Faisal bin Salman checked the work to restore parts of the Prophet's Mosque.
Promote ISIS Ideology, Shut Them: Shia Board to PM
Slam Ministers For ‘Anti-Human Attitude’ Over Sahiwal Tragedy
Governor Inspects Prophet’s Mosque Restoration Work
to Pick Afghan Taliban as Political Force: Envoy
to Chad: Normalization with Israel ‘Stab in the Back’ Of Palestine
Politics Sees Significant Rise in Islamophobia
Mamta Exclusively Promote Islam Or Urdu At The United India Rally?
Aims To Complete Its Part Of Kartarpur Corridor Work Before Pakistan: Rajnath
police arrest Rohingya Muslim group stuck on Bangladesh border
Ulama constructs 85 houses for Muzaffarnagar riot victims
Muslim University doctors treated devotees at Kumbh Mela
corridor talks: India proposes two dates for Pakistan delegation visit
Tragedy: 16 Counter-Terror Cops Booked, Confirms Mazari
Rizvi, Other TLP Leaders Sent To Jail On 14-Day Judicial Remand
campaigner loses High Court fight over grave edging
District Council Wants Only Christians as Sweepers
Court to take up Khadija Siddiqui's appeal against acquittal of Shah Hussain
signed for $3bn deposit from Abu Dhabi
Qureshi reaffirms Pakistan’s commitment for peace in Afghanistan
used in Sahiwal incident was owned by a terrorist: reports
Muslim Brotherhood Members Killed In Cairo ‘Shootout’
Expert: US Aims to Use Iraq to Wall off Syria from Iran
Paper: US Delivers Advanced Anti-Tank Missile Systems to Kurds in Manbij
Militants Plundering Syria's Infrastructures, People's Assets in Deir Ezzur
US Plotting to Arm Kurds to Block Negotiations with Damascus
of 800 More Victims of ISIL, US Attacks Found in Raqqa
Syrian Troops Pound Tahrir Al-Sham's Military Positions in Hama, Idlib
US Attempting to Provoke Hashd Al-Shaabi into War
envoy: No access for UN peacekeepers to Lebanon tunnels
5,000 flee last ISIS enclave in eastern Syria
blocks access to Damascus for EU envoys: diplomats
says clashes kill 7 troops, 59 militants in Sinai
airstrikes kill several Syrian civilians in Dayr al-Zawr
State-linked plots in region fell in 2018, but terrorism threat to Singapore
remains high: MHA
after disabled man denied right to pray inside Padang mosque
process for marrying foreigners, says ex-immigration official
penalty opponents have no humanity, says Hadi
backtracks on unconditional release of cleric linked to Bali bombing
early release plan cancelled: State Palace
Premier Draws Analogy Between Trump Wall, Ban On Israeli Athletes
Says Planning Intl. Probe Into Murder Of Saudi Critic Khashoggi
from Israel’s Syria strikes rises to 21
explosions hit Yemeni capital Sanaa
of UN team in Yemen’s Hodeidah intends to leave post: sources
jets strike northern Gaza Strip in new act of aggression
arrests Mossad agent over car bomb attack against Hamas official
tanks shell Gaza, kill Palestinian
mines explosion kills 5 Saudi-hired foreign mine experts in Yemen
Palestinian activist wins legal battle over ‘terrorism’ database
killed and several injured in Houthi attack in Taiz
to review controversial counter-terrorism strategy
Jailed In UK For Sexual Abuse Of Children, Torture
Salvini bashes France over Libya role in new diplomatic spat
says to pull fighter jets from Syria after Trump’s withdrawal decision
sanctions Russians, Syrians over alleged links to chemical attacks
Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan to hold Syria talks in Moscow
Muslim loses cemetery court battle
JUI-S Leader Urges Taliban to Show Flexibility in Talks with Afghan Government
martyred, 58 wounded in security base attack in Maidan Wardak: NDS
Taliban militants killed in separate coalition airstrikes
forces foil Taliban attack on an army outpost in Laghman province
as elite Afghan troops die in deadly Taliban strike
in Bangladesh election observer group say they now regret involvement
Mobilizes Military Following Boko Haram, Separatist Attacks
Haram: Cameroon allegedly denies refugee status to 9000 Nigerians fleeing
Bashir lands in Qatar as protests rage at home
appoints chargé d’affaires to own embassy in neighbouring Syria
Court Grants Shiite Leader, Zakzaky Access to Doctors
who recognized hotel attacker reveals brutal tactics of al-Shabaab terror group
trainee' escapes, surrenders to police in Nakuru
Charged In Bomb Plot against Muslim Community In New York
service member killed in combat in Afghanistan: Pentagon
urges coalitions against Iran’s ‘malign meddling’
Syrian refugee offers free meal to federal workers
by New Age Islam News Bureau
promote ISIS ideology, shut them: Indian Shia board to PM
Delhi: Uttar Pradesh Shia Waqf Board chief Waseem Rizvi on Tuesday said that
madrasas promote ISIS ideology.
has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to shut Islamic seminaries across
India so that Muslim children are not influenced by it.
madrasas across the country are not shut down soon then after 15 years half of
the Muslims will start favouring the ISIS ideology. It has been observed across
the world that ISIS is targeting children and asking them to follow them,”
Rizvi wrote in the letter.
UP Shia Board chief added that Muslim children should study with students of
other religions in schools so that they are able to get better education.
comments are likely to irk several Islamic clerics and scholars.
his letter to the prime minister, Rizvi cited the example of Kashmir to
substantiate his point
Kashmir, ISIS supports can be seen in huge numbers. In rural areas, Madrasas
are destroying the future of our children being run on donations as their
owners are hungry for money,” he stated.
slam ministers for ‘anti-human attitude’ over Sahiwal tragedy
“Stop killing innocent citizens in the name of law and order; State terrorism
is a crime; Stop the illegal use of weapons!”
were just some of the slogans being chanted by the enraged protesters gathered
outside the Karachi Press Club on Tuesday to register their shock and sorrow
over and condemn the Sahiwal incident which they referred to as
“state-sponsored lawlessness against citizens”.
protesters, including Zahra Khan of the Home-based Women Workers Federation
(HBWWF), Nasir Mansoor of the National Trade Union Federation, Karamat Ali of
the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (Piler), Habibuddin
Junaidi of the Peoples Labour Bureau, Hussain Badshah of the Dock Workers
Union, Saira Feroze of the United Workers Federation, Nuzhat Shireen of the
Sindh Commission on Status of Women, Sajjad Zaheer of the Anjuman Taraqqi
Pasand Musanifeen Karachi, columnist Comrade Zubair Rehman, among many others,
said that only resistance of the masses could stop the growing incidents of
state-sponsored lawlessness against citizens.
a joint statement issued by them on the occasion, they said that the Sahiwal
tragedy and incidents like that were proof of growing lawlessness by those who
were supposed to protect the law. They said that they were actually terrorists
themselves in the garb of law enforcement agencies. They expressed their
profound sorrow over the failure of all state institutions to protect innocent
is sad that the elected representatives are trying to hush up these sensitive
issues. This anti-human attitude is adopted by the provincial and federal
ministers of the PTI government over the Sahiwal tragedy. They are trying to
save the culprits behind the tragedy.
continuity of such incidents has once again proved that instead of providing
safety of life to the citizens, the state is playing with their lives. To stop
this maltreatment we the masses have to start an organised struggle. Otherwise,
these incidents would not only continue but intensify,” read the statement.
previous day, another such incident also occurred in Karachi when a couple were
injured in police firing. Also in Karachi last year, Naqeebullah Mehsud, an
aspiring model, was killed by a so-called police encounter specialist, Rao
Anwar, after being dubbed as terrorist. However, action against Rao Anwar is
yet to be completed. Similarly, an innocent child, Amal, was also killed in a
fake police action.
incidents are occurring continually in Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa. However, no punishment could be given to the officials involved in
these murders. Instead they were given all sorts of protection and their acts
were termed in the best national interest.
citizens demand that state institutions should be stopped from extrajudicial
murders, illegal and unnecessary use of weapons. We demand that a judicial
commission should be constituted to probe the Sahiwal tragedy and all the
culprits should be given exemplary punishments,” the statement concluded.
has been seen in the past, the rulers would have declared the culprits of the
Sahiwal incidents as heroes and termed the victims as terrorists had the
citizens not resorted to protest over this matter. It is sad that despite
protests the police first lodged an FIR against the victims themselves. But it
was thanks to public pressure that they lodged another FIR against ‘unknown’
culprits,” said Zahra Khan of the HBWWF.
government also rejected the public demand to set up a judicial commission and
instead ordered forming a JIT, which shows that the sitting government is not
serious to take the killers to task,” said Karamat Ali of Piler.
entire country is sad over the Sahiwal tragedy and the masses are very angry
and charged. However, the illegal activities and extrajudicial killings by the
law enforcers are yet to be stopped,” said Saira Feroze of the United Workers
governor inspects Prophet’s Mosque restoration work
Since its founding, Saudi Arabia has always sought to preserve the heritage and
history of the Prophet’s Mosque, Madinah Gov. Prince Faisal bin Salman said
during his inspection of restoration and maintenance work at the mosque’s
was accompanied by Sheikh Saleh bin Khalid Al-Muzaini, undersecretary of the
General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques; Waheeb Al-Sahli,
undersecretary for Madinah governorate; and Fahd Albuliheshi, CEO of the
Madinah Regional Development Authority.
Faisal said the ancient decorative formations of the mosque’s southern wall
have become more distinct since the removal of the wooden doors that covered
restoration work was a joint effort by the General Presidency for the Affairs
of the Two Holy Mosques, and the Madinah Regional Development Authority, he
work was carried out according to the highest standards, with the help of
foreign and Saudi experts.
to pick Afghan Taliban as political force: envoy
Chinese Ambassador in Islamabad Yao Jing has said that his country will “pick
Afghan Taliban as a political force” in the backdrop of their participation in
the ongoing peace talks with the US and at other forums.
at a roundtable conference at the Area Study Centre, University of Peshawar, on
Tuesday, he said that Beijing supported Pakistan’s fresh initiatives for
facilitating efforts for political settlement of the Afghan conflict and
confidence-building measures in relations with Kabul.
about apparent lack of eagerness on the part of China in the ongoing talks for
political settlement of the Afghan issue, the envoy said that his country had
contacts with both the Taliban and the Afghan government. China had deputed a
special envoy who was visiting the Taliban’s political office in Doha, he
will pick them (Taliban) as a political force because they are now part of the
Afghan political process and they have some political concerns. They have to be
allowed to play a legitimate role in the future political settlement,” he
further elaborated his government’s policy on the Afghan peace process being
discussed at different forums.
possible, China can exert pressure on the Taliban to join the peace process,”
said the ambassador who had served in Kabul and New Delhi before taking over
his new assignment in Pakistan. He urged all external stakeholders, including
Afghanistan’s neighbours, to play their role for peace in the war-ravaged
have been suffering for the last 40 years and they deserve peace and
stability,” he said.
Pakistan’s fresh initiatives for facilitating talks between the Taliban and US
administration, he said that China backed this ongoing process and had also
played its role in the Moscow meeting and at other forums.
Yao said that Afghans were very friendly towards China which had close
relations with their country. “When we look towards west, the immediate
challenge for us is Afghanistan having many international terrorist
said that Central Asian states had their own version and vision about
Afghanistan and the same was the case of Russia, Iran and Pakistan.
are very much hopeful about a peaceful settlement of the Afghan issue, but this
is a very complicated issue, which requires a lot of patience,” the envoy said.
The US might announce withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan where elections
were around the corner, he added.
his country’s stance about the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), particularly the
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), he accused western media of spreading
negative propaganda against the project. He dispelled the impression that China
wanted to establish its economic hegemony in the region through the BRI and the
would China want to control Pakistan through the CPEC and why would we spend
money to control Pakistan? China could not control Pakistan in the 1960s when
you (Pakistan) were in a more difficult position. At that time both countries
had good relations,” he said, emphasising that Beijing’s foreign policy was
never based on influencing or controlling other countries. He said that China
had developed a new concept of foreign policy based on the BRI.
should understand China first, instead of judging [it] from the western
propaganda. Please talk to us, understand China’s intentions and let us focus
on peace and stability in Afghanistan,” he said.
Yao said that the CPEC was purely an economic project, but regional rivalries,
militancy and relations among the regional countries could affect the project.
He said that India had its own assessment and understanding about the economic
corridor. He said that China had very close relations with Pakistan and the
CPEC was part of its own development strategy.
ambassador said that the Gwadar port was presently a “losing” project and the
Chinese company which took over it in 2011 was paying $14 million subsidy
annually. He said that Pakistan had handed over the port to a Singaporean
company in 2008 which had brought only one second-hand crane there.
said that the CPEC did not encompass the whole relations between the two
countries but it was only one part of the bilateral ties. He said that China
had been supporting Islamabad at regional and international forums and had
started trilateral cooperation comprising Pakistan, Afghanistan and China. The
CPEC would play a major role in this regard, he added.
over the prevailing insecurity in the region, the envoy said that the BRI could
become a victim of regional instability, insecurity or even state-to-state
to Chad: Normalization with Israel ‘stab in the back’ of Palestine
Gaza-based Palestinian resistance movement, Hamas, has denounced Chad’s
normalization of relations with Israel as a “stab in the back” of the
Palestinian nation, calling on the N’Djamena government to reconsider the move.
Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu traveled to Chad, where he
and Chadian President Idriss Deby “announced the renewal of diplomatic
relations between Chad and Israel.”
a statement on Monday, Hamas condemned Chad’s involvement in a “dangerous wave
of normalization with the Israeli occupation.”
Palestinian movement further denounced Chad’s policy shift “as a stab in the
back of the Palestinian people and their just cause” against the Israeli
occupation of their homeland.
Hamas realizes the dangerous repercussions of normalization with the Israeli
occupation on the Palestinian cause, it calls on Chad to reconsider its move,
isolate the Israeli occupation, and continue supporting the Palestinian
people's freedom struggle against the occupation,” the statement read.
who won a disputed fifth term in April 2016, visited the occupied Palestinian
territories and met with Netanyahu in November, becoming the first Chadian
leader to visit Israel, 47 years after the two sides severed ties.
then, Israeli media cited sources in N’Djamena as saying that Deby’s visit was
focused on “security” and that Tel Aviv had already been supplying weapons and
other military equipment to Chad.
the past two years, Netanyahu has been seeking to secure a foothold in Africa.
He has traveled to several African states in a bid to convince them to stop
voting against the Israeli regime at the United Nations in favor of
is also said to be seeking to take advantage of insurgency and Takfiri
militancy gripping parts of Africa to sell advanced military equipment to
conflict-ridden states across the continent.
Israeli regime is now seeking to restore relations with Mali, a West African
country, The Times of Israel reported on Monday.
report, citing unnamed Israeli officials, said the regime is preparing for a
visit by Mali’s Prime Minister Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga “in the coming weeks.”
politics sees significant rise in Islamophobia
study by an NGO revealed that in 2018 senior politicians in Austria
participated in 20 campaigns against Muslims.
Mitmensch in a news conference on Tuesday shared with journalists its study on
Islamophobic and anti-Muslim campaigns in 2018 in Austrian politics.
said that ruling Freedom Party Chairman and Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian
Strache, the party's Group Chairman in the parliament Johann Gudenus, Minister
of Social Affairs Beate Hartinger-Klein have played a role in the spread of
anti-Muslim campaigns with impunity.
of the NGO Mitmensch Alexander Pollak also said that hate campaings against
Muslims, because of their religious orientation, has risen to an
"unimaginable level" compared to a few years ago.
Mamta exclusively promote Islam or Urdu at the United India rally?
the mahagatbandhan rally in Kolkata organized by the TMC, social media user
Gaurav Pradhan tweeted a screenshot of a television news broadcast attributing
a statement to West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee which read, “ईमान का
मुस्लमान (faith is a synonym for
Muslims -translated)”. Pradhan, who is followed by Prime Minister Narendra
Modi, is no stranger to misinformation. A compilation of such instances can be
Banerjee spoke about all faiths
screenshot tweeted by Gaurav Pradhan is misleading as the statement credited to
Mamata Banerjee is incomplete. We found a LIVE video of the ‘United India’
rally shared by Banerjee’s official Facebook page.
3:55:24 mins in the video, while speaking in Hindi, Banerjee said, “त्याग का
हिन्दू, ईमान का
मुस्लमान, प्यार का
ईसाई, सिखो का
बलिदान, यह है हमारा
(Sacrifice is a synonym for Hindu, faith is a synonym for Muslims, love is a
synonym for Christians, martyrdom is synonym for Sikhs. This is our beloved
India.-translated)”. Moreover, the screengrab belongs to a live NDTV broadcast
of the United India rally. This claim was earlier debunked by India Today.
just Urdu script at the rally
Twitter handle @mirchagalib tweeted two images of the same rally where all the
opposition leaders were holding hands in a chain formation. In the second
image, a logo of All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) written in Urdu was
focused on. The claim suggests that Urdu scripts will ‘take over’ neighbourhood
shop signs, if PM Modi is not elected back to power.
Alt News found that the image of opposition leaders holding and raising hands
to show unity was mischievously cropped. The stage also had AITC’s logo in
other languages such as English and Hindi. The claim was earlier debunked by an
individual Twitter user, @Pun_Starr.
conclusion, Mamata Banerjee’s statement was based on an out-of-context screen
grab from a longer broadcast to mislead social media users. Then, a cropped
image of the United India rally’s stage was used to suggest that opposition
leaders will promote only Urdu across India, if voted to power. Earlier, a
doctored video of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal with the claim that Modi and Amit
Shah will ruin Pakistan if voted back to power, was circulated on social media.
aims to complete its part of Kartarpur Corridor work before Pakistan: Rajnath
Delhi: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday said that India is trying
to complete its part of Kartarpur Corridor work before Pakistan.
to ANI, Rajnath said: “India will complete its part of Kartarpur Corridor work
in a few days. I held a meeting with ministers to discuss the further plan of
the project. I also reviewed the progress of ongoing work of Kartarpur
Corridor. The government is trying its best to finish the project before
are getting full support from the Punjab government and I have asked the
authorities to handle it well in a time-bound manner,” he added.
Indian government on the eve of Guru Purab on November 22 last year approved
the construction of Kartarpur Corridor from Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur
district to the India-Pakistan international border. Pakistan government had
also announced to open the corridor next year.
Kartarpur route along India-Pakistan border is three kilometres away from
Gurdaspur in Punjab. Once functional, the corridor would allow Sikh pilgrims
direct access to the historic Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, Pakistan,
where Guru Nanak died in 1539.
November 26 last year, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu had presided over the
foundation stone laying ceremony of the corridor at Dera Baba Nanak in Punjab.
DELHI (Reuters) - Indian police on Tuesday arrested 31 Rohingya Muslims
stranded on the border after they were denied entry into Bangladesh and border
officials failed to agree on what to do with members of the community fleeing a
crackdown in India.
Hindu nationalist government regards the Rohingya as illegal aliens and a
security risk, and has ordered that tens of thousands of them who live in
scattered settlements and slums around the country be identified and
stranded Rohingya, including women and children, had been stuck in no-man’s
land on Bangladesh’s border with India since Friday. Two rounds of talks
between border officials failed to find a solution.
have arrested them under the Foreigners Act on charges of entering India without
valid travel documents,” said Ajay Kumar Das, a police official in the
northeast state of Tripura that borders Bangladesh.
of thousands of members of mostly Buddhist Myanmar’s Rohingya community have
left their homes in Myanmar’s Rakhine State over the decades, most fleeing
military crackdowns and discrimination.
have sought shelter in Bangladesh - where nearly one million live - but others
have ended up in India, Southeast Asia and beyond.
31 had been living in Kashmir and some of them carried identity cards issued by
the U.N. refugee agency, UNHCR.
UNHCR has issued about 16,500 Rohingya in India with identity cards that it
says can help “prevent harassment, arbitrary arrests, detention and
deportation.” India does not recognise the cards.
deportation of seven Rohingya men to Myanmar in October raised fears in the
community of a wider crackdown and prompted hundreds of Rohingya families to
leave India for Bangladesh.
police arrested another group of 30 Rohingya on Monday in the northeastern
state of Assam, where they had moved after living for six years in Jammu and
Kashmir, India’s only Muslim majority state.
of the group said they were looking for work after losing their jobs in
Kashmir, police said.
Delhi: Several victims of the communal riots occurred in 2013 are still living
in camps. There is no hope that the Yogi government of the state will extend
any help to the Muslim riot victims. Hence once again Jamiat Ulama on its own
constructed 85 new houses for the people who are residing in camps.
Jamiat Ulama had constructed 365 houses in Muzaffarnagar areas. According to
Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, President Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind Maulana Syed Arshad Madani
will visit Muzaffarnagar and will allot the houses to the riot victims.
Setting an example of communal harmony, eighteen Post-Graduate (PG) doctors and
six Under-Graduate (UG) medical students from the Jawaharlal Nehru Medical
College (JNMC), Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) conducted a free medical health
camp from January 17 to 19 at the Kumbh Mela site in Prayagraj, where millions
of devotees gathered for a holy dip in the waters at the confluence of the
country’s most sacred rivers – the Ganges, the Yamuna and Sarasvati. This was
reported by the university website. The Under Graduate medical students
assisted their seniors. Besides free treatment, they supplied medicines free of
cost to thousands of devotees. Around 2 crore devotees attended the Kumbh Mela.
day after Pakistan shared a draft agreement on the Kartarpur Corridor and
invited India to “urgently” send a delegation to “negotiate and finalise” the
proposal, New Delhi has proposed two sets of dates for a team from Islamabad to
visit and firm up the “modalities”.
government has proposed “26 February and 7 March 2019”, for the Pakistan
delegation to discuss and “finalise the modalities so that the Indian pilgrims
can visit Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib using the corridor at the earliest”, a
Ministry of External Affairs statement said.
to the decision taken by the Government of India on 22 November 2018 to
expeditiously realise the long pending proposal to establish Kartarpur
Corridor, India has today shared the coordinates of the zero point (crossing
point) of the corridor along the International Border with Pakistan,” the MEA
meeting will be held to facilitate the travel of Indian Sikh pilgrims to Darbar
Sahib Kartarpur Gurudwara in Narowal, nearly 4 km from the Gurdaspur border.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mohammad Faisal had earlier said that the draft
agreement between the two governments was shared through the Indian High
Commission in Islamabad.
tragedy: 16 counter-terror cops booked, confirms Mazari
Federal Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari said on Tuesday that as many
as 16 officials of the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) were booked in the
Sahiwal tragedy case.
people have been booked under the anti-terrorism law 302,” she said while
speaking on the floor of the National Assembly.
of the personnel were in uniform and six in plain clothes,” the minister said
further and added that the FIR included murder and terror charges
people – including three members of a family – were killed in an alleged
encounter in Sahiwal on Saturday.
personnel said they had killed a local commander of militant organisation Daesh
and three others in the operation. Eyewitnesses, however, disputed the claim
and said the people in the car did not fire at officials, nor were any
explosives recovered from the vehicle.
dead included a man, his wife and their teenage daughter, as well as the driver
of the car who, according to the CTD, was involved in terrorist acts.
Rizvi, other TLP leaders sent to jail on 14-day judicial remand
An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Tuesday sent Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP)
chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi, Pir Afzal Qadri and four others to jail on a 14-day
directive was made during the hearing of a case concerning protests across the
country in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to acquit Aasia Bibi in
October last year.
the hearing on Tuesday, workers of the party had gathered outside the ATC, with
strict security arrangements in place to avoid any violent incidents.
Qadri as well as Allama Farooqul Hassan and Allama Aijaz Ashrafi are facing
charges of fueling the protests, inciting followers to damage property and
making hate speeches targeting state institutions.
had erupted in several cities after the Supreme Court acquitted Aasia Bibi, a
Christian woman who had been sentenced to death on blasphemy charges, on
masses had blocked several routes across the country for two days, while at
some places they had also set fire to vehicles. The demonstrations saw closure
of schools, colleges and universities, as well as cancellation of examinations.
government and the protesters from different religious groups, led by Rizvi,
reached an agreement two days later on November 2.
law enforcement agencies had rounded up around 1,800 individuals after the
agreement. The Ministry of Interior had said that the arrested people had been
booked under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA).
A Barelvi British Pakistani Muslim who claimed his human rights have been
breached because he cannot install a raised marble edge around his father's
grave lost a High Court battle on Tuesday.
Ul-Haq, a practising Barelvi Muslim, wants to erect 10 cm edging to stop people
walking across Hafiz Qadri's grave in Streetly Cemetery in Walsall, West
maintained in his court claim that Islamic law forbids people from stepping on
graves and claimed that council rules relating to cemeteries breached his human
right to exercise religion. He said the right was enshrined in Article 9 of the
European Convention on Human Rights and therefore the court should rule in his
favour and against the local council.
Council leaders said they couldn’t accommodate Ul-Haq's wish without harming
the rights of other Muslims.
said that regulations permit the "mounding of graves", and mounding
is the way Muslims normally inhibit people from walking on graves.
council maintained in the court that their approach has been "careful,
sensitive and accommodating".
Tuesday, Lord Justice Singh and Mrs Justice Carr in London High Court handed
down the verdict, ruled against Atta Ul-Haq and dismissed his challenge to the
lawfulness of the council's policy on "rules and regulations in respect of
cemeteries and crematoria".
two judges had analysed arguments at a High Court trial in London in December.
Judges said, in a written ruling, that what council bosses had decided fell
within their "margin of judgment".
concluded that council bosses had "acted in a way which is
spokeswoman for Walsall Council said: "The judgment has confirmed that the
council’s cemetery and crematorium rules and regulations do not discriminate
against any individual or community and are appropriate and fair. Nor do they
breach Article 9 of the Human Rights Act, nor discriminate on the grounds of
age. The court also stated that the council as the burial authority is best
placed at a local level to make rules and regulations which are appropriate.”
father Hafiz Qadri died in 2015 and is buried in Streetly Cemetery in Walsall.
Ul-Haq's lawyers said the case could have implications for the Islamic
community. Barrister Michael Fordham QC, who led Mr Ul-Haq's legal team, told
judges during the trial last year: "Mr Ul-Haq seeks a judicial review of the
(council's) 'rules and regulations in respect of cemeteries and crematorium',
by which it has and continues to refuse to permit him to erect a raised marble
edging around his father's grave.
district council wants only Christians as sweepers
the resolution adopted unanimously, the council said all Muslims posted as
sweepers should be transferred to other posts such as those of a guard or a
peon, the channel reported.
resolution was presented by the country's ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's
Akmal Khan, said the channel in its report.
resolution also stated that the idea was in accordance with court orders.
document, however, did not specify when a court gave such an order and in what
case, the TV channel said.
Khan told Samaa that he did not remember the date of the court order.
year, however, the Peshawar High Court had passed a verdict in which Muslims
working as sweepers in the Bacha Khan Medical Complex were to be transferred to
other posts, he said.
rights lawyer Advocate Mary James Gill strongly condemned the move, saying the
resolution was in violation of the Article 27 of the Constitution.
told Samaa TV that the move not only went against Quaid-i-Azam M A Jinnah's
vision for the country, but also the basic principles of Islam.
and Hindus make up the largest minority groups in Muslim-majority Pakistan, with
each representing about 1.6 per cent of the population.
Supreme Court on Wednesday will take up the appeal of Khadija Siddiqui ─ a law student who was stabbed 23 times in
Lahore in 2016 ─
against the acquittal last year of her alleged attacker and fellow student, Shah Hussain.
alleged that she was attacked by Shah Hussain on May 3, 2016, near Shimla Hill
where she, along with her driver, had gone to pick up her younger sister from
school. Both the sisters were about to get into their car when a helmet-wearing
Hussain allegedly attacked Siddiqui with a knife and stabbed her 23 times
leaving her critically injured.
more: Khadija was stabbed 23 times in Lahore. Here's how she put her attacker
who is currently studying law in the United Kingdom, arrived in Pakistan
earlier this week. Justice Khosa, to whom the case was sent for hearing, fixed
the date of hearing of the appeal for Jan 23 (today).
judicial magistrate had on July 29, 2017, sentenced Hussain to seven-year
imprisonment under Section 324 (attempted murder) of Pakistan Penal Code (PPC),
two years under Section 337A(i) (causing injuries), five years under Section
337A(ii), one year under Section 337F(i), three years under Section 337F(ii)
and five years under Section 337F(iv).
a sessions court in March 2018 had commuted the rigorous imprisonment by two
years awarded by the trial court to Hussain while setting aside the other minor
the son of a senior LHC lawyer, then appealed against his conviction in the
high court and was acquitted in June 2018. LHC Justice Sardar Ahmad Naeem in
his detailed verdict had written: "The injured witness ordinarily is not
disbelieved but the circumstances of this case forced me to disbelieve the
injured prosecution witness."
am satisfied that the prosecution has failed in its duty to prove the guilt of
the appellant (Hussain) beyond reasonable shadow of doubt and the benefit of
the doubt is always extended in favour of the accused."
judge observed that marks of injury on a witness are only an indication of his
presence at a spot but not affirmative proof of credibility and truthfulness:
"It is not a universal rule that each and every word coming from the mouth
of injured person is truth."
presence of injuries would not stamp that he is a truthful witness. His
testimony is to be tested and appraised on the principles applied for
appreciation of any other prosecution witness," Justice Naeem had ruled.
The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Tuesday signed an agreement with Abu Dhabi
Fund for Development (ADFD) for $3 billion to be deposited in the SBP account.
announcement came from the Foreign Office in a Twitter post at 8:30pm which
added that the funds “will help Pakistan achieve financial stability and
overcome economic challenges.”
Chief Spokesperson Abid Qamar, talking to Dawn separately, confirmed the
development and said the central bank will release details possibly on
Wednesday. He expects the amount to arrive in the country within a week but no
final details were available.
agreement was signed between SBP Governor Tariq Bajwa and ADFD Director General
Saif Al Suwaidi at the latter’s headquarters in Abu Dhabi.
$3bn is placed in the SBP account, the amount could be utilised for foreign
exchange payments,” Qamar told Dawn. “But the central bank will not transfer
local currency equal to this $3bn to the government account.”
explained that funds in rupee equivalent from a foreign currency loan are
directly transferred into the account of the government after the foreign
exchange is received in the SBP account.
has been facing an acute shortage of foreign exchange and the situation is more
serious in the wake of high current account deficit which widened to $7.98bn in
the first half of the current fiscal year. The SBP reserves had fallen to
$6.9bn on Jan 11 from $12.793bn in Jan 2018.
signed a similar agreement with Saudi Arabia for foreign currency deposits of
which $2bn has been received while the last tranche of $1bn was still is still
with these inflows, the government hopes to get loans from Beijing. It was also
reported in media that the country could borrow from Chinese banks on
UAE is the second largest trade partner of the country, after China. During
July-December FY19, the imports from UAE were $5.119bn and $8.901bn in full
fiscal year 2018. However, exports to the kingdom were extremely low, at $636m
during the first half and $1.379bn in FY18.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to
bring peace and stability in Afghanistan.
on Pak-US ties in an interview, he said recent visit of the US Republican
Senator Lindsey Graham to Islamabad reflects that bilateral relations are on a
said the US Senator gave many indications of moving to strategic ties between
Pakistan and the US. Lindsey Graham agreed with Imran Khan that there is no
military solution to Afghan conflict. He said the world while appreciating
peace and reconciliation efforts of Pakistan understands that the country will
have a key role in peace in Afghanistan.
Mehmood Qureshi said Pakistan has clarified to the US Senator that Pakistan is
playing its role but it is a shared responsibility. We understand that regional
countries will have to play their role too in order to resolve the Afghan
issue. The Foreign Minister emphasized the need of Afghans to sit together for
vehicle used in the Sahiwal incident was owned by a terrorist named Adeel
Hafeez who was killed in Faisalabad during the operation of security forces,
according to reports.
had bought the car for Rs680,000 through an online application on May 9, 2018,
from a man named Saqib Muhammad. However, the vehicle was under the use of
Zeeshan who was killed in counter-terrorism department’s (CTD) encounter in
Sahiwal. He has been suspected of having links with Islamic State (IS). A
selfie of Zeeshan was recovered from his mobile phone with Usman, another
terrorist killed in Faisalabad.
Zeeshan’s family held a protest demanding the government to take back
accusation against the victim. “The government should either take the
accusation back or provide evidence that Zeeshan was a terrorist,” they said.
Muslim Brotherhood members killed in Cairo ‘shootout’
least five members of Egypt’s outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group were killed in
a “shootout” with Egyptian security forces, the Interior Ministry said Tuesday.
to a ministry statement, the five slain Brotherhood members had been “planning
to carry out a series of terrorist attacks against state institutions and
military and police personnel”.
raided their hideout in Cairo’s Obour City district. All five were killed in an
ensuing exchange of fire,” the ministry added without providing further
Agency has yet to independently verify the ministry's version of events.
has been roiled by violence since the army ousted and imprisoned Mohamed Morsi
-- the country’s first freely elected president and a Brotherhood leader -- in
a 2013 military coup.
the almost six years since, the authorities have cracked down on political
dissent, killing hundreds of Morsi’s supporters and throwing thousands behind
bars on trumped-up “violence” charges.
al-Haaj was quoted by the Arabic-language al-Ma'aloumeh news website as saying
on Tuesday that the US wants to establish bases in specific zones with respect
to their geographical and demographical conditions in Iraq, specially regions
near the Iraqi Kurdistan region, to drive a wedge between Iran and Syria and
warned that the measure is aimed at paving the ground for Washington to
implement the next stage of its plot and launch a war against the resistance
front and Iran.
had also earlier this month quoted Iraqi sources as saying that the US army was
searching for new locations to establish military bases in the two towns of
al-Ramadi and Fallujah in al-Anbar province.
number of US military advisors along with army forces traveled to the 'Military
Farm' region in Eastern Fallujah to find a location for their new base, a
added that the US forces have located a number of positions in different parts
of al-Ramadi, and said that they want to set up new bases in the province.
US has supplied the YPG with its advanced Javelin and TOW anti-tank missile
systems, the Turkish newspaper, Yeni Akit, cited sources as saying.
sources claimed that right now, Turkey's special forces are trying to track
these systems, as the YPG is "preparing a trap for Turkish tanks which are
ready to enter Manbij".
reported developments come after Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar
reiterated during his meeting with Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the US Joint
Chiefs of Staff, Turkey's call on the US to promptly withdraw the US-backed YPG
forces from Manbij.
has repeatedly blamed Washington for lending military support to the YPG, while
the US insists its backing of the Kurds is needed to counter the ISIL.
February 2018, then-US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson claimed that the White
House has "never given heavy arms to the YPG".
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated on
Tuesday that Ankara has “almost completed” preparations for another military
operation in Syria and will launch it if “promises” made by other parties about
the protection of its borders are not kept.
still hopes that talks with the US, Russia and “other parties” will allow it to
ensure its security without resorting to force but it is still ready to proceed
with a military option and will not “wait forever”, Erdogan said, as he was
referring to Ankara’s plans for the Northern Syrian territories East of the
Euphrates River, which it seeks to turn into a “security zone” free of any
SDF fighters are stealing from houses in the villages of Albu Badran,
al-Sha'afeh and Albu Khater where the ISIL terrorists have retreated from, the
media activists in Eastern Deir Ezzur reported.
said that the residents of the town of Hajin in Southeastern Deir Ezzur have clashed
with SDF fighters in protest at the burglaries as tensions between civilians
and the SDF have sharply increased.
the SDF fighters have sent several trucks to al-Azba power plant in the
surrounding areas of Koneko oil region East of Deir Ezzur to dismantle the
power plant and send its components to Hasaka province. The residents of Hasaka
have blocked the roads leading to the power plant, in response.
a relevant development on Sunday, the SDF and the ISIL reached an agreement on
terrorists' withdrawal to Badiya (desert) region from the remaining areas under
their control in Eastern Deir Ezzur.
Syrian Democratic Forces agreed with withdrawal of the ISIL members and their
families from the remaining areas under their control in Eastern Deir Ezzur to
Eastern Badiya (desert)," the Arabic-language service of Sky News TV
channel quoted local sources in Deir Ezzur as saying.
source reiterated that the SDF has so far dispatched about 35 buses to the
towns of al-Souseh, al-Morashedeh, al-Baghouz and al-Safafeneh in Eastern Deir
US and its allies are preparing a scenario for the Eastern Euphrates to
victimize that region's residents, the London-based Syrian Observatory for
Human Rights (SOHR) reported.
SOHR quoted informed sources as saying that trucks containing heavy weapons,
logistical equipment and ammunition sent to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)
in Eastern Euphrates is a new plot by the US to empower the SDF fighters and
urge them to confront the Turkish Army and its allied militants if they attack
also noted that the main reason for arming the SDF in Eastern Euphrates is
destroying the current negotiations between SDF, Damascus and the Russian side
as well as possible agreement between the two sides.
a relevant development on Saturday, the Kurdish fighters during their military
operations against the Turkish Army and its affiliated militants in Afrin
pounded a military position of Ahrar al-Sham terrorists and Turkish army troops
in Jandariseh region of Afrin, severely wounding two Turkish Army soldiers and
five Ankara-backed militants, Hawar News reported.
noted that five members of Farqa al-Hamza and Jbahat al-Shamia were killed and
three others were wounded in three consecutive military operations by the
Kurdish forces against the Turkish Army and Ankara-backed militants in the
Center of Afrin as well as Shirawa and Shara regions in recent days.
battlefield sources in Northern Aleppo reported that during the Syrian
Democratic Forces' missile attack on a military position of the Free Syrian
Army (FSA) in Kimar village in Afrin region, a terrorist was killed and five
others were wounded.
media activists disclosed on Monday that the new mass grave has been discovered
in the village of al-Fakhikheh South of the city of Raqqa.
underlined that between 600 to 800 corpses have been retrieved from the mass
grave, and said that the newly-discovered mass grave was the 14th of its kind
found in Raqqa City and its outskirts.
is while Raqqa's civilian team also discovered more bodies of civilians, who
were killed in the US-led coalition's airstrikes on Raqqa City, from under the
debris of the destroyed buildings in districts of al-Tosayeh, Nazleh Shahadeh
and al-Haramieh in Raqqa City.
year after the US and its allies earned control over the Raqqa city, the dead
bodies of Syrian civilians are still retrieved from mass graves and debris in
Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said late last year that the
bodies of over 8,000 Syrians killed in the bombing raids carried out by the US
and the coalition led by the US had been found in mass graves in Syria’s Raqqa
after the rubble was partially cleared away.
week, the Syrian government, in its letters addressed to the UN secretary
general and the UN Security Council president, provided the tragic statistics
on the victims of the coalition’s bombing raids in the city of Raqqa during its
‘liberation’ from ISIL (known as ISIS or Daesh)," she noted.
bodies of over 4,000 people were found while clearing away the rubble in two of
the city’s residential neighborhoods left over from the airstrikes and also
around the stadium and the zoo. Those were mainly women, the elderly and
children. In addition, a mass grave where more than 2,500 people were buried
was uncovered at a farm near a pediatric clinic and the National Hospital,
while another burial site was opened near Al-Panorama where 1,500 bombing raids’
victims were buried," Zakharova added.
letters stressed that to date just two percent of the rubble had been cleared
away in Raqqa, which had been literally razed to the ground," Zakharova
Syrian Army's artillery units heavily pounded the military positions of Tahrir
al-Sham terrorists in the town of Bab al-Taqeh in Sahl al-Ghab in Western Hama,
destroying several of their military centers used to attack the Syrian Army and
killing several terrorists.
Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper quoted the opposition sources as saying that
the Russian troops deployed at a base in Qabibat village has targeted
terrorists' military positions in the towns of Kafar Zita and al-Latamanieh,
al-Zuka village, Ma'arkabeh, Hasraya and other regions in the Northern parts of
Hama in massive missile attacks.
the Syrian Army's artillery units pounded and destroyed the terrorists'
movements in the towns of Kafar Nubl and Jorjnaz, the surrounding areas of
Sakik in Southern and Southeastern Idlib.
a relevant development on Sunday, the Syrian army warded off new offensives by
Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay'at and other allied terrorists in the demilitarized zone
in Northern Hama and Southern Idlib, inflicting heavy damages and tolls on
Damascus Army units targeted a group of terrorists who intended to penetrate to
the government forces' military positions in Northern Hama from the town of
Ma'arkabeh, killing a large number of terrorists and destroying their military
large number of terrorists were forced to flee the scene after their comrades
were killed and wounded in the Syrian Army attacks.
Syrian Army's artillery units, meantime, pounded Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay'at
terrorists' movements from the farms near the town of Mourek, inflicting heavy
losses on the terrorists.
Syrian Army's artillery units also hit Tahrir al-Sham's military positions in
the town of al-Latamineh and its surrounding areas, Wadi al-Dorat, al-Siadeh
al-Sokhr and Kafar Zita regions in Northern Hama, inflicting heavy losses and
casualties on terrorists.
Idlib, the Syrian Army's artillery units responded to Tahrir al-Sham
terrorists' attacks by pounding their military positions in al-Habit,
al-Khowein and al-Najieh in Southern and Southeastern Idlib.
Americans are stirring tensions by spreading rumors of detention of Hashd
al-Shaabi forces, bombing their positions or dissolving the group," Qassem
Moslih was quoted as saying by the Kurdish-language Basnews on Tuesday.
noted that the Americans have lost everything in Iraq and want to provoke Hashd
al-Shaabi into war, stressing that the Iraqi popular forces will not be the
starter of any war, but they will fight if they come under attack.
kept mum on the US and Israeli attacks against Hashd al-Shaabi earlier but we
will not remain silent against their attacks from now on," Moslih
relevant remarks last Thursday, Abdel Bari Atwan, the editor-in-chief of Rai
al-Youm newspaper, underlined that Washington's hostile stance towards Hashd
al-Shaabi and its quest for dismantling popular groups in the Arab state
derived from their opposition to the US forces' occupation of Iraq.
US administration in an unprecedented demand called on the Iraqi government on
Tuesday to dissolve 67 groups operating in the framework of the Iraqi popular
forces, while all these groups were welcomed by Washington when they were
fighting against the ISIL alongside the US forces. Then what has changed
now," Atwan wrote.
that Iraq's security and national identity is gradually reviving, he said that
Hashd al-Shaabi forces or their leaders have demanded withdrawal of all the
5,500 US military troops from Iraq and are opposed to the US use of military
bases in Iraq for possible attacks against Syria and Iran.
added that Hashd al-Shaabi was also hostile to Israel and is in clear
solidarity with Syria, which is another reason for the US enmity.
United Nations’ envoy to the Mideast said Tuesday that peacekeepers in Lebanon
have not been given access to tunnels stretching into Israel, which UN
officials say violate a cease-fire resolution that ended a devastating war
between Israel and Hezbollah in 2006.
Mladenov told the Security Council that the UN peacekeeping mission known as
UNIFIL has confirmed that two tunnels crossed the UN-drawn Blue Line between
Lebanon and Israel, but “has not been granted access to the confirmed entry
points of a tunnel near Kfar Kila on the Lebanese side.”
did not say whether Lebanon’s government or the Hezbollah militant group was
blocking access for UNIFIL, but US deputy ambassador Jonathan Cohen blamed the
accused Hezbollah, an Iranian ally, of threatening international peace and
security with the extensive tunneling exposed by Israel, which has reported
uncovering six tunnels into its territory.
commend UNIFIL’s work to keep the Blue Line under control, but it is
unacceptable that the Lebanese government has not yet given UNIFIL access to
the tunnel entrance on their side of the Blue Line,” Cohen told the council.
Ambassador Danny Danon complained to the council that “the Lebanese army has
taken no action in response, allowing Hezbollah to continue building these
alleged that Iran funnels $7 billion to militant groups across the region,
including $1 billion to Hezbollah, which he said has “grand plans to take over
the Israeli Galilee” and invests millions in every tunnel. He provided no
information on how Israel calculated its estimate of Iranian spending, which
also included $4 billion to the Syrian government, “hundreds of millions” to
Iran’s proxies in Iraq, tens of millions to Houthi militias in Yemen, $70
million to Palestinian Islamic Jihad and $50 million to Hamas, which controls
noted that Lebanon has been without a government for over eight months and
called on all parties to resolve their differences so the country “can address
the man pressing challenges it faces, including that of a struggling economy.”
the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Mladenov said that “we should have no
illusions about the dangerous dynamics ... which continue to unfold before our
eyes” and have eroded “the possibility of establishing a viable, contiguous
pointed to Israel’s latest new settlement plans and approvals, nearly half to
be built deep in the West Bank, which the Palestinians say must be part of
their state. He also cited “additional attempts to pass legislation that would
directly apply Israeli law to the territory of the occupied West Bank, raising
fears of future annexation.”
said the chance for peace opened more than 25 years ago with the Oslo accords,
which were enshrined in UN resolutions and bilateral agreements, but has
“eroded as the prospect for credible negotiations has dimmed, only to be
replaced by the lack of hope and the growing risk of a one-state reality of
urged both sides to recommit to the principles in those agreements - that key
issues can be resolved only through direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.
Mansour, the Palestinian ambassador, told the council that last year “Israel’s
illegal occupation became more entrenched, more brutal and extreme” with the
political process “deadlocked.”
by day, the occupation is destroying the two-state solution and sowing deep
despair among our people,” he said.
5,000 people, including almost 500 ISIS fighters, have since Monday left the
extremist group’s last bastion in eastern Syria, where ISIS continues to lose
ground, a Britain-based monitor said.
forces, backed by air strikes of the US-led coalition, have been battling since
September to expel the extremists from their enclave in the eastern province of
4,900 people, mostly women and children but including 470 jihadists, have since
Monday deserted the last IS pocket in the Deir Ezzor province, including 3,500
that left the area on Tuesday,” Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian
Observatory for Human Rights, told AFP on Tuesday.
majority of the civilians are family members of extremists, the Observatory
were evacuated on dozens of trucks chartered by the Syrian Democratic Forces
(SDF), a Kurdish-led alliance fighting ISIS.
recent weeks the SDF has seized several eastern villages from ISIS, including
Hajin, Al-Shaafa and Sousa.
is now confined to just 10 square kilometers (four square miles) in Deir Ezzor,
the Observatory said.
Tuesday, the “SDF progressed, without any resistance from IS, into the Baghouz
area, the last still in the hands of jihadists,” Abdel Rahman said.
SDF “now controls half” of Baghouz, he added.
new wave of departures means that nearly 27,000 people have left former ISIS
areas since early December, including almost 1,800 extremists who have
surrendered, the Observatory said.
overran large parts of Syria and neighboring Iraq in 2014, proclaiming a
“caliphate” in areas under their control.
they have since lost most of that to various offensives in both countries.
Kurdish fighters who do much of the ground fighting against ISIS have pressed
hard since President Donald Trump announced last month that he was ordering a
complete US troop pullout from Syria.
President Bashar al-Assad has revoked special visas for European Union
diplomats and officials traveling regularly between Beirut and Damascus,
complicating efforts to distribute aid to civil war victims, three senior EU
conflict broke out in Syria in 2011, the EU has used the Lebanese capital, the
nearest major city, for its diplomatic base while closing most embassies in
Damascus in protest over what they describe as Assad’s brutal assault on the
the special permission to use multiple-entry Syrian visas for access to
Damascus was rescinded at the start of January with no explanation from the
Syrian government, the EU diplomats said, meaning personnel have to apply for
time-consuming, single-entry visas every time they wish to travel.
EU diplomats who spoke on condition of anonymity said they believed it was an
attempt to try to force European governments and the bloc to re-open embassies
in Damascus, as the Syrian army, backed by Russian and Iranian forces, regains
control of most of the country.
a serious problem for the EU’s humanitarian assistance,” said one EU diplomat.
“This is a measure that hits diplomats and staff of European government
embassies and the European Union institutions.”
was unable immediately to reach Syrian Foreign Ministry officials for comment.
more than seven years of a devastating war drawing in foreign powers, the
European Commission, the EU executive, has channeled almost 800 million euros
($909.44 million) on food, medicine and shelter for Syrians inside the country.
says at least seven troops, including an officer, have been killed in clashes
with militants in recent operations in restive northern Sinai Peninsula.
military said in a statement Tuesday that forces have killed at least 59
suspected militants and arrested another 142 suspected militants and criminals.
to the statement, airstrikes destroyed 56 vehicles containing weapons and ammunition
in the Western Desert, south and northeastern border areas.
military statement gave no timeframe for these recent operations. It wasn’t
possible to independently confirm the details as access to northern Sinai is
launched a nationwide operation against militants last year. It has struggled
to defeat a long-running insurgency in Sinai, which serves as a base for ISIS
civilians have lost their lives and sustained injuries when the US-led
coalition purportedly fighting the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group carried out a
number of aerial attacks in Syria's troubled eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr.
sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Syria’s official news agency
SANA that the airstrikes targeted vehicles carrying civilians fleeing from areas
controlled by the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in the town of al-Baghuz early
US-led coalition has been conducting airstrikes against what are said to be
Daesh targets inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from
the Damascus government or a UN mandate.
military alliance has repeatedly been accused of targeting and killing
civilians. It has also been largely incapable of achieving its declared goal of
has on numerous occasions condemned airstrikes by the US-led coalition, asking
the UN to force Washington and its allies to put an end to their military
intervention in the Arab country.
Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, in two separate letters
addressed to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and the rotating president
of the Security Council, Francisco Antonio Cortorreal, on Saturday, censured
the latest US-led coalition strikes against al-Baghuz al-Tahtani village in
Dayr al-Zawr province, saying the US-led warplanes had targeted dozens of
families, who were fleeing from areas controlled by Daesh.
sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, told SANA on January 18 that 20
people were killed when US-led warplanes bombarded residential buildings in the
new crime is in line with the criminal acts that the US-led coalition is
perpetrating systematically and on a daily basis against Syrian people, and in
flagrant violation of Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The
activities of this alliance are illegal as it has been formed outside the UN
framework. Such acts have only contributed to the expansion of extremist
terrorist organizations, especially Daesh. Cooperation and coordination between
these terrorist groups and this alliance has been documented in numerous
letters that Syrian Arab Republic has sent to the Security Council,” the
letters pointed out.
ministry then condemned in the strongest terms the US-led coalition’s continued
attacks against Syrian people and the conflict-plagued country’s critical
infrastructure, energy facilities and public and private property.
also called on the UN Security Council to shoulder its responsibilities as
regards to the establishment of international peace and security, and put an
immediate halt to its crimes against humanity that were being carried out by
this “rogue” coalition against Syrian civilians and infrastructure.
The most pressing terrorism threat to Singapore continues to come from Islamic
State, even though the number of plots directed by the militant group fell in
the region in 2018.
is according to the Ministry of Home Affairs' (MHA) latest terrorism threat
assessment report which was released on Tuesday (Jan 22).
warned that other groups such as Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) and Al-Qaeda (AQ) are
Southeast Asia, there is the possibility that JI, which is aligned with AQ, may
resume planning attacks,” said MHA.
ministry added that while there is "no credible intelligence" of a
terror attack being planned against Singapore, the possibility cannot be ruled
out. “The terrorism threat to Singapore remains high,” said MHA.
noted that even though Islamic State has suffered heavy territorial losses in
Iraq and Syria, its virulent ideology persists online and continues to attract
supporters in Singapore.
the past two years, eight self-radicalised individuals - including two women
and one youth - were dealt with under the Internal Security Act (ISA), said
MHA, bringing the total number of Singaporeans dealt with under this law to 22
comparison, between 2007 and 2014, there were 11 such radicalised Singaporeans
dealt with under the ISA.
not all eight cases in the past two years were related to Islamic State, said
MHA. Three of them were "influenced by other terrorist rhetoric" and
wanted to participate in armed violence in conflict zones in other parts of the
addition, MHA said it continued to detect radicalisation among foreigners
living and working in Singapore.
2015, 14 Indonesian domestic workers have been repatriated after they were
found to have been radicalised.
year, three Malaysian work permit holders were arrested for their suspected
involvement in terrorism-related activities. All three were repatriated to
of the foreigners investigated had any plans to carry out attacks in Singapore,
MILITANT MEGAT SHAHDAN BELIEVED KILLED
Singaporean militant who was featured in two Islamic State propaganda videos
released in 2017 is believed to be dead, said MHA.
Shahdan Abdul Samad shot into the spotlight after he was seen in one of the
videos, along with two other Southeast Asian militants, executing three “agents
of the crusader coalition”.
the other video, Megat Shahdan, who left Singapore in 2014 to work in the
Middle East, was seen loading artillery shells onto a military truck and
calling for people to join Islamic State.
on available information, Megat Shahdan is believed to have been killed,"
said MHA on Tuesday.
FROM OTHER EXTREMIST GROUPS
threat of Islamic State-inspired attacks persists, as the group’s sympathisers
continue to be active, said MHA.
ministry pointed to Islamic State-linked group Jemaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) in
Indonesia, which was responsible for coordinated bombings in Surabaya in May
last year. The bombings, which killed 28 people (including the perpetrators),
are the deadliest Islamic State-linked attacks in Indonesia to date.
was disbanded by a court in Indonesia last July for “conducting terrorism” and
affiliating itself with Islamic State.
State continues to portray Southeast Asia as part of its "global
caliphate" and has started to refer to its "East Asia" division
in its propaganda, which could attract foreign pro-Islamic State militants to
travel to the region, said MHA.
persistent interest in the region raises the threat to Singapore,” MHA added,
referring to Islamic State which is also known as Islamic State of Iraq and
may also be radicalised by ISIS’ propaganda and take up arms for ISIS."
addition, there are signs that other extremist groups including Al-Qaeda and
Jemaah Islamiyah have been regrouping and may launch large-scale attacks again,
international focus on countering ISIS has provided AQ with the space to
rebuild its capabilities,” said the ministry.
members have been joining pro-AQ groups in Syria to acquire combat skills and
experience. JI continues to attract supporters in the region.”
OF SINGAPOREANS DON'T SEE TERROR THREAT AS IMMINENT
authorities have put measures in place to enhance Singapore's counter-terrorism
abilities, MHA said that it is important for Singaporeans not to become
survey conducted by the ministry in June and July last year found that close to
60 per cent of respondents recognised that Singapore was a target for terror
only around 20 per cent felt that a threat was imminent, that an attack might
occur in Singapore within the next five years.
video of a disabled man being told to pray outside the West Sumatra Grand
Mosque in Padang, West Sumatra, because his wheelchair was “not clean” sparked
outrage on social media.
Ismed wrote about his experience and posted a video of an argument he had with
a security officer on his Instagram account, @boy1492,on Sunday.
post has received 582 likes and 241 comments as of Tuesday morning. Most of the
commentators condemned the security officers’ act, labeling it as discriminatory,
unethical and inhumane.
his post, Abraham called the policy “illogical.”
I need to [leave my wheelchair] and instead crawl into the mosque to pray? For
a disabled person like me, a wheelchair is like my feet,” Abraham said, adding
that it was not the first time that he was discriminated against as a man in a
is not yet inclusive, neither is West Sumatra. Indonesia is not a
respect someone’s good intention to pray before God, whatever their physical
condition is,” wrote an Instagram user, @eziputrisuci, with sad emoticon.
user, @aryvigo, asked authorities to take firm action against the security
officers as well as the mosque’s management.
Said, a worker at the mosque, said the security officers had actually offered
to assist Abraham to enter the mosque without the wheelchair, but Abraham
refused the offer and entered the mosque with the wheelchair instead.
a wheelchair in a mosque is just the same as wearing shoes while praying. We
don’t know where wheelchair been,” Yulius said, as quoted by Padang-based media
however, have begged to differ with Yulius.
Hizbullah Khaidir, a PhD candidate on Quranic exegesis at Sunan Ampel State
Islamic University in Surabaya, said that while Islam taught Muslims to be
clean when they prayed, there was no scriptural basis for refuting the right of
a man in a wheelchair to pray inside a mosque.
majority of clerics argue that dust sticking to people’s feet, even it is
contaminated with dry animal feces, is considered clean,” he argued.
the mosque’s management should not only considerfiqh(Islamic jurisprudence) in
deciding whether someone is allowed to pray inside a mosque. “Other than fiqh,
they could also use their empathy,” said Piet, who also teaches at the School
of the Quran and Science in Lamongan, East Java.
Sumatra Deputy Governor Nasrul Abit was also reportedly irked by the incident,
saying that every Muslim, including those disabled, were allowed to enter the
grand mosque. “Governor [Irwan Prayitno] has instructed [his subordinates] to
speak to the mosque’s authorities,” Nasrul said as quoted another local media,
JAYA: A former immigration department enforcement chief has urged Putrajaya to
tighten the process for locals marrying foreigners, amid reports of a crackdown
on Pakistani men in Kelantan who wed locals in order to run businesses and stay
longer in the country.
Mohamed told FMT there were existing conditions for foreigners who wished to
marry locals. He added, however, that these could be further improved.
to the Sisters in Islam website, Muslim couples where one is a foreigner need
to seek permission from the religious department.
must provide documentary evidence of their passport and conversion to Islam, if
applicable; a valid visa, HIV test results, marriage course certificate,
marital status and letters of consent from the state religious department for
the Malaysian and the embassy for the foreign spouse.
said other measures could be taken, including barring foreigners from marrying
locals for at least three years after their arrival in Malaysia, and when they
are in the country on a social pass.
need a new standard operating procedure for all relevant parties so that there
is proper screening of foreigners before they are allowed to marry locals,” he
includes interviews by the relevant authorities and background checks by the
police with the cooperation of the embassies in question.
do not want any extremists or those with a criminal past or criminal intentions
to come here,” he said.
must protect our interests as we do not want foreigners to use our people to
stay here or to run their businesses.”
Ramanand, the coordinator of the Foreign Spouses Support Group, an NGO which
assists foreign spouses in Malaysia, also urged the authorities to weed out
immigration department has very stringent policies in place,” she told FMT.
“Why have these spouses in Kelantan slipped through the cracks?”
said applications for spousal visas are quite thorough and include requirements
for proof of residence and, at times, house inspections.
said foreigners who marry locals require permission from the immigration
department to work or start a business. Their visas to stay in the country are
tied to their Malaysian spouses.
any time during the marriage, the Malaysian spouse can cancel the spouse visa.
Renewals and endorsement to work require the presence of both spouses.
all this in place, it is quite shocking that many foreigners are reportedly
doing business in Kelantan and not living with their wives.”
added that sham marriages made it difficult for foreigners in genuine marriages
as Malaysia’s stringent rules made it tough for them to work and contribute to
was previously reported that the immigration department in Kelantan had tracked
down Pakistani nationals who married local women, some more than twice their
age, so they could run businesses or stay here longer.
director Azhar Abdul Hamid said their presence had affected local traders, and
that up to 15 travel permits were cancelled after it was discovered that the
foreigners were not living with their wives.
LUMPUR, Jan 21 — In his harshest condemnation yet of the move to abolish the
death penalty, PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang declared that its
supporters lack humanity.
a lengthy statement today, he said Islam upheld the practice of Qisas
(retaliatory) punishment for crimes, including that of murder.
priority to preserve human life is a living principle to which even dietary
laws are rendered secondary, permitting the consumption of prohibited foods
rather than death by starvation,” Hadi said.
said that according to Islamic teachings, the death penalty meted out to
criminals gives life, as it saves the lives of countless others by eliminating
said criminals who could have gone on to become a disease upon society.
who (hold on to) the theory of abolishing the death penalty are in the wrong,
disbelieving in God and lack all humanity,” Hadi said.
called upon Malaysians to make every effort to fight the abolition of the death
penalty, encouraging them to stand up against its supporters, whom he called fools
who think themselves better because they are Western-educated even as the West
is in the continuous throes of crime.
so-called anti-terrorism influence of the West, disguised with the agenda of
abolishing the death penalty for the most severe crimes, has successfully
influenced some of the rakyat.
who uphold such thoughts consider themselves most intelligent, aping the
mindset of the supposedly advanced West, but have lost their humanity up to the
extent of fighting for terrorists’ basic rights without regard for the true
human costs of the victims and their families who deserve sympathy,” he said.
October last year, Hadi urged the government to review the move to abolish the
death penalty thoroughly, with fairness and transparency.
sentiments were echoed by then-MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong,
who said a Parliamentary Select Committee should be established to review the
facto Law Minister Datuk Liew Vui Keong said last month that the Bill to abolish
the mandatory death penalty was expected to be tabled at the next Dewan Rakyat
said the Attorney General’s Chambers was currently in the final stage of
preparing the legislative papers for the purpose.
to the Parliament website, the next Dewan Rakyat sitting is scheduled for March
11 to April 11 next year.
to this, Liew announced that the Cabinet had decided that the death penalty for
33 offences under eight Acts of law would be abolished, including Section 302
of the Penal Code (murder).
Indonesia’s president said on Tuesday a radical Muslim cleric linked to the
2002 Bali bombings would only be released from jail if he pledged loyalty to
the state and its ideology, after news he would be freed unconditionally
Joko Widodo had declared last week that Abu Bakar Bashir, 81, would be freed on
humanitarian grounds, citing his age and poor health.
legal adviser to the president had said the cleric would be granted
Widodo said in a statement on Tuesday it would be a “conditional release”, a
day after the chief security minister said the decision was being reviewed.
have to be fulfilled like loyalty to the unitary state of Indonesia, to the
Pancasila. That is one of the very basic conditions,” said Widodo
eligible for early release are required to pledge loyalty to the state and its
secular ideology, known as Pancasila, and not to repeat their crimes.
Bashir’s lawyers say he has refused to do that.
was the spiritual leader of Jemaah Islamiah (JI), an Islamist group linked to
al Qaeda blamed for the 2002 bombing of nightclubs on Bali island that killed
more than 200 people, most of them tourists, including 88 Australians.
was convicted in 2010 under anti-terrorism laws for links to militant training
camps in Aceh province and jailed for 15 years.
linked to the Bali attacks and a bombing at Jakarta’s Marriott Hotel in 2003,
Bashir was never convicted for them and denied those ties.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison, speaking before Widodo set out conditions for
Bashir’s release, urged Indonesia not to show him leniency.
have been very clear about the need to ensure that as part of our joint
counter-terrorism efforts … that Abu Bakar Bashir would not be in any position
or in any way able to influence or incite anything,” Morrison told reporters on
has also come under fire at home over the possible release. Critics have
accused him of trying to win over religious conservatives ahead of a
presidential election set for April 17 in the world’s largest Muslim-majority
members of the ruling coalition, including officials in Widodo’s party, fear
Bashir’s release could alienate moderate Muslim and non-Muslim voters.
is asking, ‘How can we possibly allow this?’,” said an official from Widodo’s
Democratic Party of Struggle.
it’s about how many votes we will lose, not gain.”
opinion polls have given Widodo a double-digit lead over rival Prabowo
Subianto, a retired general who had also contested the presidency in 2014.
and hardline Islamists have repeatedly attacked Widodo’s Islamic credentials.
During the 2014 campaign for the presidency, he had to battle false rumours he
was a communist.
a move to shore up Muslim support this time, Widodo picked for his running mate
an Islamic cleric.
some analysts doubted whether releasing Bashir early would win Widodo many
and government officials, who declined to be identified due to the sensitivity
of the issue, said they backed the plan to release Bashir to avoid the risk of
him dying as a martyr in jail, but felt doing so without conditions was risky.
official said the government was considering letting Bashir out of jail but
placing him under house arrest.
terrorism expert Sidney Jones told Reuters that waiving the requirement for
Bashir to pledge loyalty to the state and secular state ideology would have set
a dangerous precedent.
risks turning him into even more of a hero because it’s like he has succeeded
in defying the state,” she said, speaking before Widodo set conditions on the
end result is that Widodo ends up looking weak, out-manoeuvred and poorly
McNeil, a survivor of the 2002 bombings, told The Australian newspaper that he
found the prospect of Bashir’s release hard to understand.
State Palace has confirmed that the government decided to call off the plan to
grant early release to radical Muslim cleric and terror convict Abu Bakar
Ba'asyir due to his resistance to pledge loyalty to the state ideology,
Pancasila, and the Republic of Indonesia.
Joko "Jokowi" Widodo previously planned to release the jailed
spiritual leader of Al-Qaeda-affiliate Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) on humanitarian
grounds, citing his old age and deteriorating health.
Ba'asyir was ineligible for unconditional release as he refused to declare
loyalty to Pancasila – a special requirement for all terror convicts to obtain
parole as stipulated in Government Regulation (PP) No. 99/2012.
[the plan has been cancelled], because the requirements could not be
negotiated," Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko said on Tuesday.
President, who had confirmed the plan on Friday, backtracked on his decision
following criticism over it, saying on Tuesday that the requirement in the PP
must be met before Ba'asyir can receive conditional parole.
has been in prison since 2011. He received a 15-year sentence for funding a
military training camp for terrorists in Aceh. He is currently detained at the
Gunung Sindur prison in Bogor, West Java, and has received treatment for
chronic venous insufficiency, blood clots and varicose veins in his leg since 2017.
premier draws analogy between Trump wall, ban on Israeli athletes
Minister Mahathir Mohamad has defended Malaysia’s ban on Israeli athletes from
taking part in international events, comparing the move to President Donald
Trump’s plan to build a wall along the United States’ border with Mexico.
country has the right to accept or refuse entry of anybody," the Malaysian
premier said during a press conference in Vienna on Tuesday, adding "You
can see that in America now they are erecting a very high wall to prevent
Mexicans from going to America."
have the same idea, that people who are undesirable for our country will be
kept out of our country," Mahathir added.
their people want to compete in sport, they can go to some other country."
recently said it would not allow Israeli athletes to enter the country to
compete at any sporting event there after it banned Israeli swimmers from
taking part in the World Para Swimming Championships, slated for July in the
eastern state of Sarawak. The event is an important milestone toward the 2020
Trump has threatened to close the US’s southern border if Congress does not
agree to provide $5.7 billion for his wall along the border with Mexico. Trump
has also restricted travel to the US from certain Muslim-majority countries, as
well as several non-Muslim states.
hard stand for an expensive border wall has also witnessed the tragic death of
a number of refugee children while in custody of the US Customs and Border
Israel "a criminal" entity, Mahathir said the Israeli athletes came from
an entity which does what it desires, including building settlements in other
people's territories and excluding the very people from their homeland.
in his remarks, the Malaysian prime minister denounced the Israeli siege of the
have raided our ship carrying aid to the Gaza people, there are many other
things done by Israel that are against international laws and against
morality," he told reporters.
has called on the International Paralympic Committee to challenge the decision
or change the venue of the competition.
Lumpur, which has no formal diplomatic ties with Tel Aviv, has rejected pleas
from the world sporting body the International Paralympic Committee to find a
solution to the row. Malaysia has stopped Israeli athletes from competing in a
sports event before. Two Israeli windsurfers had to pull out of a competition
on Langkawi island after they were denied visa in 2015.
says planning intl. probe into murder of Saudi critic Khashoggi
says it is making preparations to launch an international investigation into
the gruesome assassination of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi,
slamming certain Western countries for what it calls attempts to whitewash the
at a youth meeting in Istanbul on Monday, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu
stressed that Ankara was well aware of difficulties on the path to shed light
on Khashoggi's murder case.
are Western countries trying to cover this case up. I know the reasons. We know
and see what sorts of deals are made. We see how those who spoke of freedom of
press are now covering this up after seeing money,” he said.
he added, Turkey is planning an international inquiry into the case.
however, will go until the end. We made preparations for an international
investigation in the coming days and we will take the necessary steps,”
-- an outspoken critic of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman -- was killed
by a Saudi hit squad inside the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate last October.
weeks of denials of any involvement in the journalist’s disappearance, the
Riyadh regime eventually acknowledged the “premeditated” murder, but sought to
distance bin Salman from the case.
the assassination is widely believed to have been ordered by the heir to the
CIA is also said to have concluded that the crown prince had “probably ordered”
December 2018, Turkey called for an international investigation into the case.
Ankara wants Riyadh to extradite the suspects for them to stand trial in
Istanbul, a request rejected by Saudi rulers.
Arabia held an initial hearing into Khashoggi's murder earlier this month, with
the public prosecutor requesting the death penalty for five of the 11 suspects
death toll from Israel’s latest bombardment of military targets in Syria rose
from 11 to 21, a war monitor said Tuesday, adding that most of those killed
strikes carried out late Sunday and early Monday hit several positions and
assets held by Iran and its allies in Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human
initial toll of 11 has now risen to 21, the head of the Britain-based
Observatory, Rami Abdel Rahman, told AFP.
are 15 foreigners among the dead, including 12 from the Iranian forces,"
he said. "Six Syrians from the regime were also killed.”
has warned it will continue to target positions in Syria held by Iran and its
Lebanese ally Hezbollah.
explosions hit south of Yemen's Houthi-held capital, Sanaa, early on Wednesday,
with one of them being an operation that targeted missiles and weapons cache
near Taiz Street south of the capital.
second explosion also occured at a missiles and weapons warehouse in the Qaa
al-Zaidi area across from the Yemen Petroleum Company, also south of Sanaa.
were no immediate reports or casualties.
head of the UN monitoring team in Yemen’s Hodeidah intends to leave his
position, Al Arabiya’s New York correspondent reported.
who spoke to Al Arabiya’s correspondent said that Cammaert’s resignation was
accepted but the he would remain in his position until his replacement arrives
a UN spokesperson says that the Chair of the Redeployment Coordination
Committee General Patrick Cammaert continues his work in Yemen, denying media
reports of him leaving his post.
news comes after Houthi militias opened fire on Patrick Cammaert and his team
last Thursday in the Red Sea port city.
military aircraft have carried out a series of airstrikes against targets in
the northern part of the Gaza Strip as the Tel Aviv regime continues with its
acts of aggression against the besieged Palestinian coastal sliver.
strike was executed following earlier strikes during the day and in response to
the shooting incidents against our forces,” the Israeli Air Force said in a
statement released late on Tuesday.
statement added that the Israeli warplanes pounded several targets at a
training camp belonging to Hamas resistance movement. There were no reports of
in the day, at least one Palestinian was killed while four others were injured
as Israeli forces shelled the Gaza Strip after an Israeli soldier was shot
along the border between the coastal enclave and occupied territories.
al-Qidra, the spokesman for the Gaza Health Ministry, identified the fallen
Palestinian as 24-year-old Mohammed al-Nabaheen.
later confirmed he was a member of its military wing, Ezzedine al-Qassam
attack came shortly after an Israeli soldier was slightly injured near the
border fence in the southern Gaza Strip.
Israeli army said the soldier was wounded when a bullet struck his helmet.
have held weekly protests on the Gaza border, over the siege on the enclave and
the right for refugees to return to their homes they fled during the 1948
creation of Israel.
250 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces ever since anti-occupation
protest rallies began in the Gaza Strip on March 30. Over 26,000 Palestinians
have also sustained injuries.
Gaza clashes reached their peak on May 14 last year, on the eve of the 70th
anniversary of Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe), which coincided this year with
the US embassy relocation from Tel Aviv to occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds.
June 13, 2018, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution, sponsored
by Turkey and Algeria, condemning Israel for Palestinian civilian deaths in the
resolution, which had been put forward on behalf of Arab and Muslim countries,
garnered a strong majority of 120 votes in the 193-member assembly, with 8
votes against and 45 abstentions.
resolution called on UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to make proposals
within 60 days “on ways and means for ensuring the safety, protection, and
well-being of the Palestinian civilian population under Israeli occupation,”
including “recommendations regarding an international protection mechanism.”
army says it had arrested a suspected agent of Israel’s spy agency Mossad over
a car bomb explosion in the country’s southern city of Sidon, which slightly
wounded a member of the Palestinian Islamic resistance movement, Hamas, last
Lebanese Army Intelligence Directorate said in a statement on Tuesday that
Hussein Ahmad Batto was captured on January 21 in the Sharhabeel area of Sidon,
located 40 kilometers (25 miles) south of the capital, Beirut.
statement added that Batto reportedly admitted that he had been under Mossad’s
employment since 2014.
met his employers outside Lebanon, and was handed equipment and devices
specifically for monitoring and communication.
also admitted to monitoring (Mohammed) Hamdan since the summer the 2017, and
that he located his residence, followed his movements and transferred the
gathered information to his employers,” the statement pointed out.
army further noted that Mossad ordered Batto to leave Lebanon on January 23,
stayed outside the country for three months and returned based on their
request,” the statement said, adding that Lebanese army forces had seized a
large number of electronic devices from the Israeli agent.
to a report published by Lebanon’s Arabic-language al-Akhbar newspaper on
January 29, 2018, two Israeli agents were aided by two locals in the
assassination operation against Hamdan on January 14 last year. They left
Lebanon using Georgian, Swedish and Iraqi passports.
report added that Lebanese security officials had managed to identify the pair,
obtain their photographs and copies of their identity documents, the date of
their entry into and exit from Lebanon, their respective roles in the operation
and the nationality they used to operate under disguise.
intelligence officials, requesting anonymity, told al-Akhbar that one of the
Israeli agents was a man holding a duel Swedish-Iraqi citizenship, while
another was a Georgian woman working for Mossad.
officials went on to say that, Mossad kept Hamdan under surveillance for more
than seven months.
suffered a leg injury in the car bomb explosion. He was taken to a local
hospital for treatment.
explosion destroyed the vehicle and caused damage to a nearby building, sending
black smoke rising above the city.
least one Palestinian has been killed and two others have been injured in
Israeli shelling in the besieged Gaza Strip amid weeks-long anti-occupation
Gaza Health Ministry identified the victim as 24-year-old Mahmoud al-Abed
al-Nabahin, who was killed after Israeli tanks fired into the northern part of
Gaza on Tuesday.
Israeli military claims it targeted a post belonging to the Palestinian
resistance movement Hamas after a group of Palestinians shot and injured an
Israeli officer across the border with the occupied territories.
Monday, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
(OCHA) said at least 254 Palestinians had been killed and over 23,000 injured by
Israeli forces since the Great March of Return rallies began along the border
on March 30, 2018.
has been under Israeli siege since June 2007, causing a decline in living
standards as well as unprecedented unemployment and poverty.
has also launched several wars on the Palestinian sliver, the last of which
began in early July 2014 and ended in late August the same year. The Israeli
military aggression killed nearly 2,200 Palestinians and injured over 11,100
'agent' detained over anti-Hamas attack in Lebanon
Tuesday, the Lebanese army detained an agent of Israel's spy agency Mossad over
a 2018 bomb attack on a Hamas official in the south of the country. It said in
a statement that a second male suspect "who carried out surveillance"
before last year's bombing had also been arrested.
January last year, Mohammed Hamdan, a security official with the Lebanese
branch of Hamas, was wounded in the leg in a car bomb blast in the southern
Lebanese port city of Sidon. Following the January 14 blast, Beirut authorities
said they had arrested a man suspected of involvement in the car bombing. A
statement at the time said he was "one of the main perpetrators of the
crime, who confessed to being tasked by Israeli intelligence."
foreign nationals working as mine clearance experts for the Saudi-led military
coalition have been killed in a mine defusing operation in war-torn Yemen.
to a report by the official Saudi Press Agency, SPA, on Monday, the experts –
two from South Africa, one from Croatia, one from Bosnia and one from Kosovo –
were killed in the central province of Ma'rib a day earlier in an accidental
explosion when they were transporting extracted mines and explosives to be
report alleged that the mines and explosives had been planted by fighters of
Yemen’s popular Houthi Ansarullah movement, which, alongside the Yemeni army,
has been defending the impoverished nation against a Saudi-imposed war over the
past nearly four years.
foreign nationals were all working for a Saudi demining program in Yemen, known
as Masam Project, and were killed in a huge blast taken place due to the
suspected miscarriage of a large number of mines and explosives in their
vehicle as the team was on route from the project’s headquarters in the
provincial capital of the same name to a remote locality for safe destruction,
Ousama Algosaibi, the managing director of Masam, in a posting on Twitter on
Monday confirmed the explosion. Furthermore, the so-called King Salman
Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center, KSRelief, also confirmed that the foreign
“demining experts” were killed in the incident. The Masam Project is a part of
a coalition of its allies, Saudi Arabia invaded Yemen in March 2015 in an
attempt to reinstall Yemen’s former President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who had
resigned amid popular discontent and fled to Riyadh, and to eliminate the
Houthis, who have been running state affairs of their war-ravaged country since
the onset of Saudi brutal campaign against Yemen.
invasion, which has failed to achieve any of its goals, has reportedly killed
over 56,000 people. It has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s
infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories.
Saudi-led coalition has employed foreign fighting forces, most notably from
Sudan, as mercenaries in its war against Yemen and used other foreign nationals
as experts in its brutal war machine.
UN officials has already said that a record 22.2 million Yemenis are in dire
need of food, including 8.4 million threatened by severe hunger. According to
the world body, Yemen is suffering from the most severe famine in more than 100
prominent Palestinian activist has won a two-year legal battle over his listing
on the World-Check financial database, which linked him to “terrorism” based on
an unsubstantiated claim by Israel.
a settlement announced on Monday at the high court in London, Majed al-Zeer,
the chairman of the Palestinian Return Center (PRC) -- which is recognized by
the UN for campaigning for the Palestinian refugees’ right of return -- was
removed from the “terrorism” category and paid $13,000 in damages plus legal
to lawyers representing al-Zeer, he had been added to World-Check, the
financial intelligence service owned by Thomson Reuters, because of a
“politically motivated” proscription by the Israeli regime.
who is also a British citizen, told the Middle East Eye news portal on Monday,
“For the Palestinian cause, this is a historic moment.”
the starting point for anyone who is Palestinian or who works for Palestine to
start chasing up World-Check for their false information, which has been spread
everywhere to stop Palestine becoming free and Palestinians claiming their
rights,” he said.
said the designation had played a crucial role in the closure of three bank
accounts belonging to him and the PRC between 2009 and 2015.
curtailment of our banking facilities severely hindered our ability to operate
and live and we were unable to penetrate the cloak of secrecy surrounding
World-Check and their relationship with the banks,” he said.
comments to Al Jazeera, Zeer said, “World-Check has been a bad tool for
governments to hammer people who are just trying to say the truth about their
has used all means - whether moral or immoral, legal and illegal - to deprive
Palestinians of even a narrow space to shout,” he added.
Bajwa, a solicitor representing Zeer, argued that Israel’s “use of these
databases is sinister and has far-reaching consequences for the people whom
has almost become another form of legal warfare or coercion to put people on
these lists without any real justification in many cases. We believe the PRC
case is a prime example of this,” he said.
Labour MP Andy Slaughter, the secretary of the all-party parliamentary group on
Britain-Palestine, who has spoken at PRC events, described the Monday ruling as
a “significant victory for the Palestinian Return Center in challenging those
who blindly adopt such labels and become vehicles for propaganda.”
said that “labeling organizations as terrorist or otherwise restricting them
just because they are critical of” Israel’s “policy or are promoting the rights
of Palestinians is undemocratic and highly prejudicial.”
MP Crispin Blunt also said, “It’s pleasing to see justice at least partly done.
The difficulty of representing Palestinian interests when they are under
occupation supported by an alliance that includes the world’s most powerful
interests cannot be overestimated.”
A Houthi attack on Tuesday, on the Ash-Shamsi district in central Taiz left one
woman dead and a further 13 people injured, Saudi Press Agency reported.
14 civilians were taken to a hospital in the city, but one woman died on
arrival, a medical source told the Yemeni Saba News.
of the admitted civilians are in the intensive care unit, the source added.
independent review will take place of the controversial counter-terrorism
‘Prevent’ programme, the UK government said on Tuesday.
minister Ben Wallace told Britain’s Parliament that the time had come for a
review of Prevent.
have decided that the time is now right to initiate a review of Prevent.
Communities across the country have got behind the policy and are contributing
to it because they want, as we do, their own young people to be protected from
grooming and exploitation by terrorists.”
International and Human Rights Watch penned an open letter to politicians in
November urging for an independent review to take place, amid concerns of
discrimination against Muslims.
reference to critics of the strategy, Mr Wallace said, “Prevent is not about
singling out any particular group or ideology but is similar to other forms of
safeguarding, carried out every day by social workers, teachers and police.”
Logan, Amnesty International UK’s legal expert, said the government’s counter
terrorism strategy is a “highly dubious scheme built on shaky, almost
evidence-free, foundations” in need of a review.
need to ensure that Prevent is rigorously and independently assessed, with all
the human rights impacts of the scheme fully investigated,” she said.
1,200 people have received “mentoring and support” through the scheme,
according to the UK Home Office.
is about working in areas where there are risks of radicalisation and offers
support predominantly through local community partnerships,” a Home Office
UK Home Office said further details of the review will be set out “in due
jailed in UK for sexual abuse of children, torture
Imam found guilty of sexually abusing two young girls who he privately tutored
has been jailed in United Kingdom.
to Metropolitan Police, Hafiz Azizur Rehman Pirzada, 76 (19.08.42) of Laughton
Road, Northolt was sentenced to a total of eight years' imprisonment at
Snaresbrook Crown Court on Monday, 21 January for child abuse offences.
will also have to sign the Sex Offenders Register for life and a Sexual Harm
Protection Order was issued.
was found guilty of seven counts of sexual assault of a child, and two counts
of causing a child to engage in sexual activity after a trial at the same court
in September 2017.
the trial, the court heard how the victims, both sisters, came forward to speak
to police in July 2015.
2007 and 2009 the two girls, aged between nine and 11 when the abuse took
place, were taught the Quran by Pirzada when he was an Imam appointed by the
28 July 2016, Pirzada was arrested at his home address and bailed pending
further enquiries. He was later charged with all ten counts on 16 March 2018;
eight counts of sexual assault with a female under 13, and two counts of
causing a child to engage in sexual activity.
Sergeant Tony Killeen, from the Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Team, said:
"This is a case which dates back more than ten years, but despite the
length of time since the incidents Pirzada has been convicted of his crimes.
exploited the trust placed in him as a religious leader to assault these two
victims have shown great courage, persistence and determination in securing the
conviction, having persevered with the allegation and supporting the police
victims have had to live with this trauma and the appalling abuse they endured
for the years they were taught by Pirzada, and will have to live with these
memories for the rest of their lives.
Prime Minister of Italy, Matteo Salvini, stoking a war of words between Rome
and Paris, said on Tuesday that France did not want to bring calm to Libya
because its energy interests there clashed with those of Italy.
between Italy and France, traditionally close allies, have grown frosty since
the far-right League and anti-establishment 5-Star Movement formed a coalition
last year and took aim at pro-EU French President Emmanuel Macron.
source in Macron’s office dismissed the latest attack as “ludicrous”, while
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte sought to ease the escalating tensions,
saying relations between the two countries remained strong despite a string of
Monday, France summoned Italy’s ambassador after Salvini’s fellow deputy prime
minister, Luigi Di Maio, accused Paris of creating poverty in Africa and
generating mass migration to Europe.
backed up Di Maio, saying France was looking to extract wealth from Africa
rather than helping countries develop their own economies, and pointed
particularly to Libya, which has been in turmoil since a NATO-backed uprising
in 2011 that overthrew strongman Muammar Gaddafi.
Libya, France has no interest in stabilizing the situation, probably because it
has oil interests that are opposed to those of Italy,” Salvini told Canale 5 TV
French diplomatic source said it was not the first time that Salvini had made such
comments and that it was probably because he felt he had been upstaged by Di
source added that the accusation was baseless and reiterated that French
efforts in Libya were aimed at stabilizing the country, preventing the spread
of terrorism and curbing the migration flows.
Eni and France’s Total have separate joint ventures in Libya, but Eni’s CEO
Claudio Descalzi denied in a newspaper interview last year that there was any
conflict between the two firms in the North African state.
is head of the League, while Di Maio leads 5-Star. Both are campaigning hard
for European parliamentary elections in May and are eager to show they have
broken with the consensual politics of Centre-left and Centre-right parties.
two men have repeatedly targeted neighboring France and accused Macron of doing
nothing to help handle the hundreds of thousands of mainly African migrants who
have reached Italy from
in recent years.
about the latest diplomatic spat, Salvini said on Tuesday: “France has no
reason to get upset because it pushed away tens of thousands of migrants (at
the French border), abandoning them there as though they were beasts. We won’t
take any lessons on humanity from Macron.”
French presidential source said populist forces in Italy and elsewhere were
looking to undermine countries like France and Germany which wanted to
strengthen the EU.
European elections will be the place where we confront those -- as you can see
again today with the ludicrous comments from the Italian government -- who seek
to destroy the European project and the Franco-German partnership,” the source
to prevent a diplomatic rupture, the Italian prime minister issued a statement
praising relations with Paris, saying that Rome merely wanted a debate within
Europe on difficult issues such as immigration.
British Royal Air Force (RAF) is set to call back more than half of its fighter
jets from Syria after US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw American
forces from the Arab country.
commanders confirmed on Monday that at least eight RAF Tornado jets would
return to their bases in the UK next month, reducing to six the total number of
British aircraft committed to the US-led aerial campaign in the country, the
Daily Mail reported.
decision comes after Trump’s announcement in December that US military forces
were going to evacuate Syria as their mission to “defeat Daesh” had come to an
US and Britain, alongside their other allies, have been pounding alleged Daesh
positions in Syria since 2014.
fighter jets, London has also deployed a number of its special forces to parts
of Syria to carry out secret missions in coordination with over 2,000 American
troops stationed in various bases across the war-torn country.
ageing Tornados were scheduled to be retired in March but British officials
shelved plans to replace them following Trump’s decision, the report said.
[the US] does in the operational theater affects us,” an unnamed RAF source
told the Mail, confirming that the decision would have “undoubtedly” included
planned withdrawal leaves the UK with six advanced Eurofighter Typhoon jets and
around 10 Reaper drones to carry out future operations.
report said London would also reduce the number of its special forces in Syria
in the coming weeks.
UK remains fully committed to the fight against Daesh [IS], and the retirement
of the Tornado will be not lead to a reduction in the capability of the RAF’s
contribution to the global coalition,” the Mail quoted a Ministry of Defense
spokesman as saying.
in 3 UK fighter jets can’t fly, including Typhoons
was revealed on Monday that at least a third of the UK Royal Air Force’s large
fleet of fighter jets, including some Typhoons, were unable to fly.
made available under Freedom of Information (FOI) laws showed that 142 of RAF’s
434-aircraft fleet were either under repaired or mothballed – cannibalized for
parts or stored for future use.
jets unable to fly included 55 out of RAF’s entire fleet of 156 Typhoons, which
the UK has used in its Syria operations.
are the same jets that RAF uses to intercept Russian or other foreign jets that
occasionally fly near British airspace.
Democrat spokesman Ming Campbell told The Mirror that the number was greater
than what was expected for a fleet of this size.
European Union has imposed sanctions against a number of Russian and Syrian
individuals over what it claims to be their links to chemical weapons attacks.
a Monday meeting in the Belgian capital, Brussels, EU foreign ministers agreed
to slap travel bans and asset freezes on four Russians working for the
country’s military intelligence agency, the GRU, in connection with the
poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, England, in
punitive measures target the GRU head, deputy head and two officials “for
possession, transport and use in Salisbury of a toxic nerve agent,” the
ministers said in a statement.
Skripals escaped death, but months later, a Salisbury resident died after
coming into contact with the nerve agent, which had been put in a perfume
bottle, and her partner had to be given extensive medical treatment.
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the fresh bans “deliver on our vow to take tough
action against the reckless and irresponsible activities of the Russian
military intelligence organization.”
spokesman Dmitry Peskov rejected the sanctions as “groundless,” saying, “We
have still not heard any evidence” against those accused in Skripal’s case.
reserve the right to take retaliatory measures over this unfriendly step,” a
Russian Foreign Ministry statement read.
information campaign unleashed by the British authorities over this case
primarily has a domestic agenda. It is telling that its new round coincides
with a new crisis in Brexit talks,” it added.
the Russian individuals, the EU slapped sanctions on Syria’s state-run
Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC) as well as five of its staff over
what it calls the use of chemical weapons.
EU foreign ministers said in their statement that the new sanctions contribute
“to the EU’s efforts to counter the proliferation and use of chemical weapons,
which poses a serious threat to international security.”
claimed that the Syrians targeted are responsible for chemical weapons attacks
in Syria, including the one that hit the Damascus suburb town of Douma on April
states blamed the Syrian government for the incident, but Damascus firmly
rejected the accusation.
week after the suspected gas attack, the US, Britain and France launched a
coordinated missile strike against sites and research facilities near Damascus
and Homs with the purported goal of paralyzing the Syrian government’s
capability to produce chemicals.
is while Syria surrendered its entire chemical stockpile in 2013 to a mission
led by the OPCW and the UN.
on Tuesday, the EU added 11 Syrian businessmen and companies that support the
administration of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to another sanctions list.
President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan will
hold Syria talks in Moscow on Wednesday, with Turkey saying they will focus on
Ankara's "security zone" in northern Syria.
two leaders are on opposite sides of the conflict: Russia provides critical
support to the Syrian government, while Turkey has backed rebel groups fighting
President Bashar Al Assad's forces.
this, they have worked closely to find a political solution to the seven-year
conflict. Russia and Turkey have agreed to co-ordinate ground operations in
Syria following US President Donald Trump's shock announcement on pulling 2,000
American troops out of Syria last month.
a speech on Monday, Mr Erdogan said he would discuss with Mr Putin the creation
of a Turkish-controlled "security zone" in northern Syria, suggested
by Mr Trump.
US-allied Kurds, who control much of northern Syria, have rejected the idea,
fearing a Turkish offensive against territory under their control.
a long-time supporter of Mr Assad, is likely to oppose the plan, with Russian
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov last week saying Damascus must take control of
the country's north.
eight years into Syria's deadly conflict, the US pull-out has led to another
crucial step in Mr Assad's Russian-backed drive to reassert control over the
forces who were left exposed by Mr Trump's pledge to withdraw US troops have
asked the Syrian regime for help to face a threatened Turkish offensive.
Kremlin hailed the entry by Syrian forces into the key northern city of Manbij
for the first time in six years after Kurds opened the gates.
plans to organise a three-way summit with Turkey and Iran at the beginning of
this year as part of the Astana peace process, launched by the three countries
far, no date has been set but after negotiations with President Erdogan, we
will begin preparations for the trilateral summit," Putin's foreign policy
aide Yuri Ushakov told reporters last week.
last meeting between Mr Putin, Mr Erdogan and Iran's Hassan Rouhani took place
in Iran in September last year with the fate of the rebel-held Idlib province
dominating the agenda.
between Russia and Turkey plunged to their lowest level in years in November
2015 when Turkish forces shot down a Russian warplane over Syria.
Muslim has lost a High Court battle over his plans to put up a 10 cm marble
edging around the grave of his father.
Ul Haq had claimed that his rights to freedom of religion had been breached
when officials refused to allow the barrier to stop people walking across the
grave of the respected Islamic scholar.
father, Hafiz Qadri, who lived in Walsall, central England, died in 2015 and
was buried in one of the town’s cemeteries.
Ul Haq applied to put the edge in place to prevent visitors and workers from
stepping on to the grave but was refused by the operators of the cemetery. Mr
Ul Haq put up a temporary barrier but it was removed by officials.
of the council said they could not accommodate his wishes without affecting the
rights of other Muslims and were concerned they could not properly cut the
grass around the graves.
said the rules against barriers did not prevent “mounding” of graves to stop
of negotiations between the two sides failed to reach a compromise.
Ul Haq took the case to court under laws governing discrimination and human
claimed that it was his “religious belief that the grave is sacrosanct and
stepping on the grave is an offensive, religiously proscribed act that must be
prevented”, according to court papers.
JUI-S leader urges Taliban to show flexibility in talks with Afghan government
leader of Jamiat Ulema-e-islam-Sami (JUI-S) Maulana Hamidullah Haq has urged
the Taliban group to show flexibility in inclusion of Afghan government in
his speech during a gathering on Monday, Maulana Hamidul Haq said that talks
were the only solution to restore peace to the war-torn country, according to
the local media reports.
comes as efforts are underway to start direct talks between the Afghan
government and Taliban group in a bid to end the 17-year-long war and violence
in the country.
Fazal Ur Rehman, the President of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazal had earlier
promised to support an Afghan-led peace process to end the violence in
made the commitment during a meeting with Mohammad Umer Daudzai, the
Secretariat Chief of the Afghan High Peace Council and Senior Presidential
Envoy for Regional Consensus for Reconciliation earlier this month.
Afghan Intelligence, National Directorate of Security (NDS) has confirmed that
36 security personnel embraced martyrdom and 58 others were wounded in a
coordinated attack on a security base in central Maidan Wardak province of
National Directorate of Security (NDS) in a statement said the suicide bomber
managed to breach the security barrier by driving a Humvee armored personnel
carrier packed with explosives and detonate it near the main building of the
statement further added that three other militants who were looking to detonate
another vehicle-borne improvised explosive device and carry out shooting spree
after the first explosion, were shot dead and the car bomb was defused.
to the National Directorate of Security, at least 36 security personnel
embraced martyrdom in the attack and 58 others were wounded with majority of
them sustaining minor injuries who were discharged after receiving initial
Taliban militants have been killed in separate airstrikes conducted by the
coalition forces in four different provinces of the country.
to the informed military sources, the coalition forces conducted two airstrikes
in Maidan Shahr district of Maidan Wardak province in the past 24 hours,
leaving at least 9 Taliban militants dead.
sources further added that a coalition air strike killed 5 Taliban fighters in
Maiwand district of Kandahar province.
coalition forces also conducted an airstrikes in Tarin Kot city of Uruzgan
province in the south, leaving 2 Taliban fighters dead, the sources said.
Afghan security forces have foiled an attack by Taliban militants on an army
outpost in eastern Laghman province, leaving at least two militants dead.
201st Silab Corps of the Afghan Military in the East in a statement said the
Taliban militants launched an attack on an army outpost in Kashmand Village in
Qarghayi district late on Monday night.
statement further added that the armed forces effectively responded to the
attack leaving two militants dead.
dead bodies of the two militants were left the area along with an Ak-47 assault
rifle, the 201st Silab Corps said, adding that the security forces have not
suffer any casualty in the attack.
They were among Afghanistan’s best and most experienced fighters — elite Afghan special forces who had survived
years of deadly combat on battlefields around the country.
that was no protection on Monday when a Taliban attack on their military
compound, 30 km west of Kabul, left more than 50 soldiers dead, with some
estimates putting the death toll as high as 120.
attack on the National Directorate of Security (NDS) complex began early in the
morning when a US-made armored Humvee vehicle was driven inside the base and
blown up. Gunmen then opened fire before being killed by security forces.
of Afghan troops died in the blast as they huddled around stoves in a dining
hall, sharing breakfast with new recruits.
assault — one of the bloodiest in the 17-year history of the conflict — is the
latest in a series of deadly attacks by the Taliban, which has seized control
of large areas of Afghanistan.
officials on Tuesday declined to comment on the attack, but their dismay, anger
and frustration were visible when they discussed the strike in Maidan Wardak
province, a major gateway to the capital.
NDS issued a statement on Tuesday saying 36 soldiers had died and 58 were
wounded in the attack.
do not know how many have been killed, all I can say is the attack is among the
worst seen in years and the casualties were the highest inflicted on special
forces in a single incident,” a security source told Arab News on condition of
troops were among the best trained by US, well-equipped and highly paid
compared with other national forces. Some had taken part in dozens of raids in
rugged areas of Maidan Wardak, a region that is home to a large number of
militants, two officials said. As the soldiers were having breakfast in the
heavily fortified compound, a man wearing a special forces uniform drove an
armored Humvee up to the complex, managed to get past the security gate and set
off explosives hidden in the vehicle outside the entrance to one of the
are provided by the US military to Afghan forces, and the Taliban has used them
in past attacks on Afghan bases after seizing the vehicles in raids around the
explosion was powerful and shattered windows residential houses well away from
the site of the attack,” Khalid Ahmad, a resident, told local TV. Many troops
were killed when a roof collapsed in the blast, Mohammad Sardar, a member of
the provincial council, told Arab News by phone.
later, four Taliban gunmen entered the compound in a car and fought for several
hours with survivors of the blast, residents said.
than 160 soldiers were believed to have been present at the base during the
Mohammad Yarmand, a retired general and security analyst, said the attack was
the result of “serious negligence” and could have been carried out with inside
commander of the base should have identified which areas of the compound were
vulnerable and taken the decision to (protect) them,” Yarmand told Arab News.
A top official at an observer group that monitored Bangladesh's election, as
well as one of its foreign volunteers, have said they regret participating in
the process, casting doubt on the credibility of a vote won overwhelmingly by
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's ruling alliance.
president of the SAARC Human Rights Foundation told Reuters he now believed
there should be a fresh vote after hearing accounts from voters and officials
presiding over polling booths that activists from Hasina's Awami League stuffed
ballot boxes the night before the poll and intimidated voters.
I have come to know everything, and can say that the election was not free and
fair," said Mohammad Abdus Salam, a 75-year-old former high court division
Canadian observer who was brought in by the foundation has also said she now
wishes she had not been involved.
which is an important supplier of clothing to major Western High Street brands
and is the second-biggest garments exporter in the world behind China, had
already faced criticism from European Union, United States, and British
officials for irregularities observed during the polling.
International last week said its investigation into the Dec 30 election found
irregularities at 47 of the 50 constituencies surveyed, including fake votes,
ballot stuffing, and voters and opposition polling agents barred from entering
polling centres. It found the ruling party was alone in actively campaigning at
all areas surveyed, sometimes with help from local law enforcement officials
and government resources.
government has dismissed the Transparency International investigation as
lacking in credibility. Hasina's political adviser H T Imam called the group
"a puppet" of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).
BNP-led alliance has rejected the election, calling it rigged, after the Awami
League and its allies swept more than 95 per cent of the parliamentary seats.
The United States, European Union and Britain have since called for allegations
of ballot-rigging and intimidation to be investigated.
of the election, the US State Department had expressed disappointment that
several US-funded observers had been forced to cancel plans to monitor the
polls as Bangladesh didn't issue visas "within the timeframe
necessary". Bangladesh denied delaying visas and said it was following due
experts said observers were key to establishing the credibility of the poll,
which was Bangladesh's first fully participatory election in a decade. The BNP
had boycotted the last vote in 2014.
SAARC Human Rights Foundation brought in observers from Canada, India, Nepal
and Sri Lanka, who spoke to the press on election day and the day after,
endorsing the fairness of the voting, often in glowing terms.
New Year's Eve, hours after being declared the winner of a contest that brought
her a third straight term in power, Hasina sat on a white couch at her
residence to address an audience of journalists and election observers.
voted so enthusiastically, especially women and the young generation,"
Hasina said. "By coming to my country, you have also given us good
opportunity to show how democracy is working."
a microphone was passed around the room, monitors from the SAARC Human Rights
Foundation as well as other observers, including those from the Saudi
Arabia-based Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, congratulated Hasina on the
first to speak was a representative of the foundation, a Canadian woman named
Tanya Foster, who called the election "very fair and democratic".
"In Canada I feel that it is a similar type of process," Foster said,
as Hasina smiled back.
son, Sajeeb Wazed, who is the government's information and communication
technology adviser, repeatedly tweeted out statements made by the foundation's
observers calling the election fair and peaceful.
the initials and logo it uses closely resemble those of the South Asian Association
for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), the SAARC Human Rights Foundation has no
affiliation with that inter-governmental body.
foundation's Secretary General Abed Ali told Reuters the group had applied for
approval from SAARC and was expecting it soon. A spokesman for the
Kathmandu-based SAARC, though, told Reuters it had never heard of Ali or his
group. "The organization is not recognised by SAARC and does not have any
relation with SAARC whatsoever," the spokesman said.
SAARC Human Rights Foundation's website says it is based in Dhaka and its
initials stand for South Asian Association for Research Council.
advisory committee includes a lawmaker from Hasina's Awami League, and one from
the Jatiya Party, which has often been allied with the Awami League. A former
minister in a previous BNP government is also listed on the panel, but no
current opposition members.
law bars the Election Commission from allowing observer groups with links to
political parties from monitoring polls.
secretary of Bangladesh's Election Commission, Helal Uddin Ahmed, said it had
no knowledge of links between Ali's groups and any political party.
to the Awami League and Jatiya Party lawmakers on the group's board, Ali said:
"They are just supporting our humanitarian activities."
want to make it clear that we have no affiliation with any political
party," he added.
at the headquarters of the foundation, a dusty two-room ground floor apartment
in the industrial town of Mirpur on the outskirts of Dhaka, there are regrets.
the group's president, said the observers fielded by his organisation had only
monitored a few polling stations, so were in no position to make a clear
assessment of the election's fairness.
said some presiding officers had told him they had been forced to stuff ballot
boxes. "I want to speak the truth," he told Reuters. "I am not
doing this for any political gain."
said he was not directly involved in organising the poll observers.
dismissed the president's comments, saying: "Can you write something just
based on someone saying something?"
Foster, a policy analyst in the Saskatchewan provincial government, told
Reuters she had heard from Bangladeshis in Canada that a group known as the SAARC
Human Rights Foundation was looking for foreign election monitors.
asked about the qualifications because I thought it would be an interesting
experience. I applied to SAARC and to the Election Commission and they vetted
me and offered me an invitation to be an observer," said Foster, whose
daughter Chloe Foster also joined the observer's panel.
had never acted as international observers to a national election before.
said she was not aware of the foundation's links to the Awami League or the
lack of affiliation to SAARC.
hindsight, she said "I don't feel great about it. I feel like I was too
don't know that our reports are of that much value, considering we only visited
nine polling centres and only in Dhaka," she added. "We didn't go to
the more hostile areas. We didn't audit the election commission or conduct
background checks of the presiding officers or poll agents."
Foster was not available for comment.
the foundation's secretary general, said the women had experience monitoring
elections in Canada. He said it was not possible for any group to monitor all
be sure, not all the observers fielded by the foundation regret endorsing the
voting. Gautam Ghosh, a Kolkata, India-based lawyer, and Hakimullah Muslim and
Nazir Miya - members of Nepal's ruling Communist Party - said they stood by
their initial statements that the polls were fair.
says it is mobilizing troops along the country’s northern border with Nigeria
and in the western English-speaking regions, following renewed attacks by Boko
Haram in the north and separatists in the west.
military calls for troops to assemble at its headquarters in Yaounde ahead of
Chief of Staff Lieutenant-General Rene Claude Meka said 2019 will see Cameroon
fight for national unity and territorial integrity.
said they have re-mobilized the military to all trouble spots. Boko Haram, the
Nigeria-based Islamist terrorist group, is again recruiting fighters in
Cameroon and attacking our northern border, said Meka. Meanwhile, separatists
fighting to create an English-speaking state have recruited mercenaries from
neighboring countries to destabilize Cameroon, he said.
military says there is a Boko Haram resurgence on its northern border with
Nigeria. It reports five attacks across the border and in the Lake Chad basin
week three people were reported killed in the border town of Fotokol as troops
repelled a Boko Haram attack.
fighting also intensified in Cameroon’s two English-speaking regions in the
northwest and southwest. The military said at least 45 rebels have been killed
in the first three weeks of the year. Separatists say they are the ones killing
the numbers cannot be independently verified, villagers have confirmed fighting
has recently increased.
Elengu Noella said two of her three children were killed in heavy fighting
around the southwestern town of Buea and she has not been able to find her
said a Catholic Church Hospital ambulance helped her and four other women
escape as a battle raged between Cameroon’s military and separatists.
seeking an independent English-speaking state are accused of abducting and
killing opponents and trying to make their regions ungovernable.
Minister Joseph Beti Assomo said President Paul Biya also ordered troops to
Cameroon’s eastern border. He said spill-over from fighting in the Central
African Republic has increased criminal activities.
will not be a bed of roses. We shall continue with various operations in the
far north, northwest and southwest regions, reactivation of special operations
in the Adamawa region where criminal groups specialized in kidnapping are wreaking
havoc and requesting for ransom," he said.
Sama is a political analyst at Cameroon’s Center for Peace and Development. He
said while troop deployments to fight foreign invaders is justified, the
government should attempt to negotiate with the separatists.
said more and more civilians are displaced by the fighting each time the
military attacks the rebels.
have practical situations of people who actually died and then those who are in
the bushes, they are also in bad conditions. They have no access to
says since fighting broke out with separatists in 2016, more than 1,200 people
have been killed and nearly a quarter million displaced.
than 9,000 Nigerians, who had crossed to Cameroon where they hope to find
refuge, were said to have been denied refuge by Cameroonian authorities
following a deadly attack against the town of Rann, in northeast Nigeria.
statement from Hajer Naili, a roving Regional Communications Adviser
and West Africa, Head Office / Senegal, stated that the NRC is worried over the
violence in the northeast Nigeria that has continued to send thousands fleeing
statement added that more worrisome is the denial of refugee status to people
fleeing violence from Nigeria’s northeast town of Rann by Cameroon authorities.
Norwegian Refugee Council, NRC, called for Nigerian and Cameroonian authorities
to provide immediate assistance to thousands of Nigerian civilians fleeing
to NRC, the forced return of civilians to areas of violence is a breach of
international and regional agreements, such as the Tripartite Agreement that
guarantees the protection of human rights of forcibly displaced persons.
authorities on both sides of the border should provide necessary assistance and
safety for the displaced people and allow aid workers to assist,” Eric Batonon,
Nigeria Country Director of NRC said.
to him, the Norwegian Refugee Council is deeply concerned by the recent
President Omar al-Bashir arrived in Qatar on Tuesday for a two-day visit, Doha
state media reported, his first trip abroad since nationwide protests against
his rule erupted last month.
was met at the airport by Sultan bin Saad al-Muraikhi, a minister of state for
foreign affairs, according to the Qatar News Agency.
Sudanese leader will meet senior officials in Qatar, including its ruler Emir
Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, the official news agencies in both countries
relations will be discussed during his visit,” the SUNA news agency in Sudan
veteran leader was also expected to discuss with Doha “ongoing peace efforts in
Darfur,” it added, referring to the western region of Sudan that has been
ravaged by a conflict between Sudanese forces and ethnic minority rebels.
regime has been accused of widespread human rights abuses and he has been
charged by The Hague-based International Criminal Court for alleged genocide
and crimes against humanity in Darfur.
visit to Qatar is Bashir’s first overseas trip since anti-government protests
erupted across Sudan on December 19 after a government decision to triple the
price of bread.
say 26 people have died so far in the protests, while rights group Amnesty
International has put the death toll at more than 40.
protests are the biggest challenge yet to the authority of Bashir, who swept to
power in 1989 in an Islamist-backed coup.
Tuesday, riot police fired tear gas at crowds in the capital’s twin city of
Omdurman protesting against the fatal wounding of a demonstrator last week, witnesses
is facing an economic crisis, driven by a shortage of foreign currency and
seeks to boost relations with neighboring Syria as Amman says it has appointed
a new chargé d’affaires to its embassy in Damascus, another sign of a thaw in
ties between the Syrian government and the Arab world.
was decided to appoint a Jordanian diplomat at the rank of charge d'affaires in
the Jordanian embassy in Damascus,” Jordan’s media quoted Foreign Ministry
Spokesman Sufian Salman al-Qudat as saying on Tuesday.
“decision has been made in line with Jordan’s stance since the outbreak of the
Syrian crisis in 2011 to keep the Jordanian embassy in Damascus open," the
Jordanian official was further quoted as saying.
Jordan News Agency, the country’s official news outlet, announced the news on
its twitter account.
than 650,000 Syrian refugees are registered with the United Nations High
Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the world body’s refugee organization, in
refugees have fled their homes amid militancy that Jordan has supported along
with Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the West and some other countries since 2011.
has provided training ground and safe passage to some of the most violent
extremists who have traveled to Syria to fight government troops.
development came as the United Arab Emirate (UAE) and Bahrain opened their
embassies in Damascus last month and Kuwait also said that it would consider
opening its embassy in Syria soon after several years of closure.
Nigerian court has ordered the secret police to allow a detained pro-Iranian
cleric to see his personal doctors as his health was worsening, his legal team
said on Tuesday.
Zakzaky, leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), has been held in
Department of State Service (DSS) custody since December 2015.
was arrested as part of a military crackdown on IMN supporters in the northern
city of Zaria, in which troops killed more than 300 and buried them in mass
applied to the court today (Tuesday) for an order directing the DSS to give
access to his personal doctors to enable them to treat him in custody,"
Maxwell Kyon told AFP by telephone from court in the northern city of Kaduna.
court granted the order and directed that the DSS should allow his personal
doctors access to him."
who said Zakzaky was present at Tuesday's hearing, said the ruling was
necessitated by his ailing health.
client is not given any special medical attention," he added.
time you see him his health condition appears worse. It is only when he receives
special medical care that his health condition will improve."
the hearing, charges against two IMN supporters were struck out after the
prosecution failed to produce them in court, he added. The case was adjourned
to March 25.
supporters have repeatedly protested in Abuja and several northern cities
against the continued detention of their leader.
October, the IMN and human rights groups said more than 40 people were killed
when the security forces opened fire on crowds on the outskirts of the capital.
army maintained six people died and that soldiers acted in self-defence.
Kenya (CNN)He chose to join a terrorist group, fought for it, was blooded in
atrocities, escaped and repented. Now he lives in well-founded fear for his
least because the day after al-Shabaab militants attacked the Dusit Hotel
complex in Nairobi, the former al-Shabaab fighter we'll call "Musa"
realized he had met one of the terrorists, seven years earlier, in Somalia.
Salim Gichunge, a thick-set Kenyan militant, was caught on security camera
footage during the 20-hour attack on the Dusit and was killed alongside three
other gunmen by Kenyan special forces. Authorities have since arrested a number
of people allegedly connected to Gichunge.
suicide bomber detonated himself at the start of the rampage, which left 20
civilians and one policeman dead.
claimed that it carried out the massacre at the Dusit in revenge for President
Donald Trump's decision to move the United States embassy in Israel from Tel
Aviv to Jerusalem.
nationwide manhunt is now underway for alleged collaborators including women
who, local media say, the police suspect of being weapons couriers between
Somalia and Kenya.
attacker linked to Somalia
Musa's identification of Gichunge is the first public evidence that links the Kenyan
attacker to Somalia.
said Gichunge was a member of the feared Amniat, al-Shabaab's internal security
service, and that he met him in Baidoa, central Somalia, in 2012.
descriptions of the town, and video evidence he had of his time in al-Shabaab,
were examined by CNN and proved beyond doubt that his claims to have been a
fighter in Somalia were legitimate.
wearing a baseball cap on backward, is clearly visible in CCTV footage released
to the media after the attack.
was shocked. When I saw the CCTV I said 'I know that guy!'" Musa told CNN
in an exclusive interview.
has not revealed Musa's identity for his own safety. He says he has survived
one assassination attempt by al-Shabaab in Nairobi after former comrades were
sent back to his home town to kill him as punishment for defecting.
would-be assassins were later killed by Kenyan police after they committed a
string of robberies.
in Somalia, Musa said he was subjected to a "jovial" interrogation
over lunch by Gichunge.
eat with you but they are just interrogating you: 'How do you love al-Shabaab?
How did you come here? Why did you join al-Shabaab?'
sort of question, but we knew he's interrogating us," Musa said.
added that anyone failing such a "test" by Amniat agents like
Gichunge would be imprisoned for months -- or worse.
of the most radicalized al-Shabaab volunteers were fighters who had converted
from Christianity, he added, including Gichunge.
says he walked for nine days into Kenya through bush to escape al-Shabaab. He
eventually was given amnesty under a Kenyan government program to rehabilitate
al-Shabaab defectors who had been lured from Kenyan mosques to Somali
battlefields by recruiters embedded in the local community.
used by al-Shabaab revealed
experiences reveal the extent to which "brainwashing" by al-Shabaab
continues after volunteers have been smuggled into Somalia and offers a rare
insight into the methods the terror group uses to instill absolute loyalty among
in a secret location in Nairobi, Musa said he had taken part in the
decapitation of a prisoner of war.
was part of group that took turns with a knife to saw at the neck of the victim
-- a tactic used by the terror group to ensure everyone's involved in the
part of the brainwashing," he said. "They told us it's part of the
said he was then ordered to "surround the head, kick it like football and
pass it to another person."
military training is reinforced by involuntary collusion in
atrocities."It's to reduce fear in you," he added.
has used suicide bombers to devastating effect, not just at the Dusit but in
numerous attacks inside Somalia.
October 2017, more than 500 people were killed in a truck bomb suicide attack
in Mogadishu in the deadliest single terror attack since the September 11,
2001, attacks in the US.
January 2016, a similar weapon was used in the vanguard of an al-Shabaab
assault on Kenyan troops in El Adde, Somalia. The Kenyan base was overrun and
at least 140 troops were killed.
fighters from US, Australia and UK
told CNN that suicide bombers go through a rigorous selection process.
recruits are asked explicitly if they want to volunteer to "blow yourself
up." Those selected are then taken away from the main group and
indoctrinated for at least a year with daily Quranic studies, lectures by a
"sheikh," and intense physical and military training.
with al-Shabaab is very, very tough," he said.
are investigating the case of a 23-year-old who surrendered at Nakuru Central
Police Station, claiming to be a member of terror group Al-Shabaab.
police boss Samuel Obara told reporters on Monday that the man went to the
station on Sunday evening.
turned up unarmed,” Mr Obara said, adding he was questioned immediately at the
office of the Director of Criminal Investigations in Nakuru.
senior detective, who did not want to be named, told the Nation that the man
said he escaped from an Al-Shabaab training camp at Bombolulu in Mombasa County
and that he had been fearing for his life.
told police he joined the terror group in September 2018 and had been trained
for five months.
police unit from Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County, were also called to question the
charged in bomb plot against Muslim community in New York
alleged plot was uncovered after a student at Odyssey Academy, a school in
Greece, New York, showed a classmate a photograph of another student and said,
“He looks like the next school shooter, doesn’t he?” Greece Police Chief
Patrick Phelan told reporters at a news conference.
remark was reported to school security, which along with local police
interviewed both the student who had the photograph as well as the student in
investigation eventually led police to execute several search warrants and
arrest four people, including the student who showed off the photograph.
group had planned to attack Islamberg, a small enclave in the Catskill
Mountains about 150 miles northwest of New York City. The town was founded more
than three decades ago by a group of black Muslims who follow the teachings of
Pakistani Sufi cleric Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani.
Colaneri, 20, of Rochester; Andrew Crysel, 18, of East Rochester; and Vincent
Vetromile, 19, face weapons and conspiracy charges. The student, who is 16, was
charged with the same offenses but was not identified due to his age.
was not immediately clear whether the defendants had attorneys.
three improvised explosive devices were found at the teenager’s house, Phelan
said. The weapons were all legally owned shotguns and rifles.
they had carried out this plot, which every indication is that they were going
to, people would have died,” Phelan said. “I don’t know how many and who, but
people would have died.”
declined to provide details about how the investigation into the student’s
seemingly offhand remark led to the arrests.
of the four defendants were in the Boy Scouts together, Phelan said.
has been targeted in the past. Two years ago, a Tennessee man was sentenced to
nearly 20 years in prison for plotting to attack the enclave.
US military has announced the death of one of its service members in a combat mission
US Department of Defense made the announcement on Tuesday, saying that the
soldier had been killed “as a result of enemy small arms fire,” without
disclosing the name of the service member or the branch of the military.
accordance with US Department of Defense policy, the name of the service member
killed in action is being withheld until 24 hours after notification of next of
kin is complete," the Pentagon said in a statement.
NATO mission in Afghanistan – Resolute Support Mission (RSM) – said the
incident was under investigation, declining to provide further details.
is the second US service member killed in military operations in Afghanistan in
Army Sergeant Cameron Meddock died last week at a medical facility in Germany
of injuries sustained during a combat operation on January 13 in the
northwestern Afghan province of Badghis.
than 2,400 American forces have been killed in the country since the United
States and its allies invaded Afghanistan as part of Washington’s so-called war
on terror in October 2001. The offensive removed the Taliban regime from power,
but after more than one and a half decades, the foreign troops are still
deployed to the country.
to the Pentagon, there are about 14,000 troops, mostly from the US and NATO
countries, in Afghanistan for “advice and assist mission.”
month, US President Donald Trump ordered the military to begin plans to
withdraw about 7,000 American troops from Afghanistan in coming months but the
pullout has yet to start.
US is currently pushing for a peace deal with the militants to spare its troops
but negotiations remain deadlocked over the Taliban demand that American forces
The US wants to build more coalitions in the Middle East to counter the “very
real” threat of Iran’s malign meddling in the region, Secretary of State Mike
Pompeo told the World Economic Forum in Davos on Tuesday.
via video link, Pompeo said the US was committed to a “secure and stable”
Middle East and had assembled a “global coalition of nations to confront Iran
and support the aspirations of the Iranian people.”
said: “America is committed to helping the Middle East be secure and stable. We
are a force for good in the region, and we have been for an awfully long time.”
said the biggest threat to regional stability was Iran, especially in crisis
zones such as Yemen, Syria and Iraq, and in its support for Hezbollah in
are places where Iran is truly the malign actor, and that is why we are so
happy with the coalition we have built,” he said.
is so central to creating the stability the people of the Middle East so richly
are political and diplomatic solutions to all of these problems, and we need
all our diplomats, from all across the region, working to solve them.”
also expressed optimism about an end to the conflict in Yemen, where a
Saudi-led military coalition is supporting the legitimate government against
Iran-backed Houthi militias.
am very hopeful we can make progress there,” he said. “We made a big step
forward with the agreement surrounding the port of Hodeidah; we got real
commitment from all the parties.
was most unfortunate that the Houthis made a major break on Jan. 10 to that
cease-fire by using an Iranian-designed instrument of war to kill people after
those agreements were reached back in December.
know that the Gulf states are committed to achieving that outcome; we are
committed here in the United States.”
also spoke briefly about peace between Israel and Palestine, and said talks
would not be “driven by the US” but by the Israelis and Palestinians
Pompeo praised a wave of “disruption” in world politics, including the election
of Donald Trump, the UK vote to leave the European Union and elections in
France and Malaysia.
renewed Trump’s criticism of international institutions and the US president’s
calls for “strong borders” to protect national sovereignty. “New winds are
blowing across the world,” he said. “I’d argue that this disruption is a
Syrian refugee living in the U.S. provides federal government employees with
free meal everyday at his restaurant, as Washington is going through a partial
Terou, the owner of the Yassin’s Falafel House in Tennessee, launched the
campaign on Jan. 14, which offers free meals to federal workers when they show
their employee ID cards.
to Anadolu Agency, Terou said he came to the U.S. in 2011 after the civil war
broke out in Syria, and opened the restaurant in 2014.
in Tennessee showed us so much love at that time,” Terou said, adding that they
started the campaign to return the favor of “hardworking and helpful” people.
owner of the restaurant said the number of people who benefit from the campaign
-- "launched for love”-- was increasing day by day.
said the move did not have any political concerns and it does not matter if the
people coming to his shop are Republican or Democrat.
received so much support for this campaign,” he added.
people show great hospitality to Syrians
also thanked the Turkish nation for hosting the Syrians.
nation has shown a big help and hospitality to people who sought refuge in the
country due to the situation in Syria,” he said.
also said he wishes to hear stories similar to his own from his Syrian brothers
living in Turkey.
Falafel House was named the Nicest Place in America by the Reader’s Digest
magazine in 2018.
ongoing partial government shutdown has become the longest closure in U.S.
history as the President Donald Trump continues to insist on funding for his border
wall, a demand that Democrats have staunchly resisted.
shutdown has entered second month on Tuesday with hundreds of thousands of
federal employees continuing to miss their paychecks.
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