Conservatives Have Tried To Downplay The Anti-Muslim Abuse: Facebook Posts by
Tory Members Reignite Party’s Islamophobia Crisis
Media Companies Face Tough UK Sanctions Over Extremist Content
and Imam Teach At Gandhi Ashram In Coexistence First
Commander Nisar Ahmed Tantray Says He Knew About Pulwama Attack
in Delhi and Haryana Feel 'Unfairly Represented' in Hindi Newspapers: Survey
Govt to Play Mediator in Sending Back Rohingyas Refugees from Bangladesh to
West Bank Leader Jailed By Israel for Six Months without Trial
Conservatives Have Tried To Downplay The Anti-Muslim Abuse: Facebook Posts By
Tory Members Reignite Party’s Islamophobia Crisis
IRGC meant to help Israel’s Netanyahu: Iran envoy
calls for closure of Syrian refugee camp at Rukban
and Erdogan to discuss fresh Syrian offensive in Moscow
extremists trapped in Syria to face jail on return
Bars Entry to 16 Saudis over Role in Khashoggi Murder
Declares Iran's Revolutionary Guard a Terror Entity
warns all banks, businesses to end dealings with the IRGC
US troops killed in Taliban attack
official: ISIS can’t be defeated in Syria as long as Iran has a foothold
US military personnel killed in Afghanistan
Probe, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq Questioned By NIA
questions Mirwaiz; Geelani's son asked to join probe
Islamist Terrorism Contained, Not Terminated
militants killed in coalition airstrikes in Southeast of Afghanistan
Bangladesh, Rohingyas flee to Malaysia, over 200 believed at sea
agree to meet Afghan govt officials in Qatar
U.S. service members, 1 contractor killed in IED explosion near Bagram airbase
kills 2 people in Jalalabad city of Nangarhar province
kill 12 security forces in western Afghanistan
Afghan security personnel killed in Taliban attack in Badghis province
Arrests Brother of Palestinian Teen Ahed Tamimi
Palestinian government to be formed in days
Coalition intercepts drone launched by Houthis toward Asir region
to discuss possible Turkish operation in Syria with Putin: RIA
army dismantles Houthi explosives
accepts India’s proposal for April 16 technical meeting on Kartarpur corridor
to turn Pakistan into welfare state: PM
warns Centre against ‘constitutional intervention’ in Sindh
hints at releasing Khadim Rizvi on written assurance
Quashes Zahid’s Ban on G25’s Book On Islam
Feeds Voters Nativist Themes, Promises; Jokowi Keeps Highlighting Own
Welcomes US Blacklisting Of Iran Revolutionary Guards
Sends New Military Equipment on 700 Trucks to SDF in Eastern Syria
Army Training Ankara-Backed Militants for Heliborne Operations to Fight against
killed as suicide bombers attack Syrian army position
Arabia: Abu Hadriyah terrorists were involved in past al-Qatif attacks
Will Not Allow Sudan to ‘Fall Into Chaos’: Minister
Clashes Death Toll Rises To 32
envoy to Libya condemns attack on Tripoli’s Mitiga airport
LNA closes in on Tripoli, avoids entering into residential neighbourhoods
killed in 2 days of Sudan’s ongoing protests: Interior minister
government forces retake two bases from Haftar
chief calls for immediate halt to Libya fighting
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Conservative Party members have been posting anti-Muslim comments on Facebook,
urging each other to prevent Home Secretary Sajid Javid from becoming prime
minister, adding to the Islamophobia crisis within the party.
News reported that 20 Facebook users that claimed to be Conservative members
made anti-Muslim comments on the platform.
senior Conservatives have denied that the party has an Islamophobia problem.
Minister Theresa May previously told parliament: “The party chairman takes very
seriously any allegations that are brought before the party and we will
continue to do so”, though Brandon Lewis [Chairman of the Conservative Party]
himself said he "would dispute that that is a problem that exists”.
reported that a man who was in a closed group of Conservative members called
Muslims “muzz rats”, “sub human scum” and asked “why have we got them in our
man, who wrote that he joined the party last week to get a hard-line Brexiter
to become prime minister said: “Britain is not ready for a Muslim PM, that
would be taking the absolute piss out of the country”.
about London Mayor Sadiq Khan, he added: “This man does not represent the
United Kingdom, he is only the Mayor of Londonistan… Theresa May needs to get a
grip of this Muslim Brotherhood stooge.”
Mr Khan and Mr Javid are from families of Pakistani descent.
woman who wrote two days ago that she was staying as a Tory member “so that we
can elect the right leader” wrote that the home secretary “will protect his
own. He was sworn in on the Koran”.
recent posts on social media have reignited the party’s Islamophobia crisis.
Conservatives suspend members for racism & prejudice against Muslims. Party
must be more proactive now: if such statements made in group forums &
accepted/not robustly challenged, this indicates a bigger problem of education
& party culturehttps://twitter.com/alexwickham/status/1115278802937155584 …
Another 20 Tory members are facing suspension after posting anti-Muslim
comments on Facebook
vowed to use their votes at a leadership contest to stop Sajid Javid becoming
than 50 Tory members have now been suspended for Islamophobiahttps://www.buzzfeed.com/alexwickham/tory-islamophobia-facebook-stop-sajid-javid
PM - Apr 8, 2019
Ads info and privacy
people are talking about this
on the recent Facebook posts, recently retired former Conservative MP Nick
Boles said the party leadership “needs to act decisively to cut this cancer
out. Enough with the suspensions; we need to see expulsions”.
March 25, Conservative Party has quietly reinstated the membership of 15
councillors who were suspended for posting racist and anti-Muslim content
online, an investigation by a British newspaper has found.
Tory party chair and first Muslim woman cabinet minister, Sayeeda Warsi, said
that the move to reinstate the councillors was “revolving door racism”.
bunch of bigots found out,” she wrote on Twitter.
is no longer possible to describe examples of Conservative Party members
expressing anti-Muslim hatred as isolated incidents. The party leadership needs
to act decisively to cut this cancer out. Enough with the suspensions; we need
to see expulsions.
than 50 Tory members have now been suspended for
PM - Apr 8, 2019
people are talking about this
party announced earlier in March that 25 party members had been suspended over
anti-Islamic comments. Another 40 were suspended following previous
investigations into Islamophobia.
media companies face tough UK sanctions over extremist content
media companies that fail to protect users from harm face bans and heavy fines
in new proposals announced by the UK government.
policies were launched on Monday in a long-awaited white paper on online harm
and would also make company directors personally accountable for the behaviour
of users. A 12-week consultation will now take place on the UK proposals.
comes less than four weeks after New Zealand’s Christchurch massacre in which
the terrorist live-streamed footage of the mosque shootings on Facebook for 17
company said the artificial intelligence it uses to monitor content failed to
the UK government's proposals, companies would be sanctioned if they fail to
stop child abuse, or prevent users from viewing or sharing extremist content.
government intends to impose a “short, predetermined time frame” in which
offensive posts must be removed.
also proposes a new statutory duty of care on social media companies, and the
creation of an independent regulator.
Minister Theresa May said self-regulation among social media companies was at
companies must start taking responsibility for their platforms, and help
restore public trust in this technology,” she said.
secretary Sajid Javid and Jeremy Wright, the UK culture secretary, said tougher
measures were necessary as self-regulation was ineffective.
actions from the industry to tackle online harms have not been applied
consistently or gone far enough. Tech can be an incredible force for good and
we want the sector to be part of the solution in protecting their users.
However, those that fail to do this will face tough action,” they said in a
week, the UK’s security minister Ben Wallace said technology companies needed
to do more to combat the rise of extremism online.
said the threat from far-right extremists was almost on a par with ISIS, with
neo-Nazis using the same social media methods as other extremist groups to
Khan, of the UK’s Commission for Countering Extremism, said that more needs to
be done to tackle terror online.
media has been a game-changer for extremists. Tackling harmful but legal
extremist content online must remain high on the agenda for a duty of care and
a new regulator,” she said.
media has allowed extremists to connect, organise and promote their propaganda
and disinformation at a frightening rate.
repeated requests for self-regulation, the government has now had to step in to
force companies to take action. We also need better conversations online, a
positive use of algorithms, and a proactive and effective response to ensure
extremists don’t exploit advertising on social media to further their cause.”
Australian government last week passed new legislation to impose large fines
and prison sentences for social media executives if they fail to rapidly remove
“abhorrent violent material” from their platforms.
British white paper outlines the government’s proposals to tackle abuse and
extremism, and the sanctions will use to enforce them.
media companies have faced criticism from the families of young people who
committed suicide after viewing inappropriate content.
of child abuse online have also risen globally from 110,000 complaints in 2004
to 18.4 million last year.
too long social networks have failed to prioritise children’s safety and left
them exposed to grooming, abuse, and harmful content," Peter Wanless,
chief executive of UK children’s charity the NSPCC, said.
high time they were forced to act through this legally binding duty to protect
children, backed up with hefty punishments if they fail to do so.”
And Imam Teach At Gandhi Ashram In Coexistence First
American-Israeli rabbi and an African-American Muslim imam were like fish out
of water during a special trip to a Hindu ashram in India.
a reality TV show, two people from two different communities were recently
thrown together in a challenging environment. Pesach Stadlin, an Israeli-based
rabbi in his 30s, and Abdullah Faaruuq, a 71-year-old American-based imam,
became roommates for a month at the Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad, India.
Jeremy David Stadlin in Philadelphia, the young rabbi traveled through several
dozen countries around the globe before settling in Israel where we was
ordained by the late Rabbi Sholom Brodt of Yeshivat Simchat Shlomo in
Jerusalem. He chronicled his journeys and lessons learned in his 2016 book
was born Jeconiah Barrow to a Jamaican immigrant mother in the rough streets of
Boston. Growing up in the civil rights era, he gravitated to Islam, eventually
becoming active at the Mosque for the Praising of Allah in Boston’s Roxbury
neighborhood that he has led for the past 20 years.
similarities include having been born and raised in the United States, having
musical backgrounds, and both being monotheists who had never before visited
the mostly Hindu country of India.
spoke to The Jerusalem Post via phone from Ahmedabad.
is neutral ground,” stated Faaruuq, noting that although there is a strong
Muslim minority, the history of the region is far from the Arab-Israeli
two bonded over their newfound challenges, such as shopping for kosher and halal
food or attempting to walk across a busy street. “There are very few traffic
lights and people drive fast,” noted Stadlin. “You have to edge your body into
traffic, and the cars hopefully see you and slow down or go around you.
Otherwise you end up standing on the side of the road for 20 minutes waiting
for your lucky break.”
daily duties included teaching about their respective religions in various
locations, such as at a leprosy camp, a school for the blind, a Zoroastrian
temple, a Sufi mosque and the city’s only remaining synagogue.
noted the novelty of leading Hebrew songs for people who told him they had
never met a Jew before and asked, “What is a Jew?”
day at the ashram and all of its centers throughout India they have interfaith
prayer services, where they recite the Shema Yisrael,” Stadlin explained, “We
showed up at a school and as soon as we walked in the door they happened to be
in the middle of reciting the Shema Yisrael prayer.” He related that the
students and teachers were excited to have a rabbi explain the further depth of
the centerpiece prayer in Jewish liturgy.
and Stadlin were chosen for the unique mission by a group calling itself
Children of Abraham, in conjunction with Manav Sadhna, a non-profit organization
based at the ashram. Founded in 1951 as the Sabarmati Ashram, the site is where
the Indian leader Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi studied and from where he led the
famous Salt March, also known as the March to Dandi, in 1930.
was a Jewish friend from Boston, Jerry Katz, who led Faaruuq to the project.
The two would often share a falafel together as a local kosher restaurant. Katz
explained that he was given a donation to fund a special interfaith project and
he was looking for a Jewish and a Muslim volunteer to participate. Stadlin was
recruited by Katz’s cousin Tobie Weisman, who was a long-time friend of the
Rabbi Brodt, Stadlin’s mentor.
experience has been so rich,” Faaruuq said. “I’m not saying it’s going to solve
the problems of the world, but certainly it is a glowing example of what’s
possible in humanity,” he stated.
described seeing Hindu and Muslim children living side-by-side in abject
poverty without complaint.
be 72 in a few months, and I’ve never seen anything like this,” he said. “I’m
not a baby. I’ve had all kinds of experiences, and I’ve been to several
countries, but this is different. I want you to tell the world, they’re doing
something different over here and we don’t know what it might blossom into.”
Faaruuq’s Roxbury neighborhood has been described as rough, he said it’s
nothing compared to the urban villages of Ahmedabad. “Too many of the people in
the United States have no understanding of what’s going on over on the other
side of the world,” he said. “They laugh and joke, drink Pepsi and eat popcorn.
But if they were to just come here and live, and not just as tourists, they
would have a different view of life and be appreciative of America.”
echoed the sentiment, noting that the two had been sent on various teaching
assignments throughout the city, but didn’t have any standard tourist
experiences such as dining at restaurants. “This is the first time for both of
us in India. We got off the plane and had to go food shopping,” he said. “We
are immersed in the society, basking in both the blessing and beauty, as well
as some of the very harsh realities and challenges that this community is
two also visited the only synagogue in town, where Stadlin led Torah study
sessions. Built in 1934, the once thriving Magen Abraham Synagogue today only
has Shabbat and holiday services. But the still-active community of about 150
Indian Jews keeps the community alive.
odd couple roaming through the urban blight of India was a novelty to locals
who, according to the pair, have accepted them with warm smiles and open arms.
Stadlin noted that “Friendships between Muslims and Jews happens all the time
back in Jerusalem. It just doesn’t make the cover of the newspaper.”
flows were attention goes,” he said, adding the hope that their trips will
create positive repercussions for their respective communities upon their
the possibility of a Jew and a Muslim working together for a common cause.
We’re just two people meeting each other as humans,” Faaruuq stated. “A spark
in a new direction will turn into a bigger light.”
commander Nisar Ahmed Tantray says he knew about Pulwama attack
commander, Nisar Ahmed Tantray, deported from the UAE to India last Sunday, has
disclosed that he knew about the February 14 Pulwama suicide car bombing
because the key conspirator, Mudassir Khan, had asked him to participate in a
“spectacular” attack being planned at the instructions of JeM’s leadership in
Pakistan, an official involved in Tantray’s interrogation said.
is the first confirmation from a JeM commander that the Pulwama attack was
carried out on the orders of the outfit’s leadership, and that Khan was the
person who executed it. Until now, Indian investigative agencies were depending
on intelligence inputs and the questioning of some lower-level JeM terrorists.
the brother of slain JeM leader Noor Ahmed Tantray, fled from India on February
1 this year.
to an intelligence bureau officer who spoke on condition of anonymity, he has
significant influence over JeM cadres in Kashmir valley, particularly after he
planned the December 30, 2017 attack on a CRPF Group Camp in Lethpora.
has told interrogators that Khan called him using a social media app and
informed about the plan to hit a convoy in mid-February with heavy explosives
somewhere in Pulwama.
asked for Tantray’s help in the logistics, planning and execution of the bomb
blast . Tantray was a senior commander of JeM in the Valley and cadres, who
were part of the operation, would be motivated with his presence, a NIA officer
said on condition of anonymity.
Tantray has denied any involvement in the Pulwama attack, where a suicide
bomber blew up a CRPF convoy, killing 40, and which brought India and Pakistan
to the brink of war (he says he was in Dubai at the time), the NIA is not taking
his word for it.
Tantray is a senior JeM operative in Kashmir. Commanders at his level are aware
of all the plans, particularly for a Pulwama type attack which would have taken
months of planning. We are further interrogating him about his role because the
timing of his flight to UAE is suspicious. He might have taken active part in
the Pulwama attack and fled two weeks before February 14 to avoid capture”, the
NIA officer added.
Delhi: Muslim readers feel unfairly represented in Hindi newspapers and gauge
an ‘anti-Muslim’ bias in news coverage, a survey conducted by Mass Media
journal has found.
survey, published in the its April issue of Mass Media, a monthly media
research journal, says that its Muslim respondents complain of anti-Muslim
bias, hostile editorial policy and lack of coverage.
the survey, conducted across 20 Muslim localities in Delhi and five cities in
Haryana, 76 per cent of respondents (all of whom were Muslims) believed that
Hindi newspapers were biased against their community; 84 per cent of the
readers said that Hindi newspapers did not give enough coverage to the minority
community. The respondents said that Hindi newspapers “either don’t report
about them or, if at all they do, the tone and tenor of their reporting is
asked if they were satisfied with the coverage of Muslims in Hindi newspapers,
67 per cent answered in the negative.
survey also found that 44 per cent of respondents in Delhi and Haryana only
read Hindi newspapers and 23 per cent read both Hindi and Urdu publications.
of the respondents also felt that Hindi newspapers tended to gloss over Muslim
news coverage and did not give space to minority voices in their publication,
with 43 per cent saying that they rarely see news of Muslim interest or
statements issued by Muslim leaders or organisations. Thirty one percent of
respondents estimated that they saw only one article concerned with minority
issues per week.
of the respondents, an overwhelming 79 per cent, also said that articles on
Muslim interests such as Triple Talaq, Aligarh Muslim University or Babri
Masjid were supportive of stance of the BJP or the RSS on the issue.
survey, conducted between December 2018 and January 2019, covered areas
surrounding Delhi’s Jama Masjid (Kishangnaj, Ballimaran, Nabi Karim); East
Delhi (Ghonda, Jafarabad, Mustafabad, Mansarover Park, Seemapuri, Loni); South
Delhi (Abul Fazal Enclave, Zakir Nagar, Shaheen Bagh, Kanchan Kunj, Jaitpur,
Vasundhra Enclave, Trilokpuri), West Delhi (Raghubir Nagar, Uttam Nagar,
Jahangirpuri, Vikas Nagar) and Haryana (Ballabh Garh, Nooh, Panipat, Shakrawa,
govt to play mediator in sending back Rohingyas refugees from Bangladesh to
a significant development, the Chinese Communist Party (CPC) signed a
memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the ruling Bangladesh Awami League last
week. It is noteworthy that after meeting Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh
Hasina, the visiting CPC Central Committee international development minister
Song Tao confirmed that the discussions included Chinese mediation in ensuring
repatriation of the Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh. He said China was in
discussion with the Myanmar government in this regard.
2017 agreement between Bangladesh and Myanmar hasn’t taken off primarily because
Bangladesh insists on voluntary return of Rohingyas to Myanmar, for which there
are no takers as conditions have not been created that give the refugees
confidence that they would be safe and secure in that country. Exacerbating the
already complex situation, Bangladesh has announced plans to relocate refugees
in temporary shelters in a floodprone
island and Myanmar has revealed plans to set up designated complexes away from their
erstwhile homes for the returning Rohingyas.
origins of the Rohingyas in northern part of Rakhine State are mired in
conflicting historical narratives. While the Rohingyas themselves trace their
ancestry to the seventh century Arab traders, others believe that the
presentday Muslim population is largely a result of British policy of
relocating labour from Chittagong to work in the paddy fields of the state. The
Myanmar military, however, is convinced that the Rohingyas are illegal
immigrants from Bangladesh. While Rohingya Muslims had representation in the
Myanmar government for a few years after the country’s independence, the situation
steadily worsened after the military coup of 1962. The enactment of the Myanmar
Nationalities Law by the junta in 1982 deprived the Rohingyas of citizenship
status. In order to further emphasise their resolve, the Myanmar junta renamed
the Arakan region as the Rakhine State. While earlier too Rohingyas had fled to
Bangladesh to escape repression by the majority Buddhists and the military, the
August 2017 exodus saw an unprecedented movement of over half a million people
fleeing the Tatmadaw crackdown.While Bangladesh continues to reel under the
burden of hosting over half a million refugees, the regional powers India and
China have attempted to find a solution. Both countries have major stakes in
this region. China has the strategically critical Kyaukpyu deep sea port and
the gas pipeline from there to its energy hungry landlocked province of Yunnan.
The Rakhine State is also a crucial component of its Belt and Road Initiative.
India too has economic and strategic interests in the region. India has invested
in the Kaladan multi-modal project to connect Sittwe port to the northeast.
However, for India there are, in addition, security concerns emanating from the
presence of a large stateless and repressed Muslim population along its borders
that potentially provide opportunities for radicalisation and terrorist
November 2017, China had proposed a three-step solution to address the Rohingya
issue- first ceasefire on the ground, second bilateral dialogue between
Bangladesh and Myanmar to reach a workable solution, and finally poverty
alleviation to tackle what it perceives as the root cause of the crisis. While
on ground hostilities have ceased in Rakhine, and Bangladesh and Myanmar have signed
a repatriation agreement, the situation remains unchanged. India’s approach to
the crisis so far has been to push for development in the region by
operationalising the MOU with Myanmar on Rakhine State Development Programme.
Both approaches have not borne fruit. The Chinese perception of the root cause
being poverty overlooks the flawed 1982 Myanmar Nationality Law and the
repression of the Muslim Rohingyas by the majority Buddhists. However, while
China may want to protect its investments in the region, it may not want a
conclusive solution to the issue. It is perhaps not coincidental that major
Ethnic Armed Organisations along the Chinese border did not sign the Nationwide
Ceasefire Agreement in October 2015 while those abutting India and Thailand did
so. The crisis provides China leverage on the Myanmar government and an
opportunity to meddle in India’s immediate neighbourhood. In this context it is
noteworthy that China has often come to the defence of the Myanmar government
over the Rohingya crisis. The recent MoU between the Bangladesh ruling party
and the powerful CPC indicates yet another Chinese attempt to mediate in the
Rohingya crisis after its “three step solution” proved to be a non-starter. The
Indian approach too would not yield lasting peace in the region because economic
development may be a necessary but certainly not a sufficient condition for
sustainable peace. A relook at the flawed Myanmar Nationality Law enacted by
the pre-democracy military regime may be a difficult but perhaps essential
ingredient of a longlasting solution.
West Bank leader jailed by Israel for six months without trial
on Monday handed down a six-month detention order without trial for a West Bank
leader of Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, his family and an Israeli
intelligence service said.
Yousef, a co-founder of Hamas, was arrested on April 2 at his home in the
occupied West Bank, according to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club NGO.
was given a six-month administrative detention order Monday, his family said.
Israeli Shin Bet intelligence service confirmed the decision.
had been released from a previous imprisonment in October 2018.
condemn this decision. He suffers from diabetes and high blood pressure,” his
son Owais said, pointing out he had spent around 20 years in prison.
co-founder of Hamas and a member of the defunct Palestinian parliament,
64-year-old Yousef has been arrested multiple times by Israel.
administrative detention system allows Israel to detain prisoners for renewable
six-month periods without charge.
says it allows authorities to hold suspects to prevent attacks while continuing
to gather evidence, but critics and rights groups say the system is abused.
total around 500 Palestinians are currently being held under administrative
detention orders, according to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club.
has fought three wars with Hamas in Gaza since 2008 and considers it a
ambassador to the United Kingdom has called US government’s blacklisting of
Iran’s elite military force as a ploy to help Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu win the upcoming elections in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Baeidinejad said in a tweet on Monday that designating Islamic Revolution
Guards Corps (IRGC) as terrorist was one of US President Donald Trump’s most
idiotic decisions in his more than two years in office.
to announce the decision in days when the IRGC is busy rescuing flood-hit
(Iranian) people is just a gift to Netanyahu to help him in the Israeli
elections,” said Baeidinejad while making a reference to massive floods that
have affected areas in north, west and southwest of Iran.
post came just an hours after the White House announced that it had proposed
the blacklisting of the IRGC in a first ever move for the US to designate an
official military force of another country as terrorist.
swiftly reciprocated the move with the Iranian Supreme Council of National
Security issuing a statement designating all military units run by the United
States Central Command (CENTCOM) as terrorist.
reference to links between Trump’s IRGC designation and Israeli elections comes
against the backdrop of similar moves in recent past, including the White House
decision to recognize Israel’s illegal annexation of Golan Heights, a territory
occupied by the Israeli regime since 1967 which belongs to Syria under
support for Netanyahu has proved to be vital as polls suggest he has managed to
please far-right groups just ahead of the elections slated for Tuesday. The
Israeli premier, who had in the past accepted international rulings on occupied
territories, said on Saturday that he would even annex the occupied West Bank
if he is re-elected into office.
has called for the dismantling of the Rukban camp on the Syria-Jordan border,
which is home to tens of thousands of Syrians displaced by their country's
are ready to discuss all steps needed to assist Syrian refugees to leave
Rukban,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said during a visit to Jordan
on Sunday, where he met Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi.
an ally of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad, has long pushed for the closure of
Rukban, where about 45,000 Syrians live without proper facilities and face
severe shortages of food and medical supplies.
to UN observers who visited the camp, most of the displaced people there want
to return home, including to territories controlled by the Syrian government,”
Mr Lavrov said.
residents told The National they were being pressured to leave against their
have no other choice but to return home where the regime is in control of our
lives," said Khalid Abo Ali, 35. "We left because we feared for our
lives and we cannot go back.
suffering that we are enduring in the camp is pushing us to leave."
least 400 camp residents left on Sunday for shelters provided by the government
in central Homs province, bringing the total of those who left since March 24
to 1,660 people, the UN says.
blame Russia and the regime for the lack of food and medical supplies, saying
Mr Al Assad is stopping aid from reaching the camp. The last aid delivered to
Rukban was two months ago.
a letter to the UN, residents accused the international community of failing to
end their suffering.
Al Assad's block on food and aid led to the deaths of camp residents including
dozens of children this year, they said, calling it an act of genocide.
silence by the international community is encouraging the regime’s actions and
supports the blockade on us,” the residents said.
consider you a partner in these atrocities.”
of people have been displaced since Syria's civil war broke out in 2011, and
hundreds of thousands have been killed. Many fled to Jordan and other
Jordan closed its border near Rukban, saying there were armed groups operating
in the camp. Russia has made similar claims.
are a lot of illegal armed groups there and the Americans are gladly
co-operating with them, as far as I understand, to help them recover their
strength," Mr Lavrov said.
is in a de-escalation zone set up by the US to protect its troops at Al Tanf
military base near the border.
US military has stressed to Russia the importance of the zone "in clear
and unambiguous terms", a spokesman said on Monday.
US supports UN efforts to improve conditions in Rukban, Col Scott Rawlinson
told AP. He said their departure from the camp should be "safe, informed
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said his army is ready to launch an
offensive against Kurdish groups in northern Syria and that he will discuss the
plans with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
preparations on the border are finished, everything is ready for an operation,”
Mr Erdogan told reporters before flying to Moscow on Monday morning. “We can
begin it at any moment.”
Turkish president’s comments came ahead of his third meeting with Mr Putin this
year. Ankara sees Kurdish groups operating in Syria as a security threat
because of their links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, which has waged
an insurgency in Turkey since the 1980s. Over the past two years, Turkish forces
have worked to rout Kurdish forces from parts of northern Syria.
Kremlin said ahead of the meeting in Moscow that Messrs Erdogan and Putin would
meet with representatives from the Russian and Turkish business community and
attend an event marking the beginning of a year of joint culture and tourism
between the countries.
two leaders also said they would discuss joint energy projects and US President
Donald Trump’s recent decision to recognise the Golan Heights, annexed from
Syria in 1981, as Israeli territory. Both Turkey and Russia have spoken out
against Mr Trump’s decision, and Kremlin officials have described it as
counterproductive to brokering peace in the region.
on Monday’s agenda is a contentious missile systems deal between Russia and Turkey
which has stirred controversy on the international stage.
has found itself at the centre of a dispute between Ankara and its Nato allies
over Mr Erdogan’s decision to go ahead with a deal to buy the S-400 missile
defence system from Russia.
says Turkey’s decision to link the Russian systems poses a security risk to
Nato and has threatened to impose sanctions on Ankara if it goes ahead with the
decision. The US has also said it could withhold the delivery of fighter jets
to Turkey. Vice President Mike Pence recently became the most high-ranking US
official to cry foul over Turkey’s decision to buy the S-400 systems from
must choose,” he said in Washington at an event last week celebrating Nato’s 70
anniversary, between staying in the “most successful military alliance in
history” or “reckless decisions that undermine our alliance”.
officials including Mr Erdogan have said time and again the purchase is a done
deal and that US officials have no right to dictate who Ankara buys arms from.
For Russia, the deal is an opportunity to drive a wedge between members of
Nato, which Russia sees as a threat.
close ties on display between the two leaders mark a sharp contrast to 2015
when Turkey shot down a Russian jet on the Syrian border, resulting in the
death of a pilot. Mr Putin halted flights to Turkey and described the incident
as “a stab in the back by the accomplices of terrorists”.
the two presidents have become fast friends since a thaw in relations and closer
coordination over the war in neighbouring Syria. Even though the presidents
hаve backed opposing sides in the conflict, Russia and Turkey alongside Iran
have formed an alliance to broker a solution to the eight-year conflict.
Mr Erdogan’s last visit to Russia on Valentine's Day alongside the Iranian
leader Hassan Rouhani, the three agreed to stall an offensive on the last
bastion of opposition to Syrian President Bashar Assad, even though Russia has
been impatient to rout opposition groups.
extremists trapped in Syria face jail sentences of up to 10 years if they
return to the UK, under a law that came into effect last month.
legislation makes it an offence to enter or remain in "designated
areas" outside Britain.
British home secretary and foreign secretary will designate areas they believe
UK citizens should avoid to protect them from the risk of terrorism.
the area has been designated, there will be a grace period of a month before
the offence takes effect, giving militants time to return to the UK to escape a
far, the only area covered by the legislation is Idlib, a province in
north-western Syria that is partly controlled by extremists linked to Al Qaeda.
the law is expected to extend far wider, with a new list of areas being
discussed by MPs this year.
Sunday Times reported that such areas would probably include large parts of
Syria, as well as regions in Afghanistan, Libya and Somalia.
are exemptions to the law, including whether a person has travelled to provide
humanitarian aid, work as a journalist, attend court, work for the UN, work for
the government of a country other than the UK, attend a funeral of a relative,
or visit a terminally ill relative.
offence would also not apply to a person who is in the service of the UK, such
as British Army personnel.
laws have been enacted in Australia and Denmark as a response to the conflict
in Iraq and Syria.
UK government said that more than 900 people who pose concerns to national
security travelled from the UK to Syria.
2014, large numbers of British nationals have travelled to Iraq and Syria to
engage in terrorism.
his evidence to the Public Bill Committee, assistant commissioner Neil Basu,
the head of the UK's counterterror policing, said the law would help to tackle
the threat posed by foreign fighters.
the scenario of a future conflict that was attracting foreign fighters from the
UK, we see real operational value in a designated area offence," Mr Basu
bars entry to 16 Saudis over role in Khashoggi murder
US State Department has barred 16 Saudi nationals from entering the United
States over their involvement in the murder of dissident journalist Jamal
Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last October.
list includes Saud al-Qahtani, a senior adviser to Crown Prince Mohammed bin
Salman, and Maher Mutreb, a member of the young prince’s entourage on foreign
individuals and their immediate family members are ineligible for entry into
the United States,” the State Department said in a statement on Monday.
group had already been sanctioned by Washington in the aftermath of the
apparent hit job on the US-based writer, who was also a Washington Post
once a close friend of bin Salman, had criticized his policies in columns
written for The Washington Post prior to his death.
admitted to killing Khashoggi weeks after he entered the consulate on October
2. Saudi authorities first tried to avert attention from the case by offering
contradicting accounts of the journalist’s death. But once evidence pointed to
a planned murder ordered by the highest royals, they eventually settled on the
explanation that he had been killed in an operation masterminded by former
advisors to bin Salman.
the CIA has concluded that the crown prince was in on the operation, the
kingdom firmly denies he had any involvement.
recent action by Washington was done under the 2019 State Department
appropriations bill, which states that the US Secretary of State must deny
entry to individuals and immediate family members of foreign nationals who have
been “involved in significant corruption or gross violations of human rights.”
November last year, the US Treasury Department slapped sanctions on 17 Saudis
on the grounds that they had “targeted and brutally killed a journalist who
resided and worked in the United States.”
Donald Trump's critics say the sanctions are not enough and the administration
needs to punish MbS for his deeds.
lawmakers, including some of Trump's closest allies in the Republican Party,
have even called for bin Salman's removal.
in a letter drafted to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, several rights groups,
including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, have called on him to
monitor the ongoing Saudi trial of the 11 accused in the murder.
trial sessions held so far have been closed to the media and the identity of
those on trial, as well as the charges they face, have not been disclosed,”
read the letter, which was also sent to French and British foreign secretaries,
Jeremy Hunt and Jean-Yves Le Drian.
have invited representatives of France, Britain, the US, Russia and China to
attend the trial in Riyadh.
their letter, the rights groups pointed to the Saudi justice system’s “severe
inadequacies” and the regime’s long record of concealing the truth through
lack of independence, transparency, and fairness has meant that the Saudi
criminal justice system falls well below international human rights standards,”
addition to reinforcing the fair trial rights of the accused persons and to
guard against potential scapegoating of some individuals, transparency around
the trial can work to guarantee that the court proceedings do not cover up the
alleged involvement of the Saudi leadership,” the letter added.
declares Iran's Revolutionary Guard a terror entity
In an unprecedented move that will doubtless stir interest in New Delhi, the
United States on Monday announced that it would formally designate Iran's
Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organisation.
designation marks the first time Washington has branded a foreign government
official military entity a terrorist group, and is certain to engender thoughts
in India to seek a similar designation for the Pakistani military, particularly
its intelligence unit ISI, which New Delhi says has long been involved in
terrorist activities in India.
ISI has also been implicated legally in the United States in a court case that
resulted in the conviction of Kashmiri activist Ghulam Nabi Fai. New Delhi has
also pointed to ISI fingerprints on several terrorist attacks in India, most
notably the 26/11 Mumbai carnage, which among other convictions resulted in the
sentencing of ISI agent David Headley aka Daood Gilani.
step to designate the Iranian military unit "recognises the reality that
Iran is not only a state sponsor of terrorism, but that the IRGC actively
participates in, finances, and promotes terrorism as a tool of
statecraft," US President Donald Trump said in a statement that described
the outfit as "the Iranian government's primary means of directing and
implementing its global terrorist campaign".
action sends a clear message to Tehran that its support for terrorism has
serious consequences. We will continue to increase financial pressure and raise
the costs on the Iranian regime for its support of terrorist activity until it
abandons its malign and outlaw behavior," he added.
terrorist designation, which will take effect April 16, allows the Trump
administration to seek criminal penalties against elements of the IRGC and
foreign officials deemed to be aiding it. It will also allow Washington to ban
travel to the United States for individuals associated with IRGC.
up the announcement, US secretary of state Mike Pompeo said the designation
makes clear that the IRGC is not just a behind-the-scenes enabler of terrorism
but a direct participant in planning and carrying out terrorist attacks.
historic step will deprive the world's leading state sponsor of terror the
financial means to spread misery and death around the world," he said,
warning that businesses with a presence in Iran or engaged with its companies
will have to take extra steps to ensure they are not violating US sanctions.
voices within the US have long cautioned against such a move by Washington,
warning about the fallout on US military presence in the middle-east, but the
Trump dispensation is so over the heels with Israel's hardline Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu that it chose to ignore such advice. Netanyahu himself appeared to
take some credit for the designation, while thanking Trump in a tweet.
you, my dear friend, President of the United States Donald Trump, for your
decision to declare Iran's Revolutionary Guard as a terror organisation,"
Netanyahu wrote. "Thank you for responding to another one of my important
requests, that serves our interests and the interests of regional
Trump administration has adopted a hardball stand towards terrorism affecting
the US and its close allies, including taking a tough stand towards Pakistan
despite Washington needing Islamabad help in Afghanistan. President Trump has
publicly castigated Pakistan and cut off all aid to the country.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday warned all banks and businesses
against dealing with Iran's Revolutionary Guards after Washington designated
the group as a terrorist organization.
leaders of Iran are racketeers, not revolutionaries,” Pompeo said. “Businesses
and banks around the world now have a clear duty to ensure that companies with
which they conduct financial transactions are not conducted with the IRGC in
any material way.”
the press conference, Pompeo said the designation would come into effect in one
an important step to counter the Iranian regime’s terrorism, the US has
designated the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, including the Quds Force, as
a foreign terrorist organization. We must help the people of Iran get back
their freedom,” Pompeo tweeted on Monday.
American service members and a US contractor have been killed when their convoy
hit a roadside bomb near Bagram Airfield, the main US base in Afghanistan, the
a statement Monday, the Afghan military said three other US troops were wounded
in the explosion and were receiving treatment.
Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack and described it as a suicide
car bombing, rejecting the US forces’ account of the incident.
group said an attacker detonated his explosives-laden vehicle near the base in
media reports have described those killed in the attack as "American
in Bagram district in northern Parwan province, the base serves as the main US
air facility in the country.
fatalities bring to seven the number of US soldiers killed in Afghanistan so
far this year.
year, 13 US service members were killed in the country.
Taliban have continued to carry out daily attacks on Afghan security forces
despite holding several rounds of peace talks with the United States in recent
of America’s main aims in Syria remains pushing Iranian forces and its militias
out of the country, a top United States official told The National, adding that
“there are a lot of tools we can use.”
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and Special Envoy for Syria Joel Rayburn
said his country’s “priorities haven’t changed” in Syria, adding that “we
continue to do our planning about the means we use to accomplish our strategic
Rayburn outlined US objectives as “an enduring defeat of Daesh [ISIS] and other
terrorist groups like it; to try to bring about a withdrawal from all of Syria
of all Iranian commanded forces; and to support a political settlement of the
conflict under United Nations security council resolution 2254”.
added that “If there is ever to be a stable and sustainable Syria, there has to
be a political process.
cannot fight your way out of this, there has to be a political settlement”.
December, US President Donald Trump announced a full troop withdrawal from
Syria, only to scale this back and agree to maintain some 400 troops in the
the decision, Mr Rayburn said the president’s move was “in order to continue to
take part, under the auspices of the coalition and with local partners, in this
next stage of the campaign [against ISIS]”.
Rayburn, who has military experience in Iraq, said he expects the next phase to
look a lot like Iraq in 2009 and 2010 as US forces handed over security
operations to local partners but stayed on to assist and advise.
United States expects continued military actions against ISIS that are closer
to guerrilla warfare. “The physical caliphate is destroyed but what it means in
military terms is that you will see the campaign shift to a phase that will
look somewhat different,” Mr Rayburn said. “You will not see major combat
operations with tens of thousands of troops engaged, as Daesh reverts to
previous manifestations… to an insurgency”.
added: “you will continue to see some kinetic action, just as you would against
clandestine terror group”.
capture of ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi is, the US official noted,
“important but not decisive”.
American assessment is that Al Baghdadi and his inner circle remain important
to “Daesh’s attempt to reconstitute themselves and to keep the networks alive,
but as a phenomenon, if he is captured or taken off the battlefield, that
doesn’t spell the end. It is not like the organisation will collapse without
fully defeat ISIS and work towards a political settlement, Mr Rayburn said that
it is vital to get Iranian troops and allied militias out of the country.
“Their very presence gives Daesh breathing room… it gives Daesh a political
cause. So they must go,” he said. “Their presence is a destabilising factor,
they perpetuate the civil war so it is harder to get a political settlement,
they write the Assad regime a blank cheque, making it easier for him to stay
away from a political solution”.
also said that the presence of the Shiite forces and militias backed by Iran
“create friction on the ground, taking part in sectarian cleansing… that
created a backlash.”
Rayburn said that what the Iranians are currently doing in Syria is “what they
did in Iraq but it is even more intense in Syria”.
Rayburn said the international community largely supports the American position
on Iran. But when asked if Russia – a crucial backer for President Bashar Al
Assad alongside Iran –was a partner in this effort, he was not definitive.
“They should be,” he said. “I wouldn’t say they are yet”.
he said it is unlikely that Moscow shares Tehran’s aims on the ground. “The
Iranian regime’s vision for Syria is that it becomes a strategic outpost for
the [Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps], to establish military bases with
medium-range missiles, with drones, radars, large militia formations and to use
Syria to dominate the northern tier of the Arab world in an unprecedented way,”
the Iranians out of Syria is “part and parcel of the Iran strategy” that the
United States is pursuing.
May, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the withdrawal of Iranian troops
and Iranian-backed militias was on the list of US demands. Mr Rayburn said that
“economic and political pressure and isolation” brought by American-led
sanctions efforts would continue to mount on Iran unless it responded to those
demands, including withdrawing from Syria. They must, he said, “give up their
dreams of setting up strategic outposts in Syria that they can use to threaten
interview was conducted before Mr Trump announced the designation of the IRGC
as a terrorist group on Monday. As such, Mr Rayburn declined to address the
rampant speculation that the designation was imminent.
major US change in policy on Syria is Mr Trump’s surprise announcement on March
21 to recognise Israeli sovereignty of the occupied Syrian Golan Heights,
captured in 1967.
the significance of the move, Mr Rayburn refused to speak to the impact of this
decision, but said it was wrapped up in the political settlement to the 8-year
old Syrian civil war. “When we think of the political process and when we
exchange views about it with like-minded countries and the Syrian opposition,
the US input to the thinking about the political settlement is that you go
through a political process [and] you get to a settlement, the political
process produces a differently-behaving Syrian government and there is a true
settlement of the civil war and all the elements of the broader conflict and
that includes reverting to the status quo that existed before 2011 in regards
to foreign troop presence”.
Rayburn said that he didn’t believe it was time to start sitting down with Mr
Al Assad or re-admit Syria it to the Arab League. “We hold the same position as
some of our key Arab partners, including Saudi Arabia, which is the time is not
right for the embrace of the Assad regime... without the Assad regime
fulfilling any of the conditions to make peace possible”. The Arab League
Summit held last month in Tunis did not agree to proposals for re-admitting
Syria to the body, eight years after it was expelled over spiralling violence
in the country.
U.S. service members and a contractor were killed Monday near an American
military base in Afghanistan.
additional three service members were wounded by the improvised explosive
device near Bagram Air Base, according to the Pentagon.
wounded were evacuated and are currently receiving medical care.
Taliban later claimed responsibility for killings. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah
Mujahed tweeted an image of the blast along with a statement saying a suicide
bomber waited for hours for the Americans to come out of the base before
air base, 40 miles from Kabul, is the largest U.S. military base in
Afghanistan, hosting thousands of troops from Washington.
names of the military personnel who were killed are currently being withheld
until their families or next of kin are notified.
month, two U.S. soldiers were killed in Kunduz province while conducting an
operation, an official statement confirmed on March 22. In January, the Taliban
took responsibility for killing one U.S. soldier in Uruzgan province.
deaths come amid negotiations to broker peace between Afghan national forces
and the Taliban.
Khalilzad, the U.S. special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation, is
leading the push for talks with the Taliban. He returned to Kabul on Sunday
after a brief visit to Pakistan.
comes after multiple rounds of talks between the U.S. and the Taliban in Qatar.
next round of talks is set to take place later this month, but no exact dates
have been announced.
terror-funding probe, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq questioned by NIA
National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday questioned separatist leader
Mirwaiz Umar Farooq in connection with its terror-funding probe in Jammu and
Kashmir, an official with knowledge of the matter said.
chairman of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, was asked questions about a
hi-tech communication device that was recovered from his residence on February
26 this year, and his alleged links with the terror organisations, the official
said. The separatist leader had skipped previous two summons, issued on March
11 and March 18, by the central anti-terror probe agency. He appeared before it
on Monday after he was assured that he would be provided security. As soon as
he arrived at the Delhi airport, he was assigned security officers.
reaching the NIA headquarters for questioning, Farooq tweeted, “In Delhi today
with my colleagues for the NIA summons, efforts to malign leadership for its
political stand wont work. Inspite of harassment #Hurriyat will continue to
seek peaceful resolution of the #Kashmir issue, urge people back home to stay
calm and peaceful.”
has been asked to come to the NIA headquarters for questioning on Tuesday as
well. Another NIA officer said they are investigating people linked to terror
funding besides those who instigated stone pelting on security forces, were
involved in burning down of schools and damage of government establishments.
agency has already named Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) chief Hafiz Saeed, Hizbul
Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin and 10 others in its chargesheet filed in
January 2018 in J&K terror funding case.
DELHI: The NIA on Monday questioned Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umer
Farooq for nearly eight hours in connection with a case related to funding of
terror groups and separatist organisations in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said
was asked to appear before the agency again on Tuesday, the officials said,
adding Naseem Geelani, son of pro-Pakistan separatist Syed Ali Shah Geelani,
was also summoned on Tuesday.
avoiding the first two summons, the Mirwaiz finally appeared before the
National Investigation Agency (NIA) after he was assured of being provided
security upon his arrival in the national capital.
was accompanied by other separatist leaders, including Abdul Gani Bhat, Bilal
Lone and Maulana Abbas Ansari.
the questioning, the Mirwaiz was asked several questions related to the funding
of his party Awami Action Committee as well as Hurriyat Conference, the
officials said, adding that the replies were not satisfactory.
had been asked to appear before the NIA on March 11 and March 18 but expressed
his inability to join the investigation in the national capital, saying he
feared for his security in view of "conditions of hostility".
its third summons issued last week, the NIA promised him security.
NIA probe seeks to identify the chain of players behind the financing of
terrorist activities, pelting of stones on security forces, burning down of
schools and damaging of government establishments.
case names Hafiz Saeed, the Pakistan-based chief of Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD), the
front for the banned Lashker-e-Taiba, as an accused. It also names organisations
such as the Hurriyat Conference factions led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani and the Mirwaiz,
the Hizbul Mujahideen and the Dukhtaran-e-Millat.
of his appearance before the NIA, the Hurriyat Conference chairman tweeted,
"In Delhi today with my colleagues for the NIA summon, efforts to malign
leadership for its political stand wont work. Inspite of harassment Hurriyat
will continue to seek peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue. Urge people
back home to stay calm and peaceful."
Sunday night, the Hurriyat held an executive meeting and strongly condemned the
move to summon the Mirwaiz. It claimed its chairman was "being
deliberately harassed and there was an effort to criminalise leadership for
their political stand".
said the Hurriyat is a coalition of political parties striving for the peaceful
resolution of the Kashmir issue and to associate it with anything to do with
terror is ridiculous and a deliberate victimisation for their political
unfortunate that while they have always maintained that Kashmir is a political
issue that needs resolution peacefully and humanely and always worked towards
that end... yet rulers of the day are resorting to such tactics to harass and
intimidate them under the garb of legality," it said.
Mirwaiz or any member of Hurriyat Conference has nothing to do with the
"so called funding case and it is sheer vindictiveness on the part of
authorities", it said.
NIA had on February 26 carried out searches at premises of several leaders,
including the Mirwaiz.
probe agency questioned two maternal uncles of the Mirwaiz, Maulvi Manzoor and
Maulvi Shafat, and his close aides last year. Both Manzoor and Shafat are
retired senior government officers.
Ajit Kumar Singh*
March 25, 2019, personnel from the Bihar Ant-Terrorism Squad (ATS) arrested two
terrorists, identified as Khairul Mandal and Abu Sultan, from Patna, the State
capital. A Police statement disclosed, “Many suspicious documents related to
the Security Forces posted in Jammu after the Pulwama attack have been
recovered from the arrested. Both the men are said to be active members of
Bangladesh’s banned militant outfit Jamiat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and
Islamic State Bangladesh.”
the same day, Rajasthan Police arrested a 42-year-old man, identified as
Mohammed Parvez, from Delhi, for allegedly spying for Pakistan’s Inter-Services
Intelligence (ISI). During questioning Pervez revealed that he was in contact
with ISI handlers and had travelled to Pakistan 17 times in the last 18 years.
February 21, 2019, two Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorists, identified as
Shahnawaz Teli and Aqib Ahmad Malik, were arrested from Deoband in the
Saharanpur District of Uttar Pradesh (UP).
to partial data compiled by the South Asia Terrorism Portal (STAP), at least
2,688 persons have been arrested since 26/11 attacks (Mumbai 2008) in
connection with Islamist extremism and terrorism, including terrorist cadres,
Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agents, and Bangladeshi, Nepali and
Pakistani nationals (data till April 7, 2019). 312 of these arrests were made
in 2018 as against 249 in 2107. 91 of these arrests were made in 2019 (data
till April 7, 2019).
in past, arrests made by the Security Forces (SFs) across the country in 2018
resulted in the neutralisation of several terror sleeper cells. Most
prominently, in an early morning action on December 26, 2018, the National
Investigation Agency (NIA) carried out searches at 17 locations in Delhi and
Uttar Pradesh in a major crackdown on an Islamic State (aka Daesh)-inspired
module styled as Harkat-ul-Harb-e-Islam (Movement the War of Islam), with
active support from Delhi Police and UP Police/UP Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS).
At least 10 cadres of the outfit were arrested and the Daesh-cell was
recently, the SFs identified and neutralised a terrorist module purportedly
‘inspired’ by Daesh when they arrested nine members of the self-styled
Ummat-e-Mohammadiya (Community of Mohammad) from Thane and Aurangabad in
Maharashtra on January 21-22, 2019.
according to the SATP database, a total of 167 Daesh sympathizers/recruits have
been arrested and another 73 persons have been detained, counselled and
released, in India (data till April 7, 2019). Another 98 Indians were believed
to have travelled to Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan to join IS – microscopic
numbers in terms of the country’s huge Muslim population. Of the 98 who
travelled abroad to join Daesh, 33 are confirmed to have been killed.
the pressure on the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI)/Indian Mujahedeen
(IM), which suffered major losses in 2008
and thereafter continued through the year. According to SATP data, since
March 11, 2000, at least 716 SIMI/IM cadres have been arrested in 135 incidents
(data till April 7, 2019). Six of these arrests were in 2018.
to these operational successes, Pakistan-backed Islamist terror formations, as
well as Daesh and Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), the last two of
which have been attempting to make inroads since 2014, have failed comprehensively
in their ambitions. There was just one Islamist terrorist attack in India,
outside Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), through 2018. On September 14, 2018, a
policeman sustained a minor injury in a blast at the Maqsudan Police Station in
Jalandhar city, Punjab. The NIA is currently investigating the case. In 2017 as
well, a single Islamist terror attack was recorded: nine persons were injured
in a blast in a train near Jabdi Railway Station in Shajapur District of Madhya
Pradesh on March 7, 2017. The next day, a terrorist involved in the blast was
killed by SFs in Lucknow, UP. It is useful to recall that, in 2008, Islamist
terror formations operating out of Pakistan had carried out 10 terrorist
attacks in India, outside J&K, resulting in 352 fatalities. the largest number recorded in a year since
2000. These attacks resulted in the death of 352 persons (310 civilians, 30 SF
personnel and 12 terrorists). This was the largest number of attacks and
fatalities in a single year since 2000. The last major attack (resulting in
three or more fatalities) by Islamist terrorists in India outside J&K, took
place on October 27, 2013, when terrorists carried out bomb blasts in Patna,
killing seven civilians. One of the attackers was also killed.
from friendly countries has also helped India in its fight against Islamist
terrorism. In total, at least 71 fugitives have been extradited by foreign
governments to India since February 20, 2002, till date, according to the
Ministry of External Affairs Website, including 21 from UAE, nine from USA; six
from Canada; four from Thailand; three each from Germany and South Africa, two
each from Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Indonesia, Mauritius, Portugal and
Singapore; and one each from Bahrain, Bulgaria, Hong Kong, Morocco, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Peru,
Saudi Arabia, Tanzania, and UK. At least 19 of these 71 fugitives were
extradited for offenses related to terrorism (mostly attacks outside J&K),
while the remaining 52 were extradited for other criminal offenses, including 15
Governments at the Centre and in the States have taken certain measures to deal
effectively with Islamist terror. Significantly, while replying to a
question,“whether any effective steps have been taken by the Government to
check the increasing terrorist activities” the Government informed the
Parliament on February 12, 2019, that it has taken various measures to counter
the menace of terrorism, prominently including “establishment of observation
posts, border fencing, flood lighting, deployment of modern and hi-tech
surveillance equipment; upgradation of Intelligence setup; strengthening the
several worries remain.
Union Ministry of Home Affairs (UMHA) in a January 31, 2019, notification,
disclosed that the government had decided to continue its ban on SIMI for
another five years for its “subversive activities”. UMHA noted,
has been indulging in activities which are prejudicial to the security of the
country and have the potential of disturbing the peace and communal harmony and
disrupting the secular fabric of the country.
is useful to recall that the SIMI/IM complex was mobilized by Islamabad in the
early 2000s due to increasing international pressure on Pakistan in the
aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the US. Not surprisingly, a large
proportion of major terrorist attacks in India’s hinterland, thereafter, had
the signature of the SIMI/IM complex, allied to various Pakistan-based
though Daesh has failed to inflict significant harm so far, given intermittent
incidents of ‘lone wolf attacks’ by IS-inspired individuals across the globe,
it remains a threat. The increasing trend of fringe Islamist terror formations
in several countries getting associated with the IS is a source of concern for
India as well. Significantly, on February 12, 2019, the Jharkhand Government
banned the Popular Front of India (PFI) for its suspected links with Islamic
State. A Government statement noted,
state has banned the Popular Front of India, which is active in Jharkhand,
under the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1908. The Home Department had recommended
the ban. The PFI is very active in Pakur District. The members of the PFI,
which was set up in Kerala, are influenced by the IS. According to Home
Department report, some PFI members have even gone to Syria from southern
states and are working for the IS.
least thirteen militants have been killed in separate airstrikes conducted by
coalition forces in southeastern Paktika and Ghazni provinces.
203rd Thunder Corps in a statement said at least eight militants were killed in
a coalition airstrikes conducted in Malik Shahi and Ganchi areas of Barmal
statement further added that a vehicle and a compound of the militants were
also destroyed during the same airstrikes.
least five militants were killed separate airstrikes conducted in Miadadwal
area of Andar district and Gari area of Nawa district, the 203rd Thunder Corps
anti-government armed militants including Taliban have not commented regarding
the airstrikes so far.
Rohingya were found in northern Malaysia Monday, police said, the second group
of the Muslim minority to arrive in the country within weeks, while about 200
more are feared trapped at sea. Many Rohingya have been seeking in recent weeks
to leave by sea from Bangladesh -- where they live in squalid refugee camps
after fleeing their mostly Buddhist homeland Myanmar -- before the monsoon
season starts in earnest. Security forces have prevented hundreds from
departing for Malaysia with people smugglers on fishing boats. But last month
34 Rohingya arrived in the northern Malaysian state of Perlis, the first group
believed to have landed in the country in almost year.
Monday police detained 41 Rohingya men -- aged 14 to 30 -- who arrived by sea
in the same area the last boatload landed, and are hunting for another six
believed to have come ashore, local police chief Noor Mushar Mohamad told AFP.
200 more are thought to be trapped at sea in Thai waters, said the police
chief, citing testimony from migrants.
is definitely the work of human smuggling syndicates working with local
syndicates," he said.
fear there could be more Rohingya arrivals unless maritime enforcement agencies
step up patrols urgently."
Mushar said initial investigations indicated those who came ashore travelled in
a large boat before being transferred to smaller craft by local criminal gangs
and ferried ashore.
to testimony from one migrant, the Rohingya paid 4,000 ringgit (USD 975) each,
and were dropped off a short distance from the coast and walked to shore, he
41 detained have been handed over to immigration authorities, he said. It was
not clear whether they had departed from Bangladesh or Myanmar, or when they
740,000 Rohingya fled Myanmar for Bangladesh following a brutal military
clampdown in their home country in August 2017, joining hundreds of thousands
already living in crowded camps.
traditional route to Malaysia is by boat from Myanmar or Bangladesh. Refugees
arrive either in Thailand and head overland to Malaysia, or arrive directly in
arrivals have fallen markedly since 2015 when Thailand launched a crackdown,
which disrupted the lucrative trade and led to smugglers abandoning huge
numbers of refugees at sea.
US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has announced a major breakthrough in efforts
for ending war in Afghanistan, saying that representatives of the Afghan
government will participate in the Doha talks next week.
Taliban also acknowledged this major development, saying that some Afghan government
officials will participate in the talks but they will do so in their own
personal capacities and not as state representatives.
Khalilzad “discussed with (Afghan) President Ashraf Ghani and others how to
ensure the intra-Afghan dialogue in Doha next week, in which representatives of
the Afghan government and wide society will participate, can best advance our
shared goal of accelerating a settlement process,” said a statement issued by
his office on Sunday evening.
talks: As hopes rise of a deal, what comes next?
a separate statement to various media outlets, the Taliban also said that the
next US-Taliban meeting would be held in Doha in mid-April “within the
framework” of previous peace talks. The United States and Taliban have already
held six rounds of peace talks in Doha, Qatar.
Taliban insisted that the participants would only be sharing their own “views
and policies” with others in the meeting. “If government- affiliated members do
participate, they will be doing so in their own capacities and not as state
representatives,” the statement added.
statement also claimed that some Afghan officials had participated in previous
meetings as well, but not as representatives of the Kabul government.
statement marks the first acknowledgement from the militant group of its
willingness to include the Afghan government in the peace talks and comes on
the day a suicide-bomber attacked a US base near Bagram.
Ambassador Khalilzad, who leads the US team in these talks, completed his
15-day visit to the region on Monday “following productive talks with President
Ghani on accelerating a settlement process, reducing violence across
Afghanistan, and supporting Afghan security forces if violence continues,” his
also discussed these topics with former Afghan President Hamid Karzai, leaders
of the High Peace Council and other prominent Afghans and was pleased to see
“the Afghans with whom he met, inside and outside government, coming together
to put peace first,” the statement added.
Khalilzad underscored “the imperative of reducing violence across Afghanistan
in the coming weeks and explored ways to build broader regional support for the
effort to realise Afghan people’s yearning for peace,” his office said.
a tweet released after his two-day visit to Islamabad this week, Ambassador
Khalilzad thanked Pakistan for its “efforts for supporting the Afghan Peace
Process and for “re-affirming the understanding that ultimately Afghans, and
Afghans alone, will determine their future.
more work to be done”.
another statement, Ambassador Khalilzad acknowledged Pakistan’s role “in
facilitating the travel of the Taliban’s negotiating team”, adding that he
discussed with Pakistani leaders “how peace in Afghanistan will also benefit
Pakistan and can unlock opportunities for regional economic integration and
least three U.S. service members and one contractor were killed in an explosion
triggered by an improvised explosive device near Bagram airbase in Afghanistan.
U.S. service members and one contractor were killed, and three U.S. service
members were wounded by an improvised explosive device April 8 near Bagram Air
Base,” the NATO-led Resolute Support mission said in a statement.
statement further added that the wounded service members were evacuated and are
receiving medical care.
identities of the deceased service members and the contract have not been
least two people were killed in an explosion in Jalalabad city, the provincial
capital of Nangarhar province in East of Afghanistan.
to local officials, the incident took place earlier today in the vicinity of
3rd police district of Jalalabad city.
spokesman for Nangahrar Police Headquarters said the explosion was triggered by
an improvised explosive device which was planted in a police vehicle.
identities of the deceased individuals have not been ascertained so far.
individual or group including Taliban or ISIS loyalists has so far claimed
responsibility for the attack.
fighters have killed 12 security forces in the last 48 hours in clashes in
Afghanistan’s western province of Badghis, the defense ministry said Monday.
the latest assault on Afghan forces -- who have faced devastating losses in
recent years -- Taliban fighters last week smashed through government lines
near the city of Bala Murghab, seizing several checkpoints.
is with great sadness we announce that during these operations, eight Afghan
National Army and four police who fought with bravery and courage accepted
martyrdom,” the defense ministry said in a statement.
10 soldiers and 24 police were wounded in the operation that killed “99 Taliban
terrorists,” it added.
operations continue in the district, officials said, and security forces helped
Red Cross workers evacuate the bodies of Taliban fighters that had been left on
battlefields, officials said.
defense ministry last week said Afghan forces had made a “tactical retreat”
from a number of checkpoints in the district to “avoid civilian casualties.”
Aziz Beg, the head of the Badghis provincial council, had described the
situation as “critical” and called for reinforcements.
the weekend Afghan and US-led coalition aircraft conducted multiple air strikes
in support of ground forces.
Taliban said they had conducted a coordinated attack on a series of government
checkpoints, killing 12 security forces.
militants launched their assault ahead of a widely expected spring offensive.
typically declare a new fighting season as winter snows melt, and have in the
past sought to gain control of district centers and target government facilities.
clash started as Zalmay Khalilzad, the US envoy tasked with forging a peace
deal with the Taliban, was in Afghanistan, where he spoke with national leaders
is expected in the coming days to go to Qatar, where Taliban and Afghan
officials are due to meet.
Afghan security personnel have been killed in clashes with the Taliban in the
northwestern province of Badghis.
Defense Ministry said in a statement on Monday that in a time span of 24 hours
eight Afghan National Army soldiers and four police "who fought with
bravery and courage" were killed in Bala Murghab district.
soldiers and two dozen other police officers were also wounded in the clashes.
statement said nearly a hundred Taliban militants were killed, too.
Shahabi, the spokesman for the Badghis governor, said the militants "have
suffered heavy casualties."
foreign forces have cooperated with the Afghan army in the clashes, Shahabi
has raged since hundreds of Taliban militants stormed Bala Murghab on April 3,
attacking several security checkpoints.
week, the defense ministry said Afghan forces had made a "tactical
retreat" from a number of checkpoints to "avoid civilian
March, 50 government soldiers were killed during a week-long battle in the
district. Some 100 Afghan soldiers fled their posts and tried to cross into
neighboring Turkmenistan. Many were captured by the Taliban after Turkmen
government forces prevented them from crossing the border safely.
Ashraf Ghani said earlier this year that 45,000 members of Afghan security
forces had been killed since he took office in September 2014.
arrests brother of Palestinian teen Ahed Tamimi
family of Palestinian protester Ahed Tamimi says her younger brother has been
arrested in their home in the occupied West Bank.
father, Bassem Tamimi, says soldiers broke in early Monday and arrested
says Mohammed broke his arm over the weekend running from tear gas during
protests in their village and suspected he was arrested for throwing stones at
military says it arrested 21 Palestinians overnight for rioting and other
disturbances, without providing further details.
Tamimi served eight months in an Israeli prison for slapping two Israeli
soldiers in an incident captured on film that made her a symbol of Palestinian
opposition to Israeli military rule. In a video taken of her brother’s arrest
she yells: “Stop, or I will hit you.”
prime minister-designate Mohammad Shtayyeh will announce the make-up of his new
government in the coming days, Palestinian officials said Monday.
has until April 14 to form a new government which is expected to exclude all
supporters of Hamas, a longtime rival to the Fatah movement of both Shtayyeh
and Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas.
say real decision-making power remains with 84-year-old Abbas, in power since
on March 10 charged Shtayyeh with forming the new government, replacing Rami
Hamdallah’s technocratic administration which had the nominal backing of Hamas.
movement controls the Gaza Strip, while the Palestinian Authority Abbas heads is
based in the West Bank, where Israel also maintains a military occupation.
smaller factions will also join Fatah in the new government, officials said.
including the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, refused to take
President Mahmoud Aloul told AFP a meeting would be held Monday evening between
Shtayyeh and Abbas to decide on candidates for remaining ministries.
said agreements had been reached over which factions would control which
has criticized the formation of the government, accusing Fatah of a power grab.
and Fatah have been at loggerheads since the Islamists seized control of the
Gaza Strip in a 2007 near-civil war, a year after winning parliamentary
politics has effectively been frozen since, and multiple reconciliation
attempts have failed.
Arab Coalition in Yemen intercepted and destroyed a drone launched by the
Iranian-aligned Houthi militias toward Asir city in Saudi Arabia, the Saudi
Press Agency said late on Sunday.
injuries or damage were reported, SPA added.
official spokesman of the coalition, Colonel Turki Al-Malki, stated that at
20:50 local time on Sunday (17:50 GMT), the Saudi Royal Air Defense Systems
detected an unidentified object headed toward civilian properties in Asir, and
dealt with the target “according to rules of engagement”.
added that the continuous attempts by the Iran-backed Houthi militias to target
civilians through UAVs and remote-controlled explosive speedboats “seeks to
provoke coalition forces into conducting military operations in Hodeidah”, SPA
Joint Forces Command would take all deterrent measures in accordance with
international humanitarian law and its customary rules,” he said.
reaffirmed the commitment of the coalition to supporting the political efforts
spearheaded by Martin Griffiths and the chair of the Redeployment Coordination
Committee to successfully implement the Stockholm Agreement.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he is scheduled to discuss with his Russian
counterpart Vladimir Putin a possible Turkish military operation in northern
Syria, where it has been confronting US-backed militants.
said he would hold talks with President Putin in Moscow on Monday, Russia's RIA
news agency reported.
preparations on the border are finished, everything is ready for an operation.
We can begin it at any moment. I will discuss this issue among others
face-to-face (with Putin) on my visit to Russia," Erdogan was cited as
Turkish leader has vowed that his troops would crush the US-backed YPG militia
east of the Euphrates in northern Syria, saying the militant group could not
rely on Washington’s support to defeat the Anatolian country.
said last year that preparations were complete for an operation.
considers the YPG as a terrorist organization and an extension of the outlawed
Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been fighting for an autonomous
region inside Turkey since 1984.
has been infuriated by US support for the YPG, which forms the backbone of the
so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an anti-Damascus alliance of
predominantly Kurdish militants.
first deployed forces to northern Syria in 2016 to repel the YPG under the
banner of the so-called “Operation Euphrates Shield.”
Turkish incursion in Syria’s northwestern region of Afrin started after the
United States said it sought to set up a thousand-strong force in Syria near
the Turkish border comprising SDF, which is led by the YPG.
views the Turkish military intervention as a violation of its sovereignty, and
has repeatedly called on Ankara to pull its forces out.
however, has vowed to press ahead with attacks on the positions of the YPG.
month, US President Donald Trump ordered a quick withdrawal of all 2,000
American forces from Syria but then said troops would get out slowly “over a
period of time.”
decision to leave Syria has exposed the Kurdish group to possible Turkish
United States, which has set up observation posts on the Syrian side of the
border, has warned Turkey against a new incursion and said the newly
constructed positions would help deter any security threat against Turkey
coming from Syria.
a separate development on Sunday, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said
the easiest way to resolve the issue of Rukban refugee camp near Syria’s
frontier with Jordan is to put an end to the unlawful US occupation of the
think that the easiest and most effective choice would be to put an end to the
unlawful occupation of this territory by the United States," he said.
camp is located near the US base at al-Tanf which is a key center for training
and equipping militants opposed to the Syrian government.
top Russian diplomat further said that that US forces cooperate with militants
in al-Tanf zone, urging Washington to end its “occupation” of the region.
Americans have announced the establishment of some safety zone in the al-Tanf
area with a 55-kilometer radius. It is unclear what they base their illegal
presence there on: it is basically occupation."
The Yemeni army dismantled explosives planted by Houthi militia in the south of
Hodeidah, Saudi state-agency SPA reported on Monday.
militia placed the explosives in farms and residential areas of Ad-Durayhimi
by the militia, targeting Yemen army positions in the province violated the
Stockholm agreement, while the army continued to support peace in the country
the report added.
Pakistan accepted on Monday India’s proposal for a technical meeting on April
16 on the Kartarpur corridor.
with Pakistan’s spirit of constructive engagement, we have agreed to the Indian
proposal for a technical meeting on 16 April. We expect positivity from India
so that the corridor becomes reality for 550th celebrations.
Pakistan Kartarpur Spirit,” the Pakistan foreign office spokesman, Dr Muhammad
March 29, the FO spokesperson had announced that New Delhi had postponed the
scheduled Kartarpur corridor meeting, which was to be held at the Wagah border
on April 2.
March 19, Pakistan and India had held a technical meeting at the designated
zero point to discuss the plan for the corridor project. During the meeting,
technical experts had indicated areas related to the corridor.
Kartarpur corridor will connect Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Narowal
district with Dera Baba Nanak in India’s Gurdaspur district.
will build the corridor from the Indian border to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib while
the other part, from Dera Baba Nanak up to the border, will be constructed by
year, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had laid the foundation stone for the corridor.
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday released his policy statement on the
government’s programme Ehsas, saying it will turn Pakistan into a welfare
said the programme’s premise was grounded in the importance of strengthening
institutions, transparency and good governance.
is about the creation of a ‘welfare state’ by countering elite capture and
leveraging 21st century tools — such as using data and technology to create
precision safety nets; promoting financial inclusion and access to digital
services; supporting the economic empowerment of women; focusing on the central
role of human capital formation for poverty eradication, economic growth and
sustainable development; and overcoming financial barriers to accessing health
and post-secondary education,” the prime minister said.
programme is for the extreme poor, orphans, widows, the homeless, the disabled,
those who risk medical impoverishment, for the jobless, for poor farmers, for
labourers, for the sick and undernourished; for students from low-income
backgrounds and for poor women and elderly citizens.”
programme, he said, was also about lifting the areas where poverty was higher.
The poverty reduction strategy of Ehsas is articulated in four pillars and it
currently embodies 115 policy actions, which may be expanded as the process of
consultations on the programme, further widens, he added.
four pillars include addressing elite capture and making the government system
work to create equality; safety nets for disadvantaged segments of the
population; jobs and livelihoods; and human capital development.”
programme has proposed to amend the Constitution to legally bind the government
to provide food, shelter and basic social services to all the citizens.
said Rs80 billion would be added to social protection spending in the 2019-20
budget and total incremental increase would be Rs120bn in the 2020-21 budget.
prime minister said one-window social protection operation will be conducted to
assist beneficiaries of social protection and to reduce duplication and abuse.
said a need-based system in the framework of the new National Finance
Commission Award will be introduced besides promoting poverty reduction and
addressing inequalities, requires improving mechanisms that regulate allocation
of financial resources and creating the right incentives to deliver on services
Khan said a new policy introduced to guide the use of development expenditure
by parliamentarians to promote transparency, independent oversight and
accountability and guidelines on conflict-of-interest for state and government
said a share for those below a certain poverty line will be earmarked by
allocating khokhas (kiosks), tea shops, newspaper stands, shoe polishing booths
on government-owned land or in government-owned hospitals, parks, and railway
said registration of residents of slum and Kutchi Abadis to facilitate their
transparent inclusion in the event of subsequent commercialisation of the area
will also be done.
prime minister said partnership with NGOs will also be done to upscale
successful programmes for orphans, street children, seasonal migrants,
transgender people, victims of child and bonded labour and daily-wage workers.
Ehsashomes will be constructed for 10,000 orphans, Panahgahsin several major
cities, housing scheme for the poor (including landless farmers) through
said labour pension has been increased from Rs5,250 to Rs6,500 through the Employees
Old-Age Benefit Institution.
Khan said human capital development was a significant contributor to the wealth
of a nation. “It necessitates prioritising investments in early years —
tackling malnutrition, preschool or early education, protecting children from
harm; ensuring access to quality education, skills and jobs; long-term
commitment to Universal Health Coverage, and measures for empowering women and
said the government has also introduced 5+1 model of Desi chicken asset
transfer for poverty alleviation and nutrition and a kitchen gardening
initiative has also been taken to promote subsidised certified seed and
seedlings through the entrepreneurial model to promote fruit and vegetable
prime minister said a policy has also been introduced to accelerate reform of
public hospitals with an increase in their budgets.
said Ehsas will provide a certain percentage of loans under the Prime
Minister’s Youth Programme to support the solutions innovation challenge and
prize funding policy.
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) central information secretary and senator Moula
Bux Chandio has said that Imran Khan is an “incompetent” prime minister and in
order to hide his ineptness, he is hurling allegations at others.
to reporters while inaugurating a hospital in Tando Mir Mahmood here on Monday,
he said the prime minister actually wanted political opponents to seek NRO from
said that for the PPP, politics was worship whereas the Pakistan
Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) was using it as a source of power. “There is no room for
politics of ethnicity in Sindh.” he remarked, and said PPP believed in serving
said it was due to wrong policies of the government that prices of all
commodities had gone out of control in the country. This clearly reflects
failure of the rulers.
said that now the government would face difficult days ahead as those who had
brought them to power were themselves worried.
that the PTI wanted to seek constitutional intervention in Sindh, he warned
that if the ruling party did that, it would also face the similar intervention
in the federal government. He said the federal law minister was a short-sighted
man and was giving wrong advice to the government.
stated that the PTI claimed that the manifestos of the MQM-P and PTI were same.
Arguing that the MQM-P wanted to divide Sindh, he asked if the PTI also
believed so. He said that the outgoing chief justice was “dictated” by someone
else like the present government.
The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday hinted at releasing the Tehreek-e-Labbaik
Pakistan (TLP) leader Khadim Hussain Rizvi if he provides a written affidavit
saying he would not create unrest in the society if released on bail.
November 2018, Rizvi was taken into “protective custody” by police in Lahore
after the law enforcement agencies launched a crackdown on TLP workers amid
their call to observe martyrs day on November 25. Rizvi had reportedly asked
workers and supporters to gather at Islamabad’s Faizabad — the same venue where
the party had staged a weeks-long sit-in in November 2017 that had virtually
paralysed the federal capital and led to several people losing their lives.
arrest also came weeks after the TLP led three-day protests across the country
against the acquittal of Aasia Bibi — a Christian woman whose blasphemy
conviction was overturned by the apex court.
two-member LHC bench headed by Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan on Monday directed
the lawyers for the TLP chief and the state to present their arguments
regarding the bail application on April 11.
High Court Bar Association Chairman Hafizur Rahman was among the lawyers
representing Khadim Rizvi in court. Rahman assured the court that the TLP chief
would not disrupt the law and order situation after his release on bail. “He is
an innocent man sitting in jail,” he argued.
bench, while remaining unconvinced, asked the lawyer what guarantee there was
that Rizvi would not create unrest if granted bail. Subsequently, the bench
ordered that a written guarantee from Rizvi should be provided to the court.
November 2017, TLP workers demanding the resignation of then law minister Zahid
Hamid had staged a weeks-long sit-in at the Faizabad interchange that had
disrupted daily life in the federal capital and led to several deaths. The apex
court had taken notice of the sit-in and directed the defence and interior
secretaries to submit a detailed report on the matter.
later, the then PML-N government had launched against the protesters an
operation which, when failed, had forced the authorities to cave and Hamid to
quashes Zahid’s ban on G25’s book on Islam
LUMPUR, April 9 — The High Court today nullified then-home minister Datuk Seri
Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s 2017 ban on pro-moderation group G25’s book that compiled
writings on the administration of Islam.
G25 movement’s lawyer, Surendra Ananth, said High Court judge Datuk Nordin
Hassan allowed the group’s legal challenge against the ban on the basis that it
was “illegal” and against Section 7(1) of the Printing Presses and Publications
other things, Section 7(1) states that the home minister has the absolute
discretion to order a ban on any publication if he is satisfied that it is
likely to be prejudicial to public order or alarm public opinion or be
prejudicial to the public interest
Surendra said the judge concluded that the requirement was not satisfied.
judge found there was no material put by the minister to show that the book was
likely to be prejudicial to public order,” he told Malay Mail when contacted.
said the former home minister’s affidavit showed that the sole basis for the
ban was based on a view Zahid had received from the Department of Islamic
Development Malaysia (Jakim) asserting that portions of G25’s book were not
court found that a guideline by Jakim in itself doesn’t show or fulfill the
requirement under that Section and there’s also a Court of Appeal decision that
says that,” he said.
said the judge also noted that about one-and-half years had passed between the
book’s publication in December 2015 and the ban, with no untoward incident
occurring to justify the 2017 prohibition.
he found the ban to be illegal and he quashed it,” Surendra said.
book Breaking the Silence: Voices of Moderation ― Islam in a Constitutional
Democracy was compiled by the G25 group comprising prominent Malay-Muslim
individuals including retired senior civil servants, judges, academics and
G25 members who filed for judicial review of the ban were Datuk Noor Farida
Mohd Ariffin, Datuk Zainuddeen Abdul Bahari, the group’s de-facto chairman Tan
Sri Mohd Sheriff Mohd Kassim, the late Datuk Latifah Osman Merican and Dr Asma
a previous supporting affidavit, Mohd Sheriff said the book published by
Singapore-based publisher Marshall Cavendish International contained the
writings of 22 leading academics, lawyers and social activists, including
himself and Asma.
Sheriff had explained that the 379-page book was aimed at promoting “discussion
and dialogue on a moderate practice of Islam and was to be part of the
consultative process embarked upon by G25 to address the excessive
politicization of religion in Malaysia”.
had noted that former prime minister Tun Abdullah Badawi wrote the foreword in
the book, in which he recognised G25’s cause “in pursuit of a moderate and
tolerant Islam with justice for all”.
had also said then prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had accepted a copy of
the book from G25 members during a visit to his office on December 7, 2015.
the home minister, Zahid had on June 14, 2017 banned the book on grounds that
it was likely to be “prejudicial to public order, alarm public opinion, be
prejudicial to public interest”, with the order gazetted on July 27, 2017.
G25 group had written to Zahid in August 2017 with a request for the book ban
to be revoked in 14 days, but had to resort to filing the lawsuit.
behalf of G25, Mohd Sheriff had in the affidavit argued that the book ban
violated the G25 group’s constitutional rights to freedom of speech and equal
treatment, respectively, under the Federal Constitution’s Article 10(1)(a) and
Article 8(1), as well as its right to a fair hearing under Article 5 and 8 when
it was not given an opportunity to be heard before the book ban.
Sheriff had argued that the book ban was “unfair and discriminative treatment”
of G25 that was inconsistent with the government’s policy of pushing for a
moderate approach of Islam, and that the ban was selective as the government
had in many cases tolerated and acknowledged extreme views on Islam and did not
take action against those who made such remarks.
G25 group argued that the book ban should be quashed due to its illegality,
procedural impropriety and as it was irrational and disproportionate, as well
as G25’s legitimate expectation that the home minister would act according to
the Malaysian government’s policy of promoting a “moderate approach of Islam”.
As Indonesia approaches the April 17 election, the presidential hopefuls
intensified their campaigns by luring constituents with promises and solutions
to the country's myriad of problems.
a show of force, former Army general Prabowo Subianto and his running mate
Sandiaga Uno – the only pair challenging the incumbent, Joko "Jokowi"
Widodo and his running mate Ma'ruf Amin – held a mass rally at Gelora Bung
Karno Stadium in Jakarta on Sunday.
rally, which started with a mass prayer at dawn, was enliven by enthusiastic
supporters who had been arriving at the stadium since midnight from across
Jakarta and its satellite cities.
who served under former President Suharto's regime, fed the crowd with nativist
and nationalistic themes, portraying himself as a leader capable of coming up
with solutions for Indonesians who feel insecure both about their daily lives
and the nation's place in the world.
repeated a promise to ensure a government free from corruption. He also touched
on the issues of protecting Indonesia's wealth, job creation jobs and poverty
people want to see changes. The people want improvement in their welfare. The
people don't want to get tricked anymore. God willing, we will win. We look
forward to the change we expect," the 68-year-old presidential hopeful,
wearing a peci hat, safari jacket and sunglasses – the trademark of Sukarno,
the country's charismatic first president.
son-in-law of the country's second president said Indonesians no longer have
patience to wait for change. "Too much corruption in this country,"
he said, repeating a previous statement: "Corruption in Indonesia is
already a disease and this disease is already at stage four."
witness; I promise; I swear; by God's grace, [if] we accept a mandate [from the
people], we are going to create a clean government, as clean as possible,"
said the former commander of the Army Strategic Reserve Command (Kostrad),
which Suharto commanded in 1965.
to Jokowi's Camp: Don't Celebrate Too Soon
across the archipelago will exercise their right to choose a new president,
vice president, lawmakers and members of regional legislative councils on the
same day, the first time ever these elections are held simultaneously in the
country of about 260 million people.
dozens of opinion polls put Jokowi in the lead by a double-digit margin, some
analysts, including Ericssen Wen, a Singapore-based independent political
analyst who specializes in electoral politics, American politics and Indonesian
politics – said Prabowo could still find a way to beat the incumbent.
have made our own calculations. We have our own accurate sources, who last time
predicted [election results in] Greater Jakarta, West Java and Central Java.
They were proven accurate!" said Prabowo, the former husband of Suharto's
Prabowo camp claimed that more than a million people attended Sunday's rally in
Jakarta, despite the stadium only having a seating capacity of 150,000.
also reiterated comments he made during the fourth presidential debate, saying
that he has no plans to do away with the official state ideology of Pancasila –
or five basic principles – and introduce an Islamic caliphate, despite support
from radical organizations such as the banned Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia, which
forms part of an international group seeking to establish a global Islamic
described these allegations as "cruel libel."
Nasir, a key figure in the now banned organization, made an appearance at the
rally, while flags similar to the group's, were displayed.
ulema teaches that Islam in Indonesia is rahmatan lil-alamin [brings mercy to
all creation]. Islam that is at peace with all races and ethnic groups,"
his speech, the presidential candidate also explained that he has gathered some
experts to start working on his expected future government's programs. "By
God's grace, once we receive a mandate, we can start working," Prabowo
cleric Rizieq Shihab, leader of the hardline Islamic Defenders Front, or FPI,
appeared in the video, delivering a message to the crowd during the rally.
is the Prabowo-Sandi candidate pair welcomed everywhere with enthusiasm? People
come without having been paid, without promises of any prizes. That is because
Prabowo-Sandi is the pair chosen by the ulema," Rizieq said in the video.
added that if he wins the election, he would bring the controversial Muslim
leader back to Indonesia from his self-imposed exile. Rizieq fled to Saudi
Arabia to avoid arrest in a pornography case. The case has since been dropped
due to insufficient evidence, but he has yet to return to Indonesia.
to Prabowo, Indonesians can no longer be fooled by the current government's
of Indonesia do not want to be fooled anymore. They are sick of corruption and
they cannot accept that their rights are being trampled," he said, citing
several cases of "injustice," including the jailing of rock star-turned-political
activist Ahmad Dhani, whom he claimed was prosecuted for criticizing the
singer was sentenced to a year in prison for spreading hate speech on social
media. He has appealed his conviction in the Supreme Court.
great to have you all present here… It's not for the dawn payer. I think all of
you came here to show your support. Sandi and I have been traveling Indonesia
for almost eight months. We saw, felt and captured the thrill in the hearts of
the people of Indonesia. The people of Indonesia now need change," he
criticized Jokowi, saying that the cincumbent proudly considers the development
of transportation infrastructure and the reduction of poverty through various
cards, such as for health and education, as proof of his government's
achievements, and which he wants to continue.
we need jobs, not cards," he said. "Please don't hurt the people.
There is no power in this world that can compare with the power of the
went on to paint a grim picture of conditions in the country, saying that it
was like "the motherland is being raped, our wealth is being taken."
He did not elaborate or give any examples, but promised to change the situation
if he is elected as the next president.
to Prabowo's statement, Jokowi explained that the country has achieved much.
should be no talk that the motherland is being raped. It is not true. The truth
is the motherland is achieving," he said at an indoor campaign in BSD City
in Tangerang, Banten, on Sunday night, citing the success of Indonesian
athletes in 2018 Asian Games, Asian Para Games, youth football and more.
urged his supporters to continue spreading good news, keep a positive mind and
remain optimistic, while having the courage to disprove and oppose political
hoaxes, false accusations and hate speech.
Ally Not Happy
Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, co-founder and chairman of the Democratic Party,
criticized the Prabowo-Sandiaga campaign from Singapore on Sunday, saying that
it was wrong to combine a political rally with a mass dawn prayer. The
Democratic Party forms part of the opposition coalition.
my perspective, conducting a grand campaign at Gelora Bung Karno is not common
and it does not constitute an inclusive national campaign," he told
members of his party in a letter on Saturday.
demonstrations, especially shows of force based on identity, whether religion,
ethnicity or ideology, and avoid polarization associated with political
extremism," he said.
the letter, Yudhoyono also requested senior members of his party to advise the
Prabowo camp on how to conduct a more inclusive campaign.
welcomes US blacklisting of Iran Revolutionary Guards
Arabia welcomes the US decision to designate Iran's elite Islamic Revolutionary
Guard Corps a foreign terrorist organisation, Saudi state media said on
Arabia, led by a Sunni Muslim royal family, has accused Shia-majority Iran of
interfering in its and other Middle Eastern countries' internal affairs. Iran
and Saudi Arabia have been fighting proxy wars for years, backing opposing
sides in conflicts in Syria and Yemen.
a look: Saudi minister calls out Iran for 'accusing others' while being
'world's chief sponsor of terrorism'
US decision translates the Kingdom's repeated demands to the international
community of the necessity of confronting terrorism supported by Iran,"
SPA news agency said, citing a foreign ministry source.
London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported on Monday that
the US-led coalition has sent new military convoys, including tens of trucks
carrying military aid and logistical equipment, from Iraqi Kurdistan region to
areas occupied by the SDF in Eastern Euphrates.
added that nearly 700 trucks, carrying vehicles and military and logistic
equipment of the US-led coalition have arrived from Iraq to Eastern Euphrates.
month, Washington-backed Kurdish fighters in Syria declared their final victory
over the ISIL terrorist group, ending bloody battle against the group that once
held territory spanning a third of Syria and Iraq.
US Defense Department also announced that the Islamic State no longer holds any
territory in Syria, according to former White House Spokeswoman Sarah Sanders.
December 2018, US President Donald Trump declared the ISIL terrorist group
defeated in Syria and announced American troop pullout from the country but
gave no timeline. The surprise announcement resulted in the resignation of
Secretary of Defense James Mattis, US anti-IS coalition envoy Brett McGurk and
Pentagon Chief of staff Rear Admiral Kevin Sweeney who disapproved of the
American president's decision.
last month, the American leader confirmed that 400 US soldiers will remain in
the war-torn country indefinitely. Notably, Trump did not give any credit to
the Syrian Army, Russia and other allies for reducing the self-styled caliphate
to its current miserable state.
the US troops have been operating in Syria as part of an international
coalition for about five years without the permission of Syrian authorities or
the UN Security Council. The United States has, in particular, supported the
Kurdish-led militia controlling the territories to the East of the Euphrates
and opposing the Syrian government.
Arabic-language Enab al-Baladi news website quoted media activists and Turkish
journalists as saying on Monday that members of the so-called 'National Army'
affiliated to the Turkish army stationed in Northern Aleppo are being trained
for heliborne operations, using Turkish helicopters.
added that the exact place where the Turkey-backed militants are being trained
is not clear, noting that they are likely being prepared for heliborne
operations in the Turkish bases near the borders with Syria.
Commander of the National Army Mostafa Sejari said that his forces have
undergone intense training for heliborne operations to be prepared for military
operations against the Kurds.
remarks came as media reports said on Wednesday that clashes between the
Kurdish fighters and Ankara-backed terrorists had resumed in Northeastern
Kurdish-language Hawar News reported that heavy clashes had erupted between the
so-called 'al-Bab Military Council' militants and terrorists affiliated to the
Turkish army in the villages near the town of al-Arimeh in the Eastern part of
the town of al-Bab in Northeastern Aleppo.
added that the Ankara-backed terrorists had targeted the Kurds' positions in
the villages of Tal Turin and al-Bawihaj from the village of al-Kuridiyeh.
government forces fought off an attack by a group of suicide bombers on a
position in western Syria on Tuesday, during which three people were killed in
addition to all of the militants, a state-run TV station reported.
attack took place at around 3 am (midnight GMT) near Taybat al-Imam in northern
clash between the guards of the position and the terrorists resulted in three
martyrs and the killing of all members of the terrorist group,” al-Ikhbariya
cited a military source as saying.
Arabia’s Presidency of State Security on Monday released the names of the two
terrorists who were killed after they targeted a checkpoint in the Kingdom’s
Eastern Province and said they were involved in past terror attacks in
statement released on Monday named Majed Ali Abdulrahim al-Faraj and Mahmoud
Ali al-Zarea as the two terrorists who were killed during the attack in Abu
Hadriyah. The statement said that al-Faraj was on Saudi Arabia’s terror list
for involvement in previous attacks in al-Qatif, Eastern Province.
other terrorists who were arrested on Sunday were not identified, as an
investigation was still pending, the statement added.
the terrorists were involved in a number of terrorist cases that took place in
al-Qatif, which included the shooting of citizens, residents, and security
personnel, attacking public facilities, disrupting public life and carrying out
crimes of theft, armed robbery, kidnapping, rape and drug trafficking,”
according the Saudi Presidency of State Security.
of the four men, three were on Saudi Arabia’s wanted list of terrorists.
of the attack
statement said that security forces in the Eastern Province caught the
terrorists while driving a car towards Abu Hadriyah to execute an attack that
had been planned.
stopped and demanded to turn themselves in, the suspects fired at the security
forces who then shot back.
the terrorists’ car was damaged, they resorted to a gas station near the
location and threw a hand grenade, which caused a minor fire at the station.
a result of the operation, a Bahraini woman and a Pakistani man were injured at
the gas station, along with two men from the security forces. They are
currently all being treated for their injuries.
will not allow Sudan to ‘fall into chaos’: Minister
armed forces will not allow the country to “fall into chaos,” Defence Minister
General Awad Ibnouf said Monday as thousands of anti-government protesters
demonstrated outside the military’s headquarters in Khartoum for third straight
armed forces understand the reasons for the demonstrations and is not against
the demands and aspirations of the citizens, but it will not allow the country
to fall into chaos,” Ibnouf said at a meeting of the top brass, according to
the official SUNA news agency.
appeals to Sudan to avoid violence
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday appealed to all sides in Sudan to
urged the government of President Omar al-Bashir to “create a conducive
environment for a solution to the current situation and to promote an inclusive
Interior Minister Bushara Juma said seven protesters died on Saturday when
forces tried to disperse them, 15 were wounded and 2,496 arrested during the
UN chief “appeals to all actors to exercise utmost restraint and avoid
violence,” said a UN statement.
called for the release of the detained protesters and for the full respect of
human rights including the freedom of assembly and freedom of expression.
has been rocked by more than three months of protests that began with
demonstrations against the hike in bread prices and have since morphed into
opposition against Bashir.
clashes death toll rises to 32
least 32 people have been killed and around 50 wounded in fighting with
strongman Khalifa Haftar’s troops near Tripoli, the UN-backed government said.
minister A’hmid Omar gave the updated death toll in an interview with Libya’s
Al-Ahrar television station late Sunday. Haftar’s forces have so far said 14 of
their fighters have died.
clashes raged on Sunday near Tripoli between pro-Haftar fighters and troops
loyal to the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA).
two sides also exchanged air strikes days after Haftar -- who backs an
administration in eastern Libya opposed to the GNA -- launched an offensive
Thursday to seize the capital.
clashes came despite calls by the United Nations and the United States for an
urgent ceasefire. Pro-GNA forces on Sunday announced a counteroffensive named
“Volcano of Anger”.
Colonel Mohamed Gnounou said the operation was aimed at “purging all Libyan
cities of aggressor and illegitimate forces”, in reference to Haftar’s
has been riven by divisions since the NATO-backed uprising in 2011 that killed
dictator Muammar Qaddafi, with rival administrations and armed groups vying for
power and control of the country’s oil.
offensive has threatened to plunge the country into a full-blown civil war and
once again thwart diplomatic efforts to find a solution to Libya’s woes.
people flee clashes
least 2,200 people have fled from fighting south of the Libyan capital Tripoli
since April 4, the United Nations humanitarian office said in a report on
Monday, and many civilians were trapped and cut off from emergency services.
UN envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame condemned in a statement on Monday an air
strike on Tripoli’s only functioning airport, Mitiga, considering it as “a serious
violation of humanitarian law.”
attack takes place as part of an escalation of violence on the ground in areas
around Tripoli and Western Libya,” the UN mission said in the statement.
Libyan forces confirmed the air strike on Tripoli’s airport.
Mismari said on Monday that his force had not targeted civilian planes, only a
MiG parked at Mitiga airport.
Libya’s UN-backed Prime Minister in Tripoli Fayez al-Serraj received a phone
call from France’s President, Emmanuel Macron.
Libyan National Army on Monday confirmed that it is in close proximity to the
Libyan capital but is avoiding entering into residential neighborhoods of the
city, an al-Hadath correspondent reported.
correspondent also reported skirmishes around the Tripoli airport and said that
the LNA now controls four of the seven military posts in the region. According
to the correspondent, the military has also announced the control of strategic
sites including the entrances of the Spring Valley.
Interior Ministry has announced the death of at least seven people during two
days of the ongoing anti-government protests in the country.
a statement, a copy of which was seen by Reuters, Sudanese Interior Minister
Bishara Jumaa said six people were killed during protests in the country’s
capital of Khartoum on Saturday and Sunday, and one more died in the western
region of Darfur.
also said 15 civilians and 42 members of the security forces were injured in
the anti-government rallies, adding that 2,496 protesters were arrested in
Saturday, thousands of Sudanese people launched the biggest anti-government
rally since protests first erupted in December last year, marching on the
residence of President Omar al-Bashir and calling for his resignation.
forces fired tear gas and clashed with the protesters, arresting a number of
Sunday, the protesters gathered outside the presidential compound, which also
houses the defense ministry and the army headquarters, chanting slogans against
protesters blocked a nearby bridge linking Khartoum with the northern Bahari
district with rocks, causing huge traffic jams. The move prompted the Sudanese
riot police to use teargas to disperse the crowd.
has been the scene of frequent protests since December, when the government
tried to raise bread prices.
initial public display of anger over the bread price hike spiraled into calls
for 75-years-old Bashir, who took power in 1989 through a military coup, to
attempt to further quell the rallies, the embattled president declared on
February 22 a state of emergency across the African country, dissolved the
central government, replaced state governors with security officials, boosted
police powers and prohibited unauthorized public demonstrations.
slew of measures, however, failed to appease the demonstrators.
protesters seek talks with army on 'transition'
Alliance for Freedom and Change, the Sudanese group spearheading months-long
protests against the 75-year-old embattled president, called on the army on
Monday to hold direct talks with demonstrators about forming a transitional
call on the Sudanese armed forces to talk directly with the Alliance for
Freedom and Change for facilitating the peaceful process of forming a
transitional government," Omar el-Digeir, a senior member of the group,
said in a statement.
said the protest organizers had also formed a council to start talks with
security forces and the international community, which was aimed at reaching an
agreement on a political transition that would give power to a
"transitional government that represents the wish of the revolution.”
also call on the Sudanese armed forces to withdraw their support for a regime
that has lost its legitimacy," Digeir said. "We call on the Sudanese
armed forces to support the Sudanese people's alternative for a transition to a
civilian democratic government."
call comes as anti-government protests are underway for a third day in the
army deploys as protesters keep pressure on Bashir
said on Monday that Sudan’s army had stationed troops around its headquarters
in Khartoum, blocking several roads leading to the complex, the most
heavily-guarded one in the country.
of protesters have been holding a sit-in outside the complex since Saturday,
calling on the military to back their calls for the president’s resignation.
has been suffering from a worsening economic crisis, including a serious
shortage of foreign currency.
loyal to Libya’s UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) recaptured two
military bases near the capital Monday from commander Khalifa Haftar, according
to GNA’s social media account.
counteroffensive, called “Volcano of Anger”, repelled attacks conducted by
Haftar’s forces in Tripoli and other cities, retaking Yarmouk and as-Sawareh
military bases, according to the social media posts.
23 forces of Haftar were captured during the operation, it said.
forces also recaptured Tripoli International Airport from Haftar, according to
a local military source.
flights returned to normal at Mitiga airport in the capital after it was
targeted earlier Monday by warplanes affiliated with Libya’s eastern government
and forces loyal to Haftar.
Thursday, Haftar launched military operations with the aim of capturing
Tripoli. After initial success, however, the campaign appeared to have ground
to a halt Monday.
has remained beset by turmoil since 2011, when a bloody, NATO-backed uprising
led to the ouster and death of strongman Muammar Gaddafi after four decades in
NATIONS, United States: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday
strongly condemned the military escalation near Tripoli and called for an
immediate halt to the fighting in Libya.
appeal followed an air attack by the forces of commander Khalifa Haftar on the
Mitiga airport east of the capital.
“urges the immediate halt of all military operations in order to de-escalate
the situation and prevent an all-out conflict,” said a UN statement.
“strongly condemns the military escalation and ongoing fighting in and around
Tripoli, including the aerial attack today by a Libyan National Army (LNA)
aircraft against Mitiga airport.”
air strike shut down Tripoli’s only functioning airport as fighting raged
around the capital and thousands fled.
self-styled LNA claimed Monday’s air strike against the airport, with a
spokesman saying the attack targeted a MiG-23 military plane and a helicopter.
launched the offensive on Tripoli last week just as Guterres was in Libya to
push for a political deal on holding elections.
UN-backed unity government controls the capital, but its authority is not
recognized by a parallel administration in the east of the country.
fighting escalated over the weekend, the United Nations called for a
humanitarian pause to allow civilians trapped in the violence to escape, but
the appeal fell on deaf ears.
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