurgency operation against Muslim militants.

Full report at:

https://www.thedailystar.net/news/rohingya-crisis/verdict-case-against-reuters-journalists-postponed-1625146

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Tajikistan Air Force carries out airstrikes in Darqad district of Takhar

Aug 27 2018

The Tajikistan warplanes have carried out airstrikes in Darqad district in northeastern Takhar province of Afghanistan, the local officials said.

The airstrike was carried out earlier today hours after a clash broke out between the border forces of Tajikista and suspected drug smugglers.

Provincial governor’s spokesman Mohammad Jawid Hejri confirmed the incident but did not elaborate further.

In the meantime, an informed local official said a clash took place between the border guards of Tajikista and drug smugglers late on Sunday afternoon, leaving two Tajikistan border guards dead.

Takhar has been among the relatively calm provinces in northeastern parts of Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban regime.

Full report at:

https://www.khaama.com/tajikistan-air-force-carries-out-airstrikes-in-darqad-district-of-takhar-05834/

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Arab World

 

US Forces, Allied Militia Start Extracting Crude from Syria's Second Largest Oilfield

Aug 26, 2018

Moraseloun reported that according to satellite images released on August 6, the US forces and the SDF have started extracting crude oil from al-Tanak oilfield that is Syria's second largest energy field in Eastern Deir Ezzur.

It further said that flames of burning gas and oil that can not be refined have been seen in the images, adding that the images also show simultaneous extraction operation in al-Tanak.

Moraseloun went on to say that several oil tankers were in al-Tanak oilfield.

In May, SDF-affiliated sources reported on reconstruction operation  and preparation for producing almost 5,000 barrels each day in al-Tanak. 

Field sources said in March that the US forces built a new and advanced military base in al-Omar oilfield in Southeastern Deir Ezzur, adding that they also transferred a large volume of arms and equipment, including missiles, military vehicles and bridge equipment to the regions of their deployment in Koniko oilfield, al-Omar oilfield and al-Jafreh.

Meantime, the SDF sent a number of their forces to the regions near the Syrian army positions in the villages of Jiya, Salehiyeh and al-Tabiyeh.

Moscow had earlier warned the Syrian forces of a possible US assault on their positions.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13970604000929

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Terrorist Groups Suffer More Casualties in Blasts, Infighting in Northwestern Syria

Aug 26, 2018

Two groups of terrorists exchanged heavy fire in the village of Baballah North of the small town of Basnaqoul.

Both warring sides suffered heavy casualties and civilians' properties sustained major damage in the infighting.

In the meantime, a number of gunmen of Tahrir al-Sham and National Liberation Front were killed or wounded in two blasts in the town of Sarmin in Eastern Idlib.

Also, Abu Bakr al-Rawi, a security commander of Tahrir al-Sham, was killed in a bomb explosion in Idlib city.

The Arabic-language website of Sputnik reported earlier today that commanders of the terrorist groups, including Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at, the National Liberation Front, al-Turkistani Islamic party and two more al-Qaeda-affiliated Ajnad al-Qafqaz and Horas al-Deen held a meeting in Idlib city on Friday to reinvigorate their defense capacities to counter the army's upcoming operation.

It further said that the terrorist groups have increased forced recruitment of young men to send them to the battlefields in Idlib, Hama, Lattakia and Aleppo provinces.

The report added that ISIL terrorists have in the last few day deployed to Northern and Western Idlib, specially in regions held by Tahrir al-Sham and al-Turkistani and also to the towns of al-Dana, Sarmada, Darkoush and Jisr al-Shughour at Idlib's borders with Turkey and Lattakia province.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13970604001027

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Syrian Army Readying for Heavy Offensive against ISIL Near Border with Iraq

Aug 26, 2018

The army's convoy, including hundreds of fresh forces along with heavy military equipment, was sent to Albu Kamal Desert in Southeastern Deir Ezzur near the border with Iraq.

Local sources said that the army intends to kick off a major operation near the border with Iraq to end ISIL's presence in the region.

On Saturday, the army's engineering units carried out cleansing operation in the town of Sabikhan in Southeastern Deir Ezzur and discovered a depot of arms and ammunition in ISIL's positions with a large volume of shoulder-launched missiles, cannons, tanks and mortars, including those made in the western countries.

In the meantime, other units of the army seized a large warehouse of medicines and medical equipment in a field hospital in the town of Dablan East of Deir Ezzur city that once was under ISIL's occupation.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13970604000686

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US Military Stations Advanced Radars at Bases in Northern Syria to Create No-Fly Zone

Aug 26, 2018

Baas News quoted Kurdish sources as claiming that the US-led coalition has installed modern radars in its military airport South of Kobani and Romeilan in Hasaka province.

It further said that the move is aimed at creating a no-flying zone in Northern and Southern Syria from Manbij to Deir Ezzur.

The website went on to say that several trucks, carrying arms and ammunition, arrived in regions that are under the control of the Syrian Democratic Forces in Northern and Eastern Syria.

Bass news added that deployment of radars came after James Jefri, the US President Donald Trump's special envoy for Syrian affairs, pointed to creation of no-flying zone in Eastern Syria.

On Saturday, the US army built a new military base near the town of Hajin in Eastern Deir Ezzur.

In the meantime, the US-led coalition helicopters transferred a large volume of equipment to al-Amr oilfield that is under the SDF's control.

The new base is the fourth in which the US forces have deployed. The US force had already been deployed in al-Amr oilfield, Konico Gas Company and al-Tasbni bases.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13970604000386

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Senior Daesh militant commander killed in Iraq’s Diyala infighting

Aug 26, 2018

A high-ranking commander of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group have been killed when members of two rival foreign-sponsored militant groups operating in Iraq’s eastern province of Diyala turned on each other and engaged in a fierce exchange of gunfire.

Ahmed al-Shimary of the Diyala Operations Command said the high-profile militant, better known by the nom de guerre Abu Ahmed, was killed in a clash between two Daesh groups at an orchard in the village of Mkheisa, located some 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) northeast of the provincial capital Baquba.

Shimary added that Ahmed was one of the aides of the former founder of the al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was killed in a US airstrike in 2006.

Ahmed, who is an Iraqi national, joined Daesh terrorist group in 2014, and became one of its main commanders in Diyala province.

Separately, two Daesh Takfiris were killed in a clash with security forces in the province.

10 Daesh militants killed in anti-terror raid south of Mosul

Meanwhile, a total of 10 Daesh terrorists were killed in an operation against a militant hideout south of Mosul, located some 400 kilometers (250 miles) north of Baghdad.

Iraq's Joint Operations Command spokesman Brigadier General Yahya Rasoul said the Interior Ministry's elite rapid response forces, backed by Iraqi Air Force fighter jets, raided the Daesh position near al-Shoura area.

Provincial police forces also captured five suspected Daesh terrorists in Mosul.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who is also the commander-in-chief of Iraqi forces, pledged on June 30 to hunt down Daesh militants across Iraq after a series of attacks and abductions carried out by the terrorist group.

“We will chase the remaining cells of terrorism in their hideouts and we will kill them, we will chase them everywhere, in the mountains and the desert,” Abadi said.

Abadi declared the end of military operations against Daesh in the Arab country on December 9, 2017.

On July 10 that year, the Iraqi prime minister had formally declared victory over Daesh extremists in Mosul, which served as the terrorists’ main urban stronghold in the conflict-ridden Arab country.

In the run-up to Mosul's liberation, Iraqi army soldiers and volunteer Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters had made sweeping gains against Daesh.

Iraqi forces took control of eastern Mosul in January 2017 after 100 days of fighting, and launched the battle in the west on February 19 last year.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/08/26/572298/Senior-Daesh-militant-commander-killed-in-Iraqs-Diyala-infighting

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Four militants killed trying to attack Egyptian police checkpoint -agency

August 25, 2018

CAIRO: Egyptian security forces on Saturday killed four suspected militants who had tried to attack a police checkpoint in northern Sinai, state news agency MENA reported, as troops pushed ahead with an operation to crush insurgents.

MENA said the militants, some of whom were armed with explosive belts, tried to storm a checkpoint on the coastal road near the city of el-Arish, the North Sinai provincial capital.

It quoted a source as saying police officers confronted the militants, killing four of them while the rest fled.

Security forces recovered 10 explosive charges, four automatic rifles, three suicide belts, rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and hand grenades, MENA said.

Local media published pictures of at least two men, one lying on an asphalt road and another on the sand, and separate photographs of weapons found on them, including four AK-47 assault rifles, one RPG launcher, gun magazines and what appeared as suicide belts.

The agency made no mention of any casualties among the police.

An interior ministry spokesman could not immediately be reached for a comment.

The operation began after President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi ordered the army and security forces to crush militants after gunmen killed hundreds of worshippers at a mosque in Sinai last November.

Saturday’s deaths raised to at least 329 the number of suspected militants killed in the campaign.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1362326/middle-east

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Africa

 

National Muslim Council of Liberia Hails Muslims for Upholding Unity

Aug 26, 2018

Monrovia – The National Muslim Council of Liberia has hailed Muslims in Liberia for heeding to its unity call during the just ended colorful celebrations marking this year’s Eid-Al-Adaha (Abraham Day) observance in the country.

In less than 24 hours to the Eid Mubarak prayer, more than Over 20,000 Muslims in Liberia Tuesday (August 21, 2018) assembled at the famous opened air Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS) in observance of the Eid-Al-Adaha prayer, the first time in decades to see the country’s Muslims prayer in such unison and under one Imam in ways that demonstrated strength and cohesiveness.

In an exclusive with this news medium on Thursday, August 23, 2018, the Chairman of the National Muslim Council of Liberia (NMCL) Sheikh Omaru Kamara expressed his deepest appreciation to fellow Muslims in the country for obeying the leadership’s call for unity among Muslims; something he said is also approved by the Almighty Allah (GOD) in the Holy Quran.

“I am very happy that we Muslims in Liberia were able to come together and prayed together under one umbrella on the occasion marking Ed-Al-Adah (Abraham Day) at the ATS. Contrary to what people say that Liberian Muslims are deeply divided and cannot come together as a unit, Tuesday’s unity prayer, however, points to those who are still pessimistic about our unity and cohesiveness that they are going with the wrong impression,” the NMCL Chairman noted.

Sheikh Kamara also warned detractors who are bent on spreading misinformation and purporting to be leaders of the country’s Muslim community to immediately desist from such ugly tendency.

“We are also aware that some people are purporting to be Muslim leaders of the country, and they are the only ones who can best represent Islam in Liberia. We want to state here clearly that the unity   we demonstrated during Eid Mubarak prayer sends out a trust and confidence in the country in the council’s ability and capability, to speak and ably represent all Muslims in this country everywhere and hence, other than those elected as heads of the National Muslim Council of Liberia, no one should make any false impression out there that they are the leaders of Muslims in Liberia.

“The problem with us in this country is that no one sees his friend as brother, and that everyone is just fighting everyone in this country, this is time that we bring back the spirit of peace, national unity, and reconciliation in this country, not only among Muslims and Christians, but all Liberians for that matter. The only way we can achieve peace and development in this country is for us to unite as one people because, even the Holy Quran and Prophet Muhammad spoke of unity.”

The renowned Islamic-cleric also made a wakeup call on all Liberians to rally around George Weah’s Government and in promoting national unity among Liberian, including promoting peace and development.

If Liberians agreed to unite, Sheikh Kamara notes, “The benefits would be plenty because, more investors will be encouraged and happy to come and invest in our country. Other the hand, if we do not mend our forces as Liberians-we will not get what we want as Liberians-and that’s why we are praying for the President and the Vice President for this government to succeed.”

“The program was good. It brought together all Muslims from different locations across Liberia. Muslims came from all over the country including Cape Mount, Bomi, Gbarpolu, Margibi, Montserrado, and other counties. We are also getting reports that similar gatherings took place across other parts of the country, and this is very good news for the Muslim unity in Liberia,” averred Sheikh Arkibu Sheriff, Secretary General, National Muslim Council of Liberia.

Asked to explain the secret behind the latest call for Islamic unity in the country, Sheikh Sheriff replied that: “The call for Muslim Unity was made because, during the last Eid- al-Fitr prayer, we saw people praying in separate locations and in their fashion, which was not good for us as Muslims. Even the Holy Quran talks about how we should unite in Islam hence, we thought it wise to change things around for the better, and that Muslims will come together in order to make Islam move ahead in this country. All we want to say here is that we Muslims are together and we will continue to hold together,” Sheikh Sheriff emphasized.   

A Rallying Call for United front before Abraham Day (Eid Al-Adaha) Celebrations, Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Unlike previous celebrations in the country, Tuesday’s (August 21, 2018) ‘Eid Mubarak’ prayer began with a glaring call to Muslims across the country for them to unite in the name of Islam and national unity.

The unprecedented step to unite Liberian Muslims came as leaders of the country’s supreme Islamic institutions met in a unity meeting and decided to speak with one voice in a message that was resoundingly echoed in Mosques and some radio stations across the country ahead of the Eid-Adaha prayer.

Heads of the National Muslim Council of Liberia (NMCL), the body that directs and oversees all Islamic  activities in the country, including the National Imam Council (NIC), the National Supreme Council, the National Council of Elders, and the office of the Grand Mufti of Liberia, the highest Islamic clerical arm in the country, agreed in the one day Islamic unity conference that this year’s Eid Mubarak should be held at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS-15,000 capacity) under one prayer, which was led by luminary Islamic scholar Imam Lamin Bilo Kally.

Liberia’s Chief Imam Ali Krayee

“In the interest of unity, we the Muslims of Liberia have decided, following a unity meeting that brought together heads of the National Muslim Council of Liberia (NMCL), the Imam Council, and the office of the Grand Mufti of Liberia, to have a unified ‘Eld-Al-Adaha’ prayer at the ATS on Tuesday, 21 August 2018,” Imam Ali Krayee, Chief Imam of Liberia, announced to a team of journalists in Monrovia during an exclusive interview following the conclusion of the Muslims’ togetherness meeting ahead of the Eid Mubarak prayer.

Deputy Grand Mufti of Liberia Sheikh  Abdullah S. Kromah

“We have today agreed to pray the ‘Eid Al-Adaha’ on Tuesday at the ATS under one Imam, and he’s no one else but Imam Lamin Bilo Kally, who is expected to lead us into this time of prayer,” Deputy Grand Mufti Abdullah S. Kromah also confirmed the body’s decision to pray in one accord.

Sheikh Kromah also announced that buses would pick up worshipers and drop them to the stadium for that singular purpose.

“There will be buses on the road and at various designated places to pick up people and carry them to the ATS for the prayer. For those who will not have the chance to go with those buses, we are asking our brothers and sisters to put their vehicles on the road to help transport people for the prayer,” Sheikh Kromah announced further.

In most of the Muslim world today, Eid Mubarak marks (Eid Al-Adaha) a day where the faithful celebrate the second of two major holidays in Islam. The day begins with morning prayers. The celebrations continue with visits to friends and family, exchange of gifts and feasts. Those who can afford it also slaughter an animal, like a cow or sheep, and share the meat with the less fortunate.

Defined as EED al-UHD-huh, the Holiday is also known as the Feast of Sacrifice. It is one of two Eid holidays observed by Muslims. The other is Eid al-Fitr, which follows the conclusion of Ramadan, the month of fasting.

https://frontpageafricaonline.com/news/national-muslim-council-of-liberia-hails-muslims-for-upholding-unity/

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2 police killed in Cameroon’s restive Anglophone region

Aug 26, 2018

At least two police officers have died in fresh violence in western Cameroon where English-speaking separatists have declared an independent state, the military said Sunday.

The men were killed by armed pro-independence fighters near the town of Wum in Northwest Region, an army spokesman said.

The separatist camp spoke of nine police dead. Army spokesman Colonel Didier Badjeck said, on Facebook, that 21 of the attackers had been "neutralized", without saying how many had been involved in the assault.

Separatist unrest in Cameroon's two minority English-speaking regions, North-West and South-West, has left scores dead and displaced around 200,000 people since late 2016.

About 30.000 of those displaced have crossed the border into neighboring Nigeria. Years of resentment at perceived discrimination at the hands of the Cameroon's francophone majority have led to almost daily acts of violence and retribution.

Security in the two regions has deteriorated significantly since late last year and now clashes with separatist fighters are almost daily occurrences.

A total of 109 members of the police and security forces have been killed, according to government figures.

The conflict poses problems for the organization of the presidential election, scheduled for October 7, in which the 85-year-old incumbent, Paul Biya, is bidding for a seventh consecutive term.

Full report at:

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/08/26/572317/Cameroon-police-violence

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Uganda: Stop Torturing People, Muslim Clerics Tell Govt

22 AUGUST 2018

By Monitor Team

Countrywide — During Idd prayers in different mosques across the country yesterday, Muslim leaders unanimously condemned the torture and use of excessive force in the arrest of Opposition politicians and their supporters during and after the Arua Municipality parliamentary by-election, which was concluded last week.

Masaka

The Municipality Sheikh called for dialogue between the government and Opposition to defuse the current political stalemate in the country.

During his teaching at Masaka Main Mosque, Masaka Municipality County Sheikh Twaha Bugembe said the government's show of might will not bring peace but will instead escalate chaos in the country.

"There is also need for electoral reforms as they have always been demanded by civil society organisations, religious leaders and political actors in the opposition because this is hindrance in the journey towards free and fair elections in the country," he said.

Gulu

Sheikh Musa Khelil, the Acholi Muslim District khadi, called upon President Museveni to pardon the detained Bobi Wine and other opposition politicians and their supporters.

Speaking during the Eid al-Adha celebrations at Gulu Main Mosque, Sheik Khelil said if the government negotiated with the Lord's Resistance Army rebels, there is no reason why such negotiations cannot be extended for Bobi Wine and his co-accused.

Kabale

While at Kirigime Mosque headquarters, the District Khadi in-charge of Rubanda and Rukiga, Sheikh Lule Kabu said: "We pray to Allah to prevail over the rampant murder cases where innocent people are being shot in broad day light while others are murdered using machetes. May Allah eliminate such wrongdoers from our society."

Teso

Various Muslim clerics in Teso Sub-region asked government to stop arresting and shooting politicians who are exercising their right and freedom to oppose bad governance. They said such arrests will breed insecurity in the country. They described the arrests and shootings as cowardly acts of the government.

Luweero

Sheik Mustapha Lule Mutyaba, the Luweero District khadi, said: "Islam embraces dialogue and has no room for torture of suspects. Our government should give room for dialogue. We also call for calmness for all political sides."

However, other Muslim leaders such as Hajj Abdul Nadduli, the Vice Chairperson of Uganda Muslim Supreme Council and Minister without Portfolio, dismissed the proposal for dialogue, saying it's a ploy to sustain the opposition activities to undermine the NRM government.

Ntungamo

The Ntungamo District Imam, Sheikh Rhamathan Rwamahe, asked Muslims to strengthen families and said most of the current challenges in the country begin at family level. The District khadi, Sheikh Swaleh Kashangirwe, asked government to release Ntungamo Municipality MP Mr Gerald Karuhanga to avoid perception of political persecution.

Bugisu

Muslim leaders asked security agencies to desist from use of torture and unnecessary arrests. They said such acts create fear and uncertainty in the country.

Tororo

The Tororo District Kadhi, Sheikh Ibrahim Asante, asked government to strengthen security in the country but condemned the recent arrests and torture of opposition politicians.

Mbarara

Delivering the Idd message from the Mufti of Uganda Sheikh Shaban Ramadhan Mubajje, a member of General Assembly at Uganda Muslim Supreme Council Sheikh Zakiyyu Serunjogi said every Ugandan has a right to support a political party of their choice and should not be persecuted.

Full report at:

https://allafrica.com/stories/201808220222.html

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Alert Issued on Al Shabaab Militia Planning Attacks in Meru

August 26, 2018

The government has issued a security alert after details emerged that Al Shabaab are planning new attacks in the country.

The police reported that militants had been dispatched to an undisclosed premise in Meru, Kenya.

A Somali businessman operating in Meru and the North Eastern region is believed to be accommodating them.

Imenti North Deputy county commissioner Isaac Masinde stated that the terrorists were dispatched at an unspecified date in July 2018.

"They are believed to be holed up at an undisclosed premise where they are planning how to execute their attacks to commemorate their fallen heroes on an unspecified date," he mentioned.

Masinde directed the OCPD to be alert and vigilant to fend off terrorist attacks.

"They are targeting prime targets like departmental stores (supermarket) institutions of higher learning, churches, government institutions (offices/hospitals) among others."

Kenya invaded Somalia 7 years ago in attempt to curb terror attacks in the Coast and North Eastern by al Shabaab.

Full report at:

https://www.kenyans.co.ke/news/32654-alert-issued-al-shabaab-militia-planning-attacks-meru

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Somali Deputy Defense Minister Survives Assassination Attempt by Al-Shabaab

26 August, 2018

Deputy Defense Minister Abdullah Alad Robli survived an assassination attempt by the al-Shabaab terrorist group in Mogadishu.

The group claimed responsibility for the bombing, local media said.

Witnesses said that the attack was carried out outside the Ministry of Defense headquarters targeting the official’s convoy.

Robli did not comment on the assassination attempt and the Shabaab’s claims.

The attack took place despite the strengthening of security measures and changes among top security officials by President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed.

Mohamad had made major security adjustments to step up the fight against the Shabaab.

The Somali army, backed by African Union forces is fighting Shabaab and al-Qaeda terrorists.

Separately, the Somali army announced that it killed four Shabaab members in a security operation carried out after a terrorist attack on an army checkpoint in the province of Bay.

The official news agency quoted National Army Chief of Staff Colonel Ismail Shara as saying that armed forces killed four terrorists and seized weapons in their possession.

On the other hand, the official Somali news agency quoted the US Ambassador to Djibouti Donald Yamamoto as saying that military force alone is not the only solution to address the country’s security issues.

Full report at:

https://aawsat.com/english/home/article/1374051/somali-deputy-defense-minister-survives-assassination-attempt-al-shabaab

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Europe

 

Foreign specialists planning chemical attack in Syria: Russia

Aug 27, 2018

Russia says that “foreign specialists” have arrived in Syria and are planning to stage a chlorine attack which they will blame on the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov on Sunday said that the attack will target the village of Kafr Zita in the northwestern Hama province in “the next two days.”

"According to the information that the Russian Reconciliation Center for Syria received today from the residents of the Idlib, foreign (English-speaking) experts arrived in the Hbit settlement located in the south of the Idlib zone of de-escalation for staging a ‘chemical attack’ using chlorine-loaded missiles," he said.

Noting that the staged incident will be filmed, Konashenkov said that the foreign agents are in place and that a group of residents from the north have been relocated to Kafr Zita to take part in the attack.

"Thus, the interested extra-regional forces are once again preparing major provocations in Syria using poisonous substances to severely destabilize the situation and disrupt the steady dynamics of the ongoing peace process," he added.

On Saturday, Konashenkov had said that a group of militants, who were trained by a private British military company to work with poisonous materials, had already arrived in Syria's northwestern Idlib Province.

"To carry out the alleged 'chemical attack' in the city of Jisr al-Shughur in the province of Idlib, militants from the Tahrir al-Sham group had delivered 8 tankers with chlorine… to a village a few kilometers from Jisr al-Shughur," Konashenkov said.

On April 14, the US, Britain and France launched a coordinated missile attack against sites and research facilities near Damascus and Homs with the purported goal of paralyzing the Syrian government’s capability to produce chemicals.

The strike came one week after an alleged gas attack on the Damascus suburb town of Douma.

Syria surrendered its entire chemical stockpile in 2013 to a mission led by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the UN.

http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/08/27/572353/russia-syria-chemical-foreign-specialists

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Illusory to think Syrian refugees can return now, France says

AUGUST 23, 2018

PARIS (Reuters) - France dismissed on Thursday any suggestion that millions of Syrian refugees could start returning home, as urged by Russia, which backs President Bashar al-Assad.

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Agnes von der Muhll said the conditions for a return have not been met, given Assad’s treatment of those who have already gone home and a possible offensive on rebel territory in northern Syria.

In recent weeks Russia has called on Western powers opposed to the Syrian government to help refugees return home and aid reconstruction of areas under his control.

However, Von der Muhll cited a decree depriving refugees and internally displaced people of their properties, the instability of the country and cases of arrest and forced conscription of Syrians returning from Lebanon.

“To consider a return of the refugees is illusory, in the current conditions,” she said.

The seven-year civil war has killed an estimated half a million people, driven 5.6 million out of Syria and displaced around 6.6 million within the country.

Most refugees are from the Sunni Muslim majority, and it is unclear whether Assad’s Alawite-dominated government will allow all to return freely or whether they would want to. Sunnis made up the bulk of the armed opposition to Assad.

France, which backs the opposition, says it will not support reconstruction of areas under Assad’s control until there is a negotiated political transition under U.N. auspices.

“This year has seen the largest movement of displaced people since the beginning of the conflict and ... the entire international community has warned of the risks of a major humanitarian and migratory crisis in the event of an offensive against the province of Idlib,” Von der Muhll said.

Full report at:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-france/illusory-to-think-syrian-refugees-can-return-now-france-says-idUSKCN1L81PO

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