Sickening: Armed militant children - some no older than eight - watch the execution of a man in the latest shocking video to emerge from the ISIS insurgency in Iraq
Iraqi Shi’ite and Sunni Political Leaders Call For National Unity
Rebels Force Boys to Watch an Execution, Gun-Toting Youngsters Join Regime Troops
Iraq Accuses Saudi of Financing, Siding with Terrorism
30,000 volunteers respond to Sistani’s Jihad Fatwa in Basra
Terrorists wearing women clothes captured in Tala’afar
Takfiri crimes in Iraq unmasked in new video
Syria air raid on displaced persons camp kills 12: NGO
Militants lay siege to Iraq's largest oil refinery
Saudi Arabia warns of civil war in Iraq with unpredictable consequences
Hezbollah leader says stopped ISIL spreading to Lebanon: report
Iraqi Islamists' gains pose challenge to al Qaeda leader
Report: 60 foreigners seized by militants in Iraq
Fight Out Terrorists Once And For All: Pakistan Senate
Terrorist Prepare Back Lash Plan of Zarb-e-Azb
US drone attack kills six suspected militants in North Waziristan
Operation in North Waziristan Agency progressing as per plan: ISPR
Twitter restores access to 'blasphemous' content in Pakistan
N Waziristan civilians: Living in the shadow of death
Turkish Mufti Calls On Muslim World to Use 'Common Sense'
Turkey’s religious body warns against ‘declarations of Jihad’
Rowhani: Iran will do everything to protect Iraq Holy shrines
Standoff escalates as forces besiege mosque in Sana’a
Kidnappers of Israelis aim to 'destroy' Palestinians: Abbas
Turkey imposes media blackout over Iraq hostages
Boko Haram but One of the Consequences of Colonel Gaddafi's Demise
Nigeria World Cup screening hit by deadly bomb blast, 'Football un-Islamic'
Scholars Urge Gambia's 'Unique' Co-Existence Be Strengthened
African Union agrees to readmit banished Egypt
UNICEF Says Qaeda Sexually Abused Yemen Children
David Cameron Says ISIS Iraq Assault Is 'A Real Threat' To Britain
Ofsted Accused of Islamophobia over Birmingham 'Trojan Horse' Schools Report
UK envoy assures support to Pakistan in countering extremism
Russia says Syria agrees to aid access from Iraq, Turkey, Jordan
UK says cyber-spies monitoring Facebook, Twitter and Google use
India in dark about location of its kidnapped nationals in Iraq
Our lives in danger: Indian nurses in Iraq hospital send SOS to PM
‘War on terror’ should be staged beyond Afghan borders, says Karzai
Sri Lanka Muslims to boycott parliament after attacks
Uighur Muslims deplore China executions
Witness: Qaisar killed four freedom fighters
Isma president to be charged with sedition for ‘trespasser’ remark
Final decision on seized Bibles on Monday, says Selangor MB
Selangor Sultan, Mais have no right to interfere in non-Muslims’ affairs
2 judges recuse themselves from case of family wanting to be known as Hindu
CIA facing gaps in Iraq as it hunts for militants
Sending some US troops back to Iraq viable option: White House
American Conservatives Taunt Muslim Student for Asking Question at Benghazi Panel
US Treasury Secretary: Iran's nuclear program will remain peaceful
Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau
Iraqi Shi’ite and Sunni political leaders call for national unity
June 18, 2014
Iraqi Shi’ite and Sunni political leaders made a joint call for national unity on Tuesday after a closed-door meeting called after a week of sectarian violence that saw Sunni militants seize northern cities.
The leaders, including Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, a Shi’ite, and Sunni Usama al-Nujaifi, the last speaker of parliament which dissolved this month, stood apart and listened as Maliki’s predecessor Ibrahim al-Jafaari called for “defending the state and protecting its sovereignty and dignity.”
They also called for avoiding sectarian grievances and forbade non-state actors from carrying weapons.
Jun 18, 2014
Gun-toting children were paraded for the cameras in Iraq yesterday – on both sides of the bloody conflict.
A shocking video emerged showing armed boys watching the execution of a prisoner by masked Jihadi fighters.
The children – some as young as eight – look on as a prisoner is made to kneel in the dirt before being shot in the back of the head.
The video of gun-toting children was uploaded on YouTube with the chilling message: 'Brutal sectarian war has come again to Iraq and many say it's as bad as in the dark days of 2007.'
It follows two days of sickening propaganda videos posted by ISIS showing their black-uniformed gunmen humiliating, taunting and then executing captured Iraqi soldiers, some apparently shot as they lay in a shallow grave.
The United Nations said yesterday ISIS fighters have carried out hundreds of summary executions since their offensive began last week, including the apparent massacre of captured Iraqi soldiers.
Yesterday as the United States sent 275 soldiers to Baghdad to protect its embassy, insurgents moved closer to the Iraqi capital with an attack on the gateway town of Baquba, 37 miles away, where government troops were said to have 'stalled' their advance after being joined in the fight by Shiite militiamen. Dozens were reported to have been killed in the fighting.
At least 44 prisoners held in the town's police station are said to have been killed although there were conflicting reports of how they died.
Three police officers said Shiite militiamen, who rushed to defend the facility, killed the detainees at close range rather than allow insurgents to be set free but the military spokesman gave a different story, claimed they died when the attackers shelled it with mortar rounds. A third witness said prison guards had carried out the killings.
A mortuary official in Baquba said many of the bodies of detainees had bullet wounds to the head and chest.
The fighters in Baquba, many newly armed with weapons captured in Mosul, have been joined by other Sunni factions, including former members of ousted dictator Saddam Hussein's Baath Party and tribal figures, who share widespread anger among Iraq's Sunni minority at perceived oppression by the Shi'ite-led government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
Officials confirmed that the Baiji refinery north of Baghdad had shut down and foreign workers evacuated, although they said government troops still held the vast compound. With the refinery shut, Iraq will face problems generating electricity and pumping water to sustain its cities in summer.
It came as Iraq's Shi'ite rulers defied Western calls to reach out to Sunnis to defuse the uprising in the north of the country, instead declaring a boycott of Iraq's main Sunni political bloc and accusing Sunni power Saudi Arabia of promoting 'genocide.
Washington has made clear it wants Mr Maliki to embrace Sunni politicians as a condition of U.S. support to fight the advance by ISIS forces.
But in what diplomats say is a sign of the problems they face dealing with the Shi'ite prime minister, he has moved in the opposite direction, announcing a crackdown on politicians and officers he considers 'traitors' and lashing out at neighbouring Sunni countries for stoking militancy.
The latest target of his government's fury was Saudi Arabia, the main Sunni power in the Gulf, which funds Sunni militants in neighbouring Syria but denies it is behind ISIS.
'We hold them responsible for supporting these groups financially and morally, and for the outcome of that - which includes crimes that may qualify as genocide: the spilling of Iraqi blood, the destruction of Iraqi state institutions and historic and religious sites,' the Iraqi government said of Riyadh in a statement.
Mr Maliki has blamed Saudi Arabia for supporting militants in the past, but the severe language was unprecedented.
His stance was in defiance too of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon who yesterday urged Mr Maliki to hold dialogue to try to stop the sectarian violence, adding that governments who neglect human rights are creating 'breeding grounds for extremism and terrorism'.
'There is a real risk of further sectarian violence on a massive scale, within Iraq and beyond its borders,' he said, 'I have been urging Iraqi government leaders including Prime Minister al-Maliki to reach out for an inclusive dialogue and solution of this issue.'
UN human rights investigators warned in a report yesterday the Middle East appears on the brink of wider sectarian war engulfing Iraq and Syria with radical Islamist insurgents wantonly kidnapping, torturing and killing civilians 'A regional war in the Middle East draws ever closer. Events in neighbouring Iraq will have violent repercussions for Syria,' the investigators' report said.
UN human rights Navi Pillay said yesterday forces allied with ISIS in northern Iraq had almost certainly committed war crimes by executing hundreds of non-combatant men over the past five days.
A report presented to the UN Human Rights Council said foreign Sunni Jihadi militants and funds had poured into Syria where rebel factions including ISIS were wantonly abusing civilians in zones they controlled.
'Growing numbers of radical fighters are targeting not only Sunni [Muslim] communities under their control but also minority communities including the Shi'ites, Alawites, Christians, Armenians, Druze and Kurds,' the report said of Syria.
Meanwhile, the prime minister of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region, Nechirvan Barzani, warned he believes Iraq may not stay together as Sunni areas feel neglected by the Shia-dominated Iraqi government.
He said it would be very hard for Iraq to return to the situation that existed before the Sunni militants, spearheaded by ISIS, took control of the northern cities of Mosul and Tikrit in a rapid advance last week and Tal Afar on Monday.
Iraqi government on Tuesday accused Saudi Arabia of financing terrorism committed by Takfiri insurgents of the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Levant, a day after Riyadh blamed "sectarian" policies by Baghdad.
Comments from Riyadh indicates it is "siding with terrorism", the cabinet said in a statement issued by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's office.
"We strongly condemn this stance," the statement read.Iraqo and Saudi flags
"We hold it (Saudi Arabia) responsible for what these groups are receiving in terms of financial and moral support."
"The Saudi government should be held responsible for the dangerous crimes committed by these terrorist groups," the statement continued.
Earlier on Monday, Saudi Arabia and Qatar blamed "sectarian" policies by Iraq's government for the unrest that has swept the country.
The unrest "could not have taken place if it was not for the sectarian and exclusionary policies implemented in Iraq over the past years that threatened its stability and sovereignty," the Saudi government said in a statement.
In March, Maliki accused both Saudi Arabia and Qatar of supporting terrorism in Iraq.
Basra (IraqiNews.com) Volunteering centres in Basra province received more than 30,000 volunteers who responded to the Fatwa of the Supreme Iraqi Religious Authority Ali al-Sistani, as reported by IraqiNews.com
The director of the Citizens’ Affairs in Basra Province Ali al-Edani stated to IraqiNews.com “More than 30,000 volunteers have gathered in front of the Volunteering Centres in the province and the number is increasing every minute.”
For his part, the Chairman of Basra Tribes Council Raid al-Fraiji told IraqiNews.com “The citizens of Basra responded to the call of the Religious Authority which forbid the armed demonstrations in Basra province.”
Nineveh (IraqiNews.com) The security forces announced capturing nine terrorists wearing women clothes. Security source stated to IraqiNews.com “The security forces arrested nine ISIL elements wearing women clothes in Tala’afar.”
A new video has emerged on the Internet showing what appears to be the aftermath of a massacre by Takfiri militants in an open market in Iraq.
The video is seemingly shot in a local bazaar in the city of Mosul which recently fell to the terrorist militants of the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
In this video, people hysterically scream and run around while women and children are seen among the dead bodies.
Over the past days, gruesome videos have been released showing atrocities of the ISIL terrorist group in Iraq.
Full report at:
Syrian army helicopter fire killed 12 people, eight of them children, on Wednesday in a camp near the Jordanian border housing civilians fleeing the civil war, a monitoring group said.
Seven people were also wounded in the air raid on the camp near the southern village of Shajara, three of them women, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
"The victims were all civilians, people who had fled the violence in other parts of Daraa province," Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.
Baiji has been the scene of intermittent fighting since the militants launched their blitz against Iraqi government forces last week
Islamist militants laid siege to Iraq’s largest oil refinery Wednesday, threatening a facility key to the country’s domestic supplies as part of their ongoing lightning offensive across the country, a top security official said.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to journalists.
The Beiji refinery accounts for a little more than a quarter of the country’s entire refining capacity all of which goes towards domestic consumption for things like gasoline, cooking oil and fuel for power stations. At the height of the insurgency from 2004 to late 2007, the Beiji refinery was under the control of Sunni militants who used to siphon off crude and petroleum products to finance their operations.
Agence-France Presse | Jeddah | June 18, 2014
Saudi Arabia warned on Wednesday of the risks of a civil war in Iraq with unpredictable consequences for the region, after Sunni militants seized large areas from Shiite-led government forces.
The unrest in Iraq “carries warning signs of a civil war with unpredictable consequences for the region,” Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said at the opening of an Islamic bloc meeting in the Red Sea city of Jeddah.
Prince Saud renewed Saudi accusations that “sectarian policies of exclusion” of Iraq’s Sunni Arab minority implemented by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s government were responsible for the violence.
This paved the way for countries with “bad intentions” towards Iraq “to go ahead with plots threatening its security, stability, national unity and sense of Arab identity,” Prince Saud said.
BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanon's Hezbollah militia chief said his fighters' intervention in Syria had kept an al Qaeda splinter group that has seized territory in Iraq from spreading west into Lebanon, a newspaper reported on Tuesday.
Hezbollah, a Shi'ite Muslim group, has provided significant help to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in retaking some territory from Sunni rebels bent on ousting him. In the process, Hezbollah men have often clashed with Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) rebels, who formally broke with al Qaeda in February and have since made rapid gains in Syria and Iraq.
ISIL, which aims to establish a caliphate based on medieval Islamic principles and spanning the two countries, stunned Iraqi leaders when it overran Iraq's second-largest city Mosul last week, then thrust south to the fringes of Baghdad.
(Reuters) - If the battle in Iraq and Syria were being fought by tycoons rather than jihadis, it might be called a hostile takeover in defiance of the main shareholder that has created a powerful multinational brand with an uncertain future.
The price is being paid in blood as fighters of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a scion of the al Qaeda militant jihadist franchise, carve out a cross-border empire by killing government troops and former Islamist allies alike.
With stunning speed, ISIL has captured swathes of territory in northwest and central Iraq, including the second city of Mosul, seizing large amounts of U.S.-supplied modern weaponry from the fleeing Iraqi army and looting banks.
Associated Press | Ankara | June 18, 2014
Turkey’s Foreign Ministry says its embassy in Baghdad is looking into reports that Islamic militants in Iraq have abducted 60 foreign construction workers near the city of Kirkuk. The private Dogan news agency on Wednesday said that militants of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant seized the group near Kirkuk, where they were building a hospital.
It said others abducted are from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Turkmenistan. The agency based its report on an unnamed worker who was reportedly freed by the militants. The Foreign Ministry could not immediately confirm the report but said its embassy was investigating. Last week, militants from the al-Qaida inspired group seized 49 people from the Turkish consulate in Mosul and 31 Turkish truck drivers.
ISLAMABAD: Opposition legislators in the Upper House of parliament on Monday extended full support to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the military operation in North Waziristan Agency.
But they asked for special arrangements for the internally displaced people (IDPs) of the areas concerned. “The opposition supports the military operation launched in NW Agency and stands fully behind the government,” opposition leader Aitzaz Ahsan told the House after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s address to the Senate over the start of a full-fledged military operation in North Waziristan. The entire House supported the military operation.
They were of the view that dealing with militancy is not the job of the government or security forces alone, and called for unity among all the stakeholders, setting aside political differences. They said it is a matter of the existence of Pakistan and observed that the government has wasted a lot of time and energy over peace talks with the Taliban, which has allowed them to re-organise. The senators said four neighbouring countries have also been complaining about terrorism activities in their countries whose main culprits are living in Pakistan.
Karachi- Banned Tehreek-e-Taliban and other banned organizations have prepared a counter plan for terrorists’ act in Sindh as a reaction of North Waziristan operation.
Intelligence agencies in a letter to Sindh government and DG Rangers said that a number of upcoming days were very important.
In a report intelligence agencies expressed this fear that the targets of these extremists are Karachi airport, security forces, offices of private airlines, Karachi port trust, Port Qasim and its adjacent oil refineries, governmental properties, railway stations, Police, Worship places of Non-Muslims, Private TV Channels, important public places, Rangers and other law enforcement and offices of intelligence agencies.
MIRAMSHAH: At least six suspected militants were killed in a US drone strike early Wednesday in the Miramshah tehsil of North Waziristan tribal region where a comprehensive military operation launched by the Pakistani army against foreign and local terrorists is also under way.
Intelligence sources said six missiles fired by a drone hit a compound and a vehicle in Dargah Mandi village in Miramshah.
The identities of those killed in the strikes have not yet been ascertained, sources said.
Wednesday's is the third drone attack in a month, the earlier two successive US drone strikes killing at least 16 suspected militants in North Waziristan.
RAWALPINDI- Pakistan Army operation Zarb-e-Azb started in North Waziristan Agency (NWA) is progressing as per plan, according to the Director General Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) wing of the Pakistan Army.
The cordon around all terrorists’ hideouts including in the town of Mirali and Miranshah has been further tightened and reinforced. Last night 3 terrorists were killed while fleeing from the cordoned off area in Miranshah. 1 soldier got injured in exchange of fire, said the ISPR.
No operation has been started as yet in the settled areas, while curfew has been relaxed in Tehsil Mirali and Razmak for evacuating the families from the areas and similarly in phase-wise the evacuation from other areas would also be completed and only after that the ground action would start.
ISLAMABAD: Twitter has restored access inside Pakistan to dozens of tweets and accounts, after blocking them last month following official complaints about “blasphemous” content, in a move hailed by free speech activists.
The microblogging site said it had changed its May 18 decision — to restrict access to the material from within Pakistan in order to comply with local laws — after the government failed to provide sufficient clarification.
“On May 18, 2014, we made an initial decision to withhold content in Pakistan based on information provided to us by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority,” the Internet company said in a statement posted on the Chilling Effects Clearinghouse website.
“We have re-examined the requests and, in the absence of additional clarifying information from Pakistani authorities, have determined that restoration of the previously withheld content is warranted. The content is now available again in Pakistan.
PESHAWAR: The tribal families stranded in Miramshah, headquarters of North Waziristan Agency, fear death every moment as they wait anxiously for the transport facility, promised by the government, to take them out of the conflict zone.
“Even if curfew is relaxed, we have no means of transportation,” says Khalil Wazir, head of Waziristan Action Committee, who has been stranded in his house for the last four days along with the elderly parents, women and children.
He says that Bannu, the settled district adjoining tribal region where a camp has been set up for the displaced people of North Waziristan, is about 60 kilometres away from their area.
The Inter-Services Public Relations issued a statement earlier, saying a camp for IDPs of Waziristan was established in Bannu and transport would be provided to the people. However, people are still stranded in the conflict zone owing to imposition of curfew.
Turkish mufti calls on Muslim world to use 'common sense'
World Bulletin / News Desk
Attempts to base conflicts in the Middle East on Islamic sects have reached serious dimensions that are threatening not only Iraq and Syria, but the whole Islamic world, Turkey's President of Religious Affairs Mehmet Gormez said in a message addressed to the Muslim world on Wednesday.
"The chaotic environment that is being experienced in the Iraqi and Syrian axis has fueled tensions to new heights with new events led by the situation in Mosul," Gormez said.
He warned that reciprocal statements that contain violence, declarations of jihad, threats aimed at the destruction of holy shrines, kidnappings and killings should be regarded as the pre-shocks of the approaching mass disasters.
"It is inevitable that the Islamic world will suffer permanent humane, social, religious and sectarian divisions if these events continue to escalate unabated."
'Killing people is against the Quran'
Stressing that the Muslim identity is above all sectarian, dispositional and political considerations, Gormez has said that no structure should be allowed to spoil Islamic fraternity and unity.
Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet) has warned of sectarian strife emerging from the “chaotic environment” in Syria and Iraq, while listing “declarations of Jihad” as one of the “pre-shocks of approaching mass disasters.”
“It is inevitable that the Islamic world will suffer permanent humane, social, religious and sectarian divisions if these events continue to escalate unabated,” Diyanet Chairman Prof. Dr. Mehmet Görmez said in a statement released on June 18 in eight languages, urging Sunnis and Shiites to “mend differences.”
Diyanet's June 18 statement (In English)
Appeal to the Islamic world for common sense
Social crises that are being experienced in the Islamic world, political and military tensions, attempts to base conflicts on sects and disposition have reached serious dimensions that are threatening not only the region but the whole Islamic world with consequences that could be beyond repair.
President Hassan Rowhani said Wednesday that Iran would do whatever it takes to protect revered Shiite Muslim holy sites in Iraq against Sunni militants fighting the Baghdad government.
“Dear Karbala, Dear Najaf, Dear Kadhimiyah and Dear Samarra, we warn the great powers and their lackeys and the terrorists, the great Iranian people will do everything to protect them,” he said, naming the sites of the shrines in an emotive speech in Khoram-abad, near the Iraq border.
Rowhani on Saturday pledged to help the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government if it asked for assistance, though at that time no such request had been forthcoming.
SANA'A — Yemeni forces have surrounded a sprawling mosque complex in the capital Sana'a amid fears that backers of ousted autocrat Ali Abdullah Saleh might use it as a launchpad to attack the presidential palace.
The operation, in its fourth day on Tuesday, is the most dramatic standoff yet between current President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and Saleh's supporters since he was forced to step down in 2011 following mass protests after 33 years in power.
Gulf neighbors and the West fear for the stability of Yemen, which shares a long border with Saudi Arabia. The Saudi government, along with Washington, helped push through the UN-mediated political transition.
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas on Wednesday accused those behind the kidnapping in the West Bank of three Israeli teenagers last week of wanting to "destroy" the Palestinians.
"Those who kidnapped the three teenagers want to destroy us. We will hold them accountable," Abbas told an Organisation of Islamic Cooperation meeting in Jeddah.
ISTANBUL : A Turkish court on Tuesday imposed a blackout on media coverage of the kidnapping of dozens of Turks by the militants in northern Iraq, the television watchdog said.
The Supreme Board of Radio and Television (RTUK) has delivered the court ruling to Turkish newspapers, televisions and websites, which were banned from reporting on the abductions and could face penalties if they violate the ban. The blackout was necessary “for the security of Turkish citizens,” it said. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had asked the media on Sunday not to write or talk about the issue, which is “risking the lives of our people”. Fighters from the jihadist group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) kidnapped 49 Turks including diplomats and children from the Turkish consulate in Mosul on Wednesday as they captured swathes of northern Iraq.
On 14 April 2014, 276 girls were kidnapped from their school, Chibok Girls Secondary, in Borno State, northeast Nigeria, by the militant Islamist and terrorist group Boko Haram. To date, not one of these girls has been saved by any act of the Nigerian Armed Forces – some have managed to escape as a result of their own brave initiatives – and the Government of President Goodluck Jonathan seems to be in a state of permanent, enfeebled hand wringing over the fate of the pupils.
The Nigerian Government's embarrassment has been such that the very vocal protests made in a number of cities – often by large crowds where women formed a big majority – and soon demonstrating under the collective banner "Bring Back Our Girls", was banned in the capital, Abuja, by Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mbu.
Police Commissioner Mbu took this action on 02 June. The respected Nigerian newspaper Daily Trust reported the Commissioner claiming that the ban was imposed on the grounds that "dangerous elements" planned to infiltrate the group to detonate bombs.
Very shortly after the Commissioner's prohibition took effect, he was overruled by Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Abubakar, who stated that all Nigerians have the right of peaceful protest.
At least 13 people have been killed in a bomb blast at a venue televising a World Cup match in northern Nigeria, medics say.
Witnesses in Damaturu, in Yobe state, say a suicide bomber in a tricycle taxi detonated explosives as people watched Brazil's match against Mexico.
At least 20 people are said to be seriously injured.
Public screenings of the World Cup in one other Nigerian state have been cancelled due to threats by Boko Haram.
Three areas, including Yobe, are under a state of emergency amid attacks suspected to have been carried out by the Islamist militants.
No group has taken responsibility for the latest blast.
A hospital worker told the BBC that truckloads of injured people were being treated in overcrowded wards after the explosion on Tuesday evening.
"The military and police trucks that brought them in have made four return trips so far ferrying them in," the worker said.
"Every single truck was full of the injured. And all of them are young men or children."
The worker said that the injuries suffered by people caught up in the blast were "horrific".
Damaturu resident Mohammed Kurkure Yobe told the BBC that the venue where the attack took place is very popular and often crowded with people watching big events.
Open-air viewing centres - where people pay to watch live football - are popular throughout Nigeria.
However, the Nigerian authorities have warned residents in some states to avoid public screenings of the World Cup, fearing militant attacks.
Scholars from the country's two main religious dominations - Islam and Christianity - have hailed as unique The Gambia's religious harmony, co-existence and tolerance, stressing the need for it to be strengthened. They acknowledged that The Gambia has an unpolluted record of religious tolerance, which they insisted, must be used as a model in other countries given the current myriad of religious violence. They were speaking Friday during the Second Edition of the annual Inter-Faith Dialogue, organised by Side By Side Organisation The Gambia (SBSO) and its counterparts from the United States of America. The dialogue was part of the two-week Side By Side-Service for Peace International Summer of Service under the leadership and coordination of a veteran volunteer, Beverly Berndt.
The African Union's peace council has decided unanimously to readmit Egypt into pan-African body.
Representatives of 15 countries members of the African Union (AU)’s Peace and Security Council (PSC) met in Addis Ababa on Tuesday to discuss the lifting of the Egypt’s suspension from membership in the AU, Al Ahram reported.
The meeting came after a report which stressed that the AU’s decision to freeze Egypt’s membership was based on a “misunderstanding and misestimating” the circumstances that led to the July 3 coup was drafted by Alpha Oumar Konare, chief of Africa’s Committee of the Wise
UNICEF Says Qaeda Sexually Abused Yemen Children
The United Nations children's agency accused Yemen's Al-Qaeda affiliate of sexually exploiting children, pointing to incidents in the south in 2012 in a report published Tuesday.
Al-Qaeda loyalists forced around 100 girls, some as young as 13, to marry its fighters in the southern province of Abyan in 2012, UNICEF said.
Taking advantage of a collapse of central authority during a 2011 uprising that forced veteran strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh from power, Al-Qaeda seized large swathes of the south and east.
Al-Qaeda fighters seized swathes of Abyan province, east of the main southern city of Aden, in 2012.
Both girls and boys had been "exposed to sexual violence in conflict situations in Yemen," the report said.
"One of the forms of this violence is the forced marriage of up to 100 girls in the province of Abyan, attended by the heads and fighters of Ansar al-Sharia," the UN agency said, using a front name adopted by Al-Qaeda loyalists.
David Cameron will hold talks on Wednesday with his most senior security advisers to discuss the crisis in Iraq after he warned Islamist militants challenging the Baghdad government represented "the most serous threat to Britain's security that there is today".
The prime minister will chair a meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) as the Middle Eastern country showed ominous signs that open warfare between Shia and Sunni muslims had returned, as militants ISIS tore through the country.
On Tuesday, nearly four dozen Sunni detainees were gunned down at a jail north of Baghdad, a car bomb struck a Shiite neighborhood of the capital and four young Sunnis were found slain.
The militants' onslaught even looked as though it might bring together old enemies - the United States and Iran - in an attempt to halt them.
Ofsted Accused of Islamophobia Over Birmingham 'Trojan Horse' Schools Report
A robust defence of Birmingham schools at the centre of allegations of Muslim extremism has been launched by teachers and the local council, with accusations of prejudice and Islamophobia lying at the heart of the crisis.
Giving evidence to a Commons committee on the affair, Lee Donaghy, the assistant principal of one of the schools criticised by Ofsted inspectors, flatly rejected any suggestion there had been Islamic extremism in the school.
He said many of the concerns raised had been because of "plain old Islamophobia" and ignorance of the Muslim way of life which, in his Park View school, with 99% Muslim pupils, showed lack of understanding of the local community.
ISLAMABAD: The British High Commissioner to Pakistan Philip Barton assured Britain’s full cooperation in countering extremism and terrorism from Pakistan during a meeting with Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid on Wednesday.
The two discussed ways to counter the problem of extremism by using various tools, including mass media, sources told Dawn.
Pakistan has sacrificed a lot in the war against terror and it must be duly recognised by the international community, said the information minister.
Regarding the ongoing military operation against foreign and local militants in North Waziristan, Rashid informed the British envoy that the operation was supported by all democratic forces in the country.
Russia said on June 17 it has gained Syrian approval to open four border crossings from Iraq, Jordan and Turkey to deliver aid to millions of people under a "far-reaching formula" proposed to U.N. Security Council members.
Russian U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin declined to elaborate on the formula, but diplomats familiar with the plan said it involved using international monitors to inspect humanitarian aid convoys entering Syria.
Veto-wielding council members - the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia - have been negotiating a humanitarian resolution drafted by Australia, Luxembourg and Jordan to boost aid deliveries in Syria, including across rebel-held borders. Russia presented its formula to those seven states on June.
LONDON: The UK’s electronic spy agency is legally allowed to track the online activities of millions of Britons who use US-based platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Google, Britain’s top counter-terrorism official has said.
In a witness statement made public on Tuesday, the office for Security and Counter-Terrorism chief Charles Farr said data sent on those services is classed as “external” rather than “internal” communications because the companies’ servers are based outside Britain.
Amnesty International said that it amounted to “industrial-scale intrusion”, but Farr said this did not amount to mass surveillance because the vast majority of messages intercepted in this way are not read.
The distinction between external and internal interactions is significant because Britain’s electronic intelligence agency, GCHQ, has broad powers to intercept communications outside the country, but needs a warrant and suspicion of wrongdoing to monitor domestic internet traffic.
Reuters | Jun 18, 2014
NEW DELHI: Forty Indian construction workers have been kidnapped from the Iraqi city of Mosul, which is in the hands of Sunni militants, but no ransom demands have been received and their whereabouts are unknown, the Indian foreign ministry said on Wednesday.
Spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said the government did not know who was behind the kidnapping. Most of the hostages are from Punjab and were working for a Baghdad-based company called Tariq Noor Al Huda.
"The Red Crescent confirmed to us that as per their information, 40 Indian construction workers have been kidnapped," Akbaruddin told a media briefing.
Akbaruddin said about 100 Indian workers were living in areas overrun by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), and India was in contact with many of them, including 46 nurses. It has sent a senior envoy to Baghdad to support repatriation efforts.
Daniel P George,TNN | Jun 18, 2014
CHENNAI: The 46 Indian nurses in a hospital in the strife-torn Iraqi town of Tikrit have sent an SOS to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure their safe return to India. One of the nurses told TOI over telephone that they were living in perpetual fear as ISIS rebels have been roaming the streets outside.
"This is a horrible," said Jency James who hails from Idukki district of Kerala. "We have been stuck for days inside the hospital. The internet connection has snapped due to heavy shelling. We don't know when the telephone and mobile connections will go off." The nurses appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure that they safely return home.
Diplomats, meanwhile, said the nurses are safe, though they may be stranded. The panic stricken nurses are reaching out to friends and families seeking help, but they cannot be moved out of the hospital as armed militia men were occupying the roads leading to the airport, said diplomats. According to the embassy, more than 18,000 Indians work in Iraq oil rigs and hospitals as doctors and nurses.
KABUL, Afghanistan – Afghan President Hamid Karzai has said that he is convinced that the ‘war on terror’ initiated by former US president George W Bush in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks in the US in 2001 should not have been fought in Afghan villages and homes.
In an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation, he said that the ‘war on terror’ should have been prosecuted in ‘sanctuaries beyond our borders.’ “I believe that the war on terror was not fought with honesty and not fought genuinely,” he said. “The consequences are being felt across the region.”
He also said that the Al Qaeda had no presence in Afghanistan. He said that he was in regular dialogue with the Taliban. “They are in contact with me every day,” he said. “There is even an exchange of letters, meetings, and desire for peace,” he said. Karzai – who has served two terms as president – is obliged by law to stand down after the latest presidential election in Afghanistan.
Jun 18 2014
Sri Lanka's main Muslim party is boycotting parliament over communal violence that saw at least three Muslims killed in southwestern Sri Lanka, the party's leader said Wednesday.
"Sri Lanka Muslim Congress Members of Parliament will boycott parliament sittings today in protest of Aluthgama and Beruwala incidents," Justice Minister Rauf Hakeem told Anadolu Agency.
His announcement comes on a day when mass demonstrations are planned, to rally against communal violence in Sri Lanka.
The resort towns of Aluthgama and Dharga were hit by clashes between Sinhalese Buddhist hard-liners and Muslims on Sunday. They started after the Sinhalese Buddhist nationalist group Bodu Bala Sena held a rally in Aluthgama and then tried to march through a Muslim-majority area.
Rights groups have condemned China’s death sentences against 13 Uighur Muslims, accusing authorities of issuing “politically motivated” sentences and depriving defendants of their legal rights.
Spokesman for the World Uighur Congress, was quoted by Voice of America on Monday, June 16 that the government is exaggerating the threat of terrorism instead of addressing the real problems of discrimination and religious suppressions against Uighurs in Xinjiang and Dilxat Raxit.
Raxit said that the government's crackdown on Uighurs is “politically motivated”, adding that lawyers, especially Uighur lawyers, are now asked to clarify their political stance and take part in the crackdown against separatists.
Various condemnations have been pouring after 13 Uighur Muslims were sentenced to death on Monday over accusations of involvement in terrorist attacks in Xinjiang and Beijing's Tiananmen Square.
After the deposition, defence counsel SM Shahjahan questioned her for half an hour
Daughter of a martyred freedom fighter yesterday said following the order of alleged war criminal Syed Mohammad Qaisar, the Pakistani Army had captured her father along with three of his fellows and killed them near the bank of Sonai River in Habiganj during the 1971 Liberation War.
Mazeda Khatun alias Jomila Khatun, 74, daughter of Akkas Ali from Mouzpur of Madhabpur in Habiganj, suspected that his father was killed since he had refused to support Qaisar in the election of 1970.
“When the accused came to seek votes in 1970, we told him that we will go for the Awami League. Qaisar was defeated in that election. This is why he killed my father,” she told the International Crimes Tribunal 2.
The 26th prosecution witness said after his confinement, the family had pleaded to Qaisar to spare Akkas Ali, but the accused denied.
The head of a controversial Muslim rights group will be charged with sedition at the Kajang Sessions Court tomorrow in relation to remarks about the Malaysian Chinese being “trespassers” in the country.
Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) president Abdullah Zaik Abdul Rahman said in a statement that police had issued him a warrant, and he will be present at the Kajang court tomorrow.
Abdullah said he will be represented by Haezreena Begum Abdul Hamid from Lokman Reena & Co.
Zaik caused controversy when he said on May 6 that Chinese migrants brought in by the British to Tanah Melayu were “trespassers” and questioned the citizenship and wealth given to them.
"Who gave them (the Chinese) citizenship and wealth until the results of their trespassing are protected until this day?
"This was all the doing of the British, who were in cohorts with the Chinese to oppress and bully the Malays," he wrote on Isma’s website.
He also said it was all a mistake that needed to be rectified but had not said how.
Zaik's comments were met with criticism by non-Muslim groups, with a Chinese-language newspapers calling Isma an “extreme rightist group like Perkasa, based on racism and narrow-minded religious views”.
Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim (pic) will announce the final verdict on the issue of the seized Bibles next Monday after he meets with the Sultan of Selangor tomorrow.
The Selangor Menteri Besar is scheduled to have an audience with Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah for a second time tomorrow over the issue.
Abdul Khalid told reporters today that he had met with the Sultan this morning, but the discussion was not completed.
"Sultan Sharafuddin wanted to clarify certain issues and that was why the discussion was interrupted."
Neither the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais) nor the Sultan has any right to interfere in the affairs of non-Muslims, Dr Abdul Aziz Bari (pic) said today, following the uproar over the religious authority’s insistence that it retain the Bibles seized from The Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM).
The constitutional expert said issues regarding non-Muslims' faith and religious practices were not under either Mais's or the Sultan's jurisdiction, as the two institutions only had power over the affairs of Muslims.
"Both the Sultan and Mais have no right to teach, intervene or disturb the way non-Muslims practise their faith, but now this has happened.
"The Sultan’s and Mais's powers are restricted to Muslims; that is the issue now," Aziz told The Malaysian Insider.
Two Court of Appeal judges have disqualified themselves from hearing an appeal by a 62-year-old man who is seeking a declaration that he is not a Muslim as defined under Islamic laws in Selangor, The Star Online reported today.
Referring to the case of Zaina Abdin Hamid who is attempting to be acknowledged as a Hindu, Datuk Azahar Mohamed, who chaired the three-man bench, was quoted as saying that it was not proper for him to hear the case.
Azhar said he knew the background of the case while serving at the Attorney-General's Chambers in 2002 as he was the head of the civil division and had given the nod to his subordinates to strike out the case brought by Zaina.
The CIA and other spy agencies are scrambling to close intelligence gaps as they seek to support possible military or covert action against the leaders of the al-Qaeda-inspired militant group that has seized parts of Iraq.
The lack of clear intelligence appears to have shifted President Barack Obama’s immediate focus away from airstrikes in Iraq because officials said there are few obvious targets. However, officials say no final decisions have been made and suggest Mr Obama could ultimately approve strikes if strong targets do become available.
As the U.S. intensifies its intelligence collection efforts, officials are confronting a diminished spying capacity in the Middle East, where the 2011 departure of U.S. troops and the outbreak of civil war in Syria left large swaths of both countries largely off-limits to American operatives.
WASHINGTON: The White House said on Tuesday that sending US Special Operations Forces back to Iraq was “a viable potential course of action”.
Also on Tuesday, President Obama sent a War Powers Resolution letter to Congress informing the lawmakers that he had ordered the deployment of 275 US Armed Forces personnel to provide security for US personnel and the US Embassy in Baghdad.
In a separate briefing, the State Department said that the United States was open to talking to Iran about the situation in Iraq but was not considering a joint US-Iranian military action against the Iraqi rebels.
American Conservatives Taunt Muslim Student For Asking Question At Benghazi Panel
How do American conservatives really feel about Muslims? The reaction of this panel - and the crowd - to a question posed by a young Muslim law student might offer a useful primer.
Organised by the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think-tank based in Washington, the discussion focused on the death of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, who perished in the 2012 attack in Benghazi.
According to many conservative circles, the Benghazi attack was followed by a cover-up by the Obama administration, which conspired to keep the true details of the tragedy in Libya cloaked.
However, when Saba Ahmed stood up to protest that her faith was not being accurately portrayed, the questioner found herself on the end of a berating, particularly from Brigitte Gabriel, a panellist of ACT for America, who was quick to jump to the oft-used Nazi comparison.
US Treasury Secretary Lew: Iran's nuclear program will remain peaceful
On first official visit to Israel, Lew vows US will not "rush into a bad deal" with Iran, says sanctions remain in place.
While the US will not allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon, US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said Wednesday that sanctions will lead to an agreement that will "ensure that Iran's nuclear program is entirely peaceful," a step short of the complete dismantling Israel has urged.
"We have always been clear that we will take the time to do this right, and we will not rush into a bad deal. No deal is better than a bad deal," he said Wednesday on his first official visit to Israel.