Imam: ISIS Members Need ‘Right Kind’ of Islam to Rehabilitate into Society
Cuts Cash Aid to Northeast Syria, Citing Fear of Funding ISIS
Blasts: Clear That International Elements Are Involved, Says Sri Lankan
Lanka Attacks Death Toll Rises to 290, About 500 Wounded: Police
Ankara-Backed Militants Plunder Infrastructures in Aleppo's Afrin
World League Signs Deal With Moscow to Promote Interfaith Dialogue
Settlers Storm Al-Aqsa Mosque, Perform Passover Prayers
Protest Leaders Suspend Talks with Army Rulers
Must Be Prepared For Limited Military Actions against Terror Groups In
Pakistan: Hooda-Led Panel
Cuts Cash Aid To Northeast Syria, Citing Fear Of Funding ISIS
England mosque attacked three times in three days
Blasts: Clear That International Elements Are Involved, Says Sri Lankan Official
people arrested in connection with multiple blasts in Sri Lanka
meeting to focus on foreign troops’ pullout: Taliban
Supreme Court extends Ghani’s term till elections
Taliban militants killed in Special Forces raids and airstrikes
commander ‘Dada’ and his 7 fighters killed in U.S. drone strike in Nangarhar
Taliban militants killed in airstrikes conducted in Wardak province
Khurasan claims responsibility for the attack on telecom ministry in Kabul
Lanka lifts curfew after bomb attacks
claims deadly attack on Afghan ministry
Ezzur: Syrian Army Wards Off ISIL's Attack from SDF-Controlled Area
of Terrorists Killed in Foiled Attack on Syrian Army Positions in Aleppo
sentences four to death for joining ISIS
king reinstates nationality of 551 citizens sentenced on terror cases
Arabia foils terrorist attack north of Riyadh
Arabia leads global condemnation of Sri Lanka attacks
Meir Kahane’s Toxic Legacy Poisoned the Palestinian Peace Process
League Pledges $100 mln per Month to Palestinian Authority
Supreme Leader appoints new IRGC chief commander
opposition leader attacked at soldier’s funeral
mark Easter at Jerusalem’s Holy Sepulchre
bans entry of Gazan Christians to West Bank for Easter
Forces Press Offensive On Libyan Capital
authorities arrest members of Bashir’s party
lifts immunity of agents involved in protester’s death
airport in Libya’s Tripoli re-opens, authorities say
airstrikes rock Libyan capital amid fierce fighting
In South Kashmir Don’t Fear Militants But Want Government Jobs
Mass Murder: India Sent Alert, But Why Sri Lanka’s Guard Was Down
watch on IS-related activities has foiled terror plots in India
take sheen off Sri Lanka as hot tourist destination for Indians
Denies Malaysia Being Silent in China’s Treatment of Uyghur Muslims
Says It Again: We Are Committed To Rule Of Law
can name PAS leader who received RM90m, says Hadi
minister: Right to freedom of religion guaranteed under Federal Constitution
Sanction Nations for Importing Iranian Oil, Says a Report
Department announces deaths of US service members in Iraq and Qatar
mainstream media taken over by CIA, Mossad: Analyst
inflates Sri Lanka attacks victims by 'a million times' in new gaffe
Extends Greetings As Christian Community Celebrates Easter
need to launch movement as govt is crumbling: opposition
pledges housing quota for terror-hit Hazara families
stands with Sri Lanka': Qureshi calls Sri Lankan premier to condemn terrorist
mosque crumbles after Rs120m preservation work
questions parties’ silence on ‘political chaos’ in country
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Swedish imam based in Stockholm has claimed that returning Islamic State
members need the “right” kind of Islam to help rehabilitate them back into
Kashif Virk has called for the Swedish government to include the “knowledge and
experience of religious congregations” to help reintegrate any returning
fighters in an opinion article for publication Dagens Samhalle.
imam was, however, cautious over the fact that Sweden may not be properly
equipped to prosecute those who have committed atrocities overseas saying, “In
Sweden, we have a legal system that is not adapted for these gross abuses
against humanity. The crimes are difficult to prove. The punishment is not in
proportion to the crimes.”
also said that he was opposed to the idea of “calling terrorists home” and
noted that the returnees “not only pose a threat to Sweden, but to the whole
article was written as a follow-up to another opinion piece Virk wrote earlier
this month in which he argued that returning Islamic State members should not
be banned from coming back from Sweden but should instead be given a “second
chance” following a judicial process.
offences that can be proved must be prosecuted. The way back to a normal life
must go through the judiciary,” he said.
Virk is a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, which is often seen as
blasphemous by radical Sunni Muslim extremists such as the Islamic State who
have referred to them as polytheists.
2016, it was reported that Islamic State militants went as far as to bomb an
Ahmadi mosque in Bangladesh as part of a number of other attacks against
non-Sunni branches of Islam.
Muslim groups in Sweden, such as the Shiite community, have expressed fear of
Islamic State militants returning home.
Hashem, the chairman of the Ahl Al-Bait Cultural Centre in the Oxhagen district
of Örebro, said his centre had already been forced to hire guards due to
threats from Sunni extremists.
they come back and know that there is a Shia mosque here, of course, we are
afraid of it. They might come in and hurt someone,” he said.
cuts cash aid to northeast Syria, citing fear of funding ISIS
organisations working in Syria say they are “extremely shocked” after the UK
cancelled millions of dollars in cash assistance to the northeast of the
country out of concern that money could be diverted to ISIS.
have suspended the use of UK aid through cash transfers in northeast Syria
following the territorial defeat of Daesh,” a spokesperson for the UK’s
Department for International Development (DFID) told The National, using the
Arabic acronym for ISIS. “This is a precautionary measure due to the risks
associated with the dispersal of Daesh members. UK aid will still give food,
shelter and healthcare to those people in Syria in desperate need.”
group of international NGOs working in Syria described the decision as “politically
driven” and a “hasty reactionary stance”. The cutting of cash distributions
will negatively affect already vulnerable populations and was “disappointing
and impossible to explain or justify” to local actors, the group of 58 NGOs
said in a letter to the department obtained by The National.
has budgeted £152 million (Dh756 m) for support to Syria in its 2019/2020
budget, including £40 m (DH191 m) to northeast Syria. Up to $5 m (Dh18 m) of
this is earmarked for cash assistance and could be cut, one aid worker told The
National. Affected NGOs include The International Rescue Committee, Mercy
Corps, and Care International.
much aid has been distributed as in-kind assistance such as food, clothing, or
shelter kits. But in the last decade many aid agencies have shifted towards
paying cash to those in need, citing its greater efficiency, lower
implementation costs and its ability to preserve the dignity and autonomy of
of the big benefits of giving cash and vouchers rather than food parcels is the
incredible value for money that can be achieved,” DFID said last year in a
press release. “Cash transfers deliver better value for money for UK taxpayers
and better support the world’s poorest people who often rely on our help to
the provision of aid in northeast Syria has become politically charged in
recent months, given the large numbers of ISIS supporters who have recently
arrived in displacement camps.
the start of the year some 60,000 people have fled the last ISIS-held territory
in the country, which only fell to US-backed Syrian forces last month. The vast
majority have been taken to the overcrowded Al Hol camp, where some of the
group’s most hardened supporters remain committed to the idea of the caliphate
declared by Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi in 2014.
the UK in particular, public attention on unrepentant ISIS members, including
Bethnal Green teenager Shamima Begum, has made the government wary of providing
assistance to such groups. This is "what set off this public backlash and
changed UK policy in Syria," said Fe Kagahastian, a cash and markets
specialist deployed to the Syria response by the Norwegian Refugee Council's
media focus on one Daesh-affiliated woman [Ms Begum] effectively strips tens of
thousands of Syrians – who are displaced after fleeing ISIS violence to begin
with – of a more dignified form of assistance," she told The National.
decision to cut cash assistance to northeast Syria was a “precautionary measure”,
it told aid agencies, adding that it was not aware of any money actually being
diverted towards ISIS.
payments and disbursements to vulnerable families typically amount to about
$120 (Dh478) per month and are unlikely to form a meaningful source of funding
for ISIS, even if part of it were diverted to the group, aid workers say.
its territorial defeat, ISIS has continued a low-level insurgency across parts
of Syria and Iraq. During its retreat, ISIS is believed to have cached up to $400
m to continue operations, smuggling cash out of Iraq and Syria and investing in
legitimate local businesses.
distributions to help families buy food and other life-saving items cannot be
quickly or easily replaced with alternatives, aid workers say. “We can’t just
switch to other modalities; this decision by DFID represents people missing out
on assistance,” an NGO worker in northeast Syria told The National, speaking
anonymously because they were not authorised to brief the media.
cash distributions also has negative flow on affects on the market, said Ms
Kagahastian. "The small shopkeepers, traders, bakers, water and fuel
suppliers, transportation service providers are also now at risk of losing
their businesses as displaced Syrians lose their purchasing power."
Raqqa, cash for work schemes have been critical to the restoration of services
in the city, after it was heavily damaged in fighting to drive out ISIS. NGOs
working in the region now fear that should other donors decide to restrict cash
assistance, such critical stabilisation efforts will stop.
decision to ban cash assistance in northeast Syria will deprive tens of
thousands of Syrians of existing and planned assistance,” the group of NGOs
wrote to other foreign donors. “Suddenly stopping this essential life-saving
and dignity sustaining programming would have both immediate and long-lasting
blasts: Clear that international elements are involved, says Sri Lankan
“involvement of international elements is clear” from the pattern of Sunday’s
blasts in Sri Lanka, and investigators suspect that “two or three more bombs”
are yet to be detected, a top government official in Colombo told The Indian
Lakthilaka, advisor and coordinating secretary at the Presidential Secretariat,
also said that the arrest of seven suspects was based on the “suspicious
movement” of a vehicle before the blast at Colombo’s Cinnamon Grand hotel,
which was one of those targetted.
a series of blasts and killings was not witnessed even at the height of the Sri
Lankan war (against the Tamil Tigers)…We can see a pattern similar to a series
of blasts that occurred in Nigeria a few years ago (2011) and an attack in
Pakistan (2018),” Lakthilaka said, without providing further details.
about the arrests during a raid by police at a Colombo apartment, he said:
“They remain significant at the moment. But the seven who were arrested there
cannot be linked directly to the blast as they were taken in custody out of
suspicion, for being in the vicinity of an apartment where the terrorists were
camping… Investigators suspect that two or three more bombs remain at large.”
one of the first crucial tip-offs, the official said: “We traced the vehicle
immediately to the compound of an apartment in Dematagoda in Colombo’s northern
suburb. Security personnel surrounded the building. As officers were about to
enter the house on the third floor to carry out searches, a suicide bomber
detonated explosives killing a Special Task Force personnel and two constables
who were in the search team.”
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about a possible security and intelligence lapse, he said: “A detailed
investigation will look into all aspects of the incident. It may be too early
to talk about (security) lapses. Terrorists have penetrated our security
system… We suspect the role of international elements behind this. We cannot
pinpoint anyone, a political or religious angle, to this tragedy right now. We
have tightened security for all hotels and worship centres in the country. The
situation is under control and the army is on standby to assist and take over
any crisis situation.”
Batticaloa, Bishop Joseph Ponniah, who witnessed the blast at the Zion church
where at least 30 people were killed, said the bombings showed that the
“majority and minority factor continues to haunt Sri Lanka”.
was sitting inside the Bishop House, which is hardly 100 metres from the Zion
church. I had been watching many children enter the church since morning on
Easter Day for special prayers and special classes. Later, the elders, too,
started arriving. It was around 9.10 am when I heard the blast that killed all
those innocent people,” he said.
in the eastern province, is home to a majority of Hindu Tamils and a sizeable
number of Christian and Muslim population who hail mostly from an agrarian
if the three-decade-long war (with the Tamil Tigers) ended in 2009, minorities
continued to face threats. We were victims of atrocities by both the terrorists
(LTTE) and the army. Now, it looks like it will never end. The minorities are
not being cared for, nothing is being done. The majority and minority factor
continues to haunt Sri Lanka,” he said.
even in those 30 years of war, never had such an attack on a single day
targetted so many innocent people across the country… We fear the death toll
may go up further in Batticaloa,” he said.
Lanka attacks death toll rises to 290, about 500 wounded: Police
The death toll from attacks on churches and luxury hotels across Sri Lanka rose
significantly to 290, and about 500 people were also wounded, police said on
death toll overnight had stood at 207. Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera
declined to give a breakdown of those killed and wounded at each of the three
churches and four hotels hit on Sunday, attacks that marked the most
significant violence since a bloody civil war ended 10 years ago.
government source said President Maithripala Sirisena, who was abroad when the
attacks happened, had called a meeting of the National Security Council early
on Monday. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe would attend the meeting, the
London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that the
Ankara-backed Olive Branch militants affiliated to Turkish Army have dismantled
the railway in Akbas Square town in a bid to transfer them to other areas to be
the Turkey-backed militants have also cut the trees in Meidanaki region and
other villages in Bolbol region of Afrin, it added.
SOHR also pointed to continued arrests of civilians by Ankara-backed terrorists
in Afrin, and said that the al-Montaser al-Belah terrorists in Haou village in
Mabatli region have made numerous arrests and released only those civilians who
have paid them cash.
a relevant development earlier this week, the Kurdish-language media reported
that the Turkish Army had strengthened its military positions in areas under
its control in Afrin and set up another military base for Jeish al-Islam
Kurdish-language Hawar News quoted local sources in Afrin as saying that the
Ankara Army is presently setting up 3-meter walls in the surrounding areas of
its command centers in the villages of Afrin region, specially in the villages
bordering al-Shahba region.
report pointed to an attempt by the Turkish Army to destroy people's houses,
administrative buildings, schools and water reservoirs North of Jalbareh
village in Shirva, and said that the occupying army intends to set a new
military base in the same region.
informed sources reported that the Turkish troops are establishing a command
center and a camp for Jeish al-Islam terrorists near Kawa al-Haddad Square.
also said that the Jeish al-Islam terrorists are meant to use the camp for
training their militants.
World League signs deal with Moscow to promote interfaith dialogue
The Secretary-General of the Muslim World League (MWL) Sheikh Dr. Mohammed bin
Abdul Karim Al-Issa held a meeting with the president of the Russian People’s
Council, Sergei Ordzhonikidze, and other council members, where they discussed
issues of common interest.
looked into means of boosting cooperation between Russia and the Muslim world,
supporting positive national integration programs and countering extremist
speeches and Islamophobia.
lauded the Russian model of national harmony and coexistence, while
Ordzhonikidze presented Al-Issa with a copy of the council’s yearly report.
the meeting the two parties signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to share
their experiences in the fight against extremist ideologies, the promotion of
interreligious dialogue and coexistence and the implementation of joint
projects to achieve shared goals. They also stressed the pure and peaceful
values of Islam and rejected all forms of extremism and Islamophobia.
meeting was attended by the Russian deputy chairman of the Committee for the
Development of Agriculture, Aygun Memedov, the chairman of the Committee on the
Normalization of Relations Between Nationalities and Religions, Sheikh Albert
Karganov, the Mufti of Moscow and the Khanti-Mansisk Region in Siberia Sheikh
month, Al-Issa met with Speaker of the Russian Parliament Vyacheslav Volodin.
They discussed subjects related to promoting and supporting dialogue among
followers of different religions and civilizations, activating cultural
contacts and exchanges between the Muslim world and Russia.
signed a cooperation agreement between the MWL and Moscow’s Fund for Islamic
Culture, Science and Education. The agreement focused on tackling extremism and
promoting tolerance. The agreement stressed the need for cooperation in the
fight against extremism, intolerance, aggression and hostility among religions,
races and ideologies that could lead to terrorism.
parties agreed to exchange information on the activities of scientific centers,
cultural forums and websites.
settlers storm al-Aqsa Mosque, perform Passover prayers
than 150 Israeli settlers have stormed the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the
occupied Old City of East Jerusalem al-Quds under the protection of Israeli
Palestinian Ma’an news agency, citing spokesperson for the Islamic Waqf
(Endowment) organization Firas al-Dibs, said that a total of nearly 167 Israeli
settlers entered the compound through the Moroccan Gate in the early hours of
Sunday and throughout the afternoon.
said the settlers, who were being escorted by heavily-armed Israeli forces,
provocatively toured the holy site to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Passover,
also known as Pesach.
further said that a large group of Israeli settlers performed Jewish religious
rituals in the compound, which sits just above the Western Wall plaza and
houses both the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa mosques.
say Israeli settlers routinely “raid” the sacred compound via the Moroccan
Gate, tour the site, and leave through the Chain Gate.
Israelis regard the site as their most holy place, as it is located where Jews
believe the First and Second Temples once stood.
Jewish visitation of al-Aqsa is permitted, but according to an agreement signed
between Israel and Jordan — which is the custodian of the holy sites in the
compound — after Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem al-Quds in 1967,
non-Muslim worship at the compound is strictly prohibited.
accompanied by worship thus anger the Palestinians, who have repeatedly warned
of Israeli attempts to change the status quo of the al-Aqsa compound, the third
holiest site in Islam.
the number of Israeli lawmakers who enter the sacred compound has increased
since Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided last July to allow such visits
once every three months.
of the Knesset members are right-wing extremists who support the demolition of
the Islamic site in order to build a Jewish temple in its place.
occupied Palestinian territories have witnessed new tensions ever since US
President Donald Trump announced a unilateral decision in December 2017 to
recognize Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s “capital” and relocate the US embassy
in Israel from Tel Aviv to the occupied city.
decision dealt a blow to the Palestinians, who view the eastern sector of the
occupied city as the capital of their future state.
protest leaders suspend talks with army rulers
leaders on Sunday said they suspended talks with Sudan’s military council as
they urged people to intensify their protest outside army headquarters in
Khartoum and in other towns.
will continue the sit-in and we are suspending our talks with the military
council,” a spokesman of the protest movement Mohamed al-Amin announced in
front of thousands of protesters gathered outside the army complex.
are treating the military council as an extension of the regime,” he said.
also called on demonstrators to step up their protests until their demand for a
transfer of power to a civilian council is met by the military.
call for escalating and continuing the demonstrations until the demands are
met,” he said.
sea of protesters had been rallying outside the army headquarters, awaiting the
unveiling of a civilian body to replace the military council that was put in
place following the ouster of president Omar al-Bashir earlier this month.
military rulers have resisted calls to transfer power immediately to a civilian
body, but earlier on Sunday new army ruler General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan
insisted he was committed to handing power to the people and also pledged to
respond to demonstrators’ demands within a week.
must be prepared for limited military actions against terror groups in
Pakistan: Hooda-led panel
DELHI: India must be prepared for unilateral, limited military actions against
terror groups in Pakistan as it can be assured of peace only if it demonstrates
its capability to defend national interests through the use of force, according
a report by the Congress-constituted task force on national security.
report by the task force headed by Lt. Gen (retd) D S Hooda, made public on
Sunday, stated that India's military preparedness will have to cater for a
range of response options from surgical strikes to an all-out conflict as
future conflicts will see an increased blurring between the tactical,
operational and strategic levels of war.
task force also called for long-term resolution to the difficult problem of
conflict in Jammu and Kashmir and said serious efforts are required for
countering radicalisation in the state.
panel also called for cooperation with China and strengthening India's military
preparedness through more budgetary allocation and modernisation in the defence
required, India must also be prepared for unilateral, limited military actions
against terror groups in Pakistan.
must also not rule out dialogue with Pakistan. However, talks with Pakistan
must be structured, and further progress must be based on visible results.
India and Pakistan must also seriously engage on nuclear issues. Nuclear sabre
rattling by Pakistan is a major hindrance to stability in South Asia," it
will only be assured of peace if we can visibly demonstrate our capability to
defend our national interests through the use of force. Future conflicts will
see an increased blurring between the tactical, operational and strategic
levels of war. Our military preparedness will have to cater for a range of
response options from surgical strikes to an all-out conflict," it said.
that India-Pakistan relations are at a new low, the panel said Pakistan's
attempts to bring India to the negotiating table by destabilising Kashmir have
not only failed but also hardened India's stance.
said that international support to India's air strikes in Balakot has
reinforced the policy on cross-border operations. "However, there is also
no doubt that military actions carry the risk of escalation and this needs to
be factored into our future plans," it said.
report by Hooda, who is said to have headed the team that conducted the
surgical strikes on terror camps in PoK, stated that there is a need to have a
sustained and long-term strategy to build consistent pressure on Pakistan to
desist from supporting terror and diplomacy and economic isolation will play a
large part in this strategy.
task force felt that internal conflicts are a grave danger to India's national
security, imposing enormous economic, political, human and social costs.
noted that despite successes on this front, the challenges remain particularly
in Jammu and Kashmir, the Northeast and the Left-Wing Extremism-affected areas.
the conflict in Jammu and Kashmir as India's "biggest internal security
challenge", the report said the two key factors responsible for continuing
strife in the state are constant support of Pakistan to terror activities in
the state and the sense of anger and alienation among sections of the
population in Kashmir valley.
is exacerbated by growing radicalisation," it said, adding that rise in
number of local youths joining terror ranks is another worrying factor.
immediate focus should be on bringing calm to the streets and reducing violence
levels in Kashmir. It is only after this that further steps can be taken for a
long-term resolution to this difficult problem. And calm will come only if we
deal with the people of Jammu and Kashmir with empathy and understanding.
well-thought-out surrender and rehabilitation policy could be an effective step
in reversing the growing trend of locals joining terror ranks. Healing must
begin from within the state," it said, calling for encouraging civil
society to take the lead in this.
vexing problem of the displaced Kashmiri Pandit community must be squarely
faced to find an honourable solution, it said.
terrorists is an integral part of military operations to ensure that the state
does not descend into chaos. However, this is not the primary measure of
success or conflict resolution. Serious efforts are required for countering
radicalisation," it suggests.
also called for the need to have better protective equipment, bulletproof
vehicles, counter-IED technology, surveillance and early-warning devices, and
strong garrison security, that needs to be made on priority.
committee also said the nuclear command and control system should be hardened
against cyber attacks and India needs to gradually start building up a missile
defence system to protect major cities.
will only be assured of peace if we can visibly demonstrate our capability to
defend our national interests through the use of force. Future conflicts will
see an increased blurring between the tactical, operational and strategic
levels of war. Our military preparedness will have to cater for a range of
response options from surgical strikes to an all-out conflict," the report
task force report said the current budgetary allocations for defence, tardy
procurement procedures, existing force composition, and decision-making
structures pose a serious challenge to force modernisation and measures need to
be taken to overcome this.
in a northern English city have opened an investigation into repeated
Islamophobic attacks on a major mosque in the past few days.
said on Saturday it had received three reports of hate attacks on the
Masjid-e-Salaam mosque in Preston, Lancashire, over the past three days, adding
that vandals had sprayed graffiti on the gatepost of the mosque to disrespect
have now been three reports in a matter of days and this is understandably
causing a lot of upset and concern in the local community,” said Chief
Inspector Gary Crowe, adding, “I would like to reassure people, especially
worshipers in the area, that we are taking this extremely seriously.”
published on the social media by the mosque authorities showed the attackers
had spray painted offensive slurs on the gatepost to insult Muslims.
last attack came on Saturday at 10:45 pm after the first two graffiti messages,
sprayed between Thursday and Friday, had been removed.
officers were deployed to the area to prevent further attacks while authorities
urged everyone with information to come forward.
said on Sunday that a 47-year-old man, from Preston, had been arrested on
suspicion of involvement in the attack.
attacks come amid a surge in hate crimes against Muslims in Britain. They took
place nearly a month after an Australian white supremacist, who had claimed to
be inspired by Islamophobes in Britain, massacred 50 Muslims in two mosques in
the city of Christchurch in New Zealand.
of Islamic communities in the UK believe certain politicians and some media
outlets should be blamed for increased hate crimes against the Muslims in the
country. They cite comments by notable political figures which have encouraged
attacks on Muslims in the UK, saying the rhetoric is meant to please supporters
of far-right, nationalist groups amid a national debate on leaving the European
Sri Lankan authorities have arrested 24 people from the minority Muslim
community in connection with the multiple blasts that rocked the island nation
on Sunday, killing over 290 people.
string of eight powerful blasts, including suicide attacks, struck churches and
luxury hotels frequented by foreigners in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, killing
over 290 people, including five Indians, and shattering a decade of peace in
the island nation since the end of the brutal civil war with the LTTE.
spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera said the number of arrests on the incidents have now
gone up to 24.
the government said they will not disclose the details of the suspects involved
in the attacks to prevent them from getting publicity.
give extremists a voice. Don't help to make them martyrs," State minister
of defence, Ruwan Wijewardene, told reporters when asked for details of those
officials privately said the suspects were all from the minority Muslim
said the van which had carried explosives to carry out bomb attacks at the
three hotels was arrested with its Muslim driver.
safe house where the bombers had lived for nearly three months leading to the
attacks were discovered in the south of Colombo suburb of Panadura.
Lanka Air Force said it found an improvised explosives device along a road
leading to the departure terminal at the Colombo international airport Sunday
was a crude six- foot pipe bomb that was found by the roadside," an air
force spokesman said.
have removed it and safely defused it at an air force location," he added.
Upcoming talks between the Taliban and the United States will focus on the
timetable for pulling out all foreign troops from Afghanistan, according to a
senior Taliban member.
an interview, the Taliban’s political spokesman Suhail Shaheen said previous
negotiations with Washington saw the two sides agree to a total withdrawal,
with only the details needing to be fleshed out.
our last round of talks with the US side, we agreed with them on withdrawal of
all foreign forces from Afghanistan,” Shaheen said late on Saturday.
return for a withdrawal, he said the Taliban have committed to preventing
terrorist groups from using Afghanistan as a safe haven or for launching
attacks on other countries.
still there are some details to be discussed, and this discussion will take
place in our next round of talks and that is about [the] timetable of the
withdrawal of forces from the country and other details,” he said.
next round of talks is expected to take place in Doha in the coming weeks, but
no dates have been formally announced.
special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, who is leading the talks for Washington, said
after the latest round ended that “real strides” had been made, but he insisted
no agreement was reached on when the US and other countries might leave
spoke of an agreement “in draft” on the issues of counterterrorism, assurances
from the Taliban and troop withdrawal, and suggested the next phases would be
intra-Afghan dialogue and a ceasefire, but stressed that nothing was finalised.
has also said that “nothing is agreed to until everything has been agreed to”.
meeting between the Taliban and Afghan politicians and representatives that was
due to take place over the weekend collapsed amid bickering about Kabul’s
lengthy list of delegates, which initially comprised 250 people. The conference
would have been separate from the main US-Taliban peace talks.
so far have faced fierce criticism in Afghanistan and internationally for their
lack of women participants. While in power from 1996 to 2001, the Taliban
banned girls’ education, shredded any Western notion of women’s rights and
executed women on allegations of adultery.
militants now say they support some access to education for girls, though this
would be along religious lines in segregated schools.
spoke to AFP in Qatari capital Doha, which has become the main hub for
Afghanistan peace talks and once hosted a political office for the Taliban.
facility was closed down after protests by Kabul, which said the Taliban were
using the office as a de-facto embassy.
now, we do not have any office,” the spokesman said.
supreme court extends Ghani’s term till elections
Afghanistan’s supreme court has extended the term of President Ashraf Ghani
until delayed elections take place, an official said on Sunday, resolving for
now the question of what would happen after his term expires on May 22.
elections were initially slated for April 20, but Afghan poll officials were
unprepared for a new nationwide vote so soon after October parliamentary elections.
some final results from that election still pending, the presidential poll was
delayed until July 20, then pushed back again until September 28.
News published a statement from the court saying it “has extended the service
term of President Ghani until the re-election of a new president”.
supreme court understands the financial, security and logistical challenges
faced by the election commission.” While the court did not make the statement
public, Faraidoon Khwazoon, the deputy spokesman to Afghan chief executive
Abdullah Abdullah, confirmed the document, noting that Abdullah’s term had also
the supreme court has made its decision, based on the constitution, on the
extension of the service term of the president,” Khwazoon said, adding the
extension would last “until the re-election of the new president”.
office could not immediately be reached for comment.
delayed elections come as the United States tries to negotiate a peace deal
with the Taliban, and some had speculated the polls were being deliberately
stalled to create more space for those talks.
politicians and presidential contenders had called for an interim government to
fill the gap between Ghani’s mandate expiring and the presidential elections.
supreme court said it was asking “presidential candidates to respect the delay
in the presidential elections”.
least 24 Taliban militants were killed during the operations of the Afghan
Special Forces and airstrikes which were conducted in various provinces of the
country in the past 24 hours.
to informed military sources, one Taliban fighter was killed and three others
were wounded during an operation of the Special Forces in Nahr-e-Saraj district
Afghan Special Forces conducted a similar operation in Uruzgan province and
destroyed 5 complete IEDs and 10 IED
least 5 Taliban fighters were killed during the Special Forces operations in
Ghazni province, the sources said, adding that the Afghan Special Forces
conducted a raid in northern Parwan province during the same period and
confiscated a small weapons cache.
sources also added that the Afghan Special Forces conducted a clearance
operation near Farah City and arrested 8 Taliban fighters while airstrikes were
also carried out in the province which left 10 militants dead.
22 Apr 2019
commander of the Taliban group and his seven fighters were killed in a U.S.
drone strike in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.
201st Silab Corps in a statement said the U.S. forces on Saturday carried out
an airstrike using unmanned aerial vehicle targeting a Taliban commander famous
as Dada and his fighters in Marki Khel area of Khogyani district.
statement further added that a Taliban commander famous as Dada was killed in
the airstrike with his seven fighters.
Taliban militant has also been critically wounded, the 201st Silab Corps added
in its statement.
anti-government armed militants including Taliban have not commented regarding
the airstrike so far.
least 18 Taliban militants were killed in the airstrikes which were conducted
in central Maidan Wardak province of Afghanistan.
informed military sources said Sunday that the airstrikes were carried out in
the vicinity of Chak district of the province.
the meantime, the 203rd Thunder Corps in a statement said the Afghan ground
forces had also participated in the operations in Chak district.
statement further added that 17 Taliban militants were killed and 11 others
were wounded during the same operations.
anti-government armed militants including Taliban have not commented regarding
the operations so far.
Apr 2019 0
offshoot of the Islamic State Iraq and Syria, ISIS Khurasan (ISIS-K), has
claimed responsibility for yesterday’s attack targeting the ministry of
telecommunications and information technology in downtown part of Kabul city.
to a statement released by pro-ISIS media agency, Amaq News Agency, the attack
was carried out by a group of four militants.
statement further added that the militants initially detonated explosives near
the entrance of the ministry compound.
attack was launched at around 11:40 am local time with initial reports
suggesting at least 7 people including four civilians and three security
personnel were killed in the attack.
the Ministry of Interior later confirmed that the death toll from yesterday’s
attack in Kabul has climbed to 10 as three more civilians succumbed to their
ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi confirmed that three civilians who had
sustained injuries in the attack, died late on Saturday.
further added two women and five men were among those killed while five other
civilians sustained injuries.
Lankan authorities have lifted a curfew that was in place overnight following
Easter Sunday bombings that killed at least 290 people.
streets in the capital, Colombo, were largely deserted Monday morning, with
most shops closed and a heavy deployment of soldiers and police.
clergy and onlookers gathered at St. Anthony’s Shrine, looking past the
soldiers to the damaged church that was targeted in one of the blasts.
nine bombings of churches, luxury hotels and other sites was Sri Lanka’s
deadliest violence since a devastating civil war ended a decade ago.
on Sunday claimed responsibility for an attack that killed 10 people and
trapped around 2,000 for hours inside the communications ministry in the Afghan
capital the previous day.
ISIS extremists detonated explosives near the ministry, then entered and
“battled Afghan security forces with machine guns and hand grenades for
numerous hours”, the group said in a statement on its social media channels.
attack in central Kabul killed seven civilians and three members of the
security forces, the interior ministry said on Sunday, in a new toll after
three people died of their wounds.
journalists heard one big blast around 11:40 am, followed by sporadic gunfire
for hours afterward.
about 5:00 pm, the interior ministry declared the assault over.
suicide bombers killed & more than 2000 civilian staff rescued,” it said on
Sayed Mohammad Roshan Dil, the Kabul police chief, said the four attackers had
been wearing police uniforms.
workers inside the 18-story building, believed to be Kabul’s tallest, scrambled
up to the top floor as the fighting raged below.
woman said she had been in a group of about 30 people on the 10th floor when
the assault started, then was told to move up to the 18th floor as gunfire
increased. They were all eventually rescued by commandos.
from a grenade attack on a military vehicle last week and persistent crime,
Kabul has in recent weeks enjoyed a period of relative calm.
ISIL terrorists attacked the Syrian Army's military positions from Eastern
Euphrates region which is under the occupation of the Syrian Democratic Forces
Syrian Army engaged in heavy clashes with the ISIL terrorists who were
intending to penetrate into the army's military points in Hawija Sahin in
al-Saiwieh in Eastern Deir Ezzur from the SDF-controlled Tal Jahfeh al-Baqouz
in Eastern Euphrates.
the Syrian Army troops pounded the terrorists' military positions and movements
in the surrounding areas of the conflict zone, thwarting their offensive and
inflicting heavy losses on the terrorists.
the local sources in Eastern Deir Ezzur said that tens of ISIL elite militants
and several of their senior commanders are stationed in Eastern Euphrates
despite US claims that ISIL's presence had ended their presence there.
a relevant development on Saturday, media reports revealed that Washington has
dispatched new military aid to the SDF in Eastern Euphrates after declaring an
end in the war on ISIL.
London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported on Saturday
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 over 810 trucks, carrying military and logistic equipment of the
US-led coalition have arrived in 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 the 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.
Trump confirmed that 400 US soldiers will remain in the war-torn country
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.
Syrian Army troops engaged in heavy clashes with Tahrir al-Sham terrorists who
had attacked their military positions in al-Rashedeen axis in Western Aleppo,
the Arabic-language version of the Russian Sputnik news agency quoted a Syrian
military source as saying.
Sputnik said that the terrorist groups launched rocket attacks on al-Hamdanieh
and New Aleppo districts.
Syrian Army's artillery and missile units also heavily pounded the terrorists'
movements all across Western Aleppo, destroying several of their key positions
and a number of military vehicles, it said.
of terrorists were killed and many others were wounded in clashes with the
Syrian Army troops while 12 Syrian soldiers were also killed in the clashes,
Southeastern Idlib, the Syrian Army's artillery and missile units pounded the military
positions and movements of Tahrir al-Sham in the villages of Al-Sha'areh and
al-Sayyadi, destroying several of their positions.
Syrian Army attacks came in response to terrorists' indiscriminate artillery
and missile attacks on civilian areas and military zones.
a relevant development earlier this week, the Syrian Army pounded and destroyed
the military positions and convoys of the terrorists in Northern Hama and
Syrian Army's missile units fired at least 40 missiles at military convoys of
Tahrir al-Sham's elite terrorists in Khan Sheikhoun city in Southern Idlib,
Sputnik news agency quoted a military source as saying.
Iraqi court has sentenced four people to death by hanging for belonging to the
ISIS extremist group and committing terrorist crimes in Iraq and Syria, a
judiciary statement said on Sunday.
four men, wanted by Iraqi authorities, were handed to Iraq by the US-backed
Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the statement said.
Baghdad criminal court convicted them for joining ISIS and “carrying out
criminal operations that targeted innocent civilians with the aim of undermining
peace and stability in Iraq and Syria”.
judicial source said the four men were Iraqi.
February, Iraq’s military said the SDF had handed 280 Iraqi and foreign
detainees to Baghdad.
of foreigners have fought on behalf of ISIS in Iraq and Syria since at least
2014. Many foreign women came - or were brought - from overseas to join the
courts are relying on counter terrorism laws to prosecute thousands of
suspects, including foreign fighters, for joining the ultra-hardline extremist
King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa has ordered that the citizenship of 551 Bahrainis
be reinstated, after their nationality had been revoked by courts on terror
cases, the kingdom’s state news agency said on Sunday.
royal order is in line with the provisions of Article 24 bis of Law 58/2006
with respect to the Protection of the Community against Terrorist Acts
stipulating that rulings related to citizenship withdrawal will not be
effective unless they are approved by HM the King,” a statement on Bahrain News
Agency (BNA) read.
Bahraini King has asked the relevant authorities to evaluate the cases before a
final court decision is implemented.
Arabia on Sunday foiled an attempted terrorist attack north of the capital
Arabiya sources say the Saudi authorities have foiled an attempted terrorist
attack on the General Directorate of Investigation’s Center in al-Zulfi suburb
around 250 km north of the capital.
reports of the terrorist attack indicate the killing of four assailants.
attackers of al-Zulfi center carried
machine guns, bombs and Molotov cocktails.
King Salman and other world leaders have condemned a series of blasts in Sri
Lanka that killed more than 200 people on Sunday, including dozens of
foreigners — with British, Dutch and American citizens believed to be among
Saudi king sent a cable of condolence to the president of Sri Lanka Maithripala
Sirisena following the terrorist attacks in the country.
are aware of the terrorist attacks that targeted your friendly country and the
resulting deaths and injuries, and we strongly condemn this despicable act of
terrorism,” the cable from the king said.
Press Agency reported the king called for an international effort to combat
Prince Mohammed bin Salman also sent a cable to Sirisena, expressing his condolences
and a speedy recovery to those injured in the attacks.
suspects were arrested in connection with the Easter Sunday bomb attacks on
eight churches and hotels in the island nation.
world leaders also condemned the attack. Here is a summary of the reactions:
States of America
President Donald Trump said the US sends its heartfelt condolonces to the
people of Sri Lanka, adding his country is ready to help.
Francis condemned the attacks as "such cruel violence" and said he
was close to the Christian community, hit while celebrating Easter.
Prime Minister Theresa May described the attacks as “truly appalling.”
acts of violence against churches and hotels in Sri Lanka are truly appalling,
and my deepest sympathies go out to all of those affected at this tragic time,”
must stand together to make sure that no one should ever have to practice their
faith in fear.”
reports from Sri Lanka about bloody attacks on hotels and churches on this
Easter Sunday,” Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte tweeted after the attacks first
are with the victims and their relatives.”
Minister Scott Morrison said Australia was thinking of those killed in a
“horrific terrorist attack.”
the beautiful people of Sri Lanka, Australia sends its heartfelt sympathies and
our prayers and our support — and our offer to do whatever we can to support
you in this terrible time of need,” he said in a statement.
this time as Easter Sunday draws to a conclusion here in Australia, our heart
goes out to those Christians and all of those other innocents who have been
slaughtered today in this horrific terrorist attack.”
month after dozens of Muslims were killed in a shooting at two mosques in
Christchurch, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the attack as
Zealand condemns all acts of terrorism, and our resolve has only been
strengthened by the attack on our soil on the 15th of March. To see an attack
in Sri Lanka while people were in churches and at hotels is devastating.
Zealand rejects all forms of extremism and stands for freedom of religion and
the right to worship safely. Collectively we must find the will and the answers
to end such violence.”
Church in Jerusalem
Catholic Church in Jerusalem said the blasts were particularly sad as they
“came while Christians celebrate Easter.”
pray for the souls of the victims and ask for speedy recovery of the injured,
and ask God to inspire the terrorists to repent of their killing and
intimidation,” the statement said.
also express our solidarity with Sri Lanka and all its inhabitants in their
various religious and ethnic backgrounds.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also expressed solidarity with the fellow South
Asian country, and said “there is no place for barbarism in our region.”
Khan also took to Twitter to condemn the attacks, saying: “My profound
condolences go to our Sri Lankan brethren.”
foreign minister says he is “terribly saddened” by the Easter Sunday bombings.
Javad Zarif tweeted that “terrorism is a global menace with no religion: it
must be condemned & confronted globally.”
prime minister calls the attacks “blind terrorism” and offers solidarity to Sri
Hariri in a tweet asks for mercy for the “innocent victims” and speedy recovery
for the injured.
Meir Kahane’s toxic legacy poisoned the Palestinian peace process
As Israel’s most right-wing government in living memory prepares to take
office, the outlook for the Palestinian-Israeli peace process has rarely been
his narrow election victory this month, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is
clinging to office by assembling a coalition of Knesset members with no
interest in peace. They range from far-right ultra Zionists to overt racists.
Many, in particular the Otzma Yehudit, or “Jewish Power” party, are acolytes of
Meir Kahane — a Brooklyn-born rabbi who co-founded the militant Jewish Defense
League in 1968, joined the West Bank
settler movement and established an extremist Israeli political party.
is because of this toxic legacy that Kahane is the subject today of Preachers
of Hate — the Arab News series that exposes extremist clerics of all religions
and nationalities, places their words and deeds in context, and explains their
malign influence on those who follow them.
a member of the Knesset, Kahane proposed laws to strip Arabs of citizenship and
force their emigration.
the end he proved too extreme even for the Israeli far right; he was
disqualified from running for office, and was eventually assassinated in New
York in 1990.
hatred lives on, however, in Israel’s continuing rejection of the Palestinian
people’s entitlement to basic human dignity, far less a meaningful peace
process and an independent state.
the leading academic and Arab News columnist Yossi Mekelberg writes today: “Few
people have contaminated the discourse within Israel with sheer hatred and
anti-Arab bigotry as much as Meir Kahane.”
League pledges $100 mln per month to Palestinian Authority
Arab League has pledged $100 million per month to the Palestinian Authority to
make up for funds withheld by Israel because of payments made to the families
of Palestinian attackers and prisoners.
President Mahmoud Abbas addressed the Arab League in Cairo on Sunday as part of
a diplomatic effort to rebuff the Trump administration’s Middle East peace
plan, which American officials indicate could be released this summer.
says, “the Arabs need to be engaging actively at this critical time.”
says the Palestinians reject the deal and demand Israel fully withdraw from all
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has appointed Hossein Salami as
commander-in-chief of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, replacing Mohammad
replaced the chief commander of the IRGC, state TV reported on Sunday, days
after the United States designated the group as a foreign terrorist
TV did not give a reason for the appointment of Brigadier General Salami to the
Supreme Leader has appointed Salami as the new commander-in-chief of the
Guards, who will replace Mohammad Ali Jafari,” it said.
leader of Turkey’s main opposition party was attacked on Sunday at a funeral
for a soldier killed in fighting against Kurdish militants, a state news agency
and his party said.
People’s Party (CHP) chief Kemal Kilicdaroglu was taken to a nearby house by
security forces for his protection, Anadolu state news agency said.
of the incident on social media showed a mob pushing and shoving around
Kilicdaroglu as he makes his way through the crowd.
party confirmed Kilicdaroglu had been attacked, but it was not immediately
clear if he had been injured.
group first protested against Kilicdaroglu presence at the funeral in the Cubuk
district of the capital Ankara and then attacked him with blows, Anadolu said.
Ankara governor’s office said in a statement: “Legal action has been launched
against the culprits of the incident.”
CHP last month won Ankara and Istanbul mayors’ offices in local elections in a
setback for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling party.
AKP is appealing for a rerun of the Istanbul election citing irregularities in
the very tight race against the CHP candidate Ekrem Imamoglu.
of pilgrims filed into Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the
traditional site of Jesus’s resurrection, for Easter celebrations on Sunday.
and Protestants mark Easter on Sunday, while Eastern Orthodox Christians
celebrated Palm Sunday, with Easter Sunday coming for them on April 28.
church, in the Old City of Israeli-occupied east Jerusalem, is built at the
site where Christians believe Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected.
recently renovated ornate shrine within the church surrounds the cave where
Jesus is believed to have been interred.
much of an unruly crowd is not so spiritual,” grumbled Donatella Buhler from
Switzerland, there with her children.
has refused to issue travel permits for members of the small Christian
community living in the Gaza Strip to visit East Jerusalem al-Quds and the West
Bank for Easter celebrations.
authorities denied travel permits for hundreds of those Palestinian Christians
hoping to visit the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem City and the Church of the
Holy Sepulcher in East Jerusalem al-Quds, the Palestinian Ma’an news agency
reported on Sunday.
Christians in Gaza had said on Saturday that no permits had been issued until
Anton, a prominent Catholic Gaza activist, said Catholics in Gaza were “upset”
and “disappointed” at not having received permits.
don’t see any reason to refuse our permits,” The Guardian quoted Anton as
Israeli military last week announced it would let only 200 Christians aged 55
and older for Easter — which is celebrated by Catholics on Sunday and Orthodox
Christians the following week — to travel to Jordan without stopping in
Tel Aviv regime’s decision sparked protests, including by the Israeli human
rights group Gisha, which called it “a further violation of Palestinians’
fundamental rights to freedom of movement, religious freedom and family life.”
the past, many — though not all — members of Gaza’s 1,100-strong Christian
minority had sometimes been granted exit permits to Jerusalem al-Quds and the
West Bank for worship and to visit relatives at Easter and Christmas.
to a February 2018 report issued by the Palestinian Central Bureau of
Statistics (PCBS), about 1,138 Palestinian Christians live in Gaza, with many
of them having family members in the West Bank.
the travel ban, the Palestinian Christians in Gaza would celebrate Easter in a
church in Gaza City.
Gaza Strip has been under an Israeli siege since June 2007. Palestinians in
Gaza have held weekly rallies to demand the right to return for those driven
out of their homeland and an end to the Israeli siege on the enclave.
forces press offensive on Libyan capital
Forces backing Libya’s unity government battled to push back an offensive by
eastern commander Khalifa Haftar on Sunday as his troops approached the gates
of Tripoli after air raids overnight.
Libyan National Army (LNA), galvanized by victories in its eastern stronghold
and in the country’s desert south, announced an offensive early this month to
seize the capital from the administration of Fayez Al-Serraj.
his forces have faced fierce resistance from armed groups backing the
Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), including powerful factions
from the western city of Misrata.
bloodshed has derailed efforts to bring peace to a country where militants and
people smugglers have exploited the chaos unleashed by the NATO-backed
overthrow of Muammar Qaddafi in 2011.
intensified on Saturday when forces loyal to the GNA announced a counterattack.
have launched a new phase of attack. Orders were given early this morning to
advance and gain ground,” said Mustafa Al-Mejii, a spokesman for GNA forces.
rocket and shellfire could be heard in several districts of Tripoli on
Saturday, after several days of less intense fighting and stalemate on the ground.
were heard from the city center overnight, and some witnesses reported
Francis, delivering his traditional Easter message, called for an end to
“conflict and bloodshed” that was killing “defenseless people” in Libya.
urge the parties involved to choose dialogue over force and to avoid reopening
wounds left by a decade of conflicts and political instability,” he said.
air traffic was suspended overnight to Sunday for “security reasons,” the
city’s only operating airport said Sunday.
least two flights were re-routed from Mitiga airport to Misrata, more than 200
km to the east, the airport’s authorities said on their Facebook page. They
said flights had resumed early in the morning to Mitiga, east of the capital.
former military air base was hit by an airstrike on April 8, claimed by the
LNA, and has since only operated between 5 p.m. and 8 a.m.
GNA counter-attack put pro-government forces back in control of Ain Zara, in
the southern suburbs of Tripoli, where an AFP team confirmed pro-GNA forces had
advanced, shifting the front line a few kilometers south.
spokesman Mejii told AFP on Sunday morning that “after a long day of military
success, our forces are consolidating their (new) positions.”
witnesses spoke of air raids and drones, but Mejii said the blasts were caused
by strikes from LNA helicopters aimed at “terrorizing civilians.”
said they had not caused any casualties but had taken place away from the front
lines, without offering any further details.
sources say the aging Soviet and Russian fighter jets used by both sides are
not equipped to carry out night time strikes, but Mejii said Haftar’s forces
have a helicopter with night vision capabilities.
UN’s Libya envoy warned on Thursday of “a widening conflagration” in the North
Salame told AFP that “international divisions” prior to the assault on Tripoli
had emboldened Haftar, who is backed by Russia and seen by his allies Egypt and
the UAE as a bulwark against militants.
White House revealed Friday that US President Donald Trump reached out
personally to Haftar, as a push at the UN to broker a cease-fire hit trouble.
statement said that Trump “recognized Field Marshal Haftar’s significant role
in fighting terrorism and securing Libya’s oil resources,” adding that “the two
discussed a shared vision for Libya’s transition to a stable, democratic
saw Trump’s words of praise for the strongman as evidence of US support that explains
Haftar’s determination to pursue his offensive to seize Tripoli.
Thursday, Russia and the US opposed a British bid backed by France and Germany
at the UN Security Council to demand a cease-fire in Libya.
insisted on having no criticism of Haftar in the proposed resolution, while the
US said it wanted more time to consider the situation.
authorities have arrested several top members of the former ruling party of
ousted President Omar al-Bashir, in a move that could bolster military rulers
who are under mounting pressure by protesters to hand power to civilians.
another part of a widening crackdown designed to remove remnants of Bashir’s
rule, the transitional military council (TMC) said it will retire all eight of
the officers ranked lieutenant general in the National Intelligence and
groups had demanded that the security agencies be restructured.
public prosecutor has begun investigating Bashir on charges of money laundering
and possession of large sums of foreign currency without legal grounds, a
judicial source said earlier on Saturday.
loaded with cash
source said military intelligence officers who searched Bashir’s home found
suitcases loaded with more than $351,000 and six million euros, as well as five
million Sudanese pounds.
chief public prosecutor ... ordered the (former) president detained and quickly
questioned in preparation to put him on trial,” the judicial source told
public prosecution will question the former president in Kobar prison,” the
source said. Bashir has not been questioned yet, the source added.
of his brothers were also detained on allegations of corruption, the source
could not immediately be reached on Saturday for comment about the
a source in Bashir’s National Congress Party said authorities arrested the
acting party head Ahmed Haroun, former first vice president Ali Osman Taha,
former Bashir aide Awad al-Jaz, the secretary general of the Islamic movement
Al-Zubair Ahmed Hassan and former parliament speaker Ahmed Ibrahim al-Taher.
source also said parliament speaker Ibrahim Ahmed Omar and presidential aide
Nafie Ali Nafie were under house arrest.
who is also being sought by the International Criminal Court (ICC) over
allegations of genocide in Sudan’s western Darfur region, was ousted on April
11 by the military following months of protests against his rule and had been
held at a presidential residence.
family said this week that the former president had been moved to the
high-security Kobar prison in Khartoum.
Bashir, a professor of political science at the University of Neelain, said the
measures against Bashir are intended as a message to other figures associated
with his rule that they are not above the law.
trial is a step that the military council wants to take to satisfy the
protesters by presenting al-Bashir for trial,” he said.
survived several armed rebellions, economic crises, and attempts by the West to
turn him into a pariah during his 30-year rule before he was toppled in a
new prosecutor general Saturday lifted the immunity of security agents
allegedly involved in the death of a detainee held in connection with protests,
state media reported.
al-Kheir, 36, was arrested in late January in the eastern state of Kassala by
agents of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) on allegations
that he was a protest organizer in the area.
family was told to take his body from a local mortuary, and a top official in
Khartoum later confirmed that Kheir had died from wounds suffered in detention.
Saturday, Sudan’s acting prosecutor general Al-Waleed Sayyed Ahmed issued a
decree canceling the immunity of the agents involved in Kheir’s interrogation,
the official SUNA news agency reported.
did not specify their number.
is rare for the immunity of NISS agents to be removed in Sudan.
also appointed a new prosecutor to handle corruption cases and ordered the
speeding up of investigations in criminal cases filed against protesters.
has reopened Tripoli’s only functioning airport, according to a posting on the
airport authorities’ Facebook page on Sunday.
airport was closed earlier in the day when residents reported an air strike on
the Libyan capital.
a related development, several air strikes and explosions shook the Libyan
capital Tripoli overnight, residents said, in an escalation of a two-week
offensive by eastern forces on the city held by the UN-recognized government.
airstrikes and explosions have reportedly shaken the Libyan capital of Tripoli
as fierce fighting continues between Libya’s UN-backed government troops and forces
loyal to renegade general Khalifa Haftar.
cited Tripoli residents as saying late Saturday that they had seen and heard
aircraft opening fire and launching missile strikes on the capital city.
least one missile struck a military camp of a force allied to Prime Minister
Fayez al-Serraj's Government of National Accord (GNA) in the capital’s southern
al-Sabaa district, they said.
was unclear if the strikes were conducted by a manned aircraft or a drone.
military spokesman Colonel Mohammad Gnounou said at least seven airstrikes had
been carried out earlier in the day against military positions held by forces
loyal to Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA).
strikes hit positions south of Gharian, 100 kilometers southwest of Tripoli,
and also an airbase at al-Wotya, 50 kilometers further southwest.
the early Saturday attacks, the LNA claimed for its part that its forces were
“taking control of several new positions on the frontlines in Tripoli,” and
that its fighters had made Serraj’s troops retreat “on all fronts.”
air force is providing fire support to troops on the ground," said Ahmed
al-Mesmari, spokesman for Haftar's forces. "The enemy is trying to flank
our forces from the back, but they have failed in the face of the strength of
our fighters and the experience of our fighters. It's become a war of
in Libya's Tripoli reopens
report of clashes came as Libyan authorities said they had reopened Mitiga
Airport, Tripoli’s only functioning airport, after hours of closure due to
Libyan capital has another airport, Tripoli International, which is currently
has been divided between two rival governments - the House of Representatives
based in the eastern city of Tobruk and the GNA headed by Serraj in Tripoli.
75-year-old Haftar who enjoys the loyalty of a group of armed militia and
backing from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt has taken upon
himself to protect the government in Tobruk.
forces and militia loyal to the GNA have been fighting back.
launched his deadly campaign on April 4 to invade and conquer Tripoli, the seat
of the GNA, resulting in repeated fierce fighting on the southern edges of the
to the World Health Organization (WHO), the fighting has so far killed at least
205 people and wounded more than 900 others. The International Organization for
Migration (IOM) also reported that more than 25,000 people have been displaced
by the clashes.
White House said on Friday that US President Donald Trump had personally
discussed the situation in Tripoli with Haftar on the phone earlier this week.
disclosure of the call prompted thousands of people in Tripoli to hold a
protest against the US president.
has been the scene of increasing violence since 2011, when former dictator
Muammar Gaddafi was toppled from power after an uprising and a NATO military
in south Kashmir don’t fear militants but want government jobs
Sikhs living for generations in south Kashmir don’t see any threat from militants
in the area. The area has been a hotbed of terror activities for the last few
years. Instead what they are yearning for is government jobs that will give the
minority community better representation in the state’s functioning.
most of the people say there is no fear of the terror groups, they are shy to
come out and openly speak about their political choices and problems when it
comes to the elections.
don’t face any threat but we want more jobs. There are hardly any Sikhs in
government jobs and private jobs are not that lucrative here," said a
27-year-old medical representative.
kids in the area go to private schools but with little employment opportunities
in the private sector and lack of government jobs, employment is a problem for
the younger generation.
middle-aged man who didn’t wish to be named said that he has a government job
but the new generation is suffering.
used to visits from political candidates, many from the Sikh community
including children, women and the old gathered at a Gurudwara in Sangsoo, a
village in Anantnag district ahead of the election on April 23 to welcome BJP
candidate Sofi Yousuf from the area.
increased terror activities and regular shootouts between security forces and
militants, Anantnag is probably the most conflict-hit Lok Sabha constituency in
with his head, covered made it to the Gurudwara amid chants of kirtan (hymns)
being sung. Soon, the singing stopped and BJP candidate began the address with
the customary Sikh war cry, Bole So Nihal. Sat Sri Akal as the gathering of men
and women sat on the floor, separated, on two sides of the Gurudwara.
Quran says those who safeguard their motherland are the true custodians of
Islam... We love our mother India more than our own mothers also," Yousuf
said while addressing the people.
said that he is loved both by the Muslims and Sikhs of Kashmir and believes
jobs for youth and development is the only solution to get rid of problems in
Anantnag constituency comprises of district Pulwama, Shopian, Kulgam and
election in Anantnag is divided into three phases.
Centre had deployed 100 companies of Central Armed Police Force and now with
elections left only in Anantnag and Ladakh, the maximum deployment will be
pressed into action for the only seat in South Kashmir.
mass murder: India sent alert, but why Sri Lanka’s guard was down
13 arrests so far, and more likely, for the horrific bombings in Sri Lanka on
Sunday that killed more than 200 people, the Sri Lankan government’s
investigations are pointing to the involvement of a jihadist organisation in
the attacks. One of those arrested from the Cinnamon Grand Hotel, where one of
the eight attacks took place, had been reported missing six months ago by his
last two of the eight incidents were suicide bombings which took place when
security personnel were about to arrest suspects. Police, however, have not
named any jihadist group.
Indian Express has learnt from two sources, one Indian and another Sri Lankan,
that earlier this month, India passed on specific intelligence to Sri Lankan
authorities that a terrorist attack was imminent there.
appears that it was on the basis of this alert that the police chief sent out
his April 11 nationwide alert warning of attacks on the Indian high Commission
and churches. The alert named a group called the National Towheeth Jamaath,
which preaches a puritanical form of Islam.
Sri Lanka’s guard was clearly down, with the country shut down since April 12
for the Sinhala-Tamil new year, Good Friday and Easter. It speaks of how much
Sri Lanka has got used to its peace of the last decade that the warnings were
not considered actionable by the security apparatus.
a country that is no stranger to terrorist attacks, Sunday’s coordinated bombings
were the first since the military defeat of the LTTE in May 2009. They were
also most unlike any terror attack experienced by the country before.
Tigers were brutal by any standards. Their worst terrorist bombing in Colombo
was the 1996 vehicle-borne suicide attack on Sri Lanka’s central bank that
killed 91 people, and they caused hundreds of casualties in each of their
attacks on police and army camps. In July 2001, just two months before 9/11,
their attack on the Bandaranaike International Airport grounded almost the
entire Sri Lankan fleet.
Lanka mass murder: Police officials and Catholic priests stand inside the
church after a bomb blast in Negombo, Sri Lanka (Reuters)
Sunday’s bombings do not bear any of the hallmarks of those attacks. After
their crushing military defeat in May 2009, the LTTE now exists only in the
imagination of sections of Tamil diaspora. In any case, barring the one
occasion when the Tigers shelled Madhu church in Mannar, the LTTE was always
cautious not to offend the Catholic church, which was sympathetic to its cause.
Many Tamils in the north-east are Christian and lived peacefully in
LTTE-controlled areas alongside their Hindu brethren. Muslims, on the other
hand, were attacked and evicted from the north-east by the Tigers in 1990.
the full extent of the horror unfolded – there were no claimants to the
bombings even by late evening – only a number of comparable incidents from
across the world brought out some patterns.
of the attacks are said to have been carried out by suicide bombers, which is
no longer extraordinary for terrorist attacks. But in terms of the targets –
the choice of churches – it recalls the January 2019 twin bombings on a Sunday
morning at a Catholic church in Jolo, off Mindanao in southern Philippines, in
which 20 people were killed, which has been linked to the ISIS of East Asia. It
also recalled the recent gunning down of worshippers at a mosque by a white
supremacist in New Zealand.
Lanka blasts: A Sri Lankan police commando enters a house suspected to be a
hideout of militants following a shoot out in Colombo, Sri Lanka (AP Photo)
terms of the death toll, the choice of upscale hotels filled with foreign
tourists, and the coordinated manner of the attacks, it was reminiscent of
Mumbai 2008 in which 166 people were killed.
an Easter attack, it recalled the March 27, 2016 attack at the Gulshan-e-Iqbal park
in Lahore in which at least 75 people were killed as they celebrated the
holiday claimed by the Pakistani Taliban. In 2017, again on Palm Sunday, 45
people were killed in attacks on two Coptic churches in Egypt.
attacks on churches and other Christian targets across the world have been
claimed by ISIS or have been linked to them.
National Towheeth Jamaath, which was named in the April 11 police warning, has
been seen as an influence on the over a hundred Sri Lankans who left to join
the ISIS some years ago.
the Sri Lanka Towheeth Jamaath has condemned the attacks on its Facebook page,
and demanded the highest punishment to the perpetrators. The group also
organised a blood donation drive in Kandy on Sunday, and posted photographs of
the event on FB, saying that it wanted to do as much as it could to help the
nation at this extraordinary time.
Lanka has been roiled several times in the last five years by communal clashes
instigated by Buddhist fundamentalist elements against Muslims. According to
the 2011 census, Muslims are just under 10 per cent of the population, Hindus
12.6 per cent, Christians slightly over 7 per cent. Buddhists are 70 per cent
of the 21 million population.
Lanka attack: As the full extent of the horror unfolded – there were no
claimants to the bombings even by late evening – only a number of comparable
incidents from across the world brought out some patterns.
are concerns that Sunday’s attacks may bring back LTTE-era restrictions that
were being seen as a thing of the past. Sri Lanka had been preparing to replace
its draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act with another legislation called
Counter Terrorism Act. The attacks could impact that intention.
attacks are also sure to have an impact on the unsettled politics of the
island. President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe
have been in an uneasy truce since December 2018 to run the government.
presidential elections are set to take place at the year-end. The political
group led by the Rajapaksas, who Sirisena and Wickremesinghe defeated in 2015,
senses a comeback. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who led the military campaign against
the LTTE between 2007-2009 as defence secretary, has made it clear that he will
contest the election.
DELHI: While Thawheed Jamaat is being suspected behind the serial blasts that
rocked Sri Lanka on Sunday, India has so far managed to nip such conspiracies
by radicalised and Islamic State-inspired modules here at the planning or
Islamic State has its share of influence among a section of Muslims of India,
given that many tech-savvy and smartphoneowning youngsters are exposed in some
way or the other to Islamic State propaganda online. Indian agencies, including
some state police like Hyderabad police that has its cyber wing clued in to
social media groups created and managed by IS headhunters, started early by
tracking online activities and exchanges aimed at radicalising young Muslims
IS influence showed up first in 2014 when some Mumbai youth left the country
for Iraq/Syria to fight for ISIS. Later in early 2016, Indian intelligence
agencies that had been following online activities including chat-groups
operated by IS recruiters at home and abroad found that a particular pan-India
module was close to planning attacks in India. It decided to move beyond online
policing and NIA was brought in to bust the module, leading to arrest of nearly
two dozen radicalised youth across several states. This had a deterrent effect
with those experimenting with radical Islam by following IS activities online
and trying to find ways to go to Iraq/Syria or plan lone-wolf attacks here.
They realised that they were under watch.
course, IS recruiters - some of them former Indian Mujahideen cadres like Yusuf
al Hindi - kept reaching out to youth here via social media chat groups.
Agencies were tracking these groups, which is why they were able to stop
several youth from Hyderabad and Kerala from leaving for Iraq/Syria to join IS.
In some cases, modules were busted in Hyderabad, Kerala and more recently in
Delhi and Amroha, just as they were collecting resources including explosives
and arms for carrying out terror attacks here.
course, several Indian youth, particularly from Kasaragod and Kannur in Kerala,
have managed to flee India to "fight" for IS, though many ended up
but IS-controlled territory in Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.
government maintains that IS has not been able to make much of a mark in India
due to the strong family system here.
parents deter their children from turning towards radicalisation. In fact,
there have been cases when parents have alerted the agencies including NIA on
their "wayward" and "radicalised" children.
DELHI: Serial blasts in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday led to a slowdown in the
travel and tourism sector, with holiday planners and travel companies adopting
a cautious approach in the immediate aftermath of the attacks.
Lankan, which operates 118 weekly flights between Colombo and 12 Indian cities,
said in a statement that the airline had informed passengers who were scheduled
to depart Colombo on Sunday to arrive at the airport four hours prior to
departure, as security at the Bandaranaike International Airport was tightened,
but said the airline "currently continues operations as per schedule”.
light of the long weekend, a number of Indian tourists were understood to be in
Sri Lanka on Sunday. Karan Anand of travel major Cox & Kings said,
"All our guests who are in Sri Lanka are safe and we are monitoring the
situation. We are getting updates from our local office in Sri Lanka and will
guide our customers accordingly. "
Iyer, executive director and CEO, Thomas Cook India, said, "For future
departures, updates and requests from our booked customers, we will offer best
options; to either defer their travel or provide best alternative destination
availability, visas, documentation and pricing. For our customers who prefer to
cancel, we will provide a travel voucher, thus enabling them to reschedule.
Cook India Group CMD Madhavan Menon said the company's customers, currently on
tour, were "accounted for and safe", as also the group's people on
their teams .
portal Yatra COO Sharat Dhal said the blasts would have a negative impact in
the short term but things should return to normal soon.
Lanka is a popular destination for Indian tourists and over 4.5 lakh Indians
visited the island in 2018 and the figure was expected to double in 2019.
denies Malaysia being silent in China’s treatment of Uyghur Muslims
LUMPUR, April 20 — Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu denied that Malaysia is being
in voicing out its concerns about China’s treatment of its Uyghur Muslim
was asked to comment on Malaysia’s stand on the matter, and whether it
contrasted with the country’s consistent criticism of Israel’s treatment of
an interview recently, the first time minister said that Malaysia has been
using its diplomatic channels to convey its dissatisfaction on the treatment
towards the minority Muslim community in China.
continue to use diplomatic channels under the Foreign Ministry. The minister
for foreign affairs always talks about the issues that are happening in China,
in the meetings that take place.
it’s not publicised about, but issues like that continue to be discussed in a
diplomatic way between two countries,” he said.
its vocal criticism of Israel, Mohamad was asked as to why Putrajaya is silent
on the mistreatment of the Chinese government towards the Uyghur Muslims,
despite numerous reports detailing the harrowing experience these detainees who
are taken against their will, face in the detention camps.
is being discussed at the Foreign Ministry level.
discuss more towards defence diplomacy, especially with regards to China and
our maritime issues at the South China Sea, or the disputed area. We discuss
more on such issues, so that the issues with the disputed area does not lead to
is what we are discussing via the defence diplomacy, either by the Defence
Ministry or the Foreign Ministry, and also the Prime Minister’s Department.
This, we are constantly doing,” Mohamad added.
week, the New York Times (NYT) reported that Chinese start-ups have built
algorithms which the government uses to track members of the predominantly
Muslim minority group.
had in its report citing documents and interviews, reported that the Chinese
government is also employing a secret system of advanced facial recognition
technology, to exclusively track and control the Uyghurs.
report said that the algorithm looks for Uyghurs based on their appearance, and
stores records of their movements for search and review.
October last year, Malaysia released from detention, 11 Uyghur Muslims who fled
into the country, after escaping from a Thailand prison in 2017.
China’s handover request, the group was deported to Turkey, Reuters quoted
their lawyer Fahmi Moin saying.
reportedly said that the prosecutors dropped that charges against the Uyghurs
on humanitarian grounds.
move had at that time, seen as further damaging the already soured bilateral
relationship between Malaysia and China after Pakatan Harapan (PH) took over
the government, and proceeded to cancel and suspend several China-backed
says it again: We are committed to rule of law
LUMPUR: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad once again states that Pakatan
Harapan is committed to the rule of law to ensure that everyone is equal in the
eyes of the law and to uphold the Federal Constitution.
want to accept the rule of law. For us, we abide by it even though there are
derails, etc,” said Dr Mahathir.
he said, is holding fast to the rule of law, unlike the previous Barisan
Nasional government, which he accused of “never even bothered about the rule of
(Barisan government) wants to arrest somebody, they arrest,” said Dr Mahathir.
said it is important that all Malaysians understand that Malaysia is a
parliamentary democracy, under which the Constitution is the highest authority
and no one can claim to be above it.
Prime Minister, however, lamented that there is reluctance from all tiers of
the government and authorities to apply the law consistently across the board
for all Malaysians.
is a big problem. Although we are a parliamentary democracy, some of the people
who run the government are quite feudal in their way of thinking. They cannot
though something is wrong, something is suggested to them which is wrong, which
is against the law, but they would still do it so that they don’t go against
the higher authorities,” said Dr Mahathir.
government’s recent withdrawal from ratifying the Rome Statute of the
International Criminal Court still weighs on the Prime Minister’s mind as he
felt that he had been unjustly “blackened”.
of the task I am undertaking is to solve the failure to follow the Constitution
but, of course, I have been blackened by other things such as (what was) done
on Rome Statute. So that I would not be influential, (and) so that I can be
overthrown. This is ongoing.
should actually take action over such things but there again, we have a problem
of implementation because the agencies of the government are often reluctant to
do anything. They look the other way.
was upset because this is the first time somebody tried to make use of the
Rulers in order to frustrate the government. That is very wrong. If they have
any problems, they can ask us. We can explain what the Rome Statute is all
about. Instead, they somehow managed to have a meeting not consistent with the
gave a wrong explanation about Rome Statute and they managed to influence
people. We needed to ensure that the people continued to support us. For the
time being, we had to do away with the Rome Statute.
we have to tell the people that this is not doing away with our Constitution.
Our Constitution and laws remain. It is only when we fail to apply the laws or
we cannot apply the laws, then, if there is a very serious thing like there is
a mass murder or mass jailing of people, then the International Criminal Court
(ICC) can intervene,” said Dr Mahathir.
the issue of naming the new Chief Justice to replace Tan Sri Richard Malanjum
who had retired, Dr Mahathir said at the moment, he had yet to receive any
confirmation on the candidacy.
always imagined that the King is the person who must approve all senior
appointments but somehow or rather, there is the reference to the Conference of
it is not just the King but it also has to go to the Rulers. I don’t know what
it means. The decision made cannot be altered unless there is a valid reason.
We have made a decision (on the name of the Chief Justice) and sent it to the
King,” he said.
also talked about how those who claim to be religious have misled their
followers merely to expedite their political agenda.
am not a moderate Muslim. A Muslim must be moderate. If you follow the
teachings of the Quran. Everything advised is good but we do not follow what
the religion says to do but you still say this is from religion and abuse the
example, a party calls the other party kafir (apostate) but you cannot do that
because you are not allowed to condemn any group as an apostate unless there is
clear evidence he is praying to some image or things forbidden by religion,”
said Dr Mahathir in obvious reference to Islamist party PAS, which had in the
past, condemned Umno as kafir.
we try to do is explain what the religion really says. And what they are doing
is not religion.
Ida Nadirah Ibrahim
LUMPUR, April 21 — PAS welcomes PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to
reveal the identity of the PAS leader who allegedly received the RM90 million
funds from Umno, a news report said.
president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang said there are no constraints for the
Port Dickson MP to do so and that PAS awaits the disclosure before issuing
is up to him, let him reveal the leader first, then we will make a statement,”
he said in a Sinar Harian report after launching the Perak PAS Youth annual
general meeting in Sungkai, Perak today.
don’t have to prove [of the claims] because we run [the party] on our own, and
if we were to put together the donations PAS received from every ceramah
throughout the year, it would have been more than RM90 million.
can set up thousands of Pasti (Pusat Asuhan Tunas Islam kindergarten)
nationwide from the funds we collected,” he said, referring to a religious
Hadi was responding to Anwar’s statement that the identity of the PAS leader
responsible in receiving the funds from Umno will be exposed in the near
statement was made at a forum with Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia students,
when asked whether the case was only an issue raised during the elections.
Hadi had also challenged Anwar to expose the political fundings that were
previously rumoured to have come from overseas.
Marang MP claimed PAS also has information that other political leaders had
received large sums of financial aid from foreign sources.
also have the statement from other leaders who have received overseas aid in
very large sums. That is more wrong.
government should not only investigate us, they have to investigate others as
well, then it would be just,” he said.
BELUD, April 21 — The right to freedom of religion of every Malaysian is
guaranteed under the Federal Constitution, said Sabah Rural Development
Minister Datuk Ewon Benedick.
said although the Federal Constitution stated that the federation’s official
religion was Islam, other religions were free to be practised.
as Christians, we do not have to worry about our religious rights although
there are individuals and certain communities who have said things that may
hurt our feelings.
may not be able to stop every individual from expressing his or her opinion,
even though it could affect racial ties, but I’d like to state here that the
government leadership will always defend this most fundamental right,” he said.
said this when closing the Kota Belud-Tuaran Pathfinder Fair camp at the Datau
Nakapan Kg Malangkap Baru eco-tourism site in Kadamaian here today.
who is also the Kadamaian state assemblyman, called on the authorities to take
stern action against individuals trying to create racial and religious strife,
especially in Sabah.
defend the culture of respecting religious freedom in Sabah, which has long
been established, so that it will be a model to other communities nationwide,”
to sanction nations for importing Iranian oil, says a report
Trump administration is poised to tell five nations, including allies Japan,
South Korea and Turkey, that they will no longer be exempt from US sanctions if
they continue to import oil from Iran, officials said Sunday.
of State Mike Pompeo plans to announce on Monday that the administration will
not renew sanctions waivers for the five countries when they expire on May 2,
three US officials said.
others are China and India.
was not immediately clear if any of the five would be given additional time to
wind down their purchases or if they would be subject to US sanctions on May 3
if they do not immediately halt imports of Iranian oil.
officials were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on
condition of anonymity ahead of Pompeo’s announcement.
decision not to extend the waivers, which was first reported by The Washington
Post, was finalized on Friday by President Donald Trump, according to the
said it is intended to further ramp up pressure on Iran by strangling the
revenue it gets from oil exports.
administration granted eight oil sanctions waivers when it re-imposed sanctions
on Iran after Trump pulled the US out of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal.
were granted in part to give those countries more time to find alternate energy
sources but also to prevent a shock to global oil markets from the sudden
removal of Iranian crude.
officials now say they do not expect any significant reduction in the supply of
oil given production increases by other countries, including the US itself and
November, three of the eight - Italy, Greece and Taiwan - have stopped
importing oil from Iran.
other five, however, have not, and have lobbied for their waivers to be
ally Turkey has made perhaps the most public case for an extension, with senior
officials telling their US counterparts that Iranian oil is critical to meeting
their country’s energy needs.
have also made the case that as a neighbor of Iran, Turkey cannot be expected
to completely close its economy to Iranian goods.
US Department of Defense over the weekend identified two US service members
killed in non-combat related incidents in Iraq and Qatar.
Spc. Ryan Dennis Orin Riley, 22, of Richmond, Kentucky, died Saturday in Ninawa
Province in Iraq.
was supporting the effort against al Qaeda as part of Operation Inherent
Resolve, according to a department statement. Officials identified Riley on
Sunday and did not disclose further details about the incident, which is under
was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 32nd Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Brigade
Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, according to
the Defense Department.
Saturday, the department identified an airman killed as part of Operation
Freedom Sentinel, the global coalition effort against al Qaeda.
Sgt. Albert J. Miller, 24, of Richmond, New Hampshire, died Friday at Al Udeid
Air Base in Qatar. Officials said the incident is under investigation.
mainstream media in the United States are highly influenced by spy agencies,
such as the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Israeli Mossad, an
American academic and analyst says, noting that Google's recent move in
blocking Press TV's accounts was part of the American government’s pressure
campaign against Tehran.
Henry Fetzer, a retired professor of philosophy at the University of Wisconsin
in Madison, made the remarks in a recent interview with Press TV after Google
blocked the English-language news network's access to its official accounts on
YouTube and Gmail.
the ban as a “completely inappropriate” measure taken by the administration of
US President Donald Trump, Fetzer said, “Unfortunately, the mainstream media
here in the US seem for long taken over by the CIA and its allies and [Israel's
spy agency] Mossad.”
scholar noted that the Trump administration has been pressuring Iran under the
influence of the American Israel Public Relations Committee (AIPAC).
have no doubt that Press TV has suffered a tremendous amount of
interference," he said. "I've been extremely concerned that the Trump
administration has taken an extremely negative attitude towards Iran."
his decision in May 2018 to withdraw from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, Trump has
reimposed a series of economic sanctions against Tehran while also designating
the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization.
the hostile line of action, American tech giant Google blocked on Friday Press
TV and Hispan TV's access to their official accounts on some of its platforms,
including YouTube and Gmail, without prior notice, citing “violation of
the idea of silencing Iran on the pretext that Iran is a terrorist state simply
flies in the face of history and readily available evidence," Fetzer
has so far refused to provide any explanation for disabling Press TV’s account.
is not the first time that Google is blocking Press TV’s YouTube channels.
original YouTube channel was established in December 2009, and closed in
September 2013. A new channel was then opened, but it was shut almost two
channel was opened, but it suffered the same fate after five months.
fourth channel, however, remained active with over 270,000 subscribers until it
was closed today without any prior notice for what Google calls “violation” of
its terms and policies.
President Donald Trump has added yet another major blunder to his long record
of political gaffes, this time mistakenly stating in a tweet that the recent
multiple bombing attacks in Sri Lanka killed “millions” of people.
condolences from the people of the United States to the people of Sri Lanka on
the horrible terrorist attacks on churches and hotels that have killed at least
138 million people and badly injured 600 more. We stand ready to help!” Trump
original tweet on Sri Lanka bombings.
took the American head of state about half an hour to remove the tweet and
correct his mistake. But there was ample time for the media to save a copy.
tweet came after several explosions hit three churches and three hotels in Sri
Lanka, reportedly leaving at least 290 people dead and over 500 others wounded.
people have been killed in Sri Lanka, with more that 600 badly injured, in a
terrorist attack on churches and hotels. The United States offers heartfelt
condolences to the great people of Sri Lanka. We stand ready to help!
PM - Apr 21, 2019
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people are talking about this
inflated the death toll by around a million times. The number he tweeted, “at
least 138 million,” is more than six times the population of the entire
Southeast Asian country.
sloppy style of writing and often childish-like choice of words in interacting
with his around 60 million followers have turned his twitter account into one
of the most controversial aspects of his presidency.
April 2017, he was left red-faced after retweeting a post that called him a
notoriously prolific tweeter first posted a link to a Fox news story which
read: “FOX NEWS EXCLUSIVE: President Trump ‘seriously considering’ a pardon for
ex-Sheriff Joe Arpaio.”
NEWS EXCLUSIVE: President Trump 'seriously considering' a pardon for ex-Sheriff
Joe Arpaio http://fxn.ws/2w4LtM5
AM - Aug 15, 2017
'seriously considering' a pardon for ex-Sheriff Joe Arpaio
Trump may soon issue a pardon for Joe Arpaio, the colorful former Arizona
sheriff who was found guilty two weeks ago of criminal contempt for defying a
state judge’s order to stop traffic...
people are talking about this
went horribly wrong for Trump, however, after he retweeted a reply by a user
who wrote: “He’s a fascist, so not unusual.”
image on TwitterView image on Twitter
like Donald Trump accidentally retweeted this reply from @MikeHolden42. Oops.
PM - Aug 15, 2017
Stephen Jones's other Tweets
US commander-in-chief’s string of reckless tweets stirred so much controversy
that in June 2017, Democrats in the House of Representatives introduced the
Communications Over Various Feeds Electronically for Engagement (COVFEFE) Act
which called for classification of the US president’s social media postings.
extends greetings as Christian community celebrates Easter
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday felicitated members of the Christian
community on the religious festival of Easter.
all our Christian citizens a happy Easter,” he wrote on his official Twitter
all our Christian citizens a happy Easter.
- 21 Apr 2019
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people are talking about this
is one of the religious festivals celebrated with traditional and religious
zeal by Christians every year around the world. It is usually celebrated on the
first Sunday after the full moon marks the culmination of the 40 day period of
fasting called Lent.
festival is also called ‘the Resurrection’ as Christianity observes that Christ
rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion. It is also
considered as a rebirth of Christ.
brings happiness as people come together, feast, pray, wish each other well and
enjoy the moments that they consider as sacred and blessed.
is the second biggest festival of the Christian community in a year which is
celebrated with colourful traditional festivity.
The country’s two major opposition parties — the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz
(PML-N) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) — on Sunday said they did not
require to launch a movement to dislodge the government as “it will soon fall
down on its own because of its incompetence”.
to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s speech in Quetta in which he talked about
conspiracy against his government, PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb said
Mr Khan needed to understand that people of Pakistan were not buying his “rants
of accusations and false propaganda” and they only wanted to know “why are they
losing their jobs while inflation has pushed survival beyond their means”.
Aurangzeb said that Mr Khan had started “whining like a sore loser while still
being the prime minister”.
government has never really grabbed a foothold and he’s complaining about
conspiracies to bring it down,” she said, adding that the prime minister “also
needs to understand that the reasons for his fall were his inability,
incompetence and blabber”.
says people not buying PM’s accusations, false propaganda against political
to Mr Khan’s threat to put the opposition leaders into jails, she said throw
every politician into jails “if it helps in bringing back Rs100 billion embezzled
in Peshawar Metro project and give people 10 million jobs”.
pace at which the national kitty has been robbed during PTI’s nine months in
power is unprecedented and the national debt has shot to an insane Rs30,000
billion,” she pointed out.
whose pockets all this daily loan of Rs16 billion is going? Tell the people of
Pakistan,” she said. The prime minister must tell the nation how his personal
assets jumped from a few million to over Rs3 billion, she added.
a separate statement, PPP vice-president Senator Sherry Rehman said the prime
minister was scared of losing the government. She alleged that Mr Khan was
doing character assassination of former president Asif Ali Zardari in an effort
to save his falling government.
one needs to do anything to bring this government down. It will come down under
its own weight,” Ms Rehman said.
alleged that Mr Khan was running the National Accountability Bureau and the
Federal Investigation Agency like his Shaukat Khanum Hospital. She asked the
prime minister to provide evidence to courts instead of making “money
laundering rants” all the time.
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday announced five per cent quota in the Naya
Pakistan Housing Scheme for those families of Shia Hazara community who had
lost their loved ones in terrorist attacks.
made this announcement during a meeting with relatives of the victims of the
Hazarganji suicide attack that left 22 people dead, including eight of the
Hazara community, on April 12.
prime minister was in the city on a brief visit to meet suicide attack victims’
families and attend the groundbreaking ceremony of the housing scheme.
expressed his sorrow over the tragedy, offered condolences to the bereaved
families and prayed for the departed souls.
on the occasion, he called for joint efforts to foil the enemy’s nefarious
designs for stirring chaos in the country.
said implementation of the National Action Plan against terrorism was
inevitable and the government was determined to eliminate terrorism and
Khan said providing security to citizens was a responsibility of the federal
and the provincial governments and they would accomplish this task. The prime
minister said the day was not far when people would live in a peaceful
said anti-state elements wanted to create division among the people and called
for joint efforts to foil their designs.
said personnel of the Pakistan Army, police and Frontier Constabulary as well
as the general public, had rendered immense sacrifices and helped in improving
assured the affected families that the government stood by them and
perpetrators of the Hazarganji attack would be brought to justice. No laxity
would be tolerated in maintenance of peace, he added.
the groundbreaking ceremony of the Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme, the prime
minister said the political leaders who had plundered the country during the
last decade and burdened Pakistan with excessive debts would be taken to task.
will get them punished... so that they serve as a deterrent for those
contesting elections in future,” he remarked.
ceremony, held at the Balochistan University of Information Technology,
Engineering and Management Sciences, was attended by Balochistan Chief
Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani, Governor Amanullah Yasinzai, Federal Minister
for Housing Tariq Bashir Cheema, federal and provincial cabinet members and
senior government officials. A sizeable number of students were in attendance
prime minister unveiled the plaques about construction of 110,000 houses in
Quetta and Gwadar, including 54,000 units for fishermen.
the first phase of the Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme, 135,000 units would be
built across the country, he said, adding that 25,000 apartments would be built
in Islamabad for federal government employees.
said the Sharif family and Asif Zardari wanted to remove the government because
they were afraid of jail as “new facts” (about their corruption) were being
unearthed with each passing day. He said even enemies did not do what the
Sharif and Zardari families had done to the country.
the first time in 70 years ‘big dacoits were arrested and sent behind bars,”
the prime minister said. Previously only poor people were sent to jail. “In
Musharraf government, I myself was imprisoned and found only poor people in the
prison,” Mr Khan said.
said Maulana Fazlur Rehman wanted to wind up the whole system after facing
defeat in the general elections last year.
said the project to build five million houses was aimed at realising the dream
of those people who could not afford to build their houses, particularly the
salaried and other low-income groups. “Despite being a basic need, owning a
house has become more difficult with the skyrocketing real estate prices.”
under the existing banking system, loans were given only to the elite, the PM
said, adding that the government was preparing laws to extend loans to the low
Khan said currently only 0.2 per cent people in Pakistan availed housing
finance against 80-90pc in Europe, 30pc in Malaysia and 10pc in India.
said foreign companies were interested in investing in the housing project. If
they did so, 40 other industries would benefit and thus job opportunities would
unemployed youth to “launch construction firms” instead of waiting for
government jobs and said opportunities would be created for the youth to enable
then to form construction companies to benefit from “the coming housing boom”.
directed the Balochistan chief minister to design a master plan for Quetta and
allow vertical construction to discourage the horizontal spread of the city.
Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Sunday called Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil
Wickremesinghe to condole and condemn the terrorist attacks that rocked the
country on Easter Day.
devastating series of eight bomb blasts ripped through high-end hotels and
churches holding Easter services in Sri Lanka, killing nearly 160 people,
including dozens of foreigners. Nearly 500 people were injured in the attacks.
Pakistanis were among the injured, according to the Foreign Ministry. All four ─ including three women identified as
Maheen Hassan, Muzna Humayun and Atika Atif ─ sustained minor injuries and were
discharged after receiving treatment.
his call to Wickremasinghe, Qureshi expressed "his deepest condolences on
behalf of Prime Minister Imran Khan and the people of Pakistan in the wake of
terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka", said a statement issued by the ministry.
"He conveyed sympathies for the families that lost their loved ones in the
tragedy and prayed for the speedy recovery of the injured. He stressed that
Pakistan fully understand the pain of their Sri Lankan brethren."
'Cruel violence': World leaders react to deadly Sri Lanka blasts
added that Pakistan "condemns terrorism in all its forms and
manifestations and completely understands the trauma and agony suffered by the
people of Sri Lanka today".
a victim of prolong terrorism itself Pakistan stands with Sri Lanka in its
foreign minister, on behalf of the Government of Pakistan, also extended all
out help and support to the Sri Lankan government and people.
Prime Minister Imran Khan strongly condemned the "horrific terrorist
attack in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday".
profound condolences go to our Sri Lankan brethren. Pakistan stands in complete
solidarity with Sri Lanka in their hour of grief," he tweeted.
of the Opposition and PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif also expressed grief at
the "tragic Easter carnage" in Sri Lanka. "We mourn the loss of
innocent lives. Stand by Sri Lanka and the Christian community around the globe
in this hour of grief," he said.
the attacks, PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said "as always, the
purveyors of terror have chosen to target innocents on a holy day. Thoughts
& prayers with all the families for whom this #Easter has become one of
people and Government of Pakistan stand by the people and Government of Sri
Lanka at this moment of tragedy and against terror," Foreign Office
spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal tweeted soon after news of the attacks broke.
for Human Rights Shireen Mazari condemned the attack in a tweet, saying that
terrorism needs a strong united global approach to be effectively defeated
stand with our Sri Lankan brethren as they confront these brutal terrorist
attacks," Mazari said.
Cracks have appeared in the walls of 320-year-old Khudaabad mosque despite the
fact that Rs120 million have been spent on its preservation over the past five
years, raising fears the historic structure may fall apart any moment.
mosque located in Khudaabad town, 11 kilometres from here along Indus Highway,
which remained capital of Sindh during Kalhoro rein from 1701 to 1751 AD, is on
the brink of collapse thanks to negligence of the provincial antiquity, culture
and tourism department. Tiles have also started falling off the walls,
eclipsing its beauty, according to experts and visitors.
Ali Babar, an archaeologist, said the mosque which was built by Kalhoro ruler
Mian Yar Mohammad from 1700 to 1718 was in urgent need of repairs and
preservation. Recent rains had also done irreparable harm to the structure, he
Ihsan Ali Abro said that work on the preservation of the mosque had been going
on intermittently since 2009. It was undertaken by the works and services
department which kept working on it for six years without seeking expert
advice. Millions of rupees were embezzled in the name of the mosque’s
preservation, he said.
he said, the provincial antiquity, culture and tourism department took the work
in hand and spent Rs120 million in five years without bringing any major
improvement to the structure.
said that established procedure for the conservation was not adopted,
substandard material was used instead of cheeroly, a construction material used
in historic monuments in past, and Irani tiles were used in place of Sindhi
tiles which completely changed the structure’s look. Since material of inferior
quality was used tiles had started falling off the walls, he said.
Wali Chandio feared the mosque could crumble any moment due to the dangerous
cracks. Sindh and federal governments should take steps on a war footing for
the preservation of the historic mosque, he demanded.
of Art and Design of the University of Sindh’s director Prof Saeed Ahmed Mangi
said that the authorities concerned should hire professionals and experts for
the preservation of the mosque, which had suffered official neglect for several
Ali Kanasro, director general of the antiquity, tourism and culture department,
said that work on the scheme for the conservation and restoration of Khudaabad
mosque started in 2009 under Annual Development Programme.
said that the work being carried out by works and services department was
stopped over objections raised by experts and archeologists and was then handed
over to the antiquity department, which hired professionals and experts from
Sadiqabad for the work of fresco.
said that chaff had been used in the construction material of the mosque’s
roof, which was completely removed and the roof was reconstructed with
cheeroly. Since the work was being done in a professional manner it was taking
time, he said, adding it would complete by June 2020.
KOTAL: Chief of his own faction of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam Maulana Fazlur Rehman
has questioned the silence of political forces on what he called the political
chaos in the country.
don’t understand why the political forces in the country have adopted silence
while people are committing suicides and jobs are being snatched from them,” he
said while addressing a big public meeting in Jamrud on Sunday as part of his
nationwide million march against the government.
JUI-F chief demanded of Prime Minister Imran Khan to concede his failure and
immediately resign from his position. He said that abrupt changes in the
federal cabinet was a proof of failure of the federal government’s policies.
PM Imran to concede failure and step down
said that changes in the ministries and resignation of the finance minister
were in fact personal failure of the prime minister to fulfil his election
promises. He alleged that a ‘fake’ prime minister was imposed on the Pakistani
electorate through a ‘fake’ election, but the people would not submit to the
pressure of accepting a ‘fake’ government which was imposed on them.
Maulana said that an impression was created before 2018 general elections that
the role of religious parties had ended, but the participation of a large
number of ordinary people in his million march was a testimony to the active
role of such forces in the country’s politics.
the presidential form of government a dictatorship, he said that his party
would not accept the presidential form of government as was suggested and
discussed by the ruling party.
the foreign policy of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government, he claimed that
relations with Afghanistan, India and Iran were not cordial as border with
Afghanistan had been made controversial while fencing of the Iran border was
started. “How can the government claim about a successful foreign policy in
such a hostile environment on borders,” he said.
JUI-F chief said that his party would not abandon the people of tribal
districts who had overwhelmingly rejected the Fata-KP merger plan. He said that
both the federal and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governments had been befooling the
people of tribal areas with announcements of allocation of billions of rupees
fund for development.
the KP government also has expressed its inability along with other provinces
to give its share for tribal districts’ development from the National Finance
Commission award,” he said and added that the governance system had collapsed
after the region’s merger with KP.
said that his party would continue to oppose the unnatural merger of tribal
areas with KP as it was done against the aspiration of majority of tribal
people. “The merger has compounded the miseries of tribal people as the region
is virtually without a proper governance system,” he alleged.
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