can now tack on stamps that celebrate the Muslim holiday of Eid, alongside ones
that mark Christmas and Chinese New Year.
Establishment of Al-Azhar University in India to Promote the Movement of
Ibn-e-Taymiyyah, the Founder of Wahhabism
Explosions in East Jakarta Part of Global Terrorist Attack: Police
Urges Trump to Work for Peace As Smiles Replace Spats
Post Eid Stamp Issued To Recognize 2 Important Muslim Holidays
States Boosting Takfiri Firepower: Senior Iranian Official
3000 Mosques in Tamil Nadu to Get 4900 Tonnes Rice During Ramzan
Masjid case: Court to frame charges against Advani, Joshi, Uma tomorrow
PDP worker critical after terrorists fire shots at him
video of 'destroyed' Indian post is fake: Indian Army
IM man could spill the beans on terror network
to participate in Yoga Day event in UP
BJP leader, two others get life term for terror funding
Ahmedabad Blasts: 80th arrest, Accused held in Kozhikode
attack at police camp in J&K's Shopian, one hurt
denies Pakistan's claim that India fired at a UN vehicle along LoC
State-Linked Militants Besiege Philippine City
Suspected suicide bomber, cop dead in explosion in capital Jakarta
zakat officers accused of embezzlement transferred to state Islamic council
Experts Slam Riyadh for Erasing 'Cultural Heritage' In Shia Town
reopens centuries-old religious schools to enrich cultural heritage
police hunt Manchester bomber's network, angered by U.S. leaks
Libya make terror arrests after Manchester attack
'irritated' by US leaks in Manchester attack
deploy as Britain goes on top terror alert
Duterte counting on Russia's help to fight terrorism after IS-linked militants
Says Pakistan Harbouring Terrorists; Hints at Reducing Military Aid to
delays decision on troops increase in Afghanistan: NYT Report
intelligence leak 'undermines' UK bomb investigation
groups are lashing out about Muslim prayer in schools
Criticize US Administration over Friendship with Saudi Arabia, Animosity toward
Mark 50 Years since Capture of Jerusalem’s Old City
New Massacre In Taiz As Houthis Shell Residential Areas
Erdogan seeking new chapter in Iran-Turkey ties
US Soldiers Killed in Clashes with Yemeni Tribal Fighters
army controls the central bank in Taiz
We’ll wish Turkey-based German troops happy journey if they leave
Radicalization in West Africa Worries the Church
Kills Five In First Suicide Attack in Somalia
Kenyan police killed in suspected al-Shabaab bombing
an imported extremism
Muslims Asked to Avoid Evils in Holy Month
refugees die when overcrowded vessel capsizes off Libya
of Myanmar’s ‘Buddhist Bin Laden’ Chills Cannes
Lanka Police ‘Failing to Stop Anti-Muslim Attacks’
Kyi defends slow-moving peace process
Afghan defense officials jailed over Kabul military hospital attack
and Indian officials meet in Moscow, hold talks on key issues
met Russian Ambassador to discuss ongoing current Afghan situation
Blocks 21 Websites, Including Al Jazeera: State News Agency
Man Performs Umrah for Trump
army says ISIS ‘minister of war’ killed
tribes in Iraq’s Mosul demand Iran halt interferences
clerics announce national mourning to honor Diraz victims
Army Starts Six Fronts in Badiyeh Region to Face Terrorists
civilians dead in coalition strikes near Raqa
probes 'shameful' hacking as Gulf split exposed
to Form 10,000-Fighter Army to Battle Kurdish Forces in Northern Syria
authorities arrest 286 wanted terrorists
King conveys stance in support of UK against terrorism
continue protests in defiance of regime warning
Arabia defends Bahrain’s deadly crackdown
Sharif at Riyadh Summit: Pakistan Deeply Committed To Muslim World's Unity and
visiting Pakistan laud hospitality
drone kills 3 militants in NWA
by governor’s ‘inaction’, JI resumes protest against KE
by New Age Islam News Bureau
by New Age Islam Edit Bureau)
has been the cradle of education; however, it is our misfortune that our
country is lagging behind in the field of education. I hope that after the establishment of
Al-Azhar University in India, the golden age of education will return. While
delivering the presidential remarks, the founding president of Islamic Fiqh
Academy of India, Maulana Mohammad Abbas Ansari expressed these views during
the opening program of Al-Azhar University held at Hotel River View, Jamia
Nagar New Delhi. He said “Al-Azhar University of India and its associates ought
to adopt the path of Jamia Islamia Madina and the movement of Ibn Taymiyyah in
order to reform their beliefs”.
this program, majority of the participants were from among the followers of
Wahhabism while some were from Deobandism. The most prominent of them were the
principal of Jamia Islamia Sanabil, Maulana Nisar Ahmad Sanabli, Professor
Doctor Sohrab, the president of All India Muslim Majlise Mushawarat Naved
Hadim, Professor Qazi Abdul Majid, Maulana Amanullah Madani, Maualana Abdur
Rahman Salafi, Professor Akhtarul Wasey, Maulana Amir Abdur Rashid Bastawi,
Maulana Fazlur Rahman Madani, the secretary of Jamat-e-Islami Hind Maulana Muhammad Rafiq Qasmi, Maulana Sayed
Athar Husain Dehlvi, Maulana Firoz Ahmad Nadwi, Maulana Shamim Ahmad Nadwi,
Maulana Abdus Sattar Salafi, Doctor Zillur Rahmad Taimi, the Vice-president of
Jamia Imam Ibn Taymiyyah Chandan Barah Doctor Muhammad Arshad Faheem Madani,
Mufti of Markazi Jamiat Ahle Hadees Hind Maulana Jameel Ahmad Madani etc. (See:
Roznama Hamara Samaj, May 22, 2017)
report published in Indian Express says “the Indian Government will pay all the
cost of the project”.
Two suspected suicide bombers who killed three policemen and injured 10 other
people near a bus station in Kampung Melayu, East Jakarta on Wednesday (25/05)
night, acted in what is purported to be a global terrorist attack, police said.
police linked the blasts to recent attacks in Manchester, United Kingdom, and
Marawi in the Philippines.
have actually been prepared, but we didn't know where exactly the attack will
take place and when," National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Setyo Wasisto
part of a global attack that connects several groups in several places. First
the explosions in Manchester during the Ariana Grande show, then in the
Philippines, where Islamic State-linked groups carried out an attack in
Marawi," Setyo said.
As of yet, no group has claimed responsibility
for the Jakarta blasts.
urges Trump to work for peace as smiles replace spats
CITY - Pope Francis urged Donald Trump to use his US presidency to promote
peace around the world as the two leaders swapped sparring for smiles in their
first face-to-face meeting, at the Vatican on Wednesday.
audience with the 80-year-old pontiff, a keenly-anticipated highlight of his
first overseas tour, lasted just under half an hour and concluded with both men
beaming, for the cameras at least.
is something," the president later said of his host. "We had a
Vatican described the discussions as "cordial" and stressed the two
men's joint opposition to abortion and shared concern for persecuted Christians
in the Middle East. There was no mention from either side of the two men's
profound differences on climate change, migration, the death penalty and other
told his host as he left: "Thank you. Thank you. I won't forget what you
pope had presented Trump with a medallion engraved with an olive tree, the
international symbol of peace.
give it to you so you can be an instrument of peace," he said in Spanish.
"We can use peace," Trump replied.
a lighter moment, Francis referred to Trump's imposing bulk by asking his wife
Melania, "What do you feed him on? Potica?" - a reference to a
calorie-laden cake from Slovenia, Melania's country of birth.
presented the pope with several gifts, including a collection of first editions
by Martin Luther King and a bronze sculpture.
gave Trump copies of the three major texts he has published as pope, including
one on the environment which urges the industrialised world to curb carbon
emissions or risk catastrophic consequences for the planet. Trump, who has
threatened to ignore the Paris accords on emissions and described global
warming as a hoax, vowed to read them.
the last year, the two men have swapped jibes and debated on subjects ranging
from migration to unbridled capitalism, as well as the environment.
Vatican statement highlighted "the joint commitment in favour of life, and
freedom of worship and conscience." Since his November election, Trump has
pleased the Catholic hierarchy by axing rules protecting tax-funded financing
of family planning clinics that offer abortions.
who is a Catholic, and daughter Ivanka were both dressed all in black with lace
veils, in keeping with traditional protocol that is no longer obligatory for
visiting female dignitaries. The audience took place in the private library of
the Apostolic Palace, the lavish papal residence that Francis does not use,
having opted instead for modest lodgings in a guesthouse for visiting clerics.
the Trumps were given a private tour of the Sistine Chapel and St Peter's
meanwhile visited a children's hospital and Ivanka met women trafficked from
Africa for the sex trade on a visit to the St Egidio religious community.
and Trump's past spats include the pope describing plans for a border wall with
Mexico as not Christian and Trump evoking a possible Islamist attack on the
Vatican which would make the pontiff glad to have him as president.
there have also been conciliatory moves. In 2013, Trump tweeted that "the
new pope is a humble man, very much like me" while Francis had promised to
judge the man not the image.
meeting nevertheless provided a reminder of their differences in style, Trump
arriving at the Vatican in a jumbo-sized SUV that couldn't have been further
removed from the modest Fiats and Fords Francis prefers.
Post has issued a special one for Eid, two festivals meaningful to Muslims.
an unveiling in Richmond Hill, Ont. Tuesday, the organization said it made
sense to add a stamp commemorating the holidays.
Canada reaches its 150th birthday, our stamp committee reflected on some themes
that need to reflect the Canada of today," Canada Post CEO Deepak Chopra
said, as quoted by IQRA.
colourful new stamp, which features light and dark blue and orange with a
yellow geometric pattern over top, was inspired by Islamic architecture,
according to Canada Post.
Arabic text inside the pointed arch, which symbolizes the importance of beauty,
unity and light, reads "Eid Mubarak," which translates to "Have
a happy Eid."
al-Fitr falls at the end of June in Canada and signifies the end of Ramadan,
the month where Muslims fast from dawn until dusk. Eid al-Adha, or the Festival
of Sacrifice, marks the story of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son
Isaac to obey God. Both festivals can include special prayers, extravagant
meals and visits with loved ones.
more than 50 years, the postal service issued a Christmas stamp around the
holidays. More recently, it started issuing two every year, one to celebrate
the Christian celebration and the other a secular holiday one.
has also issued a Chinese New Year stamp every year since 1997, according to
the National Post, and those to mark Black History Month since 2003.
Eid stamp isn’t the only new religious design you’ll see popping up at postal
outlets this year.
service will issue a Hanukkah stamp, as well as two stamps marking Diwali, the
Hindu festival of lights.
new designs will be available for the next three years, and may become
permanent if they sell well, Canada Post’s director of stamp services Jim
Phillips told the Post.
senior Iranian official says a number of countries, either directly or
indirectly, side with the Takfiri terrorists in Iraq and Syria, helping arm the
outfits to devastating effects.
of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani made the remarks at a
high-level international security summit underway in Russia’s northwestern city
further said that those countries would either directly transfer the weapons to
the Takfiri terrorists or hand them over to the so-called “moderate” militants,
whom they have propped up themselves before the arms are taken away by the
he said, is the reason why the weapons, which are in the hands of the Takfiri
terror groups of Daesh and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (formerly known as al-Nusra
Front), are more advanced than the ones possessed by the Syrian and Iraqi
reiterated that Iran’s ongoing provision of military advisory support to the
Iraqi and Syrian armies was taking place at their respective governments’
on Damascus’ plea, Iran has been cooperating with Russia to push back
terrorists in Syria. This, he said, has helped inflict serious losses on
terrorist camps, separated them from the ranks of the armed Syrian opposition,
and eventually contributed to the conclusion of last year’s ceasefire with the
the United Nations acted more decisively in the face of the invasion by the US
and some of its Middle Eastern and North African allies, the region would not
be witnessing such conflagration today, the official asserted.
the time ripe for putting an end to these defeated and pernicious policies?” he
asked, stressing that a failure to resolve the regional crises through
political means would result in further warfare.
official concluded his remarks by urging action against the terrorists’
attempts to establish their reign over the cyberspace.
summit started on Tuesday and would last until Thursday, with issues of global
information security and fight against international organized crime high on
of over 90 states arrived at the meeting… Within the conference, over 10
meetings between the representatives of the delegations have been held,” said
Evgeny Anoshin, the spokesman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation
aides, ministers and intelligence officials are among the summit attendees.
is the eighth such event in Russia. The first security summit was held in the
Russian resort of Sochi in 2010 with participants from 44 countries while the
2016 conference gathered representatives from 75 states in the city of Grozny.
Secretary Nikolai Patrushev hailed the increase in the number of participants
over the past years, adding that 16 European states were present in the 2017
conference “despite EU officials not recommending participating, they
(intelligence agency representatives) personally took the decision [to come].”
the sidelines of the summit on Tuesday, Shamkhani, who is heading the Iranian
delegation to the Tver summit, held a four-way meeting with Patrushev, Iraq’s
National Security Advisor Falih Fayaz and head of Syria’s National Security
Bureau Ali Mamlouk.
3,000 mosques in Tamil Nadu will get 4,900 tonnes of free rice for preparation
of gruel during the fasting month of Ramzan starting later this month. Tamil
Nadu Chief Minister K Palniswami has given the approval for the supply of rice
to the mosques for its use during the holy month.
state government would incur an additional expenditure of Rs 12.60 crore for
this allocation, an official release said. The scheme was started by late Chief
Minister Jayalalithaa and has been well-received by the Muslim community, it
pleas were made from various quarters for supply of rice this year too.
Palaniswami has directed that the necessary approvals for the supply of rice to
various mosques be given and the district collectors have been asked to do the
same after verifying documents, the release said.
AIADMK’s mouthpiece ‘Dr Namadhu MGR’ in its edition in 2015 had said a
Pakistani TV channel had welcomed the scheme during that year and suggested the
same be implemented in its country.
Pakistan television channel ‘SAMAA’ has aired a news about chief minister Jayalalithaa’s
scheme of free rice to make gruel during the holy month of Ramzan and it wanted
its government to emulate it,” the party’s mouthpiece had said.
The special CBI court in Lucknow, which had started day-to-day hearing in the
Babri Masjid demolition case last week, said on Wednesday that it would frame
charges against former deputy PM LK Advani and 11 other BJP and RSS leaders on
May 25 and 26 for their alleged role in conspiracy behind the razing of the
structure on December 6, 1992.
charges against Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharati, Viany Katiyar, Sadhvi
Ritambhara and Vishnu Hari Dalmiya would be framed on May 26, Mahant Nritya
Gopal Das, Mahant Ram Vilas Vedanti, Baikunth Lal Sharma alias Prem Ji, Champat
Rai Bansal, Dharma das and Dr Satish Pradhan would be charged a day before.
Terrorists shot and critically injured a worker of the ruling PDP in Barzullah
area of the city on Wednesday evening, the police said.
Qayoom was shot at by terrorists at least three times from close range outside
his home at around 8.10pm, a police official said.
DELHI: A video Pakistan's army released yesterday, purportedly showing its army
"destroying" an Indian post in Nowshera, is fake, said top Indian
Army sources to ANI today.
from Pakistan claiming to destroy Indian post is fake as Indian posts have
walls thick enough to withhold fire of recoilless gun," said the sources.
released this video yesterday, after the Indian Army said it recently destroyed
Pakistani posts along the Line of Control (LoC) with "punitive fire
Pakistani Army released the 87-second video on Twitter with a tweet saying
"On 13 May 2017, India targeted innocent civilians. In befitting response
Pak Army destroyed Indian posts in Nowshera."
is what the official spokesperson of Pakistan's armed forces tweeted:
video is a fake", said the Indian army sources.
blast is from below the structure which usually happens in case of IED blasts
and not explosion from artillery fire," they said.
Indian Army Sources also pointed to what it called "editing marks" on
visibility of editing marks in the video," they said. : Army Sources say
Pakistani video claiming Indian posts haven been destroyed is fake.
army sources said yesterday that their "punitive" strikes recently
were a message to Pakistan+ that the Army will take stronger action with
increased frequency against any infiltration attempts from across the border.
Indian Army said its strikes were along the Nowshera sector in Rajouri.
this story in Gujarati
recent action by our troops in the Naushera Sector has caused some damage to
the Pak Army posts, which are supporting infiltrations. This is part of our
overall strategy to counter terrorism," Additional Director General of
Public Information Major Gen A K Narula told reporters today.
the mercury rising and snow-melting in the valley, the chances of infiltration
increase from the Pakistani side. The Army is all geared up to counter such
threats," Major General Ashok Narula told reporters in New Delhi.
was part of the plan to proactively dominate the LoC and counter-terrorism
operations to curb infiltration," he added.
The arrest of Shuhiab Pottanikkal, a key figure in the terror network of the
Indian Mujahideen, is a major breakthrough for the investigating agencies as he
could spill the beans on other fugitive terrorists.
was arrested from Karipur International Airport on Tuesday night after he was
deported from Dubai where he has been living for the past nine years. Shuhaib
hails from Kodinhi in Malappuram district and was a SIMI activist at the PSMO
name first figured in the confession of E T Sainudheen alias Sathar Bhai, who
was arrested in 2009 for his alleged connection with bomb blasts at various
places in India. "We have issued look out circular on Shuhaib, who is the
eighth accused in the case related to the recovery of pipe bombs from
Koomankallu in Malappuram district in 1995," said a police officer.
Sainudheen is the co-accused in the case.
had told the police that Shuhaib, who was in Dubai, used give financial help to
him. It was Shuhaib who provided money to Sainudheen to set an electrical shop
at Kondotty. In December 2007, Shuhaib called Sainudheen from Dubai and told
that a person will come to meet him at Kuttippuram.
went to the railway station and received the person mentioned by Shuhaib. They
held a meeting at a lodge in Kuttippuram and discussed various issues faced by
Muslims in India. Later, Sainudheen realised the person sitting before him was
Riyaz Bhatkal, the leader of the terror outfit Indian Mujahideen.
wanted Sainudheen, who is an expert in electronics, to devise integrated chips
(IC) to be used as timer devices in bombs. Riyaz said the IM wanted to avenge
the killing of Muslims in Gujarat riots in 2002. It is alleged that the timer
devices made by Sainudheen were used for the Ahmedabad blasts in 2008.
International Yoga Day event in Lucknow on June 21 is likely to witness
participation of Muslims in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “At
least 300 Muslim men and women will participate in the International Yoga Day
celebrations, which would be held in Lucknow’s Ramabai Ambedkar Maidan. The
number of participants may go up,” Mahiraj Dhwaj Singh, national co-convener
(organisation) of Muslim Rashtriya Manch for UP and Uttarakhand told said.
of All India Shia Personal Law Board Maulana Yasoob Abbas when contacted said,
“We are open to the idea of participation in the International Yoga Day
celebrations. We are exploiting all the options in this regard.” Syed Babar
Ashraf, president of Sada-e-Sufiyaain Hind was of the view that if yoga is good
for an individual’s health, then it must be practiced.
are all for yoga and will participate in the International Yoga Day
festivities. Problem arises when religion is mixed with yoga. As far as we are
concerned, there is no problem with yoga,” he said. On May 14, Union Home
Minister Rajnath Singh and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath
reviewed the preparations for the event, which will be held on June 21. Prime
Minister Modi along with 55,000 people are likely to participate in the event.
UP government spokesperson said that Rajnath Singh met Adityanath to discuss
and review the preparations of the International Yoga Day. Union Ayush minister
Shripad Yesso Naik was present at the meeting. Adityanath said that for
convenience of ordinary citizens, LED screens will be installed at different
parks in the city, so that they could also participate simultaneously.
also issued directions to hold a 28-day workshop for the participants prior to
the International Yoga Day. The Union Ayush Ministry had proposed Lucknow as
the venue for the main function for IDY celebrations this year. Earlier, the
government was considering Bhopal, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Ranchi and Bengaluru as
possible venues for the event.
Union Ayush Ministry is also planning to organise a major yoga event in at
least one city in each of the districts across the country.
ministry zeroed in on Lucknow as the possible venue at a review meeting for the
June 21 event. The official website of the Ayush ministry on its webpage
pertaining to IDY also requests the people visiting the page to make the
following pledge — “I pledge to make Yoga an integral part of my daily life.”
Samudra Gupta Kashyap
SPECIAL court of the National Investigating Agency (NIA) here on Tuesday handed
out life imprisonment to three people, including a militant-turned-BJP leader
in Assam and government officials, as part of two cases of conniving to siphon
off government money to fund a terrorist outfit in the state. On Monday, the
court had convicted 15 people in the two cases — the first cases the NIA was
entrusted with after it was formed in 2009.
others were sentenced to jail terms of varying duration. Those sentenced for
life term are Niranjan Hojai, a former self-styled commander-in-chief of the
terror outfit DHD(J), who later surrendered, joined the BJP last year and got
elected to the NC Hills Autonomous Council; Jewel Garlosa, a former self-styled
chairman of DHD(J) and at present an independent member of the Hills Council;
and Mohet Hojai, a former chief executive member of the Council.
Assam BJP is examining the scope of moving Gauhati High Court to get Niranjan
Hojai out of the tangle, state party spokesperson Bijan Mahajan said. Five
people have been awarded separate jail terms of 10 years and 12 years under
different Sections: R H Khan, deputy director in the state Social Welfare
Department and OSD of the Hills Council; Phojendra Hojai, a contractor; DHD(J)
member Ashringdao Warissa; Mizoram arms smuggler Vanlalchana; and Kolkata-based
contractor Jayanta Kumar Ghosh.
Ahmedabad Detection of Crime Branch (DCB) late on Tuesday night arrested a
person identified as Suhaib Pottanikkal from Kerala, who was wanted in the 2008
Ahmedabad serial blasts cases. On Wednesday, he was produced before a
metropolitan court which sent him to police custody till June 2. With the
arrest of Pottanikkal, the DCB has arrested 80 accused over the years, while 18
are absconding. DCB officials said Potannikkal allegedly allegedly introduced
Mohammed Ahmed Siddibapa alias Riyaz Bhatkal, a key accused in the cases, to
Sainuddin and Sarfuddin who made electronic chips that were used in bombs
planted in Surat. As many as 27 bombs were planted at various places in Surat,
but they did not explode due to faulty chips. However, in Ahmedabad the series
of blasts killed 56 people and left over 200 injured.
to DCB officials, Pottanikkal left the country soon after the blasts. Following
this, a red corner notice was issued against him. Officials said that they
received information that he was returning via Kozhikode airport and arrested
him on arrival.
Militants today targeted a police camp in Shopian district of Kashmir, lobbing
a grenade in which a civilian was injured, police said.
grenade was hurled towards the camp of the special operations group (SOG) of
police at Imam Sahib in Shopian but the explosive missed the intended target
and exploded on the roadside, a police official said.
said a civilian, identified as Ishfaq Rashid, was injured in the grenade blast.
DELHI: The United Nations (UN) has denied the Pakistani army's claim that
Indian forces fired at a UN vehicle on the Line of Control (LoC) yesterday.
reports in Pakistan last night quoted the Pakistan army's media wing as saying
that India targeted a UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan
(UNMOGIP) vehicle in the Khanjar Sector. The Pakistani army termed it a
"ceasefire violation" by India and said it "effectively
responded to silence Indian firing".
true, said the UN secretary general's spokesman at a press briefing late
Wednesday night India time.
can say to you that this afternoon in Bhimber District ... UNMOGIP military
observers accompanied by Pakistani army escorts heard gunshots in their
vicinity. There is no evidence that the UNMOGIP military observers were
targeted by the gunfire. No UN military observer was injured," said
Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for the UN Secretary-General.
has been on the back foot since the Indian Army said on Tuesday it destroyed
Pakistani posts on the LoC in "punitive strikes", in retaliation for
infiltration attempts at the border.
denied such assaults then released what the Indian Army called a "fake
video" purportedly showing its army "destroying" an Indian post
State-linked militants besiege Philippine city
State group-linked militants swept through a southern Philippine city,
beheading a police chief, burning buildings, seizing a Catholic priest and his
worshippers and raising the black flag of IS, authorities said Wednesday.
President Rodrigo Duterte, who had declared martial law across the southern
third of the nation, warned he may expand it nationwide.
details of the attack in Marawi city emerged, fears mounted that the largest
Roman Catholic nation in Asia could be falling into a growing list of countries
grappling with the spread of influence from the Islamic State group in Syria
violence erupted on Tuesday after the army raided the hideout of Isnilon
Hapilon, a commander of the Abu Sayyaf militant group who has pledged
allegiance to IS. He is on Washington’s list of most-wanted terrorists with a
$5 million reward for information leading to his capture.
militants called for reinforcements and around 100 gunmen entered Marawi, a
mostly Muslim city of 200,000 people on the southern island of Mindanao,
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on Wednesday.
are in a state of emergency,” Mr. Duterte said Wednesday after he cut short a
trip to Moscow and flew back to Manila. “I have a serious problem in Mindanao
and the ISIS footprints are everywhere.”
Lorenzana, the defense secretary, said at least two soldiers and a police
officer had been killed. But the numbers could change as more information comes
Wednesday, Marawi Bishop Edwin de la Pena said the militants forced their way
into the Marawi Cathedral and seized a Catholic priest, 10 worshippers and
three church workers.
priest, Father Chito, and the others had no role in the conflict, said
Archbishop Socrates Villegas, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of
was not a combatant. He was not bearing arms. He was a threat to none,”
Villegas said of Chito. “His capture and that of his companions violates every
norm of civilized conflict.”
said the gunmen are demanding the government recall its forces.
Tuesday evening, Duterte declared martial rule for 60 days in the entire
Mindanao region home to 22 million people and vowed to be “harsh.”
warned everybody not to force my hand into it,” Duterte said on his plane en
route to the Philippines. “I have to do it to preserve the republic.”
law allows Duterte to use the armed forces to carry out arrests, searches and
detentions more rapidly. He has repeatedly threatened to place the south, the
scene of decades—long Muslim separatist uprisings, under martial law. But human
rights groups have expressed fears that martial law powers could further
embolden Duterte, whom they have accused of allowing extrajudicial killings of
thousands of people in a crackdown on illegal drugs.
from inside Marawi were sketchy because it appeared to be sealed off and
sealed off major entry and exit points to prevent Hapilon from escaping,
military chief of staff Gen. Eduardo Ano told The Associated Press late
will conduct house—to—house clearing and do everything to remove the threat
there. We can do that easily,” Ano said, but added it was more difficult in an
urban setting because of the need to avoid civilian casualties.
met late Tuesday with Russian President Vladimir Putin and said he is counting
on Russia to supply weapons for the Philippines to fight terrorism.
course, our country needs modern weapons, we had orders in the United States,
but now the situation there is not very smooth and in order to fight the
Islamic State, with their units and factions, we need modern weapons,” he said,
according to Russian state news agency Tass.
suspected suicide bombing rocked a busy bus terminal in the Indonesian capital
Jakarta Wednesday, killing one policeman in the latest terror attack to hit the
police officers were also injured in the explosion at the bus station in the
east of the city.
has been a bomb, for now we suspect it is a suicide bombing,” deputy national
police chief Syafruddin, who like many Indonesians goes by one name, told TV
said the bomber was killed along with one police officer, adding that five
other policemen were injured.
police personnel had been providing security,” to people in the area, he added.
terminal, Kampung Melayu, is a local hub served by minibuses and buses. It is a
working class district of the city, not popular with foreigners or tourists.
and witnesses said earlier they had heard two blasts during the attack.
first I saw smoke and shattered glass, the earth was shaking, I was shocked.
After a few minutes there was another blast,” a woman at the terminal, Rosmala,
a shopkeeper who goes by only one name, told AFP.
eyewitness, Sultan Muhammad Firdaus, told local television station Kompas TV
that he had heard two explosions.
was on a flyover and then I heard the first explosion... There was a 10 minute
gap between the two explosions.”
explosions were quite loud, I could hear them clearly,” he said.
Jakarta police chief Andry Wibowo said that the damage at the bus terminal
indicated that the explosion had been “pretty big”.
the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country, has long struggled with
Islamic militancy and hundreds of radicals from the Southeast Asian state have
flocked to fight with IS, sparking fears that weakened extremist outfits could
get a new lease of life.
gun and suicide attack in the capital Jakarta left four attackers and four
civilians dead in January last year, and was the first assault claimed by the
Islamic State group in Southeast Asia.
TOWN, May 24 — Five Penang Zakat Centre (ZPP) officers who have been released
from remand in connection with the alleged embezzlement of tithe money in the
state will be attached to Penang Islamic Religious Council (MAINPP) pending
completion of the case.
Islamic Religious Affairs, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Committee
chairman Datuk Abdul Malik Abul Kassim said all the officers were also told to
go on leave before reporting for duty at MAINPP next week.
question on who among them will continue serving at the ZPP Office will be
decided at the ZPP Board of Directors meeting next Monday,” he told a press
conference here today.
Abdul Malik said Penang Islamic Affairs Department director Datuk Sazali
Hussain had been appointed as acting ZPP chief executive officer.
said the ZPP had also set up a finance committee chaired by the state financial
officer to conduct an investigation into the agency’s operations.
Malik said the committe comprised the ZPP’s audit committee, state’s internal
chief auditor, state treasurer and MAINPP officer as the secretary.
committee has convened a meeting and will begin with their tasks as soon as
possible,” he said.
experts slam Riyadh for erasing 'cultural heritage' in Shia town
Nations experts have slammed the regime in Riyadh over razing an old part of a
Shia Muslim-majority town in eastern Saudi Arabia, saying the move has erased
cultural heritage and violated human rights.
Bennoune, the UN Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, said on
Wednesday that Saudi authorities had moved ahead with razing old Awamiyah,
known as al-Musawara, despite repeated calls by the United Nations to halt the
to a statement issued by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for
Human Rights, Bennoune accused Saudi security forces of "irreparably
burning down" historic buildings and forcing residents to flee their
destructions erase the traces of this historic and lived cultural heritage and
are clear violations of Saudi Arabia’s obligations under international human
rights law," the UN official said.
buildings in the area are more than 400 years old.
Farha, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, also warned
that the move in the Shia-populated region "constitutes a forced eviction
under international human rights law."
May 10, at least two people were killed when Saudi regime forces opened fire on
local residents who were trying to block bulldozers from razing al-Musawara.
forces equipped with heavy weapons have been deployed in Eastern Province's
Awamiyah since May 10, following fierce clashes between the regime forces and
locals protesting against the destruction.
and videos have been circulated on the net of bulldozers escorted by heavily
armored military vehicles heading toward the demolition site.
number of human rights groups and activists have expressed deep concern about
the living conditions of people in Awamiyah who are suffering from a severe
water shortage and are using private generators to produce electricity.
Province has been the scene of anti-regime protests since early 2011. Riyadh
has stepped up security measures in the Shia-majority region. Protesters want
freedom of speech, the release of political prisoners, and an end to economic
and religious discrimination exercise by authorities.
intensified in the province after the January 2016 execution by the regime of
respected Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr. The protests have been met with a
heavy-handed crackdown by the regime.
May 24 (Xinhua) -- Morocco has recently reopened a number of centuries-old
religious schools after rehabilitation with the aim to enrich the tangible and
intangible heritage of the North African kingdom.
of these schools, or Madrasas, were founded in the 13th century to teach
Islamic studies, Arabic literature, logic and mathematics in a number of
Moroccan old cities, particularly Fez, Marrakesh and Sale.
by charitable endowments, Madrasas offered students from different parts of
Morocco and neighbouring countries free tuition and dormitories.
centuries, these Madrasas had been the kingdom's prestigious educational
institutions, but with the establishment of modern universities, they have
gradually lost their place and many of them were closed.
recent years, Morocco has launched several programs to reopen a number of these
educational institutions, especially in the city of Fez, Morocco's spiritual
Tuesday, three Madrasas in Fez, the Mohammedia, the Seffarine and the
Bouaanania, were reopened after a year of restoration.
three schools will be used to accommodate students of al-Qarawiyyin University,
which is considered by UNESCO the oldest continuously operating degree-granting
university in the world.
part of the Madrasas rehabilitation program in Fez, three other schools, the
Mesbahiya, the Sbaiyyine and the Sahrij Madrasa, are scheduled to be restored.
They will provide dormitories to al-Qarawiyyin students. In addition, the
Sahrij Madrasa will also be reserved for students enrolled in the Moroccan
Calligraphy Department of Al Qarawiyyin.
rehabilitation of Madrasas is an integral part of a large-scale rehabilitation
program of the ancient medina of Fez founded in the 7th century.
in 2013, the program involves restoring monuments and historical sites dating
back to the period between the 10th and 13th century.
the monuments renovated are the al-Qarawiyyin library, which was opened last
year and is considered one of the oldest libraries in the world, and Dar al
Mouaqquit tower, which was recently reopened and is used to monitor the
scrambled to close down a network around the Manchester suicide bomber with
arrests in Britain and Tripoli on Wednesday, as details about the investigation
were leaked to U.S. media, infuriating authorities who fear a second attack is
Salman Abedi, 22, who was known to security services, killed 22 people at a
concert venue packed with children on Monday.
believe he had help in building the bomb, which photographs published by the
New York Times showed was sophisticated and powerful, and that his accomplices
could be ready to strike again.
police arrested five men and one woman on Wednesday, bringing the total held
for questioning to seven, and searched multiple addresses in northern and
were found at one site, the Independent reported, citing security service
source said British investigators were hunting for anyone who may have helped
build the suicide bomb.
think it's very clear that this is a network that we are investigating,"
police chief Ian Hopkins said outside Manchester police headquarters.
as I've said, it continues at a pace. There's extensive investigations going on
and activity taking place across Greater Manchester as we speak."
who was born in Manchester in 1994 to Libyan parents, blew himself up on Monday
night at the Manchester Arena indoor venue at the end of a concert by U.S. pop
singer Ariana Grande attended by thousands of children and teenagers.
in Tripoli on Wednesday arrested Abedi's younger brother and his father, who
said he did not expect the attack.
spoke to [Salman Abedi] about five days ago ... there was nothing wrong,
everything was normal," Ramadan Abedi told Reuters, moments before he was
spokesman for the local counter-terrorism force said his brother Hashem Abedi
was arrested on suspicion of links with Islamic State and was suspected of
planning to carry out an attack in the Libyan capital.
first arrest made in Britain on Tuesday was reported by British and U.S. media
to be Abedi's older brother.
interior minister Amber Rudd said the bomber had recently returned from Libya.
Her French counterpart Gerard Collomb said he had links with Islamic State and
had probably visited Syria as well.
in Britain have become increasingly angered by U.S. leaks from the
investigation, including the bomber's name on Tuesday and the photos of
blood-stained fragments from the bomb on Wednesday.
police chiefs said the breaches of trust between security service partners were
undermining their efforts.
had earlier scolded U.S. officials for leaking details.
British police have been very clear that they want to control the flow of
information in order to protect operational integrity, the element of surprise,
so it is irritating if it gets released from other sources, and I have been
very clear with our friends that should not happen again," she said.
hours after the warning, the New York Times published the detailed photographs.
government source told the Guardian newspaper, "Protests have been lodged
at every relevant level between the British authorities and our U.S.
Prime Minster Theresa May will meet U.S. President Donald Trump at a NATO
summit in Brussels on Thursday, but officials said she would cut short the
second leg of her trip to the G7 summit in Italy.
Manchester bombing has raised concern across Europe.
including Paris, Nice, Brussels, St. Petersburg, Berlin and London have
suffered militant attacks in the last two years.
ON THE STREETS
22 victims in Manchester included an eight-year-old girl, several teenage
girls, a 28-year-old man and a Polish couple who had come to collect their
official terror threat level was raised to "critical", the highest
level, late on Tuesday, meaning an attack was expected imminently.
with just over two weeks to go until a national election, May's Conservatives
and political parties said they would resume campaigning in the coming days.
Manchester bombing was the deadliest attack in Britain since July 2005, when
four British Muslim suicide bombers killed 52 people in coordinated attacks on
London's transport network.
said up to 3,800 soldiers could be deployed on Britain's streets, taking on
guard duties to free up police to focus on patrols and investigation. An
initial deployment of 984 had been ordered, first in London and then elsewhere.
were seen at the Houses of Parliament, May's Downing Street residence and at
the London police headquarters at New Scotland Yard.
Changing of the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace, a draw for tourists, was
canceled because it requires support from police officers, which authorities
decided was not a good use of resources given the threat level.
source close to the bombing investigation told Reuters that the focus was on
whether Abedi had received help in putting together the bomb and on where it
had been done.
bomb used in the attack appeared to contain carefully packed shrapnel and have
a powerful, high velocity charge, according to leaked photographs from the
investigation published by the New York Times.
BBC reported that security services thought the bomb was too sophisticated for
Abedi to have built by himself.
arrested three people in South Manchester, one woman in North Manchester, a man
in the nearby town of Wigan, and another man in the central English town of
Grande's representative said on Wednesday she was suspending her tour to assess
the situation and to "pay our proper respects to those lost". The
U.S. singer had been scheduled to perform two shows at London's O2 arena this
soccer club said it had canceled a victory parade that had been set to take
place on Sunday to celebrate its Premier League title.
high-profile sporting events are coming up in Britain, including the soccer FA
Cup final at London's Wembley Stadium and the English rugby club competition
final at Twickenham on Saturday and the UEFA Champions League final at
Cardiff's Millennium Stadium on June 3.
also has a national election scheduled for June 8.
- Britain raced Wednesday to track down
a militant network suspected of orchestrating the Manchester concert attack, as
the suicide bomber’s father and brother were arrested in Libya and grisly
information emerged of how he engineered the deaths of young pop fans.
soldiers fanned out to guard key sites as investigators tried to piece together
the last movements of bomber Salman Abedi, a Manchester-born university dropout
who died at the scene of Monday’s explosion.
published by the New York Times showed a detonator that he was said to have
carried in his left hand, shrapnel including nuts and screws, and the shredded
remains of a blue backpack from low-cost British sportswear brand Karrimor.
bomb killed 22 people, including children as young as eight attending the
performance by US pop star Ariana Grande. His upper torso was flung several
metres beyond the immediate blast vicinity, the New York Times said, quoting
experts as saying the device appeared to be fairly sophisticated.
French minister said Abedi may have been radicalised in Syria. His parents had
reportedly fled the now fallen regime of Libyan dictator Moamer Kadhafi.
father and younger brother were detained in Libya, authorities there said,
after the father reportedly insisted on Abedi’s innocence.
very clear that this is a network that we are investigating,” Manchester police
chief Ian Hopkins told reporters, with five people now under arrest.
British minister said Wednesday it was “irritating” that details about the
Manchester concert bombing had been leaked to US media before being released in
Britain, saying she had spoken to US authorities.
British police have been very clear that they want to control the flow of
information in order to protect operational integrity... the element of
surprise,” Interior Minister Amber Rudd told BBC radio.
it is irritating if it gets released from other sources and I have been very
clear with our friends that that should not happen again.”
if the US authorities had compromised the investigation, she said: “I wouldn’t
go that far. “But I can say that they are perfectly clear about the situation
and that it shouldn’t happen again.”
Korea has joined scores of other countries in sending condolences to Britain
over the Manchester terror attack, state media said Wednesday.
Pak Pong-Ju sent a message of sympathy to British Prime Minister Theresa May,
the official Korean Central News Agency reported.
the Korean people are sharing the pain of loss with the British people, the
message hoped that the British government and people would eradicate the
aftermath of the terrorist incident as early as possible,” it quoted the
message as saying.
British government announced a nationwide minute’s silence for Thursday morning
in memory of those killed and the dozens wounded in Monday night’s bombing. A
girl aged just eight was among the victims of the attack, which was claimed by
the Islamic State group. It was the latest in a series of deadly incidents
across Europe claimed by IS militants that have coincided with an offensive on
the group’s redoubts in Syria and Iraq carried out by US, British and other
said the 22-year-old Abedi had been on the radar of the intelligence community
before the massacre and warned another attack “may be imminent”. After
arresting a 23-year-old man on Tuesday, police said they had taken three more
men into custody on Wednesday in south Manchester, where Abedi lived.
fifth man who was carrying a suspect package was then detained in Wigan, west
of the city.
armed raid was also carried out in Manchester city centre on Wednesday, during
which police said a nearby railway line had to be “briefly closed”.
at the mosque in the Manchester area that is believed to have been frequented
by Abedi insisted that his actions were wholly alien to their preaching, and
pointed the finger at online radicalisation.
act of cowardice has no place in our religion,” said Fawzi Haffar, a trustee at
the Didsbury mosque, after he and other mosque leaders held their own minute’s
Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said Abedi had “likely” been to Syria after a
trip to Libya, citing information provided by British intelligence services to
their counterparts in Paris.
any case, the links with Daesh are proven,” he said, using a term for the
Islamic State group, as Libyan authorities announced the arrest of one of
Abedi’s two brothers in the country.
of armed military personnel meanwhile fanned out to take up guard duties at the
British parliament and Buckingham Palace - a highly unusual sight on the
streets of Britain since the end of the Northern Ireland conflict in the 1990s.
light of the Manchester attack, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said the military
alliance had to “step up and agree to do more in the fight against terrorism”
at summit talks set for Thursday.
summit is to be attended by US President Donald Trump, who has lambasted NATO
for not doing more against extremism and who called those responsible for the
Manchester bombing “evil losers”.
NATO leaders are expected to formally sign up to the US-led coalition against
Islamic State, according to one diplomatic source.
Prime Minister Theresa May placed the country on its highest level of terror
alert - “critical” - for the first time since June 2007, when it was sparked by
an attack on Glasgow airport.
Changing of the Guard, a military ceremony in front of Buckingham Palace
popular with tourists, was cancelled on Wednesday and the Houses of Parliament
suspended all public events.
football club said they were cancelling their Premier League victory parade on
Sunday saying it would be “inappropriate”. Manchester United players will wear
black armbands at Wednesday evening’s Europa League final against Amsterdam
club Ajax in Stockholm, where a minute’s silence will be held.
attack was the deadliest in Britain since July 7, 2005 when four suicide
bombers inspired by Al-Qaeda attacked London’s transport system during rush
hour, killing 52 people.
powerful Home Secretary Amber Rudd scolded American counterparts Wednesday over
the leaking of crucial details about the Manchester suicide bombing before they
were released by British authorities.
after her warning, the New York Times again scooped British authorities and
other media by publishing photographs from the scene of remnants of the bomb,
apparently taken by police investigators.
British police have been very clear that they want to control the flow of
information in order to protect operational integrity... the element of
surprise," Rudd told BBC radio.
it is irritating if it gets released from other sources and I have been very
clear with our friends that that should not happen again."
deployed soldiers to key sites Wednesday and raised its terror alert to the
maximum after the Manchester suicide bombing by a local man of Libyan origin
who may have been radicalised in Syria.
minister Amber Rudd said the 22-year-old had been on the radar of the
intelligence community before the massacre late Monday at a concert by US pop
star Ariana Grande.
were trying to piece together the last movements of Abedi, a Manchester-born
man of Libyan descent whose parents had reportedly fled the now fallen regime
of Moamer Kadhafi.
arresting a 23-year-old man on Tuesday, police said they had taken three more
men into custody on Wednesday in south Manchester, where Abedi lived.
was reported to be a former business student who dropped out of university and
turned to radical Islam.
Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said the bomber had "likely" been to
Syria, citing information provided by British intelligence services to their
counterparts in Paris.
told French television the suspect "grew up in Britain and then suddenly,
after a trip to Libya and then likely to Syria, became radicalised and decided
to carry out this attack".
State group-linked militants swept through a southern Philippine city,
beheading a police chief, burning buildings and seizing a Catholic priest and
Rodrigo Duterte, declared martial law across a third of the nation as militants
raised the IS flag.
firebrand leader also warned he may expand it nationwide after 21 people died
in clashes between militants and government forces in the southern city of
met with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday and said he is counting on
Russia to supply weapons to the Philippines to fight terrorism.
course, our country needs modern weapons, we had orders in the United States,
but now the situation there is not very smooth and in order to fight the
Islamic State, with their units and factions, we need modern weapons," he
said, according to Russian state news agency Tass.
has spoken highly of the Russian President who he has turned to help fight the
Islamic State threat in his country.
human rights groups have expressed concerns over Duterte declaring martial law
fearing it will could lead to an abuse of power.
President has already faced widespread criticism for his bloody crackdown on
crime and drugs which has killed more than 7000 people.
Russian counterpart has also faced mounting criticism from human rights groups
on issues including gay rights and a government crackdown on dissidents.
details of the attack in Marawi city emerged, fears grew that the largest Roman
Catholic nation in Asia could be falling into a growing list of countries
grappling with the spread of influence from the Islamic State group in Syria
violence in Marawi erupted on Tuesday after the army raided the hide-out of
Isnilon Hapilon, a commander of the Abu Sayyaf militant group who has pledged
allegiance to IS.
is on Washington's list of most-wanted terrorists with a $5 million reward for
information leading to his capture.
militants called for reinforcements and around 100 gunmen entered Marawi, a
mostly Muslim city of 200,000 people on the southern island of Mindanao,
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said.
are in a state of emergency," Duterte said after cutting short a trip to
Moscow to fly back to Manila.
have a serious problem in Mindanao and the ISIS footprints are
declared martial rule for 60 days in the entire Mindanao region - home to 22
million people - and vowed to be "harsh."
I think that you should die, you will die," he said.
you fight us, you will die. If there is open defiance, you will die. And if it
means many people dying, so be it."
the President said he would not allow abuses and that law-abiding citizens had
nothing to fear.
said a local police chief was stopped at a militant checkpoint and beheaded,
and added that he may declare martial law nationwide if he believes the group
has taken a foothold.
Bishop Edwin de la Pena said the militants forced their way into the Marawi
Cathedral and seized a Catholic priest, 10 worshippers and three church
was not a combatant. He was not bearing arms. He was a threat to none,"
Villegas said of Chito.
capture and that of his companions violates every norm of civilised
conflict." Villegas said the gunmen are demanding the government recall
spokesman Colonel Edgard Arevalo said 13 militants had been killed, and that
five soldiers had died and 31 others were wounded.
officials said a security guard and two policemen were also killed, including
the beheaded police chief.
said troops had cleared militants from a hospital, the city hall and Mindanao
State University. About 120 civilians were rescued from the hospital, the
of people have fled the city, said Myrna Jo Henry, an emergency response
official. She quoted another official as saying Marawi was like "a ghost
ABS-CBN showed people crammed inside and on top of public vehicles leaving the
area, and some walking on foot with their belongings as they passed through a
security checkpoint manned by soldiers.
law allows Duterte to use the armed forces to carry out arrests, searches and
detentions more rapidly.
has repeatedly threatened to place the south, the scene of decades-long Muslim
separatist uprisings, under martial law.
human rights groups have expressed fears that martial law powers could further
embolden Duterte, whom they have accused of allowing extrajudicial killings of
thousands of people in his crackdown on illegal drugs.
an Arabic-speaking Islamic preacher known for his expertise in commando
assaults, pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group in 2014.
is a commander of the Abu Sayyaf militant group and was wounded by a military
air strike in January.
will conduct house-to-house clearing and do everything to remove the threat
there. We can do that easily," Ano said, but added it was more difficult
in an urban setting because of the need to avoid civilian casualties.
said the group erected Islamic State flags at several locations. Provincial
Vice Governor Mamintal Adiong said late on Wednesday that more troops had
arrived in the city, which was dark because 80 per cent was without electrical
the military will be able to control the situation in Marawi city by
tomorrow," he said.
pursuing peace talks with two large Muslim rebel groups in the south, Duterte
has ordered the military to destroy smaller extremist groups which have tried
to align with the Islamic State group.
says Pakistan harbouring terrorists; hints at reducing military aid to
A top US intelligence official said on Tuesday that Pakistan is harbouring
terrorists+ and using them as reserve in Afghanistan to counter India, even as
the Trump administration has indicated it intends to cut down+ the dole and
military freebies Islamabad has long thrived on.
views Afghanistan or desires for Afghanistan some of the same things we want: a
safe, secure, stable Afghanistan. One addition, one that does not have heavy
Indian influence in Afghanistan,'' Lt Gen Vincent Stewart, Director, Defense
Intelligence Agency told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee during
a Congressional hearing on worldwide threats. Consequently, he said, ''they
(Pakistan) hold in reserve terrorist organisations so that if Afghanistan leans
towards India, they will no longer be supportive of an idea of a stable and
secure Afghanistan that could undermine Pakistan interest."
view all of the challenges through the lens of an Indian threat to the state of
Pakistan," Stewart explained, adding, "We've got to convince Pakistan
that ... it is not in their interest to continue to host of Haqqani network,
that we ought to be working together to go after those 20 terrorist
organisations that undermine not just Afghanistan, not just Pakistan, but all
of the region.''
also informed lawmakers that "India has sought and continues to move to
isolate Pakistan diplomatically and is considering punitive options to raise
the cost to Islamabad for its alleged support to cross- border terrorism,''
while telling them that ''continued threat of high level terror attacks in
India, violence in Kashmir and bilateral diplomatic recriminations will further
strain India-Pakistan ties in 2017.''
open hearing indictment of Pakistan as a terrorist state came even as the White
House talked of ending freebies for a country that has bilked billions of
dollars in foreign and military aid (more than $30 billion after 9/11, by some
accounts) from the United States, but has continued to nurture and aid terror
Trump administration is now saying age of freebies is over and most US aid may
now be converted to loans, part of its overall budget cuts and pay-for-yourself
policy towards allies.
White House move, being resisted by the State Department, calls for military
aid to Pakistan being reduced from $ 265 million in 2018 to $ 100 million in
2018, in a total assistance of $344 million. This is drastic fall from the time
the country belonged to the ''billion dollar club'' that includes Israel and
Egypt, among the biggest recipients of US aid.
to the latter two is not affected in the latest cuts, but the White House
budget director Mick Mulvaney identified Pakistan as one of the countries for
whom grants will be converted to loans.
argument was instead of ... giving somebody US$100 million, we could give them
a smaller number worth of loan guarantees and they could actually buy more
stuff,'' Mulvaney said, adding that the State Department will have some
flexibility to come up with a final plan, ''but we have proposed to move
several countries from a direct grant program to a loan guarantee program.''
move is seen as a big blow to a country that, for all its friendship with
China, has thrived on billions in US dole for bulking itself up militarily
against India, contributing to its bravado.
US dialing down also comes on the heels of a perceived humiliation of Pakistan
at the US-Islam summit in Riyadh that left many Pakistani commentators
shrieking that the country's ''sacrifices'' in the war on terror and its
self-proclaimed primacy in the Muslim world was not being recognized.
hysterical outbursts on television, Pakistani anchors and talking heads have
been fulminating that President Trump and his Saudi hosts insulted Pakistan by
not allowing Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to address the summit+ , even though
Pakistan is the only Islamic nuclear power and is a ''front-line state in the
war on terror'' that has suffered greatly from terrorism.
commentators are outraged that Trump specifically identified India among the
victims of terror attacks and did not mention Pakistan (although the U.S
President did mention broadly that most victims of terror were Muslims and
perceived slight, which included the US forsaking bilateral meeting with
Pakistan even though Trump met with leaders of Afghanistan and Bangladesh, has
caused a great deal of heartburn in the Pakistani commentariat, even as
Washington has begun to talk more openly about Pakistan's backing of terror
groups and the need to take punitive action.
moderate and progressive analysts, notably Rauf Klasra and Amir Mateen, argued
that it is time Pakistan disabused itself of its fantasy of being a leader of
the Muslim ummah on account of its nuclear arsenal, recognize that it was poor,
broke, and disdained by rest of the world, and repaired ties with India to
better its economy and its security.
— According to New York Times, When President Trump landed in Saudi Arabia last
Saturday on his first foreign trip, he brought with him a $110 billion arms
deal. When he arrives at the NATO summit in Belgium on Thursday, he will bring
mostly questions, many of them about the war in Afghanistan.
Pentagon is pushing to reinforce the Afghan army with up to 5,000 more American
troops. Some administration officials expected Mr. Trump to make a decision on
a deployment before the NATO meeting, which would have laid down a marker for
the other alliance members.
now the president’s decision has been delayed, officials said, after an intense
debate erupted in the West Wing over the wisdom of pouring more soldiers into a
Trump, they said, wants to gauge what other NATO members are willing to
contribute to the military effort before he makes any commitment. The United
States is already spending $3.1 billion a month in Afghanistan — a number that
aides say weighs on a president who has spoken about the need for greater
burden-sharing from NATO allies.
thornier question is how Mr. Trump will reconcile the split between his war cabinet
— led by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, the national
security adviser, who both served in Afghanistan — and his political aides,
among them his chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, who argue that a major
deployment would be a slippery slope to nation building, something Mr. Trump
has always shunned.
president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, has not voiced an
opinion on specific troop proposals, officials say. But he is critical of
existing American policy in Afghanistan and views his role as making sure his
father-in-law gets “credible options.”
Trump has given the military more leeway than his predecessor, President Barack
Obama, signing off on aggressive early moves like commando raids in Yemen and
the Tomahawk missile strike on Syria. But he has said little about Afghanistan,
either as a candidate or as president, and his aides rarely include it on their
list of foreign policy priorities.
questions they have to ask are: Is that additional force decisive? Are we going
to win? Can we force a political settlement?” said Jack Keane, a retired Army
vice chief of staff, who said he told Mr. Trump during the transition that the
current policy in Afghanistan was failing.
don’t think it is unusual that they would be having a debate,” General Keane
continued, “particularly given that we have a 16-year war. U.S. policies have
largely driven us to a 16-year war.”
Pentagon officials are broadly supportive of the American commanders’ request
for several thousand additional troops in Afghanistan, but they acknowledge
they face persistent questions, if not outright opposition, to the plans from
certain corners of the White House.
addition to the cost and the worries about nation building, critics doubt that
President Ashraf Ghani will be any more effective than his predecessors in
curbing the rampant corruption in his country that has siphoned off billions of
dollars in American aid in the last decade.
Sunday, Mr. Trump met Mr. Ghani in Saudi Arabia. A White House official said he
commended the Afghan president’s “leadership in Afghanistan on fighting
terrorism and implementing key reforms,” and praised the bravery of Afghan
troops. But the statement said nothing about more American support.
Security Council staff members are peppering their Pentagon colleagues with
questions, expressing fears of costly, open-ended American troop commitments.
Senior White House officials are demanding greater commitments from NATO allies
before the United States sends more troops, officials said.
what is perhaps a sign of this internal wrangling, Mr. Mattis told reporters on
Friday that he had not yet sent a formal troop recommendation to the White
House. “What I’ve done is I’ve gone to Afghanistan,” he said. “I’ve met
President Ghani, I’ve met with the NATO representatives and I’ve met with our
commanders in the field.”
the NATO meeting this week, Mr. Mattis said the recommendations that he and
Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, were
putting together would be delivered “very, very soon.”
international security force assisting the Afghan army has about 13,000 troops,
of which about 8,400 are American soldiers. Pentagon officials said that 3,000
to 5,000 additional troops, including hundreds of Special Operations forces,
could be sent.
a deployment would allow American advisers to train and assist a greater number
of Afghan forces, and place American troops closer to the front lines at lower
levels of in the chain of command. Those figures are broadly consistent with
advice Gen. John W. Nicholson Jr., the top American commander in Afghanistan,
gave Congress in February.
Nicholson has warned lawmakers that the United States and its NATO allies faced
a “stalemate” in Afghanistan, where the general has said he already faced a
shortfall of a “few thousand” troops. Other commanders and experts on military
planning say even that prognosis is too optimistic.
reality is that the Taliban have the initiative,” General Keane said. “They
have the momentum. They attack when they want, where they want, and the outcome
is usually successful for them.”
more troops would cost billions of dollars, and there is no guarantee of a
clear victory over the Taliban, which controls much of the territory outside
Afghan cities. The United States failed to force successful negotiations when
it had 100,000 troops in Afghanistan.
without a strong American military role, the Taliban and more extreme groups
like the Islamic State’s Afghan wing and the Haqqani Network would most likely
gain ground, undermining Mr. Trump’s promise to destroy Islamic extremists,
according to military officers and analysts.
Afghan army is taking the brunt of the fight against these transnational
terrorists and the Taliban,” General McMaster said in a recent briefing. “And
so we are working with our allies to figure out what more we can do to have a
more effective strategy.”
a commander in Afghanistan in 2010, General McMaster headed a task force that
tried to root out endemic corruption in the government. That experience, former
colleagues say, has persuaded him of the need for the United States to stay
involved in the country. One of his current aides described his view of
Afghanistan as “tempered optimism.”
back would put Mr. Trump at odds with generals he embraced and turned to for
national security advice. It would also fly in the face of recommendations for
more troops from the State Department, which is seeking to stabilize Mr.
Ghani’s government, and the nation’s spy agencies, which rely on the military
for security to carry out their covert missions inside Afghanistan and across
the border in Pakistan.
are echoes, in the current debate, of the first year of the Obama administration,
when Mr. Obama’s generals — led by David H. Petraeus and Stanley A. McChrystal
— pushed for a large troop surge, rankling his political aides including Rahm
Emanuel and David Axelrod, who complained that the generals were boxing in
their commander in chief.
security officials on Wednesday slammed U.S intelligence services for leaking
details of a major investigation launched in the U.K. into a deadly bombing in
officials passed to journalists fresh details of the probe into one of the
worst terror attacks in the U.K. only hours after British Home Secretary Amber
Rudd expressed frustration about the revelation of the main suspect’s identity.
New York Times published eight photographs of what appeared to be evidence
taken by British forensic after the suicide bomber detonated a bomb in the
foyer area of Manchester Arena. The blast killed 22 people Monday night.
newspaper described the photos as "law enforcement images" but did
not explain how they were obtained.
leak, however, "undermines our investigations and the confidence of
victims," the U.K.'s National Police Chiefs' Council said in a statement
damage is even greater when it involves unauthorized disclosure of potential
evidence in the middle of a major counter terrorism investigation," it
said it valued its relationships with "trusted intelligence, law
enforcement and security partners around the world", and this allowed
"privileged and sensitive information" to be shared in the fight
that trust is breached it undermines these relationships, and undermines our
investigations and the confidence of victims, witnesses and their families,” it
Tuesday, U.S. news outlets revealed the identity of Salman Abedi as the main
suspect in the attack, despite British security services’ caution regarding the
secrecy of the ongoing investigation.
media reported Abedi’s identity only after it was shared by the Greater
Manchester Police a few hours later.
described the leaks as irritating and said she had made it clear to the U.S.
that it should not happen again. The New York Times, however, published
forensic photos hours after her remarks.
Mayor Andy Burnham said the leaks were “arrogant, wrong and disrespectful to
Greater Manchester” in a tweet in which he also said he previously “complained
to acting US Ambassador about leaks,” and “he was assured they would stop but
of burning down a mosque, a torn-up Quran, protests against supposed Muslim
indoctrination — these are just some of the incidents in a community in Canada
that make Shireen Ahmed fear for her children’s safety.
started as a conversation about prayers last September flared into bitter
arguments and protests among residents of the Peel region, just west of
one side, Muslim students want to be able to pray at school, which they’ve long
been allowed to do under Ontario law. On the other, groups of residents say
religion has no place in Canadian schools — but some activists are incensed
about Islamic prayer, in particular.
a Peel school board meeting in March, one person even tore up a Quran and
reportedly stomped on it, while another man called Islamic text “poison” and
told Muslims to “get out.”
are of some of the latest instances that are testing the image of inclusion and
harmony that Canada has projected lately. When Syrians fleeing war were turned
away elsewhere, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greeted them at the airport with
winter coats. When President Donald Trump banned refugees, Trudeau again said
Canada would welcome them, tweeting, “Diversity is our strength.”
lately, Ahmed, 40, a writer and sports activist, says the harmony is not so
there a heightened sense of anxiety among residents? I’d say yes, absolutely.
Is there a tension, a nervousness of Muslims in the community? Absolutely,” she
is especially concerned for her 15-year-old daughter. She took her to
self-defense courses before her daughter started wearing a headscarf, a hijab,
a couple of years ago.
is less afraid for her tall and athletic 17-year-old son, but she still worries
he could find unwanted attention.
has a scruffy beard, he has a name that is identifiably Muslim, he’s a brown
kid, so immediately he’s racialized,” she says.
to pray in school
mix of religion and public education has long been a prickly topic.
provincial law requires schools to accommodate students’ religion. “Education
providers are responsible for accommodating creed-related needs to the point of
undue hardship,” the Ontario Human Rights Commission said in a statement in
in Peel have been providing Muslim students a space for Friday prayers for 20
years. The school board stresses that it is not promoting or teaching any
debate in Peel broke out this year over how to supervise student prayer time.
When the school board tried to introduce tighter monitoring of prayer
selection, some Muslim students complained of feeling under suspicion by
education officials and said they want the freedom to use whatever verses they
opponents of religious accomodation insist they are not targeting Islam.
Subrahmanian, of the group Keep Religion Out Of Our Public Schools or KROOPS,
says he is against all religious practice at schools.
cannot expect the public system to meet the requirements of your religion. As
Canadians, we are secular, we are accepting and we are tolerant but that
doesn’t mean that we will allow others to impose themselves on us,” says
Subrahmanian, whose youngest child is in the last year of high school in Peel.
Canadians, we are secular, we are accepting and we are tolerant but that
doesn’t mean that we will allow others to impose themselves on us."
says his group will take the school board to court because he believes prayers
at school are unconstitutional and the board can’t speak on matters of religion
group at the demonstrations, the Concerned Parents of Canada, echoed KROOPS
sentiment in an emailed response, stating that religious practices segregate
a statement, the school board said it is following Ontario’s religious
accommodation rules and criticized the Islamophobic tones of the campaign.
are also appalled as a board by the anti-Muslim rhetoric and prejudice we have
seen on social media, read in emails, and heard first-hand at our board
meetings. It has caused some of our students to feel unsafe, to feel targeted,”
the statement said.
group that does say it is specifically against Islam is Rise Canada.
against any prayers, but of course it’s worse if it’s Islamic prayers … Islam
is clearly a violent, misogynistic ideology,” says Ron Banerjee, an adviser to
the group. Banerjee spoke at a Peel school board meeting even though he does
not live in the area.
April, an imam who supported students during the prayer debate posted on
Facebook that he received death threats, as well as threats to burn down his
mosque in Mississauga.
threats are especially worrisome considering that, just three months before,
six people were shot dead at a mosque in Quebec, allegedly by an extremist who
supported President Trump and French nationalist Marine Le Pen. A Go Fund Me
page is now online raising money for more security at the Mississauga mosque.
leaders say Islamophobia has been a serious problem in Canada years before the
debate over prayers at school — and is on the rise.
map by the National Council of Canadian Muslims showing reported anti-Muslim
incidents details 12 cases in 2013 and 29 in just the first four months of
2017, although it is hard to know whether the increase is partly due to more
people reporting hate crimes.
and racism are not new in Canada, says Sabreena Ghaffar-Siddiqui, a PhD
candidate at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, who is researching the
experiences of Muslims in Canada.
only new thing is that people are feeling a bit more comfortable” with public
displays of hate, says Ghaffar-Siddiqui, who lives in Peel. “We’ve always had a
level of political correctness in Canada where people tend not to say what they
not the only factor, recent political discourse — by anyone from President
Trump to Canadian nationalists, to far-right Islamophobes worldwide — is partly
to blame for enabling people to go public with their prejudices, according to
feel supported in their views. So now they are coming out and saying what
they’ve been probably feeling for a while,” Ghaffar-Siddiqui says. “When you
have people in positions of leadership” who single out minorities negatively,
she adds, “You’ll get people following and it encourages them, it makes them
feel emboldened, empowered.”
line for 'barbaric cultural practices'
Canada’s 2015 election, then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper campaigned to force
women to remove their face-covering niqabs during citizenship ceremonies, as
well as to set up a tip line for “barbaric cultural practices.”
Party leadership candidate Kellie Leitch has suggested immigrant applicants be
screened for “anti-Canadian values.”
March, Leitch attended a Keep Religion Out Of Our Public Schools event, where
Banerjee spoke out about what he claimed was Islamic indoctrination and
"Sharia-creep," moments before she entered. Leitch’s spokesperson
said she did not know he would be there and that Leitch was supporting
secularism at public schools.
really not even debates, they’re simply Islamophobia. It’s anti-Muslim
sentiment … couched in a concern about religion in schools,” says Amira
Elghawaby, the communications director for the National Council of Canadian
Los Angeles Times’ readership questioned Washington’s claims of supporting
democracy and social freedoms worldwide, asking why the US opts for amity and
economic reciprocity with Saudi Arabia, an absolute monarchy, but antagonizes
reactions were published in the paper on Tuesday under the title, “Iran just
held an election. So why is the theocratic monarchy Saudi Arabia our friend?”
reader said Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy, while Iran just held a
presidential election. The Saudis ban the Bible, while Christians and Jews have
reserved seats in the Iranian parliament. Saudi money financed the Sept. 11
attacks, while no terrorist attack in the US has been linked to Iran. More than
half of all Iranian university students are women, and in Saudi Arabia, women
are not even allowed to drive.
added that Trump urges a greater fight against terrorism, but he fails to point
out that most of the Sept. 11 attackers were from Saudi Arabia. For another, he
lashes out against extremism, but he ignores that Al-Qaeda and Islamic State
(ISIL, ISIS or Daesh) have derived much of their strength from Wahhabism, which
is supported by the Saudi royals.
of the readers made mention of Al-Saud money and oil, while some other stressed
that Riyadh is the friend of the US president, not the People of the United
arrived in Saudi Arabia last week on the first leg of a nine-day tour, which
then took him to Israel. According to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the
$110 billion arms deal signed by Saudi King Salman and Trump on Saturday was a
component of $350 billion in economic and military investments between the two
countries over the next 10 years.
Arabia has been striking Yemen since March 2015 to restore power to fugitive
president Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh. The Saudi-led aggression has so
far killed at least 14,100 Yemenis, including hundreds of women and children.
Riyadh's claims that it is bombing the positions of the Ansarullah fighters,
Saudi bombers are flattening residential areas and civilian infrastructures.
to several reports, the Saudi-led air campaign against Yemen has driven the
impoverished country towards humanitarian disaster.
Riyadh intervention in Yemen, the US and Saudi Arabia, along with a number of
their regional allies, stand accused of providing weapons and funding various
militant groups wreaking havoc in countries like Syria and Iraq.
the day that Washington and Riyadh signed an arm deal, President Hassan Rouhani
was officially named as the winner of Iran's election to maintain power for
another 4-year term in office.
mark 50 years since capture of Jerusalem’s old city
of Israelis marched through east Jerusalem’s Old City on Wednesday to
commemorate 50 years since the Jewish state seized control of it in the Six-Day
than 60,000 people were expected to take part in the Jerusalem Day event,
culminating in celebrations at the Western Wall, police said, up from between
30,000 to 40,000 in previous years. The wall is the holiest site where Jews can
dancing and waving blue-and-white Israeli flags, crowds of mainly religious
Jews marched through the lanes of Palestinian areas, while some crossed the
walled Old City’s Jewish Quarter.
spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said “several hundred” police officers were deployed
to keep the peace. A few hundred Israeli peace activists held a protest against
what they branded the “March of Hatred”.
Fuld, an Israeli participant in the anniversary celebrations, carrying a
handgun, said it was a “miraculous day” for Jews. “Today we are celebrating the
unification of Jerusalem. Before 1967, there was a wall and Jews could not
enter any of the gates, let alone pray at the Western Wall.”
ahead of the march
broke out at the Damascus Gate entrance to the Old City ahead of the march as
police dispersed Palestinian protesters demanding an end to the occupation of
a Palestinian teenager who did not want to give his surname, said he wanted to
defend the Al-Aqsa mosque compound.
site is central to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and was seized from Jordan
in the 1967 war. Jews are allowed to visit but not pray there to avoid
provoking tensions, but Palestinians fear Israel will seek to assert further
control over the site.
are here to protect Al-Aqsa. They want to storm Al-Aqsa and we must stop them,”
Hossam said. Deputy foreign minister Tzipi Hotovely of the hardline Jewish Home
party has called on Jews to go up to the flashpoint plateau as part of the
on Wednesday around 10 Jews were arrested for attempting to pray there.
New massacre in Taiz as Houthis shell residential areas
militias and forces loyal to ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh in Yemen
continue to shell residential neighborhoods in Taiz, for the third day in a
row, killing and injuring dozens of civilians including women and children.
detailed report by Yemen’s Ministry of Human Rights revealed that victims of
the shelling were as young as three-year-old.
initial toll resulted from shelling from May 21 to 23, has escalated to more
than 36 civilian victims, 14 killed and 22 injured, most of which have serious
coup militia continues its incriminated acts against unarmed citizens in the
city,” the report said.
human rights ministry condemned the shelling, stating that the targeting of
houses and neighborhoods inhabited by citizens - the majority of which are
women and children - shows how this militia “underestimates” the life of
are] always ready to make civilians a target for its military actions or as
human shields in order to embody the spirit of killing and destruction
practiced by the militia against all people of Yemen who rejected the illusion
that it practices to impose itself by force,” the statement read.
Taiz struggles with diseases such as cholera, soaring food prices and endless
power cuts, a local resident, who only gave his name as Fahd, told Al Arabiya
English that the Houthi targeting of neighborhoods has left civilians helpless.
all the serious injuries caused by the shelling, hospitals could barely tend to
the wounded with minimal medical supplies,” Fahd said.
the national army of Yemen was able to regain full control over the buildings
of the central bank branch east of Taiz, in addition to other neighboring
buildings near the People’s Palace after fierce fighting with the militias
loyal to the Houthis and ousted Saleh.
President Hassan Rouhani and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan have
expressed their countries’ readiness to shore up bilateral ties especially in
the economic field.
a telephone conversation on Wednesday, the two presidents said that Iran and
Turkey were keen to open a new chapter in bilateral ties and take a leap in
their economic cooperation.
the past four years, big steps have been taken to develop and deepen
Iran-Turkey ties, but a leap must be made … toward reaching an annual trade
volume of $30 billion,” Rouhani told Erdogan.
Iranian president also called for the further promotion of cooperation between
the two neighboring countries in the banking sector.
also underlined the need for an increase in interaction between Iran, Turkey
and Russia on regional developments, including the reinforcement of the Astana
talks between Syria’s warring sides, with the aim of contributing to peace and
security in the region.
his part, Erdogan once again congratulated Rouhani on his re-election and
voiced Turkey’s willingness to boost ties with Iran in all sectors.
was re-elected as president with 57 percent of the votes in the country’s 12th
presidential election, which was held on May 19.
also reaffirmed Turkey’s determination to increase trade with Iran to $30
billion annually, saying Ankara saw no obstacle to the development of its
cooperation with Tehran.
also highlighted cooperation between Ankara, Moscow and Tehran to speed up the
Astana talks aimed at facilitating a political solution to the Syrian
March 2011, Syria has been gripped by militancy it blames on some Western
states and their regional allies.
least 30 troops from the US and some Persian Gulf states were deployed in the
rural area of Khathla and engaged in a gun battle with fighters from two
prominent tribes in the village, Yemen's Khabar news agency reported.
added that during the ensuing fierce battle at least seven of the invading
troops were fatally injured, who had come there with the purported mission of
gunning down militants of the Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) Takfiri
report, however, added that no militants of the terror group were in the area
when three Apache choppers and two military transport aircraft of the US
approached the village.
in the day, Centcom, the US military command in the Middle East, however, told
a totally different story, saying the heliborne attack concluded with killing
of seven AQAP militants, without mentioning any casualties from the American
troops and the presence of soldiers from some Persian Gulf states.
Pentagon Spokesman Captain Jeff Davis later said at a press conference that
multiple American forces sustained injuries, but added that the wounds they had
received were not serious enough to require medical evacuation.
to Davis, the attack was the first US ground assault in Ma’rib and its deepest
in the Yemeni territories to purportedly target AQAP militants.
National Army of Yemen was able to regain full control over the buildings of
the central bank branch east of the city of Taiz, on Wednesday.
also seized neighboring buildings near the People's Palace, after fierce
fighting with the Houthi militias and supporters of ousted president Saleh.
media center reported that the army forces defeated the Houthi militias near
al-Tashrifat military camp, the school of medicine and the central bank branch,
and forced dozens of militia snipers to flee east while the army and resistance
continue to progress towards the palace road leading to the main entrance of
militias continued to target heavy artillery in the neighborhoods of Taiz for
the third day in a row. The civilian casualties rose to 51 dead and wounded.
to local sources, the militia bombed the neighborhoods of al-Daboua and
al-Horeya square and neighboring areas with heavy artillery.
shells landed on the Bab al-Kabeer neighborhood and the eastern neighborhoods
of the city.
President Tayyip Erdogan says it would not be "a major issue" for
Turkey if Germany decided to pull out its troops from the Anatolian country.
made the remarks on Wednesday before flying to a NATO summit with European
Union leaders in Brussels.
have not been officially notified by Germany that it is going to leave to
Jordan from the Incirlik base... But if they do so, then for us it's not a
problem. If they leave, we'll tell them happy journey," he added.
Saturday, German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen announced that an
airbase in Jordan shows potential as a replacement for Turkey's Incirlik base.
week, she announced that her country was seeking a new location to deploy its
troops, who are part of the US-led coalition allegedly fighting Daesh in Iraq
has about 250 military personnel stationed in Turkey, flying Tornado
surveillance missions over Syria and refueling flights for partner nations.
in the month, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that German troops
were welcome to leave Incirlik if they wanted to. "If they want to leave,
let's just say goodbye."
radicalization in West Africa worries the Church
to respond to the changes that are affecting Islam in West Africa?Two priests
attempted to answer this question at a conference in Rome on Monday, May 22 at
the French Saint Louis Institute, which was organized by Urbi & Orbi Africa
and attended by diplomats and many religious leaders.“Islam is the majority
religion throughout western Africa,” explained Fr Angelo Romano, an Italian priest
who is international relations director for the Sant-Egidio Community.Fr Romano
makes regular visits to the African continent where his community has taken
part for several years in many peace mediation processes, including Central
Africa, Burkina Faso, and the Ivory Coast.According to Fr Romano, Islam in the
countries of West Africa is changing significantly.“These movements to
modernize a form of Islam that is traditionally very open have been
particularly influenced by Wahhabism from Saudi Arabia,” said Fr Romano.This
strict vision of Islam strongly impacts on the practice of the Muslim religion
as it has been lived until now in several countries, such as Senegal, where the
Sufi confraternities still play a very significant role.“In the face of these
changes,” he continued, “African Muslim leaders are trying to resist by
organizing their own training alternatives, as they do in Morocco.”Since the
beginning of the 2010s, the kingdom has in fact implemented training for imams
in which many religious leaders from Sub-Saharan Africa take part.This point of
view is largely shared by Fr Jean-Paul Sagadou, superior of the Assumptionist
Community in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.“We are moving from a moderate Islam to
a more rigorous Islam,” he explained, speaking of a “rise in low noise
intolerance".“In Nigeria last Christmas there was a social media campaign
that encouraged Muslims not to shake the hands of Christians or wish them Merry
Christmas by presenting the churches as agents of the West.” Disillusioned discourse“Many
look on our continent as a region without a future and without hope. Among the
young people whom I meet, this kind of disillusioned discourse is sometimes
very common,” said Fr Sagadou.He added that the development of Pentecostalism
in certain regions of the country “also creates a form of
violence".Confronted with this situation, the Catholic Church is trying to
continue to promote dialogue, as it did for example in Sokodé in central Togo,
explained Fr Sagadou.In Sokodé, which is Togo’s second largest city, where more
than 70% of the inhabitants are Muslim, his congregation has opened an
interreligious cultural center.Each year, Fr Sagadou organizes a trip for young
people whether Muslim, Protestant or Catholic to visit another African country
in order to learn about interreligious initiatives. New actors“This involves
understanding what kind of initiatives we want to base ourselves on so that
interreligious conflicts do not block the development of the continent,” Fr
Sagadou added. He emphasized the need to develop a “constructive dialogue”
between local religious leaders in particular.“In several countries, one
observes a mutual ignorance between Muslims and Catholics. Priests sum up Islam
in violence while imams know nothing about Christianity."Fr Sagadou also
highlighted the appearance of “new actors", who are active in the field of
interreligious dialogue such as ECOWAS (the Economic Community of West African
States) or African intellectuals such as Albert Tévoédjre in Benin.“This is a
quite recent phenomenon,” said Fr Sagadou. “Several years ago, institutions
maintained quite a distance from religious issues, for example.”“These are the
vital issues,” said Fr Romano. “The pope has shown us that encounter is the
only alternative to barbarianism.”
kills five in first suicide attack in Somalia
- The Islamic State group has claimed its first suicide attack in Somalia that
left five dead as it steps up activities in a region dominated by the
group’s self-styled news agency Amaq claimed the “martyrdom-seeking operation
with an explosive vest” in a statement carried by the SITE Intelligence Group
which noted it was the first suicide bombing by the militants in Somalia.
suicide bomber detonated his explosives vest at a checkpoint in the
northeastern port city of Bosaso late Tuesday, situated in the semi-autonomous
region of Puntland.
forces stopped the suspect when he approached but he detonated himself leaving
five people dead. One of the security officers and four civilians were killed
in the blast,” said local police official Mohamed Dahir Adan. The blast
occurred near a hotel often used as a meeting place for local officials,
think the bomber was trying to target the hotel but he was stopped at the
checkpoint close to the hotel and he decided to detonate his explosives,” said
witness Awke Mohamed.
set up its own government in 1998, but unlike neighbouring Somaliland, it has
not declared full independence.
region has often come under attack by Al-Qaeda-linked Shabaab militants and is
also home to a breakaway group of fighters who have declared allegiance to IS.
the group has so far failed to gather much support while the Shabaab has taking
pains to purge those expressing pro-IS sentiment from their ranks.
militants are led by former Shabaab cleric Abdiqadir Mumin who switched
allegiance from Al-Qaeda to IS in October 2015 and was named a “global
terrorist” by the US State Department in August.
from issuing occasional promotional videos, the group seized the small fishing
town of Qandala before being ousted by Puntland forces in December.
in February IS claimed an attack by gunmen on a hotel in Bosaso which left four
security guards dead.
Abdi of the International Crisis Group, said that while Mumin’s group was
stepping up its activities, the Shabaab remained the biggest threat in the
should not overplay IS influence in that region,” he told AFP.
is clearly an IS threat in Puntland, and the Mumin group is escalating its
activities and attacks, but Al-Shabaab remains a much bigger threat in Puntland
than IS does.” He also warned that IS claims should be treated with caution as
“they tend to claim everything”.
was born in Puntland and lived in Sweden before moving to the UK in the 2000s,
where he was granted British citizenship.
London and Leicester, he developed a reputation as a firebrand preacher at
extremist mosques and in videos posted online.
by MI5, Britain’s domestic intelligence agency, Mumin is thought to have known
Mohamed Emwazi, the IS executioner nicknamed ‘Jihadi John’, and Michael
Adebolajo, one of two people convicted over the 2013 murder of British soldier
Lee Rigby in London.
2010, Mumin travelled to Somalia to join the Shabaab - which both Emwazi and
Adebolajo had unsuccessfully tried to do.
initially served as an imam and propagandist before taking control of the
Puntland faction of the Shabaab and later defecting to IS with a handful of
fighters - despite lacking battlefield experience.
group called for a “genuine political initiative to address local clan
police officers were killed by a roadside bomb in northern Kenya on Wednesday,
officers’ Toyota Land Cruiser is believed to have hit a device planted by
suspected al-Shabaab militants, a senior police officer based on the border
told Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking
to the media.
people were also injured in the incident in Liboi town, which lies around 10
kilometers (6 miles) from the Somali border in Garissa county.
officer who spoke to Anadolu Agency said the casualties had recently been posted
to the area.
officers who were killed and those who were injured are part of a team sent
here to heighten security after two similar attacks in the past weeks claimed
the lives of Kenyan police officers,” the officer said.
General of Police Joseph Boinnet confirmed the details of the attack.
earlier, police had issued a terror alert for northern Kenya and said
al-Shabaab militants had to split into small groups to carry out bomb attacks
along routes used by police patrols.
attack takes the toll of police officers killed in similar border attacks in
northern Kenya this month to 10.
Abdisaid M. Ali
risk of Islamist extremism frequently focuses on Somalia and al-Shabaab. Yet
adherents to extremist versions of Islam can now be found throughout East
Africa. As a result, tensions within Muslim communities and between certain
Islamist groups and the broader society have been growing.
genesis of this is largely the externally driven diffusion of Salafist ideology
from Gulf states. Buoyed by the global oil boom and a desire to spread the
ultraconservative Wahhabi version of Islam throughout the Muslim world, funding
for mosques, madrassas, and Muslim youth and cultural centers began flowing
into the region at greater levels in the 1980s and 1990s. Opportunities for
East African youth to study in the Arab world expanded. As these young people
returned home, they brought with them more rigid and exclusivist
interpretations of Islam. The expanding reach of Arab satellite television has
reinforced and acculturated these interpretations to a wider audience.
effect has been the emergence of an increasingly confrontational strain of
Islam in East Africa. The number of Salafist mosques has risen rapidly. In
turn, it became increasingly unacceptable to have an open dialogue on the
tenets of Islam. Growing intolerance has fostered greater religious
time, these tensions have turned violent. Attacks by militant Islamists against
civilians in East Africa (outside of Somalia) rose from just a few in 2010 to
roughly 20 per year since then. The vast majority of these have been in Kenya.
between the region and the global jihad movement also appear to be expanding.
The rising violence of Islamist extremists has generated a strong response from
security actors in East Africa. At times, these operations are conducted
indiscriminately. The result may be more support for violent Islamist groups.
short, Islamist extremist ideology has been spreading throughout East African
communities — bringing with it greater societal polarization and violence.
Further escalation is not inevitable, however. The region has a long tradition
of interreligious harmony. It is vital for East African governments and
citizens to understand the external and domestic drivers of these extremist
ideologies, so that the process of radicalization can be interrupted before it
cements itself within local communities and grows increasingly violent.
Evolution Of Islam
have lived in East Africa for generations. Trade and cultural exchanges between
East Africa and the Arab world are centuries old. Muslims seem to comprise 10
to 15 percent of the population in Kenya and Uganda and 35 to 40 percent of the
has never been a uniform Islamic community in East Africa. Most East African
Muslims subscribe to Sunni interpretations of Islam, though there are also Shia
communities and members of the Ahmadiyya sect. Sufism, often described as a
“mystical” interpretation of Islam that includes the veneration of saints, is
also common. Some Muslim communities have absorbed practices and rituals from
traditional African beliefs. Despite these differences, religious communities
in the region have historically coexisted peacefully.
has changed for some communities in recent decades as a result of the growing
influence of Salafist ideology. A small but growing number of Muslims have
adopted more exclusivist interpretations of their religion, thereby changing
their relationship with other Muslims, with other faiths and with the state.
channel by which this shift has occurred is through education. Lacking other
opportunities for schooling, Muslim families in marginalized areas rely on
madrassas, or Islamic schools. Over the past several decades, these madrassas
have been the beneficiaries of growing streams of funding from Arab countries.
In the process, students have been steadily exposed to the cultural and
religious identity of their sponsors.
for tertiary education have also expanded. While college degrees in the West
continue to be viewed as most prestigious, after the 2001 World Trade Center
attacks, Western countries raised immigration hurdles. At the same time,
scholarship opportunities in the Arab world were ramping up. This trend has
been accelerating since 2010.
expansion in the number and geographic reach of Arab satellite TV stations in
the 1990s and 2000s brought Arab cultural norms to a wider audience in East
Africa. This fostered more conservative interpretations of Islam.
traction of such ideas is evident in the expanding popularity and influence of
extremist clerics. Salafism, which had been a fringe offshoot of Islam in East
Africa in the 1990s, has become common today.
Tanzania, extremist clerics now aggressively challenge the authority of more
moderate Islamic organizations and incite protests and clashes with government
major contributing factor to East Africa’s shift toward more militant
interpretations of Islam is the influence of well-funded foreign Islamist
groups in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other oil-rich Gulf states. Wahhabism is an
extremely conservative interpretation of the Quran. It forbids most aspects of
modern education, requires strict dress codes, abides by ancient traditions of
social relations, and disregards many basic human rights, particularly for
women. Many Wahhabi preachers do not tolerate other viewpoints.
East African Muslim groups have had a presence in East Africa since the
mid-20th century but have expanded significantly since the 1970s, according to
East Africa-based journalist Ioannis Gatsiounis. The aims of the foreign
funding are diffuse, going to social centers; madrassas; primary, secondary and
tertiary educational institutions; and to humanitarian and social programs.
activities supported by these foreign Islamic groups are laudable. They have
sponsored medical care and provided aid during disasters. However, many of
these groups will integrate proselytization into all their activities or will
require that participants abide by strict, conservative customs to access funds
or benefits, according to Humboldt University’s Chanfi Ahmed.
institutions have obvious strategic value in shaping the beliefs of youth. Some
of these schools provide valuable instruction in math, sciences and more. However,
they also inculcate a rigid interpretation of Islam that is exclusionary and
emphasizes da’wa, or the further proselytization of this brand of Islam.
growing influence of extremist Islam in East Africa has mostly been limited to
particular neighborhoods, cities or regions. But those effects have been
cumulative and compounding, leading an increasing number of groups in the
region to adopt progressively more aggressive and confrontational missions.
the extremist Islamist ideology taking hold in East Africa is imported from
elsewhere, exacerbating factors play a role in how the ideology resonates.
Socio-economic marginalization fuels the credibility and dispersal of extremist
narratives. In East Africa, perceptions of unequal socio-economic status and
some ill-advised state actions have nudged Muslims toward more conservative
tendencies and enabled “us-versus-them” narratives to resonate.
African Muslims do have legitimate grievances. Youth unemployment in Kenya’s
Muslim-dominated Coast and North Eastern provinces are 40 to 50 percent higher
than the national average, according to the United Nations Development
Programme. Rates of primary and secondary school completion and attendance tend
to be lower in Muslim counties. Similar patterns can be seen in Tanzania. The
youth unemployment rate on the overwhelmingly Muslim island of Zanzibar has
been about 17 percent in recent years, almost twice the national average of 9
percent, according to the Tanzania Daily News and the Tanzanian government.
that Muslims are deliberately denied economic, educational and other
opportunities relative to their non-Muslim compatriots have become common
within the region’s Muslim communities, moderate and extremist alike. For many
Muslims, particularly youth, such inequality validates the divisive messages of
fundamentalist Islamic centers, madrassas and mosques.
Actions That Alienate
African governments have pursued legal action against various Muslim leaders in
recent years in an attempt to isolate suspected extremists. Unfortunately, many
of these judicial efforts have failed, further reinforcing a sense that the
government is unfairly persecuting Muslims.
Muslim leaders in Kenya and Tanzania have also been detained by security agents
without charge. Some have been mysteriously assassinated. Allegations of
police-sponsored death squads that target radical Muslim leaders have been
circulating widely for years.
lack of transparency and pattern of haphazard arrests, bail policies and
prosecutions have made many Muslims suspicious of political leaders and state
institutions. Combined with a sense that they have been economically
marginalized, many are increasingly disinclined to work through existing governance
structures in order to right perceived wrongs. As a result, extremist and
exclusivist Islamic narratives can seem more compelling.
The Spread Of Extremism
drivers of Islamist extremism in East Africa are external and internal. A framework
for redressing this threat, therefore, will require actions on both levels.
external influences and emphasize domestic traditions of tolerance: Governments
and civil society groups need to counter destabilizing, exclusivist narratives
by emphasizing the region’s much longer history of religious diversity and
tolerance. This will take genuine and patient engagement on behalf of political
leaders, as well as indirect efforts to support more interreligious dialogue
that yields tangible benefits for participants.
part of reinforcing indigenous, tolerant traditions, governments will have to
address funding by foreign, fundamentalist Islamic entities. This will require
adopting transparent and consistent means to regulate the funding sources,
sectarian rhetoric and militant leanings of religious groups. Groups that
promote violence or open confrontation should be banned and prosecuted. In
addition, funding for social services should be separated from proselytization.
However, blanket criminalization of conservative Islamic groups should be
avoided because this will likely spur more support for violent movements.
political inclusion of Muslim communities: Political leaders should acknowledge
that Muslims have some legitimate complaints of marginalization. This alone
will send a powerful message to Muslim constituencies and may spark a sense of
trust in collaboration and reform. Leaders should also expand engagement with
in citizens economically and institutionally: Socio-economic inequalities must
be addressed so they are minimized as legitimate grievances. Programs should
target inequality of education, income and opportunity, regardless of whether
the root cause is truly religious discrimination or a symptom of regional,
urban or rural dynamics. Programs could aim to boost employment levels in
and clarifying property codes and land rights would also help. Strengthened
property rights may ease religious tensions and allow for the growth and
political engagement of a successful Muslim middle class.
is also key. Muslim-dominated regions of East Africa lag behind in the number
and quality of schools and teacher-to-student ratios. Politically, even small,
quick improvements to facilities in these regions could build goodwill. Longer
term, more Muslim youth should be targeted for scholarships to balance the
effects from external ideological influences.
es Salaam — As the Holy Month of Ramadhan is approaching, Muslims across the
country have been asked to take part in the long month of fasting by doing what
First Secretary of the Embassy of Kuwait to Tanzania, Mr Mohammed Alamiri, said
on Tuesday when talking to journalists on the bilateral relations between
Kuwait and Tanzania.
Alamiri made the remarks on behalf of the Kuwait ambassador to Tanzania.
to him, as the Holy Month is about to begin they expect to see people in the
country to do what could be the best for the country and for themselves rather
than disturbing peace of the country.
is a peaceful country, through Ramadhan, we expect to see the Holy Month to
begin smoothly and end without leaving any harm to the community and the
government," he said.
least 31 refugees have died in an incident where they fell off an overcrowded
vessel off the coast of Libya in the Mediterranean Sea.
from an aid boat chartered by the Maltese NGO Moas said on Wednesday that the
victims were among about 200 refugees who fell off the overloaded vessel just
20 nautical miles off the Libyan coast.
body count at 31," said Chris Catrambone, a co-founder of Moas who was on
board the Phoenix aid boat and published photos showing white body bags lined
up on the deck.
said hundreds were still trapped in the locked hold on the wooden boat, which
reportedly was transporting between 500 and 700 people in the Mediterranean
when the accident happened.
a scene from a horror movie... Real life tragedy unfolding on Europe's doorstep
today!," he said, adding that rescuers were “frantically” trying to break
open the locked hold and save those trapped.
Italian coast guard and several commercial ships also contributed to the
rescue. The Italians coordinate most of the operations in the Mediterranean.
Also at the scene was a military aircraft, which dropped life-rafts while a
helicopter was looking for survivors.
said the capsizing came after a wave knocked the vessel off balance. Others
said the refugees shifted to one side of the boat at a certain point and about
200 of them ended up in the water.
rescue was part of a broader operation that started on Tuesday. Some 1,700
people have been rescued in 15 relief operations in the Mediterranean over the
Barbet Schroeder spent months with Ugandan dictator Idi Amin at the height of
his power, when corpses would wash up every morning on the shores of Lake
Victoria and Kampala was rife with rumors that he was eating his opponents.
in his decades of documenting evil, the veteran Swiss filmmaker said he has
never been as scared by anyone as he was by a Burmese Buddhist monk named
am afraid to call him Wirathu because even his name scares me,” the highly
acclaimed director told AFP. “I just call him W.”
Venerable W,” his chilling portrait of the monk who has been accused of
preaching hate and inciting attacks on Myanmar’s Muslim Rohingya minority, has
been hailed by critics at the Cannes film festival as a “stirring documentary
about ethnic cleansing in action.”
dismays Schroeder is that Wirathu, whom Time magazine dubbed “The face of
Buddhist terror” in a 2013 cover, is utterly unfazed by the chaos and suffering
he has unleashed. But the hate speech and fake news that Wirathu spreads from
his Mandalay monastery, accusing Muslims — barely four percent of the country’s
population — of trying to outbreed the majority Burmese, made Schroeder’s head
month, Wirathu — who has been called the Buddhist bin Laden — stirred tension
by touring Muslim areas in troubled Rakhine State despite Myanmar’s top
Buddhist body banning him from preaching in March.
Lanka police ‘failing to stop anti-Muslim attacks’
- Rights groups accused Sri Lankan police Wednesday of failing to stop a wave
of hate crimes against Muslim businesses and mosques in the Buddhist-majority
are yet to make any arrests in connection with more than a dozen arson attacks
against Muslims shops, mosques and a burial ground in the past month.
rights activist Victor Ivan said the inaction risked a repeat of anti-Muslim
riots in 2014 that left four dead.
are responsible for allowing this situation to continue by not taking action
against the perpetrators,” Ivan told reporters in Colombo, adding that an
extremist Buddhist group was believed to be behind the violence.
property has been damaged so far in the latest spate of attacks.
government said Wednesday the violence had been addressed in a cabinet meeting
and police and security forces had been instructed to maintain law and order. “The
president directed the Inspector General of Police to instruct all officers in
charge of police stations to be responsible for preventing such incidents,” the
government said in a statement.
riots in mid 2014 - led by a hardline Buddhist group - were widely seen as the
catalyst that led to then president Mahinda Rajapakse’s downfall in January
- Peace talks got underway in Myanmar on Wednesday, with de facto leader Aung
San Suu Kyi defending her government’s stuttering attempts to end decades of
fighting between the military and ethnic rebel groups.
sea of colour filled the vast conference hall in the capital Naypyidaw as
ethnic delegates in traditional costumes mingled with stony-faced military
officers in full regalia. The country has been scarred by some of the world’s
longest-running civil wars as various ethnic groups have fought Myanmar’s
military for greater autonomy.
Kyi sought to dismiss criticism that little progress has been made on her
flagship peace policy, more than a year after her party took power. “Our
collective efforts have started to bear fruit,” she told the conference,
according to an official translation of the speech. “We have now reached the
stage where we are able to discuss the basic federal principles that are so
important for our country and our people.”
had been high that Myanmar’s first freely elected government for generations
would end the running conflicts that have claimed thousands of lives and kept
the country mired in poverty. But many ethnic groups say Suu Kyi has not
listened to their concerns and is working too closely with the military, which
ruled the country with an iron fist for almost half a century.
week’s gathering is the second round of peace talks since Suu Kyi’s civilian
government came to power.
rebels are expected to sign up to the National Ceasefire Agreement which she is
pushing during the conference - a controversial deal first touted by the
previous military-backed government.
the agenda will cover what shape a federal union might take, and is expected to
include the first discussions on whether states will be able to draft their own
states to write their own charters would be an “historic milestone in the
post-colonial history of Myanmar,” said Angshuman Choudhury from the Institute
of Peace and Conflict Studies, adding it could “appease powerful ethnic
constituencies and... prevent outright secessionism”.
in Myanmar’s northeast has reached its worst point since the conflict-ridden
of thousands of people have been forced to flee months of heavy fighting
between the army and insurgent groups, many of them crossing into neighbouring
China, which has sent delegates to the talks.
are hoping to be able to hold political discussions and talk directly about
stopping the fighting and offensives by the Myanmar military,” Major Tar Pan La
from the the Ta’ang National Liberation Army told AFP.
violence has destroyed much of the fragile trust that minority voters placed in
Suu Kyi in the 2015 vote, and her National League for Democracy suffered several
losses in recent by-elections.
has also strengthened the hand of the China-backed United Wa States Army
(UWSA), Myanmar’s biggest ethnic armed group and one of the world’s top drug
25,000-strong militia has brought together several groups still locked in
combat with the military into a new negotiating bloc that is refusing to sign
up to the government-backed ceasefire.
senior defense officials were jailed by a primary military court over a deadly
attack on Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan hospital that left scores of people dead.
Ministry of Defense (MoD) spokesman Gen. Dawlat Waziri said Major General Abdul
Razaq Siawash, the commander of the health division in the Office of the
General Staff and General Abul Salam Nejrabi, the chief of the health division
of the Office of the General Staff were jailed for one year each after they
were found guilty of negligence.
Waziri further added that Gen. Abdul Kabar, the commander of the medical
support division, Lieutenant Salahudin Salauddin, chief of the medical support
division, Lieutenant Rasool Mohammad, deputy commander of the medical support
division, Lieutenant Mir Ahmad, director of the counter-intelligence in medical
division, Lieutenant Zafar Khan, director of the intelligence for medical
studies academy were jailed for two years each.
said another official Zainullah was jailed for one and half years along with
two others including Sergeant Awal Khan and soldier Syed Noor.
Afghan National Security Adviser Mohammad Hanif Atmar met his Indian
counterpart Ajit Doval on the sidelines of a summit in Moscow to hold talks on
Office of the National Security Council in a statement said the two sides held
on further expansion of bilateral political and security relations between the
statement further added that the two sides also held talks on the establishment
of a comprehensive plan to support and strengthen the Afghan National Defense
and Security Forces.
also held talks with his Indian counterpart for the arrangement of a meeting
between President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the
sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit, the statement.
Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit is expected to be held on 8th
June in Astana, the capital city of Kazakhstan.
leaders of the two countries are expected to participate in a special meeting
to be organized on the sidelines of the summit, the statement said, adding that
Mr. Atmar and Mr. Doval agreed that the two countries will have special
preparations for the meeting.
former Afghan President Hamid Karzai met with the Russian Ambassador to
Afghanistan to hold talks regarding the current situation in Afghanistan.
Office of the former President in a statement said the meeting was organized in
the office of the former President in Kabul.
statement further added that the two sides discussed the current situation of
Afghanistan and efforts to bring peace and stability in the country.
comes as Karzai has long been favoring Russia’s role in Afghan reconciliation
process, insisting that regional countries can play a vital role in achieving
peace in Afghanistan.
also rejected allegations against Russia regarding the supply of weapons and
support to the Taliban group.
an interview with the Interfax news agency last month, Karzai said the American
officials are accusing Moscow of supporting the Taliban and supply them with
weapons but such allegations are not true.
The top U.S. general in Europe said late in March
this year that he had seen Russian influence on Afghan Taliban insurgents
growing and raised the possibility that Moscow was helping supply the
militants, whose reach is expanding in southern Afghanistan.
blocks 21 websites, including Al Jazeera: state news agency
has banned 21 websites, including the main website of Qatar-based al Jazeera
television, for "supporting terrorism", state news agency MENA and
security sources said on Wednesday.
tried to access five websites named by local Egyptian newspapers and
broadcasters, including the Al Jazeera website, and found them all
was no immediate official comment available. An official from the National
Telecom Regulatory Authority could not confirm or deny the news, but said:
"So what if it is true? It should not be a problem."
cited a senior security source as saying the websites, which also included some
Egypt-focused websites hosted abroad such as Masr Al Arabiya that the
government says are financed by Qatar, were blocked because they supported
senior security source said 21 websites have been blocked inside Egypt for
having content that supports terrorism and extremism as well (as) publishing
lies," MENA said.
security source said legal action would be taken against the websites, MENA
security sources told Reuters the websites were blocked for being affiliated
with the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood or for being funded by Qatar.
accuses Qatar of supporting the Brotherhood, which was ousted from power in
Egypt in 2013 when the military removed elected Islamist President Mohamed
Mursi following mass protests against his rule.
Mada Masr, an Egyptian news website based inside the country which describes
itself as progressive and has no Islamist or Qatari affiliations, was also
inaccessible on Wednesday.
Huffington Post's Arabic website also was inaccessible, although the
international version was accessible.
and the Huffington Post were not named by security sources - who said there
were 21 websites but named only five - as part of the list of blocked websites.
block follows similar actions taken earlier on Wednesday by Saudi Arabia and
the United Arab Emirates who got into a war of words with Qatar and blocked Al
Jazeera and other websites.
said hackers had posted fake remarks by its emir against U.S. foreign policy
but the Saudi and UAE state-run media reported the comments anyway.
man performs Umrah for Trump
Saudi man has come under attack by social media users after he posted a video
in which he declared he was completing Umrah, lesser pilgrimage, on behalf of
US President Donald Trump yesterday, reported Middle East Monitor.
man, who filmed himself making the declaration at Makkah, Saudi Arabia, metres
from the Kabaa, said: “I dedicate this Umrah to President Donald Trump and
invite him to Islam.”
visited the Kingdom over the weekend on an official trip during which he
attended the Arab Islamic American Summit in Riyadh.
this month, a Saudi cleric posted a supplication on Twitter praying for Trump,
saying: “O Allah, Trump is one of your servants, you control him and his fate.
Command him – willingly or not – to serve the best interests of Muslims.”
who challenge me, challenge God: Sisi
President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi said yesterday that a number of people have
threatened him following his decision to reclaim state-owned land that had been
illegally appropriated by private investors over the past few years, according
to Middle East Monitor.
remarks came in a speech that he gave in Damietta to mark the opening of a
number of projects in the province.
added that he will not allow anyone, no matter who they are, to acquire
state-owned land, adding that illegal appropriation of state land is considered
Syrian army said on Wednesday it had killed ISIS military commander in Syria
during operations in the north of the country, where the Russian-backed
government forces are seizing more territory back from the militant group.
confirmed, this would represent a major blow against ISIS ahead of an attack
which the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) - an alliance of Kurdish and
Arab fighters - are expected to launch against the militant in their stronghold
of Raqqa city.
Syrian military source told Reuters the ISIS commander, Abu Musab al-Masri, had
been the group’s “minister of war” for Syria. Syrian state media had earlier
cited a military source as saying he was the organization’s “minister of war”,
suggesting he was the overall ISIS military commander.
was named among 13 senior ISIS figures killed in Syrian army operations east of
Aleppo, including men identified as Saudi and Iraqi nationals, according to the
military source cited by state media.
was killed in the operations that got underway on May 10. The military source
did not say where he was killed.
ISIS expert Hisham al-Hashimi said the death of Masri, if confirmed, would be a
“significant blow to the group ahead of the battle of Raqqa”. He said al-Masri
was the fourth most senior figure in the organization.
leaders of Nineveh province called the international community to distance
Popular Mobilization militias from Mosul and its suburbs and stop Iranian
expansion in the region.
statements came at a tribal conference held in a region of northwest of Mosul.
tribes accused the popular mobilization militias of bulldozing houses and
stealing properties in captured areas west of Mosul.
Iranian-backed Shiite militias have been part of a coalition of forces that
began the Battle for Mosul operations to retake the city from ISIS extremists
Planning Minister Salman Al-Jumayli said on Wednesday that a plan has been
formulated to rebuild the liberated areas from ISIS over the span of the next
10 years with $100 billion starting 2018.
clerics have declared an open-ended national mourning in commemoration of the
slain supporters of prominent Shia cleric, Sheikh Isa Qassim, who lost their
lives after Al Khalifah regime forces opened fire at them.
clerics, in a statement released on Wednesday, asked all Bahraini men and women
to continue staging sit-ins in support of the 77-year-old cleric, who is the
spiritual leader of the country’s dissolved opposition bloc, the al-Wefaq
National Islamic Society, in al-Fida Square of the northwestern village of
Diraz and ramp up resistance against regime troops, Arabic-language Bahrain
al-Yaum news agency reported.
statement also urged shopkeepers and owners of commercial establishments to
down their shutters on Wednesday and Thursday, and attend the demonstrations in
honor of Diraz martyrs.
clerics said Sheikh Qassim’s fate remains unknown a day after Manama regime
forces broke into his residence, killing at least six people and wounding
soldiers fired birdshot and teargas to disperse supporters of the clergyman, and
detained 286 of them. Reports said 19 policemen were also injured in the
Shia clerics further noted that the nation will eventually turn the tables and
prevail, warning that people from all walks of life will not tolerate the
ruling Al Khalifah regime’s harm to Sheikh Qassim.
statement also held King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah, the ruler of the tiny
Persian Gulf island country, fully responsible for the fate of the top cleric
and those arrested during the Tuesday skirmishes in Diraz.
May 21, a Bahraini court convicted Sheikh Qassim of illegal collection of funds
and money laundering and sentenced him to one year in jail suspended for three
also ordered him to pay $265,266 in fines. The court ruling sparked widespread
demonstrations across the kingdom.
authorities stripped the cleric of his citizenship on June 20, 2016. They later
dissolved the Islamic Enlightenment Institution, founded by him, in addition to
the opposition al-Risala Islamic Association.
of anti-regime protesters have held demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost
daily basis ever since a popular uprising began in the country in mid-February
are demanding that the Al Khalifah dynasty relinquish power and allow a just
system representing all Bahrainis to be established.
sources said that the first front of the army is along the Palmyra road to
al-Sukhnah and spreads towards Deir Ezzur to lift ISIL's siege on the city and
airbase in the Eastern province.
the second front the army soldiers are to move from Palmyra towards South to
cut off ISIL's supply lines between Syria's Badiyeh and Eastern Qalamoun
third front has been opened by the army from al-Seen airport towards al-Tanf
border-crossing at the country's border with Iraq.
fourth front stretches from Northern Sweida towards Syria's Badiyeh, while the
fifth front expands from North of Palmyra towards East to end ISIL's presence
along the road connecting the town of al-Salamiyah in Hama to the town of
Khanasser in Aleppo. According to the same sources, the army men have also
deployed in a sixth front and launched their operation from the town of
al-Quaryatayn in Homs Eastwards.
army's operations in all these six fronts are backed up by the Russian aerial
support while a large number of Iraqi and Syrian popular forces and the
Lebanese Hezbollah are also present in the army operations.
sources also underlined that the army's main objective in all these fronts is
mainly weakening ISIL's defense capability via engaging them in different
battlefronts across the vast Badiyeh region to enable the army and its allies
to take back control over larger areas.
said on Tuesday that the army units continued their operation against
terrorists in Eastern Sweida and managed to advance more towards al-Tanf
border-crossing in Southern Homs to foil a US-led plan for occupying Southern
army men engaged in fierce clashes with the terrorists in Eastern Sweida and
took full control over a large part of al-Rahbeh region North of the newly-liberated
army units also engaged in clashes with terrorists in the Eastern direction of
al-Zalaf dam and entered the administrative border regions with Damascus.
the meantime, the army units that had previously entered the town of al-Zalfa
managed to advance against terrorists in areas surrounding the town and seized
control over several illegal the border-crossings in the border-triangle.
military source said that the army troops were capable of advancing 30
kilometers further North to cut off the supply path to a large militant-held
region in the Southeastern outskirts of Damascus.
- At least 16 civilians were killed in bombing raids early Wednesday by the
US-led coalition near the Islamic State group’s Syrian bastion Raqa, a monitor
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the toll included a woman and her five
children, as well as three couples.
coalition strikes hit Al-Baruda, a village about 15 kilometres (10 miles) west
of Raqa city,” said Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman. “Most of those killed
had fled eastern parts of the province of Homs,” he added. The US-led coalition
is providing air cover for a major offensive to capture Raqa city, the heart of
IS territory in Syria.
of Wednesday, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) were only three
kilometres (two miles) from Raqa at their closest point to the east. The
strikes on Al-Baruda come after the Observatory reported the highest monthly
civilian death toll for the coalition since it began bombing Syria on September
23, 2014. Between April 23 and May 23 of
this year, coalition strikes killed a total of 225 civilians in Syria, the
Britain-based Observatory said.
this month, the US military said that coalition air strikes in Iraq and Syria
had “unintentionally” killed a total of 352 civilians since 2014.
than 320,000 people have been killed and millions more displaced since Syria’s
conflict broke out in March 2011.
Meanwhile, dozens of young men gathered Tuesday in a school yard in
northern Syria to take the oath at a police graduation ceremony after a week’s
training supervised by the US-led coalition.
were the first batch of policemen to be trained by the coalition to maintain
law and order in Raqa, as a Kurdish-Arab alliance battles to expel the Islamic
State group from the rest of the northern province. Police officers disappeared
from Raqa after the province was taken over by rebels then IS after the Syrian
conflict broke out in 2011. Dressed in green uniforms, the graduates stood to
attention in the town of Ain Issa, a former IS stronghold around 50 kilometres
(30 miles) north of the city of Raqa, the militants’ de facto Syrian capital.
On their arms, their wore light blue patches bearing the image of an eagle with
its wings spread and the words “Raqa Internal Security Force”.
swear to God to be loyal to my nation, my people and my country and to fulfil
my duty,” they said, right arms stretched out in front of them. They took the
oath before members of a civilian council to administer Raqa city and the
surrounding province after IS, before each receiving a Kalashnikov assault
young men from the Raqa province followed a seven-day training course under the
supervision of US and Jordanian officers,” said a spokesman for the nascent
Raqa Civilian Council. “The second group will start training next week. The aim
is to train 3,000 young men to guarantee security and stability in liberated
areas of the Raqa province,” Omar Alloush said.
coalition, which has been fighting IS in Syria and neighbouring Iraq since
2014, is in charge of training the policemen and providing them with equipment,
he said. A Jordanian instructor, who asked to remain anonymous, said all the
graduates had received “intensive training on how to conduct patrols, diffuse
disputes, deal with car bombs and suicide bombers, and how to man a
by the coalition, the Syrian Democratic Forces launched an offensive to capture
Raqa city in November.
month, the SDF alliance announced the creation of the civilian council to
administer the city after its capture.
launched an investigation and went into damage control mode on Wednesday after
accusing hackers of putting what it called false remarks by the emir on state
four-hour cyber attack, which hit the Qatar News Agency's website and Twitter
account, caused ripples in the Gulf state and across the Middle East because of
the content of the stories.
the topics supposedly addressed by Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani were
the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, strategic relations with Iran, and comments
about Palestinian movement Hamas.
were also remarks about alleged “tensions” between Qatar and the administration
of US President Donald Trump.
Twitter account carried a statement from Foreign Mnister Mohammed bin
Abdulrahman Al-Thani about Qatar withdrawing its ambassadors from several
ministry denied the story.
said what occurred was a “shameful cybercrime” and that the reports were
completely untrue. It added an investigation had been launched and the hackers
would be “traced and prosecuted”.
website was hacked at 12:14am on Wednesday morning, with hackers publishing
false statements attributed to HH the Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani,” said the
official further said that it is clear this shameful cybercrime was instigated
and perpetrated with malicious intent,” it said in a statement.
it was unable to contain the fallout, with media outlets taking seriously the
remarks attributed to the emir and attacks on social media accounts continuing.
“false statement” was still being widely reported by broadcasters and
newspapers across the region, including in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi
Arabia, many hours after Doha's denial.
analyst on the Saudi state news channel, Al-Akhbariya, called Tamim's alleged
remarks “political adolescence”.
users swapped insults and accusations.
media slammed the alleged statement describing Shiite-dominated Iran as a
“stability guarantor” in the region.
page on the Al-Arabiya English website had an article entitled: “Proof that
Qatar News Agency was not hacked.” At the same time, Doha-based broadcaster
Al-Jazeera was unavailable for some time in the UAE, though it was unclear if
it was blocked on purpose.
Al-Jazeera Arabic website was also inaccessible in Saudi Arabia during
said it was “surprised by the stance of some media outlets and TV channels” in
continuing to report the comments attributed to the emir.
in Qatar compared those responsible for reporting the contents of the hack to
Nazi Germany's propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels.
alleged cyber attack comes just days after Doha claimed it had been the victim
of an orchestrated smear campaign over its alleged “support” for terrorism, and
said it was being targeted by anti-Qatar organisations.
has faced criticism for its support of rebel groups fighting Syrian President
Bashar al-Assad and in recent weeks has been accused outright of funding terror
in US media articles.
sources were quoted by the Arabic desk of Sputnik as saying that Turkey has a
plan to form a new 10,000-member army from the Ankara-backed FSA militants to
use them in battles against the Kurdish forces in a vast region staring from
Jarabulus in Northern Aleppo to Idlib.
sources added that the FSA militants are due to go under a 3-month training
course and a further 45-day training by the Turkish Special Forces.
went on to say that the FSA members that are to go under training will receive
$300 as their monthly salary, while the Turkish side will also provide the FSA
fighters with food and housing.
sources told Sputnik that the operations in the towns of Afrin, Manbij and Tal
Abyadh is the main objective of this new army.
the people in al-Bab city in the Northern parts of Aleppo rallied to protest at
the Turkish army and its allies' deployment in the region.
sources in al-Bab reported on Monday that people held protest rallies in Sheikh
Aqil district of al-Bab which was occupied by the Turkish army and
added that tens of people in the region carried placards to protest at Ankara and
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's policies.
also chanted slogans including "Erdogan listen! We don’t obey your cruel
army. This place belongs to us".
rally was held after Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak said the
country was considering establishing a base near the Syrian city of al-Bab.
said location of the base currently being considered by the Turkish General
Staff was Aqil Hill, West of al-Bab.
on Wednesday announced the arrest of a large number of wanted criminals in
head of Bahrain’s public security, Tariq al-Hassan, made the announcement at a
press conference in Manama, and noted that the sit-in at Al Diraz was dispersed
because it was illegal.
added that most of the detainees sought shelter at the house of Issa Qassim,
pointing out that the 286 criminals wanted in terrorism cases were arrested.
called on citizens and residents to abide by instructions from security
head of the public security affirmed that they will firmly confront any illegal
gatherings, stressing that the security operation was aimed at arresting wanted
King Salman in a phone call with UK Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday
conveyed Saudi Arabia’s condemnation of the terrorist attack at Manchester,
confirming it being contrary to Islamic principles and moral values.
Salman also expressed his sincerest condolences to the country and the victims
of the attack, where he wished the injured a quick recovery.
confirmed over the phone the kingdom’s stance in support of Britain in facing
protesters have defied Manama’s warning against holding more public gatherings
and stayed on the streets in a show of anger against the regime’s bloody
crackdown on Diraz, the home village of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Isa
videos, released late Wednesday, show hundreds of Bahraini protesters,
including women and children, holding peaceful protests against the ruling Al
footage shows protests turn violent after regime forces fired tear gas at the
escalation comes despite a Wednesday statement by the Bahraini Interior
Ministry, which warned against “any gathering or incitement” to protest.
ministry issued the warning a day after police stormed into the home of Sheikh
Qassim, prompting clashes with the cleric’s supporters. During the raid, regime
forces shot dead at least six demonstrators, wounded dozens and arrested over
fresh wave of ant-regime protests began on May 21, when a Bahraini court
convicted Sheikh Qassim of illegal collection of funds and money laundering and
sentenced him to one year in jail and ordered him to pay $265,266 in fines.
cleric had been under house arrest for several months, but his fate has been
unclear since Bahraini forces raided his house on Tuesday and arrested everyone
to the Beirut-based al-Mayadeen TV channel, the Bahraini regime was planning to
force Sheikh Qassim into exile in Iraq, but Iraqi Prime Minister Haider
al-Abadi rejected Manama’s request in a show of support for the Shia leader.
rights groups have condemned Bahrain for its deadly crackdown on people in
Diraz that took place right after US President Donald Trump left Saudi Arabia,
where he met Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah.
whose forces have been helping the Bahraini military in suppressing anti-regime
protests over the past years, came to Manama’s defense on Wednesday, saying the
Bahraini kingdom is “an integral part” of Saudi Arabia’s security.
International has called for an independent probe into Manama’s use of
“excessive force” against “peaceful” protesters in Diraz, stressing that the
village has been under siege for over 11 months.
must speak out’
York-based Human Rights First has also urged Trump’s administration to condemn
the Bahraini military for the “deadly disturbing” raid on Diraz.
is especially alarming that the raid comes just two days after President Trump
met the king of Bahrain and assured him that there would no longer be any
strain on the US-Bahrain relationship,” said Human Rights First Director Brian
Trump should immediately speak out against these attacks and make clear that
the repression of peaceful civil society will damage the bilateral relationship
with Bahrain,” he added.
rights groups have condemned Bahrain for its deadly crackdown on people in the
village of Diraz, but the Saudi regime has come to Manama’s defense, saying the
Bahraini kingdom is "an integral part" of Saudi Arabia's security.
source in the Saudi Foreign Ministry said the security of Bahrain "is an
integral part" of Saudi security, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
source affirmed the support of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the measures
being taken," including in the northwestern village of Diraz, the official
news agency said.
to the source, the measures are allegedly to "address all terrorist
attempts aimed at destabilizing and damaging" security and order.
of anti-regime protesters have held numerous demonstrations in Bahrain on an
almost daily basis ever since a popular uprising began in the kingdom in early
February 2011. They are demanding that the Al Khalifah dynasty relinquish power
and a just system representing all Bahrainis be established.
Manama regime has spared no effort to clamp down on dissent and rights
activists. On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab
Emirates were deployed to Bahrain to assist Manama in its crackdown.
of people have been killed and hundreds of others have been injured or arrested
as a result of the Al Khalifah regime’s crackdown on anti-regime activists.
Tuesday, Bahrain's Interior Ministry announced the death of five people in
raids on protesters gathering in Diraz. Earlier in the day, Bahraini regime
forces stormed the residence of Sheikh Isa Qassim, the spiritual leader of the
country’s Shia majority in the village, arresting everyone inside the house.
Sharif at Riyadh summit: Pakistan deeply committed to Muslim world's unity and
Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif has said that his country is deeply
committed to the unity of the Muslim world and the promotion of interfaith
harmony and dialogue.
statement on Sunday came during his interaction with Saudi Arabian King Salman
Bin Abdulaziz, US president Donald Trump and other leaders from the Arab and Islamic
countries who gathered here for the first Arab-Islamic-American Summit, Dawn
had rendered remarkable sacrifices in the global fight against terrorism, a
Foreign Office statement quoted the Prime Minister as saying.
his pleasure to be part of the summit, Sharif said the choice of Saudi Arabia
as the venue for the first Arab-Islamic-American Summit was appropriate, given
the reverence and respect that the entire Muslim world has for this land of the
appreciated the leadership of Trump for making the summit his first overseas
engagement, and said this initiative of his was of great significance.
rising tide of terrorism and extremism is the most daunting challenge that the
world confronts today. Unfortunately, Pakistan has been in the forefront of
this existential struggle, bearing a large burden," Sharif said.
Buddhist monks, who were part of a delegation participating in Vesakh Mela
celebrations arranged by National History and Literary Heritage (NH&LH)
Division on Tuesday, said that the hospitality, love and respect they had
received from Pakistani people added charm to their celebrations.
preservation and maintenance of sacred places is evidence of the level of
respect Pakistan has for Buddhist beliefs, they noted. A delegation of around
40 Buddhist monks and visitors from Sri Lanka, headed by Professor N
Gnanaratana, had reached Pakistan on Sunday to attend the Vesakh Mela.
always stood with Sri Lanka in conflict situations, natural calamities and
every hour of need, which the entire Sri Lankan nation acknowledges and
admires,” Prof Gnanaratana said.
monks including P Dhammanande, M Seelapriga and A Summanaseeli said they were
visiting Pakistan for the first time and excited about their journey to the
sacred places of Taxila and Takht Bahi.
are impressed with the arrangements of this festival and hospitality of
Pakistani people. It is just like we are at our second home,” Dhammanande said.
Sri Lankan delegation of Buddhist monks visited the historical Buddhist spots
and performed their religious rituals while accompanied by officials from the
opening ceremony of Vesakh Mela was attended by NH&LH Division Federal
Secretary Aamir Hasan, Joint Secretary Junaid Ikhlaq and High Commissioner of
Sri Lanka Jayanath CP Lokuketagodage.
- Two hardcore terrorists who were tried by military courts for a number of
charges including attack on the Army Public School (APS) Peshawar have been
executed on Wednesday, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a
said that those terrorists were involved in committing heinous offences
relating to terrorism, including attack on APS Peshawar, killing of innocent
civilians, attacking the Armed Forces of Pakistan and the law enforcement
to details, the convict Attaullah son of Muhammad Sultan was an active member
of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
was involved in attacking law enforcement agency personnel, which resulted in
the death of several soldiers and injures to an officer and a soldier.
Attaullah was also in possession of fire-arms and explosives. He admitted to
his offences before the magistrate and the trial court, the statement
said. Attaullah was awarded death
sentence. Second convict Taj Muhammad
son of Alaf Khan was also an active member of TTP.
too was awarded death sentence.
- As many as three militants including a commander were killed in a US drone
strike near the Pak-Afghan border in North Waziristan on Wednesday.
to details, a US pilotless plane fired two-missile at a militant compound
reportedly at Garvik area of Shawal tehsil of the agency, situated closed to
the Pak-Afghan broader.
a result, at least three militants including Abdullah Kashmiri, a local
commander of militants died on the spot.
political administration of the agency has also confirmed the drone strike.
However, it said the attack had conducted from across the border.
was the third drone strike inside Pakistan since Donald Trump’s becoming the US
president in January last.
- Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Karachi Chapter on Wednesday resumed its protest against
the private power company, Karachi Electric (KE) by staging at demonstration t
of JI supporters and people belonging to various walks of life participated in
were carrying placards and banners, inscribed with various slogans against the
K-Electric, NEPRA and the government.
participants reached the party’s central protest camp set up at
Shahrah-e-Faisal in the evening.
kept chanting slogans against the K-Electric, power regulatory authority, NEPRA
and the government.
residents of Karachi also visited the JI`s protest camp to register their
complaints against the K-Electric.
the participants, JI Karachi chief Hafiz Naeemur Rahman said that the
government used the state machinery on March 31 in a bid to stop protests
against the KE.
party’s leadership was detained and during shelling and firing many party
workers and supporters got injured. Despite all this our protest against the KE
did not stop, but it kept gathering momentum,” he added.
said that JI was the only party that had unveiled ‘robbery’ of the KE. “Pervaiz
Musharaf, with the assistance of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), privatized the
KESC and put the entire city in darkness,” Naeem said, and added, “None of the
political parties have raised voice against the ‘injustices’ of KE. It is only
the JI that has been exposing the ‘corruption’ of KE from the day one.”
JI leader further said that the party had staged a four-day sit-in outside the
Governor House and after the assurance given by the governor that the issue
would be resolved in 15 days, the sit-in was postponed. “However, after the
passage of sometime it became apparent that the government did not mean what it
had promised. In fact the governor’s silence over the subject proves that he is
siding with the power company,” he added.
you do, we are not going to withdraw our demands,” Naeem said categorically. He
accused the governor of misleading the Karachiites by saying that JI`s
leadership did not want negotiations over the issue. “Earlier, the party
leadership negotiated with the governor in the presence of media and now it’s
the duty of the governor to resolve the issue by putting pressure on
K-Electric,” he demanded.
leaders Usama Razi, Mohammad Islam, Younus Barai, Abdul Jameel and others also
spoke on the occasion.
is worth mentioning here that JI is protesting against what it calls the
‘nexus’ between KE, NEPRA and the government.
party alleges that KE has inflicted miseries on its consumers through excessive
billing, tariff hike, loadshedding and ban on issuance of separate meters in
talking to media men on Wednesday, JI Karachi chief Hafiz Naeemur Rahman said
that the party was protesting against loadshedding, overbilling and looting of
billions of rupees from the citizens.
said that JI’s protest was peaceful, but warned that if efforts were made to
stop the demonstration then all the responsibility would lie on the
said that Sindh Governor Muhammad Zubair had failed to resolve the issue.
party had called off the sit-in on the assurance given by the governor, but it
seems that his writ is nowhere in the province,” said JI Karachi chief and
invited Zubair to take part in the protest for the rights of Karachiites.
in order to deal with any untoward situation at the protest site, heavy
contingents of police were deployed along with the armored vehicles and water
cannons. The JI`s demonstration, on the
other hand, also created massive traffic jams on major roads of the city in the
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