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Islamic World News (03 Jun 2019 NewAgeIslam.Com)



To Foster Communal Harmony, the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) Has Been Organising Masjid Darshan, during Ramzan













Photo: A Jamaat-e-Islami Hind resource person giving a talk inside a temple in Kamblewadi in Bidar district as part of its outreach programme in the holy month of Ramzan.   | Photo Credit: Gopichand T.

 

India

To Foster Communal Harmony, the Jamaat-E-Islami Hind (JIH) Has Been Organising Masjid Darshan, during Ramzan

Youth Breaks Ramzan Fast To Save Seven-Year-Old Girl Suffering From Thalassemia

Pakistan stops guests from attending iftaar hosted by Indian envoy, India protests

Their nationality yet to be confirmed, 28 Indians in Pak jails after serving sentence

Politics Live: Bill to Ban Triple Talaq To Be Brought Again, Ravi Shankar Prasad

Varanasi: Hindu family makes traditional vermicelli for Muslims during Ramzan

Senior ISIS leader hailing from India killed in Afghanistan airstrike

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North America

Young North Texas Muslims pursue self-improvement through Ramadan traditions

Trump administration says it will negotiate with Iran with ‘no preconditions’

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Africa

How I Risked My Life To Save Over 200 Christians – Muslim Cleric

Sudanese forces storm protest camp, nine people dead

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Arab World

Damascus Slams Makkah Summit Endorsement of Syria Transition

Over 40 Terrorists Killed, Injured in Explosion in Aleppo

Kurds say 800 women, children to leave crowded camp

Senior Iraqi MP: Iran Entitled to Attack US Bases in Iraq If Threatened

Homs: Israel Launches Missile Attacks on T4 Airport

Gunmen attack Iraqi Communist, Islamic Dawa party offices

19 killed in a car bomb explosion near mosque in Syria’s Azaz: Monitor

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South Asia

Taliban Militants Have Taken 4 Members Of Peace Movement To Unknown Location For Talks

Airstrikes kill 40 Taliban militants in Badghis province

25 Taliban militants killed in Afghan Special Forces raid, airstrikes in Ghazni

17 Taliban militants killed in Special Forces operation, airstrikes in Uruzgan and Zabul

Architect of deadly attack on Kabul police check killed in armed forces operation

5 killed, 10 wounded in an explosion in Kabul city

Seize the moment for peace, FO urges all sides in Afghan war

Bomb targets government bus in Kabul, as hopes dwindle for end of Ramadan cease-fire

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Mideast

FM Underlines Failure of Saudi Attempts against Iran in Mecca Meeting

Iraqi Source: Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi in Al-Anbar Desert Near Border with Syria

Leader's Top Military Aide: Iran Ready to Sign Non-Aggression Pact with Neighboring States

Hamas blames Israel for repercussions of attacks on Al-Aqsa Mosque

IRGC Says Iran to Keep Resisting US Pressures, Following Imam Khomeini’s Path

Saudi, UAE slam Qatar for rejecting outcome of Mecca talks on Iran

Ankara Strongly Attempting to Save Terrorist Groups amid Syrian Army Operations in North

Tahrir Al-Sham's Ringleader Al-Jolani Looking for Developing Turkish Drones with EU Expert's Help

Turkish Army, Allied Militants Engage in Fierce Clashes with Kurdish Fighters in Aleppo

Iran Shows Indifference to US’ Game of Words, Re-Urges Washington to Prove Honesty with Action

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SouthEast Asia

Islamic group in Gowa celebrates Idul Fitri on Monday

DBKL clears 400 stalls in illegal Lorong TAR Ramadan bazaar

Gunman shoots dead village chief at mosque in Narathiwat

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Europe

Man attempted to attack worshippers at mosque with hammer

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Pakistan

Bureaucratic inefficiency troubles Pakistani students in China

Compiled By New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/to-foster-communal-harmony,-the-jamaat-e-islami-hind-(jih)-has-been-organising-masjid-darshan,-during-ramzan/d/118787  

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To Foster Communal Harmony, the Jamaat-E-Islami Hind (JIH) Has Been Organising Masjid Darshan, during Ramzan

Rishikesh Bahadur Desai BELAGAVI,  JUNE 03, 2019 00:31 IST

In an initiative to foster communal harmony, the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) has been organising masjid darshan (visits to mosques) for non-Muslims, during Ramzan, at several places in the State.

In Bidar, lectures on Islam by imams are being organised in Hindu temples. This programme expands on the JIH’s earlier effort to serve iftar (breaking of fast in the evening) during the Muslim holy month. “I believe that this [initiative] is bringing different communities closer,” said Mohammad Altaf Amjad, JIH’s chief organiser of the events.

Basava Kalyan in Bidar is one of the taluks where the initiative is under way. “We have planned programmes in 78 places, including in villages and in Basava Kalyan town,” said Mohammad Aslam, JIH coordinator.

Friendly tour

A masjid darshan typically begins with iftar. Village residents are invited to the local mosque and taken around the premises, including the prayer hall. A JIH resource person speaks to visitors on the importance of fasting and other Islamic traditions. Resource persons Kalim Abid, Zakir Hussain, Mohammad Zabiuddin, Mohammad Azhar and Mohammad Junaid speak in Kannada, while Mohammad Mujeebuddin and Sajid Azad speak in Marathi.“Wherever possible, we form joint committees to fight the evils of alcoholism and dowry. We have formed such committees in eight villages; most have women members,” said Mr. Aslam. “Some visitors told me that they had never visited a mosque though they had been curious about it all their lives. We would have served a great purpose if we succeeded in removing misconceptions of even one of the visitors in this month.”

Inter-faith support

Yadlagundi in Bidar is one of the villages that does not have a mosque.

Villagers have been inviting the faithful to break their fast at the Mahadev temple here for two years now. On Friday, a group led by temple committee secretary Jagannath Reddy, facilitated JIH members at the temple.

“Though this was planned as a Statewide programme, we have asked our office-bearers to choose villages and towns where there is least resistance. We don’t want to create any misunderstanding over pressurising someone to open their holy place for us, or making them feel compelled to enter a mosque,” said Syed Tanveer, public relations officer of the JIH’s State unit.

Hotspots

“Secondly, we have focused especially on places that have a history of communal disturbances. Our volunteers are meeting village elders at such places and inviting them to hold iftars along with us, and to visit mosques. We are also exploring the possibility of sending to temples and mutts [elsewhere in the State, beyond Bidar] speakers on subjects like communal harmony, misconceptions about Islam, and the reasons behind the month-long fasting during Ramzan,” Mr. Tanveer said.

‘Opening minds’

The JIH believes masjid committees should provide space to Muslim women for praying in mosques, and some mosques are already doing this. Entry of non-Muslim women to mosques as part of the masjid darshan initiative could inspire more of their own women [Muslim women of the local communities] to pray in mosques,” Mr. Tanveer noted.

“A lot of non-Muslims believe that mosques are exclusive places of worship for Muslims. Sadly, a considerable number of Muslims also hold such beliefs. Such programmes will clear misconceptions in both communities,” he added.

“We are not only opening up our places of worship, we are also hoping to open our minds.”

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/masjid-tours-talks-in-temples-to-foster-communal-harmony/article27407595.ece

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Young North Texas Muslims pursue self-improvement through Ramadan traditions

 

It was 2 a.m., but the streets were well-lit and teeming with people. Not in Deep Ellum or on Lower Greenville. At the Islamic Association of Collin County in Plano, where Muslims of all backgrounds gathered before dawn Saturday.

They'd come to spend the holiest night on the Islamic calendar together. Muslims fast every day during the lunar month of Ramadan and believe the Quran was revealed on or about the 27th night, called Laylat Al-Qadr.

The Islamic Association's mosque provides services year-round, but Friday's Laylat Al-Qadr unites the faithful from sunset to sunrise for a night of forgiveness and blessings.

As June begins, many young Muslims are on break from classes. Older worshippers find hope in the students who are home from college — the future leaders of their community. But some also fear their numbers may be dwindling, a common concern across faiths as modern life competes with centuries-old traditions.

The young Muslims who were celebrating Friday night say they may have their own interpretations of Ramadan, but they remain true to the spirit that binds them to their faith.

More than fasting

Danial Syed, 18, said that though fasting from dawn to sunset may be the most widely known obligation of Ramadan, Muslims are called upon to forgo other things, too.

Interpretations vary from person to person, but the faithful are expected to break bad habits such as gossiping, cursing and fighting.

“Because you’re not eating, you’re more aware of all the other things you do," Syed said. "You know the bad things you need to work on. It’s not just starving yourself.”

The purpose is spiritual growth.

Syed, who will soon be a freshman at UT-Dallas, explained that though he will be on his own, he won't change the way he behaves during Ramadan. Fasting is for Allah, who is “always watching,” he said.

Faraj Khan Pathan chats with Raiyan Uddin, middle, as Talha Mohammed keeps an eye on the game of Ludo at Islamic Association of Collin County in Plano Texas on Sunday, June 2, 2019. (ShabanAthuman/Staff Photographer) (ShabanAthuman/Staff Photographer)

Douaa Hassan, a 26-year-old industrial engineer from Plano, described fasting as a sort of spiritual cleanse, a time to work on one’s faith without distraction.

Muslims believe that Ramadan is a time when Allah locks up Satan and his helpers, making improvement easier for followers.

“You start to notice all the things you’re doing wrong,” Hassan said. “You really start to look at yourself and say, no, I need to do better.”

The ultimate test of a successful Ramadan, Hassan believes, is whether one maintains the improvements after the month ends. Ideally, people will become stronger in their faith each year as they build on good habits.

Not even water?

Because fasting is about the only thing a lot of people in the United States know about Ramadan, that's what many young Muslims are asked about.

And the most common question is simple: not even water?

Many Muslims do avoid all food and beverages from pre-dawn to sunset during the holy month, but the requirement provides exceptions for children, pregnant women and the elderly, as well as anyone else who is likely to suffer health consequences from fasting.

AmeraLawand, 23, said some non-Muslim friends seem to think Ramadan is inhumane, but she said the hunger subsides after the first few days. In fact, waking for predawn meals can feel like the hardest part.

Usmaan Hasan, a 21-year-old senior at the University of Texas at Austin, said non-Muslims' questions are more informed now that intermittent fasting has become a popular way to manage one's appetite.

“I might just be fortunate to be in a community of people who are relatively more aware of the environment around them and different cultures,” Hasan said. “I don't feel the need to correct people too much.”

https://www.dallasnews.com/life/faith/2019/06/02/young-north-texas-muslims-pursue-self-improvement-ramadan-traditions

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How I risked my life to save over 200 Christians – Muslim cleric

Sunday, June 2, 2019

AbubakarAbdullahi

AhajiAbubakarAbdullahi, 83-year old Chief Imam of a mosque in Yelwa- GindiAkwati village, BarkinLadi Local Government Area of Plateau, said he risked his life to save some people in the June 23, 2018 BarkinLadi attacks in Plateau.

Abdullahi protected over 200 people fleeing from attacks by suspected bandits in Yelwa-GindiAkwati, Swei and Nghar villages in BarkinLadi Local Government Area of Plateau.

Abubakar, who was speaking while receiving award from the U.S. Mission in Nigeria, said on Sunday in Abuja that his action saved those who took refuge in the mosque and in his house.

The cleric, who spoke through an interpreter said that the unfortunate incident happened on Saturday June 23, 2018, after the mid-afternoon prayers at about 4 p.m.

“After the prayer, we started hearing some gunshots first from the nearby village known as GidanAkwati up to Yelwa, my village.

“The entire village was engulfed in violence the kind we had never experienced before; the villagers were confused running for their safety.

“We then encouraged people to come in, women, men and children to all come in; and we closed the doors afterwards,” he said.

According to him, the attackers surrounded the mosque, they were trying to force the door open.

“We then overheard them (attackers) saying there are Berom and Christians who are in the mosque.

“Later, we heard the attackers were targeting the Berom’s and Christians in the community, we came out through the window and asked why they wanted to harm the people who came for refuge in the house of God.

“Soon we heard some of the attackers had also gone to my house trying to gain access because some people are also taking refuge in my house at that time,” he said.

The Imam said that he told the attackers at some point that they had to kill him first before harming his ‘guests’ and this went on for about four hours.

“We also informed them not go ahead and destroy the people’s crops. The attackers asked all the women to come out, that they did not want to harm them, but I refused.”

“The ploy is to know who is a Muslim and who is a Christian. ”The Muslim women then donated their clothes and hijab to the people, saying if it comes to that, we will all die with them.

“When that did not work, they said they are going to set the house ablaze, that is when I went down and told them to kill me first,” he said.

According to him, those in the mosque stayed there for five days, they were fed and taken care of.

“It lasted for about five days and in order to keep them protected the, Muslims were praying outside the mosque until they were evacuated to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp,” he said.

The cleric, who expressed shock at the level of the attack, said that such had never happened in the past 17 years of crises in the state.

He said that the villagers had been living together in peace before the crisis.

“There are intermarriages between us and exchange in ceremony both Christmas and Muslim festival, there are seven different languages in those communities and we have been living in peace before the crisis.

“Islam has taught us that when someone comes to us in distress you have an obligation to protect such a person until the situation becomes normal,” he said.

The U. S. Ambassador, Stuart Symington, who presented the Peacemaker Award, described the act as heroic for saving the lives of those who took refuge in the Mosque.

He urged citizens to emulate the cleric’s virtue of kindness to promote peace and brotherhood, saying the act had raised hope of cohesiveness in a society faced with growing distrust.

https://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2019/06/02/how-i-risked-my-life-to-save-over-200-christians-83-year-old-muslim-cleric/

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Damascus slams Makkah summit endorsement of Syria transition

AFPUpdated June 03, 2019

DAMASCUS: Syria denounced on Sunday the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s endorsement of a longstanding UN-backed proposal for a transitional governing body integrating opposition elements in the conflict hit country, state media said.

The 57-member OIC met in Makkah this week and in its closing statement on Saturday threw its support behind a 2012 Geneva communique calling for the establishment of a transitional governing body in Syria with full executive powers.

“The closing communique of the summit only expresses the obvious and continuous dependence of these countries on their masters in the West,” a source at the Syrian foreign ministry told state news agency SANA.

Harking back to the Geneva proposals “and the idea of a government transitional body (...) confirms the chronic blindness of participating states to developments” in Syria in recent years, the source added.

UN-sponsored negotiations have been gradually eclipsed by parallel Moscow-backed negotiations known as the Astana process.

The Astana process was launched in January 2017 by Russia and Iran — allies of the Damascus regime — and by Turkey, which backs rebels in Syria’s eight year civil war.

The OIC on Saturday also denounced Washington’s decision on March 25 to recognise Israel’s claim of sovereignty over the part of the Golan Heights it seized from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War.

But Syria’s government said “it was not waiting for support or a statement from this summit or others like it to assert its right over the Golan,” SANA said.

Regionally, the United Arab Emirates has begun a rapprochement with Damascus, by opening an embassy after years of closure, while relations have also improved with Bahrain and Jordan.

But regional power — and former Syrian opposition backer — Saudi Arabia remains hostile to President Bashar al-Assad, who has made a military comeback with Russian military support since 2015, clawing back almost two-thirds of the country’s territory.

Syria’s multi-fronted war has killed more than 370,000 people and displaced millions since it began with the repression of anti-government protests in 2011.

Published in Dawn, June 3rd, 2019

https://www.dawn.com/news/1486246/damascus-slams-makkah-summit-endorsement-of-syria-transition

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Taliban militants have taken 4 members of Peace Movement to unknown location for talks

By Khaama Press / in Afghanistan / on Monday, 03 Jun 2019

The Taliban militants have taken four members of People’s Peace Movement to an unknown location for talks.

The head of public relations of People’s Peace Movement Bacha Khan Muladad confirmed that the Taliban militants have taken four members of the movement to an unknown location.

Muladad further added that the Taliban militants have summoned the leader of the movement Iqbal Khyber and spokesman of the movement BismillahWatandost.

The Taliban militants have also summoned the leader of the movement for Helmand Ghulam SarwarGhafari and Haji FarhadAdil.

This comes as a group of 30 members of People’s Peace Movement marched towards Musa Qala district of Helmand province four days ago.

The members of the movement launched the march in a bid to demand peace and halt to ongoing conflict in the country.

In the meantime, Muladad said it has been two days that the members of the movement are in the areas controlled by Taliban in Helmand.

https://www.khaama.com/taliban-militants-have-taken-4-members-of-peace-movement-to-unknown-location-for-talks-03533/

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FM Underlines Failure of Saudi Attempts against Iran in Mecca Meeting

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad JavadZarif stressed that Saudi Arabia has failed to rally support in its anti-Iran quest through the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) conference in Mecca.

"Saudi Arabia's attempts in the region to form a coalition against Iran and Yemen in Mecca meeting will fail," Zarif said in Tehran on Monday.

He added that the Yemeni people will certainly win over the Saudi-led coalition which has attacked the country, and said, "Today, supporting Yemen is the responsibility of all of us."

Saudi Arabia and its allies, including the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, and Sudan, launched a brutal war against Yemen in March 2015 in an attempt to reinstall Yemen’s former president AbdRabbuh Mansur Hadi.

The aggression initially consisted of a bombing campaign but was later coupled with a naval blockade and the deployment of ground forces to Yemen. Around 20,000 people have died since the war began, says Yemen’s Health Ministry.

The Saudi-led war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The United Nations (UN) has said that a record 22.2 million Yemenis are in dire need of food, including 8.4 million threatened by severe hunger.

Despite Riyadh's claims that it is bombing the positions of the Ansarullah fighters, Saudi bombers are flattening residential areas and civilian infrastructures.

According to several reports, the Saudi-led air campaign against Yemen has driven the impoverished country towards humanitarian disaster, as Saudi Arabia's deadly campaign prevented the patients from travelling abroad for treatment and blocked the entry of medicine into the war-torn country.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980313000638

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Pakistan stops guests from attending iftaar hosted by Indian envoy, India protests

by Shubhajit Roy

June 3, 2019

India on Sunday lodged a strong protest by issuing a note verbale to Pakistan over intimidation of guests invited for an iftaar party in Islamabad on Saturday. The iftaar, traditionally held in the holy month of Ramzan, was hosted by Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria at Hotel Serena in Islamabad’s Diplomatic Enclave.

A statement from the Indian High Commission in Islamabad said more than 300 Pakistani guests were turned away, including parliamentarians, government officials, media representatives, retired military officials, businessmen, and retired diplomats, in addition to citizens from all walks of life.

According to sources, a former spokesperson of the Pakistan Army, Major General (retired) Athar Abbas, was among those stopped. Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Farhatullah Babar was able to attend “after much difficulty”.

High Commissioner Bisaria later told his guests that some of them could not make it to the party. “I want to apologise because some of you faced a lot of trouble to come here and some of our friends could not come,” he said.

In a statement issued on Sunday, the Indian High Commission said that the guests faced “unprecedented harassment and intimidation at the hands of security agencies”.

“A concerted campaign was launched by Pakistan’s security agencies in the days preceding the Iftar function to reach out to invitees to actively dissuade them from attending the event. Those guests who did reach the function venue, in some cases from places as far as Lahore and Karachi, were intimidated and physically stopped from attending the Iftar function by Pakistani security forces, who had virtually laid the Serena hotel under siege”, the statement said, adding that many guests from the diplomatic community based in Islamabad were also subjected to harassment.

Sources said despite facing harassment and questioning about 130 people were able to attend the event, including leaders from major political parties such as the PTI, PML(N) and PPP who, a source said, “came in their personal capacity, and not as representatives of their parties”.

Tweeting about the harassment he faced, senior PPP leader Farhatullah Babar, who was advisor to former Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari, said, “Came to Serena for iftar hosted by Indian HC. Hotel seems barricaded. Told that iftar cancelled. When insisted, I was told to use other gate. Other gate also closed and told to go back to front gate again. What’s going on, something fishy,” he tweeted.

Babar said that he somehow managed to attend the Indian mission’s iftar despite efforts by the local authorities to stop invitees on one pretext or other.

in its statement, the Indian High Commission said that in violation of diplomatic norms, a large Pakistani security detachment, equipped with fork lifts, was detailed outside Serena Hotel to aggressively turned away Pakistani citizens. “In some cases, cars used by invitees were lifted and removed using forklifts”, it said.

“The security forces stationed on the main road outside Hotel Serena rudely rebuffed and intimidated officers and diplomatic staff of the High Commission of India who tried to ascertain from the security personnel the reasons for harassment of the guests. Some officials were jostled, pushed, abused and aggressively threatened with bodily harm. In some cases, mobile phones belonging to officials were snatched away,” it said.

The Indian High Commission called the events of June 1 “disappointing” and said they not only “violate basic norms of diplomatic conduct but are against all notions of civilized behaviour”.

“Stopping diplomats and officials of the High Commission of India in Pakistan from discharging their diplomatic functions by intimidation and coercion is entirely counter-productive for our bilateral relationship,” the statement said.

“We have requested the government of Pakistan to urgently investigate these ugly events and share the results of the exercise with the High Commission of India. Further, we have emphasized to the government of Pakistan the need to ensure that diplomats and officials of the High Commission of India are allowed to discharge their diplomatic functions without fear of coercion or harassment,” it said.

The incident takes place more than two months after the Indian government’s security establishment stepped up screening of guests attending the Pakistan National Day event in Delhi. Then, on March 23, as guests walked past barricades manned by Delhi Police, security personnel in plain clothes asked the guests about the purpose of the visit. After they were shown the invitation card, the police personnel had noted down the details of the guests: name, designation, organisation, address and mobile number. The Indian government had decided to boycott the event, on the pretext that Hurriyat leaders had been invited.

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/pakistan-stops-guests-from-attending-iftaar-hosted-by-indian-envoy-india-protests-5761677/

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India

Youth breaks Ramzan fast to save seven-year-old girl suffering from thalassemia

Osman Gani Sheikh did not think twice when he received a call from the girl’s father, a stranger to him, that he was in dire need of A-positive blood but could not find any donor.

Published: 02nd June 2019 01:54 PM  |   Last Updated: 02nd June 2019 02:30 PM   |  A+A A-

Kolkata: A Muslim youth broke his fast so he could donate blood to a seven-year-old girl, who is suffering from thalassemia, in Nadia district, a region in India—Bangladesh border in West Bengal, the state  that witnessed a sharp polarisation among the electors on the issue of religion in the last Lok Sabha elections.

Osman Gani Sheikh did not think twice when he received a call from the girl’s father, a stranger to him, that he was in dire need of A-positive blood but could not find any donor.

‘‘I mentioned my contact number in my Facebook profile and mentioned if anyone needs blood, he or she can contact me. The girl’s father got my number from one of his friends. I had to break my fast to save the girl’s life. I did not think twice. It is because I had to run pillar to post to collect blood for one of my relatives in 2016. Since then, I decided to donate blood,’’ said Osman, a post-graduate student of History.

Fish vendor Gautam Das’s only child Rakhi has be suffering from the disease since the past three years. He took her daughter to the district hospital in Krishnagar where doctors told him that immediate blood transfusion was required. But the father could not find blood that matches with her daughter’s blood group.

Rakhi’s mother Tapashi broke down. ‘‘A youth living in the same area where we reside contacted and informed me about Osman’s Facebook profile. He also gave his contact number,’’ said Gautam.

‘‘I received a call from an unknown person on Friday night. He was crying and requesting me to save her daughter. I assured him that I would reach the hospital next morning,’’ said Osman.

The youth in his early 20s boarded bus early on Saturday morning and arrived Krishnagar. ‘‘I was on fasting. The doctors told me I would not be allowed to donate blood. They suggested me to eat biscuits and water. I had no option left other than breaking fasting,’’ recounted Osman.

Schindranath Sarkar, the superintendent of the hospital, said the girl’s health condition would have been critical if she was not given blood immediately.

Gautam said he would never forget Osman’s help. ‘‘He assured of helping me again in future,’’ he said.  

Osman is also group admin of a Whatsapp group with more than 1,000 members from all over West Bengal. ‘‘Since I had to face same plight two years ago, I formed the group to help people in distress. Me and the other members of the Whatsapp group do not entertain calls from any third person. We only respond to the patients’ family members,’’ he said.

http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2019/jun/02/youth-breaks-ramzan-fast-to-save-seven-year-old-girl-suffering-from-thalassemia-1984993.html

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Pakistan stops guests from attending iftaar hosted by Indian envoy, India protests

by Shubhajit Roy

June 3, 2019

India on Sunday lodged a strong protest by issuing a note verbale to Pakistan over intimidation of guests invited for an iftaar party in Islamabad on Saturday. The iftaar, traditionally held in the holy month of Ramzan, was hosted by Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria at Hotel Serena in Islamabad’s Diplomatic Enclave.

A statement from the Indian High Commission in Islamabad said more than 300 Pakistani guests were turned away, including parliamentarians, government officials, media representatives, retired military officials, businessmen, and retired diplomats, in addition to citizens from all walks of life.

According to sources, a former spokesperson of the Pakistan Army, Major General (retired) Athar Abbas, was among those stopped. Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Farhatullah Babar was able to attend “after much difficulty”.

High Commissioner Bisaria later told his guests that some of them could not make it to the party. “I want to apologise because some of you faced a lot of trouble to come here and some of our friends could not come,” he said.

In a statement issued on Sunday, the Indian High Commission said that the guests faced “unprecedented harassment and intimidation at the hands of security agencies”.

“A concerted campaign was launched by Pakistan’s security agencies in the days preceding the Iftar function to reach out to invitees to actively dissuade them from attending the event. Those guests who did reach the function venue, in some cases from places as far as Lahore and Karachi, were intimidated and physically stopped from attending the Iftar function by Pakistani security forces, who had virtually laid the Serena hotel under siege”, the statement said, adding that many guests from the diplomatic community based in Islamabad were also subjected to harassment.

Sources said despite facing harassment and questioning about 130 people were able to attend the event, including leaders from major political parties such as the PTI, PML(N) and PPP who, a source said, “came in their personal capacity, and not as representatives of their parties”.

Tweeting about the harassment he faced, senior PPP leader Farhatullah Babar, who was advisor to former Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari, said, “Came to Serena for iftar hosted by Indian HC. Hotel seems barricaded. Told that iftar cancelled. When insisted, I was told to use other gate. Other gate also closed and told to go back to front gate again. What’s going on, something fishy,” he tweeted.

Babar said that he somehow managed to attend the Indian mission’s iftar despite efforts by the local authorities to stop invitees on one pretext or other.

in its statement, the Indian High Commission said that in violation of diplomatic norms, a large Pakistani security detachment, equipped with fork lifts, was detailed outside Serena Hotel to aggressively turned away Pakistani citizens. “In some cases, cars used by invitees were lifted and removed using forklifts”, it said.

“The security forces stationed on the main road outside Hotel Serena rudely rebuffed and intimidated officers and diplomatic staff of the High Commission of India who tried to ascertain from the security personnel the reasons for harassment of the guests. Some officials were jostled, pushed, abused and aggressively threatened with bodily harm. In some cases, mobile phones belonging to officials were snatched away,” it said.

The Indian High Commission called the events of June 1 “disappointing” and said they not only “violate basic norms of diplomatic conduct but are against all notions of civilized behaviour”.

“Stopping diplomats and officials of the High Commission of India in Pakistan from discharging their diplomatic functions by intimidation and coercion is entirely counter-productive for our bilateral relationship,” the statement said.

“We have requested the government of Pakistan to urgently investigate these ugly events and share the results of the exercise with the High Commission of India. Further, we have emphasized to the government of Pakistan the need to ensure that diplomats and officials of the High Commission of India are allowed to discharge their diplomatic functions without fear of coercion or harassment,” it said.

The incident takes place more than two months after the Indian government’s security establishment stepped up screening of guests attending the Pakistan National Day event in Delhi. Then, on March 23, as guests walked past barricades manned by Delhi Police, security personnel in plain clothes asked the guests about the purpose of the visit. After they were shown the invitation card, the police personnel had noted down the details of the guests: name, designation, organisation, address and mobile number. The Indian government had decided to boycott the event, on the pretext that Hurriyat leaders had been invited.

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/pakistan-stops-guests-from-attending-iftaar-hosted-by-indian-envoy-india-protests-5761677/

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Their nationality yet to be confirmed, 28 Indians in Pak jails after serving sentence

by Gopal Kateshiya

June 3, 2019

As many as 28 Indian civilians are still languishing in the jails of Pakistan despite having completed their prison terms as India has been unable to confirm their nationality. Ten other Indians, whose Indian nationality has been confirmed, also continue to be in the jails of Pakistan, according to an RTI reply received by peace activist Jatin Desai from the Indian High Commission in Islamabad.

In response to an an application filed by Desai under the RTI (Right to Information) Act, the Indian High Commission in Islamabad stated consular access had been granted at various times between 2008 and 2018 to 45 Indian civil prisoners lodged in Pakistan’s jails. Out of them, 38 have completed their varying prison sentences for violating Pakistani laws. But none of them has been repatriated to India till date as the Indian government is in the process of confirming nationality of 28 of them, including five women. The remaining 10 are still in the custody of Pakistan despite their prison terms ending between 2014 and 2018 and their Indian nationality having been confirmed by the Indian government.

Out of the rest seven, whose jail sentence have not been completed, the Indian government has confirmed the nationality of five and is in the process of completing the verification of two others. Of these two, one is an undertrial while the other’s prison term is to get over in 2021. Thus, in all, verification of nationality of 30 is pending with the Indian government while the remaining 15 have been confirmed to be Indian nationals.

Among the 10 prisoners who have completed their jail terms and whose Indian nationality has also been ascertained is 53-year-old cattlherder Mohammad Ismail Samma of Nana Dinara, a border village of Kutch district. The Indian Express had first reported in January 2018 that Samma, who had gone missing from a village on the India-Pakistan border in 2008, was found in a Pakistan jail. While the Indian government had information about Samma being in Pakistan custody since 2014, his family came to know about it in 2017 after being informed by a fellow Kutch resident who was also arraigned in Pakistan but was repatriated in October, 2017. When The Indian Express had reported Samma’s case, the Indian authorities had stated that his nationality verification was pending. However, the latest RTI reply reveals that Samma’s Indian nationality has been confirmed. Samma’s prison term had ended in October 2016.

Likewise is the case of Babli Bhai Yograj, he completed his jail term in May 2014 and his Indian nationality has been also verified. Records show he had been granted consular access in 2015.

Among the 28 prisoners who have served their jail terms but are waiting to be sent back home as their nationality has not been confirmed yet by India is a hearing and speech impaired man. His prison term had ended in 2002.

“The list of 28 civilian prisoners who are waiting to return home after serving their prison terms in Pakistan also includes five women. Two of these women completed their prison terms in 2007, while one more completed her time in jail in 2009. The remaining two were meant to be free from 2011 and 2014, respectively ,after they completed their sentences but have been unable to come back home as their nationality verification is pending. Authorities of both the countries must show sensitivity on this issue,” Desai, the Mumbai-based journalist-activist, told The Indian Express.

“We are a superpower in some sense then why does it take so long even to ascertain if a person is an Indian citizen or not? We can understand difficulties about the hearing and speech impaired person, but then you have to think out of the box. For example, Cheby S, who is one of the civilians whose prison term ended in 2015 is somewhat not mentally sharp and he says that he belongs to Buxar village. There is a district called Buxar in Bihar as well as a village of the same name in Uttar Pradesh. The government can think of publishing photographs of such individuals to help establish their identity and complete verification of their nationality,” Desai, who has served as the general secretary of the Indian chapter of Pakistan-India People’s Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPFPD), added.

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/their-nationality-yet-to-be-confirmed-28-indians-in-pak-jails-after-serving-sentence-5761701/

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Politics live: Bill to ban triple talaq to be brought again, Ravi Shankar Prasad

The Hindu Net Desk JUNE 03, 2019

Bill to ban triple talaq to be brought again, Ravi Shankar Prasad

The government will bring a bill to ban the practice of instant triple talaq again in Parliament, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said Monday.

With the dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha last month, the contentious bill on banning triple talaq had lapsed as it could not be passed by Parliament and was pending in Rajya Sabha.

Asked whether the bill on triple talaq would be brought again, Prasad said, “Obviously. (The issue of) triple talaq is part of our (BJP) manifesto. Why not?”

Responding to a question on uniform civil code, he said the government would hold “political consultations” on the issue even as he goes through the Law Commission report on the issue.

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/politics-live-update-june-3-2019/article27410777.ece

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Varanasi: Hindu family makes traditional vermicelli for Muslims during Ramzan

ANI     |  General News

Last Updated at June 2, 2019

In an example of communal harmony, a Hindu family residing in Afsanganj is producing traditional Vermicelli or Seviyan for their Muslim brothers during the fasting month of Ramzan.

Despite the scorching heat, women and men were seen drying Vermicelli, which is used in making sheer khurma, a famous dessert which is a part of the meal that breaks the fast on Eid.

"We start making vermicelli 3 months before the Ramzan. Muslim brothers come to us to buy it. Here, we do not discriminate people based on their religion. Some Muslim customers also give us blessings. We also export our products to other countries," Anant Lal Kesarkani, the shopkeeper said.

"In every season, out of all types of vermicelli, rumani semiya becomes the most preferred product by the customers. At present, we are producing three types of semiya which are different in the sizes," said Ashrafi Lal Kesri.

Last week, as a goodwill gesture, a Muslim man from Bihar's Darbhanga city chose humanity over his religion when he broke his Ramzan fast and donated his blood to save the life of a two-year-old child. The man, Mohammad Ashfaq, recently came across a Facebook post, where the infant's family had posted a message urging users to donate blood for the child.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

https://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ani/varanasi-hindu-family-makes-traditional-vermicelli-for-muslims-during-ramzan-119060200336_1.html

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Senior ISIS leader hailing from India killed in Afghanistan airstrike

By Khaama Press / in Afghanistan / on Monday, 03 Jun 2019

An airstrike has killed a senior leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group in Afghanistan.

Hailing from India, Rashid Abdullah was the leader of the Kerala module of ISIS terrorist group.

An unidentified ISIS operative has confirmed the killing of Rashid Abdullah by issuing a message in Telegram application.

The airstrikes also killed two other Indians, two women and four children, according to the message obtained by Times of India.

The airstrike was apparently carried out in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.

This comes as the security situation in some districts of Nangarhar province has deteriorated during the recent years.

Both Taliban and ISIS militants are active in remote and restive areas of the province.

The anti-government armed elements often attempt to carry out terrorist related activities in Jalalabad city and other parts of Nangarhar.

Meanwhile, the Afghan forces are busy conducting counter-terrorism operations against both groups in this province.

The U.S. forces also conduct regular airstrikes in restive districts of Nangarhar to suppress ISIS, Taliban and other anti-government militants.

https://www.khaama.com/senior-isis-leader-hailing-from-india-killed-in-afghanistan-airstrike-03532/

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North America

Young North Texas Muslims pursue self-improvement through Ramadan traditions

 

It was 2 a.m., but the streets were well-lit and teeming with people. Not in Deep Ellum or on Lower Greenville. At the Islamic Association of Collin County in Plano, where Muslims of all backgrounds gathered before dawn Saturday.

They'd come to spend the holiest night on the Islamic calendar together. Muslims fast every day during the lunar month of Ramadan and believe the Quran was revealed on or about the 27th night, called Laylat Al-Qadr.

The Islamic Association's mosque provides services year-round, but Friday's Laylat Al-Qadr unites the faithful from sunset to sunrise for a night of forgiveness and blessings.

As June begins, many young Muslims are on break from classes. Older worshippers find hope in the students who are home from college — the future leaders of their community. But some also fear their numbers may be dwindling, a common concern across faiths as modern life competes with centuries-old traditions.

The young Muslims who were celebrating Friday night say they may have their own interpretations of Ramadan, but they remain true to the spirit that binds them to their faith.

More than fasting

Danial Syed, 18, said that though fasting from dawn to sunset may be the most widely known obligation of Ramadan, Muslims are called upon to forgo other things, too.

Interpretations vary from person to person, but the faithful are expected to break bad habits such as gossiping, cursing and fighting.

“Because you’re not eating, you’re more aware of all the other things you do," Syed said. "You know the bad things you need to work on. It’s not just starving yourself.”

The purpose is spiritual growth.

Syed, who will soon be a freshman at UT-Dallas, explained that though he will be on his own, he won't change the way he behaves during Ramadan. Fasting is for Allah, who is “always watching,” he said.

Faraj Khan Pathan chats with Raiyan Uddin, middle, as Talha Mohammed keeps an eye on the game of Ludo at Islamic Association of Collin County in Plano Texas on Sunday, June 2, 2019. (Shaban Athuman/Staff Photographer) (Shaban Athuman/Staff Photographer)

Douaa Hassan, a 26-year-old industrial engineer from Plano, described fasting as a sort of spiritual cleanse, a time to work on one’s faith without distraction.

Muslims believe that Ramadan is a time when Allah locks up Satan and his helpers, making improvement easier for followers.

“You start to notice all the things you’re doing wrong,” Hassan said. “You really start to look at yourself and say, no, I need to do better.”

The ultimate test of a successful Ramadan, Hassan believes, is whether one maintains the improvements after the month ends. Ideally, people will become stronger in their faith each year as they build on good habits.

Not even water?

Because fasting is about the only thing a lot of people in the United States know about Ramadan, that's what many young Muslims are asked about.

And the most common question is simple: not even water?

Many Muslims do avoid all food and beverages from pre-dawn to sunset during the holy month, but the requirement provides exceptions for children, pregnant women and the elderly, as well as anyone else who is likely to suffer health consequences from fasting.

Amera Lawand, 23, said some non-Muslim friends seem to think Ramadan is inhumane, but she said the hunger subsides after the first few days. In fact, waking for predawn meals can feel like the hardest part.

Usmaan Hasan, a 21-year-old senior at the University of Texas at Austin, said non-Muslims' questions are more informed now that intermittent fasting has become a popular way to manage one's appetite.

“I might just be fortunate to be in a community of people who are relatively more aware of the environment around them and different cultures,” Hasan said. “I don't feel the need to correct people too much.”

https://www.dallasnews.com/life/faith/2019/06/02/young-north-texas-muslims-pursue-self-improvement-ramadan-traditions

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Trump administration says it will negotiate with Iran with ‘no preconditions’

June 3, 2019

Written by Edward Wong

In a second major softening of U.S. policy toward Iran in recent days, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday that the Trump administration was ready to negotiate with the country’s clerical leaders with “no preconditions.”

The statement followed President Donald Trump’s comment last week that he was ready to talk to Iranian leaders and was not seeking regime change, overruling a longtime goal of his national security adviser. Pompeo’s statement also recalibrated his earlier position that the United States would not lift sanctions on Iran unless it complied with a dozen sweeping demands, suggesting that those demands could be part of negotiations instead of preconditions.

Iran’s leaders consider the demands unacceptable.

Tensions between the United States and Iran have escalated sharply in recent weeks, raising fears that the two countries were edging toward war. The less combative language does not change the fact that the Trump administration has tightened economic sanctions on Iran, ordered 1,500 additional troops to the Persian Gulf and revised military plans against Iran.

Even in opening the door to talks, Pompeo said the United States would continue to try to counter Iran’s support of groups in the Middle East that undermine U.S. interests.

“We’re prepared to engage in a conversation with no preconditions,” Pompeo said at a news conference in Switzerland, which acts as a conduit between Washington and Tehran. “We’re ready to sit down with them. But the American effort to fundamentally reverse the malign activity of the Islamic Republic, this revolutionary force, is going to continue.”

Trump appears to be trying to walk a tightrope on Iran policy. He has told aides he wants to avoid a war, yet his top foreign policy officials are pressing him to amplify a “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran that relies on sanctions and shows of military force.

The talk of negotiations by Trump and now Pompeo play to Trump’s dealmaker image. It suggests that even as he ratchets up military and financial pressure against Iran that he is also seeking a new deal to keep Iran from building a nuclear weapon.

“I think the administration is trying to de-escalate tensions to accommodate the president’s recent statements that he’d like to negotiate with Iran,” said Dalia Dassa Kaye, a Middle East analyst at the RAND Corp., a research group. “But the problem is Secretary Pompeo’s statement is still talking about negotiations only when Iran starts acting like a ‘normal’ country. That type of language is not likely to entice the Iranians to the table, especially as maximum pressure policies continue on the ground.”

Pompeo’s comments Sunday were responding to an opening by President Hassan Rouhani of Iran on Saturday. Rouhani said Iran was willing to talk with the United States if it “sits respectfully at the negotiating table” rather than ordering Iran to hold discussions.

“We have shown that we do not submit to bullying,” Rouhani said, according to Iran’s Fars News Agency.

An Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said Sunday that Pompeo’s statement was “word play” and that what mattered to Tehran was a change in the U.S. government’s “general approach and actual behavior toward the Iranian nation,” Iran’s Mehr News Agency reported.

Trump abandoned a nuclear deal with Iran a year ago, fulfilling a campaign promise, and reimposed major economic sanctions in November. More recently, his administration has designated an arm of the Iranian military as a terrorist organization, ended permission for eight countries to buy oil from Iran despite economic sanctions, accused Iran of plotting to attack American targets in the Middle East and sent a battle group to the region.

Nuclear experts said Iran had been complying with the nuclear agreement, which it had negotiated with six world powers in 2015 in exchange for the lifting of harsh economic sanctions. The agreement limited Iran’s ability to produce nuclear fuel for 15 years.

European nations still abide by the agreement and have urged Iran to stick with it.

Last month, Rouhani said Iran would stop abiding by parts of the agreement, and would resume the production of nuclear centrifuges and begin accumulating nuclear material. He said Iran was not following “the path of war,” but choosing “the path of diplomacy.”

Pompeo met Sunday with Ignazio Cassis, the Swiss foreign minister, to discuss Iran and other matters in a centuries-old castle in Bellinzona, a medieval Italian-speaking town of pastel-painted homes nestled among steep, green valleys.

Switzerland has acted as an interlocutor between the United States and Iran since Washington broke off diplomatic relations with Tehran in 1980, and it hosted negotiations over the 2015 nuclear deal forged by the Obama administration.

Cassis stressed the urgent need to bring down tensions between the United States and Iran. He said Switzerland was willing to broker any diplomacy, but only if both governments commit to talks.

Cassis added that Iranians are suffering from the sanctions imposed by the Trump administration, and Switzerland is ready to provide humanitarian medical aid and food. But the Trump administration must allow banks to transfer payments from Iran.

His plea rebutted earlier remarks from Pompeo, who has insisted that the sanctions do not bar humanitarian aid from Iran.

As representatives of American interests in Iran, Swiss diplomats have also tried to make visits to U.S. prisoners in the country. Iran is holding at least six U.S. citizens and one permanent resident.

Pompeo declined on Sunday to speak in detail about any talks conducted through Switzerland or other third parties to free the prisoners, but did not deny that such negotiations could be taking place.

“The United States is working with all willing nations to assist us in getting them returned,” he said.

In July, Trump said he was willing to talk to Iran with “no preconditions,” but that was well before tensions soared. On May 5, John R. Bolton, the hawkish national security adviser, said the White House had ordered the accelerated movement of an aircraft carrier strike group and bombers to the Persian Gulf from the Mediterranean Sea.

U.S. officials told reporters afterward that they had gotten intelligence that showed the Iranian military or allied Arab militias might attack U.S. interests. Pompeo ordered almost all U.S. diplomats to leave Iraq, which borders Iran.

But European officials and some U.S. legislators who had seen the same intelligence said the threat level did not look much higher than usual and did not warrant the measures and tone of urgency adopted by the Trump administration.

They criticized Trump’s announcement on May 24 that he was ordering 1,500 more troops to the region and declaring an emergency over Iran to push through arms sales to Tehran’s main regional rivals, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Those sales had been blocked by Congress because the weapons are used to kill civilians in the disastrous Yemen civil war.

Against the backdrop of tensions with Iran, there has been a conspicuous flurry of diplomacy between top U.S. and Swiss officials. On May 16, Trump hosted Ueli Maurer, the Swiss president, at the White House — a first by an American president.

On Wednesday, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s top leader, said his nation would not negotiate directly with the United States. But he said talks could be conducted through a third party. Rouhani’s comments Saturday left open the possibility of direct talks.

Pompeo and Bolton have prioritized confronting Iran over what the State Department calls Tehran’s “expansionist foreign policy.” Last year, Pompeo made 12 demands of Iran that included a call for Iranian leaders to drop support for political groups and militias in nearby Arab countries and for the release of all U.S. prisoners.

Hua Qu, the wife of Wang Xiyue, a Princeton graduate student imprisoned by Iran since 2016 on a charge of espionage, wrote on May 24 in The Washington Post that she was imploring world powers to get Tehran to free her husband.

https://indianexpress.com/article/world/trump-administration-says-it-will-negotiate-with-iran-with-no-preconditions-5761746/

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Africa

How I risked my life to save over 200 Christians – Muslim cleric

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Abubakar Abdullahi

Ahaji Abubakar Abdullahi, 83-year old Chief Imam of a mosque in Yelwa- Gindi Akwati village, Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau, said he risked his life to save some people in the June 23, 2018 Barkin Ladi attacks in Plateau.

Abdullahi protected over 200 people fleeing from attacks by suspected bandits in Yelwa-Gindi Akwati, Swei and Nghar villages in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau.

Abubakar, who was speaking while receiving award from the U.S. Mission in Nigeria, said on Sunday in Abuja that his action saved those who took refuge in the mosque and in his house.

The cleric, who spoke through an interpreter said that the unfortunate incident happened on Saturday June 23, 2018, after the mid-afternoon prayers at about 4 p.m.

“After the prayer, we started hearing some gunshots first from the nearby village known as Gidan Akwati up to Yelwa, my village.

“The entire village was engulfed in violence the kind we had never experienced before; the villagers were confused running for their safety.

“We then encouraged people to come in, women, men and children to all come in; and we closed the doors afterwards,” he said.

According to him, the attackers surrounded the mosque, they were trying to force the door open.

“We then overheard them (attackers) saying there are Berom and Christians who are in the mosque.

“Later, we heard the attackers were targeting the Berom’s and Christians in the community, we came out through the window and asked why they wanted to harm the people who came for refuge in the house of God.

“Soon we heard some of the attackers had also gone to my house trying to gain access because some people are also taking refuge in my house at that time,” he said.

The Imam said that he told the attackers at some point that they had to kill him first before harming his ‘guests’ and this went on for about four hours.

“We also informed them not go ahead and destroy the people’s crops. The attackers asked all the women to come out, that they did not want to harm them, but I refused.”

“The ploy is to know who is a Muslim and who is a Christian. ”The Muslim women then donated their clothes and hijab to the people, saying if it comes to that, we will all die with them.

“When that did not work, they said they are going to set the house ablaze, that is when I went down and told them to kill me first,” he said.

According to him, those in the mosque stayed there for five days, they were fed and taken care of.

“It lasted for about five days and in order to keep them protected the, Muslims were praying outside the mosque until they were evacuated to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp,” he said.

The cleric, who expressed shock at the level of the attack, said that such had never happened in the past 17 years of crises in the state.

He said that the villagers had been living together in peace before the crisis.

“There are intermarriages between us and exchange in ceremony both Christmas and Muslim festival, there are seven different languages in those communities and we have been living in peace before the crisis.

“Islam has taught us that when someone comes to us in distress you have an obligation to protect such a person until the situation becomes normal,” he said.

The U. S. Ambassador, Stuart Symington, who presented the Peacemaker Award, described the act as heroic for saving the lives of those who took refuge in the Mosque.

He urged citizens to emulate the cleric’s virtue of kindness to promote peace and brotherhood, saying the act had raised hope of cohesiveness in a society faced with growing distrust.

https://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2019/06/02/how-i-risked-my-life-to-save-over-200-christians-83-year-old-muslim-cleric/

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Sudanese forces storm protest camp, nine people dead

Published: June 3, 2019

Laylat-al-Qadr (The Night of Power) was observed across the entire subcontinent and South Asia including Kashmir with religious gaiety and fervor.

In this regard, the biggest religious gathering in Kashmir was held at the historic Jamia Masjid in Srinagar in which tens of thousands of devotees from across the Valley including a large number of women participated in all night prayers and Zikr seeking forgiveness of Almighty and acceptance of their supplications and praying for world peace and resolution of the grave problems that Muslims across the world are caught in. The spiritually uplifting Majlis Waz-o-tableeg is unique to the Valley in its rendition instructiveness and collective style of prayer.

On the occasion, Mirwaiz Moulvi Muhammad Umar Farooq while addressing the religious and spiritual gathering at Jamia Masjid shed light on the significance of Laylat al-Qadr, the revolutionary revelation of the Holy Quran, and the message of Holy Quran and urged Muslims to adopt the Islamic way of life.

Terming the challenges and problems that the Muslim Ummah was caught in today as greatly being a result of deviation from the teachings of Holy Quran, he said a flawed understanding of the message of Islam and following Islam as per convenience and sectarian leanings rather than in its spirit was responsible for the mess Muslims were entangled in worldwide.

Stressing that the message of Quran and teachings of Islam will have be incorporated in our lives, the Mirwaiz said Muslims could not witness prosperity and peace unless we do not do so. He said introspection into our individual and collective life and interactions is needed on a regular basis to see where we stand and where we need to improve.

Referring to the ongoing situation in Kashmir, the Mirwaiz appealed the people of Kashmir to observe Eid al-Fitr with simplicity and urged people to think of the underprivileged the poor the orphans and the needy and share our celebration and happiness of the festival with them. He said the message of Ramadan of being sympathetic and concerned toward each other maintaining brotherhood and sacrificing for one another should be followed during the entire year so that reforms in society are brought in the real sense.

On the occasion, the Mirwaiz termed unity among Muslims as a must for the supremacy of Islam.

https://www.greaterkashmir.com/news/kashmir/flawed-understanding-of-islam-responsible-for-mess-in-muslim-world-mirwaiz/

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Arab World

Damascus slams Makkah summit endorsement of Syria transition

AFPUpdated June 03, 2019

DAMASCUS: Syria denounced on Sunday the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s endorsement of a longstanding UN-backed proposal for a transitional governing body integrating opposition elements in the conflict hit country, state media said.

The 57-member OIC met in Makkah this week and in its closing statement on Saturday threw its support behind a 2012 Geneva communique calling for the establishment of a transitional governing body in Syria with full executive powers.

“The closing communique of the summit only expresses the obvious and continuous dependence of these countries on their masters in the West,” a source at the Syrian foreign ministry told state news agency SANA.

Harking back to the Geneva proposals “and the idea of a government transitional body (...) confirms the chronic blindness of participating states to developments” in Syria in recent years, the source added.

UN-sponsored negotiations have been gradually eclipsed by parallel Moscow-backed negotiations known as the Astana process.

The Astana process was launched in January 2017 by Russia and Iran — allies of the Damascus regime — and by Turkey, which backs rebels in Syria’s eight year civil war.

The OIC on Saturday also denounced Washington’s decision on March 25 to recognise Israel’s claim of sovereignty over the part of the Golan Heights it seized from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War.

But Syria’s government said “it was not waiting for support or a statement from this summit or others like it to assert its right over the Golan,” SANA said.

Regionally, the United Arab Emirates has begun a rapprochement with Damascus, by opening an embassy after years of closure, while relations have also improved with Bahrain and Jordan.

But regional power — and former Syrian opposition backer — Saudi Arabia remains hostile to President Bashar al-Assad, who has made a military comeback with Russian military support since 2015, clawing back almost two-thirds of the country’s territory.

Syria’s multi-fronted war has killed more than 370,000 people and displaced millions since it began with the repression of anti-government protests in 2011.

Published in Dawn, June 3rd, 2019

https://www.dawn.com/news/1486246/damascus-slams-makkah-summit-endorsement-of-syria-transition

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Over 40 Terrorists Killed, Injured in Explosion in Aleppo

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Tens of Ankara-backed militants were killed and wounded in a huge explosion at their headquarters in the city of Izaa in Northern Aleppo concurrent with rising insecurity there.

A bomb-laden vehicle was exploded near a security headquarters of Ankara-backed terrorists in Izaz city center, killing at least 42 militants, the Arabic-language website of Russian Sputnik news agency quoted local sources in the city of Izaz as saying.   

The sources noted that at least 14 people were killed and 28 others were wounded in the explosion while the death toll is increasing.

Meantime, the Kurdish-language Hawar News website reported that two Turkish Army soldiers and an Ankara-backed militant were killed and their military vehicle was destroyed during two military operations by the so-called Afrin Liberation forces against the Turkish Army and its allied militants in Jalbareh town in Afrin and Tal Maled in Ma'areh town in Northern Aleppo.

In a relevant development on Sunday, the Turkish Army and its allied militants attacked the military positions of the Kurdish fighters in Northern Aleppo which resulted in fierce clashes between the two sides.

The Kurdish-language Hawar News website reported that the Turkish Army and Ankara-backed militants' artillery and mortar units pounded the Kurdish fighters' military positions in the town of Lower Shoyoukh West of the city of Kobani.

The Ankara-backed militants stationed near the city of Jarablus also pounded the military positions of the Kurdish Al-Bab Military Council in the town of al-Baqouz to East of Al-Bab city.

Meantime, the sources affiliated to terrorist groups reported that a group of the Ankara-backed National Liberation Front (NFL) Army militants attacked the Kurdish forces' positions in the town of Ain Daqaneh in Northern Aleppo, destroying their armored vehicle as well as killing and injuring a number of them.

In a relevant development last month, the Kurdish fighters conducted two military operations on Ankara-backed militants in occupied Afrin region in Northwestern Aleppo, killing and injuring 14 of them.

The Kurdish-language Hawar News reported that the Afrin Liberation Forces launched fresh military operations against the Turkish Army and its allied militants in Afrin, hitting a military position of al-Jbahat al-Shamia in the village of Shara which resulted in the death of eight Ankara-backed militants and injury of three others.

The Kurdish fighters also pounded a center of Ahrar al-Sharqieh in the town of Bastouleh in Shirava region, killing and injuring three others.

Also last month, the Turkish Army and its allied militants launched massive attacks on Kurdish fighters in Northern Aleppo that was followed by heavy clashes between the two sides.

The Xeber24 news website affiliated to Kurdish forces reported that the Ankara-backed militants attacked military positions of Afrin Liberation Forces in the surrounding areas Tal Ra'afat in Northern Aleppo.

It, meantime, pointed to fierce clashes in Harbal and Am Hush regions near Tal Rafat in Northern Aleppo, and said that the Syrian fighter jets were flying over the region.

Hawar News also pointed to the fierce mortar attacks by the Turkish Army and its allied militants on Mara'anaz and Malekieh towns in Shara region in Northwestern Aleppo, and said that the Kurdish fighters have warded off attacks by the Turkish Army and its allied militants on the villages of Mang and Ain Daqaneh over the past days.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980313000557

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Kurds say 800 women, children to leave crowded camp

AFPUpdated June 03, 2019

AIN ISSA: Kurdish authorities in northeast Syria said on Sunday they plan to hand 800 women and children, including relatives of jihadists, to their families in the first such transfer from an overcrowded camp.

The women and children — all Syrians — are living among the dregs of the militant Islamic State group in the Kurdish-run Al-Hol camp, home to nearly 74,000 people including more than 30,000 Syrians.

They will leave on Monday and be “taken to their families” at the request of local Arab tribes, according to Abd al-Mehbach, co-chair of the Kurdish administration’s executive council.

The move follows an agreement brokered by the Kurdish administration and Arab tribal leaders during a meeting in the town of Ain Issa last month.

It is to be the first in a larger wave of releases that aim to empty Al-Hol of its Syrian residents, he said.

The next batch is expected to follow after the Eidul Fitr holiday due to start sometime in the next few days marking the end of Ramazan.

Hoovered up during a final offensive against the jihadists by a US-backed Kurdish-led force, thousands of wives and children of IS fighters have been trucked into Al-Hol from a string of Syrian villages south of the camp in recent months.

Their numbers have created a major headache for the semi-autonomous Kurdish administration and have sparked concerns that the camp is emerging as a fresh jihadist powder keg.

But “not all of those being released are relatives of IS fighters,” Mehbach said of the group set to leave on Monday.

Some sought shelter at the camp to escape tough humanitarian conditions in areas levelled by months of fighting, he said.

Monday’s group consists of residents from the northeastern city of Raqa — once IS’s de facto capital in Syria — as well as the town of Tabqa, 70 kilometres (43 miles) west, according to Mehbach.

Those among them with suspected links to IS will be kept under surveillance by local Arab tribes, who have given guarantees, he said.

“It is the (Kurdish) administration’s duty to its people to play a role in the rehabilitation of these women and children, and their reintegration into society,” he added.

A Raqa tribal leader, Ali Mahamid Ali, said that Arab tribes are trying to secure the release of all Syrian women held in Al-Hol. “They are all our sisters, our mothers,” he said.

“We gave guarantees... the (women and children) will be released under our responsibility.” The IS proto-state was declared defeated on March 23, following a nearly five-year-long offensive against the group.

Thousands of foreign fighters are being held in Kurdish-run prisons, while their wives and children languish in displacement camps.

Among the hordes of Syrians and Iraqis, some 12,000 foreigners are held in a fenced-off section of the Al-Hol camp, under the watch of Kurdish forces.

Published in Dawn, June 3rd, 2019

https://www.dawn.com/news/1486248/kurds-say-800-women-children-to-leave-crowded-camp

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Senior Iraqi MP: Iran Entitled to Attack US Bases in Iraq If Threatened

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior member of the Iraqi parliament's Security and Defense Commission underlined that Iran is entitled to defend itself and give a reciprocal response if threatened and attacked from the US bases in Iraq.

Karim al-Mohammadawi told the Arabic-language al-Ma'aloumeh news website on Sunday that the US does not allow inspection and visit by the Iraqi legislators to their bases, and has been pressuring the government, parliamentary and judiciary officials to prevent approval of a bill which forces the Americans to leave Iraq and avoid the raising the issue again.

He also added that the Americans have in the past few days deployed a large number of military equipment in their bases to threaten Iran.

Al-Mohammadawi said that piling up military equipment and development of the US bases will leave negative impact on regional stability and is considered as threat against Iran.

"Iran is entitled to target all US bases in Iraq in case of their military or espionage operations against the country," he underscored.

A former Iraqi legislator disclosed on Saturday that the US had established 17 military bases in Iraq and deployed F35 fighter jets in Ein al-Assad airbase in the Western parts of al-Anbar province.

Al-Ma'aloumeh quoted Mohammad al-Dayeni as saying that Washington had set up 17 military bases in Iraq.

He added that the US had also deployed Spirit (stealth) fighter jets in Ein al-Assad, adding that the F-35 fighters which had earlier been stationed in the airbase fly on a daily basis to spy on Iran.

Al-Dayeni said that the US forces had specified 63,000 targets in and outside Iraq for attacks, including the positions of Hashd al-Shaabi (Iraqi popular forces).

Meantime, a prominent Iraqi political expert revealed late last month that Washington continued to increase the number of its troops in Iraq, warning of the US plots to make aggression against the neighboring states.

Sabah al-Akili told al-Ma'aloumeh that the number of US forces had increased in Iraq despite the general demand by the Iraqi people for their withdrawal.

He added that the US forces' attacks on Iraqi security forces indicated that they were combat forces and were not deployed for advising or training purposes.

Al-Akili underlined that expansion of Ein al-Assad airbase, extension of its runway and deployment of Patriot missile systems at the base showed that Washington intended to stay in Iraq for the long-run, specially given the reports that the US planned to use Iraq as a platform to attack the neighboring states and was, thus, sending more forces to its bases in Iraq.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980313000300

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Homs: Israel Launches Missile Attacks on T4 Airport

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Israel launched new missile attacks on T4 Military Airport in Homs province which was countered by Syrian Army's air defense.

The Arabic-language SANA news agency quoted a military source as saying that T4 military airport in Homs province came under Israel's missile attacks on Sunday night.

It noted that the Syrian Army's air defense systems were activated right after Israel's missile attack and destroyed two missiles before they could hit their targets.

Meantime, two Syrian soldiers were killed and two others were wounded after several missiles hit an ammunition depot, several buildings and military equipment.

Israel's recent missile attacks on Syria came as the Syrian army is advancing in terrorist-held regions in Northern Hama and Southern Idlib.

In a relevant aggressive move by Tel Aviv regime on Sunday, Israel launched fresh airstrikes on the Syrian Army positions near Damascus and Quneitra in Southern Syria.

The Syrian Army's air defense system shot down several Israeli missiles, SANA reported.

It noted that Israel's invaders launched two waves of missile attacks from the side of the Occupied Golan, hitting  several military positions of the Syrian Army to the Southwest of Damascus and East of Quneitra.

The SANA news agency reported that the Syrian Army's air defense systems were activated right after these attacks and shot down a number of Israeli missiles.

Meantime, the Arabic-language website of the Russian Sputnik News Agency quoted a military source as saying that Israeli warplanes fired six rockets at the Syrian Army's military positions near Damascus, but most of them were destroyed by the Syrian air defense systems.

The Syrian Army's air defense shield also destroyed most of the missiles fired at Tal al-Sha'ar region in the surrounding area of Quneitra. Three Syrian Army soldiers were killed and seven others were wounded in the Israeli aggression.

Meantime, the Israeli Army in a statement claimed that the Israeli helicopters and fighter jets had pounded the Syrian Army's military positions in response to two missiles fired from Syria.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980313000290

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Gunmen attack Iraqi Communist, Islamic Dawa party offices

Sangar Ali Sangar Ali

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A group of unknown armed men raided the office of the Islamic Dawa Party in the southern province of Basra, one day after a similar attack on the Iraqi Communist Party office, security sources confirmed on Monday.

The attack on the Islamic Dawa Party, led by former Prime Minister of Iraq, Nouri al-Maliki, occurred Monday morning as assailants used grenades, a local security source in Basra told Kurdistan 24.

The Islamic Dawa Party maintains strong ties with neighboring Iran and currently holds 25 seats in Iraq’s 329-seat Parliament.

Five grenades were launched at the party office by an unknown group, with two of them failing to explode, the source added.

The attack caused no human casualties, but caused significant damage the building.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, which came a day after a similar act targeting the Iraqi Communist Party’s headquarters in the southern province. In this instance, an improvised explosive device (IED) was employed, but no casualties were reported.

The Iraqi Communist Party is the oldest active party in the country, founded in 1934. It currently has only two seats in the Iraqi parliament.

Editing by Nadia Riva

https://www.kurdistan24.net/en/news/88822004-3b70-4dfd-be0b-eae34e34f763

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19 killed in a car bomb explosion near mosque in Syria’s Azaz: Monitor

Four children were among those killed in the explosion in Azaz, in the heart of a Turkish zone of influence in Aleppo province, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

WORLD Updated: Jun 03, 2019

Syria,Muslim holy month of Ramadan,Operation Euphrates Shield

The damage is severe, at least six stores were burned, the storefronts of dozens of other stores were blown out.(Reuters File Photo/Representative Image)

At least 19 people were killed Sunday in a car bomb near a bustling market and mosque in a rebel-held city in northwestern Syria, a war monitor said.

Four children were among those killed in the explosion in Azaz, in the heart of a Turkish zone of influence in Aleppo province, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The attack also wounded more than 20 people, according to the Britain-based monitor.

“Many people were leaving evening prayers when the explosion happened,” Observatory head Rami Abdul Rahman told AFP.

Shoppers buying clothes and gifts ahead of the upcoming Eid al-Fitr holiday were among those killed, said Jihad Berro, a coroner at a local hospital.

He said the medical facility was crammed with victims and their relatives.

“The emergency rooms were full, we placed corpses on the floor,” he said.

“It is a real catastrophe before the Eid al-Fitr holiday,” which marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, said Berro.

An AFP photographer saw a large crowd gathering at the scene of the attack, charred vehicles dotting the side of the road.

Rescue workers searched through mounds of rubble, looking for bodies, he said.

Resident Abu Youssef said the explosion torched the neighbourhood.

“The damage is severe: at least six stores were burned, the storefronts of dozens of other stores were blown out,” he told AFP.

It was not clear who was behind the attack, which came a day after a similar explosion killed 10 people and wounded 20 in the northeastern city of Raqa.

Turkey launched Operation Euphrates Shield in 2016 and seized more than 2,000 square kilometres of northern Syria including Azaz, clearing the area of Islamic State jihadists while preventing any Kurdish advance in the region.

Ankara keeps Turkish troops and intelligence forces in the area, and still backs Syrian rebels serving as police officers.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/19-killed-in-a-car-bomb-explosion-near-mosque-in-syria-s-azaz-monitor/story-lka9ujSy3aBB6xdpKSRhEM.html

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Pakistan

Bureaucratic inefficiency troubles Pakistani students in China

Mansoor MalikUpdated June 03, 2019

LAHORE: Bureaucratic inefficiency and red-tapism has been found to be the main factor that created a nightmare for Pakistani students in China when their scholarship funds for the last quarter of the current financial year were delayed.

The chief minister had instructed the University of Education to continue paying the scholarship funds for the students studying Chinese language in China after they were selected on merit under a government-to-government commitment. The university was supposed to bridge-finance and the Punjab higher education department release the required funds.

Owing to the delay and hue and cry raised by the fund-starved students, the PTI government’s critics took to social media to take on the Punjab government, as the scholarship project was initiated by the Shahbaz Sharif government in 2017. Currently, the third batch of around 200 Pakistani students is learning Chinese language in China.

Chief Minister Usman Buzdar expressed indignation over non-issuance of funds for the students on time and sought a report from the higher education secretary. He instructed that steps should be taken to release around Rs200 million by Monday (today).

Sources in the chief minister’s secretariat said the University of Education had caused the Punjab government embarrassment by not releasing funds in time despite clear instructions. They claimed that sufficient funds were available with the university. The government was also paying the university at least 15 per cent administrative charges on account of facilitating the students studying in China.

Since the payments had been delayed in every quarter, the sources said, the University of Education was instructed to ensure timely payments for students even if there were technical delays on the part of the higher education and finance departments. They said the university was told that it should release scholarship money from its own funds and write to the higher education department to bridge finance later. Yet, the university delayed the payment, the sources added.

The chief minister has also chided the higher education department over the delay and directed that negligence would not be tolerated again. “Pakistani students must not face any difficulty on foreign land,” the chief minister said.

Sources in the university said the release of funds was delayed because of the higher education department’s failure to send a formal letter on time to pay the students’ scholarship funds.

University of Education Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Rauf-i-Azam said the university used to release funds after receiving instructions from the higher education department. He said the university had already released Rs250 million for the last quarter and the remaining Rs200m would also be paid on Monday (today), adding that a letter from the department had been received.

In the third quarter, Dr Azam added, the university had paid Rs450m for the students in China.

The Punjab government had sanctioned Rs200m on May 27 for placement in the higher education secretary’s account and an audit copy was signed and authenticated by the finance department.

However, an authority letter has not been issued yet by the accountant general’s (AG) office. Higher education department officials say that after issuance of the authority letter, it will transfer funds to the varsity for disbursement to students in China.

Meanwhile, the higher education secretary has tasked a team for coordinating with the AG office and place funds with the university on Monday for further disbursement.

Published in Dawn, June 3rd, 2019

https://www.dawn.com/news/1486227/bureaucratic-inefficiency-troubles-pakistani-students-in-china

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Arab World

19 killed in a car bomb explosion near mosque in Syria’s Azaz: Monitor

Four children were among those killed in the explosion in Azaz, in the heart of a Turkish zone of influence in Aleppo province, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

WORLD Updated: Jun 03, 2019

Syria,Muslim holy month of Ramadan,Operation Euphrates Shield

The damage is severe, at least six stores were burned, the storefronts of dozens of other stores were blown out.(Reuters File Photo/Representative Image)

At least 19 people were killed Sunday in a car bomb near a bustling market and mosque in a rebel-held city in northwestern Syria, a war monitor said.

Four children were among those killed in the explosion in Azaz, in the heart of a Turkish zone of influence in Aleppo province, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The attack also wounded more than 20 people, according to the Britain-based monitor.

“Many people were leaving evening prayers when the explosion happened,” Observatory head Rami Abdul Rahman told AFP.

Shoppers buying clothes and gifts ahead of the upcoming Eid al-Fitr holiday were among those killed, said Jihad Berro, a coroner at a local hospital.

He said the medical facility was crammed with victims and their relatives.

“The emergency rooms were full, we placed corpses on the floor,” he said.

“It is a real catastrophe before the Eid al-Fitr holiday,” which marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, said Berro.

An AFP photographer saw a large crowd gathering at the scene of the attack, charred vehicles dotting the side of the road.

Rescue workers searched through mounds of rubble, looking for bodies, he said.

Resident Abu Youssef said the explosion torched the neighbourhood.

“The damage is severe: at least six stores were burned, the storefronts of dozens of other stores were blown out,” he told AFP.

It was not clear who was behind the attack, which came a day after a similar explosion killed 10 people and wounded 20 in the northeastern city of Raqa.

Turkey launched Operation Euphrates Shield in 2016 and seized more than 2,000 square kilometres of northern Syria including Azaz, clearing the area of Islamic State jihadists while preventing any Kurdish advance in the region.

Ankara keeps Turkish troops and intelligence forces in the area, and still backs Syrian rebels serving as police officers.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/19-killed-in-a-car-bomb-explosion-near-mosque-in-syria-s-azaz-monitor/story-lka9ujSy3aBB6xdpKSRhEM.html

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Over 40 Terrorists Killed, Injured in Explosion in Aleppo

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Tens of Ankara-backed militants were killed and wounded in a huge explosion at their headquarters in the city of Izaa in Northern Aleppo concurrent with rising insecurity there.

A bomb-laden vehicle was exploded near a security headquarters of Ankara-backed terrorists in Izaz city center, killing at least 42 militants, the Arabic-language website of Russian Sputnik news agency quoted local sources in the city of Izaz as saying.   

The sources noted that at least 14 people were killed and 28 others were wounded in the explosion while the death toll is increasing.

Meantime, the Kurdish-language Hawar News website reported that two Turkish Army soldiers and an Ankara-backed militant were killed and their military vehicle was destroyed during two military operations by the so-called Afrin Liberation forces against the Turkish Army and its allied militants in Jalbareh town in Afrin and Tal Maled in Ma'areh town in Northern Aleppo.

In a relevant development on Sunday, the Turkish Army and its allied militants attacked the military positions of the Kurdish fighters in Northern Aleppo which resulted in fierce clashes between the two sides.

The Kurdish-language Hawar News website reported that the Turkish Army and Ankara-backed militants' artillery and mortar units pounded the Kurdish fighters' military positions in the town of Lower Shoyoukh West of the city of Kobani.

The Ankara-backed militants stationed near the city of Jarablus also pounded the military positions of the Kurdish Al-Bab Military Council in the town of al-Baqouz to East of Al-Bab city.

Meantime, the sources affiliated to terrorist groups reported that a group of the Ankara-backed National Liberation Front (NFL) Army militants attacked the Kurdish forces' positions in the town of Ain Daqaneh in Northern Aleppo, destroying their armored vehicle as well as killing and injuring a number of them.

In a relevant development last month, the Kurdish fighters conducted two military operations on Ankara-backed militants in occupied Afrin region in Northwestern Aleppo, killing and injuring 14 of them.

The Kurdish-language Hawar News reported that the Afrin Liberation Forces launched fresh military operations against the Turkish Army and its allied militants in Afrin, hitting a military position of al-Jbahat al-Shamia in the village of Shara which resulted in the death of eight Ankara-backed militants and injury of three others.

The Kurdish fighters also pounded a center of Ahrar al-Sharqieh in the town of Bastouleh in Shirava region, killing and injuring three others.

Also last month, the Turkish Army and its allied militants launched massive attacks on Kurdish fighters in Northern Aleppo that was followed by heavy clashes between the two sides.

The Xeber24 news website affiliated to Kurdish forces reported that the Ankara-backed militants attacked military positions of Afrin Liberation Forces in the surrounding areas Tal Ra'afat in Northern Aleppo.

It, meantime, pointed to fierce clashes in Harbal and Am Hush regions near Tal Rafat in Northern Aleppo, and said that the Syrian fighter jets were flying over the region.

Hawar News also pointed to the fierce mortar attacks by the Turkish Army and its allied militants on Mara'anaz and Malekieh towns in Shara region in Northwestern Aleppo, and said that the Kurdish fighters have warded off attacks by the Turkish Army and its allied militants on the villages of Mang and Ain Daqaneh over the past days.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980313000557

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Damascus slams Makkah summit endorsement of Syria transition

AFPUpdated June 03, 2019

DAMASCUS: Syria denounced on Sunday the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s endorsement of a longstanding UN-backed proposal for a transitional governing body integrating opposition elements in the conflict hit country, state media said.

The 57-member OIC met in Makkah this week and in its closing statement on Saturday threw its support behind a 2012 Geneva communique calling for the establishment of a transitional governing body in Syria with full executive powers.

“The closing communique of the summit only expresses the obvious and continuous dependence of these countries on their masters in the West,” a source at the Syrian foreign ministry told state news agency SANA.

Harking back to the Geneva proposals “and the idea of a government transitional body (...) confirms the chronic blindness of participating states to developments” in Syria in recent years, the source added.

UN-sponsored negotiations have been gradually eclipsed by parallel Moscow-backed negotiations known as the Astana process.

The Astana process was launched in January 2017 by Russia and Iran — allies of the Damascus regime — and by Turkey, which backs rebels in Syria’s eight year civil war.

The OIC on Saturday also denounced Washington’s decision on March 25 to recognise Israel’s claim of sovereignty over the part of the Golan Heights it seized from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War.

But Syria’s government said “it was not waiting for support or a statement from this summit or others like it to assert its right over the Golan,” SANA said.

Regionally, the United Arab Emirates has begun a rapprochement with Damascus, by opening an embassy after years of closure, while relations have also improved with Bahrain and Jordan.

But regional power — and former Syrian opposition backer — Saudi Arabia remains hostile to President Bashar al-Assad, who has made a military comeback with Russian military support since 2015, clawing back almost two-thirds of the country’s territory.

Syria’s multi-fronted war has killed more than 370,000 people and displaced millions since it began with the repression of anti-government protests in 2011.

Published in Dawn, June 3rd, 2019

https://www.dawn.com/news/1486246/damascus-slams-makkah-summit-endorsement-of-syria-transition

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Kurds say 800 women, children to leave crowded camp

AFPUpdated June 03, 2019

AIN ISSA: Kurdish authorities in northeast Syria said on Sunday they plan to hand 800 women and children, including relatives of jihadists, to their families in the first such transfer from an overcrowded camp.

The women and children — all Syrians — are living among the dregs of the militant Islamic State group in the Kurdish-run Al-Hol camp, home to nearly 74,000 people including more than 30,000 Syrians.

They will leave on Monday and be “taken to their families” at the request of local Arab tribes, according to Abd al-Mehbach, co-chair of the Kurdish administration’s executive council.

The move follows an agreement brokered by the Kurdish administration and Arab tribal leaders during a meeting in the town of Ain Issa last month.

It is to be the first in a larger wave of releases that aim to empty Al-Hol of its Syrian residents, he said.

The next batch is expected to follow after the Eidul Fitr holiday due to start sometime in the next few days marking the end of Ramazan.

Hoovered up during a final offensive against the jihadists by a US-backed Kurdish-led force, thousands of wives and children of IS fighters have been trucked into Al-Hol from a string of Syrian villages south of the camp in recent months.

Their numbers have created a major headache for the semi-autonomous Kurdish administration and have sparked concerns that the camp is emerging as a fresh jihadist powder keg.

But “not all of those being released are relatives of IS fighters,” Mehbach said of the group set to leave on Monday.

Some sought shelter at the camp to escape tough humanitarian conditions in areas levelled by months of fighting, he said.

Monday’s group consists of residents from the northeastern city of Raqa — once IS’s de facto capital in Syria — as well as the town of Tabqa, 70 kilometres (43 miles) west, according to Mehbach.

Those among them with suspected links to IS will be kept under surveillance by local Arab tribes, who have given guarantees, he said.

“It is the (Kurdish) administration’s duty to its people to play a role in the rehabilitation of these women and children, and their reintegration into society,” he added.

A Raqa tribal leader, Ali Mahamid Ali, said that Arab tribes are trying to secure the release of all Syrian women held in Al-Hol. “They are all our sisters, our mothers,” he said.

“We gave guarantees... the (women and children) will be released under our responsibility.” The IS proto-state was declared defeated on March 23, following a nearly five-year-long offensive against the group.

Thousands of foreign fighters are being held in Kurdish-run prisons, while their wives and children languish in displacement camps.

Among the hordes of Syrians and Iraqis, some 12,000 foreigners are held in a fenced-off section of the Al-Hol camp, under the watch of Kurdish forces.

Published in Dawn, June 3rd, 2019

https://www.dawn.com/news/1486248/kurds-say-800-women-children-to-leave-crowded-camp

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Senior Iraqi MP: Iran Entitled to Attack US Bases in Iraq If Threatened

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior member of the Iraqi parliament's Security and Defense Commission underlined that Iran is entitled to defend itself and give a reciprocal response if threatened and attacked from the US bases in Iraq.

Karim al-Mohammadawi told the Arabic-language al-Ma'aloumeh news website on Sunday that the US does not allow inspection and visit by the Iraqi legislators to their bases, and has been pressuring the government, parliamentary and judiciary officials to prevent approval of a bill which forces the Americans to leave Iraq and avoid the raising the issue again.

He also added that the Americans have in the past few days deployed a large number of military equipment in their bases to threaten Iran.

Al-Mohammadawi said that piling up military equipment and development of the US bases will leave negative impact on regional stability and is considered as threat against Iran.

"Iran is entitled to target all US bases in Iraq in case of their military or espionage operations against the country," he underscored.

A former Iraqi legislator disclosed on Saturday that the US had established 17 military bases in Iraq and deployed F35 fighter jets in Ein al-Assad airbase in the Western parts of al-Anbar province.

Al-Ma'aloumeh quoted Mohammad al-Dayeni as saying that Washington had set up 17 military bases in Iraq.

He added that the US had also deployed Spirit (stealth) fighter jets in Ein al-Assad, adding that the F-35 fighters which had earlier been stationed in the airbase fly on a daily basis to spy on Iran.

Al-Dayeni said that the US forces had specified 63,000 targets in and outside Iraq for attacks, including the positions of Hashd al-Shaabi (Iraqi popular forces).

Meantime, a prominent Iraqi political expert revealed late last month that Washington continued to increase the number of its troops in Iraq, warning of the US plots to make aggression against the neighboring states.

Sabah al-Akili told al-Ma'aloumeh that the number of US forces had increased in Iraq despite the general demand by the Iraqi people for their withdrawal.

He added that the US forces' attacks on Iraqi security forces indicated that they were combat forces and were not deployed for advising or training purposes.

Al-Akili underlined that expansion of Ein al-Assad airbase, extension of its runway and deployment of Patriot missile systems at the base showed that Washington intended to stay in Iraq for the long-run, specially given the reports that the US planned to use Iraq as a platform to attack the neighboring states and was, thus, sending more forces to its bases in Iraq.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980313000300

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Homs: Israel Launches Missile Attacks on T4 Airport

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Israel launched new missile attacks on T4 Military Airport in Homs province which was countered by Syrian Army's air defense.

The Arabic-language SANA news agency quoted a military source as saying that T4 military airport in Homs province came under Israel's missile attacks on Sunday night.

It noted that the Syrian Army's air defense systems were activated right after Israel's missile attack and destroyed two missiles before they could hit their targets.

Meantime, two Syrian soldiers were killed and two others were wounded after several missiles hit an ammunition depot, several buildings and military equipment.

Israel's recent missile attacks on Syria came as the Syrian army is advancing in terrorist-held regions in Northern Hama and Southern Idlib.

In a relevant aggressive move by Tel Aviv regime on Sunday, Israel launched fresh airstrikes on the Syrian Army positions near Damascus and Quneitra in Southern Syria.

The Syrian Army's air defense system shot down several Israeli missiles, SANA reported.

It noted that Israel's invaders launched two waves of missile attacks from the side of the Occupied Golan, hitting  several military positions of the Syrian Army to the Southwest of Damascus and East of Quneitra.

The SANA news agency reported that the Syrian Army's air defense systems were activated right after these attacks and shot down a number of Israeli missiles.

Meantime, the Arabic-language website of the Russian Sputnik News Agency quoted a military source as saying that Israeli warplanes fired six rockets at the Syrian Army's military positions near Damascus, but most of them were destroyed by the Syrian air defense systems.

The Syrian Army's air defense shield also destroyed most of the missiles fired at Tal al-Sha'ar region in the surrounding area of Quneitra. Three Syrian Army soldiers were killed and seven others were wounded in the Israeli aggression.

Meantime, the Israeli Army in a statement claimed that the Israeli helicopters and fighter jets had pounded the Syrian Army's military positions in response to two missiles fired from Syria.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980313000290

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Gunmen attack Iraqi Communist, Islamic Dawa party offices

Sangar Ali Sangar Ali

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A group of unknown armed men raided the office of the Islamic Dawa Party in the southern province of Basra, one day after a similar attack on the Iraqi Communist Party office, security sources confirmed on Monday.

The attack on the Islamic Dawa Party, led by former Prime Minister of Iraq, Nouri al-Maliki, occurred Monday morning as assailants used grenades, a local security source in Basra told Kurdistan 24.

The Islamic Dawa Party maintains strong ties with neighboring Iran and currently holds 25 seats in Iraq’s 329-seat Parliament.

Five grenades were launched at the party office by an unknown group, with two of them failing to explode, the source added.

The attack caused no human casualties, but caused significant damage the building.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, which came a day after a similar act targeting the Iraqi Communist Party’s headquarters in the southern province. In this instance, an improvised explosive device (IED) was employed, but no casualties were reported.

The Iraqi Communist Party is the oldest active party in the country, founded in 1934. It currently has only two seats in the Iraqi parliament.

Editing by Nadia Riva

https://www.kurdistan24.net/en/news/88822004-3b70-4dfd-be0b-eae34e34f763

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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South Asia

 

Airstrikes kill 40 Taliban militants in Badghis province

By Khaama Press / in Afghanistan / on Monday, 03 Jun 2019

The security forces have conducted a series of airstrikes in north-western Badghis province of Afghanistan killing 40 Taliban militants.

The military officials said Monday that the joint security forces conducted the airstrikes in the past 3 days.

The officials further added that the joint forces targeted the militants Bala Murghab district of the province.

Badghis—Strikes in support of Afghan forces in Bala Murghab have killed 40 Taliban fighters over the last three days.

This comes as the security situation in some districts of Badghis province has deteriorated during the recent months.

Taliban militants are active in remote and restive areas of the province.

In the meantime, the Afghan forces are busy conducting counter-terrorism operations against both groups in this province.

Similarly, the U.S. forces also conduct regular airstrikes in restive districts of Badghis to suppress Taliban and other anti-government militants.

https://www.khaama.com/airstrikes-kill-40-taliban-militants-in-badghis-province-03537/

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25 Taliban militants killed in Afghan Special Forces raid, airstrikes in Ghazni

By Khaama Press / in Afghanistan / on Monday, 03 Jun 2019

The Afghan Special Forces conducted a raid in south-eastern Ghazni province killing at least 25 Taliban militants.

The military sources said Sunday that the Special Forces conducted the raid in Giro district of the province.

The sources further added that the Afghan Special Forces killed at least nine militants during the raid.

The Special forces also also detained 2 Taliban militants during the same operation.

Furthermore the security forces conducted an airstrike in Muqer district of Ghazni killing at least 16 militants.

According to military sources, the airstrike was carried out after a group of Taliban militants attacked a check post of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces.

Meanwhile, an airstrike was carried out in Gomal district of south-eastern Paktika province which killed one Taliban fighter, the military sources added.

The anti-government armed militants including Taliban have not commented regarding the operations so far.

This comes as the security situation in some districts of Ghazni province has deteriorated during the recent months.

Taliban militants are active in various restive areas and remote districts of the province.

Meanwhile, the Afghan forces are busy conducting counter-terrorism operations against both groups in this province.

The U.S. forces also conduct regular airstrikes in restive districts of Ghazni  to suppress Taliban and other anti-government militants.

https://www.khaama.com/25-taliban-militants-killed-in-afghan-special-forces-raid-airstrikes-in-ghazni-03531/

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17 Taliban militants killed in Special Forces operation, airstrikes in Uruzgan and Zabul

By Khaama Press / in Afghanistan / on Monday, 03 Jun 2019

The Afghan Special Forces conducted an operation in southern Uruzgan province of Afghanistan killing at least 12 fighters.

The Afghan Special Forces conducted the operation in chorah district of the province, the military sources said Monday.

The sources further added that the Special Forces conducted the operation to disrupt Taliban operations in the district.

Furthermore, the security forces conducted an airstrike in Mizan district of Zabul province killing 4 Taliban fighters.

The security forces also conducted an airstrike in Shah Joy district of Zabul province killing 1 Taliban fighter, the sources added.

The anti-government armed militants including Taliban have not commented regarding the airstrike so far.

Both Uruzgan and Zabul are among the relatively volatile provinces in South of Afghanistan.

Taliban militants are active in some restive districts of both Uruzgan and Zabul province.

The anti-government armed elements often attempt to conduct terrorist related activities in the restive districts of the two provinces.

Meanwhile, the Afghan forces are busy conducting counter-terrorism operations against both groups in this province.

The U.S. forces also conduct regular airstrikes in restive districts of Uruzgan and Zabul to suppress Taliban and other anti-government militants.

https://www.khaama.com/17-taliban-militants-killed-in-special-forces-operation-airstrikes-in-uruzgan-and-zabul-03536/

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Architect of deadly attack on Kabul police check killed in armed forces operation

By Khaama Press / in Afghanistan / on Monday, 03 Jun 2019

The Afghan forces have killed the main architect of a deadly attack on a police check post in Kabul city.

Nasrat Rahimi, a spokesman for the ministry of interior told reporters in Kabul that the security forces have killed the architect of the attack on Doghabad police check post.

He said a Taliban group leader identified as Qari Shafiq had plotted the attack on police check post in Doghabad area of Kabul city.

Rahimi further added that the security forces killed Qari Shafiq and scores of other militants in Wardak province.

According to Rahimi, the security forces conducted the operation four days ago.

A group of armed militants launched an attack on a police check post in Doghabad area of Kabul city on 19th of May.

The armed insurgents killed at least three policemen and injured six others before fleeing the area.

https://www.khaama.com/architect-of-deadly-attack-on-kabul-police-check-killed-in-armed-forces-operation-03534/

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5 killed, 10 wounded in an explosion in Kabul city

By Khaama Press / in Afghanistan / on Monday, 03 Jun 2019

An explosion took place in west of Kabul earlier this afternoon killing at least five people and injuring ten others.

Officials in the ministry of interior confirmed that the explosion took place in Dar-ul-Aman area of the city.

The officials further added that the explosion targeted a vehicle which was transporting a group of governmental employees.

Dr. Wahidullah Mayar, a spokesman for the Ministry of Public Health confirmed that the explosion killed five people and wounded at least 10 others.

He said the ministry has received initial figures regarding the casualties’ toll and the exact figure may change.

In the meantime, sources in Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission are saying that the explosion has killed four employees of the commission.

No individual or group has so far claimed responsibility for the explosion.

This comes as an explosion ripped through the vehicle of Education University in Kabul city on Sunday.

The explosion killed two people and wounded at least ten others.

https://www.khaama.com/10-killed-wounded-in-an-explosion-in-kabul-city-03535/

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Taliban militants have taken 4 members of Peace Movement to unknown location for talks

By Khaama Press / in Afghanistan / on Monday, 03 Jun 2019

The Taliban militants have taken four members of People’s Peace Movement to an unknown location for talks.

The head of public relations of People’s Peace Movement Bacha Khan Muladad confirmed that the Taliban militants have taken four members of the movement to an unknown location.

Muladad further added that the Taliban militants have summoned the leader of the movement Iqbal Khyber and spokesman of the movement Bismillah Watandost.

The Taliban militants have also summoned the leader of the movement for Helmand Ghulam Sarwar Ghafari and Haji Farhad Adil.

This comes as a group of 30 members of People’s Peace Movement marched towards Musa Qala district of Helmand province four days ago.

The members of the movement launched the march in a bid to demand peace and halt to ongoing conflict in the country.

In the meantime, Muladad said it has been two days that the members of the movement are in the areas controlled by Taliban in Helmand.

https://www.khaama.com/taliban-militants-have-taken-4-members-of-peace-movement-to-unknown-location-for-talks-03533/

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Seize the moment for peace, FO urges all sides in Afghan war

Baqir Sajjad Syed | Anwar IqbalUpdated June 03, 2019

ISLAMABAD / WASHINGTON: The Foreign Office on Sunday urged all parties to Afghan conflict to take advantage of the situation and achieve a political settlement of the 17-year-old conflict.

The call was made as US Special Envoy for Afghan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad opened the Pakistan leg of his 16-day multi-nation trip with a meeting at the Foreign Office. During the talks at Foreign Office, Mr Khalilzad led his side, whereas Additional Secretary, Americas, Ambassador Aftab Khokher headed Pakistani delegation.

Read: US envoy Khalilzad kicks off 2-week-long peace mission with Islamabad visit

“In line with prime minister’s vision, Pakistan reiterated its commitment for peace. It encouraged all sides to seize the moment to end the prolonged conflict through political settlement,” FO spokesman Dr Muhammad Faisal tweeted after the meeting.

Zalmay welcomes Taliban chief’s Eid message

US and Taliban have so far held six rounds of talks in Doha and reached a draft agreement under which foreign troops were to leave Afghanistan after assurances from the Taliban that they wouldn’t allow terrorists to use Afghan soil for attacking other countries. However, the dialogue was stalemated on the other two elements of the deal — reduction in violence leading to ceasefire and initiation of intra-Afghan dialogue.

Mr Khalilzad has said that he would “try to bring the first two parts of our peace framework to closure. We are moving forward. I am optimistic. Success will require other parties to show flexibility”.

From the special envoy’s statement it appeared that the US was looking towards partially concluding the deal with an agreement on the first two parts. He had earlier insisted that there can be no deal without an agreement on all four elements. “Nothing will be final until we agree on all four issues,” he had said a month ago.

Mr Khalilzad both welcomed and criticised Taliban chief Hibatullah Akhundzada’s Eid message in which he had called on the US to accept the “logical proposals” given by the Taliban for taking peace negotiations forward.

He had said: “The Taliban leader’s Eid statement provides some welcome support for the Afghan peace process and a desire to participate in dialogue with other Afghans and in a final political settlement that will require power sharing. All good things.”

However, he criticised the “bombastic tone” of the statement and warned that it could unnecessarily “complicate and disrupt” progress in peace talks.

While Taliban have been refusing to a US facilitated meeting with Afghan government, they have continued an engagement with Afghan political leaders under a Russian sponsored initiative. They met Afghan politicians for another round of talks from May 28 -30 in Moscow. Both Taliban and Afghan politicians reported progress during the meeting.

In an important endorsement for the Taliban position of troops withdrawal, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey has also called for the complete withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan.

Imran-Ghani meeting hailed

“Welcome the news that President Ashraf Ghani & PM Imran Khan met on the margins of the OIC Summit,” Mr Khalilzad wrote in a tweet.

“Improved Af-Pak ties are key to reaching, implementing and capitalizing on opportunities for regional connectivity, integration and development. [The] US stands ready to assist the Afghan peace process.”

Mr Khalilzad, who attended a joint meeting of Central Asian ambassadors in Washington before leaving on his seventh peace mission, also emphasised the need for regional support for the peace process.

“Equally important is to start planning for how best to seize opportunities for increased regional connectivity, integration, and development that peace will offer,” he wrote.

Mr Khalilzad said he made substantial progress over the last month when he held the sixth round of talks with the Taliban in Doha, Qatar, and also visited other regional capitals. “On this trip, I want to take that momentum and accelerate the Afghan Peace Process,” he wrote.

The US envoy said his current trip focuses specifically on two key points: integrate regional and international support for peace and try to bring the first two parts of a peace framework to closure.

The US and Taliban had agreed on a framework during earlier rounds of the Doha talks but it did not lead to a ceasefire in Afghanistan, as Washington had expected, or an understanding on the withdrawal of foreign troops, as the Taliban wanted.

“We are moving forward. I am optimistic. Success will require other parties to show flexibility. Nothing agreed until everything agreed,” Mr Khalilzad wrote.

Akhundzada’s Eid message

In his annual message on Saturday, Mullah Akhundzada pledged to continue fighting until the group’s objectives were reached, ignoring Kabul’s appeal for an Eid ceasefire.

“No one should expect us to pour cold water on the heated battlefronts of Jihad or forget our 40-year sacrifices before reaching our objectives,” he said in the message, adding that the Taliban aimed for “an end to the occupation and establishment of an Islamic system”. The Taliban chief boasted that foreign forces in Afghanistan were “condemned to defeat”, but said the insurgents would continue talks with the US.

Published in Dawn, June 3rd, 2019

https://www.dawn.com/news/1486233/seize-the-moment-for-peace-fo-urges-all-sides-in-afghan-war

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Bomb targets government bus in Kabul, as hopes dwindle for end of Ramadan cease-fire

By Siobhán O'Grady June 3

KABUL — A bomb exploded on a bus carrying government employees in the Afghan capital on Monday, leaving at least five dead and 10 wounded, the Afghan Ministry of Public Health said, as hopes dwindle for a new Eid holiday cease-fire.

An unprecedented cease-fire after the holy fasting month of Ramadan last year saw a historic influx of Taliban fighters into urban areas, where they joyfully mingled with civilians, posed for selfies and raised hopes for successful peace talks that would put an end to the country’s drawn-out war.

But in recent months, negotiations, including some between the United States and the Taliban, have failed to result in a truce that would put even a temporary end to the fighting. Violence has also surged during this year’s holy month, which Muslims observe with fasting and prayer, leaving civilians on edge as it comes to a close, in what is supposed to be one of the most joyous occasions on the Muslim calendar.

“Our hope has been broken,” said Ahmad Shoaib Shirzad, 33, a banker in Kabul. “Every second, I fear something will happen in front of me.”

It has been a bloody Ramadan in Afghanistan, with a wave of deadly attacks in the capital in recent days. Last Thursday, the Islamic State claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on a military academy that left at least six dead, as well as a series of bombings on Sunday that initially targeted a university bus, killing two people and injuring more than a dozen others.

On Friday, the Taliban claimed responsibility for an assault on a U.S. convoy that injured four U.S. troops and killed four Afghan bystanders. No group has yet claimed responsibility for Monday’s bombing.

Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who participated in the talks in Moscow last week, told The Washington Post in an interview at his home in Kabul on Monday that he was not surprised a cease-fire wasn’t agreed upon during the Moscow talks but still hopes “very much there will be at least, if not a formal cease-fire, a lot of reduction in violence.”

"We were arguing for a cease-fire for the Afghan people. That’s what the Afghan people want,” he said of his meetings in Moscow. “[The Taliban] had different ideas. Some of those ideas were concerns that they had, which we understood. But to which our response was: ‘We want a cease-fire anyway.’”

[In remarkable scenes, Taliban fighters join Eid celebrations across Afghanistan as cease-fire begins]

After the talks in Moscow last week, Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said only that they had “discussed the cease-fire, and we will continue this discussion,” leaving Karzai and other participants returning to Kabul largely empty-handed.

In the capital, there is widespread disappointment among civilians that there will likely be no repeat of last year’s truce. For some, happy memories of last year’s peaceful festivities are a painful reminder of the lack of progress Afghanistan has made this year in putting an end to its prolonged conflict.

“Especially during Eid days, we should feel calm,” Shirzad said. “Their families, our families, should both have peace,” he said, referring to Taliban fighters and civilians.

Last year, Hasibullah Mohibi, 18, traveled away from Kabul for Eid, missing the arrival of Taliban fighters into the city where he grew up. He hoped this year he would have his chance to greet them himself.

“I was sad that I was not in Kabul to meet the Taliban for the first time when they did not intend to harm anyone, and no one intended to harm them,” he said.

For years, Mohibi has been toiling away at a food stand near a busy park in Kabul, frying bolani, an Afghan stuffed flatbread, to sell to passersby from under an orange awning. Last month, he was working when Taliban fighters attacked the compound of Virginia-based nonprofit Counterpart International nearby, killing at least five people and wounding more than 20 others, including at least one foreigner.

Mohibi ran to the scene of the attack and helped carry the wounded to the hospital. The experience left him shaken, fearing he would not escape the next Taliban assault alive.

But despite the carnage he’s witnessed, Mohibi said he would welcome Taliban fighters back to Kabul if they came under the guidelines of a cease-fire.

“If the Taliban visited, I’d love to see them,” he said. “Everyone is fed up with the war. We want a cease-fire.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/bomb-targets-government-bus-in-kabul-as-hopes-dwindle-for-ramadan-cease-fire/2019/06/03/2bd66340-85df-11e9-98c1-e945ae5db8fb_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.38730dfd5d02

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Mideast

FM Underlines Failure of Saudi Attempts against Iran in Mecca Meeting

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif stressed that Saudi Arabia has failed to rally support in its anti-Iran quest through the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) conference in Mecca.

"Saudi Arabia's attempts in the region to form a coalition against Iran and Yemen in Mecca meeting will fail," Zarif said in Tehran on Monday.

He added that the Yemeni people will certainly win over the Saudi-led coalition which has attacked the country, and said, "Today, supporting Yemen is the responsibility of all of us."

Saudi Arabia and its allies, including the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, and Sudan, launched a brutal war against Yemen in March 2015 in an attempt to reinstall Yemen’s former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.

The aggression initially consisted of a bombing campaign but was later coupled with a naval blockade and the deployment of ground forces to Yemen. Around 20,000 people have died since the war began, says Yemen’s Health Ministry.

The Saudi-led war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The United Nations (UN) has said that a record 22.2 million Yemenis are in dire need of food, including 8.4 million threatened by severe hunger.

Despite Riyadh's claims that it is bombing the positions of the Ansarullah fighters, Saudi bombers are flattening residential areas and civilian infrastructures.

According to several reports, the Saudi-led air campaign against Yemen has driven the impoverished country towards humanitarian disaster, as Saudi Arabia's deadly campaign prevented the patients from travelling abroad for treatment and blocked the entry of medicine into the war-torn country.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980313000638

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Ankara Strongly Attempting to Save Terrorist Groups amid Syrian Army Operations in North

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Ankara has called for increased efforts to establish ceasefire in Northern Syria in talks with the Russian side to prevent the Syrian army advances in Northern Hama and Southern Idlib and save the terrorist groups.

Sources close to the commanders of the so-called National Liberation Front, supported by Ankara, reported on Monday that Ankara is attempting to save the terrorists by demands for a ceasefire on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr Muslim holidays after failure in military operations to take back the lost positions of terrorists in Northern and Northwestern Hama and facing fears of stronger attacks against the militants.

They added that Moscow has not reacted yet to the 72-hour ceasefire proposed by Ankara, noting that only the Syrian army was committed to the truce agreed in the past.

The sources said that Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces General Valery Gerasimov has told his Turkish counterpart that any ceasefire in Northern Syria should be established with Turkey's responsibility, implementation of contents of Idlib agreement, withdrawal of terrorists from the demilitarized zone, reopening of the international highways from Aleppo to Hama and Lattakia, allowing the civilians to leave the terrorist-held areas in Idlib and stopping Ankara's military, political and media support for the militants.

Meantime, the terrorist groups in Northern Hama for the fifth consecutive day on Sunday targeted the town of Qamhaneh in Northern Hama with rocket attacks.

The Syrian army, in response, attacked the terrorists' positions and moves with heavy artillery fire in Northern and Northwestern Hama, destroying several of their positions.

Syrian media reported on Sunday that the Ankara-backed militants had infuriated Turkey for their poor performance and incapability to confront the Syrian Army and regain back the regions they had already lost to the government forces.

The Ankara's fury came as the Syrian Army thwarted fresh attacks by the Turkey-backed militants in Northern Hama.

The Syrian Army troops engaged in fierce clashes with the terrorist groups who had attacked their military positions in the surrounding areas of Jab Ramaleh in Northwestern Hama, and inflicted heavy losses on them after thwarting their attacks.

The Damascus Army also destroyed four drones belonging to the terrorists in the outskirts of Jab Ramaleh.

A military source, meantime, pointed to the intensified attacks by the terrorists on the Syrian Army's military positions in the vicinity of Qala al-Maziq Northwest of Hama, and said that terrorists pounded the region and the town of Shatheh with several rockets.

It noted that the Syrian Army responded to the terrorists' attacks, and pounded their military positions and movements in Mourek, Kafar Zita, al-Latamaneh, Latmin, Tahtaya, al-Arabaeen, Hasraya, al-Zuka and al-Hobait in Northern and Northwestern Hama, destroying several of their centers.

The Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper, meantime, quoted sources close to Ankara-backed National Liberation Front (NFL) terrorists as saying that Turkey is very angry with consecutive defeats by Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) and other Anlara-backed militants in Northern and Northwestern battlefronts of Hama despite Turkey's logistical aids.

It noted that Ankara is more concerned with terrorists' incapability to resist and confront the Syrian Army's military tactics as well as new the new wave of defection of terrorists enjoying Ankara's support.

The battlefield sources in Idlib Province also reported that Tahrir al-Sham terrorists have executed seven militants on charges of cooperation with the Syrian Army and Russia.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980313000554

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Tahrir Al-Sham's Ringleader Al-Jolani Looking for Developing Turkish Drones with EU Expert's Help

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Ringleader of Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) Abu Mohammed al-Jolani has gained access to hundreds of drones supplied by Turkey and it is looking for developing them with the help of the European experts to conduct attacks on the Syrian Army's military positions, media reports said.

Tahrir al-Sham has received 500 drones in cooperation with several influential Turkish businessmen in the past month, the Arabic-language website of the Russian Sputnik news agency quoted local sources in Idlib province as saying.

The sources noted that Tahrir al-Sham has transferred the drones to one of the most important headquarters of Islamic Turkistani Party in the city of Jisr al-Shoghour in Western Idlib, and said that Turkistani Party's Chinese experts are currently working on the accuracy of the rockets of the drones, equip them with GPS and change their structure by using carbon substances to make them hardly invisible to radar detection.

Meamtime, according to reliable intel, Al-Jolani has reportedly commissioned French and Belgian experts to equip warheads of some of the rockets with C4 explosive material.

Meantime, a Syrian Army military source said that the Syrian Army's air defense systems destroyed a number of bomb-laden drones that terrorists were going to use against the Syrian Army's military airport in Rajab Ramleh in Western Hama.

It is for the second consecutive day that terrorists intend to pound the Syrian Army's military positions in Jab Ramleh region in Western Hama.

In a relevant development on Sunday, the Syrian Army discovered four tons of US-made C-4 explosive substance during mop-up operations in the newly-liberated areas in Western Dara'a in Southern Syria.

The Syrian Army's engineering units made the discovery during its cleaning operation in Hauz al-Yarmouk region in Western Dara'a.

Over four tons of highly-explosive C-4 substance was found in terrorists' hideouts in Hauz al-Yarmouk which was ISIL's main military base in the Western part of Dara'a Province.

The C-4 explosives had been professionally mounted in terrorists' hideouts.

Meantime, a Syrian Army military source said such quantity of explosive material is usually sold to countries under contracts and deals.

He noted that terrorists' access to such materials is a clear evidence of the support they have received from countries backing terrorism, specially the US.

The source explained that only one kilogram of C4 material has the destructive power equal to 13 kilograms of TNT.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980313000368

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Turkish Army, Allied Militants Engage in Fierce Clashes with Kurdish Fighters in Aleppo

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Turkish Army and its allied militants attacked the military positions of the Kurdish fighters in Northern Aleppo which resulted in fierce clashes between the two sides.

"The Turkish Army and Ankara-backed militants' artillery and mortar units pounded the Kurdish fighters' military positions in the town of Lower Shoyoukh West of the city of Kobani," the Kurdish-language Hawar News website reported.

Meantime, the Syrian army continued its military advances in other parts of Syria over past 24 hours.

Tens of terrorists were killed and dozens more were injured during the Syrian army's operations in provinces across Syria.

Aleppo

The Turkish Army and its allied militants attacked the military positions of the Kurdish fighters in Northern Aleppo which resulted in fierce clashes between the two sides, the Kurdish-language media outlets said.

The Kurdish-language Hawar News website reported that the Turkish Army and Ankara-backed militants' artillery and mortar units pounded the Kurdish fighters' military positions in the town of Lower Shoyoukh West of the city of Kobani.

The Ankara-backed militants stationed near the city of Jarablus also pounded the military positions of the Kurdish Al-Bab Military Council in the town of al-Baqouz to East of Al-Bab city.

Meantime, the sources affiliated to terrorist groups reported that a group of the Ankara-backed National Liberation Front (NFL) Army militants attacked the Kurdish forces' positions in the town of Ain Daqaneh in Northern Aleppo, destroying their armored vehicle as well as killing and injuring a number of them.

Dara'a

The Syrian Army discovered four tons of US-made C-4 explosive substance during mop-up operations in the newly-liberated areas in Western Dara'a in Southern Syria.

The Syrian Army's engineering units made the discovery during its cleaning operation in Hauz al-Yarmouk region in Western Dara'a.

Over four tons of highly-explosive C-4 substance was found in terrorists' hideouts in Hauz al-Yarmouk which was ISIL's main military base in the Western part of Dara'a Province.

The C-4 explosives had been professionally mounted in terrorists' hideouts.

Meantime, a Syrian Army military source said such quantity of explosive material is usually sold to countries under contracts and deals.

He noted that terrorists' access to such materials is a clear evidence of the support they have received from countries backing terrorism, specially the US.

The source explained that only one kilogram of C4 material has the destructive power equal to 13 kilograms of TNT.

Damascus-Quneitra

Israel has launched fresh airstrikes on the Syrian Army positions near Damascus and Quneitra in Southern Syria.

The Syrian Army's air defense system shot down several Israeli missiles, the Arabic-language SANA news agency reported.

It noted that Israel's invaders launched two waves of missile attacks from the side of the Occupied Golan, hitting several military positions of the Syrian Army to the Southwest of Damascus and East of Quneitra.

The SANA news agency reported that the Syrian Army's air defense systems were activated right after these attacks and shot down a number of Israeli missiles.

Meantime, the Arabic-language website of the Russian Sputnik News Agency quoted a military source as saying that Israeli warplanes fired six rockets at the Syrian Army's military positions near Damascus, but most of them were destroyed by the Syrian air defense systems.

The Syrian Army's air defense shield also destroyed most of the missiles fired at Tal al-Sha'ar region in the surrounding area of Quneitra. Three Syrian Army soldiers were killed and seven others were wounded in the Israeli aggression.

Meantime, the Israeli Army in a statement claimed that the Israeli helicopters and fighter jets had pounded the Syrian Army's military positions in response to two missiles fired from Syria.

Hama

The Ankara-backed militants have infuriated Turkey for their poor performance and incapability to confront the Syrian Army and regain back the regions they had already lost to the government forces.

The Ankara's fury came as the Syrian Army thwarted fresh attacks by the Turkey-backed militants in Northern Hama.

The Syrian Army troops engaged in fierce clashes with the terrorist groups who had attacked their military positions in the surrounding areas of Jab Ramaleh in Northwestern Hama, and inflicted heavy losses on them after thwarting their attacks.

The Damascus Army also destroyed four drones belonging to the terrorists in the outskirts of Jab Ramaleh.

A military source, meantime, pointed to the intensified attacks by the terrorists on the Syrian Army's military positions in the vicinity of Qala al-Maziq Northwest of Hama, and said that terrorists pounded the region and the town of Shatheh with several rockets.

It noted that the Syrian Army responded to the terrorists' attacks, and pounded their military positions and movements in Mourek, Kafar Zita, al-Latamaneh, Latmin, Tahtaya, al-Arabaeen, Hasraya, al-Zuka and al-Hobait in Northern and Northwestern Hama, destroying several of their centers.

The Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper, meantime, quoted sources close to Ankara-backed National Liberation Front (NFL) terrorists as saying that Turkey is very angry with consecutive defeats by Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) and other Ankara-backed militants in Northern and Northwestern battlefronts of Hama despite Turkey's logistical aids.

It noted that Ankara is more concerned with terrorists' incapability to resist and confront the Syrian Army's military tactics as well as new the new wave of defection of terrorists enjoying Ankara's support.

The battlefield sources in Idlib Province also reported that Tahrir al-Sham terrorists have executed seven militants on charges of cooperation with the Syrian Army and Russia.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980313000118

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Iran Shows Indifference to US’ Game of Words, Re-Urges Washington to Prove Honesty with Action

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi, in reaction to the latest remarks by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, said that his country expects a change in Washington’s general approach to the Iranian nation instead of a game of words, adding that maximum pressure campaign is an indication of no change in the White House’s behavior.

“For the Islamic Republic of Iran, a game of words and expressing covert goals under the guise of new words is not a criterion for action, but a change in the United States’ general approach and practical stance toward the Iranian nation is the criterion,” Mousavi made the remarks on Sunday in reaction to the latest statements by Mike Pompeo, who said Washington is willing to speak with Iran "with no preconditions."

The diplomat added, “The emphasis put by Mr. Pompeo on the need to continue a campaign of maximum pressure on Iran is indicative of persistence of the wrong approach of the past, which needs to be rectified.”

Addressing a news conference in Switzerland earlier in the day, the US secretary of state said Washington is keen to hold negotiations with Iran "with no preconditions" amid the intensification of tensions between the two countries.

"We are prepared to engage in a conversation with no preconditions. We are ready to sit down with them," Pompeo said.

He; however, added that the United States would continue working to rein in Iran's “malign activity”.

"The American effort to fundamentally reverse the malign activity of this Islamic Republic, this revolutionary force, is going to continue," he said.

Pompeo's Sunday comments marked the first time that the US administration has so clearly stated its willingness to open a no-strings-attached dialog with Iran.

Late last month, Trump toned down his anti-Iran rhetoric after a period of saber-rattling that saw him and other US officials threaten the Islamic Republic with war in hope of getting concessions, saying his administration is not looking for regime change in Iran and would rather sit down for talks.

Following Trump’s remarks, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said, in a tweet on last Monday, that Trump has to prove in action whether he seeks to fall into line with the league of anti-Iran domestic and regional officials.

He highlighted that there are enormous disparities between what the White House is saying and what it does in dealing with Tehran.

The Iranian top diplomat said, “B-Team's Economic Terrorism is hurting the Iranian people and causing tension in the region. Actions—not words—will show whether or not that's Donald Trump's intent.”

According to Zarif’s earlier tweets in April, the B-Team is made up by US National Security Advisor John Bolton, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The top diplomat reminded that the markedly hostile foursome have themselves admitted to targeting the Iranian people with economic terrorism.

The Iranian diplomatic chief separately reiterated absence of whatever intention on the part of Tehran to pursue nuclear arms, reminding how Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, the country’s highest authority, has categorically prohibited the weapons.

Earlier on Monday, in joint presser in Tokyo after bilateral talks with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Trump said that the White house was not looking for "regime change" in Iran.

The US President went on saying that he believed "we'll make a deal" with Iran, adding that Abe had offered to broker a dialogue between the two nations.

“I know that the prime minister and Japan have a very good relationship with Iran so we’ll see what happens,” Trump added.

“The prime minister has already spoken to me about that and I do believe that Iran would like to talk. And if they would like to talk, we would like to talk also,” he said.

With Abe at his side, Trump told reporters at Akasaka Palace that "nobody wants to see terrible things happen, specially me".

Trump later said, “I’m looking to Iran to say no nuclear weapons,” he said. “Iran has tremendous economic potential …, we’re looking for no nuclear weapons. I’m not looking to hurt Iran at all.”

Back in mid-1990s, Ayatollah Khamenei issued a fatwa against the acquisition, development and use of nuclear weapons. The decree was repetitively announced at public venues and it was again reiterated in an official statement at a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna on August 2005.

Based on the Fatwa, Iran pursued dialogue with the international community and Western countries, and after years of negotiations Tehran signed the landmark nuclear deal of 2015, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), with five permanent members of the United Nations’ Security Council (UNSC) plus Germany and the European Union.

Then in early May 2018, Trump scrapped the deal, blaming his predecessor Barak Obama for signing “the worst ever deal US involved”.

Following the unilateral pullout of Trump from the nuclear agreement, European sides of the agreement issued a joint statement, reassuring Tehran that they would make up for the losses suffered by Iran.

Tehran waited for a year to see if Europe was serious about delivering on its promises, and on the first anniversary of the US exit from the agreement issued a statement to blame the bloc for coming short to observe its commitments and compensate the damages inflicted by Washington.

Tehran announced on May 08 that its decision to partially suspend its compliance with the JCPOA was in response to the US’ withdrawal and the failure by European signatories to alleviate the damage done by American sanctions.

Following Tehran’s ultimatum to European side of the deal, the White House announced on the very same day that it would levy more sanctions on Iran.

According to a White House statement, an executive order issued by Trump targeted Iran’s revenues from exporting industrial metals from iron, steel, aluminum and copper sectors.

Then Trump intensified its rhetoric of threat against Tehran and the US declared that it will increase its military buildup in the Persian Gulf region for unspecified threats from Iran.

Now, following his last week threatening tweet to put an official end to Iran in case of any move by Tehran, he has softened his voice calling again for negotiating a new deal.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980313000187

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Iraqi Source: Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi in Al-Anbar Desert Near Border with Syria

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iraqi sources reported that ISIL ringleader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is hiding in the Western deserts of al-Anbar province at the border with Syria.

The Arabic-language al-Ma'aloumeh news website quoted an intelligence source in Hashd al-Shaabi (Iraqi popular forces) command center in al-Anbar province as saying that according to the latest intel, al-Baghdadi has sheltered in a hidden tunnel in al-Husayniyat region in the Northern parts of the town of al-Ratbah in Western al-Anbar.

He added that the security forces are mulling operations to take control of the tunnel, and said that given the heavy deployment of security forces in al-Ratbah region near the border with Syria and closure of all roads, al-Baghdadi and the militants under his command cannot escape.

The source underlined that given the fact that the US fighter jets have not bombed the ISIL's hideouts and tunnels in the region, the American forces are likely aware of his presence in al-Ratbah desert areas.

The speculations come after al-Baghdadi made his first appearance in April, after five years of absence, in a video in which he acknowledged the defeat of the terrorist group's fighters in the battle for Baghouz in Syria.

The video was reportedly filmed earlier in April.

In recent years, Baghdadi's death has been reported multiple times, however, the terrorist leader has re-emerged time and time again.

The Sun claimed, citing Zaid Hamid, who is a co-founder of the BrassTacks threat analysis think-tank, last month that al-Baghdadi is allegedly hiding in a distant region of Afghanistan.

"Note the style of the bedding and the pillows….Is he already in Afghanistan?" Zaid Hamid pointed out.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980312000908

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Leader's Top Military Aide: Iran Ready to Sign Non-Aggression Pact with Neighboring States

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Top Military Aide to the Iranian Supreme Leader Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi reiterated his country's interest in endorsement of non-aggression pacts with the regional states, and stressed that the American forces will leave the region.

"Our strategy is non-aggression towards neighbors, and Iran is even ready to sign non-aggression pacts with the neighboring states; this issue was recently raised by the foreign minister (Zarif) too. Of course, my own suggestion is signing a non-aggression pact with a number of countries and formation of a coalition with some others," General Rahim Safavi told FNA on Sunday.

He expressed the hope that the regional states would understand that the Americans and Zionists and not Iran is their enemy.

General Rahim Safavi reminded the Arab regional states of the US betrayal of its servants and puppet regimes, including the Shah of Iran, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali in Tunisia, Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and Muammar Qaddafi in Libya, and said, "As the Supreme Leader has said, the Americans should leave West Asia region and they will certainly leave."

He added that if the Arab regional states think wisely, they will not tolerate the hegemony of Washington which calls them as milk cows.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced late last month that Tehran had proposed the regional states to collectively ink a non-aggression pact.

Zarif wrote on his twitter page last week that he had fruitful talks with the Iraqi leaders in a recent visit to Baghdad, and added, "I've held substantive and productive meetings with the President, PM, Speaker, FM and leadership of two parliamentary coalitions."

The Iranian top diplomat added that during the visit he had raised the proposal for a "regional non-aggression pact".

During his stay in Baghdad, Zarif met with Iraqi president, prime minister and his counterpart as well as other high-ranking officials.

In a joint press conference with his Iraqi counterpart Mohammed al-Hakim in Tehran, Zarif underlined good talks with al-Hakim on regional issues, saying that Iran was willing to have balanced relations with all the Persian Gulf littoral states.

"Iran is ready to sign non-aggression pacts with the Persian Gulf Arab states," he said.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980312000448

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Hamas blames Israel for repercussions of attacks on Al-Aqsa Mosque

June 3, 2019

injured Muslim is being carried away with Palestinian health care members, after Israeli police officers intervene them with tear gas canisters, as fanatic Jews, under Israeli police protection, raid Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound in Jerusalem on 2 June 2019. [Faiz Abu Rmeleh - Anadolu Agency]injured Muslim is being carried away with Palestinian health care members, after Israeli police officers intervene them with tear gas canisters, as fanatic Jews, under Israeli police protection, raid Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound in Jerusalem on 2 June 2019. [Faiz Abu Rmeleh - Anadolu Agency]

The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, has blamed Israel for all possible repercussions of the attack by its soldiers and settlers on Al-Aqsa Mosque and the worshippers within.

“The Israeli occupation must bear the responsibility for the repercussions of its violations at Al-Aqsa Mosque that led to a wave of protests in which the Palestinian people voiced their anger over Israeli measures at the Noble Sanctuary,” said Hamas. “The ongoing assault and raids on Al-Aqsa by Israeli occupation forces and settlers will only make the Palestinian people more determined to defend the mosque and preserve its sanctity.”

The movement’s statement described Israel as a racist entity without respect for human beings, religions or holy sites. “The repeated attacks on Al-Aqsa reflect the aggressive and extremist reality of the Zionist state,” added Hamas, “belying its claims to be a democratic state that respects freedoms.”

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20190603-hamas-blames-israel-for-repercussions-of-attacks-on-al-aqsa-mosque/

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Today's New Moon Ends Ramadan, Sets-Up Eclipse Of The Sun And 'Half-Blood Thunder Moon Eclipse'

 

Today the Moon is not visible. It’s the moment of New Moon exactly as this post was published, the point in our satellite’s orbit when it's roughly between the Earth and the Sun. The far side of the Moon, only, is illuminated, and it’s invisible to us. However, June’s New Moon is rather special.

For starters, it (almost) signals the end of Ramadan, the “moon-th” long fast between dawn and sunset observed by devout Muslims, which began on May 5, and the beginning of Eid al-Fitr, one of two holy days of the year for the Islamic world. However, it’s technically not until the sighting of the crescent Moon, perhaps today, Monday, June 3, 2019, at dusk, or perhaps tomorrow on Tuesday, June 4, 2019.

The exact time of New Moon is 10:01 Universal Time today on Monday, June 3, 2019, which translates to 11:01 a.m. in London, 06:01 a.m in New York City and 03:01 a.m. in Los Angeles.

However, June’s New Moon also sets-up something incredible; a total solar eclipse and a lunar eclipse. In fact, the next time we have a New Moon it will be sitting plum in front of the Sun. By a cosmic coincidence, the Moon is 400 times smaller than the Sun, but the Sun is about 400 times further away.

What is the ecliptic?

The ecliptic is the path the Sun takes through the sky. The Moon, whose orbit is inclined slightly, intersects that line – essentially Earth’s orbital plane – twice each month. Occasionally that means a New Moon covers the Sun exactly, or that a Full Moon drifts into the Earth’s shadow. As such, it’s normal for two or more eclipses to come in succession. That’s what’s about to happen.

When is the Total Solar Eclipse?

On July 2, 2019, the New Moon will exactly fit across the Sun as seen from a narrow strip of the Earth’s surface. The path of totality is narrow, around 100km wide, and is mostly over the South Pacific, In fact, only the final few minutes of the event will be visible over land. Eclipse-chasers are heading inland from La Serena in Chile, and Bella Vista in Argentina, to witness the rare event that last happened on August 21, 2017 across the USA.

When is the 'Half-Blood Thunder Moon' Partial Lunar Eclipse?

On July 16, 2019, a Full "Thunder" Moon will drift into the Earth’s outer shadow. It won’t enter the central shadow, so the Moon won’t go completely “blood red”, but about 65% of it will turn rosy. It will be visible from South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia, but not North America. This "Half-Blood Thunder Moon Eclipse" promises to be a special event, especially in London, where a "smiley face" half-red moon will rise in the east.

For eclipse-chasers and eclipse-photographers, July can't come soon enough.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamiecartereurope/2019/06/03/todays-new-moon-ends-ramadan-sets-up-eclipse-of-the-sun-and-half-blood-thunder-moon-eclipse/#44020c5e1c91

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IRGC Says Iran to Keep Resisting US Pressures, Following Imam Khomeini’s Path

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), in a statement on Monday, commemorated the 30th anniversary of Imam Khomeini’s demise, and added that the nation will keep following the late Imam’s path with defying US’ pressures and sanctions.

“Despite the enemies' efforts to prevent the (Islamic) Revolution’s influence on the discourse of resistance across the world … (enemies) now clearly witness the gradual conquest of key fronts by Islam and the formation of the pole of Islamic power in the geometry of global power,” read the IRGC’s statement issued on Monday on the occasion of June 4, the anniversary of the demise of the founder of the Islamic Revolution Imam Khomeini.

June 4 is the day when the Iranian nation will express readiness to continue their resistance in the face of pressures posed by enemies, specially the “pharaonic and dictator regime” of the US, notes the statement.

The nation proves that it will not surrender to oppressive sanctions and the maximum pressure policy of the enemy; rather, it will come out of this sensitive point in history victoriously, the statement adds.

On Wednesday afternoon, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei dismissed any possibility for Iran to negotiate on its defense capability, and stressed that the US-sponsored 'Deal of Century' plot will fail.

Ayatollah Khamenei made the remarks, addressing a group of university professors, academic elites and researchers in Tehran.

He referred to escalating pressures from the US to bring Iran back to the table of negotiations, and stressed, "By returning to the negotiation table, they mean we negotiate with the US. We will not negotiate with US officials. Because there is no point negotiating and it is detrimental."

The Supreme Leader assured his audience that Iran welcomes negotiations with any other governments, and asserted, "Otherwise we have no problems negotiating with others or with Europeans. In negotiating with others and with Europeans, our only concern is the issue to be negotiated."

Ayatollah Khamenei emphasized that the Islamic Republic will never trade its core values, and maintained, "We will not negotiate on the core issues of the Revolution. Negotiations on this issue implies trading; that is, they mean we give up on our defensive capabilities. We will not negotiate our military capability."

The Supreme Leader described negotiations as a pretext the United States uses to pressure Iran, and held, "The US tactic is to enhance their strategy of pressuring Iran. They want to cash in on the pressures through negotiation."

"The US targets assets of a country by pressuring it; to further their goal, they employ pressure" as a means. They also have a tactic and that is negotiation," he said.

Ayatollah Khamenei elaborated on how the United States pressures nations into negotiations and trading their national assets, saying, "They pressure until the adversary gets tired, and then propose to negotiate. This negotiation is complementary to the pressure and aims to cash in on the pressures. They pressure and then propose to negotiate. This is what negotiation means to them. Their strategy is not negotiation. It is pressure. Negotiation is part of the pressure strategy."

The Leader of the Islamic Revolution regarded resistance as the counter measure in face of pressures by the US, and held, "The counter measure for us is to use our own means of pressures to contend their pressure. However, if we are deceived by their call for negotiations and consider our means of pressures unnecessary, we would slip and that equals absolute defeat."

Ayatollah Khamenei advised Iranian officials as well as the general public against giving in to pressures, and said, "When you do not use your means of pressure, the enemy will relax and continue pressuring."

The Leader of the Islamic Revolution described Iran’s national points of strength as including nuclear science, asserting, "Our strength is in nuclear science and we are not after nuclear weapons either. Not because of the sanctions or the (pressures from) the United Studies, but because of our ideology that deems nuclear weapons forbidden from the point of view of Fiqh and religion."

Ayatollah Khamenei slammed those who consider producing of nuclear weapons as method of deterrence and declared, "Some have suggested producing but not using nuclear weapons. This is also wrong. We would spend a lot to produce them without using it and the enemy knows we would never use them. So they would be ineffective for us."

Addressing the issue of the senior National Security Council’s advice on where to hold enrichment levels, Ayatollah Khamenei maintained, "For now the ruling made by the Supreme National Security Council will be implemented and for later whatever necessary. Stopping at current levels is meaningless. As for now, the resolution by the Supreme National Security Council will be executed. If needed, we will use our next tactics in the future."

"The only way for us is to apply our tactics of pressure in face of the pressures that the US applies. Contrary to their propaganda, these tactics are not military--though we might use military means if we find it necessary," he said.

Ayatollah Khamenei added that Iran would not abide by part of its JCPOA commitments as a step predicted within the framework of the deal, and said, "What the Supreme National Security Council did by saying that we would not perform our commitments in this sector was appropriate.

"There is consensus among executive officials that negotiating with the United States is absolutely not advised. Not just negotiating with the current government; the Obama administration was not fundamentally different from the current government. It had a different appearance, but the same nature. We won’t be deceived by US tricks," he said.

Ayatollah Khamenei praised nation’s academic and scientific achievements, informing his audience of efforts to underestimate the country’s scientific movement, and maintained, "Our academic progresses have been truly significant. This should not be neglected. I insist that a trend has been launched to underestimate the country’s great scientific movement. They spent money and devise plans for that sake; an example is Stanford University’s 2040 blueprint to question our scientific works and progresses as well as important academic achievements. There are also people in Iran who pass the ball to them to score a goal (assist their efforts against Iran’s scientific movement). This is a combination of treason and vice. Universities have carried out many great tasks and stand far above where they used to be before the Islamic Revolution."

"They accuse our academic community of shallowness and lacking enough knowledge. If they are shallow and lack knowledge, then who carried out the 20% uranium enrichment? Who accomplished the Nanotechnology developments? Who brought about the achievements in stem cells?" the Leader said.

Ayatollah Khamenei stressed that despite all these accomplishment, the country is still far behind where it deserves to stand, and reminded his audience that "rightfully praising and taking pride in our universities does not mean that we are content with the current levels of progress and that our universities do not have flaws and defects. No! We are still behind. In a bitter era in history, our country fell behind the scientific trend due to our politicians’ misconducts. We are not standing where we deserve in the realm of sciences and in the Second Phase of the Revolution, we need to reach our highest point."

The Supreme Leader mentioned that Iran requires a major scientific momentum by saying that "our country does not need only a scientific progress but a scientific surge. And this is totally possible; it is very challenging, but sweetly so".

Highlighting the significance of this year’s Quds Day rally in the light of the escalated pressures by the Zionist regime against Palestine, Ayatollah Khamenei asserted, "This year’s Quds Day is more important than any other year. Of course, the issue of Palestine is a fundamental issue and it is not particular to Islamic governments and nations. The issue of Palestine is a humanitarian issue. Certainly, it is of more significance and of higher priority for Muslims as besides humanitarian aspects, it also includes religious concerns."

He described Quds Day rallies as particularly important this year because of acts of treasons by certain states in the region, and said, "The Quds Day rally which represents supporting Palestine by public turnout has always been important. It is more important this year because of the treasonous acts by come US cohorts in the region who try to make the ‘Deal of the Century’ accepted. Of course, it will not be accepted and it will never be realized; the United States and its cohorts will certainly face failure on this matter."

Finally the Supreme Leader once again reassured his audience that the Zionist plot is doomed to failure, and held, "They are acting differently as compared to the past only in that now they openly declare they want to wipe the issue of Palestine form the issues of the world. For sure they will not be able to do so and they will face a failure."

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980313000911

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'Grudges' remain as Qatar marks second year of embargo

AFPUpdated June 03, 2019

In a region of tight media control and official statements, the body language of Saudi Arabia's king and Qatar's prime minister spoke volumes about one of the Gulf's deepest fault lines.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser Al-Thani did not bow or kiss the cheek of King Salman, whose country has led a two-year economic boycott of Qatar, when they met in Mecca on Thursday.

Their closely watched meeting was the highest level encounter between the neighbours since the crisis began on June 5, 2017.

Diplomats said the embargo enforced by Riyadh and its allies over Doha's alleged support for Islamist movements and Iran — charges Qatar denies — was unlikely to ease following the frosty encounter.

“At least they're meeting at the highest level in two years, but so many grudges (remain),” said a Western ambassador in Doha.

The weekend talks in Mecca were aimed at addressing soaring regional tensions between Iran on one side and the United States and its allies, including Riyadh, on the other.

“Will Qatar go along with a purely anti-Iranian narrative? Interesting times in any case,” added the ambassador.

King Salman used the meeting of Gulf and other Arab powers to call on attendees to confront Iran's “criminal” actions after attacks on oil assets heightened fears of a regional flare-up.

But Qatar's Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani questioned on Sunday how the “Gulf summit statement talked about a unified Gulf”.

“But where is it amid the continuation of Qatar's blockade?” he added rejecting the gathering's position on Iran.

'Stability of the Gulf'

“I don't think it will prove to be a rapprochement. Qatar couldn't refuse the invitation sent to the emir, they had to send someone on such an important issue -- the stability of the Gulf nations,” said a European diplomatic source.

“But sending the prime minister instead of the foreign minister is a novelty.” Andreas Krieg, an assistant professor at King's College London, said it was a positive sign that the king's invitation to the talks did not have “strings attached”.

“They might overcome their smaller differences for the time being in addressing the issue of Iran,” he said.

The Mecca meetings kicked off a day after hawkish US National Security Adviser John Bolton said Iran was almost certainly behind this month's sabotage of four ships, including two Saudi oil tankers, off the coast of the United Arab Emirates -- charges Tehran rejected.

But Doha has looked to Tehran over the past two years to ease its economic isolation, sourcing key imports from Iran and re-routing many flights by its flag carrier Qatar Airways over the Islamic republic.

Saudi and its allies the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt have barred Qatari flights from their airports and airspace, banned most Qatari visitors, cut trade and shipping links, and closed the border.

The Saudi-led bloc initially set out a 13-point list of demands, including the closure of Qatar's flagship Al Jazeera broadcaster, curbing its relations with Iran and closing a Turkish military base in the emirate.

Doha dismissed the demands as “unrealistic and (not actionable)”, pressing on despite the sizeable diplomatic and economic impact of the embargo -- which Qatar refers to as a “blockade”.

But as the crisis continues, it is ordinary people who have borne the brunt of the restrictions.

'Missed out on our dreams'

“I'm Qatari so it's impossible for me to cross to Bahrain,” Wafa al-Yazeedi, a Qatari medic who was married to a Bahraini man, told AFP.

Her three children — aged 24, 22 and 19 — hold both Qatari and Bahraini citizenship but have not visited their father or grandmother in the nearby Gulf kingdom since the start of the crisis, she said.

Though they have not formally been told by Bahrain that they are barred from the country, “we know because it's in the newspapers”.

“The children showed allegiance to Qatar at the beginning but there has to be relations between families, whatever the political situation,” said Yazeedi.

“It's having a psychological burden on those affected.” Qatari Salah al-Yafie, 42, was studying for a postgraduate degree provided by the University of Northampton in the UAE when the embargo came into force.

“We were 18 male and female students. We tried everything after the blockade saying 'we are students and have no fault in this crisis',” he said.

“Unfortunately, the university told us that we are prohibited from attending.” Stories like his are common, as are accounts of business ventures disrupted by the restrictions.

“The crisis cost me a lot financially and psychologically. We lost lots of money, lost our diplomas and missed out on our dreams,” he added.

Ahead of the talks in Mecca, a senior Qatari official said “there are some small signs” the boycott could begin to ease, but he did not provide any details.

“They are our family,” he said. “Thank God we are not a poor country so we can deal with any crisis."

https://www.dawn.com/news/1486296/grudges-remain-as-qatar-marks-second-year-of-embargo

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Saudi, UAE slam Qatar for rejecting outcome of Mecca talks on Iran

3 Jun, 2019

Saudi, UAE slam Qatar for rejecting outcome of Mecca talks on Iran

The 14th Islamic summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, June 1, 2019. © Reuters / Waleed Ali

Saudi Arabia criticized Qatar on Monday for rejecting the outcome of recent Mecca talks on regional tensions with Iran, while the UAE accused Doha of “backtracking” on the summits’ conclusions.

Doha, which attended the three meetings in the holy city, said on Sunday it rejected the outcomes as it had not been properly consulted, AFP reported. Qatar’s foreign minister said on Sunday that the concluding statements of the summits “were ready in advance and we were not consulted on them.”

“Qatar has reservations on the Arab and Gulf summits because some of their terms are contrary to Doha’s foreign policy,” Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani told the Al-Araby broadcaster.

The statements at the summits “condemned Iran but did not refer to a moderate policy to speak with Tehran,” Al-Thani said in remarks reported by Al Jazeera television.

https://www.rt.com/newsline/460932-saudi-uae-qatar-iran/

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SouthEast Asia

Islamic group in Gowa celebrates Idul Fitri on Monday

Mon, June 3, 2019

Around 100 members of the An-Nadzir group gathered on Monday morning in An-Nadzir Islamic village in Romang Lompoa subdistrict in Bonto Marannu district in Gowa, South Sulawesi, to perform Idul Fitri prayers.

Based on the group's observations and calculations, they believe that the first day of Idul Fitri fell on Monday.

“After observing the moon and other natural signs, we decided Idul Fitri fell today,” chairman of An-Nadzir supervisory board M. Samiruddin Pademmui said on Monday as reported by Antara news agency.

After performing subuh (dawn prayers) on Monday, scores of people flocked to the site where the Idul Fitri prayers were conducted.

Male worshipers wore turbans on top of their brightly-dyed hair, a distinguishing trait of the congregation. The females wore black full-body veils or burkas.

The group celebrates Idul Fitri, which marks the end of the Ramadan fasting month, earlier than other Muslims across the archipelago. Most Muslims still observed fasting on Monday as Idul Fitri is expected to fall on Wednesday.

The Religious Affairs Ministry will hold an isbat (confirmation) meeting with various Islamic organizations this afternoon to decide the first day of Idul Fitri.

A combination of methods, namely hisab (astronomical calculations) and rukyat (visual observation) of the new moon, would be used during the isbat.

Muhammadiyah, meanwhile, had previously announced that the first day of Syawal, the month after Ramadan, would fall on Wednesday based on their own astronomic calculation. (vny)

https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2019/06/03/islamic-group-in-gowa-celebrates-idul-fitri-on-monday.html

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DBKL clears 400 stalls in illegal Lorong TAR Ramadan bazaar

 

The Kuala Lumpur City Hall has cleared about 400 stalls in an illegal Ramadan bazaar along Lorong Tuanku Abdul Rahman.

In a statement today, DBKL said that the stalls were left standing despite being ordered to shut by Sunday morning.

Enforcement officers were then deployed around 3.30pm to instruct traders to pack up their stalls, as they were operating without permits.

"No Ramadan bazaar traders are allowed to operate businesses on Lorong Tuanku Abdul Rahman," DBKL said.

No untoward incident was recorded, but a video of the traders packing up their stalls under the watch of authorities has been circulating on social media.

The annual Ramadan bazaar in the area had been relocated to Jalan Raja following complaints from business owners along Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman and Jalan Masjid India.

The business owners complained that the stalls blocked the road to their premises, and that a sea of rubbish was created due to the increased activity in the area.

Yesterday, Bukit Bintang Bersatu chief Zailani Isausuludin said in an open letter that Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad should allow traders to continue operating on Lorong Tuanku Abdul Rahman.

"It's only two days away from Hari Raya, just give them a chance," the letter says.

"They are not criminals, we shouldn't treat them like that (being chased away by authorities).

"Did you intentionally do this to shame the prime minister, to make them livid with you?"

Meanwhile, Dang Wangi police chief Rudy Abdullah told Malaysiakini that police monitored the clearing operation, which ended without incident.

He also urged the people not to buy into any rumours about the operation.

https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/478435

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Gunman shoots dead village chief at mosque in Narathiwat

Last update: 03/06/2019

NARATHIWAT (Thailand), June 3 (Bernama) -- A masked gunman opened fire in a mosque here last night, killing a village chief and injuring another worshipper during prayers attended by about 30 people.

An eyewitness said the gunman, armed with an AK47 rifle, entered the mosque in the Rangae District at 8.45 pm (9.45 pm Malaysian time) and fired twice at Fakrudin Tokdeng, 48, chief of Kampung Awae, hitting him in the head and back. Fakrudin died on the spot.

A ricocheting bullet hit worshipper Mayudi Abu, 43, in a thigh, he said.

The eyewitness said the worshippers were prostrating when the gunman struck.

He said the attacker fled in a sports utility vehicle.

Rangae assistant chief of criminal investigation Pol Capt Nathawat Keawhan said Fakrudin had received a death threat seven months ago when someone sent him a packet of rice with four live bullets in it at the same mosque.

He said the police were on the trail of the assailant.

Fakrudin was buried at the Kampung Awae cemetery. He leaves behind a wife and two children, aged 20 and 16.

This is second incident of a shooting death at a mosque in Kampung Awae.

Two years ago, the chief of Kampung Kuling in the Yingo District, was shot dead at one of the three mosques in the village during dawn prayers with other worshippers.

-- BERNAMA

http://www.bernama.com/en/general/news.php?id=1732516

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Europe

Man attempted to attack worshippers at mosque with hammer

 

Ramadan worshippers have detained a man at a London mosque after he reportedly attempted to attack people with a hammer.

The Metropolitan Police said it was called to a mosque in Hayes Road, Southall, in the early hours of Monday.

The force had received reports of a man armed with a hammer shortly after 4.30am.

"A 38-year-old man is reported to have attempted to attack people," the Met said.

"He was detained by worshippers prior to police arrival.

"He has subsequently been arrested on suspicion of attempted grievous bodily harm and is in custody at a west London police station."

No injuries were reported and the incident was not being treated as terror-related, the force said.

"It is believed the man may have been involved in a dispute with people who he believed to have been attendees from the mosque the previous day," the Met said.

Officers remained at the scene on Monday morning as an investigation took place.

https://www.asianimage.co.uk/news/17680091.man-attempted-to-attack-worshippers-at-mosque-with-hammer/

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Mideast

FM Underlines Failure of Saudi Attempts against Iran in Mecca Meeting

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif stressed that Saudi Arabia has failed to rally support in its anti-Iran quest through the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) conference in Mecca.

"Saudi Arabia's attempts in the region to form a coalition against Iran and Yemen in Mecca meeting will fail," Zarif said in Tehran on Monday.

He added that the Yemeni people will certainly win over the Saudi-led coalition which has attacked the country, and said, "Today, supporting Yemen is the responsibility of all of us."

Saudi Arabia and its allies, including the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, and Sudan, launched a brutal war against Yemen in March 2015 in an attempt to reinstall Yemen’s former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.

The aggression initially consisted of a bombing campaign but was later coupled with a naval blockade and the deployment of ground forces to Yemen. Around 20,000 people have died since the war began, says Yemen’s Health Ministry.

The Saudi-led war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The United Nations (UN) has said that a record 22.2 million Yemenis are in dire need of food, including 8.4 million threatened by severe hunger.

Despite Riyadh's claims that it is bombing the positions of the Ansarullah fighters, Saudi bombers are flattening residential areas and civilian infrastructures.

According to several reports, the Saudi-led air campaign against Yemen has driven the impoverished country towards humanitarian disaster, as Saudi Arabia's deadly campaign prevented the patients from travelling abroad for treatment and blocked the entry of medicine into the war-torn country.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980313000638

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Ankara Strongly Attempting to Save Terrorist Groups amid Syrian Army Operations in North

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Ankara has called for increased efforts to establish ceasefire in Northern Syria in talks with the Russian side to prevent the Syrian army advances in Northern Hama and Southern Idlib and save the terrorist groups.

Sources close to the commanders of the so-called National Liberation Front, supported by Ankara, reported on Monday that Ankara is attempting to save the terrorists by demands for a ceasefire on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr Muslim holidays after failure in military operations to take back the lost positions of terrorists in Northern and Northwestern Hama and facing fears of stronger attacks against the militants.

They added that Moscow has not reacted yet to the 72-hour ceasefire proposed by Ankara, noting that only the Syrian army was committed to the truce agreed in the past.

The sources said that Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces General Valery Gerasimov has told his Turkish counterpart that any ceasefire in Northern Syria should be established with Turkey's responsibility, implementation of contents of Idlib agreement, withdrawal of terrorists from the demilitarized zone, reopening of the international highways from Aleppo to Hama and Lattakia, allowing the civilians to leave the terrorist-held areas in Idlib and stopping Ankara's military, political and media support for the militants.

Meantime, the terrorist groups in Northern Hama for the fifth consecutive day on Sunday targeted the town of Qamhaneh in Northern Hama with rocket attacks.

The Syrian army, in response, attacked the terrorists' positions and moves with heavy artillery fire in Northern and Northwestern Hama, destroying several of their positions.

Syrian media reported on Sunday that the Ankara-backed militants had infuriated Turkey for their poor performance and incapability to confront the Syrian Army and regain back the regions they had already lost to the government forces.

The Ankara's fury came as the Syrian Army thwarted fresh attacks by the Turkey-backed militants in Northern Hama.

The Syrian Army troops engaged in fierce clashes with the terrorist groups who had attacked their military positions in the surrounding areas of Jab Ramaleh in Northwestern Hama, and inflicted heavy losses on them after thwarting their attacks.

The Damascus Army also destroyed four drones belonging to the terrorists in the outskirts of Jab Ramaleh.

A military source, meantime, pointed to the intensified attacks by the terrorists on the Syrian Army's military positions in the vicinity of Qala al-Maziq Northwest of Hama, and said that terrorists pounded the region and the town of Shatheh with several rockets.

It noted that the Syrian Army responded to the terrorists' attacks, and pounded their military positions and movements in Mourek, Kafar Zita, al-Latamaneh, Latmin, Tahtaya, al-Arabaeen, Hasraya, al-Zuka and al-Hobait in Northern and Northwestern Hama, destroying several of their centers.

The Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper, meantime, quoted sources close to Ankara-backed National Liberation Front (NFL) terrorists as saying that Turkey is very angry with consecutive defeats by Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) and other Anlara-backed militants in Northern and Northwestern battlefronts of Hama despite Turkey's logistical aids.

It noted that Ankara is more concerned with terrorists' incapability to resist and confront the Syrian Army's military tactics as well as new the new wave of defection of terrorists enjoying Ankara's support.

The battlefield sources in Idlib Province also reported that Tahrir al-Sham terrorists have executed seven militants on charges of cooperation with the Syrian Army and Russia.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980313000554

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Tahrir Al-Sham's Ringleader Al-Jolani Looking for Developing Turkish Drones with EU Expert's Help

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Ringleader of Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) Abu Mohammed al-Jolani has gained access to hundreds of drones supplied by Turkey and it is looking for developing them with the help of the European experts to conduct attacks on the Syrian Army's military positions, media reports said.

Tahrir al-Sham has received 500 drones in cooperation with several influential Turkish businessmen in the past month, the Arabic-language website of the Russian Sputnik news agency quoted local sources in Idlib province as saying.

The sources noted that Tahrir al-Sham has transferred the drones to one of the most important headquarters of Islamic Turkistani Party in the city of Jisr al-Shoghour in Western Idlib, and said that Turkistani Party's Chinese experts are currently working on the accuracy of the rockets of the drones, equip them with GPS and change their structure by using carbon substances to make them hardly invisible to radar detection.

Meamtime, according to reliable intel, Al-Jolani has reportedly commissioned French and Belgian experts to equip warheads of some of the rockets with C4 explosive material.

Meantime, a Syrian Army military source said that the Syrian Army's air defense systems destroyed a number of bomb-laden drones that terrorists were going to use against the Syrian Army's military airport in Rajab Ramleh in Western Hama.

It is for the second consecutive day that terrorists intend to pound the Syrian Army's military positions in Jab Ramleh region in Western Hama.

In a relevant development on Sunday, the Syrian Army discovered four tons of US-made C-4 explosive substance during mop-up operations in the newly-liberated areas in Western Dara'a in Southern Syria.

The Syrian Army's engineering units made the discovery during its cleaning operation in Hauz al-Yarmouk region in Western Dara'a.

Over four tons of highly-explosive C-4 substance was found in terrorists' hideouts in Hauz al-Yarmouk which was ISIL's main military base in the Western part of Dara'a Province.

The C-4 explosives had been professionally mounted in terrorists' hideouts.

Meantime, a Syrian Army military source said such quantity of explosive material is usually sold to countries under contracts and deals.

He noted that terrorists' access to such materials is a clear evidence of the support they have received from countries backing terrorism, specially the US.

The source explained that only one kilogram of C4 material has the destructive power equal to 13 kilograms of TNT.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980313000368

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Turkish Army, Allied Militants Engage in Fierce Clashes with Kurdish Fighters in Aleppo

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Turkish Army and its allied militants attacked the military positions of the Kurdish fighters in Northern Aleppo which resulted in fierce clashes between the two sides.

"The Turkish Army and Ankara-backed militants' artillery and mortar units pounded the Kurdish fighters' military positions in the town of Lower Shoyoukh West of the city of Kobani," the Kurdish-language Hawar News website reported.

Meantime, the Syrian army continued its military advances in other parts of Syria over past 24 hours.

Tens of terrorists were killed and dozens more were injured during the Syrian army's operations in provinces across Syria.

Aleppo

The Turkish Army and its allied militants attacked the military positions of the Kurdish fighters in Northern Aleppo which resulted in fierce clashes between the two sides, the Kurdish-language media outlets said.

The Kurdish-language Hawar News website reported that the Turkish Army and Ankara-backed militants' artillery and mortar units pounded the Kurdish fighters' military positions in the town of Lower Shoyoukh West of the city of Kobani.

The Ankara-backed militants stationed near the city of Jarablus also pounded the military positions of the Kurdish Al-Bab Military Council in the town of al-Baqouz to East of Al-Bab city.

Meantime, the sources affiliated to terrorist groups reported that a group of the Ankara-backed National Liberation Front (NFL) Army militants attacked the Kurdish forces' positions in the town of Ain Daqaneh in Northern Aleppo, destroying their armored vehicle as well as killing and injuring a number of them.

Dara'a

The Syrian Army discovered four tons of US-made C-4 explosive substance during mop-up operations in the newly-liberated areas in Western Dara'a in Southern Syria.

The Syrian Army's engineering units made the discovery during its cleaning operation in Hauz al-Yarmouk region in Western Dara'a.

Over four tons of highly-explosive C-4 substance was found in terrorists' hideouts in Hauz al-Yarmouk which was ISIL's main military base in the Western part of Dara'a Province.

The C-4 explosives had been professionally mounted in terrorists' hideouts.

Meantime, a Syrian Army military source said such quantity of explosive material is usually sold to countries under contracts and deals.

He noted that terrorists' access to such materials is a clear evidence of the support they have received from countries backing terrorism, specially the US.

The source explained that only one kilogram of C4 material has the destructive power equal to 13 kilograms of TNT.

Damascus-Quneitra

Israel has launched fresh airstrikes on the Syrian Army positions near Damascus and Quneitra in Southern Syria.

The Syrian Army's air defense system shot down several Israeli missiles, the Arabic-language SANA news agency reported.

It noted that Israel's invaders launched two waves of missile attacks from the side of the Occupied Golan, hitting several military positions of the Syrian Army to the Southwest of Damascus and East of Quneitra.

The SANA news agency reported that the Syrian Army's air defense systems were activated right after these attacks and shot down a number of Israeli missiles.

Meantime, the Arabic-language website of the Russian Sputnik News Agency quoted a military source as saying that Israeli warplanes fired six rockets at the Syrian Army's military positions near Damascus, but most of them were destroyed by the Syrian air defense systems.

The Syrian Army's air defense shield also destroyed most of the missiles fired at Tal al-Sha'ar region in the surrounding area of Quneitra. Three Syrian Army soldiers were killed and seven others were wounded in the Israeli aggression.

Meantime, the Israeli Army in a statement claimed that the Israeli helicopters and fighter jets had pounded the Syrian Army's military positions in response to two missiles fired from Syria.

Hama

The Ankara-backed militants have infuriated Turkey for their poor performance and incapability to confront the Syrian Army and regain back the regions they had already lost to the government forces.

The Ankara's fury came as the Syrian Army thwarted fresh attacks by the Turkey-backed militants in Northern Hama.

The Syrian Army troops engaged in fierce clashes with the terrorist groups who had attacked their military positions in the surrounding areas of Jab Ramaleh in Northwestern Hama, and inflicted heavy losses on them after thwarting their attacks.

The Damascus Army also destroyed four drones belonging to the terrorists in the outskirts of Jab Ramaleh.

A military source, meantime, pointed to the intensified attacks by the terrorists on the Syrian Army's military positions in the vicinity of Qala al-Maziq Northwest of Hama, and said that terrorists pounded the region and the town of Shatheh with several rockets.

It noted that the Syrian Army responded to the terrorists' attacks, and pounded their military positions and movements in Mourek, Kafar Zita, al-Latamaneh, Latmin, Tahtaya, al-Arabaeen, Hasraya, al-Zuka and al-Hobait in Northern and Northwestern Hama, destroying several of their centers.

The Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper, meantime, quoted sources close to Ankara-backed National Liberation Front (NFL) terrorists as saying that Turkey is very angry with consecutive defeats by Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) and other Ankara-backed militants in Northern and Northwestern battlefronts of Hama despite Turkey's logistical aids.

It noted that Ankara is more concerned with terrorists' incapability to resist and confront the Syrian Army's military tactics as well as new the new wave of defection of terrorists enjoying Ankara's support.

The battlefield sources in Idlib Province also reported that Tahrir al-Sham terrorists have executed seven militants on charges of cooperation with the Syrian Army and Russia.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980313000118

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Iran Shows Indifference to US’ Game of Words, Re-Urges Washington to Prove Honesty with Action

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi, in reaction to the latest remarks by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, said that his country expects a change in Washington’s general approach to the Iranian nation instead of a game of words, adding that maximum pressure campaign is an indication of no change in the White House’s behavior.

“For the Islamic Republic of Iran, a game of words and expressing covert goals under the guise of new words is not a criterion for action, but a change in the United States’ general approach and practical stance toward the Iranian nation is the criterion,” Mousavi made the remarks on Sunday in reaction to the latest statements by Mike Pompeo, who said Washington is willing to speak with Iran "with no preconditions."

The diplomat added, “The emphasis put by Mr. Pompeo on the need to continue a campaign of maximum pressure on Iran is indicative of persistence of the wrong approach of the past, which needs to be rectified.”

Addressing a news conference in Switzerland earlier in the day, the US secretary of state said Washington is keen to hold negotiations with Iran "with no preconditions" amid the intensification of tensions between the two countries.

"We are prepared to engage in a conversation with no preconditions. We are ready to sit down with them," Pompeo said.

He; however, added that the United States would continue working to rein in Iran's “malign activity”.

"The American effort to fundamentally reverse the malign activity of this Islamic Republic, this revolutionary force, is going to continue," he said.

Pompeo's Sunday comments marked the first time that the US administration has so clearly stated its willingness to open a no-strings-attached dialog with Iran.

Late last month, Trump toned down his anti-Iran rhetoric after a period of saber-rattling that saw him and other US officials threaten the Islamic Republic with war in hope of getting concessions, saying his administration is not looking for regime change in Iran and would rather sit down for talks.

Following Trump’s remarks, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said, in a tweet on last Monday, that Trump has to prove in action whether he seeks to fall into line with the league of anti-Iran domestic and regional officials.

He highlighted that there are enormous disparities between what the White House is saying and what it does in dealing with Tehran.

The Iranian top diplomat said, “B-Team's Economic Terrorism is hurting the Iranian people and causing tension in the region. Actions—not words—will show whether or not that's Donald Trump's intent.”

According to Zarif’s earlier tweets in April, the B-Team is made up by US National Security Advisor John Bolton, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The top diplomat reminded that the markedly hostile foursome have themselves admitted to targeting the Iranian people with economic terrorism.

The Iranian diplomatic chief separately reiterated absence of whatever intention on the part of Tehran to pursue nuclear arms, reminding how Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, the country’s highest authority, has categorically prohibited the weapons.

Earlier on Monday, in joint presser in Tokyo after bilateral talks with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Trump said that the White house was not looking for "regime change" in Iran.

The US President went on saying that he believed "we'll make a deal" with Iran, adding that Abe had offered to broker a dialogue between the two nations.

“I know that the prime minister and Japan have a very good relationship with Iran so we’ll see what happens,” Trump added.

“The prime minister has already spoken to me about that and I do believe that Iran would like to talk. And if they would like to talk, we would like to talk also,” he said.

With Abe at his side, Trump told reporters at Akasaka Palace that "nobody wants to see terrible things happen, specially me".

Trump later said, “I’m looking to Iran to say no nuclear weapons,” he said. “Iran has tremendous economic potential …, we’re looking for no nuclear weapons. I’m not looking to hurt Iran at all.”

Back in mid-1990s, Ayatollah Khamenei issued a fatwa against the acquisition, development and use of nuclear weapons. The decree was repetitively announced at public venues and it was again reiterated in an official statement at a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna on August 2005.

Based on the Fatwa, Iran pursued dialogue with the international community and Western countries, and after years of negotiations Tehran signed the landmark nuclear deal of 2015, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), with five permanent members of the United Nations’ Security Council (UNSC) plus Germany and the European Union.

Then in early May 2018, Trump scrapped the deal, blaming his predecessor Barak Obama for signing “the worst ever deal US involved”.

Following the unilateral pullout of Trump from the nuclear agreement, European sides of the agreement issued a joint statement, reassuring Tehran that they would make up for the losses suffered by Iran.

Tehran waited for a year to see if Europe was serious about delivering on its promises, and on the first anniversary of the US exit from the agreement issued a statement to blame the bloc for coming short to observe its commitments and compensate the damages inflicted by Washington.

Tehran announced on May 08 that its decision to partially suspend its compliance with the JCPOA was in response to the US’ withdrawal and the failure by European signatories to alleviate the damage done by American sanctions.

Following Tehran’s ultimatum to European side of the deal, the White House announced on the very same day that it would levy more sanctions on Iran.

According to a White House statement, an executive order issued by Trump targeted Iran’s revenues from exporting industrial metals from iron, steel, aluminum and copper sectors.

Then Trump intensified its rhetoric of threat against Tehran and the US declared that it will increase its military buildup in the Persian Gulf region for unspecified threats from Iran.

Now, following his last week threatening tweet to put an official end to Iran in case of any move by Tehran, he has softened his voice calling again for negotiating a new deal.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980313000187

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Iraqi Source: Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi in Al-Anbar Desert Near Border with Syria

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iraqi sources reported that ISIL ringleader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is hiding in the Western deserts of al-Anbar province at the border with Syria.

The Arabic-language al-Ma'aloumeh news website quoted an intelligence source in Hashd al-Shaabi (Iraqi popular forces) command center in al-Anbar province as saying that according to the latest intel, al-Baghdadi has sheltered in a hidden tunnel in al-Husayniyat region in the Northern parts of the town of al-Ratbah in Western al-Anbar.

He added that the security forces are mulling operations to take control of the tunnel, and said that given the heavy deployment of security forces in al-Ratbah region near the border with Syria and closure of all roads, al-Baghdadi and the militants under his command cannot escape.

The source underlined that given the fact that the US fighter jets have not bombed the ISIL's hideouts and tunnels in the region, the American forces are likely aware of his presence in al-Ratbah desert areas.

The speculations come after al-Baghdadi made his first appearance in April, after five years of absence, in a video in which he acknowledged the defeat of the terrorist group's fighters in the battle for Baghouz in Syria.

The video was reportedly filmed earlier in April.

In recent years, Baghdadi's death has been reported multiple times, however, the terrorist leader has re-emerged time and time again.

The Sun claimed, citing Zaid Hamid, who is a co-founder of the BrassTacks threat analysis think-tank, last month that al-Baghdadi is allegedly hiding in a distant region of Afghanistan.

"Note the style of the bedding and the pillows….Is he already in Afghanistan?" Zaid Hamid pointed out.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980312000908

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Leader's Top Military Aide: Iran Ready to Sign Non-Aggression Pact with Neighboring States

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Top Military Aide to the Iranian Supreme Leader Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi reiterated his country's interest in endorsement of non-aggression pacts with the regional states, and stressed that the American forces will leave the region.

"Our strategy is non-aggression towards neighbors, and Iran is even ready to sign non-aggression pacts with the neighboring states; this issue was recently raised by the foreign minister (Zarif) too. Of course, my own suggestion is signing a non-aggression pact with a number of countries and formation of a coalition with some others," General Rahim Safavi told FNA on Sunday.

He expressed the hope that the regional states would understand that the Americans and Zionists and not Iran is their enemy.

General Rahim Safavi reminded the Arab regional states of the US betrayal of its servants and puppet regimes, including the Shah of Iran, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali in Tunisia, Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and Muammar Qaddafi in Libya, and said, "As the Supreme Leader has said, the Americans should leave West Asia region and they will certainly leave."

He added that if the Arab regional states think wisely, they will not tolerate the hegemony of Washington which calls them as milk cows.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced late last month that Tehran had proposed the regional states to collectively ink a non-aggression pact.

Zarif wrote on his twitter page last week that he had fruitful talks with the Iraqi leaders in a recent visit to Baghdad, and added, "I've held substantive and productive meetings with the President, PM, Speaker, FM and leadership of two parliamentary coalitions."

The Iranian top diplomat added that during the visit he had raised the proposal for a "regional non-aggression pact".

During his stay in Baghdad, Zarif met with Iraqi president, prime minister and his counterpart as well as other high-ranking officials.

In a joint press conference with his Iraqi counterpart Mohammed al-Hakim in Tehran, Zarif underlined good talks with al-Hakim on regional issues, saying that Iran was willing to have balanced relations with all the Persian Gulf littoral states.

"Iran is ready to sign non-aggression pacts with the Persian Gulf Arab states," he said.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980312000448

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Hamas blames Israel for repercussions of attacks on Al-Aqsa Mosque

June 3, 2019

injured Muslim is being carried away with Palestinian health care members, after Israeli police officers intervene them with tear gas canisters, as fanatic Jews, under Israeli police protection, raid Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound in Jerusalem on 2 June 2019. [Faiz Abu Rmeleh - Anadolu Agency]injured Muslim is being carried away with Palestinian health care members, after Israeli police officers intervene them with tear gas canisters, as fanatic Jews, under Israeli police protection, raid Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound in Jerusalem on 2 June 2019. [Faiz Abu Rmeleh - Anadolu Agency]

The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, has blamed Israel for all possible repercussions of the attack by its soldiers and settlers on Al-Aqsa Mosque and the worshippers within.

“The Israeli occupation must bear the responsibility for the repercussions of its violations at Al-Aqsa Mosque that led to a wave of protests in which the Palestinian people voiced their anger over Israeli measures at the Noble Sanctuary,” said Hamas. “The ongoing assault and raids on Al-Aqsa by Israeli occupation forces and settlers will only make the Palestinian people more determined to defend the mosque and preserve its sanctity.”

The movement’s statement described Israel as a racist entity without respect for human beings, religions or holy sites. “The repeated attacks on Al-Aqsa reflect the aggressive and extremist reality of the Zionist state,” added Hamas, “belying its claims to be a democratic state that respects freedoms.”

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20190603-hamas-blames-israel-for-repercussions-of-attacks-on-al-aqsa-mosque/

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Today's New Moon Ends Ramadan, Sets-Up Eclipse Of The Sun And 'Half-Blood Thunder Moon Eclipse'

 

Today the Moon is not visible. It’s the moment of New Moon exactly as this post was published, the point in our satellite’s orbit when it's roughly between the Earth and the Sun. The far side of the Moon, only, is illuminated, and it’s invisible to us. However, June’s New Moon is rather special.

For starters, it (almost) signals the end of Ramadan, the “moon-th” long fast between dawn and sunset observed by devout Muslims, which began on May 5, and the beginning of Eid al-Fitr, one of two holy days of the year for the Islamic world. However, it’s technically not until the sighting of the crescent Moon, perhaps today, Monday, June 3, 2019, at dusk, or perhaps tomorrow on Tuesday, June 4, 2019.

The exact time of New Moon is 10:01 Universal Time today on Monday, June 3, 2019, which translates to 11:01 a.m. in London, 06:01 a.m in New York City and 03:01 a.m. in Los Angeles.

However, June’s New Moon also sets-up something incredible; a total solar eclipse and a lunar eclipse. In fact, the next time we have a New Moon it will be sitting plum in front of the Sun. By a cosmic coincidence, the Moon is 400 times smaller than the Sun, but the Sun is about 400 times further away.

What is the ecliptic?

The ecliptic is the path the Sun takes through the sky. The Moon, whose orbit is inclined slightly, intersects that line – essentially Earth’s orbital plane – twice each month. Occasionally that means a New Moon covers the Sun exactly, or that a Full Moon drifts into the Earth’s shadow. As such, it’s normal for two or more eclipses to come in succession. That’s what’s about to happen.

When is the Total Solar Eclipse?

On July 2, 2019, the New Moon will exactly fit across the Sun as seen from a narrow strip of the Earth’s surface. The path of totality is narrow, around 100km wide, and is mostly over the South Pacific, In fact, only the final few minutes of the event will be visible over land. Eclipse-chasers are heading inland from La Serena in Chile, and Bella Vista in Argentina, to witness the rare event that last happened on August 21, 2017 across the USA.

When is the 'Half-Blood Thunder Moon' Partial Lunar Eclipse?

On July 16, 2019, a Full "Thunder" Moon will drift into the Earth’s outer shadow. It won’t enter the central shadow, so the Moon won’t go completely “blood red”, but about 65% of it will turn rosy. It will be visible from South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia, but not North America. This "Half-Blood Thunder Moon Eclipse" promises to be a special event, especially in London, where a "smiley face" half-red moon will rise in the east.

For eclipse-chasers and eclipse-photographers, July can't come soon enough.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamiecartereurope/2019/06/03/todays-new-moon-ends-ramadan-sets-up-eclipse-of-the-sun-and-half-blood-thunder-moon-eclipse/#44020c5e1c91

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IRGC Says Iran to Keep Resisting US Pressures, Following Imam Khomeini’s Path

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), in a statement on Monday, commemorated the 30th anniversary of Imam Khomeini’s demise, and added that the nation will keep following the late Imam’s path with defying US’ pressures and sanctions.

“Despite the enemies' efforts to prevent the (Islamic) Revolution’s influence on the discourse of resistance across the world … (enemies) now clearly witness the gradual conquest of key fronts by Islam and the formation of the pole of Islamic power in the geometry of global power,” read the IRGC’s statement issued on Monday on the occasion of June 4, the anniversary of the demise of the founder of the Islamic Revolution Imam Khomeini.

June 4 is the day when the Iranian nation will express readiness to continue their resistance in the face of pressures posed by enemies, specially the “pharaonic and dictator regime” of the US, notes the statement.

The nation proves that it will not surrender to oppressive sanctions and the maximum pressure policy of the enemy; rather, it will come out of this sensitive point in history victoriously, the statement adds.

On Wednesday afternoon, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei dismissed any possibility for Iran to negotiate on its defense capability, and stressed that the US-sponsored 'Deal of Century' plot will fail.

Ayatollah Khamenei made the remarks, addressing a group of university professors, academic elites and researchers in Tehran.

He referred to escalating pressures from the US to bring Iran back to the table of negotiations, and stressed, "By returning to the negotiation table, they mean we negotiate with the US. We will not negotiate with US officials. Because there is no point negotiating and it is detrimental."

The Supreme Leader assured his audience that Iran welcomes negotiations with any other governments, and asserted, "Otherwise we have no problems negotiating with others or with Europeans. In negotiating with others and with Europeans, our only concern is the issue to be negotiated."

Ayatollah Khamenei emphasized that the Islamic Republic will never trade its core values, and maintained, "We will not negotiate on the core issues of the Revolution. Negotiations on this issue implies trading; that is, they mean we give up on our defensive capabilities. We will not negotiate our military capability."

The Supreme Leader described negotiations as a pretext the United States uses to pressure Iran, and held, "The US tactic is to enhance their strategy of pressuring Iran. They want to cash in on the pressures through negotiation."

"The US targets assets of a country by pressuring it; to further their goal, they employ pressure" as a means. They also have a tactic and that is negotiation," he said.

Ayatollah Khamenei elaborated on how the United States pressures nations into negotiations and trading their national assets, saying, "They pressure until the adversary gets tired, and then propose to negotiate. This negotiation is complementary to the pressure and aims to cash in on the pressures. They pressure and then propose to negotiate. This is what negotiation means to them. Their strategy is not negotiation. It is pressure. Negotiation is part of the pressure strategy."

The Leader of the Islamic Revolution regarded resistance as the counter measure in face of pressures by the US, and held, "The counter measure for us is to use our own means of pressures to contend their pressure. However, if we are deceived by their call for negotiations and consider our means of pressures unnecessary, we would slip and that equals absolute defeat."

Ayatollah Khamenei advised Iranian officials as well as the general public against giving in to pressures, and said, "When you do not use your means of pressure, the enemy will relax and continue pressuring."

The Leader of the Islamic Revolution described Iran’s national points of strength as including nuclear science, asserting, "Our strength is in nuclear science and we are not after nuclear weapons either. Not because of the sanctions or the (pressures from) the United Studies, but because of our ideology that deems nuclear weapons forbidden from the point of view of Fiqh and religion."

Ayatollah Khamenei slammed those who consider producing of nuclear weapons as method of deterrence and declared, "Some have suggested producing but not using nuclear weapons. This is also wrong. We would spend a lot to produce them without using it and the enemy knows we would never use them. So they would be ineffective for us."

Addressing the issue of the senior National Security Council’s advice on where to hold enrichment levels, Ayatollah Khamenei maintained, "For now the ruling made by the Supreme National Security Council will be implemented and for later whatever necessary. Stopping at current levels is meaningless. As for now, the resolution by the Supreme National Security Council will be executed. If needed, we will use our next tactics in the future."

"The only way for us is to apply our tactics of pressure in face of the pressures that the US applies. Contrary to their propaganda, these tactics are not military--though we might use military means if we find it necessary," he said.

Ayatollah Khamenei added that Iran would not abide by part of its JCPOA commitments as a step predicted within the framework of the deal, and said, "What the Supreme National Security Council did by saying that we would not perform our commitments in this sector was appropriate.

"There is consensus among executive officials that negotiating with the United States is absolutely not advised. Not just negotiating with the current government; the Obama administration was not fundamentally different from the current government. It had a different appearance, but the same nature. We won’t be deceived by US tricks," he said.

Ayatollah Khamenei praised nation’s academic and scientific achievements, informing his audience of efforts to underestimate the country’s scientific movement, and maintained, "Our academic progresses have been truly significant. This should not be neglected. I insist that a trend has been launched to underestimate the country’s great scientific movement. They spent money and devise plans for that sake; an example is Stanford University’s 2040 blueprint to question our scientific works and progresses as well as important academic achievements. There are also people in Iran who pass the ball to them to score a goal (assist their efforts against Iran’s scientific movement). This is a combination of treason and vice. Universities have carried out many great tasks and stand far above where they used to be before the Islamic Revolution."

"They accuse our academic community of shallowness and lacking enough knowledge. If they are shallow and lack knowledge, then who carried out the 20% uranium enrichment? Who accomplished the Nanotechnology developments? Who brought about the achievements in stem cells?" the Leader said.

Ayatollah Khamenei stressed that despite all these accomplishment, the country is still far behind where it deserves to stand, and reminded his audience that "rightfully praising and taking pride in our universities does not mean that we are content with the current levels of progress and that our universities do not have flaws and defects. No! We are still behind. In a bitter era in history, our country fell behind the scientific trend due to our politicians’ misconducts. We are not standing where we deserve in the realm of sciences and in the Second Phase of the Revolution, we need to reach our highest point."

The Supreme Leader mentioned that Iran requires a major scientific momentum by saying that "our country does not need only a scientific progress but a scientific surge. And this is totally possible; it is very challenging, but sweetly so".

Highlighting the significance of this year’s Quds Day rally in the light of the escalated pressures by the Zionist regime against Palestine, Ayatollah Khamenei asserted, "This year’s Quds Day is more important than any other year. Of course, the issue of Palestine is a fundamental issue and it is not particular to Islamic governments and nations. The issue of Palestine is a humanitarian issue. Certainly, it is of more significance and of higher priority for Muslims as besides humanitarian aspects, it also includes religious concerns."

He described Quds Day rallies as particularly important this year because of acts of treasons by certain states in the region, and said, "The Quds Day rally which represents supporting Palestine by public turnout has always been important. It is more important this year because of the treasonous acts by come US cohorts in the region who try to make the ‘Deal of the Century’ accepted. Of course, it will not be accepted and it will never be realized; the United States and its cohorts will certainly face failure on this matter."

Finally the Supreme Leader once again reassured his audience that the Zionist plot is doomed to failure, and held, "They are acting differently as compared to the past only in that now they openly declare they want to wipe the issue of Palestine form the issues of the world. For sure they will not be able to do so and they will face a failure."

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980313000911

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'Grudges' remain as Qatar marks second year of embargo

AFPUpdated June 03, 2019

In a region of tight media control and official statements, the body language of Saudi Arabia's king and Qatar's prime minister spoke volumes about one of the Gulf's deepest fault lines.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser Al-Thani did not bow or kiss the cheek of King Salman, whose country has led a two-year economic boycott of Qatar, when they met in Mecca on Thursday.

Their closely watched meeting was the highest level encounter between the neighbours since the crisis began on June 5, 2017.

Diplomats said the embargo enforced by Riyadh and its allies over Doha's alleged support for Islamist movements and Iran — charges Qatar denies — was unlikely to ease following the frosty encounter.

“At least they're meeting at the highest level in two years, but so many grudges (remain),” said a Western ambassador in Doha.

The weekend talks in Mecca were aimed at addressing soaring regional tensions between Iran on one side and the United States and its allies, including Riyadh, on the other.

“Will Qatar go along with a purely anti-Iranian narrative? Interesting times in any case,” added the ambassador.

King Salman used the meeting of Gulf and other Arab powers to call on attendees to confront Iran's “criminal” actions after attacks on oil assets heightened fears of a regional flare-up.

But Qatar's Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani questioned on Sunday how the “Gulf summit statement talked about a unified Gulf”.

“But where is it amid the continuation of Qatar's blockade?” he added rejecting the gathering's position on Iran.

'Stability of the Gulf'

“I don't think it will prove to be a rapprochement. Qatar couldn't refuse the invitation sent to the emir, they had to send someone on such an important issue -- the stability of the Gulf nations,” said a European diplomatic source.

“But sending the prime minister instead of the foreign minister is a novelty.” Andreas Krieg, an assistant professor at King's College London, said it was a positive sign that the king's invitation to the talks did not have “strings attached”.

“They might overcome their smaller differences for the time being in addressing the issue of Iran,” he said.

The Mecca meetings kicked off a day after hawkish US National Security Adviser John Bolton said Iran was almost certainly behind this month's sabotage of four ships, including two Saudi oil tankers, off the coast of the United Arab Emirates -- charges Tehran rejected.

But Doha has looked to Tehran over the past two years to ease its economic isolation, sourcing key imports from Iran and re-routing many flights by its flag carrier Qatar Airways over the Islamic republic.

Saudi and its allies the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt have barred Qatari flights from their airports and airspace, banned most Qatari visitors, cut trade and shipping links, and closed the border.

The Saudi-led bloc initially set out a 13-point list of demands, including the closure of Qatar's flagship Al Jazeera broadcaster, curbing its relations with Iran and closing a Turkish military base in the emirate.

Doha dismissed the demands as “unrealistic and (not actionable)”, pressing on despite the sizeable diplomatic and economic impact of the embargo -- which Qatar refers to as a “blockade”.

But as the crisis continues, it is ordinary people who have borne the brunt of the restrictions.

'Missed out on our dreams'

“I'm Qatari so it's impossible for me to cross to Bahrain,” Wafa al-Yazeedi, a Qatari medic who was married to a Bahraini man, told AFP.

Her three children — aged 24, 22 and 19 — hold both Qatari and Bahraini citizenship but have not visited their father or grandmother in the nearby Gulf kingdom since the start of the crisis, she said.

Though they have not formally been told by Bahrain that they are barred from the country, “we know because it's in the newspapers”.

“The children showed allegiance to Qatar at the beginning but there has to be relations between families, whatever the political situation,” said Yazeedi.

“It's having a psychological burden on those affected.” Qatari Salah al-Yafie, 42, was studying for a postgraduate degree provided by the University of Northampton in the UAE when the embargo came into force.

“We were 18 male and female students. We tried everything after the blockade saying 'we are students and have no fault in this crisis',” he said.

“Unfortunately, the university told us that we are prohibited from attending.” Stories like his are common, as are accounts of business ventures disrupted by the restrictions.

“The crisis cost me a lot financially and psychologically. We lost lots of money, lost our diplomas and missed out on our dreams,” he added.

Ahead of the talks in Mecca, a senior Qatari official said “there are some small signs” the boycott could begin to ease, but he did not provide any details.

“They are our family,” he said. “Thank God we are not a poor country so we can deal with any crisis."

https://www.dawn.com/news/1486296/grudges-remain-as-qatar-marks-second-year-of-embargo

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Saudi, UAE slam Qatar for rejecting outcome of Mecca talks on Iran

3 Jun, 2019

Saudi, UAE slam Qatar for rejecting outcome of Mecca talks on Iran

The 14th Islamic summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, June 1, 2019. © Reuters / Waleed Ali

Saudi Arabia criticized Qatar on Monday for rejecting the outcome of recent Mecca talks on regional tensions with Iran, while the UAE accused Doha of “backtracking” on the summits’ conclusions.

Doha, which attended the three meetings in the holy city, said on Sunday it rejected the outcomes as it had not been properly consulted, AFP reported. Qatar’s foreign minister said on Sunday that the concluding statements of the summits “were ready in advance and we were not consulted on them.”

“Qatar has reservations on the Arab and Gulf summits because some of their terms are contrary to Doha’s foreign policy,” Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani told the Al-Araby broadcaster.

The statements at the summits “condemned Iran but did not refer to a moderate policy to speak with Tehran,” Al-Thani said in remarks reported by Al Jazeera television.

https://www.rt.com/newsline/460932-saudi-uae-qatar-iran/

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SouthEast Asia

Islamic group in Gowa celebrates Idul Fitri on Monday

Mon, June 3, 2019

Around 100 members of the An-Nadzir group gathered on Monday morning in An-Nadzir Islamic village in Romang Lompoa subdistrict in Bonto Marannu district in Gowa, South Sulawesi, to perform Idul Fitri prayers.

Based on the group's observations and calculations, they believe that the first day of Idul Fitri fell on Monday.

“After observing the moon and other natural signs, we decided Idul Fitri fell today,” chairman of An-Nadzir supervisory board M. Samiruddin Pademmui said on Monday as reported by Antara news agency.

After performing subuh (dawn prayers) on Monday, scores of people flocked to the site where the Idul Fitri prayers were conducted.

Male worshipers wore turbans on top of their brightly-dyed hair, a distinguishing trait of the congregation. The females wore black full-body veils or burkas.

The group celebrates Idul Fitri, which marks the end of the Ramadan fasting month, earlier than other Muslims across the archipelago. Most Muslims still observed fasting on Monday as Idul Fitri is expected to fall on Wednesday.

The Religious Affairs Ministry will hold an isbat (confirmation) meeting with various Islamic organizations this afternoon to decide the first day of Idul Fitri.

A combination of methods, namely hisab (astronomical calculations) and rukyat (visual observation) of the new moon, would be used during the isbat.

Muhammadiyah, meanwhile, had previously announced that the first day of Syawal, the month after Ramadan, would fall on Wednesday based on their own astronomic calculation. (vny)

https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2019/06/03/islamic-group-in-gowa-celebrates-idul-fitri-on-monday.html

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DBKL clears 400 stalls in illegal Lorong TAR Ramadan bazaar

 

The Kuala Lumpur City Hall has cleared about 400 stalls in an illegal Ramadan bazaar along Lorong Tuanku Abdul Rahman.

In a statement today, DBKL said that the stalls were left standing despite being ordered to shut by Sunday morning.

Enforcement officers were then deployed around 3.30pm to instruct traders to pack up their stalls, as they were operating without permits.

"No Ramadan bazaar traders are allowed to operate businesses on Lorong Tuanku Abdul Rahman," DBKL said.

No untoward incident was recorded, but a video of the traders packing up their stalls under the watch of authorities has been circulating on social media.

The annual Ramadan bazaar in the area had been relocated to Jalan Raja following complaints from business owners along Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman and Jalan Masjid India.

The business owners complained that the stalls blocked the road to their premises, and that a sea of rubbish was created due to the increased activity in the area.

Yesterday, Bukit Bintang Bersatu chief Zailani Isausuludin said in an open letter that Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad should allow traders to continue operating on Lorong Tuanku Abdul Rahman.

"It's only two days away from Hari Raya, just give them a chance," the letter says.

"They are not criminals, we shouldn't treat them like that (being chased away by authorities).

"Did you intentionally do this to shame the prime minister, to make them livid with you?"

Meanwhile, Dang Wangi police chief Rudy Abdullah told Malaysiakini that police monitored the clearing operation, which ended without incident.

He also urged the people not to buy into any rumours about the operation.

https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/478435

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Gunman shoots dead village chief at mosque in Narathiwat

Last update: 03/06/2019

NARATHIWAT (Thailand), June 3 (Bernama) -- A masked gunman opened fire in a mosque here last night, killing a village chief and injuring another worshipper during prayers attended by about 30 people.

An eyewitness said the gunman, armed with an AK47 rifle, entered the mosque in the Rangae District at 8.45 pm (9.45 pm Malaysian time) and fired twice at Fakrudin Tokdeng, 48, chief of Kampung Awae, hitting him in the head and back. Fakrudin died on the spot.

A ricocheting bullet hit worshipper Mayudi Abu, 43, in a thigh, he said.

The eyewitness said the worshippers were prostrating when the gunman struck.

He said the attacker fled in a sports utility vehicle.

Rangae assistant chief of criminal investigation Pol Capt Nathawat Keawhan said Fakrudin had received a death threat seven months ago when someone sent him a packet of rice with four live bullets in it at the same mosque.

He said the police were on the trail of the assailant.

Fakrudin was buried at the Kampung Awae cemetery. He leaves behind a wife and two children, aged 20 and 16.

This is second incident of a shooting death at a mosque in Kampung Awae.

Two years ago, the chief of Kampung Kuling in the Yingo District, was shot dead at one of the three mosques in the village during dawn prayers with other worshippers.

-- BERNAMA

http://www.bernama.com/en/general/news.php?id=1732516

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Europe

Man attempted to attack worshippers at mosque with hammer

 

Ramadan worshippers have detained a man at a London mosque after he reportedly attempted to attack people with a hammer.

The Metropolitan Police said it was called to a mosque in Hayes Road, Southall, in the early hours of Monday.

The force had received reports of a man armed with a hammer shortly after 4.30am.

"A 38-year-old man is reported to have attempted to attack people," the Met said.

"He was detained by worshippers prior to police arrival.

"He has subsequently been arrested on suspicion of attempted grievous bodily harm and is in custody at a west London police station."

No injuries were reported and the incident was not being treated as terror-related, the force said.

"It is believed the man may have been involved in a dispute with people who he believed to have been attendees from the mosque the previous day," the Met said.

Officers remained at the scene on Monday morning as an investigation took place.

https://www.asianimage.co.uk/news/17680091.man-attempted-to-attack-worshippers-at-mosque-with-hammer/

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Pakistan

Bureaucratic inefficiency troubles Pakistani students in China

Mansoor MalikUpdated June 03, 2019

LAHORE: Bureaucratic inefficiency and red-tapism has been found to be the main factor that created a nightmare for Pakistani students in China when their scholarship funds for the last quarter of the current financial year were delayed.

The chief minister had instructed the University of Education to continue paying the scholarship funds for the students studying Chinese language in China after they were selected on merit under a government-to-government commitment. The university was supposed to bridge-finance and the Punjab higher education department release the required funds.

Owing to the delay and hue and cry raised by the fund-starved students, the PTI government’s critics took to social media to take on the Punjab government, as the scholarship project was initiated by the Shahbaz Sharif government in 2017. Currently, the third batch of around 200 Pakistani students is learning Chinese language in China.

Chief Minister Usman Buzdar expressed indignation over non-issuance of funds for the students on time and sought a report from the higher education secretary. He instructed that steps should be taken to release around Rs200 million by Monday (today).

Sources in the chief minister’s secretariat said the University of Education had caused the Punjab government embarrassment by not releasing funds in time despite clear instructions. They claimed that sufficient funds were available with the university. The government was also paying the university at least 15 per cent administrative charges on account of facilitating the students studying in China.

Since the payments had been delayed in every quarter, the sources said, the University of Education was instructed to ensure timely payments for students even if there were technical delays on the part of the higher education and finance departments. They said the university was told that it should release scholarship money from its own funds and write to the higher education department to bridge finance later. Yet, the university delayed the payment, the sources added.

The chief minister has also chided the higher education department over the delay and directed that negligence would not be tolerated again. “Pakistani students must not face any difficulty on foreign land,” the chief minister said.

Sources in the university said the release of funds was delayed because of the higher education department’s failure to send a formal letter on time to pay the students’ scholarship funds.

University of Education Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Rauf-i-Azam said the university used to release funds after receiving instructions from the higher education department. He said the university had already released Rs250 million for the last quarter and the remaining Rs200m would also be paid on Monday (today), adding that a letter from the department had been received.

In the third quarter, Dr Azam added, the university had paid Rs450m for the students in China.

The Punjab government had sanctioned Rs200m on May 27 for placement in the higher education secretary’s account and an audit copy was signed and authenticated by the finance department.

However, an authority letter has not been issued yet by the accountant general’s (AG) office. Higher education department officials say that after issuance of the authority letter, it will transfer funds to the varsity for disbursement to students in China.

Meanwhile, the higher education secretary has tasked a team for coordinating with the AG office and place funds with the university on Monday for further disbursement.

Published in Dawn, June 3rd, 2019

https://www.dawn.com/news/1486227/bureaucratic-inefficiency-troubles-pakistani-students-in-china

 

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/to-foster-communal-harmony,-the-jamaat-e-islami-hind-(jih)-has-been-organising-masjid-darshan,-during-ramzan/d/118787




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