Malaysia, Pakistan Propose ‘Islamic Renaissance’
any Muslim non-Muslim against Sharia, says Pakistan Ulema Council
and Pakistan's Constitution Guarantees Minority Rights: Jamaat-e-Islami (JI)
Keeping Cows Is Love Jihad: Ranjit Bahadur Srivastava, Barabanki BJP Leader
Meeting in Rural England: 35000 to Attend Convention to Break Down
Arabia Recruiting Al-Qaeda to Fill UAE Gap in Yemen
Saudi Court Hands Down Death Sentence To Shia Activist From Qatif
Iran’s Policy Is To Protect Multilateralism, Confront American Hegemony
Mahathir Is Right; Muslim Nations Must Harness the Power of Unity
Signs Baiq Nuril's Amnesty Invites Her to State Palace
new king calls for racial unity at coronation
Pakistani soldiers gunned down, military says
military aircraft crashes on training flight, 17 killed
former president Asif Ali Zardari not using AC in jail: Bilawal Bhuttto
praises Pakistan Movement leaders’ honesty
lives lost as Army plane on routine patrol crashes near Mora Kalu Rawalpindi
unity needed to achieve enduring regional peace, says Qureshi
should refrain from ‘bombing democracy’: Firdous
Police Seeks Details Of Mosques In Srinagar, Calls It ‘Routine Exercise’
HC Dismisses Plea Seeking Regulation On Madrasa Education
Teenager Set On Fire in India ‘After Refusing To Chant Hindu Slogan’
and the US must approach the bilateral ties cautiously
first 6 months, 82% militants killed in J&K were Valley recruits
Revolutionaries In Syria Say They Will Defy Home Office's New Terrorism Laws
in extremist violence puts Germans on edge
king pardons thousands, including ‘Hirak’ protesters
tanker swap, obey the law: UK takes a tough new line with Iran
PM seeks 'brave restart' of relations with Turkey
Rights Organization Calls for Saudi Officials’ Trial
Isis Plotting a Comeback, Iraq’s Famed ‘Golden Division’ Prepares For The Long
rebel town pounded, 11 killed in market airstrike
warplanes kill four Islamic State terrorists in Anbar
Musician Plays Ney in Mosul Ruins Two Years After IS
Executes 3 Men, Including 2 Shiite Activists on ‘Terrorism Crimes’
Army Advances in Hama after Military Operations against Terrorists
killed in US-led airstrikes on village in Syria’s Dayr al-Zawr
Candidates Unite In Poll Threat To Netanyahu
alliance, Arab bloc formed ahead of Israeli vote
Links British Seizure of Oil Tanker to Ailing Nuclear Deal
Eyes Were Full of Fear.’ Turkey Repatriates Children of ISIS Followers.
Houthis target with drones Saudi Arabia's Abha airport: Houthis' Al Masirah TV
killed, 4 injured in Houthis' shelling in Yemen's Hodeidah
attack on Saada market kills more than 10: Yemeni minister
drones hit Saudi airbase in precision counterattack
least 14 civilians killed in Saudi-led airstrike on crowded market in Yemen’s
Least 50 Militants Killed, Wounded In Special Forces Raid In Faryab: Special
rejoin Sri Lanka cabinet after Easter bombings
dying at ‘unacceptable’ level amid peace push: UN
Over Afghan-Taliban Talks Further Complicates Peace Process
still the stumbling block for Rohingya repatriation
Holds Repatriation Talks with Rohingya Refugees
Special Forces destroy house-borne IED in Kandahar province
residents clash with Taliban leaving at least 18 militants dead, wounded
U.S. forces kill, wound 11 Taliban militants, defuse 11 IEDs in Ghazni and
Wirathu: The Buddhist bin Laden
Boko Haram Attack on Funeral in Nigeria Leaves at Least 65 Dead
Spreads in Central Mali Amid Ongoing Islamist Violence
African peacekeeping soldiers killed in Somalia
ban of Shiite Muslim group risks Boko Haram repeat
shoot dead at least 5 protesters in central Sudan rally
police on high alert as protesters gathering for Zakzaky release outside court
calls for Eid truce in Libya, warns foreign support fueling conflict
Man Allegedly Wanted To Kill American Soldiers, Arrested While Trying To Join Taliban
US soldiers killed in Afghanistan
Iranian regime hasn’t accepted my offer to come to Tehran
American soldiers killed in apparent insider attack in Afghanistan
9/11 planner open to working against S. Arabia
US troops gunned down by Afghan soldier in Afghanistan
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said that Turkey, Malaysia and Pakistan can
pave the way forward for development in the Muslim world with an era of
Islamic world needs a renaissance,” said Huseyin Bagci, an expert in
International relations at the Middle East Technical University in Ankara,
Anadolu Agency reported.
Prime Minister Mahathir made a right point that these countries at least start
new projects which make Muslim world compatible and competitive in Islamic
sciences, technology, defense, etc.,” Bagci said, according to Anadolu Agency.
Malaysian premier arrived in the Turkish capital Ankara on Wednesday evening to
kick off his four-day official visit.
words of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that solidarity among Turkey,
Malaysia and Pakistan “is necessary for the unity of the Islamic world”,
Mahathir told reporters at a joint news conference Thursday that it is crucial
to relieve the Muslim Ummah from being subjugated by others.
is why I proposed that three Muslim countries should work together. At least
these three [Turkey, Malaysia and Pakistan]. So that we can speak with a louder
voice in terms of many areas; defense, for example,” the Malaysian premier
Clerics and scholars affiliated with the Pakistan Ulema Council (PUC) have
declared that branding any Muslim as a non-Muslim is not only against the norms
of Sharia, but also an unethical way of politicising Islam.
to the media on Monday, PUC chairman Hafiz Tahir Ashrafi said elements using
Islam for political purposes or for personal gain were bringing a bad name to
clerics as well as Sharia.
is a more serious threat to Islam than anything done by its enemies that
‘so-called muftis’ have started issuing fatwas which are anti-Sharia in the
first place and all this is being done in the name of Quran and Sunnah,” Hafiz
have rejected this controversial practice and any organisation or individual
will not be allowed to issue decrees declaring a Muslim as a non-Muslim,” he
said. “Such irresponsible attitude is not only fanning sectarianism but also
giving a bad name to our country.”
PUC chief said all non-Muslim citizens had their rights defined in the
constitution while Sharia too had specified rights they enjoyed in an Islamic
made it clear at a recent meeting with the interior minister that the status of
Ahmadis, as declared in the Constitution, cannot be undone. But at the same
time nobody can be allowed to declare any Muslim an Ahmadi and eventually a
non-Muslim,” Tahir Ashrafi said.
PUC recently held a conference which drew 1,500 religious scholars from
different schools of thought. The conference extended support to the National
Action Plan as well as the drive against extremism.
resolution adopted at the conference stressed that killing in the name of
religion was against the teachings of Quran and Sunnah.
called upon clerics and scholars belonging to the four mainstream schools of
thought — Shia, Barelvi, Deobandi and Ahle Hadis — to dissociate themselves
from the elements fanning hatred on the basis of religion.
conference had also resolved that no Muslim sect would be declared infidel and
no one had the authority to recommend the killing of any Muslim or non-Muslim.
conference called upon clerics to observe court ruling on religious matters and
to settle controversial subjects in a court of law.
Ashrafi said efforts were under way to have national flags hoisted at
seminaries and mosques on the eve of Independence Day.
Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Pakistan, Senator Sirajul Haq has said that while the
life, property and honour of the non-Muslim Pakistani community in the country
is fully secure, the laws concerning the minorities rights were not being
implemented at international level.
a message of World Minorities Day, Sirajul Haq said that both Islam and the
constitution of the country guarantees the rights of the Pakistani community.
He said that large number of Christians, Sikhs, Hindus and believers of other
religions living in the country are free to practice their religion. Their
worship places were being given due respect and it is the state responsibility
to protect these, he added.
JI Chief said that the Pakistani minority community was playing an effective
role in the country’s politics and was also contributing to the national
development. He said that the minorities in Pakistani were the most protected
and secure as compared to other countries of the world.
pointed out that he was the first to propose in the Khyber Assembly that the
minorities in the country should be called the Pakistani community. He said
that the Pakistani Muslims fully share the pleasures and the grief of the
Pakistani community. He said nobody in the country was ever forced to change
his religion. He said that members of the Pakistani community are serving in
all state departments including the armed forces and they had never faced any
Haq said that on the other hand, the minorities in India are being targeted
every day, their members are killed and their habitations is razed to the
ground. The Muslims, the largest minority in India, as also the Christians
Sikhs and even low caste Hindus were being treated worse than animals. The
worship places of the Muslims and Christians are not safe and mosques and
Churches are being set on fire.
JI Chief said that since the razing of the historic Babri mosque and the
setting of the Sikh GoldenTemple on fire, the massacre of the Muslims in
Gujrat, there had been numerous incidents which had fully exposed the so-called
secularism of India.
deplored the silence of the world community on the worst human rights
violations in Kashmir. He said that the United Nations had promised plebiscite
in Kashmir but this right had not been granted to the Kashmiris for the last
leader Ranjit Bahadur Srivastava on Monday in a controversial statement said
that cows belonging to Muslims should be taken away from them at any cost. He
also said that Muslims keeping cows is also a "love jihad".
in the houses of Muslims should be taken back. When we consider girls from our
homes going to their homes as 'love jihad', shouldn't we consider 'gau mata'
going to their homes 'love jihad' too? This is love jihad. Cows should be taken
back from them at any cost," he told ANI.
said that cows are essentially Hindus and that they should be cremated in
accordance with Hindu rituals.
are like our mother. We should conduct the final rites of our cows as we do to
our mothers. We will create a cremation site for cows," he said.
also said that Muslims should rear goats instead of cows. "Goat is their
mother. They should opt for goat rearing. Why do they rear cows? This is love
jihad. I am against it," he said.
BJP leader said that Muslims should adopt the Hindu religion to end the divide
between two religions.
when they came to India most Hindus converted into Islam. Looking at this, they
are like our brothers and they should come back to their old religion," he
meeting in rural England: 35000 to attend convention to break down
Hampshire farm temporarily turned "Islamic global village" will see
thousands of participants pledge allegiance at the hand of the Caliph, His
Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad. The Caliph aims to tackle key issues and
misconceptions about Islam, such as whether it is “a religion of peace or
terror.” He said: “No matter what terrorists may claim, under no circumstances
are indiscriminate attacks or killings ever justified.
has enshrined the sanctity of human life in the Holy Quran, which states: ‘Whosoever
killed a person, it shall be as if he killed all mankind, and whoso gave life
to one, it shall be as if he had given life to all mankind’”
August event is the longest standing and largest Muslim convention in the UK.
will address perceptions that Islam is incompatible with British values.
Caliph said: “The need of the hour is for us to knock down the barriers of fear
that divide us.
than erecting walls that keep us apart, we should build bridges that bring us
must stand up against all forms of oppression, hatred and use all our
capabilities to try and foster peace in the world.”
Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Caliph to millions of Muslims, will address the
crowds in attendance.
conference will focus on increasing the spirituality of the participants,
whilst also tackling issues facing the world’s second-largest religion,
including the rise of so-called Islamic extremism, the growing threat of the
far-right and Islamophobia.
Caliph will also address 15,000 Muslim women about women’s rights in Islam.
the annual convention, known as the Jalsa Salana, the Union Jack will be raised
as a mark of integration and show of loyalty to Britain.
event aims to show, "that Islam, one of the most misrepresented faiths,
belongs to Britain and fight the commonly held disbelief that Islam is a threat
to British values".
event is organised by the Ahmadiyy Muslim Community and will take place on
were quoted by the Arabic-language al-Akhbar newspaper as saying on Monday that
Saudi Arabia is attempting to revive the militia loyal to the anti-Yemen
coalition, adding that once the UAE announced decreasing forces in Yemen,
Riyadh started a new phase of recruitment in the Southern provinces to fill the
vacuum created after the Emirati forces' pullout.
to the report, Saleh al-Mashjari, a Saudi-backed Salafi cleric, has been able
to mobilize over 15,000 militants.
the Abyan revolutionary youth movement, one of the local movements opposing the
Saudi-led coalition, warned of Riyadh's attempts to recruit the young people to
send them to the Northern and Western coastal front.
added that al-Mashjari has invited tens of al-Qaeda members from al-Baydah
province in Central Yemen to his base and given them key posts in al-Maniyaseh.
UAE announced it was reducing the number of its troops fighting as part of a
Saudi-led military coalition which presses ahead with a years-long atrocious
military aggression against the impoverished Yemen.
senior Emirati official during a press briefing in Dubai earlier this month
claimed that the withdrawal took place because Abu Dhabi was shifting from a
military strategy to a peace plan in Yemen.
do have troop levels that are down for reasons that are strategic in (the Red
Sea city of) Hudaydah and reasons that are tactical" in other parts of the
country, he said.
is very much to do with moving from what I would call a military-first strategy
to a peace-first strategy, and this is I think what we are doing," the
an official from Yemen's former Saudi-backed government said that UAE troops
had "totally vacated" the military base in Khokha, located South of
Saudi court hands down death sentence to Shia activist from Qatif
Arabia's Specialized Criminal Court has sentenced an anti-regime activist from
the kingdom’s oil-rich and Shia-populated Eastern Province to death, as a
crackdown led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman against pro-democracy
campaigners, Muslim preachers and intellectuals continues in the country.
Monday, the Riyadh-based tribunal found Ali Al Rabie guilty in a “sham hearing”
that fell short of international fair trial standards, London-based and Arabic-language
Nabaa television news network reported.
report came as Saudi authorities executed two of Ali’s brothers, Ahmad and
Hossein, on April 23 over their political activism.
forces killed Ali's younger brother, Thamer, when they raided al-Awamiyah town
situated in the al-Qatif region of Eastern Province.
Province has been the scene of peaceful demonstrations since February 2011.
Protesters have been demanding reforms, freedom of expression, the release of
political prisoners, and an end to economic and religious discrimination
against the oil-rich region.
protests have been met with a heavy-handed crackdown by the regime, with regime
forces increasing security measures across the province.
sources, requesting anonymity, said on July 15 that a young Saudi man died more
than a week after being injured by regime forces when they raided a district in
Abdullah al-Adam died ten days after regime forces, armed with heavy weapons
and artillery launchers, stormed into the al-Jash district of Qatif onboard
sources added that the forces fired indiscriminately, inflicting damage on many
houses and buildings. Adam suffered critical injuries during the raid.
regime agents also arrested Muslim preacher Ibrahim Issa al-Ismail at the time.
Iran’s policy is to protect multilateralism, confront American hegemony
foreign policy is to confront American hegemony and protect multilateralism,
Iranian Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri said on Monday, adding that its
reduction of commitments under a nuclear deal could be reversed if other
parties upheld their side of the agreement.
and the United States came to the brink of war last month after the Islamic
Republic shot down a US drone, nearly prompting a retaliatory attack, which US
President Donald Trump called off at the last minute.
foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran is to protect multilateralism
and confront American hegemony,” Jahangiri said, according to the IRIB news
relations with Washington have taken a sharp turn for the worse since Trump
withdrew the United States from the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and major
powers, and reimposed sanctions on Iran.
said Iran’s reduction of commitments under the deal could be reversed if the
remaining signatories to the agreement uphold their commitments.
said in May it would decrease its commitments under the pact, under which most
international sanctions on Tehran were lifted in exchange for Iran curbing its
believes the remaining signatories could do more to counter the fallout from the
a recent visit to Turkey, Malaysia’s prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad made a
call to rebuild and restore the strength of Islamic civilisation and for Muslim
countries to be united and work closely together.
was characteristically blunt about what he sees as the current state of affairs
and why action needs to be taken. “Today, we cannot claim to be a great
civilisation,” he said. “We are all oppressed and many of us are very backwards
to the point of even not being able to set up the government of our own
countries.” Muslim countries, he said, should address their dependence on other
words were not much reported outside Malaysia, but they are consistent with a
strain of Dr Mahathir’s thought going back to his first time in office from
1981-2003, and form part of a critique that is worthy of more consideration
spend so much time analysing the rivalries and trajectories of China, the US
and Russia in particular that we ignore the weight that could be yielded by
Muslim countries if they came together in a way that proved more effective than
the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation. The OIC is a laudable institution,
and the very act of bringing together its 57 member states has value in itself.
But even one of its former secretary generals admitted to me that it struggles
to achieve concrete results. The assertion that it was a “talking shop” was met
with a shrug of familiarity.
not the OIC, then what? One of Dr Mahathir’s closest strategists and thinkers,
Rais Husin, has proposed an Alliance of Muslim Nations, which he believes would
have the potential to reshape the world order.
all, as he wrote: “There is no reason why the Islamic world has to be
constantly at the whims and fancies of other external powers, as the Alliance
of Muslim Nations [would] control all the major maritime choke points in the
Straits of Malacca, the Gulf of Oman, the Straits of Hormuz and the Bosphorus
it be the alliance Dr Rais suggests or not, however, it is the principle of
greater unity and co-operation that needs to be stressed; the framework is
secondary. The bedrock already exists, as there is no doubting that there is a
very strong sense of Muslim solidarity around the world. The Middle East may
seem quite far away from South-East Asia, for instance, but no Malaysian prime
minister ever omits to mention concern for the Palestinian cause when speaking
at the UN or at any gathering that touches upon religion.
both Dr Mahathir and his predecessor, Najib Tun Razak, have been very outspoken
about the tragedy of the Rohingya – and this has not been without cost, as
their biting criticism is regarded as being against the principle of
non-interference that binds the members of the Association of Southeast Asian
Nations to which both Malaysia and Myanmar belong.
this age of hyper-connectivity, that solidarity has only grown stronger.
Researchers in the southern Philippines, for example, found that once poor,
remote areas were linked to satellite television (and now of course the
internet), local Muslims had a far greater sense of being part of the same
community as their fellow believers further to the west.
this into something more tangible, however, has proved troublesome. When still
in office in 2017, Mr Najib addressed an extraordinary session of the OIC on
the Rohingya, saying: “We must be equal to this challenge. We must show that
this organisation is truly the friend and guarantor of Muslims everywhere. We
must show that while we may have our differences, the Ummah will come together
in defence of our brothers and sisters in their time of need.” It would be hard
to claim that the OIC was able to respond to the stirring words with equally
Dr Mahathir’s urge for unity and development certainly centres on both a great
missed potential and, in some cases, a dire and pressing need.
shows us that times of Muslim unity and civilisation have not just been of
benefit to Muslims – they have been a boon to the rest of the world and people
of other religions too.
was the Abbasid Caliphate that saved the treasures of Ancient Greek philosophy
and supported research that produced huge advances in science, from medicine
and mathematics to astronomy and algebra. The religious tolerance that existed
in Muslim Spain was so remarkable for the medieval period that the name
“Cordoba” – one of the main Iberian emirates – has become synonymous with
interfaith dialogue today.
precedents have certainly been borne in mind by Arabian Gulf states that have
invested so strongly in education, and are echoed in the UAE’s decision to
declare 2019 the “Year of Tolerance”. But in much of the Muslim world human
development indicators are too low, with adult literacy rates, for instance,
around 10 per cent lower even than other developing countries.
challenge is there, just as it was in 2003 when Dr Mahathir addressed an OIC
meeting shortly before stepping down as prime minister for the first time. The
Prophet Mohammed preached the brotherhood of Islam to the jahiliah (the
ignorant), he said, “and they were able to overcome their hatred for each
other, become united and helped towards the establishment of the great Muslim
question then rings true today. “Can we say that what they could do we, the
modern Muslims, cannot do?”
Byrnes is a commentator and consultant in Kuala Lumpur and a corresponding
fellow of the Erasmus Forum
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo signed a decree on Monday granting
amnesty to Baiq Nuril Maknun, the woman sentenced to six months in prison and a
Rp 500 million ($35,600) fine under Indonesia's notorious Electronic
Information and Transactions Law for defaming the man who allegedly sexually
morning, I signed the presidential decree for Mrs. Baiq Nuril," Jokowi
said, as quoted by Antara news agency.
please Mrs. Baiq Nuril, if you want to receive it at the State Palace, just
have it arranged whenever you're ready. I will be happy to meet you," he
Nuril was sued for defamation under the so-called ITE Law by Muslim, the former
principal of the high school in Mataram, West Nusa Tenggara, where she worked
as a teacher.
been uneasy with his sexual advances, she decided to record one of his phone
calls to her in which he detailed his sexual relations with a mutual co-worker.
A copy of the recording was leaked in 2018, leading to Muslim's lawsuit.
took an interest in Baiq Nuril's case last year, after the Supreme Court
rejected her plea for her a case review, trashing her hopes for an acquittal.
granting amnesty to an individual, such as Baiq Nuril, would create a legal and
political precedent in Indonesia, where only political prisoners have so far
been pardoned. The president therefore
thought it necessary to consult with the House of Representatives.
sports-loving Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah called for racial unity as he
was installed Tuesday as the country’s 16th king under a unique rotating
was a double celebration for Sultan Abdullah from central Pahang state, who
turned 59 the same day. He was picked as Malaysia’s new ruler in January, after
Sultan Muhammad V from northeast Kelantan state abruptly resigned after just
two years on the throne in the first abdication in the nation’s history.
ethnic Malay state rulers take turns as king for five-year terms under the
world’s only such system, which has been maintained since Malaysia’s
independence from Britain in 1957.
his coronation speech, Sultan Abdullah warned that any attempt to sow racial
discord in the country was akin to “playing with fire that will burn not only
oneself but also burn down the whole village.
and national harmony are the country’s pillars of strength. Do not ever stoke
racial misunderstanding by raising matters that can threaten national unity and
harmony,” he said.
in black and gold regalia, Sultan Abdullah voiced confidence that Prime
Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s government is able to tackle economic and social
challenges in trying to rebuild the country after winning last year’s
large number of ethnic Malay Muslims, who make up about 60 percent of
Malaysia’s 32 million people, still support the opposition. While carrying out
economic and institutional reforms, Mahathir’s multiethnic alliance has to
quell fears among Malays that their privileges under decades-old affirmative
action that favors them in jobs, business and education will be eliminated.
Chinese and Indians comprise about 30 percent of the population.
in his speech acknowledged minor incidents of racial strife and said the
government has set up an advisory body to strengthen racial unity. He said the
government will step up efforts to bolster the economy and fight corruption to
ensure that “no one is above the law.”
Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al
Nahyan also attended the ceremony at the national palace, steeped in
centuries-old Malay tradition.
Sultan Abdullah is a prominent figure in sport bodies. He is a council member
of the world football governing body FIFA, president of the Asian Hockey
Federation, and an executive board member of the International Hockey
took over after Sultan Muhammad V, 49, quit shortly after marrying a
25-year-old former Russian beauty queen last November. Sultan Muhammad however,
reportedly divorced his wife recently.
as the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, or He Who Is Made Lord, Malaysia’s king plays a
largely ceremonial role, since administrative power is vested in the prime
minister and Parliament. The monarch is highly regarded as the guardian of
Islam and Malay tradition, particularly among the Malay Muslim majority. He is
also the nominal head of the government and armed forces.
(CNN)Ten soldiers have been killed in two separate incidents across Pakistan, a
military spokesperson said on Saturday.
the first incident, a military statement said the attackers were
"terrorists from across the Afghan border" who opened fire on a
border patrolling party in North Waziristan, a mountainous region located in
Pakistan's northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which is close to the
soldiers were killed in the first attack, according to the military statement.
second incident took place in the country's southwestern province of
Balochistan, where a military operation left four soldiers dead. That attack
was also attributed to "terrorists" by the military.
Pakistan (TTP) on Saturday claimed responsibility for an attack in South
Waziristan, in which they called Pakistani military "America's
slaves." However, the group did not claim an attack in North Waziristan,
where the military said it occurred.
on Twitter on Saturday, the Pakistan military's spokesman Maj. General Asif
Ghafoor expressed his condolences to the victims and their families, and said:
"We shall ensure defense & security of motherland at the cost of our
sweat & blood. These are dying efforts of frustrated inimical forces while
Pakistan moves from stability to enduring peace. It's time for the world to
facilitate regional peace."
deal in the works?
Prime Minister Imran Khan condemned the spate in violence, saluting the armed
forces and their efforts in keeping "the nation safe."
attacks come less than a week after US President Donald Trump welcomed Khan to
the White House for the first time.
meeting was held as US officials and Taliban leaders continue to hold multiple
rounds of talks in Qatar aimed at ending the nearly 18-year US war in
Afghanistan. The US has pressed Pakistan to use its leverage over the Taliban
to encourage the militant group to reach a peace deal with the US.
administration officials said on Monday that Trump would press the Pakistani
prime minister to crack down on militants in Pakistan and provide more support
for ongoing US-Taliban peace negotiations.
Trump said Pakistan had previously been "subversive" to US efforts to
combat the Taliban and other militants in Afghanistan, he suggested that any
discord was in the past and touted Pakistan's role in forging progress in the
US-Taliban talks in recent weeks.
argued that right now is "the closest we have been to a peace deal"
hope that in the coming days we will be able to urge the Taliban to speak with
the Afghan government," Khan said on Monday.
relations have been on a rocky footing for years over Pakistan's relationship
with the Taliban. They hit a low point last year when Trump suspended US
security assistance to Pakistan over what the US saw as Pakistan's failure to
clamp down on the Taliban and other militant groups operating out of Pakistan.
US is not at the moment planning to resume its security assistance to Pakistan
absent concrete efforts to crack down on the Taliban and Haqqani network, a
senior administration official said last week, though Trump said Monday the
security aid "can come back depending on what we work out."
will consider changing that suspension on certain items if Pakistan meets our
security concerns both in Afghanistan and with regard to some of the externally
focused groups," the official said on Friday. "As of now, there is no
the invitation for Khan to meet with Trump at the White House was intended to
show Pakistan that the "door is open to repairing relations and building
an enduring relationship," the official said.
A Pakistani military aircraft on a training flight crashed in a built-up area
in the city of Rawalpindi, killing all five crew members and 12 civilians, a
statement from the army's communications wing said on Tuesday.
12 civilians were injured in the crash which set off a fire in the city. Rescue
teams were at the scene and extinguished the fire, the statement said.
Pakistan's former president Asif Ali Zardari was not using an air conditioner
(AC) in prison, his son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said on Monday, days after Prime
Minister Imran Khan announced that A-class jail facilities for jailed
opposition leaders would be withdrawn. Zardari, the 63-year-old husband of the
country's first woman prime minister Benazir Bhutto, was arrested by the
National Accountability Bureau in a corruption case on July 1.
the Chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party, who along with sister Aseefa
attended the remand hearing of Zardari, told reporters that he found that his
father was not using the AC facility during his last visit to the prison.
I and Aseefa went to meet President Zardari in jail he himself had the AC shut.
When we asked him about this, he replied this was not something big for him. I
and Assefa are asking him to use this facility," Bilawal was quoted as
saying by the Geo TV.
said the former president was not using the AC facility after Prime Minister
Khan during his recent visit to the US announced that A-class jail facilities
for jailed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and Zardari would be withdrawn.
69, has been serving a seven-year prison term at the Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore
since December 24, 2018 when an accountability court convicted him in one of
the three corruption cases filed in the wake of the apex court's July 28, 2017
order in Panama Papers case.
PPP chief said his party had a legacy of battling dictatorship and this
"puppet" government was no contest for them.
will not compromise on democracy, 18th amendment, 1973 system and media
independence," said Bilawal.
the 11th President of Pakistan from 2008 to 2013, has denied any link with the
fake accounts. He has said the allegation was part of a vilification campaign
by the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party to malign opposition leaders.
- Pakistan Muslim League former president Mian Azhar said on Monday the
leadership of Pakistan Movement was honest and believed in merit.
who is also former governor of Punjab, said these leaders promoted high values
in politics and there was no charge of corruption against them. He said that no
prediction is possible about the future of politics in Pakistan.
was speaking at a seminar titled “Political History of Pakistan and Future
Prospects” at Aiwan-e-Quaid-e-Azam Forum at Aiwan-e-Quaid-e-Azam. He said the
leadership of Pakistan Movement, including the Quaid-e-Azam, Allama Iqbal,
Nawab Salim Ullah Khan, Liaquat Ali Khan, Sardar Abdul Rub Nishtar and others
were people of character and they led the Muslims of the subcontinent to create
Pakistan. He said that creation of Pakistan was a big blow to imperialism and
it led to success of freedom movements in many parts of the world.
to him, a country where politics becomes mature ground realities start matching
with books and statutes. Countries like Pakistan where politics is not mature
yet, he said, a big mismatch exists on this count. Therefore, a student of
politics would have to keep in mind the ground realities while analysing
politics in Pakistan, he said.
said that Punjabi politics took over West Pakistan after the partition. It was
under control of landlords, followed by the industrialists. He said that 72
years of history of politics suggest that one needs resources to attain success
in Pakistan. “Our politics is a combination of non-party elections, degradation
of assemblies to the level of local bodies, Changa Manga politics, forward
blocs, sale and purchase of members of parliament, absence of democracy in
political parties and hero worship.
people, including five crew members and 12 civilians, lost their lives after a
Pakistan Army aviation aircraft on a routine training flight crashed near Mora
to an Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) press release issued on Tuesday,
12 others were injured in the incident.
crew members martyred in the incident, including two pilots, were: Lt Col Saqib
(pilot), Lt Col Waseem (pilot), Naib Subedar Afzal, Havaldar Ibne Ameen and
ISPR said that rescue teams of the Pakistan Army and Rescue 1122 had reached
the site of the incident and a fire had been extinguished. All injured were
shifted from the Holy Family Hospital (HFH) to the Combined Military Hospital,
officials cordoned off the crash site. A cleanup operation at the site of the
incident has started in order to clear rubble.
men and women who lost their relatives in the crash were seen wailing and
crying as rescuers put charred bodies of the victims into ambulances.
resident of the area told AFP that the crash happened around 2am.
woke to the sound of a huge explosion. I stepped out of my house and saw huge
flames and we rushed to the site," said Mohammad Sadiq.
were screaming. We tried to help them but the flames were too high and the fire
too intense, so we could not do anything. The dead includes seven members of
one family and most of them were burned to death."
resident Ghulam Khan said he heard the plane as it buzzed over his house,
adding the aircraft appeared to be on fire before it crashed.
sound was so scary," he added.
Minister Imran expressed grief over the loss of precious lives in the incident.
According to Radio Pakistan, the premier expressed commiserations with the
families of the victims and prayed for the recovery of the injured.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Monday stressed the need for national
unity to enable the government to achieve its goal of creating enduring peace
in the region.
the National Assembly on the security situation of the country, Qureshi said
that while there are 100 political differences between individuals and parties,
what binds them together is the country’s sovereignty, borders and ideology.
briefing in this regard was sought by Leader of the Opposition in the National
Assembly Shehbaz Sharif.
to the country’s united stance against Indian aggression in February this year,
he said such unity is the need of the hour. “The world expects Pakistan to
reaffirm that we are one nation with one objective and we desire peace and
stability because our own peace and stability is linked to Afghanistan’s peace
and stability,” he said.
the opposition’s suggestion of bringing this issue up for debate, he said that
he had called a session of the foreign affairs committee of the House so that
he can take the committee in confidence regarding Prime Minister Imran Khan’s
recent visit to the US.
about Pakistan’s foreign policy in the past, he said that in 2017, the US had
pinned all its failures in Afghanistan on Pakistan and had suspended security
and economic assistance to the country. However, a gradual change of thought
has enabled Pakistan, US and allies to reach consensus on the fact that only a
political solution can ensure Afghan peace, he added.
the state of Pakistan’s current foreign relations with those during the
previous government, he said the administration of US President Donald Trump
had in 2017 announced the South Asia strategy through which the onus of all
hardships faced by Washington in Afghanistan was put on Pakistan. Security and
economic assistance and even training programmes for Pakistan were suspended by
the US and there was a bipartisan agreement in the US Congress against
Pakistan, he said.
there has been a “gradual change of thought” during the PTI government’s 11
months in power, with the US and its allies reaching a “convergence” with Prime
Minister Imran that there is no military solution to the Afghan conflict,
lauded the parliament for having devised the National Action Plan and voting to
amalgamate the former Federally Administered Tribal Areas with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Pakistan also invested heavily in border fencing as part of its efforts to
secure regional peace, he observed.
minister regretted that “elements are still present in Afghanistan who come
into Pakistan to carry out attacks, and they have their own agenda”.
was also discussed in the US […] there are spoilers, there will always be
spoilers,” he said, adding that Pakistan wanted reconciliation in Afghanistan
to reach its logical conclusion.
said Prime Minister Imran had convinced Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and the
Trump administration that if Pakistan was engaging the Afghan Taliban, it was
an effort to take the peace process forward.
Ghani, Pakistan had also invited representatives of all political parties and
ethnic groups of the Afghan leadership, ending the impression that Pakistan
“prefers a specific section [in Afghanistan]” and refuting the concept of
Islamabad seeking “strategic depth” in its western neighbour, the minister
termed as “positive” the statement by the Afghan Taliban that they would visit
Pakistan if formally invited by the government.
was an acknowledgement of Pakistan’s efforts that its leadership was invited to
visit the US after five years, Qureshi said.
that invitation, the prime minister presented Pakistan’s point of view and
stance in the US,” he said, adding that the government has attained “immense
success” in turning an unfavourable atmosphere in the Pakistan-US relationship
to a favourable one.
LAMENTS ‘ILL-TREATMENT’ OF SANAULLAH:
the House, Leader of the Opposition Shehbaz Sharif lashed out at the government
for ‘ill-treatment’ of MNA Rana Sanaullah.
said that the former Punjab law minister is being kept in solitary confinement
without access to a bed and chair in his cell. “He is a member of the House and
has served as Punjab’s law minister for 10 year. Does he not have the right to
have a proper bed in his cell?” he remarked, adding that even convicted persons
are not treated in this way.
Sana’s wife, daughter and son-in-law are the only people allowed to meet him. I
wanted to meet him in jail but my request was denied and when I tried to meet
him in court, the government made that hard as well,” he added.
highlighted that many lawmakers were absent from the NA session due to the
non-issuance of their production orders. “All members of the House should be
present so that they can positively contribute to the workings of the
parliament,” he said.
said that he had been asked by former premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, who had
earlier been arrested in LNG case, to not ask the NA speaker for the issuance
of his production orders. He further said that invisible forces had been
working day and night to destabilise the country.
also condemned the arrest of Irfan Siddiqui, a former aide to Nawaz Sharif,
questioning why he was taken into custody before being released on bail.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr
Firdous Ashiq Awan has suggested that Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief
Maulana Fazlur Rehman should “refrain himself from a suicide bombing on
democracy and instead turn to his private chambers”.
a speech on Sunday, Fazl gave an ultimatum to the federal government to step
down by August otherwise his party and allies would march towards Islamabad in
to Fazl’s remarks, Firdous asked the JUI-F chief to not take revenge for his
defeat in the 2018 elections and political deprivation from the democratic
system. She said it was for the first time since 1988 that Fazl was not present
in the Lower House.
an earlier statement, Firdous said that PM Imran has summoned a report
pertaining to arrest of incarcerated Nawaz Sharif’s close aide and former
advisor Irfan Siddiqui.
affirmed that whoever found guilty of violating the laws will have to suffer
the consequences. She further alleged PML-N of making a mountain out of a
molehill on the issue only to obtain “political oxygen”.
Police seeks details of mosques in Srinagar, calls it ‘routine exercise’
Jammu and Kashmir Police ordered its five superintendents of police in Srinagar
to immediately submit details of mosques falling in their respective areas. The
police officials added it was a “routine exercise”. The letter has been sent to
all the SPs of Srinagar.
provide details of mosques and their management falling within your respective
jurisdictions as per enclosed proforma immediately for onward submission to
higher authorities,” reads the order issued by Senior Superintendent of Police
(SSP), Srinagar, Haseeb Mughal.
is an exercise only to update the basic beat book of the police stations. This
exercise is done periodically,” the SSP told The Indian Express. He, however,
maintained that the “timing of the letter is wrong”.
letter comes a day after another letter, purportedly issued by the office of
the Senior Divisional Security Commissioner, Railway Protection Force (RPF),
Srinagar, asked its employees to stock ration and drinking water, not to keep
their families in Kashmir, and to restrict leave due to the “emergency
Ministry of Railways, however, immediately “revoked” the letter on Sunday and
stated the officer “was not authorised to issue such a letter and did not have
the approval of the competent authority to do so either”.
HC dismisses plea seeking regulation on madrasa education
Delhi [India]: The Delhi High Court on Monday dismissed a petition seeking a
direction to Centre and various states for regulation of education imparted to
students in Madrasas, Maktabahs, and Gurukuls based in India.
division bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice C Harishankar were hearing
a plea filed by Sunil Saraogi through his counsel Vidhan Vyas.
the petition, Saraogi submitted that the syllabus of Madrasas, which is of the
18th century, has severely impacted the job prospects of the students.
Madarsas, and Gurukuls are acting as a primary source of education to more than
15 lakh young individuals in the country,” the petition stated.
Teenager Set On Fire In India ‘After Refusing To Chant Hindu Slogan’
Muslim teenager has claimed he was set on fire by a gang after he refused to
chant a Hindu slogan in the Chandauli district of Uttar Pradesh, India.
15-year-old boy said he was kidnapped by four men who poured kerosene on him and
set him alight after telling him to chant “Jai Shri Ram”, Outlook India
Indian magazine said the boy was left in a critical condition with 60 per cent
burns over his body.
police in Chandauli have claimed the boy set himself on fire and gave
contradictory statements, India Today reports.
admitted in a hospital with 45 per cent burns,” Chandauli superintendent of
police Kumar Singh told the ANI news agency. ”He had given different statements
to different people, so it seemed suspicious.”
Singh added: “It seemed he had been tutored. Police monitored CCTV footage of
places he had mentioned and found that he had not been at any of those places.”
also claimed witnesses saw the boy set himself on fire.
people have been attacked in India after being forced to say “Jai Shri Ram”,
which roughly translates to “Hail Lord Ram”, a Hindu god.
June, a Muslim man died after being beaten by a crowd who forced him to perform
recent US government report found mob attacks against Muslims in India had
occurred throughout 2018.
report said: “There were reports of religiously motivated killings, assaults,
riots, discrimination, vandalism and actions restricting the right of
individuals to practice their religious beliefs.”
India-United States (US) relations were thrown off course last week when
President Donald Trump offered to mediate between New Delhi and Islamabad on
Kashmir. Much to the bewilderment of Indian officials and South Asia watchers
in Washington, the president said, at a joint White House press conference with
the visiting Pakistan Prime Minister, Imran Khan, that Prime Minister Narendra
Modi had also requested him to be a mediator.
Delhi immediately refuted Trump’s claim. While the president’s statement can be
explained away as another instance of “Trump being Trump,” unfortunately, it
has negated all the good vibes of the past month. The two sides had made
considerable progress in addressing contentious issues in two bilateral events
held in the last week of June.
2.0 started with both the countries sparring on the trade issue. This caused
growing unease in both the capitals about a potential trade war that would, in
all likelihood, derail the ties for the remaining 18 months of President Trump’s
tenure, if not longer.
unlike the US-China trade war, and the US-Mexico disputes, these trade
differences were not at the centre of India-US relations. With Washington
deciding to end Indian participation in a preferential trade programme, and the
India responding to it by increasing tariffs on the US exports, there was a
real danger that the trade issue will overwhelm all other concerns.
was in this backdrop that the two key bilateral events took place. Clearly, the
most important purpose of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s two-day India trip —
the first high-profile US visit during Modi’s second term — was to address the
trade differences. By all accounts, he accomplished his mission.
friends are bound to have disagreements,” Pompeo told the press after his
meetings with Modi and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. “The United States has been
clear, we seek greater market access and the removal of trade barriers in our
economic relationship.” Jaishankar offered a similar assessment. “It is natural
when you have trade, there will be issues and I think the real test of our
intentions is our ability to address them effectively. We are committed to
making it easier to do business, to provide a level-playing field and to grow
with the world economy.”
goal of Pompeo’s visit was to set the tone for a Modi-Trump meeting on the
sidelines of the G-20 Summit in Osaka. By defusing the tension, Pompeo and
Jaishankar ensured a smooth summit between the two leaders; The Osaka meeting,
a few days later, lasted for more than 45 minutes. (According to Trump, it was
in Osaka that Modi had asked him to be a mediator on the Kashmir issue.)
two leaders vowed to tackle their differences on various issues -- it included
major irritants for the US such as India’s decision to purchase S-400 Triumph
missile from Russia; its continued dependence on oil from Iran, a country that
the US has declared a global pariah; and its purchase of telecom equipment from
relations between the two countries had been plateauing for months -- with
Trump being preoccupied with domestic and international battles, and Modi busy
with general elections. This face-to-face talk between the two leaders gave an
impetus to the talks around bilateral agreements. Though the summit did not
solve the major differences, it agreed upon a framework for addressing them.
remains to be seen, however, to what extent the two sides will be flexible
during their discussions and negotiations -- especially the United States,
given that being tough, or appearing to be tough, on trade is Trump’s signature
style. During its first 30 months, the Trump administration has not been keen
on conceding ground on trade disputes with any of allies, and it is unlikely to
is also not clear how Trump’s latest diplomatic “gaffe” will affect the talks.
This was not the first time the president poured cold water on bilateral
relations. In the past, he has tweeted criticising India and even mimicked
Modi’s English accent on a couple of occasions.
one hopes that both sides will look past the president’s unfortunate statement,
and reach a compromise that will make the possible, probable, and the probable,
the 121 militants killed in Jammu and Kashmir by security forces in the first
half of 2019, only 21 were from Pakistan, which means that 82% of the militants
killed in the state were locals. Most of these encounters took place in south
Kashmir, with 36 militants being killed in Pulwama, 34 in Shopian and 16 in
of locals into militancy did not witness a decline in 2019, as 76 locals picked
up guns in the first half of the year, with 39 of them joining Hizbul
Mujahideen and 21 Jaish-e-Mohammad. The majority of those who joined militancy
were from south Kashmir districts: 20 young men from Pulwama, 15 from Shopian,
and 13 each from Anantnag and Kulgam joined militancy between January and June
details about the state of militancy in Jammu and Kashmir are part of a
government document which shows that militancy continues to be on the rise in
the districts of south Kashmir and is now dominated by locals who are picking
up guns. As reported by The Indian Express earlier, there have been no reports
of cross-border action or infiltration across the Line of Control (LoC) this
summer, with a majority of ceasefire violations from small arms firing, and
limited to south of Pir Panjal ranges.
the 100 incidents initiated by militants in the first half of the year, 32 of
them were in Pulwama, 23 in Shopian, 15 in Anantnag and 10 in Srinagar
districts. A majority of these incidents are of militants firing on security
forces, but also include grenade attacks, detonation of improvised explosive
devices (IED), throwing of petrol bombs, weapon snatching and abductions.
there have been 228 recorded incidents of stone-pelting, 346 incidents of
civilian protests and 10 bandh calls given in the first six months of 2019
which saw the conduct of Lok Sabha elections in multiple phases for security
reasons. It was in the month of May that agitations had shot up with 101
incidents of stone-pelting and 114 incidents of civilian protests being
recorded by the authorities.
revolutionaries in Syria say they will defy Home Office's new terrorism laws
group of self-styled British revolutionaries who travelled to Syria to help
build a democratic society in the Kurdish north say they will defy new
Government legislation which would see them prosecuted on terrorism charges.
Home Office revealed in May that it planned to designate northern Syria a
“no-go area” and that British citizens would have 28 days to leave or face a
10-year prison sentence if they attempt to return to the UK.
said the law was aimed at tackling terrorism, but the volunteers accuse the
Government of failing to distinguish between Britons in the jihadist enclave of
Idlib, in Syria’s northwest, and those working in the northeast alongside
Kurdish groups that helped defeat Islamic State (Isil).
law would mean just travelling to or remaining in the northeast would be
considered a terrorist act, despite the UK partnering with the Kurds in the
coalition against the jihadist group.
of Britons have been drawn to the autonomous region, known as Rojava: some to
fight with the People’s Protection Units (YPG and YPJ) against Isil, while
others were attracted by their Marxist-inspired democratic, feminist,
volunteers have drawn comparisons to the International Brigades, the foreign
fighters who travelled to Spain to battle Franco’s fascists in the 1930s and
were made famous by author George Orwell.
than 10 Britons are currently undertaking voluntary work on ecological and
community projects as well as medical and media outreach.
Telegraph last month spoke to three of them in the town of Derik on the border
with Iraq, where they said they should not be criminalised simply for
travelling to a warzone.
the one hand, (the Home Office) talks about the UK's need for international
co-operation with the Kurds in fighting terrorism. And on the other, it is
punishing those of us who come here to do just that,” said Matt Broomfield, 25,
from Shropshire, who left the UK more than a year ago after working in media.
Broomfield has supported local media projects to help get news from the region
out to an international audience, as well as writing articles for the British
a ham-fisted attempt to prosecute jihadists under a catch-all law after
previous laws proved inadequate,” said Mr Broomfield, referring to the fact
that only one in 10 returning Isil fighters have been prosecuted upon return to
legislation was announced by new Home Secretary Priti Patel’s predecessor Sajid
Javid, but, the Telegraph understands, she will support it.
is not clear when the 28-day grace period will begin, but it will mark the
first use of new powers given to the home secretary in the Counter-Terrorism
and Border Security Act, which became law in February.
won't be leaving, regardless of the Government’s draconian actions, as I
consider their threats toward those in northeast Syria illegitimate and worthy
of resistance,” Mr Broomfield told the Telegraph.
of course we're very worried - less for ourselves than for what this means for
northeast Syria's status in the future and the future of international
solidarity with Rojava.”
Kurds have forged something of a proto-state under the cover of the Syrian
civil war, inspired by the revolutionary socialism of Abdullah Ocalan, a
Kurdish leader jailed in Turkey whose group is branded a terrorist organisation
by the US.
their experiment in self-rule has faced threats from Turkey to the north and
Syrian government forces to the west and south, as well as a more immediate
threat from Isil sleeper cells hiding among them.
have accused the volunteers of adventurism and naivety, accusations those here
not just here trying to get arrested, I want to be part of important
revolutionary change,” said Theo Stevens, 29, who has been volunteering at the
Internationalist Commune of Rojava, a civil society organisation, since
arriving in the country five months ago. “Isil may have been defeated
territorially, but there’s a lot more work that needs doing than fighting.
I heard about the new law I thought about it for 30 seconds before deciding I
couldn’t just abandon all we’ve done here,” Miss Stevens, who had been involved
in Bristol’s anarchist and Leftist movements before moving to Syria, said,
using a pseudonym.
said her family has a history of participating in revolutionary struggles. Her
great-uncle fought in the Spanish Civil War and went on to write the well-known
memoir, A Shallow Grave.
mum isn’t too worried about the new law, she trusts my decision. She met others
in the community at Anna’s memorial and got to see how strong it is,” she adds,
referring to Anna Campbell, from East Sussex, who was killed during the Kurds’
battle against the Turkish army and Turkey-backed rebel forces in the northern
Syrian city of Afrin last year.
had been a friend of Miss Stevens’ back home, who had encouraged her to come to
Rojava before she died.
Britons died fighting in Syria alongside the Kurdish YPG, including Anna, and
Jac Holmes from Dorset, who stepped on a mine the day after helping liberate
Isil’s “capital” Raqqa.
volunteer said she thought the Home Office’s decision would discourage other
Britons from joining them, which she said was a “shame”.
Broomfield said the volunteers were planning to raise their concerns in
Parliament via an Early Day Motion. However, he said he was also prepared to
fight his case in court should the Government decide to prosecute him.
Britons who joined the Kurds went to fight Isil under the RAF in a coalition of
which the UK was a part,” Labour MP Lloyd Russell Moyle, who visited Rojava
last year, told the Telegraph. “Those still with the Kurds are participating in
pluralistic, democratic and feminist social revolution in the heart of a region
gripped by authoritarianism and sectarianism.
is a lazy law that will cause more harm than good. Locking up returning NGO
workers and volunteers is absurd, antithetical to our values and a blow to
development in the Middle East.”
since the attack on his car last year, Ferat Kocak has been noting down vehicle
number plates he sees on the streets. He has frequently moved house and sleeps
badly. “I wake at the slightest sound,” he said. “The fear is ever present.”
Kocak, an official of the leftwing German party Die Linke, said his life
changed one night in February 2018 when unknown assailants set fire to his car.
The flames spread to the house where he and his parents were sleeping. If he
had not woken up in time, he said, his family could have been killed.
men from the hard-right scene in Berlin’s working-class district of Neukölln
were detained over the attack but released due to lack of evidence.
June, Germans were shocked by the killing of Walter Lübcke, a local official in
the central region of Hesse and the first German politician in the country’s
postwar history to be assassinated by a rightwing extremist.
attacks are rare. But they are the product of a changing political culture that
has become increasingly brutish in recent years. The appearance of a wooden
gallows marked “reserved for Angela ‘Mummy’ Merkel”, the German chancellor, at
a far-right demonstration in Dresden four years ago, drew widespread condemnation
at the time. But since then, such menacing displays of hostility towards
mainstream politicians have become routine.
were once renowned for sober debate. But the influx of nearly 1m migrants in
2015 and the rise of the nationalist Alternative for Germany (AfD) has led to
increased polarisation and a shriller, more aggressive tone that has alarmed
the political establishment.
Frank-Walter Steinmeier recently bemoaned the “provocation, noise and daily
outrage” in social media and said Germans needed to “relearn how to argue
without foaming at the mouth”.
authorities’ concern is that verbal attacks have sometimes tipped into
something worse. There were 2,098 acts of violence by extremists on the right
and left in 2018, compared with 1,678 in 2012 — an increase of 25 per cent.
AfD itself is not immune. “Who has had to endure the most attacks?” asked
Andreas Kalbitz, the party’s head in the east German state of Brandenburg.
“It’s the offices of AfD politicians that are routinely destroyed.”
Pazderski, the AfD’s leader in Berlin, has had his car smashed and his house
and windows pelted with paint. The AfD official Uwe Jung broke his cheekbone in
an attack in 2016. Frank Magnitz of the party’s Bremen branch was hospitalised
with concussion in January after being jumped by unknown assailants.
Pazderski has blamed what he calls “the lack of linguistic inhibitions” in
modern German politics. “There are no boundaries any more, either on the left
or the right,” he said.
servants and other officials have been targeted. “You’re seeing a real increase
in verbal and physical violence against public officials, mayors, even
administrative staff,” said Andreas Hollstein, mayor of the west German town of
experienced the brutality first-hand in 2017, when he was stabbed in the neck
by a man who opposed his liberal approach to refugees. Then in late May, he
said, an anonymous caller told him that “there would be another attack on me
very soon, and this one would be more successful than the first”.
recent survey found 2 per cent of the 11,000 mayors in Germany had been
physically assaulted in the past four years, while more than a quarter of local
councillors said they had suffered personal abuse over the government’s refugee
city of Berlin is a particular hotspot for violence. According to Mobile
Counselling against Rightwing Extremism (MBR), a non-governmental organisation,
there have been 55 politically motivated attacks in the city in the past three
years, mostly against leftwing politicians or pro-refugee activists. That is up
from 50 such incidents between 2009 and 2015.
authorities’ failure to solve Mr Kocak’s case and similar incidents seems to
have emboldened rightwingers, said Bianca Klose, head of MBR: “Now it’s not
just arson attacks, it’s death threats too — a massive campaign of
authorities deny they are not taking rightwing attacks seriously enough.
“Incidents of arson are very hard to solve because the culprits often leave no
trace,” said a person familiar with the investigation into the attack on Mr
he confirmed that searches at the homes of the two original suspects, one of
whom had connections to the neo-Nazi scene, had unearthed a “hit list” of 26
politicians and police officers, with their private addresses.
interior ministry flagged up the issue of such lists last week, saying dozens
had appeared containing data on “tens of thousands of people” — ranging from
journalists, public officials and activists to private individuals active in
the fight against rightwing extremism. The aim of the lists, said Horst
Seehofer, interior minister, was to “sow insecurity and fear”.
Kalbitz said the phenomenon of rightwing violence had been exaggerated. “[It]
is instrumentalised by the left,” he said. “It’s by no means as widespread as
the media is trying to make out.”
the authorities say there are now 12,700 rightwing extremists in Germany who
are prepared to use violence, up from 9,500 in 2010. The potential for
bloodshed was underscored last week in the central German town of Wächtersbach,
where an Eritrean man was wounded after he was shot by a suspected rightwing
nationalist. Also last week, unknown assailants detonated explosives outside
the house of a local councillor from Die Linke in the eastern town of Zittau.
King Mohammed VI has marked 20 years on the throne by pardoning thousands of
prisoners, including some from the “Hirak” protest movement that rocked the
country in 2016.
the eve of the royal anniversary on Tuesday, an official statement announced
4,764 people were to be pardoned including some detained during the months of
protests in the long-marginalized northern Rif region.
further details were given.
al-Hirak al-Shaabi, or “Popular Movement”, was sparked by the death of a
fisherman but soon spiralled into demands for more development and action
against corruption and unemployment.
than 400 protesters are thought to have been arrested and tried in connection
with the demonstrations, but no official figures are available. Around 250 of
them have previously been pardoned.
Monday night the king also pledged a government reshuffle and an injection of
“new blood” into political and administrative positions to help tackle
a speech at his palace in the northern city of Tetouan, the 55-year-old monarch,
who succeeded his father Hassan II in 1999, welcomed progress in infrastructure
and freedoms in the country but said the efforts had not had “sufficient
new constitution passed by a July 2011 referendum strengthened the powers of
the prime minister and parliament.
the king retains overall authority as head of state, chief of the military and
the country’s top Islamic authority as well as tight control over key sectors
of the economy.
king on Monday announced the launch later this year of a committee charged with
elaborating a new development model to tackle social inequalities, while also
urging a government reshuffle.
committee will serve as an advisory body to make suggestions to improve reforms
in fields such as education, health, agriculture, investment and taxation, said
the monarch in a speech marking twenty years of his rule.
55-year-old king enumerated some key achievements of his rule, with emphasis on
infrastructure developments such as highways, high-speed railway, ports,
renewable energy and urban development.
undermines this positive result is that the effects of the progress and the
achievements made has not, unfortunately, been felt by all segments of the
Moroccan society”, he said.
emphasis was also laid on the need to open up the economy to foreign investors
and revamp the public sector. Such projects and reforms require new leaders in
decision-making positions, he said.
ask the head of government to submit to me, after the summer break, proposals
to fill executive posts in the government and the civil service with high-level
national elites chosen on merit and competence”, he said.
king also reiterated his “policy of the outstretched hand toward Algeria”,
invoking the “brotherhood” and “joy” expressed in Morocco after the Algerian
team won the African Cup of Nations.
borders have been closed between the two North African neighbors since 1994.
The two countries are at loggerheads over a set of issues including the Western
Sahara, a disputed territory considered by Morocco as an integral part of its
sovereign lands, but also claimed by the Algerian-backed Polisario Front.’
Morocco has largely been insulated from the turmoil that hit North Africa and
the Middle East since the Arab Spring uprisings of 2011 although it regularly
sees protests over economic and social problems.
SEOUL: Britain on Monday rejected an Iranian offer to swap seized tankers, and
told Iran to obey international law.
tough line under new Prime Minister Boris Johnson suggests London may be
deserting the European consensus on placating Tehran and backing the US policy
of “maximum pressure” on the regime.
the Iranians want to come out of the dark and be accepted as a responsible
member of the international community they need to adhere to the rules-based
system,” Britain’s new Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said. “You cannot go
about unlawfully detaining foreign vessels.”
Guards boarded a British tanker in the Strait of Hormuz this month and forced
it to divert to an Iranian port, in retaliation for Britain’s seizure in the
Mediterranean of an Iranian tanker carrying oil to Syria in breach of EU
President Hassan Rouhani has suggested the vessels could be exchanged, but Raab
ruled it out.
is not about some kind of barter,” he said. “This is about international law …
being upheld, and that is what we will insist on.”
also rowed back on his predecessor’s proposal for a purely European-led naval
force to combat Iranian piracy.
initiative would require US support to be “viable and effective,” he said.
South Korea is to send its elite Cheonghae anti-piracy unit to the Gulf to
protect ships from Iranian attacks. The 300-strong unit operates from a
4,500-ton KDX-II destroyer equipped with a Lynx anti-submarine helicopter. Most
recently it has been on duty off Somalia.
the importance of the alliance with the US, it’s imperative for us to take a
role,” a senior officer told Arab News.
a sign of further pressure on Tehran, the regime asked China on Monday to buy
more of its oil.
Greek prime minister said Monday that he seeks a "brave restart" of
bilateral relations with Turkey.
goal is to find ways for a brave restart in Greek-Turkish relations,"
Kyriakos Mitsotakis told reporters during his visit to Greek Cypriot
administration, according to Greek media.
Mitsotakis said moves toward this goal have to be made step by step and there
is need for time and building of trust, newspaper To Vima reported.
Berlin-based ESOHR issued a statement on Sunday, lauding the report issued by
Agnes Callamard, the United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial,
summary or arbitrary killings, who investigated the case of the assassination
of Jamal Khashoggi by the government of Saudi Arabia.
June 19, the UN issued a report where it said that Saudi journalist Jamal
Khashoggi was the victim of a premeditated extrajudicial execution, for which
the State of Saudi Arabia is responsible, according to a report published today
by the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary killings.
her 101-page report, she stressed that there is “sufficient credible evidence”
indicating that the Saudi crown prince bears responsibility for the murder, and
that he should be investigated for the murder. Recently, she criticized the
United States for inaction over Khashoggi's case.
ESOHR echoed the report’s finding that Khashoggi was executed in an
extrajudicially, and called for a fair prosecution of the perpetrators even if
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MbS) is one of them.
Saudi government targeted Agnes Callamard instead of being responsive to the UN
report, and claimed that he had breached his remit and applied an
unprofessional methodology,” the statement read.
Callamard was expecting such a reaction, her report is based on material
documents and drafted according to professional principles of the UN,” it
on condition of anonymity, at least four Saudis and an Arab dissident in the US
told the Middle East Eye (MEE) news portal on July 12 that they had received
visits by FBI agents following the killing of Khashogg by a Saudi hit inside
the kingdom’s consulate in Turkey's Istanbul in October 2018.
of them said the agents had tried to calm them and called first and then
meeting in a public location near their home.
(FBI agents) were like, ‘Yep, we are worried about your safety. Your name has
been flagged here in certain circles and in Europe’,” stated the Arab activist,
who had been working with Khashoggi.
added that the agents had told him that they were sorry about the murder of
Khashoggi and that they were “doing everything we can to get to the bottom of
of the Saudi dissidents, who met with the FBI agents in early November, noted,
“I told them that I’m kind of afraid to deal with you guys because the current
government has worked closely with [Crown Prince] Mohammad bin Salman and the
said, ‘Don’t worry. We are here to protect people from everywhere. It doesn’t
matter who is in the White House',” he stressed.
dissident also noted he had grown wary when the agents suggested that he could
help the FBI in return, if he chose to do so, for assistance with his asylum
Arab dissident stated that he had been asked if agents could visit him again
and replied, “'If it’s just for a chat or something, I’m not available'. I
didn’t want to have a regular thing with him”.
an FBI spokesperson claimed in an email sent to the MEE that the agency
“regularly interacts with members of the communities we serve to build mutual
trust around protecting the American public”.
in May, the Time reported that the CIA and foreign security services had sent
warnings to at least 3 Khashoggi associates in Norway, Canada and the US that
their continuation of pro-democracy work has made them targets of potential
retaliation from Saudi Arabia.
human rights activist Iyad el-Baghdadi, who lives in political asylum in Oslo,
was one of those who had been approached by the CIA.
told the MEE that the US intelligence agencies’ attempts to stop potential
Saudi activity show their level of concern.
know that MBS is deeply problematic and a terrible ally, an ally who threatened
people on your own territory for God's sakes. What kind of ally does this?” he
said, referring to MbS.
the end, what does it say that they are unable to convince the guy in the White
House that this is a problem? It tells us that US intelligence agencies
completely know that this guy is trouble and that the only reason he can continue
to do this is [Trump's son-in-law and law and senior adviser] Jared Kushner and
Donald Trump,” he added.
Isis plotting a comeback, Iraq’s famed ‘Golden Division’ prepares for the long
the summer of 2014, Iraq was staring into the abyss. Isis controlled a third of
the country and the army had collapsed. There was only one fighting force
capable of leading the fightback.
elite Counter Terror Service (CTS), known as the Golden Division, spearheaded
an offensive to recapture villages, towns and cities until it finally took
control of the last Isis stronghold of Mosul.
victory came at a terrible cost. By doing the job of regular infantry, instead
of the specialised raids they were trained for, the division lost around half
of its fighters due to injury or death during the battle for Mosul.
the caliphate may have been defeated, but Isis is already rebuilding. So too is
the Golden Division, and its efforts over the next few years will be crucial in
determining whether Isis can rise again to threaten the world.
person in charge of making sure that doesn’t happen is a man named General
Talib Shaghati al-Kinani, the commander of the Golden Division. A veteran of
the Iran-Iraq War and the Gulf War, the general became a well-known face during
the campaign against Isis as he regularly appeared on television to give
updates on the battle.
are perhaps few institutions that can claim to have had a bigger role in the
terror group’s demise, and in preventing its comeback. Speaking to The
Independent at the division’s headquarters in Baghdad’s Green Zone, General
Kinani says the decision to send his 10,000-strong force to fight Isis was the
are not a traditional enemy. The police and army were not trained to deal with
them. The CTS is specialised in fighting terror,” he says.
security services needed more morale, especially after the fall of Mosul. I had
these well-trained fighters under my command. I had a responsibility,” he says.
Golden Division won a string of quick victories as it pushed outwards from
Baghdad, backed by the US-led international coalition with advisers on the
ground and jets in the sky. They fought Isis in the urban battlegrounds of
Tikrit, Ramadi, Fallujah – all the way to Mosul. They were bolstered by the
newly formed Popular Mobilisation Forces, an umbrella group of mostly Shia
militias with some 60,000 fighters.
more battles the CTS won, the more popular they became. It was a dramatic
turnaround for an organisation that had once been known as the “Dirty
CTS was set up by the US military shortly after the invasion of Iraq. Its
soldiers were picked from the best the other security services had to offer,
and underwent an intensive selection process overseen by Green Beret special
forces. From the outset, they were tasked with carrying out specialised
anti-terror raids intelligence operations – which they did effectively.
by the time the US began withdrawing its forces from Iraq in 2007, things began
to fall apart. The CTS became associated with the same corruption and
mismanagement as the rest of the security services.
deeply sectarian Shia prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki – to whom much of the
blame for the rise of Isis is attributed – was accused of using the CTS to go
after his political opponents.
in 2009, the CTS was seen as Maliki’s praetorian guard, kind of a presidential
hit squad,” says David Witty, a retired US army special forces colonel and
former adviser to the CTS.
was some targeting of political opponents,” he adds. “That was even when the
American advisers were there. In their mindset, if they got an order from the
prime minister, they had to do it.”
according to Witty, who was an adviser to General Kinani during two postings to
Iraq, that changed when Isis arrived.
became as popular as the Nasa astronauts in the 60s,” he says.
CTS came to be seen as one of the only non-sectarian institutions in Iraq, with
Sunni, Shia and Kurdish fighters and commanders within its ranks. In a country
that had been torn apart by sectarianism, it was a breath of fresh air to many
tales of bravery from the battlefield were commonplace. General Kinani recalls
one particular mission undertaken by a Golden Division soldier whose family had
been murdered by Isis.
lost everyone,” he says. “So he decided to infiltrate Isis. He grew a beard and
dressed like them. After staying with them for a week he blew up the whole
place. The heroes of the Golden Division did many things.”
battles soon began to take their toll, however. The Golden Division was engaged
in tough street-to-street fighting to recapture the city of Mosul, and suffered
almost ran out of officers,” says Witty. “They were the strikeforce, leading
all the operations. We never envisioned the CTS would be used like that. It
would be like sending the SAS to clear a city. That’s what an army was for.”
CTS has remained tightlipped about the losses it suffered, but a US Department
of Defence budget document estimated that 40 per cent of its soldiers were
killed or injured. Some analysts say the number could be as high as 60 per
the two years since Mosul was recaptured by his forces, General Kinani says the
Golden Division has now recouped the numbers it lost and is back to the same
strength it was in 2014.
one point we requested another 1,000 recruits, but 312,000 applied. This is
because they love the CTS and they know it is the force that beat Isis,” he
US military feels the same way. Seeing it as a key weapon in the fight against
Isis, Washington reportedly wants to double the size of the Golden Division to
20,000 troops. But the mission is changing, or rather, the Golden Division is
going back to its roots.
its defeat in the cities, Isis now exists in small pockets in the desert, near
Mosul and in the mountains,” says General Kinani. “We are getting intelligence
all the time about these cells and we are working to eliminate them. We are
going back to combating terrorism.”
is the kind of fighting that the CTS was built for, according to Michael
Knights, an expert on Iraq and senior fellow at the Washington Institute.
are the primary counterterrorism raiding force, riding on US and sometimes
Iraqi helicopters to assault Isis leadership targets in remote areas, often
late at night. No other force is routinely performing that mission,” he says.
military ‘clearance operations’ are easy for insurgents to detect and avoid,
while [CTS] are launching surprise intelligence raids.”
CTS is today playing a supporting role in a major operation across Iraq aimed
at hunting down Isis sleeper cells. It comes amid reports that hundreds of Isis
fighters are crossing back into Iraq from Syria in order to join militant cells
in Anbar province.
Mosul was recaptured in 2017, and later when the last piece of the caliphate
fell in the eastern Syrian city of Baghouz earlier this year, few military
planners were under any illusions that Isis had been eliminated.
had in fact been preparing for the loss of its territorial caliphate for some
time. Its fighters slipped through the lines in several key battles to regroup
in remote areas of the Iraqi desert, from where it has begun to relaunch an
as it did in the prelude to its meteoric rise in 2014, the group has been
carrying out targeted assassinations of local political, tribal, and security
leaders – and indeed anyone who it deems to be cooperating with the Iraqi
to a report on Isis capabilities published by the Institute for the Study of
War in June, the group carried out at least 148 assassinations in Diyala,
Anbar, Salah ad-Din and Baghdad in the first 10 months of 2018.
report’s authors note that Isis “is stronger today than its predecessor Al
Qaeda in Iraq was in 2011, when the US withdrew from Iraq”, and that its next
breakout “could be even more devastating than its 2014 campaign”.
likely has the capability to seize another major urban centre in Iraq or
Syria,” it adds. “It has chosen instead to pursue political and security
conditions that will enable it to seize and hold larger and potentially more
enduring pieces of territory in the future.”
Kinani, however, is sceptical. One of the key factors to Isis's success in 2014
was the considerable support it drew from a large number of disaffected Sunnis.
Today, that is not the case.
don’t have any support,” he says. “The citizens don’t like them. They are
hiding in the desert and they haven’t been able to achieve anything.”
adds that the biggest threat to ensuring the defeat of Isis is political
instability, which would risk recreating the conditions which allowed it to
rise in the first place.
Sarah El Deeb
— A Syrian government airstrike hit a busy open-air market in the country’s
northwest on Saturday, killing at least 11 people, most of them children,
according to activists. The town of Ariha has been particularly targeted over
the last week as the government escalates its offensive against the country’s
last rebel stronghold.
airstrike in Ariha left an 18-month-old girl with an amputated leg, according
to Dr. Mohamad Abrash, a surgeon and chief of Idlib’s central hospital. He said
the girl’s father and brother died in the bombing, while her mother is in the
ICU in the bed opposite her with a chest injury and internal bleeding in the
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the war, and another
activist collective, called Ariha Today, said most of those killed were
children. Ariha Today named six children under the age of 14 who it said were
killed in the airstrike.
has been repeatedly targeted over the past week as Syria’s government looks to
regain momentum in its stalled offensive, which began in late April. It is one
of the main towns in Idlib province, which along with the surrounding rural
areas of Hama province, are home to 3 million people.
local doctors said two medics and an ambulance driver were killed when an
airstrike targeted their vehicle in Kfar Zita, a town on the frontline in Hama
province, at the edge of the rebel stronghold.
an activist in Ariha who only gave his first name out of fears for his safety,
said the strike hit the town during the busy weekly bazaar when people come to
buy food and other necessities. He said the death toll could have been higher
if it were not for the warning from the local civilian defense team against
strike hit the main square, in the center of town,” he said.
is a systematic displacement policy to empty the busy town out,” said Abrash,
the doctor, who said the injured travel nearly five kilometers (3 miles) to
reach Idlib city, which has the most well-equipped hospital for surgery.
the Syrian government’s airstrike campaign, backed by ally Russia, warplanes
have targeted medical centers, water plants and residential areas, in what the
U.N. and rights groups call a deliberate campaign that amounts to war crimes.
rebel enclave is dominated by al-Qaida-linked militants and other jihadi
groups. The government says it is targeting terrorist locations.
of the civilians living in the rebel stronghold have already been displaced by
other bouts of violence, and have chosen not to live in government-captured
the last three years, the government regained control of most of the
territories that were initially seized by the opposition in the early days of
the civil conflict — now in its 9th year.
military victories, backed by Russian airpower and Iranian-backed militias on
the ground, followed intense military campaigns and tight sieges that forced
rebels to surrender and move north.
week, a residential building in Ariha was hit, killing a mother and two of her
daughters, while two other girls are recovering in the hospital. The father
survived the attack.
U.N. human rights chief, Michelle Bachelet, said Friday that the world’s most
powerful nations are failing to show leadership in dealing with the Syrian
crisis “resulting in a tragedy on such a vast scale that we no longer seem to
be able to relate to it at all.”
by Mohammed Ebraheem
(IraqiNews.com) – Four members of the Islamic State terrorist group were killed
Sunday in an air raid on a terrorist hotbed in Anbar province, a tribal militia
warplanes have targeted a secret tunnel of the Islamic State militant group in
al-Madham district, 90 km south of Ain Assad airbase in western Anbar,” Qatari
al Obeidi told Alsumaria News TV channel.
airstrike left four Islamic State terrorists killed,” Obeidi said, adding that
the bombardment destroyed a large cache of IS ammunition and weapons inside the
in the day, the Iraqi army launched a military operation to purge the desert
areas in Ar Rutbah, west of Anbar, from Islamic State cells.
declared the collapse of Islamic State’s territorial influence in Iraq in
November 2017 with the recapture of Rawa, a city on Anbar’s western borders
with Syria, which was the group’s last bastion in Iraq.
Rikar Hussein, Kawa Omar
- Amid the bombed-out wreckage of a site that once hosted dozens of Mosul’s
traditional maqam players, Iraqi musician Saad Rajab Bacha plays his ney flute
to remember the city’s glorious days before it came under the control of
Islamic State (IS).
65, fled Mosul in June 2014 after IS fighters overran the city and established
a hard-line rule that deemed all musical instruments, including his ney, a
violation of Islamic law.
he returned home two years later, he found that much of his beloved city had
been reduced to rubble in the Iraqi fight against IS.
sad melodies that emerge from his ney come as Iraq this month celebrates the
second anniversary of recapturing the city from IS.
says that despite the initial optimism for a new life after the jihadists’
defeat, much of the city still lies in ruins and its artists, among thousands
of residents, are unable to return because of lack of essential services.
feel like art has been slayed,” Bacha told VOA, adding that Mosul’s artists
were either killed or had to flee because of charges of blasphemy by IS.
effort of artists in Mosul has been lost due to those extremists who hate life,
music and art,” he added.
now resides in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region’s capital, Irbil, but frequently
visits his hometown, Mosul, to help arrange musical events in the city. He has
been playing the Iraqi-style ney flute for more than 30 years, establishing a name
among Mosul residents for his contribution to Iraqi traditional maqam music.
IS attacked the city and banned music from its residents, Bacha helped organize
musical events at Maqam House, which was built 25 years ago in western Mosul’s
district known as the Old City.
place is now a big wound in my heart,” Bacha told VOA, sitting by the remnants
of Maqam House, which was destroyed by an airstrike in 2017. “A few years ago
we were all present here, working together, enjoying our times, and playing
together. Now this is all a mere memory.”
is Iraq’s second-largest city with a population of more than 1 million that
stayed in IS's grip for three years. Then-Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi
officially declared victory in the city in July 2017.
jihadist group has since lost control of all territories it once ruled as part
of its self-proclaimed caliphate in Iraq and eastern Syria.
the IS defeat, the U.N. warned that the road ahead was “extremely challenging”
because of the degree of destruction the war left behind. It estimated that
more than $700 million was needed to stabilize the city and make it livable
years after the military operation, local and international organizations say
large parts of the city remain unrecovered, particularly in the western part of
the city where fierce fighting between IS and Iraqi forces took place.
to the Norwegian Refugee Council, more than 300,000 residents of the city are
still displaced with no homes to return to. The organization found that 138,000
houses were damaged or destroyed during the conflict. In West Mosul alone, it estimated that there
are still more than 53,000 houses flattened and thousands more damaged.
them, the suffering of the war that ended two years ago remains a daily battle
for survival,” Rishana Haniffa, the Iraq country director for the Norwegian
Refugee Council, said on the anniversary of Mosul’s recapture this month.
a disgrace that after two years, thousands of families and children still have
to live in displacement camps and in abysmal conditions because their
neighborhoods are still in ruins,” Haniffa added.
who have returned to the city say many bodies of civilians and IS militants who
were killed in the battle still remain under the rubble of the Old City.
who were interviewed by VOA expressed disappointment at the government's
failure to rebuild the destroyed infrastructure and compensate the victims,
particularly those who were incapacitated by the conflict.
Ahmed is one of the victims who lost both his feet during clashes between Iraqi
forces and IS. Having also lost his younger brother in the war, Ahmed needs to
work as a vegetable seller to provide bread for his family as well as his
went to the disabled office and asked them to give me a wheelchair because I
work. The manager of the office told me, ‘You don’t deserve it,’ ” Ahmed told
VOA, adding that the money he made as a vendor was not enough to provide for
his family and obtain his special needs.
asked rhetorically, “If I don’t deserve this basic right, then what do I
deserve? What do we deserve from this country? All we have gained from it is
pain, the destruction of homes, and the death of our youth."
officials have publicly announced that recovering from damage caused by IS in
the war is beyond their means and that they need generous international aid to
enable them to restore the nation.
executed three men on Saturday, including two Shiite activists for what
officials called “terrorism crimes,” in what was described as attacks
orchestrated by Iran-based ringleaders.
London-based Bahraini activist rights group said the executions made Saturday
“one of Bahrain’s darkest days.”
men were convicted in two separate cases, one involving the killing of a police
officer in 2017 and the other the killing of an imam in 2018, the public
prosecutor said in a statement.
Shiite activists, Ali al-Arab and Ahmed al-Malali, were sentenced to death last
year as part of a mass trial on “terrorism crimes.” Nineteen men were jailed
for life, and 37 others for terms of up to 15 years, on the accusation that
they had belonged to a terrorist cell trained to use heavy weapons and
al-Arab and Mr. al-Malali were convicted of crimes including using an assault
rifle to kill the police officer, according to the prosecutor.
a strategic island where the United States Navy’s Fifth Fleet is based, has a
Shiite Muslim majority population but is governed by a Sunni royal family. It
accuses mainly Shiite Iran of stoking militancy in the kingdom, which Tehran
rights groups — including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and a
United Nations rights expert — had urged Bahrain on Friday to halt the
execution of the two activists, accusing the kingdom of acting on confessions
obtained through torture.
in custody, the men were tortured by security officers including through
electric shocks and beatings. Ali Mohamed al-Arab’s toenails were also ripped
out,” Amnesty International said in a statement.
authorities have denied accusations of torturing detainees and repressing the
opposition, and say they are protecting national security from terrorists.
trials have become commonplace in Bahrain since 2011, when members of the
Shiite opposition led a failed uprising. Scores of people have been imprisoned,
including politicians and rights activists, and many others have fled abroad.
Syrian army's special forces engaged in heavy clashes with Tahrir al-Sham
al-Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) terrorists in
Northwestern Hama on Monday, killing several militants and regaining control of
the strategic region of Tal al-Malah.
they continued their advance towards al-Jabin and gained back control of the
a Syrian field source reported that the Syrian army cleansed the
Mahradeh-al-Saqilbiyeh strategic road after taking back control of al-Jabin,
adding that other Syrian army troops are still engaged in clashes with the
militants in al-Zawiqat, Talat al-Syriatel and 1154 heights near the border
with Turkey in Northeastern Lattakia.
added that the Syrian army soldiers are now targeting the terrorists' moves
near the strategic hills of Kabani towards areas of clashes in Northern
Lattakia, killing a number of them and destroying several of their bases.
a relevant development on Sunday, the Syrian and Russian air forces pounded and
destroyed the most important bases and movements of terrorists in Northern Hama
and Southern Idlib as the Damascus government dispatched new military convoys
to Hama to launch military operations, the Arabic-language media outlets said.
Arabic-language Al-Watan reported that the Syrian fighter jets conducted
massive attacks on terrorists’ military positions in Northern Hama, South and
Southwestern Idlib, destroying a network of underground tunnels of the
terrorists in the surroundings of Ma’arat al-Numan and a center of terrorists
in Ariha, killing tens of terrorists inside the tunnels.
reports also said that the Russian Air Force pounded several times and
destroyed a military convoy of Tahrir al-Sham terrorists in Taftnaz military
air base near the city of Idlib that was trying to attack the terrorists’
military positions in Northern Hama.
the Syrian and Russian air forces destroyed a number of arms depots and heavy
military equipment of Ansar al-Din and Turkistani terrorists in a joint
military operation in Northern Hama and Southern Idlib.
unspecified number of civilians have lost their lives in airstrikes conducted
by the US-led military coalition on a village in Syria’s eastern province of
official news agency, SANA, citing local sources, reported Monday that the
US-led warplanes carried out airstrikes on al-Rez village in al-Basira area in
the eastern parts of the volatile province.
aerial aggression killed a number of civilians and wounded others, most of them
women and children, it added.
report further said that the not only the airstrikes caused damage to houses in
the village but also created a state of panic among the villagers due to the
intensity of the explosions.
US-led coalition has been conducting airstrikes and ground operations against
what are said to be targets of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group inside the
Arab country since September 2014, without any authorization from the Damascus
government or a United Nations mandate.
strikes have on many occasions resulted in civilian casualties and failed to
fulfill their declared aim of countering terrorism.
has repeatedly condemned the airstrikes, demanding the so-called coalition to
Britain-based Amnesty International and Airwars jointly reported in late April
that air and artillery strikes by the US and its allies killed more than 1,600
civilians just in four months in the northern Syrian city of Raqqah.
has been almost entirely purged by the Syrian military and its allies --
including Iran, Russia and the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah -- from
the territories it used to control in Syria.
Syrian villages liberated
on Monday, Syrian army troops managed to completely liberate two villages of
Tal Mileh and al-Jebeen from the grips of Takfiri terrorists in the
southwestern parts of the western-central province of Hama, SANA said in a
separate report, citing an unnamed military official.
report also said that the government troops had established full control over
the villages. It added that the operation destroyed terrorist bases and
equipment and cut off key routes that they used. The offensive also killed a
large number of the terrorists while the rest fled the villages.
Arab country has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011.
Damascus says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies are aiding
the Takfiri terrorist groups that are wreaking havoc in the country.
candidates unite in poll threat to Netanyahu
Palestinian politicians in Israel will run on a joint list for election to the
Knesset in September.
rare show of Palestinian unity may thwart a second attempt by Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu to form a coalition government, which he failed to do after
elections in April.
Palestinians have contested elections only once before on a joint list, in
2016, when they won 13 seats. Fragmented again in April’s poll, they won only
the Palestinian list repeats its 2016 performance, Netanyahu will struggle to
form a coalition with his far-right allies. His failure to do so in April led
to September’s election, and the prime minister’s position is further
complicated by his indictment on corruption charges.
are fighting racism and we want the voices of the authentic Palestinian
minority in Israel to be heard,” Knesset member Ahmad Tibi told Arab News. “We
want to be part of the change in the political party landscape by defeating the
right-wing forces and bringing down Netanyahu.”
Knesset member, Aida Tuma-Suleiman, told Arab News the joint list was a victory
for the Palestinian minority in Israel
for the Palestinian people
joining together of different political factions is a unique occurrence in Arab
hard work we can get our people out to ballot boxes and get rid of Netanyahu
once and for all.”
A group of religious nationalist parties in Israel announced Monday that they
would run together in the upcoming parliamentary elections, the same day four
Arab political parties formalized a merger of their own.
United Right, headed by former Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, is the third
political alliance formed in recent days ahead of this week’s deadline to
finalize party lineups for the September 17 vote. It is expected to back Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should he be tasked with forming a government,
potentially helping him to secure a fourth consecutive term in office.
faces an unprecedented repeat election in September after Netanyahu failed to
form a majority coalition government following a vote in April.
week, former Prime Minister Ehud Barak and the left-wing Meretz party joined to
form the Democratic Union. They hope to oust Netanyahu, who became Israel’s
longest-serving prime minister earlier this month.
who assumed the leadership of her New Right party last week, will also head the
newly formed United Right, a constellation of religious nationalist parties.
of efforts bore fruit today. We united right wing parties for a joint run,”
Shaked wrote on Twitter. Her New Right party failed to garner sufficient votes
to enter the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, in April’s elections.
right-wing bloc was announced a day after the Palestinian nationalist Balad
party said it would join a reunited Joint List of Arab parties, months after
infighting fragmented the political alliance, in order to “increase Arab
representation in parliament.”
Odeh, head of the Hadash party, said Monday that now that the parties have
reunited, they can address the “great challenge” facing the country’s Arab
Arab population mainly consists of Palestinians who remained in Israel after
its creation in 1948 and their descendants, and makes up around a fifth of
Israel’s population. They largely identify with the Palestinians and have long
complained of discrimination.
published last week projected that the Joint List could become the third
largest party in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, after the September
— Iran for the first time tied the British seizure of an Iranian oil tanker to
the ailing nuclear deal on Sunday, calling it illegal and a violation of the
making that link, Iran appeared to be trying to press the Europeans to make
good on the promised financial benefits of the 2015 agreement known as the
Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or J.C.P.O.A.
Iran is entitled to export its oil according to the J.C.P.O.A., any impediment
in the way of Iran’s export of oil is actually against the J.C.P.O.A.,” Iran’s
deputy foreign minister, Abbas Araghchi, said after emergency talks in Vienna
with other parties to the nuclear deal.
United States withdrew from the nuclear deal last year but Iran and Europe are
in talks to try to salvage it.
forces impounded the Iranian tanker in early July near Gibraltar, accusing it
of violating European Union sanctions on Syria, an act Britain said had nothing
to do with the nuclear deal.
July 19, Iranian commandos seized a British-flagged tanker in the Strait of
Hormuz, the world’s most important waterway for oil shipments, arguing that it
had committed violations but formally denying that it was a tit-for-tat
then, Iran has blown hot and cold over suggestions that both sides release the
tankers and Tehran promises not to send the oil to Syria, in part because
London insists that the decision on what to do with the Iranian tanker must go
through the courts.
also warned against the British idea of sending a European-led naval force to
escort tankers in the Persian Gulf, where the United States has already
increased its military presence. A government spokesman in Tehran, Ali Rabiei,
said the proposal “carries a hostile message, is provocative and will increase tensions.”
the same time on Sunday, President Hassan Rouhani of Iran congratulated the new
British prime minister, Boris Johnson, and said that he hoped that Mr.
Johnson’s “familiarity with the issues of the relations of Iran and England and
your presence once in Tehran will be a considerable help in getting rid of
existing obstacles in the growth and expansion of relations between us.”
Johnson visited Tehran in 2017 as foreign secretary.
British-Iranian dual national, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, has been imprisoned
in Iran since 2016. A deal that would free both the tanker and Ms.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe would be a significant coup for Mr. Johnson, but he is also
expected to come under pressure from President Trump to join the United States
in abandoning the nuclear pact and increasing pressure on Iran.
agreed to accept limits on its nuclear program in the 2015 accord in exchange
for the lifting of international sanctions against it. After the United States
withdrew from the deal last year, the Trump administration imposed even harsher
sanctions this year aimed at shutting off Iran’s oil exports, its main source
new measures include secondary sanctions against third countries that do
business with Iran. European countries have been trying to construct an
alternative trading platform using barter to allow Iran to bypass the
American-linked global financial system to avoid the new sanctions.
efforts have so far come to nothing, even though European officials have said
for months that the system was nearly ready. Even then, only goods that would
not be sanctioned, like food, medicine and medical products, would be traded.
pressure the other signatories — Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China and
the European Union — Iran has argued that under the terms of the agreement it
is entitled to breach the pact’s restrictions since Iran is not getting the
benefits it was promised for compliance. So far it has breached limits on
uranium stockpiles and levels of enrichment, but not so drastically as to cause
the other signatories to do more than admonish Iran to stick to the deal.
Sunday, Iran threatened another breach — to begin activity again at the Arak
heavy-water reactor. Ali Akbar Salehi of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization told
legislators of the plan on Sunday, according to state-run media.
denied, as Iran regularly does, that Tehran has any intention of building a
the same time, Iran’s escalatory tactics in the Gulf, and its seizure of
tankers, have been partly counterproductive, hardly encouraging Britain or the
other Europeans to go out of their way to defend the nuclear deal. The
Europeans have consistently warned Tehran that it must stick to the deal as
written if it expects the other signatories to do the same.
clear that the ongoing escalation, particularly in the Gulf, has been and is
playing a big part of the reason why the deal in and of itself is in deeper and
deeper trouble,” Nathalie Tocci, a senior adviser to the European Union foreign
policy chief, told the BBC.
course that escalation in the Gulf is taking place precisely because there has
been a violation of the J.C.P.O.A. by the United States. But as the escalation
continues it becomes increasingly difficult politically and therefore technically
to summon the will to see this mechanism follow through with its first
Vienna, there were talks to try to de-escalate tensions.
parties agreed to preserve the nuclear deal and “to continue to implement the
J.C.P.O.A. in a balanced manner,” said Fu Cong, China’s representative at the
talks. “All sides have expressed their strong opposition against the U.S.
unilateral imposition of sanctions,” he said. At times during the talks there
were some “tense moments,” Mr. Fu said.
— Sitting on a chair swinging her legs, 9-year-old Nisa flashes a rare smile at
the memory of her mother kissing her the last time they saw each other. Barely
a month back from a prison camp in Iraq, where her mother remains incarcerated
on a life sentence for aiding terrorism, her short life has been one of untold
trauma and upheaval.
lived for five years in the Islamic State’s caliphate after her father took the
family from Turkey to join the terrorist group. And she lost her baby brother
and father to the war. She then spent more than a year in an Iraqi jail with
dozens of other Turkish families affiliated with the Islamic State.
she is one of more than 200 Turkish children the government has repatriated
from Iraq. She was handed over to her maternal grandparents in Istanbul, who
know only snippets of what she has been through.
was really skinny. Her eyes were full of fear,” said her grandmother Bedia,
who, like the relatives of other children, asked that the family’s last name
not be used to protect its privacy. “In the last month, she got herself
together because we took care of her.”
like many Western countries, has been slow to take back citizens who ran off to
join the Islamic State as it extended its violent rule across Syria and Iraq
starting in 2014. Now that the movement has lost its territory in Syria and
Iraq and thousands of fighters and their families have been captured or
dispersed, there are growing fears that the remnants could bring terrorism home
than 12,000 foreign women and children are detained in Syria and Iraq. This
poses a difficult quandary for their home countries, most of which have refused
to repatriate their citizens.
reluctance to repatriate these loyalists has extended to family members as
well, such as wives and children. But under pressure from anxious relatives —
some of them grandparents who have never even met their grandchildren — Turkish
officials have changed their tune.
began to help the families negotiate Iraq’s legal bureaucracy and secure the
release of at least some of the children being held in a jail near the Iraqi
family and others like it insist that the wives and children of Islamic State
members do not deserve to be treated as criminals, as they frequently are, but
should be considered victims of the movement instead.
say that some women were indeed taken to the caliphate against their will. But
many actively supported the cause and served as enforcers or fighters. How to
sort the terrorists from the victims is a question many countries are still
grappling with, though some seem content to leave the women in Iraq and Syria.
1,000 Turkish women and children tied to the Islamic State were captured in
Iraq, the majority outside the Iraqi city of Tal Afar in August 2017. Sixteen
of the most vulnerable, sick and orphaned children were the first to return
seven months ago. Then in May, another 188 children, ages 1 to 16, came home to
families in time for the religious festival of Eid al-Fitr in early June.
of Turkish women held in northern Iraq have also returned home, and 60 more
children are expected in the coming weeks, according to families and friends in
Turkey. Roughly 800 Turkish women and children are still believed to be
detained in Iraq.
in Turkey are working for the return of the mothers of the repatriated children
as well. But most of the adults have already been tried and sentenced in Iraq
in a process that human rights organizations and the United Nations have
criticized as summary justice.
188 recently repatriated children left behind 84 mothers who are still in
detention, 26 of whom have been sentenced to death, according to a judge
familiar with their cases in Baghdad.
government officials declined to comment on the repatriations.
is no doubt the children have been through harsh times and need care. Families
are dealing with everything from scabies and malaria to frenetic behavior and
is clearly traumatized. She is afraid of the dark and will not even go to the
bathroom on her own, her grandmother said.
panicked when she saw an airplane. She said, ‘Grandma, they are going to bomb
a pastry chef in the town of Denizli in southwestern Turkey, traveled four
times to Baghdad to rescue his 2-year-old grandson, Halit, who was among the
first group of 16 children brought home.
had malaria and scabies,” Huseyin said. “The first week, he was crying very
hard. It got to a point that he could not cry anymore,” said his grandmother,
played happily on a recent afternoon on the couple’s sitting room floor, lining
up toy trucks in a convoy. But when he first arrived, he kept biting their
4-year-old daughter, Huseyin said. When they took him to a shopping mall, they
said Halit went into a frenzy, laughing wildly and giddy over candied apples.
jail in Baghdad, where dozens of Turkish mothers and children shared a communal
cell, was a rough place, recalled 12-year-old Hattab, another returnee from the
Turkish city of Konya who was held there for a time.
guards, they treated us like animals. They pushed us when we went outside,” he
said. “Little kids got their hands squashed so many times.”
of an extended family who settled in Syria before the war, Hattab came home
with three small boys belonging to his elder sister, 22.
do not know how old they are,” said his grandmother, Hacer.
guessed that Abdullah, Gudami and Muhammad are 5, 4 and 2. All were
underweight, and Gudami bore shrapnel scars on his head. They did not know half
the foods she put in front of them, she said, breaking into tears.
are deeper problems, too.
has been through a lot and forgets things,” Hacer said. “I would not allow my
other children, but for him we keep the lights on.”
Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Services has handled the returns,
vaccinating and registering the children and providing new clothes before
handing them over to relatives. Officials have visited the families at home and
have offered psychological help, although none interviewed had received it yet.
of the first children to return were traumatized and have had problems at
school, Hacer said.
feeling is no psychologist is as good as a mother.”
families insist that some of the imprisoned women are just as much victims as
mother, Rumeysa, was only 16 and in high school when she ran off to Syria with
a Turkish man 10 years her senior without telling her parents. Now 22 and
widowed, she has been sentenced to life imprisonment in Iraq, most likely on
charges related to aiding the Islamic State.
obvious that we have proof she was 16, and we have proof she was a child,” her
father, Huseyin, said. “She is a victim and anyone would accept that. But Iraq
is preparing a fifth trip to Iraq.
I had to go to the moon,” he said, “believe me I would.”
grandfather, a tailor named Mehmet, said his daughter Leyla was forced to go to
Syria when her husband threatened to take the children, ages 5 and 6 months,
without her. On her first Skype call home after leaving, Leyla would not even
look at the camera. Her mother, Bedia, said she knew immediately that something
you not know your own child? I understood she was unhappy,” she said. “Whatever
they do there is out of fear,” she said. “I don’t believe anyone who has been
there would still like the idea of the Islamic State. My daughter was begging
last year ‘Mom, please save us.’”
(Reuters) - Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi group said it launched on Sunday a
drone attack on Saudi Arabia’s Abha airport, Houthis’ Al- Masirah TV reported
citing the group’s military spokesman.
was no immediate confirmation from Saudi authorities.
July 28 (Xinhua) -- The Houthi rebels' shelling in Yemen's war-torn port city
of Hodeidah on Sunday killed a man and injured four children, a government
security source and a medic said.
shelling targeted a dairy factory and government military positions in the area
of Kilo 16, as well as residential quarters in Jiraybah area, they said.
killed man, identified as Mohammed Wanis, was a worker of the dairy factory in
Kilo 16, while the four children were wounded by the shelling in Jiraybah area.
Both areas are on the southern outskirts of the port city.
was no comment from the rebels.
Iran-allied Houthi rebels control much of Hodeidah while the Saudi-backed
government troops have advanced to the southeastern districts.
is the lifeline entry point for Yemen's most food imports and humanitarian aid.
The more than four-year civil war has pushed over 20 million people to the
verge of starvation.
Yemeni warring parties reached a peace deal on Hodeidah in December last year
as the first step toward a comprehensive political solution.
Houthi attack on a market killed more than 10 civilians including children in
Yemen’s northern Saada province on Monday, Yemen’s minister of information has
Arab Coalition spokesman accused the Houthis of attacking the Al Thabet.
attack carried out by the Houthis on al-Thabet market is a terrorist act to
spite Yemenis and the tribes of al-Thabet,” Colonel Turki al-Malki said in a
statement sent to Reuters, adding that the tribes were against the group.
his part, Yemen’s Minister of Information Moammar al-Eryani said that the
Houthis have “committed a heinous massacre of civilians by shelling the market
Yemeni army says it has launched several drones against an airbase in southwestern
Saudi Arabia after the kingdom and its allies slew more than a dozen people in
Monday, army spokesman Yahya Sare'e was quoted by the al-Masirah television
network as saying that the aircraft had stricken the King Khalid Airbase in the
kingdom’s Asir region. The counter-raid used unmanned aerial vehicles of the
Qasef 2K make, he added.
attack targeted warplane hangers and important military sites accurately,”
Sare’e was cited by the network as saying.
ample Western support, the kingdom and its most important regional allies have
been hitting Yemen in an indiscriminate invasion since March 2015. The military
aggression has been seeking to restore the impoverished country’s former
Saudi-allied government, whose officials have fled the country and refused to
recently, Saudi-led airstrikes killed at least 14 people, including children at
a market in Yemen’s Sa’ada Province.
are two children among the martyrs," the manager of the local al-Jomhouri Hospital,
Saleh Qorban told Reuters, adding that the sorties had also injured 23 others,
including 11 minors
army official said that the retaliatory drone strike had come in response to
the continued aggression against the Yemeni people, which has been compounded
by a siege employed against the country by the Saudi-led coalition.
spokesman for Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement, which has been defending the
country against the invaders shoulder to shoulder with the army, strongly
condemned the deadly strikes.
Abdul-Salam said the kingdom’s heinous crimes were enjoying the support of the
United States and the United Kingdom. He was referring to Washington and
London’s generous arms support and logistical backing for the invasion.
least 14 civilians have been killed when Saudi-led warplanes conducted an
airstrike on a crowded market in Yemen’s northern province of Sa’ada, as the
Riyadh regime presses ahead with its bombardment campaign against its southern
Arabic-language al-Masirah news website reported that the Saudi-led jets
pounded the Al Sabet market in Qataber district of the province on Monday
afternoon, killing 13 civilians, including two children.
further said the aerial aggression also left 23 others, including 11 children,
wounded. The report added that the airstrike occurred at a time when the market
health ministry also said at least 10 of the wounded were in critical
condition, warning that the death toll was likely to rise.
Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating campaign
against Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the country’s former
regime back to power and crushing the popular Houthi Ansarullah movement.
Houthi fighters have been playing a significant in defending the impoverished
nation against the Saudi war machine by backing the Yemeni army.
US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit
conflict-research organization, estimates that the Saudi-led war has claimed
the lives of over 60,000 Yemenis since January 2016.
least 50 militants killed, wounded in Special Forces raid in Faryab: Special
Special Forces killed or wounded at least 50 Taliban militants during the
operations in northern Faryab province.
Special Operations Corps in a statemetn said the Special Forces conducted joint
clearance operations along the highway of Bulcheragh and Gurziwan districts in
statement further added that the security forces inflicted heavy casualties on
Taliban militants during the operation.
the Special Operations said preliminary reports indicate the security forces
killed or wounded at least 50 Taliban militants.
Special Operations Corps also added that the security forces have fully cleared
the areas along the highway.
Sri Lanka’s Muslim ministers who resigned en masse in the wake of the deadly
Easter Sunday bombings have rejoined the government, officials said Tuesday,
after police cleared them of any involvement with extremists.
100 people linked to a local extremist group were arrested after the April 21
attacks on three churches and three luxury hotels that killed 258 people.
government legislators, several of them cabinet ministers, resigned in early
June after a Buddhist lawmaker demanded their sacking and accused them of
ministers, state ministers and deputy ministers who resigned recently were
sworn in before the president last night,” a statement from the president’s
spokesman for the lawmakers said they decided to accept their old portfolios
after police cleared them of any links with extremists involved with the
leaders had said their community — which makes up 10 percent of Sri Lanka’s 21
million population — were victims of violence, hate speech and harassment after
Lanka Muslim Congress leader Rauff Hakeem said his community had cooperated
with security forces but faced collective victimization.
the wake of the bombings, anti-Muslim riots spread in towns north of the
capital, killing one Muslim man and leaving hundreds of homes, shops and mosques
are being killed and wounded at a “shocking and unacceptable” level in
Afghanistan’s war despite a push to end the 18-year-old conflict, the UN said
latest information from the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan shows an
almost 30 percent drop in casualties for the first half of 2019 compared to the
same period last year -- which was a record -- but nonetheless, 1,366 civilians
were killed and another 2,446 injured.
the UN welcomed the drop, it “continues to regard the level of harm done to
civilians as shocking and unacceptable,” UNAMA said in a statement.
agency “acknowledges that parties have announced efforts to reduce civilian
casualties, but they are insufficient.”
also said that for the second quarter running, US and pro-government forces
caused more civilian deaths than the Taliban and other insurgent groups.
the first half of 2019 pro-government forces, including the US, killed 717
civilians, an increase of 31 percent from a year earlier.
of the deaths came from US and Afghan air strikes, often in support of national
forces on the ground.
bloody toll is climbing amid a months-long, US-led push to forge a peace deal
with the Taliban that would see foreign forces quit the country in return for
various security guarantees.
this month as part of that effort, Taliban officials met at a historic summit
with Afghan representatives at an “intra-Afghan dialogue” in Doha.
issued a vague resolution that included a pledge to reduce civilian casualties
to “zero”, but in the weeks since, ordinary Afghans have continued to be killed
heard the message loud and clear from Afghan delegates in the Doha talks --
‘reduce civilian casualties to zero!’” UNAMA head Tadamichi Yamamoto said in a
urge all parties to heed this imperative, to answer the call of Afghans for
immediate steps to be taken to reduce the terrible harm being inflicted.”
casualties represented almost one-third of the overall total of civilian
casualties, with 327 deaths and 880 injured, UNAMA said.
Afghanistan — The Afghan government on Saturday announced that it was preparing
for direct negotiations with the Taliban in the next two weeks, a major step in
efforts to end a war so long that it has left record casualties in its wake.
the Taliban quickly rejected it.
militant group’s spokesman said the Taliban was steadfast in its refusal to
directly negotiate with the Afghan side until the United States announces a
schedule for withdrawing the remainder of its 14,000 troops in the country.
Analysts questioned the point of the government’s announcement when the
Taliban’s position on the withdrawal of U.S. troops was clear all along.
episode was the latest bit of confusion in a prolonged peace process. The
insurgents and the Americans are nearing a deal after seven rounds of protracted
negotiations in the Qatari capital of Doha — talks that have excluded the
Afghan government. As part of that agreement, expected to be completed soon,
the United States and the Taliban would settle on a timeline for the withdrawal
of American troops — one believed to be under two years with conditions
American diplomats, recently aided by Germany and Norway, have struggled to
advance the process to its next step, in which the Taliban would negotiate with
the Afghan government over the political future of the country after the
American-led NATO mission ends its military presence. Afghan and Taliban
leaders have yet to meet, except for a recent summit where a small number of
officials attended in a personal capacity.
Ashraf Ghani has been skeptical of the American-Taliban talks that have
excluded his government, expressing concern that the United States was leaving
the hard gains of the Afghan state vulnerable to a hasty deal that benefits
only the Taliban. His officials have vented their anger openly.
critics say Mr. Ghani’s foot-dragging is also personal. In their view, he is
prioritizing September presidential elections, in which he is running for a
second five-year term, over a deal that would most likely end his presidency.
Campaigning for those elections begins on Sunday, with 17 candidates
challenging Mr. Ghani.
Afghan government’s announcement of direct talks with the Taliban, in the form
of a statement from the country’s recently appointed minister for peace, came
after senior American officials held extensive talks with Mr. Ghani over the
past week to ease his concerns over the initial Taliban-American agreement.
return, the insurgents would provide assurances that Afghanistan would not be
used by international terror groups such as Al Qaeda to launch attacks on the
Americans and their allies, and that it would sit down with the Afghans to
negotiate the country’s political future.
announcement by the Afghan government said it was settling on a 15-member negotiating
team that would represent different cross-sections of society and that talks
would be in a European capital, believed to be Oslo.
efforts of the government for direct negotiations between the Islamic Republic
of Afghanistan and the Taliban, these negotiations will begin in the next two
weeks,” read the statement by the office of Salam Rahimi, the peace minister.
than an hour after Mr. Rahimi’s announcement, the Taliban spokesman Zabihullah
Mujahid rejected it by repeating the group’s long-held position — that it would
turn to “intra-Afghan” issues only after its deal with the Americans was
only likelihood of reaching common ground is if the U.S. and Taliban complete
their deal and announce the withdrawal schedule between now and the end of the
two-week mark the Afghan government has laid for direct talks to begin. Even
then, the Taliban would need to bend on their position that they would not
negotiate directly with the government, but rather with a wide range of Afghans
that could include government officials.
we will not sit and talk with the Kabul administration as a government,” Mr.
Rubin, a former state department official who was part of the Obama
administration’s negotiation efforts, said it was understandable that the
Afghan government, “on the eve of an election campaign,” was reassuring its
public of its full engagement in the peace process.
risk is that, since the Taliban have not yet formally agreed to talk to the
government, and since they will not do so until they agree with the U.S. on
troop withdrawal, they may feel compelled to deny that they have agreed to
negotiate with the government,” Mr. Rubin said. “That would be a setback for
Khalilzad, the U.S. special envoy for Afghan peace, took to twitter “to
clarify” the confusion around direct negotiations.
negotiations will occur after we conclude our own agreements and will take
place between the Taliban and an inclusive and effective national negotiating
team consisting of senior government officials, key political party
representatives, civil society and women,” Mr. Khalilzad said.
has been in Kabul for the past week and has met with Mr. Ghani four times for
detailed discussions, the presidential spokesman, Sediq Sediqi, said. Gen.
Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also arrived
in Kabul, and the American secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, held a long phone
call with Mr. Ghani.
repatriation talks between Myanmar officials and Rohingya refugees have ended
in stalemate, with citizenship still demanded by thousands of people sheltering
in Bangladesh before they are willing to return home.
July 27-28, a 12-member Myanmar delegation and five officials from ASEAN held
talks with 35 Rohingya leaders in the southeastern coastal town of Cox’s Bazar
to advance the stalled repatriation process.
the two days of talks, the refugees’ representatives demanded the full rights
of citizenship and a guarantee of their safe and dignified return to Rakhine
officials would not offer immediate assurances but reportedly pledged to convey
the refugees’ demands to the Naypyitaw government and return for further
Sawyeddollah, a Rohingya youth activist who met with the Myanmar delegation,
said officials repeated their demand for refugees to accept national
verification cards (NVC) instead of citizenship.
cards don’t guarantee citizenship, merely invite holders to apply for
citizenship at a later date, and Sawyeddollah said on Twitter: “We told the
delegation that we would never accept the NVCs only.”
late-July meetings were the second visit by Myanmar officials to the refugee
camps in Cox’s Bazar … and their second failure to persuade refugees to return
Lwin, a Myanmar Muslim leader and former member of the Kofi Annan-led Rakhine
Advisory Commission, said the barriers to citizenship needed to be removed if
tens of thousands of refugees were to feel confident enough to go back.
said the government’s NVC process was only intended for people without
documents so those who do have documents don’t need to apply for it.
political willingness is the important thing for the repatriation of thousands
of refugees,” Aye Lwin told ucanews.com.
Hla Aung, a Rohingya lawyer who lives at the Thetkaepyin IDP (internally
displaced persons) camp near Sittwe, the capital city of Rakhine, is not
optimistic about the Rohingya being repatriated as their demands for rights to
citizenship, land and security remain unfulfilled.
said NVC cards were only introduced in recent years and were not mentioned in
the country’s 1982 Citizenship Law.
Rohingya, have been living in the country with our own land and properties so
why does the government ask us to apply for NVCs now, regarding us as
foreigners,” Kyaw Hla Aung told ucanews.com.
Quinley, a human rights specialist at Fortify Rights, confirmed that Rohingya
who agreed to return to Rakhine would have to take part in a National
Verification Card system which gave them no security.
NVC does not allow Rohingya to self-identity and is based on the problematic
1982 citizenship law,” he said on Twitter. “Many Rohingya reject the NVC
and Myanmar had agreed that a group of more than 2,000 Rohingyas would go back
to Rakhine State last November but that was postponed when many of the refugees
refused to return out of fear for their safety.
fact, Myanmar has made minimal preparations for the return of thousands of
Rohingya Muslims who fled Rakhine State and have taken refuge in Bangladesh,
according to a recent report by an Australian think-tank.
controversial 1982 law states that only ethnic nationalities whose families
entered the country before 1823 are entitled to Myanmar citizenship. The Rohingyas
have thus been denied citizenship, accompanying rights and been marginalized in
access to education and other government services.
BANGLADESH - A Myanmar government delegation has met with representatives of
hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslim refugees in Bangladesh to discuss
creating conditions for their safe repatriation, officials said Sunday.
permanent foreign secretary, U Myint Thu, led a 10-member delegation for the
weekend talks in refugee camps in Bangladesh's Cox's Bazar region. He said he
told the refugees about the preparations being made for their repatriation and
agreed to continue talks with them.
will continue to discuss with the Bangladesh government at the ministerial
level as well as the working level at the joint working group,'' U Myint Thu
told reporters. "I will be meeting (Monday) with the Bangladesh foreign
minister in Dhaka and then we will continue to discuss further on the
repatriation process and at the ministerial level there will be a meeting in
New York on the sidelines of the General Assembly ... "
said the Myanmar delegation will bring along representatives of ASEAN, a
grouping of Southeast Asian nations, for the next round of talks with the
Myanmar has long considered the Rohingya to be "Bengalis'' from Bangladesh
even though their families have lived in the country for generations. Nearly
all have been denied citizenship since 1982, effectively rendering them
stateless, and they are also denied freedom of movement and other basic rights.
long-simmering Rohingya crisis exploded in August 2017 when Myanmar's military
launched what it called a clearance campaign in Rakhine state in response to an
attack by a Rohingya insurgent group. The campaign led to the mass Rohingya
exodus to Bangladesh and to accusations that security forces committed mass
rapes and killings and burned thousands of homes.
Afghan Special Forces destroyed a house-borne improvised explosive device
during an operation in southern Kandahar province.
military officials said Monday that the Special Forces destroyed a house bomb
in Maiwand district.
officials further added that the Special Forces destroyed a small weapons cache
during a separate raid in Sayyidabad district of Wardak.
the Special Forces arrested 2 Taliban militants during a raid in Sangin
district of Helmand.
residents of Khost clashed with Taliban militants leaving at least 18
insurgents dead or wounded.
Afghan Intelligence, National Directorate of Security (NDS) said in a statement
that the residents of Ismail Khel in Mandozai district clashed with the
statement further added that the residents of Ismail Khel resisted Taliban
militants who were looking to inflict casualties on the area residents.
the National Directorate of Security said the NDS Special Forces also assisted
the local residents during the clash.
to NDS, the Ismail Khel residents and NDS Special Forces killed 6 Taliban
militants and wounded 12 others.
security forces also confiscated some weapons and munitions following the
Afghan and U.S. forces conducted separate operations in Ghazni, Paktika and
Paktiya killing or wounding at least 11 Taliban militants.
203rd Thunder Corps said in a statement said the U.S. forces killed 4 Taliban
militants and wounded 6 others by conducting an airstrike in Khogyani district
statement further added that the airstrike also destroyed 6 motorcycles of the
the Afghan forces killed a Taliban militant during an operation in Khoshamand
district of Paktika province.
203rd Thunder Corps also added that the Afghan forces defused 11 Improvised
Explosive Devices during the operations in Paktiya, Paktika and Ghazni
Buddhist monk Ashin Wirathu, who was born on July 10, 1968, in Mandalay,
Myanmar, has been labeled an extremist and ultranationalist by international
outspoken preacher is known as the “Buddhist bin Laden,” in reference to the
late Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
stepped into the limelight in 2001 when he became involved with the nationalist
969 Movement, which is described by the international media as Islamophobic.
is when he started spreading hatred in Myanmar against the Muslim minority of
the predominantly Buddhist country, urging Buddhists to boycott all Muslim
was jailed in 2003 by the military junta for 25 years for distributing
anti-Muslim leaflets and preaching about evicting Muslims from Myanmar’s
he was released in 2012 under an amnesty and began touring Myanmar, spreading
hatred against Muslims through his sermons.
September that year, Wirathu led a rally of monks in Mandalay to promote then-President
Thein Sein’s controversial plan to send Rohingya Muslims to another country.
month after the rally, brutal violence escalated in Rakhine, driving thousands
of Rohingyas from their homes. In July 2013, Time magazine described Wirathu in
its cover story as “the face of Buddhist terror.”
2017, he supported the persecution of Rohingyas in Rakhine, which was
orchestrated by the country’s military.
May 2019, Myanmar authorities issued an arrest warrant against Wirathu for
speeches against the government and its leader Aung San Suu Kyi, accusing her
of hampering the ethnic cleansing of Rohingyas. He is on the run, and
authorities are preparing to put him on trial in absentia.
Faiz Ahmed, chairman of the Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic
Studies, told Arab News: “Myanmar’s military was in need of a mass medium to
reach the country’s Buddhists. Monks have more influence on Buddhists in
Myanmar than politicians, so the powerful military recruited Wirathu to serve
its purpose as the extremist monk has some fanatic followers.”
who was Bangladesh’s ambassador to China, described it as a “nexus of two evil
said: “On one side, the ambitious Wirathu wanted to increase the number of his
followers, and on the other side the military wanted to consolidate its power.
So the army generals started backing the extremist monk in his spreading of
hate against the Rohingya Muslims.”
added: “Extremists such as Wirathu always use religion to create unrest in
society. He became more powerful as democratic practices are almost absent in
the governance of Myanmar.”
Delwar Hossain, an expert in South Asian politics and a teacher of
international relations at Dhaka University, sees Wirathu’s rise as a “historic
said Myanmar’s first constitution, which was formed in 1948, was mostly
democratic and liberal, and recognized the rights of 135 ethnic groups,
including the Rohingyas.
problem started when the military junta took power in 1961 and discarded the
constitution,” he added.
has been ruled by the army since 1961, and the spirit of Buddhist nationalism
has been patronized in the country for many decades. Wirathu is the latest
outcome of this Buddhist nationalism.”
said the spread of hate crimes against Muslims in Myanmar represents a “mutual
understanding” between the government and extremist groups.
is transitioning from military to political government. It had general
elections in 2012 and 2016, and the next one is scheduled to take place in
this transition, the country’s influential monks want to establish more
influence in the political arena,” Hossain said.
identified “the absence of civil society” in Myanmar as one of the main reasons
for the rise of extremist monks such as Wirathu.
many years, the country has been mostly run by an autocratic system that has
created an acceptance of ultranationalist beliefs among the people,” said
Amanullah Ferdous, an leading social scientist and political observer, said
Wirathu is “nothing but a puppet” of Myanmar’s authorities.
is instructed, managed and guided by the influential forces of the country,”
is blessed by the Myanmar Army and Aung San Suu Kyi’s ruling party, the National
League for Democracy. He has connections with China also.”
said Wirathu has gained significant influence in Mandalay, Rakhine and adjacent
areas through his sectarian comments.
Ibrahim Sawab, Anemona Hartocollis and Mike Ives
Nigeria — Villagers in northeastern Nigeria are fleeing their homes, leaving
everything behind, after armed men on motorbikes roared into their area and
gunned down funeral mourners on Saturday, killing at least 65 people, officials
said on Monday.
attributed the attack to Boko Haram, the Islamist extremist group that has
terrorized the region for the last 10 years, although there was no immediate
claim of responsibility for the assault.
attack on Saturday, in the village of Badu Abachari, north of the city of
Maiduguri, was in retaliation for an earlier clash, officials said.
have formed defense groups, armed with hunting guns and knives, to resist Boko
Haram. People in the village that was attacked had repelled a militant assault
two weeks earlier, said Mohammed Bulama, council chairman of the Nganzai area
in Borno state. He said the villagers had killed 11 Boko Haram fighters and
seized 10 AK-47 rifles.
Bulama said that Boko Haram gunmen had been moving freely around Borno state,
rustling cattle and “carting away foodstuff from our people.” Villagers who
inherited their cattle and had spent all their lives herding them felt the
“unbearable pain” of losing them, he said.
noon on Saturday, the Boko Haram fighters “came on a reprisal mission,
attacking mourners at a graveyard in the area,” Mr. Bulama said. In addition to
those confirmed killed, at least 10 people were injured and dozens were still
missing, so the toll could rise.
survivor, Aji Gaji Mallam, said he had escaped death by pretending that he was
dead as the slaughter went on around him, lying still for three hours. He said
that four of his brothers had been killed in previous Boko Haram attacks.
people have been stealing from us so we decided to come together because we
could no longer wait for an eternity for soldiers to defend us,” Mr. Mallam
villager, Ba’ na Modu survived the attacks with gunshot wounds in both upper
arms and was taken to a hospital in Maiduguri. But he had not heard from his
wife and seven children since the attack and no one could tell him what had
become of them.
don’t know their whereabouts,” he said. “It is just unbearable for me. Where do
I start from?”
said that the militants had attacked the funeral procession and then returned
and attacked people who went to help. Most of the dead were in Badu Abachari,
but the killings spread to at least two other villages, and bodies were
recovered from the bush around several other villages.
attack came just over a month after at least 30 people were killed in a triple
suicide bombing in Borno that bore the hallmarks of a Boko Haram operation.
week marked 10 years since the first outbreak of violence by the group, which
has declared allegiance to the Islamic State but has operated independently.
a region devastated by violence, displacement, climate change and the resulting
widespread malnutrition, confrontations have occurred when Boko Haram fighters
demand food from villagers who are themselves hungry and dependent on donations
from humanitarian organizations, said Hamsatu Allamin, a Nigerian human rights
advocate who has worked with foreign aid groups.
insecurity is an issue for everyone,” she said. “So these Boko Haram boys now
go to these villagers demanding food, demanding money, demanding the animals.
The pressure is all on the common man. And if you deny them, the government
will not come to your aid.”
in 2015, Nigeria’s government and military have claimed repeatedly that Boko
Haram was being subdued, even on the brink of defeat, its hiding places
human rights groups, aid organizations and local Nigerians have long disputed
such claims, and attacks have persisted.
like us who have been operating in the field, we know that what the government
is saying is far from the true reality on the ground,” Ms. Allamin said.
Muhammadu Buhari condemned the attack in a statement issued on Sunday and
ordered the military to hunt down those who carried it out.
Haram, whose name is often approximately translated as “Western education is
forbidden,” has been blamed for tens of thousands of deaths, and has prompted
more than two million people to flee their homes in northeastern Nigeria and
neighboring areas of Cameroon, Chad and Niger.
group has kidnapped women and girls, forcing them into marriage and slavery,
and has used children as suicide bombers. It is perhaps best known for having
kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls from the village of Chibok in April 2014,
many of whom are still missing.
Sawab reported from Maiduguri, Nigeria, Anemona Hartocollis from Dakar,
Senegal, and Mike Ives from Hong Kong. Olatunji Omirin contributed reporting
least 10 people died of hunger last week in food-starved central Mali, where
dozens of villages are blocked off from the outside world because Islamist
militants have planted landmines near major roads.
presence of Islamist militant groups and militias in Mali’s center is
preventing farmers from growing crops, and cattle herders have moved elsewhere
because of theft and the inaccessibility of grazing land. That’s led to severe
malnutrition, with an estimated 550,000 people in urgent need of food aid, the
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said July
six soldiers from East African country of Burundi, were killed in an attack
near Somali capital Mogadishu, an official said.
soldiers were part of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
of the al-Shabaab terrorist group have attacked Burundian soldiers of the
Somalia Peacekeeping Mission (AMISOM) in Balad district, located about 30
kilometers northeast from the capital city of Mogadishu," Colonel Floribert
Biyereke, spokesman of the Burundian army said late Sunday.
soldiers were killed on the spot. Three others sustained serious injuries. Two
soldiers are missing," he added.
came just few days after six people including two district commissioners were
killed, in a suicide bomb attack on a government building in the country's
al-Qaeda affiliated group al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the deadly
a strength of 22,000 troops, the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) is
an active, regional peacekeeping mission, working under the mandate of the
African Union and the UN. It was created by the African Union’s Peace and
Security Council in January 2007, with an initial mandate for six months.
Burundi contingent is the second largest within the AMISOM with 5,432 troops,
after Uganda which has more than 6,000 troops.
has been active in the African Union Peacekeeping Force in Somalia since 2007.
a government ban on the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), presidential
spokesman Garba Shehu accused the Shiite Muslim group of running
"terrorist activities, including attacking soldiers, killing policemen,
destroying public property and consistently defying state authority."
followers have been holding protests to demand the release of their detained
leader, Ibrahim Zakzaky. At least 20 members of the group were killed over the
past week in a series of demonstrations that have shown little sign of abating,
increasing pressure on the government.
more: Nigerian Shiites brave terror threat
a pro-Iranian cleric, has been in detention since 2015 despite a court order to
release him. On Monday, a court adjourned his bail hearing until August 5.
Musa, a spokesman for IMN, has denied the government accusations. "All the
people we interacted with know that we are not terrorists, because we don't
carry arms even during our processions," he said.
are the IMN?
founded the organization — originally a student movement inspired by Iran's
Islamic revolution — in the late 1970s. The Nigerian cleric convinced fellow
students that an Islamic revolution was also possible in their country. The
group's first reported march in 1980 was in support of Iran after a joint
US-Canadian operation to save US diplomats trapped in Tehran in 1979.
number of Shiites in Nigeria is estimated at 3 million, a number big enough to
scare the central government.
recent years, the country has seen frequent clashes between security forces and
IMN followers during protests and religious processions. Apart from demanding
Zakzaky's release, the Shiite group has claimed it only seeks freedom to
practice its faith in northern Nigeria, where it has many followers.
group's Shiite ideology is in opposition to the establishment ideology,
Wahhabism, a strict Sunni version of Islam from Saudi Arabia.
on Shiite religious practice?
followers say they are being persecuted by the country's majority Sunni
Muslims. But the government has said the ban does not cover the general Shiite
Muslim sect — just its founding organization, IMN.
all know this a mere semantics," AG Bello, lawyer based in the northern
town of Kaduna, told DW. "The followership of IMN is the Shiite sect. It's
still technically the Shiite and their activities that have been proscribed by
the federal government." Many
Nigerians in Kaduna have interpreted the government prohibition as a blanket
ban on Shiite Muslim practice in Nigeria. "We have been practicing our
faith for years, so there is no need for banning us, we are not
terrorists," Zainab Gashua told DW.
is mischievous for anyone to believe we are terrorists. We are not terrorists;
we are just an Islamic movement," said another woman, Zainab Katsina.
Haram deja vu
ban has raised fears the IMN could go underground, providing a potentially
serious security challenge for a government already dealing with the threat
posed by Muslim militant group Boko Haram in the country's northeast. Civil
society has called on the central government not to repeat its past mistakes.
the movement itself has denied any plans to take up arms. In the past, IMN
spokesman Musa has rejected analogies between his movement and Boko Haram:
"The Islamic movement is guided by and led by the principles of Islam, and
Islam is a religion of peace. It only calls on people to understand it, it
doesn't force people to follow it," he said.
Haram also began as a non-violent group that turned deadly after its leader,
Mohammed Yusuf, and more than 700 people were killed in a clash with Nigerian
forces at Maiduguri's central mosque in 2009. Ibrahim Gwamna Msheliza, a
political analyst from Maiduguri, told DW last October that central authorities
have learned nothing from what happened in the northeast.
least five demonstrators, including four students, have been shot dead during a
protest rally in a city in central Sudan, as an ongoing political turmoil
worsens in the crisis-hit African country.
to a doctors committee linked to the opposition, the victims “succumbed to
direct wounds from sniper bullets during a peaceful rally in al-Obeid”, the
capital of central province of North Kurdufan, on Monday.
committee added that several others also sustained wounds at the rally without
giving further details.
the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), a key protest group, said in a
statement that the school students held the rally and confirmed that “live
ammunition” was used against them.
are calling on all citizens and medics to go to the emergency ward of al-Obeid
hospital and other hospitals that are receiving the wounded from the live ammunition
fired on the rally of school students,” the SPA said on its Facebook page.
was no immediate statement from the state security services, or from Sudan's
military leaders who ousted former president, Omar al-Bashir, through a coup in
April as the protests mounted.
circulating on social media purported to show pupils protesting outside
El-Obeid's main hospital against the killings and injuries, Reuters said.
African country has been the scene of numerous protest rallies over the past
seven months. On April 11, the Sudanese military unseated and then imprisoned
75-year-old Bashir after some four months of widespread protests over dire
economic conditions and soaring prices of basic commodities.
the ouster of Bashir, who had come to power through a military coup in 1989,
Sudanese military leaders established the so-called Transitional Military
Council (TMC) with the task of running state affairs.
generals of the TMC also moved to consolidate power and faced popular protests,
which called for a civilian body to govern the country.
protest rallies against the military leaders have on many occasions turned
bloody in the face of a heavy-handed crackdown.
the most violent case of the clampdown, gunmen in military fatigues raided the
site of a weeks-long sit-in outside Sudan’s army headquarters in capital
Khartoum on June 3, leaving hundreds dead or wounded.
week, the findings of an investigation, conducted by prosecutors and the TMC,
into the massacre showed that 87 people had were killed in the violence, a
death toll much higher than the Sudanese Health Ministry's previous estimate of
officials number of death is a far cry from unconfirmed numbers released by
opposition medics, who claim at least 127 people were killed and 400 sustained injuries after
security forces fired live ammunition at protesters.
investigation blamed the bloody dispersal on “rogue” military personnel.
Sunday, hundreds of people flocked to the streets in the capital, protesting
the results of the probe.
TMC and an alliance of opposition groups are working with Ethiopia and the
African Union to finalize a power-sharing deal for peaceful transition to a
civilian rule, but the process has repeatedly stalled.
the power-sharing agreement negotiated earlier this month between the two
sides, an 11-member body will govern the country for just over three years.
governing council consists of five military members, five civilian ones, and an
11th civilian chosen by both sides. A military general will head the council
for the first 21 months, and then a civilian leader will replace the military
one for another 18 months.
on other aspects of the transition are still continuing. On Tuesday, the two
sides are due to meet to settle the remaining issues regarding the forming of a
and the oil-rich Persian Gulf states, particularly Saudi Arabia and the United
Arab Emirates (UAE), perceive Sudan as a strategically important country in the
region. They have boosted their political and financial involvement in the
African country since Bashir’s ouster.
on Monday, General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, the deputy leader of the TMC and the
second most powerful man in Sudan right now, met with Egyptian President Abdel
Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo.
opposition regards Dagalo’s feared paramilitary RSF as the prime suspect on
June 3 massacre.
night-time curfew was also imposed on Monday in four towns in Sudan's North
Kurdufan state, including its capital Al-Obeid, after five protesters were shot
dead at a rally, authorities said.
curfew will be effective from 9:00 pm (1900 GMT) to 6:00 am for an indefinite
period, the office of North Kurdufan's governor said in a statement.
a related development, Sudan's main protest group demanded the ruling military
council immediately agree to a final transition deal after at least five people
were killed in the city of El-Obeid.
in Nigeria have tightened security ahead of a bail hearing for imprisoned
Muslim cleric, Sheikh Ibrahim al-Zakzaky, whose supporters are expected to
stage protests for his release during the court hearing.
Kaduna State High Court will on Monday decide whether to grant bail to the
cleric, who is in dire need of medical treatment overseas.
cleric, who has been in prison since December 2015, was reportedly poisoned in
prison and requires urgent medical care abroad, according to members of Islamic
Movement in Nigeria (IMN).
members regularly take to the streets of the Nigerian capital to call for the
release of Sheikh Zakzaky, who has been in detention since 2015. Nigerian
forces have used live ammunition against the protesters.
days ahead of the court hearing, a Federal High Court in the capital Abuja
granted the government permission to label the Islamic movement a
in Kaduna said in a statement on Sunday that they have deployed a security
detail to the city in anticipation of protests as a result of the court
forces killed at least 20 members of the movement during protests on Friday,
according to a spokesman for the IMN.
have also been underway in recent weeks outside the Nigerian embassy in the
British capital, London.
Monday, Zakzaky's supporters were staging protests outside the Nigerian embassy
in London ahead of his appearance in court.
London-based Islamic Human Rights Commission, (IHRC), have previously called on
the Nigerian government to immediately release the cleric and send him abroad
for urgent medical treatment.
IHRC, which sent a medical team to Nigeria in April to examine the health and
overall condition of Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife, has already said the
specialist treatment they require can only be fully accessed outside the
Zakzaky, who is in his mid-sixties, lost the ability to see using his left eye
in a 2015 raid by security forces, which left more than 300 of his followers,
and three of his sons dead. His wife also sustained serious injuries.
cleric was charged in April 2018 with murder, culpable homicide, unlawful
assembly, disruption of public peace and other accusations. He has pleaded not
guilty, vehemently rejecting all accusations brought up against him by the
NATIONS: A United Nations envoy called on Monday for a truce to be declared in
Libya around Aug. 10, and warned that an influx of weapons from foreign
supporters in violation of an arms embargo was fueling the conflict.
truce should be declared to mark the Muslim Eid Al-Adha holiday, UN Libya envoy
Ghassan Salame told the Security Council, and be accompanied by
confidence-building moves like an exchange of prisoners and remains and release
of those arbitrarily detained.
has been riven by violence since the fall of Muammar Qaddafi in 2011.
the course of the current fighting, serious violations of international human
rights and humanitarian law by all parties have been committed,” Salame told
the 15-member Security Council.
than ever, Libyans are now fighting the wars of other countries who appear
content to fight to the last Libyan and to see the country entirely destroyed
in order to settle their own scores,” he said.
drones, armored vehicles and pickup trucks fitted with heavy armaments, machine
guns, recoilless rifles, mortar and rocket launchers, have been recently
transferred to Libya with the complicity and indeed outright support of foreign
governments,” Salame said.
a truce, Salame proposed a high-level meeting of concerned countries be
convened to “cement the cessation of hostilities, work together to enforce the
strict implementation of the arms embargo to prevent the further flow of
weapons to the Libyan theater; and promote strict adherence to international
humanitarian and human rights law by Libyan parties.”
said this should then be followed by a meeting of leading and influential
Libyans to agree on a way forward out of the conflict.
triple action will require consensus in this council and among the member
states who exert influence on the ground,” Salame said.
a statement earlier this month, the UN Security Council called for the warring
parties to commit to a cease-fire and urged other countries not to intervene or
exacerbate the conflict.
of the al-Shabaab terrorist group have attacked Burundian soldiers of the
Somalia Peacekeeping Mission (AMISOM) in Balad district, located about 30
kilometers northeast from the capital city of Mogadishu," Colonel
Floribert Biyereke, spokesman of the Burundian army said late Sunday.
located in the Horn of Africa and bordered by Ethiopia to the west, the Gulf of
Aden to the north had witnessed multiple terror attacks over past two decades.
man allegedly wanted to kill American soldiers, arrested while trying to join
33-year-old American man living in New York City's Bronx borough faces terror
charges after his arrest at a New York airport while allegedly en route to join
the Taliban in Afghanistan to kill U.S. soldiers, according to federal court
Mohammad Hossain, who is originally from Bangladesh and later became a U.S.
citizen, was arraigned Friday in federal court in New York City. He was
arrested Friday at John F. Kennedy International Airport as he was about to
board a flight to Thailand on the first leg of his journey to Afghanistan,
is accused of allegedly trying to provide "material support" for the
Taliban, a U.S.-designated terrorist group, by joining their ranks.
to prosecutors, Hossain had been under surveillance since at least September
2018. He was allegedly recorded telling an FBI informant that "attacking
the U.S. Army, attacking stuff like that is legitimate because the world is
against the American government, not its people."
one point, according to court documents, he told the informant: "I just
want to take a frickin' machine gun and just shoot everybody and kill 'em
than 2,400 U.S. service personnel have died in Afghanistan since the U.S.-led
coalition invaded the country after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The coalition
sought to crush the Taliban and hunt down al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.
the past eight years, almost 80 Americans have gone abroad to join jihadist
groups, CBS News reports, although most have sought to join ISIS or al-Qaeda in
Syria and Iraq.
US soldiers were killed in action in Afghanistan on Monday, NATO announced, the
latest international military casualties as Washington seeks a way out of
America’s longest war.
name of the service members killed in action is being withheld until 24 hours
after notification of next of kin is complete,” Resolute Support, the US-led
NATO mission in Afghanistan, said in a statement.
death brings to 12 the number of members of the US military to be killed in
action in Afghanistan this year.
week, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he would “happily” go to Tehran to
address tensions between the two countries over US sanctions on the nation, an
offer that he says was not accepted by the Iranian regime.
recently offered to travel to Tehran and speak directly to the Iranian people.
The regime hasn’t accepted my offer,” Pompeo said in a tweet on Monday.
Jul 29, 2019
recently offered to travel to Tehran and speak directly to the Iranian people.
The regime hasn’t accepted my offer.
aren’t afraid of @JZarif coming to America where he enjoys the right to speak
freely. Are the facts of the @khamenei_ir regime so bad he cannot let me do the
same thing in Tehran? What if his people heard the truth, unfiltered,
AM - Jul 29, 2019
Ads info and privacy
people are talking about this
aren’t afraid of [Mohammad Javad Zarif] coming to America where he enjoys the
right to speak freely. Are the facts of the Khamenei regime so bad he cannot
let me do the same thing in Tehran? What if his people heard the truth,
unfiltered, unabridged?” the secretary of state added.
this month, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif traveled to the US for
a UN meeting.
and the Iranian delegation arrived in New York to attend a UN Economic and
Social Council ministerial meeting.
explained in an interview with Bloomberg he would willingly appear on Iranian
television to explain US reasoning behind the sanctions.
American soldiers have been killed in an apparent insider attack in
Afghanistan’s southern province of Kandahar.
NATO military alliance’s so-called Resolute Support (RS) mission announced the
deaths in a statement on Monday, without giving further details.
Qasam, a deputy police chief in Kandahar Province in southern Afghanistan, said
the attack took place at an Afghan army base during a visit by US forces.
information was two US forces have been killed and one more wounded,” Qasam
US official, who asked not to be named, similarly said initial information
showed it had been was a “green-on-blue” attack (or an insider attack) — in
which Afghan service members or militants disguised in Afghan uniforms fire on
US or coalition troops, Reuters reported.
source said the incident happened in Kandahar Province, stressing that the
initial information could change.
deaths bring the number of US forces killed in Afghanistan this month to three
and at least 11 in 2019.
US and its allies invaded Afghanistan in 2001. While the invasion ended the
Taliban’s rule in the country, it has failed to eliminate the militant group.
The Daesh terrorist group has also emerged in the Asian country more recently.
attacks come as the United States continues to negotiate a peace deal with the
leading perpetrator of attacks across Afghanistan, the Taliban militant group,
which targets mostly Afghan civilians and security forces.
4,000 Afghans killed, wounded in 2019: UN
a United Nations (UN) report released on Tuesday said that at least 3,812
Afghan civilians were killed or injured in the first half of 2019 in the war in
UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in its report that most of
the civilian casualties were caused by ground raids and fighting, followed by
bombings by militant groups and aerial attacks.
to the report, Taliban and Daesh militants killed 531 Afghans and injured 1,437
in the above mentioned period.
UNAMA said that the militant groups deliberately targeted 985 civilians,
including government officials, tribal elders, aid workers, and religious
casualties attributed to the pro-government troops increased in the six months
to June 30 by 31% compared to the same period in 2018 as 717 Afghans were
killed and 680 others wounded between January 1 and June 30.
report added that 519 civilian casualties were caused by airstrikes, 150 of
whom were children.
to the conflict may give differing explanations for recent trends, each
designed to justify their own military tactics,” said UNAMA human rights chief
man suspected of masterminding the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the U.S. is open
to cooperating with victims in their lawsuit against Saudi Arabia, according to
a report published Monday.
Sheikh Mohammed offered his support if the U.S. federal government drops the
death penalty in its prosecution of him in a military tribunal, the Wall Street
Journal reported based on a court filing made Friday.
lawsuit accuses the Saudi government of helping to coordinate the attacks that
killed nearly 3,000 victims. Terrorist hijackers took over passenger aircraft
and crashed two into the World Trade Center, and another into the Pentagon.
fourth plane that was likely headed for either the White House or the U.S.
Capitol Building was prevented from reaching its target after passengers
wrested control from hijackers before it crashed in an empty field in rural
Arabia has denied any role in the attacks.
previous attempt to broker a plea agreement with Mohammed and four other
defendants was scrapped over concerns that dropping the death penalty would serve
as an official censure of the government's torture of the detainees.
person familiar with the military proceedings told the Journal that one of the
primary goals in those negotiations was gaining the defendants' cooperation.
of the main things that the 9/11 defendants have to offer is closure,
particularly closure for the victims,” according to the person whom the Journal
did not identify. “With capital charges gone, there is an opportunity to tell
the story of 9/11 once and for all.”
US troops were shot dead by an Afghan soldier in Afghanistan on Monday, US
officials have confirmed, as Washington’s envoy Zalmay Khalilzad visits the
Nato-led Resolute Support mission gave no further details and withheld the
names of the soldiers until next of kin were notified.
President Donald Trump last week said that he could wipe out the country if we
wanted to, leading to greater tension between the two countries.
have plans on Afghanistan that, if I wanted to win that war, Afghanistan would
be wiped off the face of the earth. It would be gone,” Mr Trump said from the
White House last Monday as he received Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan.
would be over in 10 days. I don’t want to go that route."
Trump's comments outraged the government in Kabul. The presidential palace said
that “the Afghan nation has not and will never allow any foreign power to
determine its fate".
crowd at a rally in Kabul for presidential candidate Gulbuddin Hekmatyar
chanted "Death to America, Death to Trump" last Friday, the Voice of
on Monday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo indicated that more than 8,000
American troops in Afghanistan would start to leave the country next year.
a directive from Mr Trump, American troops would start moving out of
Afghanistan before the November 2020 elections, Mr Pompeo told an event at The
Economic Club in Washington.
sure if I’ve seen such a concrete timeline on U.S. presence in Afghanistan.
"Before the next presidential election… would you expect we reduce our
presence in Afghanistan?
“That’s my directive from the president of the United States”
PM - Jul 29, 2019
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Special representative to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad is currently in Kabul
and visited Afghan soldiers injured in the 18-year-long war.
Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad
wounded Afghan soldiers at Daoud Khan National Military Hospital, and the
dedicated medical staff that looks after them. Their bravery & loyalty to
#Afghanistan knows no limit. They showed no bitterness, and welcomed a durable
peace agreement with those they have fought.
image on Twitter
PM - Jul 28, 2019
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