TV Drama Fights Islamic State Propaganda
Official in Balochistan's Kharan Bans 'Beards With Designs'
Migrants, Including Babies, Die Of 'Thirst' In Niger Desert
Affiliated Muslim Rashtriya Manch to Begin March to Educate Muslims about Quran
Asks Supreme Court to Reinstate Muslim Travel Ban
Iraq, ISIS Seals Off Area around Symbolic Mosque in Mosul
fires at fleeing Mosul civilians, killing 7, wounding 23
bomb hits predominantly Shia city in Saudi Arabia
Terrorists Start Operations against Syrian Army in Badiyeh
Commanders Hold Secret Talks with US-Backed Forces to Leave Raqqa
Coalition Bombers Continue Massacring Civilians in Syria
Last Stronghold in Eastern Aleppo Walled in by Syrian Soldiers
Fighter Jets Halt Terrorists' Operations in Syria's Badiyeh
Dispatches More Soldiers, Military Equipment to Dara'a
Calculated Saudi Snub to Pakistan
judges' Sicilian Mafia remark 'regretful', govt says
Pakistan ties won't affect links with India: Putin
troops not to be deployed outside KSA
asked to stay away from anti-peace elements
Al-Islam, the Story of the Most Controversial Man in Libya
Egypt bombing the right militants in Libya?
National Accord govt shuts down office of ‘Mufti of Qatar
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terror, Pakistan 'successfully prevented' talks: Arun Jaitley
Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal denies role in 2008 Delhi serial blasts
Mujahideen militant, five Lashkar operatives arrested in Kashmir
State Attacker Faulted 'Moderate' Muslims
embassy in Israel not being relocated to Jerusalem, for now
pulls US out of ‘draconian’ climate deal
Air Force Vet jailed 35 years over ISIS bid
Pressure on Sri Lanka to Stop Hate Crime against Muslims
Issues Execution Order Of 11 Haqqani And Taliban Prisoners after Kabul Attack
suffer heavy casualties in Uruzgan drone strike
suicide attacks plan foiled in Jalalabad city of Afghanistan
police officials suspended after deadly Kabul attack
intelligence foil coordinated suicide attack in Nangarhar
warn against retaliation over Kabul attack
capital mourns victims of truck bomb blast as anger swirls
Assures Turkey over Arming Kurds in ISIS Fight
Sea Trade Routes near Yemen under Threats from Houthi Militias
official’s election to UN post 'whitewash' of regime's crimes: Hamas
announces the death of senior leader Turki al-Binali
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forces killed 3,000 Palestinian minors since Second Intifada: PA
Corbyn: 'Recent Rise In Anti-Semitic And Islamophobic Attacks Underscores How
Far We Still Have To Go'
EU-Turkey refugee deal should not collapse
World’s Biggest Majority-Muslim Nation Grapples with Rising Radicalism
Strike on Rebel Positions Kills 10 Gov't Troops in Philippines
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Looking for Weak Targets': Victim of Mob Justice Speaks Out
by New Age Islam News Bureau
TV drama fights Islamic State propaganda
Drama by Saudi-owned TV aims to counter IS propaganda
Kingdom sees itself as leader in countering extremism
Grim subject matter departure from escapist drama
Targets peak Ramadan viewership
Tarek Fahmy and Noah Browning
June 1 (Reuters) - A Saudi-owned television channel has launched a drama series
portraying the brutality of life under the Islamic State to counter sleek
propaganda from the jihadist group which has won it recruits worldwide.
across the Arab world by satellite channel MBC, the $10-million project
reflects the kingdom's self-appointed role at the forefront of a Muslim bulwark
against extremism which was underlined in a May 20-21 visit by U.S. President
Crows" shows women and children living under the jihadists and is the
first television drama to tackle subjects such as mass murder and rape,
contrasting sharply with the idyll of heroism and holy war projected by IS on
main audience we target, the most important and dangerous, are those who are
prone to support and even join terrorist organisations," MBC spokesman
Mazen Hayek told Reuters in an interview.
is part of their (IS) offensive strategy. Thus media organisations have the
right, actually the duty, to face such an offensive - which is well-funded and
on the internet and social media - with this series," he said.
and MBC staff have told local media they received death threats online from IS
supporters because of the show.
in Lebanon, the more-than-20-part series that started on Saturday follows the
widow of an Islamic State commander turned leader of a women's morality police
force. There are scenes of gutted homes, mass graves, big explosions and gunmen
waving black flags.
include women from the Yazidi religion being captured and forced into sex
slavery, child-soldiers and a woman with a forlorn love-life moving to
territory held by the group to become a "jihadi bride".
Islamic State launched its lightning offensive across Iraq and Syria staging
beheadings and releasing carefully crafted films to draw in new recruits, Arab
and Western governments have sought to counter their message.
Trump's Riyadh visit, Saudi King Salman unveiled a Global Center for Combating
Extremism to monitor and rebut extremist material online, and now maintains a new
Ideological War Center within its defense ministry.
media alone is not enough, we need religious institutes, clerics and mosques to
work with the media in combating radicalism," said Najat AlSaeed, a Saudi
analyst who has written a book on Arab satellite TV.
is progress, but it's slow and is not enough for the reformists or the global
show will aim to reach a big audience of Muslim viewers as they break their
fast in the evening for the holy month of Ramadan - a prime season for TV
dramas. MBC together with its sister entertainment and movie channels are the
most watched network in the Arab world. The subject matter strays widely from
traditional programmes: Middle East period drama or romantic soaps.
Syrian actress Dima Al Jundi who plays the morality enforcer says only art can
convey the depth of human suffering the group has wrought in a way viewers need
you open YouTube, you'll find videos of murder or suicide bombings. But the
details of their daily life, how they recruit kids, how they abuse women - this
you wouldn't know."
Arabia follows the ultra-conservative Wahhabi school of Sunni Islam, but sees
the Islamist militants as posing a threat to its own stability. IS denounces
the al Saud family as ungodly rulers for their alliance with the United States
and has staged attacks in the country.
Wahhabi clerics, whose influence in Saudi society forms part of a covenant with
the royal family dating to the kingdom's founding 250 years ago, endorse
execution by beheading for offences that include apostasy, adultery and
sorcery, oppose women driving or working and describe Shi'ites as heretics.
clerics sharply differ, however, from al Qaeda and Islamic State Sunni
militants in opposing violent revolt against the government.
Arabia crushed a campaign of al Qaeda attacks in 2003-06 but has been hit by
Islamic State bombings in the past two years. Saudi security police closely
monitor Saudis with suspected connections to militants and have detained more
than 15,000 suspects in the years since al Qaeda's campaign. (Editing by
William Maclean and Peter Millership)
Official In Balochistan's Kharan Bans 'Beards With Designs'
government official in Balochistan's Kharan district has banned residents from
styling their beards in different designs.
handwritten notification issued by Assistant Commissioner Kharan Mohammad
Bakhsh Sajidi, dated May 29, says barbers are "strictly barred" from
styling customers' beards in different shapes or clipping them into designs.
beards "is contrary to Islamic instructions and has been opposed by local
and international scholars", said the notice.
said the barbers found violating the order would be "fined heavily".
assistant commissioner has instead directed barbers to trim beards in a
'simple' fashion that is free of showy designs or patterns.
migrants, including babies, die of 'thirst' in Niger desert
least 44 Libya-bound migrants, including women and babies, died of thirst after
their vehicle broke down in the scorching Sahara desert of northern Niger,
local officials said Thursday.
number of migrants who died in the desert is 44 for now," said Rhissa
Feltou, the mayor of Agadez, a remote town on the edge of the Sahara that has
become the smuggling capital of Africa.
security source who asked not to be named said "the sub-Saharan migrants,
including babies and women, died of thirst because their vehicle broke
arid dusty town in central Niger is a major transit point for migrants seeking
work in Libya or Algeria or trying to reach the sea to sail to Europe.
year, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) recorded 335,000
migrants heading northwards out of Niger.
perish while trying to cross the desert in crammed pick-up trucks with often
meagre provisions of water as jerrycans carrying fuel take priority.
protect themselves from the sand and sun, the migrants cover up from head to
toe, most wearing hoods, sunglasses, jackets and gloves.
in Agadez currently hover around 40 degrees Celsius but have hit almost 50
degrees (122 Fahrenheit) in the past.
Red Cross, which said "at least 44 migrants have died", dispatched a
team to the site "to gather information" on the circumstances.
750-kilometre (465-mile) trip from Agadez to the Libyan border takes between
two and three days with only very short petrol and toilet stops on the way.
early May, eight migrants from Niger, five of them children, were found dead in
the desert while heading to Algeria.
in May, soldiers on patrol in northern Niger rescued around 40 migrants from
various west African countries who had been abandoned in the Sahara by
smugglers they had paid to get to Libya.
group included people from The Gambia, Nigeria, Guinea, Senegal and Niger, all
of them hoping to reach the Libyan coast and from there cross the Mediterranean
migrants are kidnapped by traffickers or bandits and often subjected to sexual
and other abuse.
fever, fractured limbs and dehydration are also common problems. Accidents are
frequent on the rough tracks used by smugglers who drive for hours without
stopping across the desert and the dunes.
has long struggled to control its 5,000 kilometres (3,000 miles) of southern
borders with Sudan, Chad and Niger, even before the 2011 uprising that toppled
dictator Moamer Kadhafi.
the chaos that followed, traffickers stepped up their business, with tens of thousands
of people each year making the perilous crossing to Italy just some 300
and Italy last month called for an EU mission to be installed on the border
between Libya and Niger to reduce the migrant flow.
mid-April this year, Italy had registered nearly 42,500 migrants coming by sea,
97 percent of them arriving from Libya.
The RSS affiliated Muslim Rashtriya Manch will launch a Kashmir to Kanyakumari
to Amritsar ‘padyatra’ a day before Eid alFitr to ‘educate’ Muslims on
sections in Quran that MRM claims have been ‘consistently ignored and
route will cover 12,000 km in two phases. The aim of the yatra is to
‘reinterpret’ Quran and Hadith in the RSS way.
MRM supporters are expected to join the yatra as it passes through cities and
towns. The Yatra would start from Leh and end in Kanyakumari in the first
phase. In the second phase, it will restart from Kanyakumari and end at
march has been organised to spread awareness among Muslims to respect religious
sentiments of other communities. In the Quran, it is written that Muslims
should not hurt the religious sentiments of their neighbours. And people who do
such things are not Muslims. So, there are certain things in the Quran that
need to be properly interpreted.
this Yatra is to unite our Muslim brothers,” Sahid Akhar, the national convener
of MRM, told ET.
chief Indresh Kumar had in his Ramazan message said “according to last Rasul of
Hadith, beef carries illness while milk has healing powers. So let us save the
cows and stop spreading of illness. Islam never says that the cows have to be
slaughtered and sacrificed. We demand a complete ban on cow slaughter. There
should not be any controversy over this. And it will bring greater good.”
MRM yatra would be led by Faiaz Khan, a senior MRM functionary. Around thousand
people will be there during the launch while more will join as it passes
through states. The Manch has been distributing cow milk during Iftar. The next
Iftar will be organised in Hyderabad, which Indresh Kumar will attend. He is
likely to attend a similar programme in Kolkata too
asks Supreme Court to reinstate Muslim travel ban
President Donald Trump's administration asked the US Supreme Court on Thursday
to reinstate its controversial ban on travelers from six Muslim majority
nations despite repeated setbacks in the lower courts.
its filing, the government asked the highest court in the land to rule on the
legal standing of Trump's order, appealing a ruling by the federal Fourth
Circuit Court of Appeals that upheld a nationwide block of the travel ban.
have asked the Supreme Court to hear this important case and are confident that
President Trump's executive order is well within his lawful authority to keep
the nation safe and protect our communities from terrorism," Justice
Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said.
president is not required to admit people from countries that sponsor or
shelter terrorism, until he determines that they can be properly vetted and do
not pose a security risk to the United States."
Trump administration's filing came just one week after the Fourth Circuit Court
of Appeals ruling dealt a fresh blow to the government's effort.
court said it "remained unconvinced" that the part of the measure
naming the specific countries -- Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen
-- had "more to do with national security than it does with effectuating
the president's promised Muslim ban."
added that it was unclear whether the government's security concerns outweighed
the plaintiffs' concerns about discrimination.
stakes are indisputably high: the court of appeals concluded that the president
acted in bad faith with religious animus when, after consulting with three
members of his cabinet, he placed a brief pause on entry from six countries
that present heightened risks of terrorism," the government's filing read.
court's decision creates uncertainty about the president's authority to meet
those threats as the Constitution and acts of Congress empower and obligate him
issued his initial travel ban by executive order in January, but that measure
-- which banned entry to nationals from seven countries for 90 days and
suspended the nation's refugee program for 120 days -- was quickly halted by
revised executive order announced in March, meant to address the issues raised
by the federal judges, deleted Iraq from the list and removed an indefinite ban
on Syrian refugees.
earned widespread scorn nevertheless, including from human rights activists and
states led by Democrats.
district court judge in Maryland issued a nationwide block on the ban's core
provision concerning travel from the shortlist of countries, sending the issue
to the Fourth Circuit.
the case's high-profile nature, the full appeals court in Richmond heard the
arguments -- bypassing the usual initial three-judge panel -- for the first
time in a quarter of a century.
of the court's 15 active judges took part. Two recused themselves over
potential conflicts of interest.
Iraq, ISIS seals off area around symbolic mosque in Mosul
militants have blocked the area around a highly symbolic mosque in Mosul’s Old City
where the group’s leader made his first and only public appearance in 2014, a
resident said Thursday.
move came as US-backed Iraqi forces are pushing to recapture the city’s
militants have ordered families living near al-Nuri mosque - also known as the
Great Mosque - to leave their houses and sealed all the roads leading to it,
said the resident who lives in the ISIS-held sections of Mosul.
Bakr al-Baghdadi delivered a Friday sermon in al-Nuri mosque in 2014 after IS
seized almost a third of Iraq and declared an Islamic “caliphate” on territory
it controlled in Iraq and neighboring Syria.
iconic 840-year-old “Crooked Minaret,” which leans somewhat like Italy’s Tower
of Pisa, survived destruction by ISIS militants as residents formed a human
chain to protect it when the militants came to blow it up. The extremists
demolished dozens of historic and archaeological sites in and around Mosul,
saying they promote idolatry.
militants are not moving in groups anymore, we see one or two from time to time
in the streets as a majority of them are moving through the houses, using the
holes they made in the walls,” he told The Associated Press, speaking on
condition of anonymity for fear for his safety.
to UN estimates, more than 100,000 people are still trapped in their houses in
IS-held areas. Mosul's Old City is an ancient district of narrow alleyways and
tightly packed homes, two main challenges to security forces.
are dying slowly with no water and no food,” the resident said of the
deteriorated situation in their areas.
on Thursday, the UN special mission to Iraq said violence killed at least 354
civilians and wounded 470 others in Iraq last month. Of those, there were 160
civilians killed and 52 wounded in Nineveh province, where Mosul is provincial
Iraqi government last October launched a wide-scale military offensive to
recapture Mosul and the surrounding areas, with various Iraqi military, police
and paramilitary forces taking part in the operation. The city’s eastern half
was declared liberated in January, and the push for the city’s western section,
separated from the east by the Tigris River, began the following month. Since
then, the ISIS hold on Mosul has shrunk to just a handful of neighborhoods in
and around the Old City district.
least seven civilians were killed and 23 wounded by ISIS mortar shells as they
tried to flee Mosul’s militant-controlled Zanjili district on Thursday, Iraqi
is part of the enclave that remains in the hands of ISIS in the northern Iraqi
city, alongside the Old City center and the Medical City hospitals complex.
Iraqi government forces retook eastern Mosul in January and began a new push on
Saturday to capture the enclave where about 200,000 people are trapped,
regularly dropping leaflets telling families to flee.
wounded from Zanjili were taken to a field clinic, a police officer told
Reuters, adding that more people could have been killed while trying to flee.
They were part of the first group of civilians who have managed to escape.
dozen other civilians managed to reach government-held lines unhurt, using the
same exit route, the officer said.
population in ISIS-held enclave live in harrowing conditions, running low on
food, water and medicine, and with limited access to hospitals, the United
Nations said on Sunday.
militants began moving their prisoners out of the Medical City district as
Iraqi forces advanced on them, two residents speaking by phone said, asking not
to be identified.
used basements in the Medical City as jails for former army and police officers
and also people violating a code of conduct which forbids such activities as
selling cigarettes and smoking.
militants ordered dozens of families living in Zanjili district to move into
the Old City to prevent them escaping towards the Iraqi forces, a resident told
Reuters on Wednesday.
Mosul offensive, now in its eighth month, has taken much longer than expected,
with Iraqi government advances slowed by the need to avoid civilian casualties.
fall of the city would, in effect, mark the end of the Iraqi half of the
“caliphate” declared in 2014 over parts of Iraq and Syria by ISIS leader Abu
Bakr al-Baghdadi, in speech from a historic mosque in Mosul’s old city.
Syria, Kurdish forces backed by US-air strikes are besieging ISIS forces in the
city of Raqqa, the militants' de facto capital in that country.
militants have been countering the offensive with suicide car and motorbike
bombs, snipers, booby-traps and mortar fire.
car bomb has exploded in the predominantly Shia city of Qatif in Saudi Arabia's
Eastern Province, with initial reports of casualties.
blast took place on Thursday, Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya television reported,
without giving any details on casualties.
affiliated to Saudi Shia Muslims said two people were killed in the bombing
that happened near Qatif’s Sheikh Hussein al-Omran Mosque. They said the
explosive-packed car went off after it came under RPG fire.
explosion was very huge," a witness told AFP, adding that armored and
other police vehicles sealed off the scene of the bombing after the explosion.
and photos posted on social media showed a vehicle engulfed in flames and black
smoke rising around it. There were also images showing at least one charred
body lying beside the vehicle.
group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.
terrorists have killed more than 40 Shia Muslims since the Takfiri group began
a campaign of bombings and shootings in Eastern Province in 2014.
has witnessed anti-regime protests since 2011, with demonstrators demanding
free speech, release of political prisoners, and an end to economic and
of Ahmad Abdu and Jeish Aswad al-Sharqiyeh terrorist groups, affiliated to the
US-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA), declared that they have started military
operations against the army soldiers.
operations were launched after the army troops could liberate 5,000km of Syrian
territories of Badiyeh region in their massive military operations codenamed
sources reported on Monday that simultaneous with the rapid advances of the
Syrian Army troops towards al-Tanf border-crossing the US-led coalition
warplanes dropped thousands of leaflets over the army-controlled region calling
on them to retreat from Southern Syria.
sources said following the Syrian army's advances towards al-Tanf
border-crossing and their arrival in al-Shahmi region along the
Damascus-Baghdad highway, the US-led coalition warplanes dropped thousands of
leaflets, warning the Syrian units deployed in positions 55km away from al-Tanf
to pull their forces back towards Zaza region.
the Syrian Army troops fortified their positions in Syria's Badiyeh in order to
get ready for launching the next phase of their military operations against
terrorists and sealing the border with Iraq.
military source confirmed that the Syrian army troops have been fortifying
their positions along battlefronts towards al-Tanf border-crossing region,
adding that the arm men, meantime, have restored security to regions near the
Palmyra city up to Zaza triangle and its Northern direction, stablishing
security to regions 30km away from al-Tanf.
sources also said that the Hashd al-Shaabi (Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces)
is ready to fight against ISIL along with the Syrian Army troops to free the
strategic al-Tanf border-crossing.
sources said that the SDF forces have held talks with the ISIL to encourage the
militants to withdraw from Sad al-Rashid area as well as the towns of
al-Mansourah and Hanidah in Western Raqqa without any resistance, and move
added that the talks were held after the SDF forces fully surrounded the gates
of the two towns.
indicated that Washington prefers to occupy Raqqa immediately without major
casualties on the US-backed forces. Also, if the ISIL leaves Raqqa without any
clashes, the US will not need the SDF to occupy the city and the territories
can be filled with other terrorist groups which are called by the US as
Russian Defense Ministry announced in a statement on Thursday that the ISIL
militants continue to cross the Euphrates River in Syria from their stronghold
of Raqqa despite being encircled by Kurdish and US-led coalition forces.
the same time, the SDF stopped its offensive, resulting in ruptures in the
ISIL's ring of encirclement. Using this, the terrorists cross the Euphrates and
seek to transfer their formations in the southern direction of Syria," it
command of the Russian grouping of forces in the Syrian Arab Republic will
continue to take all necessary measures to prevent the breakthrough of the ISIL
units from Raqqa to the provinces of Homs and Hama," it added.
to Moscow, Russia’s Aerospace Forces thwarted two attempts by ISIL to break
through to Palmyra from Raqqa in the past week.
first convoy of terrorists from Raqqa heading to Palmyra was destroyed by the
Russian Aerospace Forces on May 25. IS militants made another attempt to break
through to the Palmyra area on the night of May 29 to 30. Three motorcades left
Raqqa under the cover of darkness and took several routes southward," the
ministry said in a statement.
sources said that 7 civilians were killed in al-Jame al-Qadim district of Raqqa
by the US warplanes.
US fighter jets had also last week pounded the villages of al-Baroudeh and
Dabsi Afnan in Western Raqqa, killing 18 civilians.
chief James Mattis has recently said that the US is “accelerating the tempo” of
the fight against ISIL, and that civilian deaths should be anticipated as a
“fact of life”.
comments came after new figures from war monitor the Syrian Observatory for
Human Rights found that the last four-week period was the deadliest for Syrian
civilians on record since the US-led coalition bombing campaign began in 2014.
UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O'Brien announced that over 100 Syrian
civilians have been killed as a result of the airstrikes of the US-led
international anti-terrorist coalition in the provinces of Raqqa and Deir Ezzur
in recent weeks.
on reports, since the first days of 2017 hundreds of civilians have been killed
in the US-led coalition's airstrikes in Syria and Iraq.
US army had previously claimed that only 220 civilians were killed in the air
attacks of the coalition under its command in Syria and Iraq since 2014.
US command also noted that it could not investigate all reports of possible
civilian casualties using “traditional investigative methods,” which involves
interviewing witnesses and examining the site of the strike.
the coalition interviewed pilots and servicemen that took part in combat
missions to draw results. The US command also reviewed strike surveillance
videos and analyzed government and non-governmental organizations’ traditional
and social media content.
the meantime, Iraq Body Count's website disclosed that 2,316 civilians were
killed in air raids of the so-called anti-ISIL coalition only in Iraq since
September 1, 2014 till September 1, 2016.
US army declared estimates of 220 casualties fall far below the number voiced
by some monitoring groups.
Airwars monitoring group, reckoned that at least 2,463 civilians have been
killed by coalition air strikes.
International’s figures sharply contradict Washington’s assessment as well.
fear the US-led coalition is significantly underestimating the harm caused to
civilians in its operations in Syria,” said Lynn Maalouf, Deputy Director for
Research at Amnesty International’s Beirut regional office.
Military Times investigation had also revealed that the US Central Command also
misled the public when it failed to account for nearly 6,000 strikes dating
back to 2014, when the US-led coalition launched its first airstrikes against
ISIL terrorist targets.
October, a senior politician and member of Syria's Democratic Union blasted the
wrong reports given out by different US and world bodies on the number of the
civilian victims of the US airstrikes on Syria, disclosing that Washington's
air assaults on his country claimed the lives of over 5,000 civilians since
recent accusation leveled by Amnesty International against the US-led coalition
for its reckless attitude towards civilian lives in its operations since the
second half of 2014 is right, but this report mentions wrong figures for the
relevant death toll," Mohammad Khalaf Qandil, a senior politician and
member of Syria’s Democratic Union, said.
reiterated that the number of the civilian casualties of the US-led airstrikes
in the last two years was by no means any less than 5,000.
Syrian soldiers could retake control of the village of al-Far in the
Southwestern parts of Maskanah after clashes with the ISIL terrorists.
on field reports, Maskanah is now encircled by pro-gov't forces via the
Northern, Western and Eastern directions.
the Syrian army's front line positions overlook Maskanah-Tabaqa-Raqqa road
which is now the only remaining way for the ISIL militants to withdraw from the
reports from Eastern Aleppo also said that a large number of ISIL members have
fled Maskanah to save their lives, adding that they have planted dozens of
mines in the region to slow down the Syrian army's advance and the town's
Syrian army troops, backed up by the country's Air Force, had launched
anti-ISIL operation in Eastern Aleppo on Wednesday too and managed to capture
more strategic regions en route to the town of Maskanah, the terrorist group's
last stronghold in the province.
army units engaged in hours of fierce clashes with ISIL and managed to recapture
the town of al-Alwah after inflicting major losses on the terrorists.
military source said that the army soldiers are advancing towards Maskanah from
the three Western, Southern and Northern directions, adding that blocking
ISIL's supply lines to Maskanah to prevent transfer of arms and fresh forces is
the main objective of the army's multi-front operation in the region.
US-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) members said that 6 fighter jets launched
airstrikes against their positions while they were advancing towards Zaza
checkpoint near the town of al-Sab Bayar, adding that the heavy airsrikes
brought their advance to a halt.
militants stressed that the air raids were staged by the Russian air force,
arguing that Syrian pilots fly at lower altitudes.
al-Haj, the spokesman of FSA-affiliated Aswad al-Sharqiyeh terrorist group,
also said that the Russian forces targeted his comrades after they broke the
first defense lines of the Syrian army in the region and as they were
approaching Zaza checkpoint.
reports said that the Syrian fighter jets also participated in the operations
sources said on Tuesday that the Syrian Army troops fortified their positions
in Syria's Badiyeh (desert) in order to get ready for launching the next phase
of their military operations against terrorists and sealing the border with
sources confirmed that the Syrian army troops have been fortifying their
positions along battlefronts towards al-Tanf border-crossing region, adding
that the arm men, meantime, have restored security to regions near the Palmyra
city up to Zaza triangle and its Northern direction, stablishing security to
regions 30km away from al-Tanf.
sources said that the army soldiers have pinned down terrorists behind their
positions in Eastern Qalamoun so strictly that the militants cannot prevent the
army's advances in the region.
source further added that the army men will soon do the same with terrorist
groups in Sweida countryside.
fresh forces joined their comrades on Wednesday as the Syrian army had earlier
dispatched two other convoys of soldiers to Dara'a.
of Syrian forces and a large batch of military supplies were sent to Dara'a
province as it seems that pro-gov't forces are preparing to start a new
anti-terrorism operation in the region.
to military sources, the pro-government forces are now in the preparation stage
for a special operation to completely liberate the Dara'a city and recapture
Jumrak border crossing to Jordan.
sources reported on Tuesday that unprecedented angst has covered the entire
terrorist-held regions in Dara'a city after arrival of a large number of fresh
Syrian Army soldiers and armored vehicles in the Southern city.
sources affiliated to the terrorist groups said that arrival of a huge number
of army men and armored vehicles in Dara'a city has pushed the militants in
different neighborhoods of the city into deep fear.
added that the terrorists are worried about the army plan to recapture
al-Manshiyeh neighborhood and Dara'a al-Balad district in the Southern part of
to a report on Monday, a long convoy of the Syrian Army vehicles from Damascus
headed to the provincial capital of Dara’a province.
army, supported by the air force, repelled an offensive launched by the
al-Nusra Front (also known as Fatah al-Sham Front or the Levant Liberation
Board) last month, killing a large number of militants, including several commanders.
Syrian soldiers repulsed the terrorists' attacks against their positions in
al-Manshiyeh and Sajneh in Dara'a city in Southern Syria after heavy clashes
with the militants.
clashes left a large number of terrorists dead and wounded and destroyed one of
Karamatullah K Ghori
long, Saudi Arabia has had a special status in the perception of Pakistanis,
high and low alike.
liking bordering on infatuation for Saudi Arabia is anchored in the common
Muslim’s belief that it’s the cradle of Islam—the official religion of Pakistan
as enshrined in its constitution.
this tenet of faith has been added on to with a political dimension since the
Kingdom’s ruling royals arrogated to themselves the highly-vaunted title of
‘Guardians of the Two Holy Cities’ of Islam, in Mecca and Medina.
makes the haughty Saudi royals, with all their well-known foibles and
angularities, as people who should be looked up to as the gate-keepers of the
‘kingdom of faith.’ That, at the very least, is the myth informing an average
who, amongst the Pakistanis, should claim to know the Saudi royals better than
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, with his well-earned fame of being their blue-eyed
that his repute of a Saudi hireling is without foundation.
were the ones who, back in 1999, literally saved his skin and aborted his date
with the gallows when Musharraf, who had overthrown him and usurped political
power for himself, was on the verge of signing his death warrant.
Musharraf was coaxed by Nawaz’s Saudi mentors to let go of him in a deal that
sent Nawaz into political wilderness for 10 years. The Saudis guaranteed the
deal and whisked their ward off to a plush exile in Jeddah, where he was
mollycoddled like one of the thousands of Saudi princes.
that experience of royal treatment under his belt Nawaz must have had a gruelling
time at the Summit in Riyadh, last May 21, where he was, at best, given the
run-of-the-mill protocol of one of the ‘also attended’ leaders from 50-plus
was no special billing for Nawaz at the Saudi-sponsored, first-ever, Arab-Islamic-American
Summit organised at the behest of the Saudi royals at their capital, Riyadh.
Trump, out on his maiden overseas voyage as the new occupant of the White
House, was the star of the show. It was his welcoming party hosted by the Saudis,
who also summoned their loyal friends from the global Muslim comity of nations,
or Ummah, to be there, in tow behind them, to greet and pay their own obeisance
to Trump. Calling it a summit was just a foil; it was more in the style of a
Roman emperor out on a safari to receive pledges of loyalty and fidelity from
his tributary vassals and surrogates.
munificent Saudi hosts, with extra-deep pockets, did indeed make the gilded
assembly seem like a court of tributaries by pledging to purchase American arms
and ammunitions to the hefty tune of $110 billion dollars—the largest weapons
sale in US history to any one country.
had more reason to smile all the way back to Washington when his Saudi minions
also sweetened his pot by pledging another $260 billion in investments into
American infrastructure projects.
wouldn’t have minded being counted amongst acolytes of America—Pakistan, in
fact, is in a double jeopardy by being a known Saudi acolyte too—had he been
given a chance to express his solidarity with the Saudis and their American
friends out loud at the conclave.
what cut him up, and Pakistanis at large, was that he was only conspicuous by
his absence at the speakers’ podium.
salt into Pakistani wounds was the calculated Saudi affront of giving the
podium to the president of Indonesia, supposedly representing the non-Arab part
of the Muslim Ummah.
Pakistan should’ve no room for grouse at Indonesia’s honour to speak for the
non-Arab Muslims. Indonesia is, on the basis of population, the largest Muslim
government has denounced a Supreme Court judge's statement likening the
attorney general to a representative of the 'Sicilian mafia', saying that the
comments were "against the code of conduct" of the apex court.
comments made by the judge damaged Pakistan's reputation and integrity on an
international forum," read a statement attributed to a government
spokesperson, issued Thursday evening.
the opening of a case against PML-N Senator Nehal Hashmi regarding his outburst
against the judiciary, the Supreme Court bench hearing the case had a
particularly fiery exchange with Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf.
Mr Attorney General: it seems that your government has joined the Sicilian
Mafia," Justice Sheikh Azmat quipped as he addressed the AG on Thursday.
have faced military dictatorships, but even they did not dare threaten our
children," Justice Afzal said to the AG. "Our children are being
threatened under your government," he observed.
"deep regret" over the remarks, the government spokesperson said the
SC judges levelled "unfounded allegations" against the government.
the handout issued by the government bore no letterhead or signature, while the
government spokesperson in mention was not identified with a name.
prime minister's actions against a PML-N member were neglected during the
hearing," the spokesperson's statement said.
spokesperson added that records available in print and social media 'proved'
that the government swiftly expressed its anger when Hashmi's inflammatory
speech came to light, which showed that the government's policies were not in
line with Hashmi's remarks.
spokesperson also noted that Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting
Marriyum Aurangzeb had clarified that Hashmi's remarks had no link with PML-N
and its policies.
PETERSBURG - Russian President Vladimir Putin asserted on Thursday that
Russia's "trust-based" relations with India - which he described as
one of its "closest friends" - will not be diluted by Moscow's
growing ties with Pakistan and other countries.
an interaction, Putin told Indian news agency, PTI, that there is no other
country in the world that Russia has "deep cooperation" in delicate
areas such as missiles, and it benefits from cooperation with India.
at the same time, Putin sidestepped a question on Kashmir, and said "it is
up to you" to assess whether Pakistan is fuelling terrorism in the Indian
state. "But no matter where the threat comes, it is unacceptable and we
will always support India in its fight against terrorism," he added.
further said that just because Russia has a "special relationship"
with India, it means India should be restricted in having contacts with other
"partnering countries. This is ridiculous."
do not have any tight (military) relations with Pakistan. The US, do you have
(close relations)?" he said, speaking through an interpreter. "And
for sure our relations with Pakistan have no impact on trade between India and
around a rectangular table with a select group of global news agency editors,
the 64-year-old Russian leader took questions one by one on subjects related
not only of interest to the editors' countries but also of wider global
concerns such as Syria, US President Donald Trump and the future of an emerging
is a huge country of more than 1 billion population. Russia is also a huge
country. Both Russia and India have a lot of context and mutual interests. We
are respectful toward all Indian interests," he said, citing the deep
defence relations between the two countries.
don't think we should push figures here in our military cooperation because it
has an unprecedented level in its volume and quality. (But) there is no other
country in the world that we have such deep cooperation in delicate areas such
as missiles, and we benefit with cooperation with India. And this results from
our trust-based relations with India," he said.
- Pakistan on Thursday reiterated it will adopt a balanced policy in line with
the recommendations of the Parliament with regard to its participation in
Saudi-led Islamic Military Coalition (IMC).
a policy statement in the Senate, Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs
Sartaj Aziz assured the upper house that Pakistan would follow a
balanced-policy approach once all member countries themselves decide which
activity they want to carry out.
activities, he said, include political consultation, intelligence sharing,
capacity building, counter-narrative and military cooperation. Aziz said
Pakistan maintains a balanced position on regional conflicts and fully supports
Saudi Arabia's territorial integrity and protects the sanctity of Harmain
to a call-attention notice of Senator Farhatullah Babar, he said the 34-country
alliance was announced in December 2015, but later it was redefined as Islamic
Military Coalition as clarified by the Saudi foreign minister.
moved the call-attention notice regarding statements of Saudi authorities that
the Islamic Military Alliance will not restrict only to terrorist organisations
like ISIS and Al-Qaeda but also take action against the rebel groups posing
threat to any member country, on the request of that country, as reported in
the media. Aziz said it had been decided that programmes and mechanism of IMC
will be decided during a meeting of the defence ministers of the member
countries, which has not yet happened.
clarified that as and when the terms of reference (ToRs) are finalised, they
will be presented before the house prior to their ratification by the
rejected the impression that any statement from Saudi authorities can be the
terms of reference. He said the mandate of the IMC is to counter terrorism and
any statement from a Saudi dignitary will not affect Pakistan’s foreign policy.
The adviser made it clear that Pakistan will never deploy its troops outside
assured the house that the alliance will not affect Pakistan’s policy, adding
it is not correct to say that the coalition is against Iran.
Babar said it is becoming apparent that the Saudi Arabia-led military alliance,
headed by former army chief Raheel Sharif, is against Iran and asked the
government if it is going to recall the retired general. “We were told that the
alliance is against terrorism, but it appears it is against Iran,” Babar said
during a Senate session.
this week, the PPP senator had placed the call-attention notice on the agenda
for Thursday’s Senate session to draw the attention of the prime minister’s
adviser on foreign affairs to the media reports that quoted Saudi authorities
as saying the alliance will not restrict its activities to terrorist
organisations Islamic State (IS), but will also take action against rebel
groups posing a threat to any of its member countries on the request from the
when the cat is out of the bag, will the government call Raheel Sharif back?”
Babar asked, pointing out that one of the conditions of Sharif’s appointment as
head of the alliance was that he could be recalled at any time. He further
asked why the government had issued a no-objection certificate to Sharif before
the alliance’s ToRs were finalised.
king of Saudi Arabia has said the alliance is against Iran,” Rabbani said. He
wondered whether the government had disowned Sharif because the stance of the
alliance towards Iran is contradictory to Pakistan’s own relations with the
reiterated Babar’s questions, asking whether the government had recalled the
former army chief. “Has the government disowned Raheel Sharif?” the chairman
asked, adding the alliance’s ToRs should be presented to the Senate once they
are unveiled and prior to their approval from the federal cabinet.
to another call-attention notice moved by Sehar Kamran, Aziz said activities of
India very close to Pakistan’s border in Afghanistan are a source of concern
for Islamabad. He said India continues to support subversive activities in
said the arrest of Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav and reported deaths of some
Indians in the recent blast in Nangarhar province of Afghanistan, which is
close to Pakistan’s border, clearly shows continuing Indian presence in the
neighbouring country, which was orchestrating terrorist attacks in Pakistan.
said this state terrorism by India was condemnable and needed to end forthwith.
He said Pakistan was cognizant of the nefarious designs of New Delhi and was
actively taking complete action in this regard. He affirmed Islamabad has
effectively highlighted Indian interference in Pakistan at the international
- Pakistan Thursday asked Afghanistan to stay away from anti-peace elements who
want to pit the Muslim-majority neighbours against each other, saying blame
game was unhelpful for peace efforts.
a weekly news briefing here, Foreign Office Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said
the Afghan allegations after this week’s terror attack in Kabul were baseless.
reject the baseless allegations. The accusatory approach is unhelpful towards
efforts for peace. Pakistan has suffered from the menace of terrorism and has
made unparalleled sacrifices,” he added.
said Pakistan had done more than any other nation in the world in the fight
against terrorism. “Pakistan has the highest stakes in peace and stability in
Afghanistan. No country gets affected more than Pakistan due to instability in
Afghanistan. Pakistan's commitment to peace and stability in Afghanistan is,
therefore, beyond any doubt,” he added.
spokesperson said it was disappointing that some elements, who had no interest
in peace in Afghanistan and want to damage Pak-Afghan relations, had been
maligning Pakistan for their own agenda. “Pakistan, as the most sincere friend
and well-wisher of Afghan people, has contributed to the Afghan-owned and
Afghan-led peace process, whenever requested,” he said.
Kabul pointed fingers towards Pakistan, Islamabad is set to attend the multilateral
Kabul peace conference next week. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had proposed
the peace conference which is largely seen as an initiative of the United
States. At the June 6 conference – to be participated by the United States,
India, Saudi Arabia, Japan, the United Kingdom, Russia, the United Arab
Emirates, Qatar, Turkey, Germany, France, China, the European Union and the
representatives of the United Nations – Pakistan will get a chance to speak its
mind and hold meetings on the sidelines.
said all recent independent assessments on the situation in Afghanistan
suggested that the factors responsible for the deteriorating security situation
are internal to Afghanistan.
referred to many reports in this regard such as UN's Study of 2014, General
Nicholson's annual assessment report on Afghanistan, published on December 5,
2016 and US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction reports of
reports have amply identified the risks and obstacles in the way to peace and
reconciliation in Afghanistan as internal to Afghanistan. Therefore, mere
rhetoric of blaming others to hide their failures in Afghanistan will not solve
the problem,” he said.
Zakaria said Afghanistan was in war situation
for almost forty years and there were elements active there who are inimical to
vacuum created in Afghanistan due to war has given space to those forces which
do not want to see peace in the neighbouring counrt. What you do not see is the
relationship between the people of the two countries. Millions of Afghans are
currently residing in Pakistan besides the refugees, and thousands have been
travel across the border daily for ages,” he said.
Iran, he said: “We also have a common border and relations are very cordial as
manifested in the exchange of numerous high-level visits from both sides.
Wherever there are common borders, there are issues.”
said there was an institutionalised consultative mechanism called Joint Border
Commission, which meets periodically to review situation at the border and sort
them out amicably.
are criminal gangs involved in drug and human trafficking along the Pak-Iran
border, which are using the route Afghanistan-Pakistan-Iran onward to Europe.
It is not about the failure of foreign policy. You have to understand and fully
comprehend the dynamics and ground realities. Sovereign countries remained
mindful of how they conduct their relations,” he said.
to questions regarding Kashmir dispute, the spokesperson said peace, stability
and development will remain elusive in the region without the resolution of the
outstanding dispute between Pakistan and India.
said India was escalating tension on the border and committing ceasefire
violations in order to divert attention from the Kashmir dispute. He said the
latest Indian unprovoked firing on the line of control resulted in the
martyrdom of two civilians and injuries to seven others.
spokesperson said India was using different tactics to malign the purely
indigenous freedom movement of Kashmiri people. He, however, said India will
never succeed in its attempts as the movement is being led by the Kashmiri
said Pakistan will continue to extend moral, political and diplomatic support
to the Kashmiri people in their just struggle for right to self-determination.
said the world community should play its due role in resolution of Kashmir
dispute in line with the UNSC resolutions.
said India historically had problems with all its neighbours. “The problem is
its hegemonic designs and ambitions. It had also scuttled the South Asian
Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Summit, which was to be held in
Islamabad last year. India continues to
be the problem in South Asia and it has to change its attitude and approach
towards all its neighbours to have peace and development,” he said.
said Pakistan has always called for amicable settlement of disputes between the
countries in this region and beyond in the larger interest of regional peace
and stability. India has double standards when it comes to contentious
issues. “To serve its own interests,
India would not hesitate in violating even the Security Council Resolutions and
International Agreements, which it has signed,” he added.
a question, the spokesperson said China-Pakistan Economic Corridor was a
regional connectivity project which will link the Central Asian states, South
Asia and the Middle East. He made it clear that the project was not against any
other country. He said India itself was inviting investment from different
countries in the areas which are under its illegal occupation or are the
said India was perpetrating and financing terrorism in Pakistan. He added: “We
have caught their agent Kulbhushan Jadhav who has made confession twice in
which he admitted that he was sent by his government to destabilise Pakistan.”
said the Indian media called International Court of Justice’s letter dated May
8, 2017 - the day India filed its petition - to Pakistan as ‘Stay on Kulbhushan
is a lie. ICJ noted that lie. The ICJ stated clearly that its decision on
provisional measures was not concerned with jurisdiction/merits. The Court
considered that Commander Jadhav would not be executed until the full hearing.
This is nothing unusual,” he said.
said irrespective of ICJ’s stay, Commander Jadhav would remain alive, until he
has exhausted the right to request for clemency, initially with the army chief
and later with President of Pakistan.
said suspicions were created regarding Khawar Qureshi’s competence. You may
note that he is consistently rated by the Legal Directories as one of the UK’s
top international lawyers.
was the youngest advocate to appear in the ICJ in 1993 in the Genocide case
(for Bosnia against Serbia). He has undertaken hundreds of cases involving
various international governments (US, Russia, Italy, Kazakhstan to name a few)
before all levels of the English courts, as well as international arbitral
tribunals and the International Court of Justice. He has acted or advised on
matters involving around 80 different jurisdictions. As an English Barrister he
is bound to represent any client without discrimination,” he added.
a US military general’s statement that surge in the troops in Afghanistan will
be a message for Islamabad, he said, Pakistan has continued to emphasise that
“we desire lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan. Pakistan is affected by
instability in Afghanistan more than any other country.”
al-Islam Qaddafi, the son of late Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, spent around 6
years in prison until a Libyan court recently ordered his release.
al-Saghir, the attorney-general of the Ministry of Justice in the Libyan
interim government, said on Tuesday that Saif al-Islam has been released by
power of law. Saif has been the most controversial man in Libya ever since the
revolution which erupted against his father’s rule in 2011.
revolution killed his father and brothers and pushed his family members to flee
the country. However many Libyans and tribes remained loyal to the Qaddafi
regime and although Saif was arrested in November 2011 near the town of Ubari,
south of the country, while he was trying to flee the country, he remained
these people’s hope to restore the regime.
was born in 1972 in Tripoli to Moammar Qaddafi and his second wife Safia
Farkash. He went to study in London and returned home with many liberal ideas
which allowed him to promote the image of the moderate and open man.
was the closest to his father and influenced many decisions and he was viewed
as his father’s heir. People also believed he was capable of achieving reform
and change in the country especially after he defended human rights and
performed charity work.
holds a PhD in Economics from the London School of Economics, and he is fluent
in English and French. His father tasked him with negotiating with
international officials on several matters and he mediated to secure the
release of political detainees in the country.
headed the Qaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation which was
founded in 1998. He was granted the rank of major in the Libyan army although
he did not join any military institution. When the revolution erupted, he led
an army battalion to fight the rebels but was eventually defeated by NATO
November 2011 and as he was in the desert traveling to flee to Niger, a
Zintan-militia captured him. The Appeal Court in Tripoli ordered executing him
for murdering protestors and abuse of power but the Zintan-militia refused to
hand him over. He then benefitted from the general amnesty law issued by the
parliament in 2015 but he remained imprisoned in Zintan because the
International Criminal Court still pursued him.
read: Exclusive: Qaddafi’s cousin condemns death sentence of Saif al-Islam
his time in prison, the ICC sought to have him transferred to try him for war
crimes and crimes against humanity but Libya refused to hand him over. During
this time, Tripoli’s court held several sessions to try him for corruption and
war crimes but he did not attend the sessions for security reasons.
all the charges against him, Saif al-Islam managed to become free again. His
presence is a matter of controversy in Libya as some think it’s important for
him to be present in the political scene while others don’t.
tribes which fought by his father’s side see him as Libya’s savior and the
atmosphere for his return to political work has been prepared by establishing a
party for him to lead.
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was quick to launch air strikes on militants in
Libya in response to a deadly attack on Coptic Christians in Egypt - but the
attacks do not seem to be targeting those responsible.
response was popular with many Egyptians. The country's state-owned and private
news media celebrated it as swift justice, but the president has been vague
about exactly who he is attacking.
strikes have been directed at Islamist groups other than Islamic State, which
claimed responsibility for Friday's massacre of dozens in the southern province
of Minya, and seem to be intended to shore up Sisi's allies in eastern Libya.
attacks in Minya were claimed by Islamic State, and there are Islamic State
elements active in Libya, but the reports coming indicate Cairo is targeting
other groups," said H.A. Hellyer, senior nonresident fellow at the
any case, analysts say the strikes will not do much against Islamists in Cairo,
Sinai and Upper Egypt, where they have had a stronghold since the 1990s and
have been attacking tourists, Copts and government officials.
the camps in Libya is seen as a diversion for a failure to defeat Islamists
easier to strike a terrorist camp in Libya by air than it is to clean up
serious problems inside Egypt; sectarianism, radicalization, that led to this
and other attacks," said Michele Dunne, director of Carnegie's Middle East
the horrific terrorism that is happening inside Egypt has purely domestic
drivers and probably would be happening if Islamic State did not exist. It is
not all that different from the home-grown terrorism Egypt experienced in the
1990s, before Al Qaeda or Islamic State even existed," she said.
and Libyan officials said strikes had been launched on camps and ammunition stores
belonging to the Derna Mujahideen Shura Council (DMSC). Areas targeted include
the western entrance to Derna, Dahr al-Hamar in the south, and al-Fatayeh, a
hilly area about 20 km (12 miles) from the city.
the DMSC has never been involved in attacks outside Libya and in fact mostly
limits its activities to Derna, rarely fighting in larger conflicts within
Libya, according to Mohamed Eljarh, an Atlantic Council political analyst in
group has denied taking part in attacks inside Egypt.
many suggest the air strikes had been planned in advance to shore up support
for Sisi's main Libyan ally, Khalifa Haftar and his self-styled Libyan National
Army (LNA), and that the Minya massacre was used as a pretext to launch them.
loyal to Haftar, a military strongman like Sisi, have long been fighting the
DMSC, cutting off supply routes to the city and hitting it with occasional air
strikes. Despite the LNA's siege, the military situation in Derna has been in
stalemate for months.
has also carried out strikes in Jufra, where the LNA has been fighting
Islamists who fled Benghazi as well as forces linked to the U.N.-backed
government in Tripoli.
LNA lost dozens of men there in a surprise attack on an air base earlier in
May, but has since consolidated control.
Minya attack was a catalyst for those inside the Egyptian government and
military who are in favor of military intervention in Libya, said Mokhtar Awad,
who researches extremism at George Washington University.
is Egypt taking action not because of the Minya attack but ... to drive out as
many extremists as possible from the east," he said.
ARE ALL TERRORISTS'
says it does not target specific groups but that it goes after all militants
who could be a threat to its security. A military spokesman told state media on
Monday that all the groups targeted have the same ideology as those who carried
out the Minya massacre, which is reason enough to bomb them.
are not important for us, they are all terrorists. Those who carried out the
Minya operation do not necessarily have to be in these camps but their
followers are," an Egyptian intelligence source told Reuters.
also said it was likely the air strikes has been planned in advance and that
the Minya attack was an opportunity to carry them out, as part of a larger
policy towards supporting Haftar, with Egypt bombing groups that constitute the
strongest opposition to him.
sees any militant activity in eastern Libya, which is near its border, as a threat
to its national security. One of the reasons Sisi has supported Haftar since
2014 is to ensure that all Islamists are driven out of eastern Libya.
is getting more involved now because of improved relations with Washington,
Eljarh said. He believes U.S President Donald Trump has given him the green
light to fight jihadists in Libya and elsewhere.
Libyan Government of National Accord has closed Dar al-Ifta, which was headed
by extremist Mufti Sadiq al-Ghariani, and confiscated all its contents.
was issuing constant fatwas that incite violence against the national army and
politicians. He is believed to have Qatar’s financial and political support.
clashes were not limited between the pro-government of accord forces and
al-Ghaweel unrecognized government in the capital of Libya Tripoli; the clashes
reached Dar al-Ifta headed by Libyan extremist Mufti Sadiq al-Ghariani, who is
accused of having ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and other extremist
is known for his provocations against the Libyan National Army and the Presidential
Council of Government of National Accord.
Libyans called Ghariani as the Mufti of Qatar due to his constant
justifications and defenses regarding Doha’s intervention in the Libyan
conflict and its unlimited support for extremist militias.
was also known for supporting several extremist militias in Libya, namely the
Military Council in Tripoli, led by Abdel Hakim Belhadj, the Libyan Fighting
Group led by Ali al-Sallabi, the recently banned Ansar al-Sharia that was
dismantled recently, the Benghazi Revolutionary Shura Council and the
Mujahideen of Derna Shura Council.
Imam of Ikun-Ekiti Central Mosque in Moba Local Government Area of Ekiti State,
is currently at the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado-Ekiti,
receiving treatments after he was attacked by masquerades Tuesday night.
faithful had gathered in the mosque to break their Ramadan fast in preparation
for the evening prayer by 7p.m., when the masquerades struck.
masquerades attacked the worshippers with cudgels, stone and iron, inflicting
injuries on them.
five of the worshippers were said to have sustained varying degrees of injury.
hoodlums also vandalised two cars parked at the mosque's premises.
Imam, Alhaji Abdul-Rasak Abubakar-Bello, who was rushed to the Teaching
Hospital, Ado-Ekiti, received stitches on his head.
from his hospital bed, he told Vanguard that the Muslims were held hostage in
the mosque for four hours by the masquerades, who threatened to kill them.
said: "There was no way we could escape because they were waiting for us
outside after initially attacking us inside the mosque with iron rods and
woods. When we succeeded in locking ourselves inside the mosque, they started
throwing stones at us."
accused the Divisional Police Office of ignoring the rescue calls made to him
by the Muslim community.
the Muslim community accused a traditional ruler of masterminding the attack on
at press time, the said monarch neither picked calls nor responded to a text
message sent to him on the attack.
the attack, the National Council of Muslim Youth Organisations, NACOMYO,
accused the king and the police of complicity in the attack on the Muslims.
a statement by the state Coordinator, Tajudeen Ahmed, and the Secretary, Musa
Tijani, NACOMYO stated that the king had earlier warned the Muslims to keep
their women away from the mosque on Tuesday, being the grand finale of their
handler in India to direct terrorist attacks: Intelligence input
DELHI: The central intelligence agencies and police in Punjab and Jammu &
Kashmir are on their toes following an input that a highly trained handler of
Lashkar-e-Taiba from Pakistan, identified as Hanzia Anan, is present in India
to direct attacks against civilian and military targets.
to a fairly specific alert shared with the security forces, Anan's plans could
include parts of Srinagar, Vijaypur railway station in Jammu, industrial areas
in Samba and Bari Brahmana, boys hostel at Jammu Dental College, areas along
Gurdaspur-Brahmana Road to Tibri near the Indian Army camp and Gurdaspur and
Dinanagar in Punjab.
agencies have not been able to establish Anan's location yet but sources said
that he may have sneaked into India recently and could be helped by local
operatives to carry out the attacks.
dental college was affected by protests last year when the national flag was
burnt there following India's loss to West Indies in a T-20 World Cup
semi-final. With regard to Bari Brahmana and Samba industrial areas, sources
said Pakistan-based groups are keen to disrupt economic activities in
J&K.It is not known yet whether the LeT operative came to India alone or
along with other cadres, but the input on his presence has seen security at all
locations being increased and efforts are being made to trace him.
have carried out attacks in Gurdaspur, Udhampur and Pathankot in the recent
past and Punjab police has been asked to remain on alert. The Border Security
Force and Army is also gearing for a difficult season along the international
border and LoC as Pakistan is expected to try and push in as many terrorists as
possible as the snow is melting and it looks to keep law and order in J&K -
as well as Punjab - in a state of disorder ahead of the Amarnath Yatra.
boy back home a week after joining terror outfit
A teenaged Kashmiri boy, who had joined a terror outfit just a week back, is
back home, state police said on Thursday without sharing details.
Mir (19), a student of Degree College Bemina, went missing from his home a week
ago and had reportedly joined a terror outfit.
is at his home, with his people," Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of
police, central Kashmir range, Ghulam Hassan Bhat, told reporters here when
asked about his status.
however, did not share any details whether Mir was arrested or had he
asked, Bhat said, "Why should we tell you whether it was arrest or
recent months, a number of locals have joined terror groups, particularly the
Hizbul Mujahideen outfit.
a resident of Parimpora area on the outskirts of Srinagar, was believed to be
the fifth youth from Srinagar to have joined terror group in the last one year.
DELHI: Defence minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday accused Pakistan of scuttling
the environment that must exist for bilateral talks between the two neighbours
even as he asserted that Kashmir situation is better than is being perceived.
further said that while India has taken several significant steps to ease
tension, Pakistan responded by terror attacks at Pathankot, Uri and mutilating
the bodies of Indian soldiers.
government of India has taken significant steps to ease the situation in the
past... The fact that our Prime Minister dropped in at Lahore at a social
function in Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's family, were all steps intended to
ease the tension.
each one of these have been responded by, let us say, a Pathankot or a Uri or
by mutilation of two of our soldiers. And, therefore, that environment which
must exist for a talk has been successfully prevented by Pakistan,"
the media on completion of three years of the Modi government, Jaitley said the
Indian Army and the BSF are "dominating" the Line of Control (LoC)
irrespective of where the troubles are being created by foreign insurgents or
Indian Army had last week said it launched "punitive fire assaults"
on Pakistani positions across the LoC, inflicting "some damage", days
after two of Indian soldiers were beheaded.
had also released a video of the military action which showed some structures
in a forested area crumbling in a heap under the impact of repeated shelling.
that the situation in challenging in South Kashmir, he said it is normal in the
rest of the state and recently the two-day meeting of the GST Council was held
Mujahideen (IM) co-founder Yasin Bhatkal on Thursday denied before a court his
involvement in serial blasts in Delhi in September 2008 that claimed 26 lives
and left 135 people injured. Bhatkal told Additional Sessions Judge Siddharth
Sharma the allegation by the Special Cell of Delhi Police that he had hatched a
conspiracy for carrying out the blasts, was unsustainable.
refuted the allegation by the police that he purchased nails and aluminium
sheets from a hardware shop at Udupi in Karnataka while his associate Asadullah
Akhtar had bought cycle ball bearings from Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh which were
used for the blasts.
police have yet not produced any forensic evidence that proves that the nails
and other materials allegedly purchased from Karnataka and ball bearings from
Lucknow were similar to those used for the blasts,” his counsel M S Khan told
two separate charge sheets were filed in connection with the blasts at Karol
Bagh, which claimed 21 lives and left 64 injured, and the twin explosions at
Greater Kailash here. Nine people were injured in the twin blasts at M-block
market in Greater Kailash-I.
police had said that Bhatkal and Akhtar, along with others, were part of
conspiracy to carry out the blasts at several places in Delhi on September 13,
2008. They had claimed that the accused had waged war against India by carrying
out the terror attacks.
charge sheets alleged the offences were punishable under various sections of
the Indian Penal Code, the Explosive Substances Act, the Unlawful Activities
(Prevention) Act and the Information Technology Act. Bhatkal was arrested by
the National Investigation Agency from Indo-Nepal border on the night of August
28, 2013. Later, Delhi Police took his custody in blast case at Greater
Hizbul Mujahideen militant and five Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operatives were
arrested on Thursday from two separate places in Kashmir, news agency PTI
reported. Claiming to have busted a module of the LeT, police said that the
five operatives of the outfit were apprehended during checking of vehicles at
Khusarpora Hajin axis in Bandipora in north Kashmir. Police added that ten hand
grenades, two AK rifle magazines and 27 AK rounds were recovered from their
to PTI, an official said that during preliminary investigation, the accused
claimed they were working for LeT as “over-ground workers” (OGWs). A case has
been registered regarding the same.
Suhaib Ahmad Bhat, the alleged Hizbul Mujahideen militant was apprehended by
the security forces from Manigam area of Qazigund. An official said that
security forces recovered one pistol, one pistol magazine and eight pistol rounds
from Bhat’s possession, who is a resident of Chursoo Awantipora in Pulwama
Indian Army has also released a list of the 12 most-wanted terrorists active in
Jammu and Kashmir. The list includes top Lashkar-e-Taiba (LET) and Hizbul
Mujahideen (HM) Commanders.
on Thursday, two militants who belonged to Hizbul Mujahideen and were behind an
attack on a police party, were killed by security forces in an encounter in
Baramulla district’s Sopore area on Thursday.
Ohio (AP) — The man responsible for a car-and-knife attack at Ohio State
University last year left behind a torn-up note in which he urged his family to
stop being "moderate" Muslims and said he was upset by fellow Muslims
being oppressed in Myanmar, The Associated Press has learned.
Razak Ali Artan also told his parents in the note, reassembled by
investigators, that he "will intercede for you in the day of
Judgment," according to the investigative case file of the attack obtained
through an open records request.
family stop being moderate muslims," says a transcription of the
handwritten note made by investigators and found by Artan's bed in his family's
Ummah we are not moderate muslims, we are muslims," the note continues,
using the word referring to the Muslim community.
also wrote: "In the end, I would like to say that I pledge my allegiance
to 'dawla,'" an Arabic word that means state or country and a likely
reference to the Islamic State group. "May Allah bless them."
concludes by saying he's leaving his property to his beloved "but yet
family was mystified by that note, which caused them a great deal of anguish,
said Bob Fitrakis, a Columbus attorney representing the family. To this day,
the family has no idea why Artan took those actions, he said Thursday.
family is mystified by what happened. They're absolutely clueless,"
18-year-old Artan was shot and killed by an Ohio State officer moments after
driving into a crowd on Nov. 28 and then attacking people with a knife.
records show Artan asked to drop all his classes at Ohio State on Nov. 16,
saying he had "No regrets whatsoever."
a series of Facebook rants previously reported, Artan nursed grievances against
the US. "If you want us Muslims to stop carrying lone wolf attacks, then
make peace" with the Islamic State group, he warned in those posts in
which he also railed against U.S. intervention in Muslim lands.
posted those comments at 9:49 a.m. on Nov. 28, just three minutes before the
attack began, according to an unclassified FBI report showing the time line of
the attack that was released through the open records request.
of his brothers saw those comments and tried too late to contact him, thinking
maybe it was a joke or his account had been hacked, Fitrakis said.
timeline and other FBI records also show that Artan went to Washington, D.C. a
few days before the attack where he also made unidentified purchases at a
Walmart. The family didn't realize he'd traveled there, has no idea why he
went, and urges anyone with information about that trip to contact authorities,
day before the attack, Artan left his job at a nearby Home Depot, saying he was
tired, a co-worker told investigators. This was unusual, "as he never left
early from work," the co-worker said. Artan had told the co-worker several
times that fall he was disgruntled with school and wanted to drop out,
according to the records.
morning of the attack, Artan bought a set of knives, a tomato and a cucumber at
7:20 a.m. at a Walmart on the west side of Columbus.
"suspect was pleasant and very polite during the checkout process,"
the Walmart cashier later told investigators. Artan wanted to buy a chicken
breast as well but didn't have enough money, the file said.
7:50 a.m., Artan dropped his sister at a high school near their home on the
city's west side. He paid a brother $40 he owed him around 9:30 a.m., when the
brother last saw him, according to FBI records.
arriving on campus, Artan drove his brother's Honda Civic over a curb and into
a crowd of people and crashed it into a planter. Artan then got out and started
slashing at people with an eight-inch knife, records show. In a coincidence, a
nearby building had been evacuated because of a reported gas leak.
going to . . . kill you," Artan told one female student, using an
expletive, the records show.
officer Alan Horujko, on the scene because of the gas leak, saw the crash, then
chased Artan as he slashed at people, yelling at Artan to drop the weapon,
according to Horujko's account of the attack. Artan eventually stopped and came
toward the officer, according to the report.
suspect was looking directly at me as he charged toward me, but I could see no
expression or emotion in his eyes," Horujko said in his account. "I
believed the suspect was going to attack me with the knife, and I was in fear
for my life."
shot and killed Artan moments later. His actions were cleared by a grand jury.
came to the U.S. in 2014 as the child of a refugee. He had been living in
Pakistan from 2007 to 2014.
believe Artan's attack was partly inspired by an American-born cleric killed in
a U.S. drone strike in Yemen.
State's student newspaper, The Lantern, ran an interview in August with an
Artan in which he criticized the media's portrayal of Muslims and expressed
concern about how he would be received on campus.
Welsh-Huggins can be reached on Twitter at https://twitter.com/awhcolumbus. His
work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/andrew-welsh-huggins
2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be
published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
US President Donald Trump announced on Thursday that he would not relocate the
US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, at least for now, thereby
reversing a promise that he made to his conservative supporters during the
hereby determine that it is necessary, in order to protect the national
security interests of the United States, to suspend (the move) for a period of
six months,” he wrote in a letter he sent to the US secretary of state.
suspension set forth in this determination shall take effect after you transmit
this determination and the required accompanying report to the Congress,” he
America’s chief diplomat, the secretary of state issues the order for moving an
old mission or building a new one.
1995 law — the Jerusalem Embassy Act — requires the US State Department to
relocate its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. But every president
since 1995 has signed the suspension order at intervals of six months. The last
suspension order, signed by former president Barack Obama, expired on Thursday.
a separate statement issued with the suspension order, the White House said
that “no one should consider this step to be in any way a retreat from the
president’s strong support for Israel and for the United States-Israel
- President Donald Trump on Thursday said he will withdraw the United States
from the landmark 2015 global agreement to fight climate change, spurning pleas
from US allies and corporate leaders in an action that fulfilled a major
getting out," Trump said at a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden in
which he decried the Paris accord's "draconian" financial and
order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United
States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord," Trump said. But he
added that the United States would begin negotiations to re-enter either the
Paris accord or "a new transaction on terms that are fair to the United
States, its businesses, its workers, its people, its taxpayers."
Trump's action, the United States will walk away from nearly every nation in
the world on one of the pressing global issues of the 21st century. The pullout
will align the United States with Syria and Nicaragua as the world's only
non-participants in the accord.
United States was one of 195 nations that agreed to the accord in Paris in
December 2015, a deal that former US President Barack Obama was instrumental in
of the accord condemned Trump's move as an abdication of American leadership
and an international disgrace.
this moment, when climate change is already causing devastating harm around the
world, we do not have the moral right to turn our backs on efforts to preserve
this planet for future generations," said US Senator Bernie Sanders, who
sought the Democratic presidential nomination last year.
former US Air Force mechanic was sentenced to 35 years in prison on Wednesday
for attempting to provide material support to ISIS and for obstruction of
49-year-old veteran and Muslim convert was convicted at trial in New York last
March, having being arrested in New Jersey in January 2015.
said Tairod Pugh tried to join the ISIS group by traveling from Egypt to Turkey
in early 2015 with the intent of entering Syria. He was detained at Istanbul
airport, sent back to Egypt and deported home.
spent the previous 18 months living in the Middle East, mostly in Egypt, and
allegedly tried to travel to Syria weeks after being sacked as a plane
Egypt, he allegedly told Egyptian authorities that he would rather be deported
anywhere in the Middle East because “the US doesn’t like black Muslims.”
felon, who converted to Islam in 1998, served in the US Air Force from 1986 to
1990 as an instrument specialist and was trained in aircraft engine, navigation
and weapons systems maintenance.
the trial prosecutors presented evidence obtained from Pugh’s laptop and social
media posts. The computer showed he had searched the internet for crossing
points into Syria and downloaded terror-related videos.
government also introduced a letter that Pugh wrote shortly before leaving
said: “I will use the talents and skills given to me by Allah to establish and
defend the ISIS. There is only 2 possible outcomes for me. Victory or Martyr.”
pressure on Sri Lanka to stop hate crime against Muslims
Lanka-based Western diplomats Thursday urged Colombo to investigate a wave of
anti-Muslim violence in the Buddhist-majority island following repeated arson
attacks targeting shops, mosques and a cemetery in the past month.
European Union delegation chief Tung-Lai Margue urged the government to ensure
perpetrators were prosecuted swiftly as the envoys visited a mosque in Sri
Lanka’s capital to express solidarity with Muslims in the wake of the attacks.
is important that the government and the police ensure that there is no
impunity for hate crimes,” Margue said in a statement after Thursday’s visit to
the Dewatagaha mosque in Colombo.
was accompanied by top diplomats from Australia, Canada, the Netherlands,
Norway, South Africa and Switzerland.
groups have accused Sri Lankan police of failing to stop a series of hate
crimes and not prosecuting a controversial Buddhist monk who went into hiding
have yet to make any arrests in connection with the arson attacks targeting
have warned that police inaction could spur communal unrest similar to the
anti-Muslim riots in 2014 that left four dead.
riots in mid 2014 -- led by a hardline Buddhist group -- were widely seen as
the catalyst that led to then president Mahinda Rajapakse’s downfall in January
account for just 10 percent of Sri Lanka’s 21 million population and have
emerged as king makers in a country where the majority Sinhala-Buddhist
community is split down the middle between two national parties.
issues execution order of 11 Haqqani and Taliban prisoners after Kabul attack
Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has issued an order for the execution of eleven Taliban
and Haqqani terrorist network prisoners after deadly Kabul attack.
privy to the development have said the step by the President was taken after
the deadly attack in Kabul that left at least 80 people dead.
Afghan intelligence said late Wednesday that credible intelligence information
confirms the attack was carried out by the network on direct instructions and
with the support of the Pakistani military intelligence, Inter Services
incident in the diplomatic area of Kabul took place around 8:30 am local time
after a vehicle packed with explosives was detonated, leaving at least 80 dead
and nearly 400 others wounded.
Taliban insurgents suffered heavy casualties during the airstrike in southern
Uruzgan province of Afghanistan.
to the local security officials, the airstrike was carried out late on
Wednesday night in the outskirts of Tarinkot city, the provincial capital of
commander of the first brigade of the Afghan National Police Malik Zainullah
said the US forces based in Afghanistan carried out airstrike on Taliban
insurgents, leaving at least twenty five of them dead.
said a local leader of the group was among those killed and at least twenty
more were wounded in the airstrike.
further added that several vehicles, motorcycles, and weapons belonging to the
Taliban insurgents were also destroyed in the airstrike.
Taliban insurgents group has not commented regarding the report so far.
is among the relatively volatile provinces in southern Afghanistan where the
Taliban insurgents and militants belonging to the other insurgent groups are
actively operating in its various districts.
comes as over 50 insurgents were killed in airstrikes conducted in Tarinkot
city last month.
Afghan forces have also stepped up counter-terrorism operations amid rampant
Taliban-led insurgency across the country.
Taliban insurgents have increased to their attacks in key cities and provinces
of the country since they announced their spring offensive last month.
Afghan security forces have foiled a plan by the Islamic State of Iraq and
Syria (ISIS) terrorist group to carried out a series of suicide attacks in
Jalalabad city, the provincial capital of Nangarhar province.
governor’s spokesman Ataullah Khogyani said the group had plans to carry out
suicide attacks on key governmental, security, and political establishments in
further added that a member of the ISIS terrorist group identified as Alef Gul
was looking to transfer suicide bombers from Haska Mina district to Jalalabad
city for the attacks.
to Khogyani, Gul, originally a resident of Kot district, was arrested as he was
attempting to transport four suicide bombing vests from Hafiz Kodi’s house in
Bati Kot district to Haska Mina so that the suicide bombers could be equipped
and transferred to Jalalabd city to execute the plan.
also added that Gul was arrested during a joint operation of the Afghan intelligence
and army soldiers in Kot district and the suicide bombing vests were
confiscated from the vehicle belonging to him.
is among the relatively calm provinces in eastern Afghanistan but the
anti-government armed militant groups have recently increased their insurgency
activities in some parts of the province during the recent years.
duties of four senior police officials were suspended after the deadly attack
in capital Kabul that left around 80 people dead.
Ministry of Interior spokesman Najib Danish said the four senior officials
belonged to the police station of the 10th police district.
said the duties of the commander of the 10th police district police station
Mahmood Majedi, the head of the counter-terrorism of 10th police district Major
Mohammad Zahir, the head of the regional control of the 10th police district
Jamaluddin, and the commander of the 3rd brigade of the 10th police district
Rahmatullah were suspended by the Minister of Interior Taj Mohammad Jahid.
further added that a thorough investigation is underway regarding the deadly
attack in Kabul and any other official found guilty of negligence will face
coordinated suicide attack was foiled by the Afghan intelligence operatives in
eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.
National Directorate of Security (NDS) said a group of six insurgents were
arrested in connection to the attack plot.
further added that a suicide bomber was among those arrested as they were
planning to carry out the attack in a busy city of Nangarhar.
suicide bombing was also confiscated by the intelligence during the operation
which was conducted in Behsud district, NDS said, adding that the insurgents
were deployed by Taliban’s Peshawar council for the attack.
the Taliban insurgents and ISIS loyalists are active in this province and often
carry out insurgency activities.
comes as the Afghan civilians and security personnel suffered casualties in a
suicide car bomb attack in this district earlier today.
- The Taliban warned the Afghan government on Thursday against harming any of
their prisoners after reports that President Ashraf Ghani would order the
execution of 11 militants on death row in revenge for the devastating truck
bomb attack in Kabul. Ghani's fragile and divided government has come under
increasing pressure over its failure to provide security following a series of
high-profile attacks that have killed hundreds of soldiers and civilians so far
blast ripped through a traffic-clogged street, packed with people on their way
to school or work during the morning rush hour, causing hundreds of casualties
in an instant and sending a tower of black smoke into the sky.
of the worst such attacks since the US-led campaign to oust the Taliban in
2001, it was only the latest in a grim series that has killed thousands of
civilians over the years.
Taliban have denied responsibility. But the National Directorate for Security,
Afghanistan's main intelligence agency, has blamed the Haqqani network, an
affiliate group directly integrated into the Taliban.
growing public anger over the chronic lack of security, Afghan television
station Tolo News reported that Ghani had signed execution orders in a repeat
of last year's hanging of six Taliban prisoners after an earlier suicide
senior Afghan officials confirmed that a list had been drawn up of prisoners,
all convicted members of the Taliban or the Haqqani network, but said no order
had been signed.
a statement, the Taliban, who repeated their denial of involvement, responded
to the reports by threatening retaliation against the Kabul government and the
justice system in particular if any prisoners were harmed.
on Thursday mourned victims of a powerful truck bomb that killed at least 80
people and wounded hundreds amid growing public anger at the government's
failure to prevent yet another deadly attack in the heart of the Afghan
blast, at the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, ripped through a
traffic-clogged street, packed with people on their way to school or work
during the morning rush hour, causing hundreds of casualties in an instant and
sending a tower of black smoke into the sky.
scale, it was one of the worst such attacks since the U.S.-led campaign to oust
the Taliban in 2001 but in kind, it was only the latest in a grim series that
has killed thousands of civilians over the years.
Ashraf Ghani made a televised address late on Wednesday, calling for national
unity in the face of the attack, which his National Directorate for Security
blamed on the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani network, but he faces an increasingly
God's sake, what is happening to this country?," said Ghulam Sakhi, a
shoemaker whose shop is close to the site of the blast. "People leave home
to fetch a loaf of bread for their children and later that evening, their dead
body is sent back to the family."
explosion occurred near the German embassy at one of the entrances to Kabul's
unofficial Green Zone, a haphazard warren of concrete blast walls and
sandbagged check points that has grown up around the diplomatic quarter over
the years as the insurgency has intensified.
the sewage tanker carrying the bomb was stopped from entering the zone, it was
unclear how such a large quantity of explosives could get through the ring of
checkpoints set up around Kabul to protect the capital.
huge crater ripped into the ground at the site of the blast and shattered
windows in houses more than a kilometer away were testament to the power of the
explosion, which was set off by a bomb concealed in the tanker.
embassies were damaged and a number of foreigners wounded, but the majority of
victims were, as ever in such attacks, Afghan civilians.
now, thousands of our people are in mourning. Why and for how long do we have
to suffer this situation?" said shopkeeper Enayatullah Mohammadi. "We
want our leaders to ensure security in the country and if they can't, they
Interior Minister Murad Ali said on Thursday that 80 people had been killed and
463 wounded in the attack.
assures Turkey over arming Kurds in ISIS fight
US military offered assurances to Turkey on Thursday over supplying arms to
Kurdish fighters against ISIS, after Ankara called the move “extremely
are being transparent with Turkey on the details on what we are providing,”
said Baghdad-based Pentagon spokesman Colonel Ryan Dillon.
are maintaining full accountability of the weapons we are providing the SDF,”
he said, referring to the Syrian Democratic Forces, a Kurdish-Syrian Arab
alliance now moving in on the ISIS’s Syria stronghold of Raqqa.
SDF includes fighters from the Kurdish Peoples’ Protection Units (YPG), which
Turkey links to Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) separatists it calls a terror
group. In May, US President Donald Trump approved arming the YPG to support the
assault on Raqqa.
on Tuesday said arming the YPG was an “extremely dangerous” move and urged
Washington to reverse its “mistake.” The arms going to the SDF could include
anti-armor weapons like rocket-propelled grenades or TOW missiles, in addition
to vehicles, AK-47s and small-caliber machine guns.
said any arms provided will be recorded by serial number. “We will maintain
that in our database, and we will share that information with allies to the
north that are concerned about the weapons we are providing,” he said.
sea trade routes near Yemen under threats from Houthi militias
sea trade routes near Yemen have come under increasing threats after Houthi
militias attacked an oil tanker on Wednesday in the latest flare-up in an area
through which much of the world’s oil passes.
Arabiya correspondent reported that militias fired rocket-propelled grenades at
the tanker before breaking off their assault on the Marshall Islands-flagged
tanker MT MUSKIE in the southern Bab al-Mandab Strait. The tanker is 70,362
EU Naval Force said in a statement that the attack did not appear to have been
launched by pirates and was likely related to “continuing instability at sea
off the coast of Yemen.”
near Yemen’s southern coast have been attacked in recent months by Houthi
has condemned the recent election of an Israeli to a position at the United
Nations General Assembly, saying the move is part of attempts to whitewash Tel
Aviv's crimes against Palestinians.
Danon, Israel's ambassador to the UN, was elected on Wednesday as vice
president of the 72nd session of the General Assembly.
Thursday, Hamas spokesman, Abdullatif al-Kanou, described Danon as a war
criminal who has shed the blood of the Palestinians.
very hands are tainted with Palestinians’ blood as he had served as a deputy
war minister and has been involved in crimes and carnage against the
Palestinian people,” Kanou said.
also urged a firm response to such a “serious step” and appealed to all human
rights and humanitarian organizations to pressure the UN to backtrack on its
was elected to the position as a representative of the Western European and
Others Group (WEOG). He will begin his one-year term in September with the
opening of the General Assembly.
served as Israeli deputy minister of military affairs between March 2013 and
was fired from his position after publicly criticizing Prime Minister
Netanyahu's handling of the latest Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip.
Danon had blasted what he called Israel’s restraint in the 2014 war on Gaza.
confirmed the death of the grand Mufti and prominent leader of its Bahraini
branch Turki al-Binali after a coalition air raid targeted militiants in Raqqa,
was also known as Abu Humam al-Athari, Abu Sufyan al-Salim and Abu Hudhayfah
was one of the most prominent leaders of ISIS in the Libyan city of Sirte,
where he lectured and prepared religious sessions in the mosques for ISIS
moved to Sirte in Libya in 2013, and preached at the Rabat Mosque in October
2013, when he urged the residents of the city to pledge allegiance to the
leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. He then appeared in the city of Raqqa in
July 2015 where he performed the Eid prayer before returning to Libya again.
returned to Sirte after the death of al-Anbari in an American raid in the east
of Derna in 2015, in order to reorganize the ranks of ISIS and make
administrative arrangements on behalf of Baghdadi.
(34 years-old) grew up in the Bahraini city of Muharraq. He pursued his
elementary and complimentary education at al-Iman School and then completed his
secondary education at the literature department of al-Hidaya school.
then went to the College of Islamic and Arabic Studies in Dubai for a year and
a half, until the UAE government raided his house in Sharjah and arrested him
before deporting him to Bahrain.
and charitable NGOs blast the international community for having lost countless
opportunities to end Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories over
the past 50 years.
NGO Pax Christi International and Oxfam, which groups humanitarian bodies, made
the remarks in separate statements on Thursday in the run-up to the 50th
anniversary of Israel’s invasion and occupation of the Palestinian territories
of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds, which will be falling on June 5.
since, Israel has dotted the territories with over 230 illegal settlements,
which by now accommodate some 600,000 settlers.
the onset of the occupation, Pax Christi wrote, “the international community
has been witness to the denial of human rights and the deterioration of
conditions throughout the occupied Palestinian territories.”
quoted a statement by UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in the occupied
Palestinian territories Michael Lynk from earlier this month, which detailed
the “systemic human rights violations that accompany this occupation --
collective punishment, confiscation of property, excessive use of force and
unlawful killings, lack of freedom of movement and steady settlement expansion,
are commemorating a sad milestone this month with 50 years of devastating
occupation. It is urgent that it is resolved,” said the NGO’s Co-President
official Chris Eijkemans said, “There are few examples of poverty or injustice
in the OPT (Occupied Palestinian Territories) that do not stem from the
occupation. If it weren’t for the occupation, most aid agencies would not need
to be here.”
issues facing Palestinians are enormous and complex, but on each count, despite
the billions of dollars invested, the lives of Palestinians cannot meaningfully
improve as long as the occupation persists,” he added. “Israel has no incentive
to end the occupation while it bears no tangible cost for its violations.”
June 5, 1967, remembered by Palestinians as “Naksa (Setback) Day,” Israeli forces also captured Lebanon’s Shebaa
Farms, Syria’s Golan Heights, Egypt’s Sinai and Palestine’s Gaza Strip.
officials say Israeli military forces have killed 3,000 Palestinian minors and
injured many more since the Second Intifada (uprising), also known as the
al-Aqsa Intifada, took place in September 2000.
a report published on the occasion of the International Day for Protection of
Children marked on June 1, the Palestinian Ministry of Information, announced
that 13,000 children have sustained injuries ever since.
report noted that as many as 72 Palestinian minors have lost their lives since
October 2015, when a new wave of tensions broke out in the occupied territories
in the wake of Israeli forces’ restrictions on the entry of Palestinian
worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem al-Quds.
youngest victim was identified as eight-month-old Ramadan Mohammad Faisal
Thawabta, who died on October 30, 2015 due to inhaling excessive tear gas fired
by Israeli military forces during clashes with Palestinian protesters in Beit
Fajjar town south of Bethlehem.
Palestinian Ministry of Information added that some 12,000 Palestinian children
have been arrested by Israeli troopers over the past 17 years, adding that an
overwhelming majority of them have been beaten or tortured while in Israeli
custody, handcuffed, blindfolded and forced to confess in the absence of a
lawyer or guardian.
to Palestinian prisoners rights group Addameer, Israeli forces have imprisoned
300 Palestinian minors since April.
Palestinians, including minors, could face severe penalties, including up to 20
years in prison, if charged with throwing stones at Israeli military vehicles
and a minimum prison sentence of three years for throwing a stone at an Israeli
Corbyn: 'Recent rise in anti-Semitic and Islamophobic attacks underscores how
far we still have to go'
Corbyn has highlighted the recent rise in anti-Semitic and Islamophobic hate
crime as an illustration of "how far we have to go" as a society.
Corbyn pitched Labour as "the party of equality" as he launched its
race and faith manifesto at an event in Watford, accusing the Tories of "holding
back" black, Asian and minority ethnic people.
Labour leader's specific mention of anti-Semitism comes after criticism of the
party for its response to racism against Jewish people.
month, more than 100 Labour MPs signed an open letter calling on the party to
expel Ken Livingstone from the party over controversial remarks on Adolf Hitler
October, the Home Affairs Select Committee accused Mr Corbyn of failing to
provide "consistent leadership" in tackling anti-Semitic abuse within
manifesto also specifically commits to try to "build a society and world
free from all forms of racism, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia".
Corbyn said: "Labour is the party of equality.
were built on the values of social justice, internationalism and human rights.
values are rooted in the fundamental truth that whatever your background,
wherever you are from, you should have the means and opportunity to fulfil your
continue to be treated unfairly due to their ethnicity or faith. The recent
rise in hate crimes, including anti-Semitic and Islamophobic attacks,
underscores how far we still have to go.
will repair the damage done by the Conservative Government, which has sown the
seeds of division in our communities.
Labour can be trusted to unlock the talent of black, Asian and minority ethnic
people, who have been held back by the Conservatives. We will guarantee
equality is at the heart of our programme for government.
will implement a comprehensive strategy for racial equality, one that
effectively challenges the disadvantage many black, Asian and minority ethnic
will work every day for a fairer society, where every person is enabled to get
on in life, regardless of race, faith or ethnicity, to build a Britain that
works for the many, not the few."
manifesto also commits to extending the powers of the Equality and Human Rights
Commission and reinstating public sector equality duties, with an aim of extending
them to the private sector.
refugee deal between Turkey and the European Union should not collapse,
Slovenian Deputy Prime Minister Karl Erjavec said on Thursday.
between the European Union and Turkey are vital for the stability of the region
[Balkans],” Erjavec, who is also a foreign affairs minister said.
case Turkey abandons refugee deal, peace and stability will be badly affected.
So, dialogue needs to continue," he added.
March 2016, Turkey and the EU signed a refugee deal which aimed at discouraging
irregular migration through the Aegean Sea by taking strict measures against
human traffickers and improving the conditions of the nearly three million
Syrian refugees in Turkey.
authorities previously said the refugee deal could collapse if the EU fails to
provide Turkey with the promised visa liberalization by the end of this year.
has so far met most requirements for visa liberalization, but the EU’s demands
for change in Ankara’s anti-terrorism laws led to a deadlock in negotiations.
Turkey’s contribution to the recent refugee crisis, Slovenian deputy premier
said: “Both the EU and Turkey should take responsibility on this field.”
also stated that the recent financial crisis in Europe, refugee crisis and
terror incidents have badly affected the EU’s enlargement policy.
world’s biggest majority-Muslim nation grapples with rising radicalism
SURGE of hard-line Islamist sentiment has shaken Indonesia, the world’s most
populous Muslim-majority nation and a long-standing model of religious
moderation and tolerance. Whether the country’s political leadership is able to
steer a genuinely pluralist course through local and presidential elections
over the next two years poses a critical test of whether the secular government
in Jakarta will remain a bulwark against Islamic radicalism.
to roughly 209 million Muslims, about 13 percent of the world’s total, plus
influential Christian, Buddhist and Hindu minorities, the Southeast Asian
country has staked a plausible claim to its national motto: “Unity in
diversity.” That hard-won achievement is now at risk, as is the stability of
the world’s fourth-most-populous nation.
particularly worrying episode was the recent conviction on blasphemy charges of
Jakarta’s governor, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama — a Christian and Indonesia’s most
prominent ethnic Chinese politician of the past 20 years. His offense, as he
campaigned last fall to retain his post, was to warn Muslim voters not to be
fooled by Islamist voices who were citing a Koranic verse suggesting a
prohibition against voting for Christian or other non-Muslim candidates.
Purnama, a no-nonsense anti-corruption campaigner, was a clear electoral
front-runner until then, but his remark triggered a backlash, including violent
demonstrations led by extremist Islamist groups demanding he be prosecuted.
Concerningly, a number of establishment politicians sought to appease the
extremists. In a runoff election, Mr. Purnama was ousted in April as governor
of Jakarta, a city of 10 million.
opened the door to Mr. Purnama’s conviction last month and his sentence to two
years in prison, which is a travesty. A U.N. group of experts has appealed to
Indonesian authorities to release Mr. Purnama, but that looks unlikely.
some Islamist hard-liners, emboldened by their victory, are starting a push to
impose sharia law nationwide, hoping for further gains in dozens of local and
provincial elections next year, and even plotting strategy to capture the
presidency in 2019. If successful, that would mark a sweeping reversal of
Indonesia’s relatively easygoing pluralist democracy, in which millions of
Christians, Buddhists, Hindus and others, who enjoy equal status with Muslims
in Indonesia’s constitution, have felt comfortable amid the Islamic majority.
Race, religion and ethnicity are now wielded as cudgels by opportunistic Islamist
hard-liners hoping to capitalize on a sluggish economy, widespread corruption
and popular resentment of ethnic Chinese tycoons regarded as cozy with the
nation’s governing elite.
a fragile political moment, made more volatile by fake news designed to
exacerbate working-class Muslim resentments and by mainstream politicians who
have been willing to coddle extremists in a misguided attempt to co-opt them.
The country’s long-standing communal and religious fault lines threaten to
become open divisions, and many ethnic Chinese are particularly worried. It
will take inclusive leadership by the incumbent president, Joko Widodo, and
other moderates for Indonesia to steer away from bitter sectarianism.
An air strike during Philippine military operations to drive Islamist rebels
out of a southern city has killed 10 government troops, the defense minister
said on Thursday (01/06), in a major blow to efforts to defeat fighters linked
to the Islamic State group.
other soldiers were wounded on Wednesday when two air force SF-260 close air
support planes dropped bombs on a target in the heart of Marawi City, Defense
Secretary Delfin Lorenzana told a news conference. The first plane hit the
target but the second missed.
very sad to be hitting our own troops," Lorenzana said. "There must
be a mistake somewhere, either someone directing from the ground, or the
armed forces have used a combination of ground troops and rocket strikes from
helicopters since the weekend to try flush rebels of the Maute group out of
buildings. Wednesday was the first day the SF-260 planes were deployed.
pro-Islamic State Maute group has proven to be a fierce enemy, clinging on to
the heart of Marawi City through days of air strikes the military has said are
"surgical" and on known rebel targets.
Maute's ability to fight off a military with greater numbers and superior
firepower for so long will add to fears that it could win the recognition of
the Islamic State leadership in the Middle East and become its Southeast Asian
deaths of the soldiers takes the number of security forces killed to 38, with
19 civilians and 120 rebel fighters killed in the battles in Marawi over the
past nine days.
said militants who were Saudi, Malaysian, Indonesian, Yemeni and Chechen, were
among eight foreigners killed fighting with the Maute rebels.
an earlier text message to reporters, he said of the "friendly fire"
incident: "Sometimes that happens. Sometimes the fog of war ... The
coordination was not properly done so we hit our own people."
unrest started on May 23, when Maute rebels ran amok, torching and seizing
buildings, stealing weapons and police vehicles, taking hostages, and freeing
prisoners to join their fight.
President Rodrigo Duterte is concerned radical ideology is spreading in the
southern Philippines and it could become a haven for militants from Southeast
Asia and beyond.
said the military might suspend air strikes, describing the rebels as a small
force that "cannot hold that long."
A gunman was on the loose at a casino complex in the Philippine capital on
Friday after firing an assault rifle in a gambling room, but nobody has been
reported shot or taken hostage, the national police chief said.
ran screaming out of Resorts World Manila, which is across a road from one of
the main terminals of the Philippines' international airport, after the man
fired what police chief Ronald dela Rosa said was an M4 assault rifle.
hasn't been anyone shot... there are only injuries from people who tried to
escape in a stampede or from smoke," Dela Rosa said on DZMM radio.
Rosa said he could not say if it was terrorist attack, but emphasised the
gunman did not shoot anyone and there had been no reports of hostages being
the gunmen had not been found, Dela Rosa said at 4:30 am on Friday, (2030 GMT
Thursday, more than four hours after the shooting occurred.
Rosa said the man, who appeared to be acting alone, walked into one of the
gambling rooms and fired the rifle at a large television screen then poured
gasoline onto a gambling table and set it alight.
said the man then fired again at a stock room containing gambling chips and
filled a backpack with them.
man then left the room and went upstairs to a hotel section of the complex,
according to dela Rosa.
have cleared the rooms (on the floor of the hotel the gunman was last seen) but
we don't see where he is," dela Rosa said.
Islamic State group immediately claimed responsibility.
said "lonewolf soldiers" from its group carried out the attack,
according to the SITE Intelligence Group that monitors terrorist organisations.
dela Rosa said: "We cannot attribute this to terrorism."
said it may have just have been an attempted robbery, pointing out the gunman
tried to steal the gambling chips.
inside the casino recounted feelings of terror when the shooting occurred.
was about to return to the second floor from my break when I saw people
running. Some hotel guests said someone yelled 'ISIS'," Maricel Navaro, an
employee of Resorts World, told DZMM radio.
is another acronym for the Islamic State group.
were screaming. We went to the basement locker room and hid there. People were
screaming, guests and employees were in panic," Navaro said.
we smelled smoke, we decided to go for the exit in the carpark. That's where we
got out. Before we exited, we heard two gunshots and there was thick smoke on
the ground floor."
President Rodrigo Duterte imposed martial law last week across the southern
region of Mindanao to crush what he said was a rising threat of Islamic State
declared martial law shortly after militants went on a rampage through the
southern city of Marawi, which is about 800 kilometres (500 miles) south of
forces are still battling the militants in Marawi, and the clashes there have
left at least 171 people dead.
said last week he may need to declare martial law across the rest of the
country if the terrorism threat spread.
Muslim separatist rebellion in the southern Philippines has killed more than
120,000 people since the 1970s.
Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian has instructed his subordinates to take stern
action against those involved in the persecution and harassment of a
15-year-old boy in East Jakarta.
men have reportedly been arrested and detained for questioning.
something like this happens again, I have urged all police officers to not fear
[taking stern action against the perpetrators]. I will back them [the officers]
up in accordance with the prevailing laws,” Tito said on Thursday evening.
said the National Police were focused on efforts to crack down on online
persecution by hard-line groups.
hard-line groups] should not take the law into their own hands,” Tito asserted.
the men involved in the harassment of the 15-year-old boy in East Jakarta, Tito
told East Jakarta Police chief Sr. Comr. Andry Wibowo to arrest and detain the
confirmed that two men, identified as M and U, had been detained in relation to
Fiera Lovita, a medical doctor in Solok, West Sumatra, who suffered threats and
intimidation after she criticized an Islamic cleric on Facebook, said the group
who forced her to sign a letter of apology and flee Solok for Jakarta is
looking for more weak targets to bully and persecute.
looking for weak targets. They won't attack men. The intimidation against me
was very well planned," Fiera said during a press conference at the office
of the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) in Central Jakarta on Thursday
group of people allegedly from the hardline Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) in
Solok had forced Fiera to sign a letter of apology for her posts on Facebook —
which reportedly criticized firebrand FPI cleric Rizieq Shihab for fleeing the
country after being charged with a pornography case — and upload the letter on
her Facebook account on May 22.
you're not guilty, why avoid [police summons]? Don’t you have 300 lawyers and 7
million followers ready to defend you? Please don’t run away," the mother
of two apparently said about Rizieq in three separate Facebook posts on May
19-21, as she explained at the YLBHI press conference accompanied by Southeast
Asia Freedom of Expression Network (SAFEnet) activist Damar Juniarto, head of
YLBHI Asfinawati and Anti-Defamation Society of Indonesia (Mafindo) coordinator
Facebook posts led first to online threats from members of the Islamic
Defenders Front (FPI), the Defenders of Indonesian Ulema Council’s Fatwas
(GNPF-MUI) and the Front of Islamic Advocates (FMPI) in West Sumatra. The
groups are known as loyal supporters of Rizieq.
has blinded these people. You [Rizieq] have fled overseas after being charged
with something that is [also] forbidden in Islam, [and yet] your supporters
still admire and try to protect you," Fiera said.
followers are in denial that your indecency has been exposed. And now you don't
dare to face police investigation," she added.
said the groups who disagreed with her Facebook posts had shared them
accompanied by hateful comments to turn the public against her, accusing her of
insulting Islam and Muslim clerics. "They threatened to kill me, called me
a slut, called me a communist," Fiera said.
said she received scant support from her colleagues at the Solok General
Hospital or from her own community and left the city to seek protection in
Jakarta earlier this week.
decided to get out of Solok. I have no other choice. No one will protect me
there, and I don't feel comfortable working at the hospital anymore," she
said, adding that the pressure on her comes almost non-stop and seems to be
lawyer and rights advocate Todung Mulya Lubis said he will take on the mantle
as Fiera's defense counsel.
will defend Fiera from intimidation and persecution," Todung said on
Monday (29/05), as quoted by Beritasatu.com.
of mob justice have come to the surface in Indonesia in the past couple of
weeks, the latest of which on May 28 involved FPI members storming the house of
a 15-year-old student in East Jakarta who they also accused of insulting their
leader Rizieq on Facebook.
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