A man carries the body of a dead child, after what
rescue workers described as a suspected gas attack in the town of Khan
Sheikhoun in rebel-held Idlib, Syria April 4, 2017. REUTERS/Ammar Abdullah
40-50 Years Needed To Clear Weapons In Iraq And Syria
Killed In Suspected Gas Attack on Syrian Rebel Area
NATO’ Not Against Any Country, Says Pakistan
33% of Hindus Count A Muslim as a Close Friend: Survey
Suicide Bombers and 8 Pakistanis Killed In South of Afghanistan
Captive among New Refugees Welcomed By Pope Francis
May must not “write off Britain’s Muslims”, says Tory peer Sayeeda Warsi
says number of people displaced from Mosul exceeds 300,000
police dead in ‘Islamist attack’ in south Russia
police raid Assad family’s assets
identifies metro bomb attacker as Kyrgyz-born Akbarzhon Jalilov
police arrest terror suspect trying to leave UK on train
ISIL Terrorists Killed, 22 Others Injured by Syrian Army in Deir Ezzur
Military Strongly Denies Allegations of Launching Gas Attack in Idlib
entitled to consider Saudi Arabia state sponsor of terror: PM Abadi
Base, Arms Depot Destroyed in Army Attacks in Northern Homs
Front Terrorists Flee Battlefields in Hama after Sustaining Heavy Losses
Army Intensifies Military Operations against ISIL in Deir Ezzur City
Syrian Army Lays Siege on Al-Nusra in Barzeh Region
Syrian Army Advances Further Towards Key Oil Region
King Salman receives British Conservative Party delegation
crown prince discusses enhancing bilateral ties with Britain’s PM
US Envoy to Grace Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl moot
Including Four Soldiers, Martyred In Lahore Suicide Blast
wants peace with India: Bajwa
JuA members surrender in Mohmand Agency: ISPR
War against Ally: NIA Charges Jihadis in Af
violates ceasefire in Poonch, fourth incident of unprovoked firing in less than
should stop backing militancy: Mehbooba Mufti
rejects US offer to mediate with Pakistan on Kashmir issue
must be dealt with urgently: President
Suicide Bombers and 8 Pakistanis Killed In South Of Afghanistan
Intelligence Foil Suicide Attack Plotted By Haqqani Network in Paktika
police foil smuggling attempt of 6 lions to Pakistan
car bombing plot foiled in Kabul city
Will Never Succumb To US, Allies Psychological War: Military Official
Man Sentenced To Death for 'Insulting Islam' Through Messaging App
forces prepare to retake Hudaydah port from Houthis
leader speech creates differences among coup leaders in Sanaa
destroys Palestinian homes in Jerusalem al-Quds
Iran's 1988 Massacre of Political Prisoners Condemned by UN
Iranian faces execution over ‘anti-Islamic’ social media posts
Teen Pleads Guilty To ISIS-Inspired Plot to Kill Pope Francis
teen writes Black Lives Matter in his US college application, gets a call from
blames Assad for deadly chemical attack in Syria, U.S. under pressure
Orders Indian Imam's Expulsion for Remarks Against Christians, Jews
develops MyIHAB, first Jakim's halal ecosystem solution
diplomacy enhances Indonesia-UK relations
gets clerics in line amid tension
Group Condemns Masquerades’ Attack on Catholic Priest
Africa to defend failure to arrest Bashir at ICC
Airlines bring 60 tons of food aid to Somalia
More Kenyans to Benefit from Sudanese Scholarships
by New Age Islam News Bureau
40-50 Years Needed To Clear Weapons in Iraq And Syria
will take 40 to 50 years to clear the mines, improvised explosive devices and
other unexploded ordnance from Iraq and Syria, the United Nations said Tuesday.
are looking at decades of work for these countries to look like post-World War
II Europe where we still find some unexploded ordnance here and there,"
Agnes Marcaillou, director of the United Nations Mine Action Service, told a
news conference marking International Mine Awareness Day.
said her office, which also deals with IEDs and unexploded ordnance, is looking
at a "ballpark figure" of between $170 million to $180 million a year
to clean up the areas retaken from the ISIS extremist group in Iraq.
said that figure includes $50 million annually needed just to rid weaponry from
forces and a US-led international coalition have been engaged in a months-long
operation to retake Mosul, the country's second-largest city, from the ISIS
extremist group. In January, Iraqi authorities declared eastern Mosul
"fully liberated." Fighting is now underway to recapture the city's
said making Iraq and Syria safe will require a complex, sophisticated effort of
"huge magnitude," but she said it can be done.
more funding there is available the more teams we will be able to hire, the
more training we will be able to dispense to Iraqi forces and others," she
said. "The end game is to empower the government of Iraq to take care of
its own problem like the French and the Germans" and the British did after
World War II.
urged the international community to step up funding if it wants refugees and
internally displaced Iraqis and Syrians to return and live in safely.
for assisting victims hurt by mines, IEDs and unexploded ordnance, Macaillou
said the U.N. is "very involved in looking at 3D printing of prosthetic
said using 3D printing could lower the cost of artificial limbs from about
$18,000-$20,000 to $3,000-$5,000.
killed in suspected gas attack on Syrian rebel area
suspected Syrian government chemical attack killed at least 58 people,
including 11 children, in the northwestern province of Idlib on Tuesday, a
monitor, medics and rescue workers in the rebel-held area said.
Syrian military source strongly denied the army had used any such weapons.
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the attack, believed to have been
carried out by Syrian army jets, caused many people to choke, and some had foam
coming out of their mouths. All the children were under the age of eight.
morning, at 6:30 a.m., warplanes targeted Khan Sheikhoun with gases, believed
to be sarin and chlorine," said Mounzer Khalil, head of Idlib's health
authority. The attack had killed more than 50 people and wounded 300, he said.
of the hospitals in Idlib province are now overflowing with wounded people,"
Khalil told a news conference in Idlib.
air strikes that hit the town of Khan Sheikhoun, in the south of rebel-held
Idlib, killed at least 58 people, said the Observatory, a British-based war
later struck near a medical point where victims of the attack were receiving
treatment, the Observatory and civil defense workers said.
civil defense, also known as the White Helmets - a rescue service that operates
in opposition areas of Syria - said jets struck one of its centers in the area
and the nearby medical point.
would mark the deadliest chemical attack in Syria since sarin gas killed
hundreds of civilians in Ghouta near the capital in August 2013. Western states
said the Syrian government was responsible for the 2013 attack. Damascus blamed
Syrian military source on Tuesday denied allegations that government forces had
used chemical weapons.
army "has not and does not use them, not in the past and not in the
future, because it does not have them in the first place", the source
series of investigations by the United Nations and the Organisation for the
Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) found that various parties in the Syrian
war have used chlorine, sulfur mustard gas and sarin.
joint UN-OPCW report published last October said government forces used
chlorine in a toxic gas attack in Qmenas in Idlib province in March 2015. An
earlier report by the same team blamed Syrian government troops for chlorine
attacks in Talmenes in March 2014 and Sarmin in March 2015. It also said
Islamic State had used sulfur mustard gas.
OPCW had no immediate comment on Tuesday.
called for an emergency UN Security Council meeting about Tuesday's suspected
attack. Turkey, which backs the anti-Assad opposition, said the attack could
derail Russian-backed diplomatic efforts to shore up a ceasefire.
new and particularly serious chemical attack took place this morning in Idlib
province. The first information suggests a large number of victims, including
children. I condemn this disgusting act," French Foreign Minister
Jean-Marc Ayrault said.
photographs showed people breathing through oxygen masks and wearing protection
suits, while others carried the bodies of dead children, and corpses wrapped in
blankets were lined up on the ground.
in northern Syria circulated pictures on social media showing a purported
victim with foam around his mouth, and rescue workers hosing down almost naked
children squirming on the floor.
of the town's streets had become empty, a witness said.
state-run Anadolu news agency said 15 people, mostly women and children, had
been brought into Turkey.
official at the Turkish Health Ministry had said earlier that Turkey's disaster
management agency was first "scanning those arriving for chemical weapons,
then decontaminating them from chemicals" before they could be taken to
conflict pits President Bashar al-Assad's government, helped by Russia and
Iranian-backed militias, against a wide array of rebel groups, including some
that have been supported by Turkey, the United States and Gulf monarchies.
Russian Defence Ministry said on Tuesday that Russian planes had not carried
out air strikes on Khan Sheikhoun.
and Russian air strikes have battered parts of Idlib, according to the
Observatory, despite a ceasefire that Turkey and Russia brokered in December.
also struck the town of Salqin in the north of Idlib province on Tuesday,
killing eight people, the monitor said.
President Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the
suspected attack, Turkish presidential sources said. They said the two leaders
had also emphasized the importance of maintaining the ceasefire. Turkey's
foreign minister called the attack a crime against humanity.
European Union's top diplomat Federica Mogherini said: "Obviously there is
a primary responsibility from the regime because it has the primary
responsibility of protecting its people."
province contains the largest populated area controlled by anti-Assad rebels -
both nationalist Free Syrian Army groups and Islamist factions including the
former al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front.
population has ballooned, with thousands of fighters and civilians shuttled out
of Aleppo city and areas around Damascus that the government has retaken in
air strikes since January have also hit several areas in the rural province
where jihadists have a powerful presence.
the 2013 attack, Syria joined the international Chemical Weapons Convention
under a US-Russian deal, averting the threat of U.S.-led military intervention.
the deal, Syria agreed to give up its toxic arsenal and surrendered 1,300
tonnes of toxic weapons and industrial chemicals to the international community
investigators found, however, that it continued to use chlorine, which is
widely available and difficult to trace, in so-called barrel bombs, dropped
chlorine is not a banned substance, the use of any chemical is banned under
1997 Chemical Weapons Convention, to which Syria is a member.
has repeatedly denied using such weapons during the six-year war, which has
killed hundreds of thousands and created the world's worst refugee crisis.
NATO’ not against any country, says Pakistan
remains committed to its policy of non-interference in the conflicts of Muslim
countries and the Saudi-led military alliance was not against any country,
Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua said on Tuesday. Janjua was deposing before a
meeting of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs which
discussed the issue of clearance given to former Army chief General Raheel
Sharif to lead the 41-nation military alliance being dubbed as “Muslim NATO”,
and Pakistan’s relations with Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Islamic (military) alliance is against terrorism, not any (specific) country,”
Janjua was quoted by Dawn as saying in response to a question by committee
chairman Awais Leghari. She was addressing concerns that Islamabad’s decision
to send Sharif to lead the alliance will complicate the already fraught
Foreign Secretary said Pakistan was making efforts to reduce the tensions
between Saudi Arabia and Iran. “It is difficult for Pakistan to maintain equal
relations with both countries but Pakistan will not go against Iran’s
interests,” she assured the panel.
Sharif will not act against Iran as the head of the military alliance, she
assured the committee. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Shah Mehmood
Qureshi expressed concern that the Foreign Office’s statements regarding the
Saudi military coalition were contradictory and said that Pakistan must make
careful decisions regarding the Islamic alliance.
Foreign Office has avoided an immediate reaction to media statements by Iranian
Ambassador Mehdi Honardoost, who expressed reservations about Pakistan clearing
General Sharif to lead the alliance put together by Saudi Arabia.
government had issued a No-Objection Certificate for Sharif to join the
alliance after an understanding was reached between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia
on the matter, Major General (retd) Ijaz Awan, a defence analyst and close
associate of the former army chief, told Dawn.
33% of Hindus count a Muslim as a close friend: Survey
DELHI: As many as 91% Hindus have a close friend from among their own community
but only 33% Hindus count a Muslim as a close friend. While 74% Muslims have a
close friend among Hindus, 95% of of them have a close friend within the
the figures point to "walls of religion" in cultivating
relationships, they also reinforce the belief that community identities
continue to hold sway over people in deciding who they trust.
Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) study to probe
"society and politics between elections" has found that maximum
number of Hindus and Muslims have noted people from their own religion as close
friends. The study also highlights what it calls "isolation of
Muslims" across four states of Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka and Odisha
where the survey was carried out.
only 13% Hindus think of Muslims as "highly patriotic", the figure is
slightly better at 20% Hindus favouring Christians in the similar category and
the percentage is 47% for Sikhs.
least 77% Muslims consider their own community as "highly patriotic"
but just 26% Christians see Muslims in the same light on this sensitive scale
and the number is much lower at 11% among Sikhs. Interestingly, only 66% Sikhs
consider Hindus to be "highly patriotic".
data also reports a high level of "majoritarian" attitudes. People
were categorised as "liberal" and "majoritarian" on the
basis of response to queries - should the government punish those who don't
respect the cow; don't say 'bharat mata ki jai' at public functions; eat beef
or cow meat; do not stand up for national anthem; or engage in religious
conversions? Nearly 72% were found to possess "majoritarian" attitudes
while 17% have "weak liberal" attitude and merely 6% with
mapping of trust among institutions has yielded a known fact - that Army enjoys
the highest level of trust among people. In stark contrast, police, political
parties and govt officials languish at the bottom of the trust pile.
suicide bombers and 8 Pakistanis killed in South of Afghanistan
least eighteen suicide bombers and eight Pakistani insurgents were killed along
with several other insurgents during the clearance operations in southern Zabul
province of Afghanistan.
Ministry of Defense (MoD) said the militants were killed during the separate
operations conducted in Shahjoi and Shalamzai districts.
to the MoD officials, overall 31 insurgents were killed during the operations
and at least two others were wounded.
vehicles and two motorcycles belonging to the insurgents were also destroyed
during the operations.
is among the relatively volatile provinces in southern Afghanistan where the
Taliban insurgents and other militants including ISIS loyalists are actively
local residents and tribal elders met with the government officials in Kabul
last year to convey their concerns regarding the growing activities of the
terror group in some restive districts of Zabul.
to the tribal elders, the ISIS loyalists, comprising mostly foreign insurgents
have started operations in Khak Afghan and other districts as the majority of
them have shifted to the province with their families.
captive among new refugees welcomed by Pope Francis
City, Apr 3, 2017 / 11:23 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Vatican has taken in three
new Syrian families, some members of which were ISIS prisoners before gaining
freedom and fleeing the country.
to an April 3 Vatican communique, the families – two of whom are Christian –
took the place of the families welcomed by the Vatican last year, who with the
help of various organizations have now become independent, and have moved out
of their Vatican apartments.
decision to welcome them was made in response to the Pope's Sept. 6, 2015,
appeal for all European parishes, religious communities, monasteries and
shrines to house one refugee family. At the time, the Pope said the two Vatican
parishes – St. Peter's Basilica and St. Anne's parish – would also be hosting
one family each.
Peter's Basilica provided an apartment for an Eritrean family, consisting of a
mother and her five children.
family hosted by St. Anne's parish was a Christian Syrian family, consisting of
the parents and two children, who fled from the Syrian capital of Damascus and
arrived in Italy the same day Pope Francis made his appeal.
families had made their way to Greece, their homes having been bombed, and made
it to Italy with the help of the “Humanitarian Corridors” project run by the
Sant'Egidio Community and the Federation of Evangelical Churches in Italy to
provide refugees safe passage without risking their lives in the Mediterranean.
13 people in total, the new families taking their place arrived at different
times: one in February 2016 and two in March of this year.
the two families who arrived in March, both suffered “kidnapping and other
types of discrimination” because of their Christian faith.
first family is composed of a mother and her two adolescent children, their
grandmother, an aunt and another Syrian woman who lives with them.
second family consists of a young couple and their newborn daughter, Stella,
who was born two weeks ago in the apartment they are now living in.
to the communique, the mother had been a prisoner of ISIS for “several months,”
but now, after arriving in Italy, “has again found peace.”
third family, who arrived to Italy in February 2016, is Muslim and consists of
parents and their two daughters, the eldest of whom is ill.
the family has begun a process of integration in which both children attend
school and their mother is enrolled in a graduate course for Intercultural
Mediators,entering just a few days ago a program for career training.
date some 70 families, including those hosted by the Vatican, have arrived to
Rome with the help of the Humanitarian Corridors project, totaling 145 people
from the assurance of a warm welcome through various parishes, communities and
associations, the families are accompanied after arriving by volunteers, who
help them in the integration process, beginning with learning the Italian
addition to the families hosted by the Vatican, an additional 21 Syrian
refugees – who came back with the Pope after his 2016 trip to Lesbos – receive
economic assistance from the Holy See, and in some cases are hosted by
religious or private families. http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/isis-captive-among-new-refugees-welcomed-by-pope-francis-60793/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=email
just hope a terrorist attack doesn’t happen in London,” Baroness Warsi remarks
as I leave the House of Lords at the end of our interview. A few hours later, a
man armed with a car and a knife will attack the very same building, killing a
policeman guarding Parliament’s entrance and three pedestrians on Westminster
Conservative peer’s grimly poignant aside came after we were discussing her new
book, The Enemy Within: A Tale of Muslim Britain. Part political memoir, part
policy brief, it’s an uncompromising condemnation of successive UK governments’
a subject she knows all too well. As the first Muslim woman in cabinet, Sayeeda
Warsi served both as minister for faith and communities and foreign office
minister under David Cameron from 2012-14, and as shadow community cohesion
minister in 2007-10 – a job that preceded two years co-chairing the Tory party.
saw on the inside how policy was formed in the climate of global terrorism, and
how her party approached the UK’s Muslim community. And she didn’t like what
on the right of politics, can create the climate, the swamp, within which the
racist feels comfortable,” she writes.
meet her in a House of Lords sideroom as pokey in size as it is grand in
decoration. Wooden-panelled with an intricate stone arch over the doorway,
decked out in rose-patterned wallpaper and thick red carpet, it hosts little
but a table, four portcullis-emblazoned chairs and a loudly ticking clock.
surroundings were not the obvious place for Warsi to end up. There aren’t many
working-class Muslim women prowling these corridors. The second of five sisters
born to Pakistani immigrant parents, Warsi grew up in the West Yorkshire mill
town of Dewsbury, which has seen BNP councillors and EDL marches in recent
years. Her father worked in mills and as a bus driver, before starting up a bed
manufacturing company there; her parents still live in the area.
entered the House of Lords in 2007, after a career as a solicitor and a stint
as former Tory leader Michael Howard’s special adviser. The first Muslim woman
to be selected by the Conservatives for a parliamentary seat, she failed to be
elected MP for Dewsbury in 2005.
was a white, working-class community with a significant minority Muslim
presence when she lived there. “I grew up in a space where overt racism was
kind of what you put up with, being called ‘Paki’, being called various other
names,” she recalls, sitting across from me. She is wearing a scarlet cardigan
and black dress, bluetooth headpiece unclipped for a break from the day’s work.
“I would say what radicalised me was the colour of my skin – I think what
radicalises other people now is the faith they belong to."
says government attitudes towards British Asians have become divisive and
counter-productive, sometimes producing “dangerous policy-making” over the past
particular, she laments New Labour’s authoritarianism, David Cameron’s
abandonment of inclusivity in his later years in government, the Counter-Terrorism
and Security Act of 2015, and the Prevent programme.
heart of the shift, for her, is a narrow focus on extremist ideology, rather
than analysing other drivers of violent extremism. The rise of global terrorism
and extremist Islamist groups has created a “pushback against multiculturalism”
in Britain that she sees as damaging, causing Asian communities to feel defined
by Islam rather than a hotchpotch of identities.
my generation – you had your little Asian bit, you had your Pakistani bit, and
you had your bits of Muslim, your school version, and your English version,”
she says, pinching different parts of her arms to demonstrate. “It’s much more
polarising now, when you’re constantly challenged to assert your Britishness.”
was brought into the fold by Cameron in 2007, but then resigned from his
cabinet in 2014 over the government’s policy on the Gaza crisis. She tells me
she was “baffled” by Cameron’s change in rhetoric on Islam between 2007 and
2016 – recalling how his celebration of multiculturalism and “inspiring” people
to be British gave way to “muscular liberalism” and "Christian values”.
She feels the former Prime Minister “lost his way”.
became increasingly corrosive and I couldn’t understand why,” she recalls. “We
found ourselves saying more and more extreme things, excluding more and more
Muslim communities from the debate.”
adds: “Rather than trying to make insiders of outsiders, we were increasingly
making outsiders of insiders, and therefore I felt that the whole policy was
blames the Tory party for being “dragged off further to the right”, and Cameron
for being impressionable. “If we have to give credit to anybody for this, it
would have to be Michael Gove,” she says. “He was hugely influential in this
area, and I think that David was quite taken with him and his views; they
didn’t just have a professional relationship, they had a personal relationship
. . . On issues this serious, you shouldn’t be influenced by the fact your mate
thinks in a certain way.”
clashed with Gove in cabinet, slamming him in her book for considering “himself
a bit of an expert on ‘the Muslims’, despite his minimal contact with Muslims
in Britain and almost non-existent experience in the Muslim world”.
saw a “shameless, bare-faced agenda” within government, accusing some of her
then colleagues of wanting to pursue the agenda “we now see in the White
House”. “Left unchecked, we end up with the kind of White House we’ve got now,”
she says. “Left unchecked, this is where I think our policy-making was going.”
is damning of Theresa May’s response to Donald Trump. “Not having him for a
state visit would be the right message,” she says. “There are lots of people we
all work with who we don’t like, but we don’t invite them round for tea.
absolutely loathe the fact we’re going to roll out the red carpet, her majesty,
our state banqueting rooms . . . Do you think we should be bestowing honours
upon this man? That’s not who Britain should be. We’re better than that.”
divide-and-rule behaviour of the colonial past has got to stop”
also urges the Prime Minister to review Prevent, the notoriously crass
programme aimed at nipping “extremism” in the bud among young people (such as
the four-year-old referred to a de-radicalisation programme after saying the
word “cucumber” – nursery staff heard “cooker bomb”).
as a brand is definitely broken,” says Warsi. “Is it a counter-terrorism
strategy? Is it a counter-extremism strategy? The government finds it difficult
to define ‘extremism’ itself; it’s still struggling with that . . . it won’t
publish who we fund to do Prevent training, the number of referrals, the
outcomes: why are we so cloak-and-dagger about this stuff?”
witnessed a “paranoid state” within government, and writes in her book that
May’s “approach appears to be the same” – though she believes the PM has the
capacity to change course, “if she can get off the Brexit bus”.
than 300,000 people have fled Mosul since the start of the US-backed campaign to
dislodge ISIS from the northern Iraqi city in October, the United Nations said
United Nations’ International Organization for Migration estimates the number
of people currently displaced to be 302,400, the office of the UN Humanitarian
Coordinator in Iraq said in a statement.
forces, backed by a US-led coalition, have taken most districts of Mosul,
ISIS’s last major stronghold in Iraq and the city where the group's leader, Abu
Bakr al-Baghdadi, declared a caliphate nearly three years ago.
- Radical Islamists killed two traffic police officers in the southern Russian
city of Astrakhan, the regional governor said Tuesday, the day after a
suspected suicide bomber hit the Saint Petersburg metro.
night, a group of radical Islamists... carried out a brazen attack on employees
of the traffic police,” Alexander Zhilkin said in a statement. “The culprits
opened fire on them with firearms and fled. Unfortunately, two traffic police
officers died on the spot.”
interior ministry later said the two suspected attackers were apprehended.
Astrakhan regional police said the incident occurred at about 1:00am local time
(2200 GMT) after traffic police were dispatched to the scene of an accident.
- Police in southern Spain on Tuesday staged raids targeting assets of the
family of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, a judicial source said.
raids, in the Puerto Banus marina area of the plush resort of Marbella, are the
result of a corruption investigation launched in France against Assad’s uncle,
assets of Rifaat al-Assad and his family in Spain are valued at 691 million
euros ($736 million), the source said, adding that “all these properties have
Jose de la Mata is coordinating the judicial operation against Rifaat al-Assad,
uncle of the current president of Syria, for money laundering in Puerto Banus
and Marbella”, the source said.
1984, Rifaat al-Assad was forced into exile for trying to overthrow his older
brother, the late Syrian dictator Hafez al-Assad.
to Spanish justice, Rifaat al-Assad, now aged 79, received 300 million dollars
of state cash which he used to buy real estate in France, Liechtenstein,
Luxembourg and Curacao.
and Spanish authorities have been cooperating on the case and Spain opened an
investigation on the back of the French one.
authorities say the Spanish probe established that Rifaat and his family had
503 properties in their portfolio, ranging from holiday villas to plush hotel
apartments - almost all in and around Marbella.
residence, “La Maquina” at Benahavis just outside Marbella is worth an estimated
60 million euros.
investigating magistrate has frozen 16 people’s bank accounts and a further 76
accounts in connection with the case, the judicial source said.
say Rifaat al-Assad - first charged in France last June - holds some 90 million
euros worth of property assets in France, including an office block in the
eastern city of Lyon.
al-Assad insists he does not keep close tabs on his property holdings.
Russian suicide bomber originally from mainly Muslim Kyrgyzstan detonated the
explosives in a St Petersburg train carriage that killed 14 people and wounded
50, authorities said on Tuesday.
suspect had radical links, Russian media cited law enforcement officials as
saying, raising the possibility Monday’s attack could have been inspired by
ISIS, which has not struck a major city in Russia before. So far, no-one has
claimed responsibility for the blast.
officials identified the suspect as Akbarzhon Jalilov, born in the city of Osh
in 1995, and Russian officials confirmed his identity, saying he had also left
a bomb found at another metro station before it went off.
details pieced together from social media and Russian officials suggested
Jalilov was an fairly typical young St Petersburg resident with an interest in
Islam as well as pop music and martial arts but no obvious links to militants.
uncle, Eminzhon Jalilov, told Reuters by telephone that his nephew was a
mosque-attending Muslim, but that he was “not a fanatic”.
explosion in the middle of Monday afternoon occurred when the train was in a
tunnel deep underground, amplifying the force of the blast. The carriage door
was blown off, and witnesses described seeing injured passengers with bloodied
and blackened bodies.
investigative authorities said fragments of the body of the suspect had been
found among the dead, indicating that he was a suicide bomber.
man suspected of preparing acts of terrorism was arrested Tuesday as he was
trying to leave Britain from a central London train station served by Eurostar,
was arrested on suspicion of preparation of acts of terrorism, dissemination of
terrorist publications and inviting support for a proscribed
organisation," the police said in a statement.
arrest does not relate to offences against the UK," police said, adding
that a search was under way at a home in north London.
police did not reveal the man's nationality or where he was trying to travel
spokesman for Eurostar told AFP he had "no information" about the
least 28 ISIL terrorists were killed and 22 others were injured in the Syrian
army's artillery and missile attacks on the terrorist group's military
positions in al-Maqaber (cemetery), al-Jabilieh and al-Rashidiyeh regions and
also the surrounding areas of Regiment 137 base and East of Deir Ezzur military
airport and Deir Ezzur power station.
Syrian army also destroyed an anti-tank missile base and a machinegun-equipped
military vehicle of the ISIL terrorists.
the Syrian air force raided the military positions and concentrations centers
of the ISIL terrorists in the surrounding areas of al-Maqaber, Sarieh Juneid,
Al-e Aloush and Tal-e Khanzir, al-Mohandesin, al-Mokabat and Electricity
company, killing a number of ISIL terrorists.
a relevant development on Tuesday, the Syrian Army launched intensified attacks
on ISIL's military positions and defense lines in several districts of the city
of Deir Ezzur and its surrounding areas and managed to inflict heavy losses and
casualties on the terrorists.
Syrian army troops engaged in fierce clashes with a terrorist group who had
penetrated into the Syrian army's military point from al-Rasheediya direction
which resulted in the death and injury of all the terrorists as well as
destruction of their weapons, ammunition
and military equipment.
the meantime, the Syrian army units engaged in heavy clashes with the ISIL
terrorists in al-Jufreh, in the vicinity of Deir Ezzur military airport,
Panorama and surrounding areas of Regiment 137 base concurrent with the army's
heavy artillery attacks on ISIL's military positions and supply routes.
number of ISIL terrorists were killed and their military vehicles were also
destroyed in the army attacks.
a relevant development on Monday, the Syrian Army also intensified its attacks
on the ISIL positions and defense lines in Deir Ezzur and its outskirts.
army's artillery and missile units launched heavy artillery and air assaults on
ISIL's concentration centers in al-Erifi neighborhood and also on the terrorist
group's movements in the areas stretching from Regiment 137 base to the key
positions Southwest of the city.
reports said at least 10 terrorists were killed and a number of their military
vehicles were destroyed in the strikes.
Syrian army troops also pounded ISIL's concentration centers South of Deir
Ezzur, destroying a number of military vehicles and bases in the surrounding
areas of Tal al-Sanouf and al-Sham gas station.
on Friday, the Syrian Army soldiers exchanged heavy fire with ISIL near Deir
Ezzur city, inflicting major casualties on the terrorists.
Syrian Army men engaged in heavy fighting with ISIL in Tal al-Sanouf on the
Taym Road, killing a number of terrorists and destroying their military
the meantime, intense battles erupted in and around Deir Ezzur as the Syrian
Army prepares to launch a massive offensive on ISIL positions in the Western
regions of Deir Ezzur.
the army soldiers repelled another powerful offensive of ISIL around the
sources said that the ISIL has launched several "desperate" attacks
against the Syrian Army in the past few days, but retreated from the
battlefield after brief battle.
Syrian army "has not and does not use them, not in the past and not in the
future, because it does not have them in the first place," the source told
a Syrian member of parliament, Sharif Shahada, said he believed a chemical arms
depot set up and held by the militants in the area may have exploded in the
incident, adding that the Syrian government was not in possession of such
also accused Turkey of having supplied militants in Syria with chemical arms.
the Russian military said in a statement that Moscow did not conduct any
airstrikes in Idlib province.
United States and its allies have in the past accused the Syrian military of
conducting chemical attacks, while Damascus turned its entire chemical arsenal
over to international monitors under a deal negotiated by Russia and the United
States back in 2013.
militants have repeatedly used chemical weapons against Syrian troops and
civilians, but the attacks have often been ignored by Western governments.
forces had also found Saudi and Turkish chemicals in Aleppo that were used by
Takfiri terrorist groups to make chemical weapons. Damascus forces also
discovered several chemical-weapons workshops in the war-torn country in the
Defense Ministry also found poisonous chlorine and white phosphorus in nine
samples from Southwestern Aleppo in November 2016.
Defense Ministry’s Spokesman Igor Konashenkov said the UN-backed Organization
for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was reluctant to join forces
with Russia or send experts to Aleppo, adding that "which does not stop
some OPCW members from apportioning blame from afar and ignoring the evidence
that chemical weapons are being used against civilians."
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi says the nationals of his country have good
reason to believe Saudi Arabia is a state sponsor of terror.
Saudi nationals have carried out terrorist operations in Iraq, and every Iraqi
citizen has a right to believe that Saudi Arabia is a supporter of terrorism,”
he told Lebanon’s Al Mayadeen television channel.
Arabia’s official radical ideology of Wahhabism, which is known for its lack of
tolerance, informs the mindset of Daesh and other terrorist groups worldwide.
Daesh has been ravaging Iraq, and neighboring Syria, since 2014.
March 8, Fox News cited a senior Iraqi counterterrorism intelligence officer as
saying that around 30 percent of the Daesh terrorists in Iraq had been Saudi
nationals, who had entered the country over the previous three years via Turkey
or through the Syrian border town of Abu Kamal.
in the interview, Abadi said it was too early to think that relations between
Iraq and Saudi Arabia had warmed. The normalization of the ties, he said, was
only in its embryonic stages.
January 2016, Thamer al-Sabhan became the first Saudi ambassador to be assigned
to Baghdad in a quarter of a century. The two countries had severed ties
following former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait.
in August 2016, senior Iraqi officials requested Riyadh to replace Sabhan. He
had on occasions received warnings from Iraqi officials for interference in the
country’s internal affairs. Riyadh later withdrew the ambassador, but instead
of naming another one, it named a chargé d’affaires at its diplomatic mission
in the Iraqi capital, in what was regarded as a unilateral and quick
downgrading of the bilateral diplomatic ties.
February this year, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir made a rare visit to
Baghdad and met with Abadi, and the relations have been interpreted as being on
the mend ever since.
handout photo released by the Iraqi prime minister’s press office on February
25, 2017 shows Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi (R) meeting with Saudi
Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir in Baghdad. (Via AFP)
and Saudi Arabia
the Al Mayadeen interview, Abadi also dismissed “the Saudi mentality that Iraq
is under Iran’s control” as “flat wrong.”
said the normalization of relations between Baghdad and Tehran — as well as
with Kuwait and Jordan — was a “success” by the Iraqi government.
said both Iran and Saudi Arabia were interested in calm being restored to the
region and added that Iraq, looking at its own interests, was not interested in
an escalation of tensions with Iran.
Iraqi prime minister also said his country was ready to mediate between Riyadh
and Tehran but had not been asked to do so yet.
Arabia unilaterally severed its diplomatic ties with Iran last January after
protests outside its diplomatic premises in Tehran and Mashhad against Riyadh’s
execution of eminent Saudi Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr. Relations between
the two had already suffered due to mutual accusations of intervention in
regional affairs and Iran’s strong opposition to Saudi Arabia’s invasion of
Saudi-led war on Yemen
to the Saudi-led war on Yemen, Abadi said Riyadh had been convinced that it
needed to end the war, which has killed more than 12,000 Yemeni people since it
began in March 2015.
is likely that this will happen soon,” he said, referring to an end to the war.
red line on Syria
want Syria to disintegrate,” the Iraqi prime minister said, stressing that,
“This is a red line.”
asked Arab states to extinguish the flames of the war in Syria, saying the
money that had been spent on regional conflicts “could have turned the Arab
world into paradise.”
Arabia and Qatar are accused of funding and arming anti-Damascus militants, who
have been waging deadly violence in Syria since 2011.
Iraqi statesman also remarked on the ongoing Turkish military presence in Iraq
and Syria in the name of fighting Daesh.
accused the Turkish forces of being more focused on fighting Kurdish forces
than battling Daesh. Turkey considers the Kurds to be associated with
anti-Ankara militants and has been pushing them back away from its common
border with Syria.
military presence in Iraq has had no authorization from the government in
Baghdad and has been a major source of tensions between the two states.
Syrian army units heavily pounded the military positions and movements of
Al-Nusra Front in Deir Foul, Taldo, Kafr Laha and Southern al-Mashjar in
Northern Homs which resulted in the death and injury of a number of terrorists
and destruction of their military base and ammunition and arms depot.
the Syrian fighter jets pounded the military positions and military bases of
Al-Nusra Front in Kafr Laha and Taldo villages in al-Houleh region, the town of
Talbiseh and the surrounding areas of al-Rastan city in the Northern and
Northwestern pars of the Aleppo province.
air assault resulted in the destruction of the terrorists' positions, killing
and injuring a number of them.
a relevant development earlier on Tuesday, the Syrian army continued its
military operations in the areas surrounding the ancient city of Palmyra
(Tadmur) and came closer to the strategic Arak oilfield after capturing a
nearby mountainous region.
Syrian government troops seized back Jabal (Mountain) al-Taj near Arak oilfield
in heavy clashes with the terrorists in an area located 23 kilometers from
large number of terrorists, including foreign and Arab militants, were killed
in the battle with the Syrian army over Jabal al-Taj region.
terrorists' military hardware, including their military vehicles, was also
destroyed in the government troops' offensive.
sources confirmed that the Syrian army's advances in the oil-rich regions of
Eastern Homs continue, and said the Syrian army has also won control of several
military positions of the ISIL South of al-Mohr and North of Katiba
a relevant development on Monday, the Syrian army pushed the ISIL further back
in regions near Palmyra and seized a number of key points.
army units assisted by allied forces won control over the strategic Mount Abu
Al-Dohour after bloody clashes with ISIL militants.
sources said that the army operations in the last 48 hours have inflicted heavy
casualties on the terrorists.
other army units also earned victory in a number of nearby regions and seized
control over Abu-Qaala dam and Wadi Al-Hasou plain North-West of Station 4,
South-East of Homs.
repeated defeats in Northern Hama and Al-Nusra Front commanders' lack of
attention to the injured militants and leaving them behind, the terrorists have
lost their morale and, hence, left the battlefields," media sources said.
a military source confirmed that the Syrian army's artillery and missile
attacks as well as air raids by the country's air force on the Al-Nusra Front's concentration centers and
movements severely weakened the terrorist group and made them dig deep tunnels
for storing their weapons and ammunitions.
is while the senior Al-Nusra Front commanders used civilian cars to flee the
battlefields," the source added.
also said that a number of notorious Al-Nusra Front commanders have been killed
in the Syrian army attacks and air raids on their military positions, in
vehicles and tunnels.
a relevant development on Monday, the Al-Nusra Front sustained another major
defeat in Northern Hama and lost control over a key town after brief, but
bloody, clashes with the Syrian army.
sources on both sides of the war reported on Monday that the Syrian army pushed
forward in the Northern parts of Hama province and captured the town of
reports said the ground troops continued their advance in the same region and
imposed control on Maardis Bridge and Maardis Mills.
also said that other army units, backed up by massive artillery and rocket
fire, raided Al-Nusra's strategic position on Hill Tal al-Dowair and pushed the
terrorists further back after fierce battle.
troops said the Al-Nusra lost control over the town and the hill and sustained
dozens of casualties in the two battles, adding that the government troops are
still on the march in Northern Hama.
army has won back over 20 towns and villages that it had lost to the Al-Nusra
Front North of Hama province after hunting hundreds of terrorists, including
several Saudi ringleaders.
80 percent of the territories lost to the terrorists in the last few weeks have
now been recaptured by the army following a series of counterattacks on
Al-Nusra (also known as Fatah al-Sham Front or the Levant Liberation Board)
militants in the region," a ranking army officer told FNA.
source further pointed out that the army has managed to seize back a sum of 20
towns and villages, the Qatar Tayyebeh Al-Imam Station and a number of other
key military positions in the region.
these operations, hundreds of terrorists have been killed, including Emir of
the Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board) training camps Abu Fahd
Al-Anzi, Commander Mohammad Ahmad Joulaq, Mufti (religious leader) Abu Riyaq
Turkistani and Saudi Commander of Turkistani Party Abdul-Rahman Abdullah
Do'ayd," he stated.
Syrian Army troops launched massive attacks on terrorists' defense lines in
Northern Hama on Sunday.
Syrian army troops advanced in Souq al-Tahrib street after heavy clashes with
Al-Nusra Front terrorists in an area Southwest of al-Qaboun district," a
military source said.
the Syrian army's missile and artillery units hit hard the terrorists'
movements and concentration centers in al-Qaboun district.
reports also said that the Syrian army troops have completed their siege of
Barzeh district after taking full control of al-Hefz street located between
Barzeh, Tishreen and al-Qaboun districts.
is now fully detached from other districts in Eastern Damascus.
the meantime, the Syrian fighter jets pounded the terrorists' positions in
al-Qaboun, Jobar, Douma and Kafr Batna, killing a number of terrorists.
a relevant development on Monday, the Syrian army continued its military
operations against the Al-Nusra Front in
Eastern Damascus, and advanced in the area after closing all tunnels located
between Qaboun and Barzeh regions.
Syrian army troops engaged in heavy clashes with Al-Nusra terrorists in Qaboun
region and made advances towards al-Ba'alah region.
the Syrian army's missile and artillery units targeted and pounded the Al-Nusra
Front's military positions and bases in the region, killing several militants.
military source also reiterated that the Syrian army has closed down all
tunnels of the terrorists in areas between Barzeh and Qaboun regions.
Syrian air force also pounded the terrorist groups' bases in Jobar and the
outskirts of Erbin and Zamalka regions, and destroyed a military base. Local
witnesses said all the terrorists inside the base were killed in the air raid.
a relevant development on Saturday, the Syrian military forces discovered a
lengthy tunnel of the terrorists in Eastern Ghouta and destroyed it.
army gained control over the last major tunnel of the terrorists in al-Qaboun
district North-East of Damascus province.
Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz on Tuesday received a delegation from the
Middle East Group of British Conservative Party headed by Helen Whately at
Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh.
to the Saudi Press Agency, during the meeting, they reviewed relations of
friendship between the two countries and different aspects of cooperation,
particularly between the Shura Council and the British Parliament.
Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz met with British Prime
Minister Theresa May in Riyadh on Tuesday to discuss enhancing bilateral ties
between the two countries.
the meeting, they discussed the joint cooperation to combat extremism and fight
against terrorism in addition to the latest developments in the region and the
two countries' stances towards them.
meeting was attended by a number of officials.
- In connection with the centenary celebrations of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl
(JUI-F) for completing 100 years, the party Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman also
invited the United States Ambassador to Pakistan, David Hale, to the event
likely to be graced by Imam-i-Ka’aba and other dignitaries from all over the
three-day congregation — April 7 to April 9 – will be organised in District
Nowshera. Various sessions will be held to highlight the services and struggle
of the party for securing political and religious rights of the people of this
a letter addressed to US Ambassador David Hale, JUI-F Chief Maulana Fazlur
Rehman said that keeping in view the interest of United States in democratic
order in the country and the overall political situation in the region they
have decided to invite him in these celebrations so that he would be
enlightened about the struggle of JUI-F for the civil rights of the people over
the past 100 years in this region.
further stated that through these celebrations they would portray and highlight
the true teachings of Islam which believes in tolerance, inter-faith harmony
and promoting peace and harmony in the world.
further mentioned in the invitation that religious scholars from across the
world would be attending the event which would continue for three days.
among those who would be attending the ceremony included Imam-e-Kaabah Sheikh
Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, Darul Uloom Deoband’s (India) administrator Abul Qasim
Nomani, Jamiat Ulema Hind President Maulana Syed Arshad Maadani and Secretary
General Maulana Syed Mehmood Asad Madani.
these religious figures, the diplomats stationed in Islamabad belonging to
different countries, political leadership across the spectrum were also invited
to join them in the celebrations.
RIAZ | ARIF MALIK
least four people were killed and 18 others wounded in a mysterious blast in
Lahore's Bedian Road area on Wednesday, police and rescue sources said.
unnamed police official said the explosion was caused when a suicide bomber
blew himself up near an army vehicle. However, initial reports claimed it was a
we know so far
killed, at least 18 injured in blast
of blast is not clear as yet
official claims it was a suicide blast targeting census vehicle
Punjab government tweeted that the exact nature of the blast is being
police official said the blast hit a vehicle taking part in the ongoing census.
He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to talk to the
sources claimed four Pakistan Army soldiers and two civilians lost their lives
in the blast. However, the information has not been officially confirmed.
explosion led to a fire that engulfed the cars parked nearby. Security forces
have cordoned off the area and started a search operation.
injured have been shifted to the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) and General
Hospital. Three of the injured are said to be in a critical condition.
emergency has been declared in the hospitals of Lahore.
road, on most days, is a bustling route, used by many to commute to areas
adjacent to DHA's Phase 5.
with fruit vendors and push-carts, Bedian Road is largely surrounded by
farmland and farmhouses. The kind of shops and services available on Bedian
Road are hard to find within the premises of the upscale DHA area.
- Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar
Javed Bajwa has said that Pakistan was a peace-loving country and wants to
resolve all outstanding issues including the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir
with India peacefully.
said this while addressing a UK think-tank, the International Institute for
Strategic Studies, said a press release issued by the ISPR here on Tuesday.
his thoughts on regional and international security environment, challenges and
way forward, the army chief talked about the security situation in Afghanistan
and its impact on peace and stability in the region and beyond.
to the ISPR, Gen Bajwa also apprised the participants of Pakistan's
achievements in its efforts against terrorism and militancy.
also highlighted prospects of the CPEC project towards economic development in
is a peace-loving country and wishes to resolve all unresolved issues including
the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir with India,” he said.
participants appreciated the candid talk of the army chief and acknowledged
Pakistan army's contribution to peace and stability.
COAS emphasised that peace in Afghanistan was a shared interest. He said that
Pakistan will continue its positive role and was ready to work closely with
said Pak-Afghan bilateral border security mechanism is critically important and
both countries need to formulate this at priority.
shared various border control management measures Pakistan has undertaken and
urged similar measures from the other side to defeat a common enemy.
Gen Bajwa, who is currently visiting the United Kingdom, also addressed a
London-based think tank, Royal United Services Institute (RUSI).
said that Pakistan was positively engaged to bring about peace and stability in
the region including Afghanistan.
‘hardcore’ militants linked with a proscribed terrorist outfit laid down their
arms in tribal areas, said military officials on Tuesday.
to ISPR, eight members of banned Jamaat-ul-Ahrar group surrendered in Boideh
area, saying they were misled by Pakistan’s enemies.
military officials said that more militants associated with the terrorist
outfit are likely to lay down arms in the coming days. They urged the misguided
terrorists to hand themselves over to security forces.
ISPR said that suspected militants who surrendered include Akbar, Gull, Siraj
and their five other accomplices.
war against ally: NIA charges jihadis in Af
DELHI: In a first, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has charged several
Indians, who have joined the Islamic State (IS) and are believed to be fighting
in Afghanistan, with waging war against a close ally of India.
n its chargesheet filed against the Kerala module of IS last week, the agency
claimed that Kozhikode-based 'amir' (leader) of the module, Shajeer
Mangalassary alias Abu Ayisha, was fighting in IS-controlled areas in
Afghanistan against the Afghan government, an "Asiatic power in alliance
with the government of India". Shajeer, an engineer, went to Afghanistan
from the UAE via Tehran.
NIA said 22 others from Kerala, including women and children who are now based
in Nangarhar province of Afghanistan, went there with Shajeer's assistance.
officials told TOI that these people too were most likely engaged in fighting
to sources, one of them, T K Hafeezuddin, was killed in a US drone strike in
nother Kerala module member, Moinudheen Parakadavath, had travelled to Tehran along
with Shajeer last year but returned and has been questioned by the agencies.
Officials said Indians joining IS in Iraq, Syria or Afghanistan were being
trained to fight with the local units but a major chunk of Indians had gone to
Afghanistan and were fighting there. Along with Shajeer, the NIA has
chargesheeted Manseed alias Omar Al Hindi, Swalih Mohammed, Rashid Ali, Ramshad
N K, Safvan and Jasim N K.
agency said Shajeer still sought support for IS from Indians. He had created
the Kerala module in August-September 2016 and named it 'Ansar-ul Khilafa KL.
The NIA chargesheet said the module used several 'Telegram' groups to propagate
the ideology of IS and recruit members.
DELHI: Pakistani troops on Wednesday again resorted to mortar shelling and
firing by automatic weapons along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch district
of Jammu and Kashmir, prompting the Army to retaliate.
was unprovoked ceasefire violation by Pakistan Army in Digwar sector of Poonch
today, using 82 mm mortars, automatic weapons," a defence spokesman said.
Army personnel took positions and responded befittingly to the Pakistani
firing, the spokesman said, adding that intermittent firing was going on.
is no casualty on our side, he said, adding that this is the second incident of
unprovoked firing in the same sector.
ceasefire violation is the fourth such incident in less than 48 hours along the
LoC in Rajouri and Poonch+ districts.
Saleem Pandit |
Jammu & Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti asked Pakistan on Tuesday to
stop supporting militancy in the state and allow peace to return.
CM, while addressing an election rally in support of her cinematographer
brother Mufti Tassaduq in Dooru area of Anantnag district said "Pakistan
adopted the policy of not supporting militancy during Atal Bihari Vajpayee's
tenure. I ask them to stop supporting militancy and help us restore peace in
DELHI: India rejected the comments by US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley
suggesting a proactive role for America in India-Pakistan ties, saying the
outstanding issues between the sub-continental neighbours should be sorted out
government's position for bilateral redressal of all India-Pakistan issues in
an environment free of terror and violence hasn't changed," the Indian
sought to underline that international mediation, if at all, must concentrate
on getting Pakistan to act against terrorism and enforce the rule of law in
keeping with international norms. " We of course expect the international
community and organisations to enforce international mechanisms and mandates
concerning terrorism emanating from Pakistan, which continues to be the single
biggest threat to peace and stability in our region and beyond," said MEA
spokesperson Gopal Baglay.
remarks caused India to iterate that a third party role in resolving
India-Pakistan issues is not acceptable. "...We are seeing tensions rise
and conflicts start to bubble up and so we want to see if we can be a part of
that...," she had said .
the early days of US administrations have often seen some friction on issues
like India-Pakistan and J&K before things settle down. At the start of his
first term, President Barack Obama named Richard Holbrooke as a pointsman for
Pakistan, Afghanistan and Kashmir before dropping the "K word". Earlier,
Bill Clinton called Kashmir one of the most dangerous places on earth before
correcting what had been a long standing pro-Pakistan tilt by asking Islamabad
to respect the line of control in the Kargil war.
DELHI: President Pranab Mukherjee today said the blast in St. Petersburg is a
reminder that terrorism must be dealt with "urgently and
also conveyed to Russian President Vladimir Putin that people of India stand by
Russia in this difficult hour.
a message to Putin, the President conveyed his condolences on the loss of lives
in the blast in a metro carriage in St. Petersburg yesterday.
is yet another reminder that the menace of terrorism must be addressed urgently
and comprehensively by the world community," he said.
said the people of India stand with the Russian people in this difficult hour
and offer their sincere sympathies to the families of the victims.
accept my heartfelt condolences for the loss of innocent lives in the blast
that occurred in the metro system of St. Petersburg.
pray for the early recovery of all those injured in the attacks," he said.
intelligence foil suicide attack plotted by Haqqani network in Paktika
Afghan intelligence operatives foiled a suicide plotted by the notorious
Haqqani terrorist network for execution in southeastern Paktika province of
National Directorate of Security (NDS) said a suspected suicide bomber was
arrested before he manage to carry out attack on the district police
commandment of Jani Khel.
a statement by NDS, the suspect has been identified as Mohammad Yasin who was
trained on the otherside of the Durand Line for the attack by the Haqqani
statement further added that Yasin was arrested in Sharana city, the provincial
capital of Paktika before he manage to carry out the attack.
to NDS, Yasin was appointed for the attack by a commander of the Haqqani
network identified as Kasu who is based on the other side of the Durand Line.
network was formed in the late 1970s by Jalaluddin Haqqani. The group is allied
with al-Qaida and the Afghan Taliban and cooperates with other terrorist
organizations in the region.
US Department of State designated the HQN as a Foreign Terrorist Organization
on September 7, 2012.
come as local officials in Paktika said at least twenty nine insurgents of the
Taliban group including two senior leaders of the group were killed in a US
drone strike in the same district last month.
Afghan border police forces have foiled an attempt by the smugglers to transfer
at least six lions to Pakistan.
Ministry of Interior (MoI) said the lions were discovered and seized in Spin
Boldak district of southern Kandahar province before the smugglers manage to
take them to the other side of the line.
border police commander Gen. Nematullah Haidari said the smugglers had
professionally placed the lions inside a truck and were looking to take them
out of the country.
said the smugglers had apparently brought the lions from outside Afghanistan
and were looking to take them to Pakistan.
Haidari further added that four of the lions were transferred to Kabul and were
handed over to the authorities of Kabul Zoo.
also added that the remaining two lions will also be shifted to Kabul in the
near future so they can join the four others and can be kept in the zoo.
is yet not clear if any suspect was arrested in connection to the smuggling
attempt of the lions.
Afghan security forces have foiled a deadly car bombing plot by the anti-government
armed militant groups in capital Kabul.
101st Asmayee Zone in Kabul said a terrorist was arrested and Vehicle-borne
Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) was confiscated and defused by the
militants manage to detonate it in the city.
militants had planted two mortar rounds connecting them with a battery inside
the vehicle which was discovered and seized from the vicinity of the 5th police
district of the city.
Afghan security forces had foiled a suicide attack in capital Kabul last week.
101st Asmayee Zone said last Tuesday that the security forces confiscated eight
kilograms of explosives and ball bearings professionally packed for the attack.
explosives were planted near the 15th block in Arzan Qeemat area in the
vicinity of the 12th of the police district of the city.
anti-government armed militant groups have not commented regarding the report
will never submit to pressure and psychological warfare by the United States
and its allies, the chief of staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, Major General
Mohammad Baqeri, says.
a meeting with commanders, managers and staff of the Armed Forces in Tehran on
Tuesday, Baqeri added that strengthening defensive preparedness and capacities
is a serious and immutable strategy of the Islamic Republic.
line with the Islamic Republic’s defence doctrine and courtesy of a realistic
approach to regional issues, particularly the enemies’ threats, the country
would never hesitate on developing its deterrent and defensive power, he
defensive readiness and capacities, maintaining the conditions of swiftly
repelling threats and deepening intelligence command over the enemy’s moves are
among the priorities of the Armed Forces, particularly the Army and the Islamic
Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC)” Baqeri said.
noted that the Armed Forces are responsible for maintaining and defending
national security and said, “Despite round-the-clock efforts by hegemonic and
adventurist extra-regional powers and Takfiri terrorists to create insecurity
in the country in [the recently-ended Iranian calendar] year of 1395, it was a
secure and calm year for the Iranian nation.”
Iranian military official added that plots by terrorist groups to penetrate and
infiltrate into the country and create insecurity were neutralized thanks to the
appropriate and wise measures by the Armed Forces and the Intelligence
recent years, Iran has made great achievements in its defence sector and
reached self-sufficiency in producing essential military equipment and systems.
Islamic Republic has conducted several military drills to enhance the defense
capabilities of its Armed Forces and to test modern military tactics and
Islamic Republic has repeatedly assured other countries, especially the
regional neighbours, that its military might poses no threat to anyone. Iran
says its defense doctrine is merely based on deterrence.
man sentenced to death for 'insulting Islam' through messaging app
IndependentMarch 31, 2017
Dehghan has been sentenced to death for messages 'insulting Islam' sent when he
was 19 years old
21-year-old man has been sentenced to death by Iranian authorities for
“insulting Islam” through messages he sent on an instant messenger app.
rights lawyers claim that Sina Dehghan, who was just 19 when he sent the
messages, was tricked into signing his own death warrant after being persuaded
to confess to the breach of Islamic law with the promise of release if he did
after obtaining a confession, prosecutors dropped the agreement and sentenced
Dehghan to death in January this year, according to the Centre for Human Rights
content of the messages, said to have been sent using the Line app, is unknown.
source told CHRI: “During his interrogation, Sina was told that if he signed a
confession and repented, he would be pardoned and let go.
he made a childish decision and accepted the charges. Then they sentenced him
family was allegedly told if they kept quiet about the charges, he was more
likely to go free.
asked that Dehghan be sentenced to death for “insulting the prophet' as well as
to 16 months in prison for 'insulting the supreme leader'.
sentence has now been upheld by the country’s Supreme Court, according to the
CHRI, although a request for a judicial review has given his family hope that
his life could still be spared.
mother said in a video interview obtained by CHRI: “According to Sina's lawyer,
steps have been taken for a judicial review, and with the good news we're
hearing from him, God willing this case will come to end positively as soon as
Sahar Eliasi and Mohammad Nouri were also convicted of posting anti-Islamic
material on social media.
was issued a death sentence, but it is unknown if the Supreme Court has given
its final ruling.
had his seven-year prison sentence reduced to three on appeal.
was undertaking compulsory military service at the time of his arrest in 2015
and had just four days left to serve.
Line has since added end-to-end encryption to its messages, although it is not
known how they came to be seen by the authorities.
took him to his home and searched it while he repeatedly expressed regret and
repentance,” the unnamed source told CHRI.
source added that Dehghan is struggling to cope with the incarceration in Arak
is not feeling well. He’s depressed and cried constantly. He’s being held in a
ward with drug convicts and murderers who broke his jaw a while ago.
was a 19-year-old boy at the time (of his arrest) and had never done anything
wrong in his life.”
is believed to execute more people per capita than any other country. According
to Amnesty International, there were 289 state executions carried out in Iran
in 2014, the majority of which (up to 74 per cent) were for drugs-related
number of executions in the Islamic fundamentalist country is reported to be on
the rise and according to the UN, at least 966 people were put to death in the
country in 2015.
has attracted widespread condemnation for carrying out executions of minors,
despite having signed the UN convention on the rights of the child.
usual method of execution is hanging, although the country has been heavily
criticised for its occasional practice of stoning women to death, usually for
adultery. According to Amnesty, public executions still occasionally take
place, despite being banned in the country in 2008.
government forces and their Arab allies are massing north and south of the
Houthi-held Red Sea port of Hudaydah despite United Nations and aid groups
warnings that a military operation there would put millions of civilians at
port and province is controlled by the Iran-aligned Houthis and has been the
entry point for 70 percent of Yemen's food supplies as well as humanitarian
country has been torn by more than two years of civil war that pits the armed
Houthi group against the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, which
is backed by a Saudi-led Arab alliance. More than 10,000 people have been
killed in the conflict and hunger is widespread.
officials said that Hadi's government, building on recent gains that included
capturing the coffee export hub of al-Mokha in February, has amassed two
recently-trained brigades -- one in Midi about 230 km (140 miles) north of
Hudaydah near the border with Saudi Arabia, and another outside al-Khoukha
region, some 130 km (80 miles) south of the city.
lawsuit filed before the Attorney General against the speech delivered by
Houthi leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi has said that there is growing anger
against Houthi militias.
case, which has been filed by the leader of Yemeni General People’s Congress
Party and member of its Standing Committee, Dr. Adel al-Shuja, stating that
party - led by ousted Ali Abdullah Saleh - has a lot of resentment against the
al-Shuja said “The speech of the leader Abdul Malik al-Houthi is of racial
discrimination, igniting flames of hatred, racial hatred and sectarian
pointed out that the speech delivered by Abdul Malik al-Houthi last Friday was
to deepen the spirit of hatred and a flagrant violation of the rights of the
Yemeni people, asserting that al-Houthi gave direct instructions to use
violence against young people who do not join his group, and clearly called for
killing his opponents.
Al-Shuja further said, “Ignoring or turning a blind eye to this speech means
shedding the blood of groups of the people incited against them by Abdul-Malik
al-Houthi and will lead us to more massacres than the massacres of Nazism.”
regime forces have destroyed four Palestinian residential units in a village in
the occupied Jerusalem al-Quds.
Israeli forces attacked the Az-Zaeem Village on Monday, using bulldozers to
demolish the four buildings.
an Israeli soldier was wounded during intense clashes that erupted on Monday
evening between Palestinian youths and Israeli military forces in the
al-Eisaviya Village in the occupied Quds, the local Quds news outlet reported.
The Israeli forces took into custody 13 Palestinians following the
military gunships also separately targeted Palestinian fishing boats off the
waters of the Gaza Strip.
soldiers also raided the house of a Palestinian, identified as Omar Hamarshe,
in the town of Ya’bod in the West Bank city of Jenin, arresting him.
yet another development in the occupied territories, 109 Israeli settlers,
backed by Israeli troops, entered the tomb of Prophet Joseph east of Nablus, leading
to scuffles between the intruding settlers and the local Palestinians in the
the past months, Israeli forces have fatally shot many Palestinians in the
occupied territories, alleging that they had attempted to attack the Israelis.
Israeli regime has come under fire by rights groups for promoting a
shoot-to-kill policy against local Palestinians. The US-based rights group
Human Rights Watch (HRW) voiced deep concerns in January over the rising number
of Israeli authorities encouraging soldiers to kill Palestinians even when they
do not pose a threat.
HRW released a report on January 2 documenting the numerous statements since
October 2015 by senior Israeli officials calling on police and military to
shoot dead suspected Palestinian assailants.
- Coinciding with the United Nations Human Rights Council session in Geneva, a
conference titled “Impunity and International Justice – 1988 Massacre of
Political Prisoners – From 1988 to 2017” was held at the invitation of five
non-government organizations ranked as UN advisors. Political dignitaries,
jurists, and human rights personalities also took part in this gathering.
speakers condemned the wave of executions and inhumane crimes by the mullahs’
regime against the Iranian people. They also called for an international probe into
the 1988 massacre of over 30,000 political prisoners and the persecution by
Iranian regime officials on crimes against humanity.
Taher Boumedra, a former UN human rights office chief in Iraq, emphasized the
UN had been following the massacre in 1988. Professor Reynaldo Galindo Pohl
received information from the victims’ families daily as the events unfolded.
There is also a list of mass graves and the locations that have been
identified, which was described as a major breakthrough.
the UN and all its apparatus and mechanisms have placed the 1988 massacre on
their agenda. The results of the past six months of their work will be
presented to the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran
with the goal of establishing an investigative commission on this issue.
Alejo Vidal-Quadras, former European Parliament vice president, praised the
report about the victims. He added that the 1988 massacre of political
prisoners is considered the biggest massacre of political prisoners since the
end of World War II.
massacre was carried out under orders issued by Iranian regime founder Ruhollah
Khomeini, but all the regime’s factions were involved, Dr. Quadras added.
Moderation in Iran is nothing but a mirage and appeasing this regime is a waste
of time and will render no benefits, he emphasized.
the possibility of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards being designated as a terrorist
organization by the U.S., the West should refrain from getting involved in any
deals with the Iranian regime, said Dr. Quadras.
we need now is a strong condemnation and firm resolutions, alongside continuous
monitoring by the UN, human rights organizations and NGOs on the situation of
human rights in Iran. For example, they must force Iran to allow the
unconditional inspection of political prisoners, expanding relations with Iran
must be conditioned on improvements in human rights and a halt in executions.
Those involved in the 1988 massacre must face justice,” he added.
statement was originally published on globalvoices.org on 27 March 2017.
Dehghan faces execution over his posts critical of Islam that he published in
public online channels at the age of 19
governments around the world deploy advanced surveillance tactics to monitor
the communications of potential terrorists, the Iranian government goes after
those who “terrorize” the sanctity of the Islamic regime on digital
Dehghan, a 21-year-old former soldier, has experienced this firsthand. He was
arrested in 2015 for his social media posts. He was convicted and sentenced to
death, and is now awaiting his fate.
the age of 19, Dehghan was completing his mandatory military service in the
Tehran army barracks when the Revolutionary Guards, a hardline wing of Iran's
armed forces that is accountable to the office of the Supreme Leader, arrested
him over a series of public messages he had posted on the messaging platform
LINE. A source told the Center for Human Rights in Iran' that his posts were
against Islam and the Quran.
was arrested alongside two others, Sahar Eliasi and Mohammad Nouri, who
authorities said collaborated with Dehghan in the posts. All three were found
guilty of participating in social media channels that insulted or criticized
Islam. Eliasi's sentence was reduced to three years upon appeal and Nouri is
still awaiting his sentence. Dehghan's death sentence was confirmed by Iran's
Supreme Court in late January 2017.
case against Dehghan rests on a confession that he was pressured to give under
false pretenses. Upon his arrest, the Revolutionary Guards deceived Dehghan by
telling him if he confessed to the charge of “insulting” the Prophet Mohammad
and signed a letter of repentance, he would be set free.
Revolutionary Guards deceived Dehghan by telling him if he confessed to the
charge of “insulting” the Prophet Mohammad and signed a letter of repentance,
he would be set free.
teen pleads guilty to ISIS-inspired plot to kill Pope Francis
New Jersey teen pleaded guilty Monday to a plot allegedly inspired by ISIS to
kill Pope Francis during his 2015 visit to the United States.
US Justice Department said Santos Colon, 15 years old at the time, sought to
recruit a sniper to shoot the pope as he celebrated mass in Philadelphia on
September 27, 2015. Colon also allegedly planned to set off explosives.
the teen unwittingly recruited an undercover FBI agent for the job, and was
arrested quietly 12 days before the event.
engaged someone he believed would be the sniper, but in reality was an
undercover FBI employee. Colon engaged in target reconnaissance with an FBI
confidential source and instructed the source to purchase materials to make
explosive devices," the Justice Department said in a statement.
documents said Colon sought to carry out the act in support of the Islamic
State group and that he had used the adopted name Ahmad Shakoor.
a plea bargain with prosecutors, Colon, now 17, agreed to forego trial and
plead guilty as an adult to one charge of providing material support to a
the deal, prosecutors dropped three other charges filed against him as a juvenile.
documents said the charges were in relation to the Islamic State group, which
Washington has designated a foreign terrorist organization.
there were no details on how Colon became interested in the group and if or how
he communicated with them.
Ahmed, an 18-year-old resident of the United States, recently got admitted into
the prestigious Stanford University because of the uniqueness of his colleage
part of his application, Ahmed, an outspoken individual who believes in equality
to all, was asked what mattered to him and why. To which, he replied
Saturday, Ahmed posted his answer and acceptance letter on Twitter with the
hashtag #BlackLivesMatter. The tweet now has over 3000 retweets and over 6,000
didn’t think I would get admitted to Stanford at all, but it’s quite refreshing
to see that they view my unapologetic activism as an asset rather than a
liability," said Ahmed, while speaking to Mic.
added that his unapologetic progressivism is a central part of my identity.
"And I wanted that to be represented adequately in my application,"
a Bangladeshi-American has already become a celebrity because of his activism
work. He has already been invited to The White House Iftar dinner and is
recognised as a Muslim-American change-maker under the Obama administration.
President Donald Trump on Tuesday condemned a Syrian chemical weapons attack
that killed dozens and blamed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but did not say
how he would respond despite calls from France for stronger U.S. leadership.
said the attack in Syria's Idlib province was "reprehensible and cannot be
ignored by the civilized world," although he also sought to blame his
predecessor, Barack Obama.
heinous actions by the Bashar al-Assad regime are a consequence of the last
administration's weakness and irresolution," Trump said in a statement.
"President Obama said in 2012 that he would establish a 'red line' against
the use of chemical weapons and then did nothing."
Syrian military denied responsibility and said it would never use chemical
chemical weapons attack on Tuesday, which killed scores of people, including
children, came a week after both Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and U.S.
Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said their focus in Syria was on
stopping Islamic State militants rather than pushing Assad to leave power.
senior Trump administration official said on Tuesday the government was looking
at policy options after the attack in Idlib but that the options were limited
and that the views expressed by Tillerson and Haley still held.
has changed in terms of that dynamic. Our ability to get rid of him doesn’t
rise because he does something terrible," the official said.
foreign minister said the suspected chemical weapons attack was a way of
testing the Trump administration and urged Washington to clarify its position
question is to know, yes or no, whether the Americans support a political
transition in Syria, which means organizing this transition, elections and that
at the end of the process the question of Assad's departure is asked,"
member of the Syrian opposition said the attack was a "direct
consequence" of the recent U.S. statements on Assad.
senior U.S. official said Saudi Arabia and Turkey, both key allies against
Islamic State, had indicated the militant group was a higher priority than
ousting Assad and that his removal would only add to the chaos in the region.
A WAR CRIME'
the nature of the attack was jarring to the new Trump administration.
it’s what it looks like, it is clearly a war crime," said a senior State
Department official, adding that the government was still gathering
U.S. government source said Washington believed the chemical agent sarin was
used in the attack and that it was "almost certainly" carried out by
forces loyal to Assad.
outside backers who are said to be guarantors of the (Assad) regime obviously
have a lot to answer for,” the State Department official said, referring to
Russia and Iran, which have provided military backing for Assad.
orders Indian imam's expulsion for remarks against Christians, Jews
on Monday ordered the expulsion of an Indian imam after he was handed a nearly
$3,000 fine by a court for making divisive remarks against Christians and Jews
during his Friday sermon at a mosque.
Mohamed Abdul Jameel pleaded guilty to a charge of promoting enmity between
different groups on grounds of religion or race at the State Courts. He was
handed a fine of Singaporean $2,860, the Channel News Asia reported.
February, a video was circulated online of the imam reportedly reciting a
prayer in Arabic that said, "God help us against Jews and
Christians", among other things. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), in a
separate statement, said Nalla has paid the fine and will be repatriated.
religious leader from any religion who makes such statements will be held
accountable for their actions," the MHA said. "Under Singapore law,
we cannot, regardless of his religion, allow anyone to preach or act divisively
and justify that by reference to a religious text," it said.
imam had on Friday apologised in front of Christian, Sikh, Taoist, Buddhist and
Hindu representatives, as well as members of the Federation of Indian Muslims,
saying that he was "filled with great remorse" for the inconvenience,
tension and trauma caused by his remarks. Jameel had also visited Rabbi
Moderchai Abergel at the Maghain Aboth Synagogue Sunday morning to apologise,
local media reported.
behalf of the Jewish community in Singapore, Rabbi Mordechai accepted the
imam's apology and emphasised the need to be constantly conscious of
Singapore's delicate harmonious co-existence, given its diversity. The imam had
made controversial supplications at Friday prayers.
incident came under police investigation after a video of the sermon was posted
on Facebook. It sparked heated debate, prompting Minister-in-charge of Muslim
Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim to call for peace and unity in the Muslim community.
lawyer Noor Marican was quoted as saying that the imam has accepted the
punishment and is grateful that he was not sentenced to prison. "Today he
has learnt his lesson. Hopefully the inter-faith community and all Singaporeans
can move forward," he told reporters outside the court.
Malaysia has developed a system to fully integrate online registration and
management system that further empower the halal industry.
as the Malaysia International Halal Authorities and Bodies System (MyIHAB), it
is a fully centralised database under the Malaysian Islamic Development
Department (Jakim)'s Halal Ecosystem Solution and first of its kind.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said this was a starting point
for Malaysia to move forward towards establishing an International Halal
Accreditation Board in the near future.
shows the government is highly concerned on the role played by the Recognised
Halal Certification Bodies in empowering the Malaysian Halal
Certification," he said during his welcoming remarks at 8th Halal
Certification Bodies Convention here yesterday.
said in doing so, important measures had been taken to preserve integrity,
impartiality, confidentiality and high awareness of Halal certification.
need to bear in mind that responsibility must always be implemented to
guarantee our credibility as Halal certifiers and to convince our customers and
partners, Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
has always been our hope and vision that Halal Certification will have a
brighter future ahead," he added.
from the MyIHAB system, Zahid also launched an e-book on harmonisation of Halal
year alone, about RM37.02 billion worth of halal products were marketed in
among others, South East Asia, the Middle East and China, he said.
quest for halal products is rising and Malaysia targeted RM40 billion in halal
exports this year, he added.
said Malaysia remained committed to become a significant player in the global
halal market and ultimately to become a world halal hub.
Muslims, it is our duty to enhance and further promote halal products to become
a premium brand, one that is associated with quality, safety and good health.
(God willing), through the development of the halal industry and economy, we
will see a positive impact of Islam and Muslims in business and commerce around
the globe," he added.
order to make Malaysia a global halal leader by 2020, Zahid said Jakim has
taken proactive measures to expand the scope of international certification.
process of auditing and monitoring of applications for International Halal
Certification will be carried out by Jakim’s audit office while Recognised Halal
Certification Bodies will act as a monitoring agent for International Halal
Certification on behalf of the our government abroad," he added.
said Malaysia is also committed to develop the capacity or ability of the
Recognised Halal Certification Bodies through various development programmes,
coaching and consultation.
(ANTARA News) - At a meeting with Senior Deputy Lord Speaker, the House of
Lords, Lord McFall of Alcluith, Indonesian Assembly Vice-Chairman Hidayat Nur
Wahid highlighted the importance of improving parliamentary relations to
strengthen bilateral ties.
statement from the Indonesian Embassy in London was received by ANTARA News
visit to the UK Parliament coincided with the historic moment when the Great
Britain officially declared to exit from the European Union (EU).
expressed hope that the Great Britain would be able to go through the Brexit,
or British Exit, process with ease that will not only provide benefits to the
UK but also to the EU and other countries outside the region, including
Indonesia, particularly in the field of trade.
Indonesian delegation also met several parliamentarians who are members of the
Indonesian caucus in the UK Parliament, or the so-called All-Party
Parliamentary Group on Indonesia (APPGI): Richard Graham, John Spellar, and
condoled over the incident that occurred at the Houses of Parliament,
Westminster Palace, weeks ago.
would like to assert that Indonesia, as a Muslim-majority country, does not
support any form of violence. It is obvious that Islam has been disadvantaged
due to the crime," Wahid noted.
Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has convened Muslim clerics from regions across the
country at the State Palace amid allegations that hard-line Islamic groups are
planning large rallies in five cities as part of a plot to overthrow him.
meeting on Tuesday took place just days after the Jakarta Police arrested five
alleged instigators of the latest sectarian rally against Jakarta’s Christian
governor, Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, on March 31 on treason charges. The
authorities have accused them of trying to oust Jokowi by occupying the House
five suspects, including Muslim People’s Forum (FUI) leader Muhammad
Al-Khaththath, planned to hold big rallies in five major cities — Makassar,
Surabaya, Yogyakarta, Bandung and Jakarta — sometime between April 20 — a day
after the Jakarta election runoff — and the beginning of the fasting month of
Ramadhan on May 26, Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Prabowo Argo Yuwono said
was the second time police linked a sectarian rally in Jakarta to a plot to
oust Jokowi. In December last year, police arrested a number of people accused
of trying to use the rally as a means to depose the President.
meeting is seen by analysts as an attempt by Jokowi to gain support from Muslim
clerics to prevent simmering sectarianism that has gripped the capital in
recent months from spreading to other regions.
his opening remarks at Tuesday’s meeting, Jokowi thanked Muslim clerics for
doing their job in maintaining harmony in their respective regions and urged
them to keep up the good work in order to safeguard the unity of Muslims across
rely on ulemas to maintain calmness and to cool down the situation in cities
and regencies of the country so that we always maintain a peaceful state of
affairs,” said Jokowi.
also: Jokowi accused of promoting secularism)
20 clerics invited to the Palace included Irfan Wahid, who heads the Tebuireng
Pesantren (Islamic boarding school) in Jombang, East Java, cleric Sanusi Baco,
who is an adviser to the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) in South Sulawesi, Syukron
Makmun, the head of Pesantren Darurohman in Jakarta as well as cleric Aris
Ni’matullah, the head of Pesantren Buntet in Cirebon, West Java.
as the spokesman of the group after the meeting, Syukron said the clerics
agreed with Jokowi’s calls for the religious leaders to maintain the harmony of
Muslims in their respective regions by stepping up campaigns to promote
religious tolerance. Syukron said the clerics also called on Jokowi to solve
any legal cases in the country through legal process without political
interference, as that could become a problem. “As we live in a pluralistic
country, we want real peace, not fake peace,” he said.
Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin, who joined the meeting, said the
clerics had not specifically discussed sectarian issues plaguing the Jakarta
election, as they were focusing on maintaining harmony across the country.
group condemns masquerades’ attack on Catholic priest
Ishaq Akintola, Director, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has condemned the
attack on Catholic seminarian, Lawrence Ezeugwu, by masquerades in Nsukka,
Catholic priest last week was beaten to coma by a group of masquerades
popularly called Oriokpa who blocked the road at Ugwuoyia, Nsukka.
lamented what it called “wanton exhibition of religious extremism by
traditionalists. It is crude, barbaric and symptomatic of thuggery and
Muslim group, in the statement, drew the attention of the Federal Government to
the excesses of traditionalists particularly in Southern Nigeria.
in the South West, the Oro cult worshippers behave as if they are above the
law. Traditionalists impose illegal curfew without being challenged by the
good example is the curfew imposed by Oro cultists in Ikorodu, Lagos State,
during the last Ramadan season which nearly caused a violent clash between
Muslims and traditionalists.
is well known that Muslims shuttle between the mosques and their homes day and
night during Ramadan. The imposition of a curfew during such a period was not
only illegal but also provocative.
the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Section 38 (i) &
(ii) guarantees freedom of religion thereby empowering traditionalists to
freely practice their faith, it does not allow one group to laud it over
right of traditionalists to religious freedom stops where it begins to encroach
on others’ rights and vice versa.
crimes judges will Friday hear why South Africa failed to arrest Sudan's
President Omar al-Bashir during a 2015 visit, as they mull whether to report
Pretoria to the United Nations for possible action.
Africa's lawyers will defend the decision not to detain Bashir -- wanted for
genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity -- at a hearing scheduled to
start at 0730 GMT at the International Criminal Court.
the heart of the matter is South Africa's refusal to arrest Bashir when he
attended an African Union summit in Johannesburg in mid-June 2015, insisting he
had "head of state immunity" and allowing him instead to slip out of
the country under shadowy circumstances.
at the tribunal based in The Hague will decide after the day-long hearing
whether the southern African state violated its obligations by not arresting
Bashir and handing him over.
is a signatory to the Rome Statute which underpins the world's only permanent
war crimes court.
2005, the UN Security Council asked the ICC to probe crimes in the western
Sudan region of Darfur, where according to UN figures, some 330,000 people have
been killed in a conflict between Khartoum and mostly black African insurgents.
tribunal issued arrest warrants in 2009 and 2010 for Bashir for alleged crimes
related to the conflict. He has steadfastly denied the charges.
in its submission to the court, South Africa argued that "the
circumstances within which South Africa found itself and the applicable law
were not as clear cut as the Chamber is inclined to believe."
insists that even if Bashir is wanted by the court it is "for the national
authorities of the requested state to carry out the arrest -- and it is this
act of arrest in the domestic jurisdiction of that state that is prohibited by
head of state immunity."
ICC's prosecutors have hit back, pointing out that in the past South Africa
told Bashir he would be arrested if he set foot in the country.
Africa remained under an obligation to immediately arrest... Bashir if he
entered South African territory," ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said
in a document to the court.
the circumstances, it is appropriate for the Chamber to refer South
Africa" to the UN Security Council for possible further action, Bensouda
Africa's Supreme Court of Appeal has accused President Jacob Zuma's government
of "disgraceful conduct" over Bashir's visit and ruled the failure to
arrest him was unlawful.
though the UN Security Council has the power to impose sanctions, experts say
an eventual referral will amount to little more than a slap on the wrist for
not the first time a state party country has failed to arrest Bashir and been
reported," said Goran Sluiter, an international law professor at the
University of Amsterdam.
I have to note that none of these countries ever felt any real
repercussions," he told AFP.
Turkish Airlines cargo plane carrying over 60 tons of food aid and medical
supplies arrived in Somali’s capital Mogadishu on Tuesday as part of a global
aid campaign by Turkey’s flagship carrier.
of the plane, emblazoned with the campaign’s twitter hashtag
#LoveArmyForSomalia, was donated by Turkish Airlines.
Airlines plane just landed. It carried more than 60 tons of humanitarian
assistance. Turkish Airlines help Somalia #loveArmyFor Somalia,” Turkish
Airlines said on Twitter.
airline’s office in Mogadishu also confirmed to Anadolu Agency on the phone
that plane landed at Adan Adde international airport Tuesday.
2011, Turkish Airlines has been the only international air carrier serving
Somalia, which this year has faced the threat of famine.
More Kenyans to Benefit From Sudanese Scholarships
Sudanese government is increasing annual scholarships given to Kenyans in what
could be a new initiative to improve Khartoum's relations with Nairobi.
Sunday, the Sudanese Ambassador to Kenya Elsadig Abdalla Elias told reporters
the additional 150 scholarships will benefit 30 Kenyans who will be trained on
total, 550 Kenyans have been admitted to sponsored programmes in Sudanese
universities but the envoy said the number could rise depending on the
applications they receive.
believe the best thing to give to a developing nation is education. It is the
best tool for developing oneself, family and the country," the Envoy told
reporters while unveiling a programme for the Sudan cultural exhibition in
are receiving and reviewing applications and whoever qualifies, we will
accommodate them," he added.
said it had raised scholarships from 200 annually in 2012 to 400 in 2015 and
now 550 because more training opportunities have opened up in medicine,
pharmacy, agriculture and other technology areas.
of the Kenyans are studying at the International University of Africa, Sudan's
institution with the largest African student population, now at 19,000.
exhibition event to start from April 4 to 7, he argued, is meant to open up
Sudan to Kenyans in what he called a "people-people relations."
delegation of 40 Sudanese officials is expected in Nairobi where Sudanese art,
trade, education and technology will be shown at the Kenyatta International
Convention Centre (KICC) and later public lectures will be conducted in a
idea of using education and cultural connections is Sudan's new way of reaching
out to Kenya, years after Khartoum grew distant when South Sudan seceded in
the formative pact, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), which enabled that
secession was signed in Kenya, Sudan's influence in East Africa and especially
Kenya became lukewarm.
bid to enter the EAC was rejected as it didn't share a border with any member.
addition, President Omar al-Bashir was indicted by the International Criminal
Court and the Court's member states like Kenya were required to arrest him if
he stepped on their soil.
was also until January 2017 on the US sanction list as a state sponsor of
envoy accused the international press for the bad image Sudan has received over
the years and argued that many people do not know much about the country.
may hear rumours of Sudan and terrorism; that is partly because of the bad
media reporting. We have no links to groups like ISIL because our version of
Islam is very moderate. Have you ever heard of any terrorist bomb attack in
Sudan?" he posed.
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