Special Court in Prayagraj Convicted Four Persons to Life Imprisonment and
Acquitted One Person in 2005 Ayodhya Terror Attack Case
Blasphemy Law: British Muslim Group Attempts to Get Islamophobia Definition
Approved by Govt
Media Threatens Barcelona Cathedral amid US Warnings of Terror Plots in Spain
Compare ‘Strikes and Match’, ISPR DG Schools Indian Minister
Hardline Monks Rail against Rohingya and Suu Kyi
Out From Bangladesh Schools, Rohingyas Turn To Madrassas
Former President Morsi Buried, A Day after Courtroom Death
Peace Attempts In Vain Without Palestinian State: Arab League Chief
Protesters Urge Return To Night-Time Rallies Over ‘Massacre’
House: Iran ‘Nuclear Blackmail’ Must Be Met With International Pressure
Quebec Passes Religious Symbols Ban
Monetary Advisory (IMA) Group Rip-Off Erodes Trust in Muslim Politicians, Ulema
Dispute: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Meets Prof Taher Mahmood
No Muslim in Maharashtra Government, Rues Community
major, Pak terrorist killed in Anantnag encounter
soldiers die of injuries day after attack on Army patrol in Jammu and Kashmir’s
attempt, says Army after its convoy targeted in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama
Seeks Permission to Question Three Men in Jails to ‘Unravel Larger IS Plot’
mounted with IED targets Army patrol unit in Pulwama, six jawans injured
Zealander jailed for sharing mosque shooting video
UK warn Iran over uranium plans as EU urges caution
racist attack on London mayor causes political backlash
Iran nuclear deal can still be saved
organization seeks probe into Morsi’s death
first fighter jet makes debut in Paris
terror policy to come under scrutiny
Imran Khan appoints Army's confidant as new ISI chief
says Muslim world has lost a true hero with Mursi's death
top probe agency again fails to explain transactions in Pervez Musharraf's
man’ confesses to have laundered Rs600m for Hamza, Salman Shahbaz
moot calls for global support to repatriate Afghan refugees
by Afghan Air Force kills 30 Taliban militants in Faryab province
failed before Rohingya crackdown in Myanmar: Expert
Attacks in Sri Lanka Hints New Type Of Terrorism Threat In South Asia, Says
Nepal's Defense Minister
militants killed in airstrike in S. Afghanistan
Hasina has emerged as an important leader in Asia
political chief visits China ahead of the 7th round of talks with U.S.
Taliban commander involved in major terrorist attacks arrested in Kabul
cleric Al-Sadr threatens to withdraw support for Abdul Mahdi’s government
arrests Syrian plotting Daesh bomb attacks on churches
violence kills dozens of troops and civilians in north
Shiite militias foil Islamic State plot to infiltrate into Salahuddin
says it does not want fighting between Syrian and Turkish militaries
Mortars land on Iraqi military base near Baghdad
arrests Daesh-linked suspect over bomb attack plots
attempted to shoot down US drone over tanker attack site in Gulf of Oman
Houthis Again Strike at Saudi Airports
rebels intensify Hodeidah attacks, prompting fears of ceasefire collapse
Qatar support hampering liberation of Tripoli
will not wage war against any nation, says Iranian president
killed as refugee boat sinks off western Turkey
in Gaza to receive new Qatari financial aid
urges immediate ICC probe into crimes by Israeli regime, settlers
orders arrest of 128 military personnel over suspected Gulen links
killed, 42 injured in multiple explosions in Nigeria
Shabaab kill 16 in Kenya and Somalia blasts
jihadists 'neutralized' in French-Malian counter-terrorism operation
Kenyan police officers killed in blast near Somalia
slams use of children as ‘human bombs’ in Nigeria
officials say Hifter's forces fighting IS in south
Blast in Niger That Hit Americans Shows Growing Threat, Officials Say
Yorker who tried to join ISIS sentenced to 20 years in prison
was not Iraq. It were other people', says Trump
Navy Seal goes on trial for Iraq war crimes
Will Be Consulted On Uniform Shariah Law Plan, Govt Assures
Seeks Foreign Help to Deal with Islamic State Fighters Held in Syrian Detention
Calls On Indonesian Bishops To Forge Muslim Ties
will be PAS-Umno vs Pakatan, says Tuan Ibrahim
Malaysia looks forward to Egypt’s report on Mursi’s sudden death
calls on US to stop ‘extreme pressure’ on Iran
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Special Court In Prayagraj Convicted Four Persons To Life Imprisonment And
Acquitted One Person In 2005 Ayodhya Terror Attack Case
CRPF personnel and two civilians, including a woman, were injured in the attack
on July 5, 2005.
special court in Prayagraj on Tuesday convicted four persons and acquitted one
person in 2005 Ayodhya terror attack case. The convicted persons have been
sentenced to life imprisonment.
attack took place on July 5, 2005.
judge Dinesh Chandra convicted four persons while acquitting one other.
to security reasons, the verdict was announced in Naini Central Jail, where all
the accused are imprisoned.
heavily-armed terrorists had made an attempt to storm the high-security
makeshift Ram temple in Ayodhya on July 5, 2005 and were killed by the security
forces before they could strike at the shrine.
CRPF personnel and two civilians, including a woman, were injured in the
attackers, in the guise of devotees, came in a jeep and stunned the security
forces deployed at the first barricade by blasting the explosive-laden vehicle
in which one of them was blown to pieces.
other accomplices, who had got down from the vehicle earlier, hurled grenades
and fired indiscriminately with sophisticated weapons, including AK-47 and
carbine rifles, while entering the premises of the disputed area.
were challenged by the personnel of the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) and
the CRPF near the 'Sita Rasoi' temple, part of the disputed area, and were
gunned down nearly 70 metres short of the temple in an operation lasting about
month after the British government dropped a proposed definition of
Islamophobia, the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), the largest Islamic
organization in the United Kingdom, called for the ruling Conservative Party to
be investigated for Islamophobia.
Gatestone Institute reports the dispute arose after the All-Party Parliamentary
Group (APPG) on British Muslims tried to make the government's official
definition of Islamophobia to be in racial terms rather than religious terms.
in November of 2018, the group's report titled "Islamophobia
Defined," proposed a one-sentence definition of Islamophobia:
is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of
Muslimness or perceived Muslimness."
definition was endorsed by hundreds of Muslim organizations, London Mayor Sadiq
Khan, as well as several political parties, including Labour Party, Liberal
Democrats and Scottish Conservatives, according to the Gatestone Institute.
the proposed definition has been described by some as a "backdoor
blasphemy law." It has been opposed
by many Britons, including British Muslims, who warned that it would
effectively shield Islam from any scrutiny or criticism.
for the definition said although it is true Muslims come from many
nationalities, Islamists also experience what they call prejudice, and
discrimination that's a form of racism.
during a debate in the House of Commons, Communities Secretary James
Brokenshire rejected the APPG's definition of Islamophobia, saying it was too
vague and has "potential consequences for freedom of speech."
said that the definition is not in conformity with the Equality Act 2010, which
defines "race" as comprising color, nationality, and national or
ethnic origins — not a religious practice.
the online blog, The Spectator, David Green, the founder and chief executive of
Civitas, a non-partisan public policy London think tank, wrote:
words with the intention of stirring up racial hatred is not protected under
British law and — no doubt for this reason — the APPG definition claims that
criticizing Islam is a form of racism," Green wrote. "But race and
religion are very different."
is wide public support for freedom of speech and it is unlikely to be
officially ended by an act of parliament, but it can be chipped away bit by
bit. Giving official recognition to the APPG definition of Islamophobia will be
a giant step towards an arbitrary police state," he concluded.
British law enforcement officials have also warned the proposed definition of
Islamophobia could confuse police officers and even hinder the fight against
are concerned that the definition is too broad as currently drafted, could
cause confusion for officers enforcing it and could be used to challenge
legitimate free speech on the historical and theological actions of Islamic
states," Martin Hewitt, chairman of the National Police Chiefs' Council
(NPCC), wrote in a letter to Prime Minister Theresa May that was leaked to The
Times. "There is also a risk it
could also undermine counterterrorism powers, which seek to tackle extremism or
prevent terrorism." Even the UK's first Muslim member of Parliament, Khalid
Mahmood, spoke out against the definition, saying it would lead to increased
segregation of Muslim communities.
am for equality for all — but I oppose this," Mahmood said. "We as
Muslims should be proud of who we are and try to move away from a victim
Versi, assistant secretary general of the MCB, later admitted the group's
complaint was aimed at pressuring the government to accept its definition of
Islamophobia, according to the Gatestone Institute.
government spokesman said that the APPG's definition had "not been broadly
accepted" and needed "further careful consideration."
media threatens Barcelona cathedral amid US warnings of terror plots in Spain
Islamic State-affiliated media outlet has issued multiple threats against
tourist sites in Spain, as the U.S. State Department continues to warn
travelers that terrorists are plotting attacks in the country.
Media, an unofficial pro-ISIS media outlet, posted three threatening messages
on Twitter targeting Barcelona, according to the Daily Star.
most recent message included a photo of the Sagrada Familia, a 137-year-old
landmark cathedral built by architect Antoni Gaudi that draws an estimated 4.5
million visitors to Barcelona each year.
also issued a threat to northern Basque Country in Spain last month, posting on
social media, “Only death.” Spain has been ramping up security amid the
concerns, deploying 40,000 police in tourist areas.
U.S. State Department raised the travel alert level for Spain in March, warning
tourists to “Exercise increased caution in Spain due to terrorism.”
groups continue plotting possible attacks in Spain,” the State Department said.
“Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations,
transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities,
hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and
cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas.”
compare ‘strikes and match’, ISPR DG schools Indian minister
Public Relations (ISPR) Director General (DG) Major General Asif Ghafoor
schooled Indian Home Minister Amit Shah as he reminded him not to compare ‘strikes’
to a cricket ‘match’, or else remember Pakistan downing two Indian jets earlier
@AmitShah yes ur team won a match. Well played. Two things with different
denominators can’t be compared. So are strikes & match. If in doubt please
see results of our Nowshera counter strikes & response to IAF violation on
27 Feb19 downing two Indian jets. Stay Surprised,” Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor posted
on his personal Twitter handle in response to Indian home minister’s
congratulatory message to the Indian cricket team after their win over Pakistan
in the World Cup clash.
strike on Pakistan by Team India and the result is same. Congratulations to the
entire team for this superb performance. Every Indian is feeling proud and
celebrating this impressive win,” Shah had posted on Twitter on Sunday. He was
referring to the aerial combat between the two countries in February, which
took place after Indian aircraft on Feb 26 carried out an airstrike on what it
alleged was a terrorist training camp in Pakistan.
the result is same? IAF strikes failed, two IAF jets shot down, a pilot
arrested, Mi17 fratricide, four broad day light successful PAF Noushera counter
air strikes, massive casualties along LOC and damage to Indian posts &
artillery gun positions… Doctor please…,” Major General Asif Ghafoor wrote in
had denied that there was any damage or casualties. Independent reporting by
multiple local and international outlets who visited the site also found no
evidence of a terrorist training camp or of any infrastructure damage.
India’s airstrike on Feb 26, the DG ISPR had held a press conference on the
same day to debunk India’s claims on the Line of Control (LoC) violation.
“Today, the prime minister has asked everyone to get ready for every
eventuality. We are all ready. Now it is time for India to wait for our
response,” he had asserted. “I said that we will surprise you. Wait for that
surprise,” he had added.
following day, Pakistan Air Force had announced that its jets had flown into
occupied Kashmir to demonstrate its capability to respond to any Indian
aggression, locked on to military targets, but then spared them. It had later
shot down two Indian aircraft inside Pakistani airspace when they tried to give
chase to Pakistani jets, capturing an Indian pilot, Abhinandan Varthaman. The
IAF pilot was later released by Prime Minister Imran Khan as a ‘peace gesture’.
hardline monks rail against Rohingya and Suu Kyi
Ultra-nationalist monks in Myanmar accepted a cash donation from the military
on Monday while condemning Aung San Suu Kyi and her government for allowing
Rohingya Muslims to enter the country "illegally".
of monks swathed in saffron and maroon robes filed early morning into a Yangon
monastery for the annual meeting of the Buddha Dhamma Parahita Foundation. The
group was known as Ma Ba Tha until a ban by the government and religious
authorities in 2017 aimed at curbing its influence.
hostility towards the Rohingya helped whip up public support for a brutal
military crackdown nearly two years ago. Some 740,000 fled the country in
violence branded as "genocide" by UN investigators.
the ban -- offline and on Facebook -- the group has continued to operate under
its new name.
taking a radical stance against civilian leader Suu Kyi's government, the group
has also sidled-up to the country's still-powerful military. Monks regularly
appear at pro-army nationalist rallies and the military returned the favour at
region commander Major-General Thet Pon openly donated 30 million kyat
($20,000) in cash to the group.
a written statement, the ultra-nationalist monks said they "harshly
condemn" the scrapping of various laws, which they claimed had
"allowed -- and continue to allow -- Bengalis to enter the country
term "Bengali" is a common slur in Myanmar for the Rohingya, implying
they are illegal interlopers from Bangladesh.
hardliners even urged people in next year's election to vote against Suu Kyi's
National League for Democracy (NLD) party, which is widely expected to return
also sniped at Suu Kyi herself for "stepping foot" in a pagoda
reserved for men.
notable absentee at the meeting was co-leader Wirathu, dubbed the
"Buddhist Bin Laden" and also blacklisted by Facebook.
is currently on the run after a court issued an arrest warrant for alleged
sedition following several provocative speeches at nationalist rallies.
hardline monks condemned what they called the "unlawful" charges.
out from Bangladesh schools, Rohingyas turn to madrassas
a million refugee Rohingya children are shut out of local schools in
Bangladesh, leaving many in religious madrassas where critics say educational
standards are low and students are vulnerable to indoctrination.
740,000 Muslim Rohingya fled into the country during a 2017 crackdown by
Myanmar's military, swelling the numbers of the minority in Bangladesh to
around a million.
while their language and culture are similar to people in southeastern
Bangladesh, authorities regard the Rohingya as temporary guests and their
children are denied access to local schools, raising fears of a "lost
Rohingya children had managed to slip through the net until earlier this year
when Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's government cracked down, ordering schools
to expel them.
Akter, 15, lost her spot at Hnila village school, where almost a third of her
class were from refugee camps. She now has nothing to do but help her mother
wanted to be a doctor, but I don't think it will be possible," she told
AFP, breaking down in tears.
Koran studies -
groups have criticised the government's policy, and charities and the UN
children's agency UNICEF have set up some 1,800 makeshift facilities in the
camps, schooling around 180,000 children -- but only to primary level.
fill the gap, Rohingya groups and Bangladeshi Islamists have set up more than
1,000 madrassas -- religious schools that provide everything from basic
Koran-based education to graduate-level religious studies.
don't differentiate people by their nationality as long as they have a strong
urge to be educated and serve Allah's path," said the head teacher of one
local madrassa, which has taken in at least 15 Rohingya students.
Hares, who was expelled from a school in the Bangladesh town of Teknaf, now
goes to a madrassa in the Leda refugee camp.
better for him to get busy with studying, otherwise he will loiter around in
the camp and get spoilt," his father, Mohammad Khaleque, told AFP.
Vulnerable children -
critics warn that the madrassas are not a good educational alternative.
International Crisis Group said in a recent report that there was no evidence
madrassas are promoting violence, intolerance or indoctrination by extremists.
a policy of denying young people formal education and leaving them reliant on
unregulated madrassas almost certainly increases the risks of such groups
gaining a foothold in the camps," it added.
Hasan, an expert in extremism at the University of Oslo in Norway, said the
government should ensure "thorough monitoring".
children "are psychologically vulnerable, isolated and angry.
Simultaneously they are culturally very religious", Hasan told AFP.
of the madrassas are run by the hardline Islamist group Hefazat-e-Islam, which
has a history of violent protests in Muslim-majority Bangladesh, including
demonstrations urging the implementation of a blasphemy law and gender
segregation in workplaces.
2013, tens of thousands of Hefazat activists descended on Dhaka triggering
violence that killed 50 people and injured hundreds.
recently, the group has made peace with the government and the degrees provided
by its schools are recognised officially.
Hefazat leader Azizul Haque denied the group had any link with extremism and
said its institutions offered religious education in line with the curriculum
at many Bangladeshi madrassas.
is no reason for suspicion," he said.
Fazlul Karim, a spokesman for the group, told AFP the schools were the
"last resort" for the Rohingya.
were driven away from their home because of their religion. True religious education
can only bring salvation to this community," said Karim, who administers
seven madrassas with some 2,500 pupils.
Mojib Ullah, who studied in a Bangladeshi madrassa before switching to secular
schools, said the religious institutions were not offering a proper education.
madrassas can only help create some religious teachers and mosque imams,"
said Ullah, who now leads prayers in an Australian mosque.
need to send our kids to a school system which can help prepare them to face
the challenges of globalisation," he told AFP.
this generation will be lost forever."
former president Morsi buried, a day after courtroom death
lawyer says Egypt’s former President Mohamed Morsi has been buried, a day after
collapsing and dying in a Cairo courtroom.
Abdel-Maqsoud says Morsi’s family attended funeral prayers early Tuesday in the
mosque of Tora prison, then buried him in Cairo’s western district of Nasr
Ahmed Mursi, son of former president, said on his Facebook page on Tuesday that
the burial was attended by members of the family in Cairo’s Nasr City.
67-year-old collapsed during a court session on Monday.
a top figure in the Muslim Brotherhood, was toppled by in 2013 after mass
protests against this rule.
was serving a 20-year prison sentence for a conviction arising from the killing
of protesters during demonstrations in 2012, and a life sentence for espionage.
He had denied the charges.
peace attempts in vain without Palestinian state: Arab League chief
of the Arab League Ahmed Aboul Gheit has warned that any attempt to settle the
Israel-Palestine conflict without considering the establishment of a
Palestinian state on all territories occupied by the regime in the 1967 Middle
East war will be in vain.
Gheit made the remarks during an event at the Arab League on Monday, saying,
“Whatever is rejected by the Palestinian or the Arab side is unacceptable,” .
is acceptable from our side as Arabs as a solution is the establishment of a
Palestinian state on the June 4, 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as its capital,”
Gheit’s warning apparently directed at a yet-to-be-released peace plan proposed
by US President Donald Trump, dubbed as the so-called Deal of the Century,
which has already been strongly Palestinians.
say the US actions so far have shown Washington is blatantly biased in favor of
Israel and its peace plan will quash their aspirations for statehood in the
occupied West Bank and besieged Gaza Strip.
the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority, led by President Mahmoud Abbas and
the Gaza-based Hamas resistance movement have also boycotted a US-led economic
conference scheduled to be held in the Bahraini capital Manama next week.
part of Trump’s plan, the conference will focus on proposals for the
the precise outlines of the draft plan of the Deal of the Century are not
known, Palestinian and Arab sources, who have been briefed on it, say it
jettisons “the two-state solution.”
in his remarks, Aboul Gheit said Israel’s acceptance of an Arab Peace
Initiative proposed by Saudi Arabia in 2002, which offers Israel normal ties in
return for withdrawal from territory seized in 1967, was the only acceptable
solution for Arab countries.
between the Palestinian Authority and the US took an unprecedented dip in late
2017, when Washington recognized Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s “capital.” Since
then, Palestinians have shown little interest in discussing a plan that they
anticipate will fall far short of their core demands.
Trump administration has said that its secret plan would require compromise by
want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state with East
Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital. However, Israel insists on maintaining the
occupation of Palestinian territories.
has time and again called his plan as “The Deal of the Century,” but it is
coincidentally the title of a 1983 comedy, which features a bunch of hapless
arms dealers competing to sell a weapon, called the Peacemaker, to a South
protesters urge return to night-time rallies over ‘massacre’
Sudanese movement whose protests triggered the ouster of Omar al-Bashir called
Monday on its supporters to renew night-time rallies to condemn the “massacre”
of demonstrators at a Khartoum sit-in.
of protesters who had camped outside the Khartoum military headquarters for
weeks were violently dispersed by gunmen in military fatigues on June 3,
leaving dozens dead and hundreds wounded, according to doctors and witnesses.
sit-in was held for weeks, initially seeking the ouster of Bashir and later to
demand that the army generals who toppled him hand power to a civilian
protest camp was dispersed after talks between the Alliance for Freedom and
Change the umbrella protest movement, and a transitional military council
collapsed over installing civilian rule.
least 128 people have been killed since the June 3 crackdown, the majority the
day the sit-in was cleared, according to doctors linked to the protest
movement. The health ministry put that day’s death toll nationwide at 61.
Monday, the alliance called for night-time demonstrations in residential areas
of Khartoum and other regions starting Tuesday to “ask for our main demands,
which are a transitional civilian rule and condemning the massacre of June 3”.
would also be held on Wednesday and Thursday nights. “We are calling on our
people in villages, towns and all over the country to participate,” the
the anti-Bashir campaign, the alliance had managed to mobilize supporters by
posting its calls on social media networks, but since the June 3 crackdown the
authorities have cut back internet services across the country.
between the protest leaders and the military council are, however, expected to
resume following mediation led by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, but it
is still unclear when they are to begin.
welcome the mediation by Ethiopia,” protest leader Mohamed Naji al-Assam told a
press conference on Monday. Assam also condemned “the horrors committed by the
forces affiliated with the (ruling) military council”.
are 12 documented cases of rape,” he said, also accusing the forces of “premeditated
murder” and “throwing bodies (of protesters) in the Nile” river.
week, military council spokesman General Shamseddine Kabbashi angrily dismissed
such allegations as “lies”. Kabbashi, however, expressed “regret” over the
“excesses” on June 3.
House: Iran ‘nuclear blackmail’ must be met with international pressure
plan to exceed nuclear enrichment limits amount to “nuclear blackmail” and must
be met with increased international pressure, a White House National Security
Council spokesman said on Monday.
enrichment plans are only possible because the horrible nuclear deal left their
capabilities intact,” NSC spokesman Garrett Marquis said.
Trump has made it clear that he will never allow Iran to develop nuclear
weapons. The regime’s nuclear blackmail must be met with increased
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday that Iran should be
immediately hit with sanctions if it surpasses a uranium stockpile limit set
under the 2015 nuclear deal.
Iran make good on its current threats and violate the nuclear agreement, the
international community will need to immediately impose the sanctions regime
that was agreed upon in advance, the ‘snapback sanctions’,” Netanyahu said.
Quebec passes religious symbols ban
Quebec province passed its controversial religious symbols ban and critics say
the government snuck in an amendment that creates “secular police,” Canadian
media reported Monday.
21 contains a clause that calls for unspecified “disciplinary measures” if
employers do not enforce the ban, which covers all government workers who
interact with the public, including teachers and bus drivers.
of the new law include Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who earlier said the
Quebec government had no business telling people how to dress. Various Muslim
groups said Bill 21 unfairly targets Muslim women who would have to remove their
hijab in many public sector jobs.
politicians said the original bill contained no clause that would discipline
employers who did not enforce the ban and law enforcement personnel were
quickly dubbed “secular police” by critics.
potential to have this police, this type of police, wasn’t part of the debate
at all,” said Liberal Member of the National Assembly (MNA) Marc Tanguay. The
bill passed 10:30 p.m. Sunday during a marathon assembly sitting enacted by the
government to speed passage of the legislation.
Solidaire MNA member Sol Zanetti wondered if authorities would actively pursue
those accused of breaking the new law.
there be police officers going after people to check if they have religious
signs?” he said. “We don’t know. It’s not clear.”
National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) has voiced opposition to the bill,
as has the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC).
NCCM firmly denounces the discriminatory underpinnings of Bill 21,” the council
MAC said under Bills 21, Muslim women will be “unjustly targeted” and that it
“will give further rise to Islamophobia.”
ruling Coalition Avenir Quebec government used its majority to ram through
another piece of controversial immigration law change.
9 will require immigrants to Quebec, where French is the most common language,
to pass a French language and values test. It also calls for the destruction of
18,000 current immigration applications, affecting about 50,000 people. They
will have to reapply under a new system.
Numerous Ponzi schemes in Karnataka have duped people of their money, but the I
Monetary Advisory (IMA) Group scam has done irreparable damage to middle-class
investors while simultaneously eroding public trust in Muslim politicians and ulemas
of the minority community admitted that their credibility was at stake because
some of them had, through their public association with IMA’s founder-owner
Mohammed Mansoor Khan, given legitimacy to his criminal enterprise. They said the
impact of the swindle by Ambidant Marketing Pvt Ltd, whose business model was
similar to IMA’s, would pale in comparison to the negative fallout from the IMA
were spotted with Mansoor at public functions he hosted such as mushairas
(poetic symposiums),” a source said.
Mansoor actually got ulemas to endorse his audit books. Two years ago he
brought out a booklet based on these endorsements, stating that all investments
in his firm were halal (permissible).”
senior Muslim Congress leader said there is a crisis of confidence among the
community towards politicians and ulemas.
ulemas, instead of speaking on the Quran’s teachings in their Friday sermons,
asked their congregations to pray for the welfare of Mansoor and his
companies,” he said. “Some of them even issued fatwas endorsing his business,
when most of them were unaware of how financial institutions should operate.”
said a majority of Muslim politicians were beneficiaries of Mansoor’s largesse
either through election funding or projects like renovation of government
fact that they were seen with Mansoor gave confidence to people who had some
savings,” one source said.
Karnataka, Muslim political leadership has largely been the monopoly of the
Congress. But Muslim leaders have never been able to unite as a consolidated
entity. “Jealousy among leaders, political machinations to upstage one another
and a generation gap are the reasons that the community does not speak in one
voice,” a source said.
the Congress gave just one ticket to the community in the recent Lok Sabha
polls, when the norm in the past was two to three, has demotivated Muslim
leaders. “The party leadership has taken the community for granted. The Lok
Sabha polls, in which many Muslims voted for the BJP, should be an eye-opener,”
a source said.
of the community said there has been no true Muslim leader after former
minister Azeez Sait, who passed away in 2001, and was known for his no-nonsense
stand on issues.
power works now, which is not my style of functioning,” a Muslim Congress
leader said. “The Congress sidelined people like K Rahman Khan, CK Jaffer
Sharief (when he was alive), CM Ibrahim and K Naseer Ahmed for their forthright
politicians like Rizwan Arshad, UT Khader, NA Haris and Syed Naseer Hussain
wield considerable influence in the party, but are yet to strike a chord with
the community, he said.
dispute: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar meets Prof Taher Mahmood
Delhi: Spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar who was appointed by the Supreme
Court as a member of a panel to mediate the Ayodhya land dispute, met former
Chairman National Minority Commission and former member of Law Commission of
India Prof Taher Mahmood.
Mahmood agreed completely that consensus among all the stakeholders before the
judgment of the court arrives is in the interest of the country and the nation.
must be noted that, on March 8, a 5-member bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan
Gogoi appointed mediation committee for resolution of the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri
Masjid land dispute. The three-member mediation committee included former
Supreme Court judge, Justice FM Ibrahim Kalifulla and spiritual guru Sri Sri
no Muslim in Maharashtra government, rues community
The non-inclusion of a Muslim in the latest expansion of cabinet by CM Devendra
Fadnavis has come under flak from community leaders, who felt despite PM Modi’s
‘sabka saath, sabka vikas and vishwas’ slogan the promise of an inclusive agenda
his earlier slogans, the new slogan where the PM added vishwas (trust) to sabka
saath and sabka vikas is empty. He wants sabka saath but there is no inclusive
vikas or growth. Leaving out Muslims from the new cabinet is the latest
example,” said deputy opposition leader Arif Naseem Khan.
had fielded just one Muslim (Pasha Patel) in the 2014 assembly elections in the
state but he lost. There are a few more Muslims in the party like BJP city
vice-president and chairman of Maulana Azad Minorities Development Corporation
chairman Hyder Azam who could have been considered for a minister’s post, many
cleric Maulana Mahmood Daryabadi of All India Ulema Council said BJP is not
serious in winning the community’s trust.
Major Ketan Sharma of the Indian Army and a Pakistani terrorist were killed,
while another major and two soldiers were injured in a gunfight at Bidoora
village, in Achabal area of south Kashmir's Anantnag district, on Monday, a
defence spokesman said. Maj Sharma belonged to Meerut and had been posted to 19
at least nine Army soldiers were injured in an IED blast that targeted a 44 RR
vehicle at Aarihal village, in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, on Monday
a third attack on Monday, terrorists threw a grenade at the CRPF 180 Battalion
HQ in Tral sub-district of Pulwama late Monday evening. The grenade exploded
outside the headquarters. No casualties were reported.
injured in the Achabal gunfight and in the IED attack were rushed to the Army’s
92 Base hospital in Srinagar, officials said.
police officer said they had recovered the body of an unidentified Pakistani
terrorist killed in the gunfight. Arms and ammunition, too, were seized from
the encounter site, officials said. The identity of the slain terrorist and the
group to which he belonged were being ascertained, they added.
said a cordon-and-search operation on Monday morning led to the militants
firing on security force personnel who returned fire.
a police official said that at around 6 pm militants triggered an IED planted
on the roadside at Aarihal when a 44 RR vehicle was crossing the area, injuring
at least nine soldiers. After setting off the IED, the terrorists opened fire
at the vehicle, the official said, adding that the soldiers returned fire.
“Initial reports reveal that the vehicle suffered extensive damage,” the official
added. Three of the soldiers injured in the IED blast were stated to be in
serious condition, sources said.
residents said they heard a loud explosion followed by gunshots which triggered
panic in the area. Soon after the incident, Army, police and SOG reinforcements
were rushed to the spot and a massive search operation was launched to catch the
defence spokesman, however, said some of the men sustained minor injuries in
the IED blast. Damage was minimal due to the alertness of the patrol party, the
spokesman said. The vehicle was an armoured ALS and not a Casspir (a
mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicle), the defence spokesman said.
Meerut, a pall of gloom lay over the family. The deceased major’s uncle, Ashok
Kumar Sharma, said, “In the afternoon we were given the information that my
nephew was injured in a gun battle with militants in J&K. But in the
evening, at around 5 pm, we received official confirmation of my nephew’s
martyrdom. A bullet had hit him in his temple.”
soldiers who were injured in Monday’s improvised explosive device (IED) blast
in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district succumbed to injuries on Tuesday, the
soldiers, brought to the hospital with severe contusions/concussions, have
succumbed to their injuries while undergoing treatment in 92 Base Hospital. We
deeply mourn the demise of our bravehearts,” the Army said in a statement.
two soldiers who were part of a patrol were among the injured after a
‘vehicle-based IED’ targeted their truck in the evening.
Army spokesman had termed the attack as a failed attempt and had described the
injuries of the soldiers as minor.
spokesman said the damage was minimised due to the alertness of the patrol
party. He did not specify the number of injured soldiers.
however, said that nine soldiers who were part of the patrol were injured in
the blast. The injured soldiers were shifted to the army’s base hospital in
army officer, Major Ketan Sharma was killed in a separate encounter in Anantnag
on Monday evening triggered a car bomb in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district,
injuring a few soldiers who were part of an army patrol.
army termed the attack as a failed attempt.
spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said that it was a failed attempt. “The attack
was made on a mobile vehicle patrol of 44 RR with a vehicle-based IED while the
Army patrol was moving in the general area Arihal in district Pulwama today
said all soldiers are safe.
were few minor injuries. Reports of attack on Army convoy are unfounded and
baseless. The area was cordoned and search operations are in progress.”
spokesman said the damage was minimised due to the alertness of the patrol
did not specify the number of injured soldiers.
however, said that nine soldiers who were part of the patrol were injured in
the blast. The injured soldiers were shifted to hospital.
Seeks Permission To Question Three Men In Jails To ‘Unravel Larger IS Plot’
National Investigation Agency (NIA) Monday sought permission to question three
men, arrested in three separate cases from 2015-16, claiming that it wanted to
unravel a larger conspiracy spread by terrorist organisation Islamic State in
the country. The NIA sought permission to question the three men in jails where
they are lodged as undertrials currently.
plea seeks permission to question Mohsin Sayyed, Arshi Qureshi and Naser Yafai.
While the court has allowed the plea to interrogate Sayyed and Qureshi, the
plea on Yafai is still pending.
public prosecutors for the NIA, Geeta Godambe and Sunil Gonsalves, submitted to
the court that permission to question the men in judicial custody is required
regarding a larger conspiracy of IS and on other incriminating facts.
of the men the NIA wants to interrogate is Sayyed, a resident of Malwani in
north Mumbai, who was arrested in 2015. The NIA had claimed that Sayyed was
influenced by IS ideology and along with three others went missing in 2015
after allegedly having left their homes to join IS. Subsequently, two of them
returned and were “deradicalised” by investigating agencies, while Sayyed was
arrested. Trial against Sayyed is under way. Advocate Wahab Khan representing
Sayyed objected to the plea.
second accused the NIA wants interrogate is the former guest relations manager,
Arshi Qureshi. Qureshi was arrested in 2016 on the complaint of the father of a
youth, who is suspected to have left the country to join IS. The complainant
claimed that Qureshi had used his official position to influence the youth.
Lawyer I A Khan representing Qureshi submitted that the plea is filed only to
harass the accused and fabricate a false case. He also sought video-recording
of the interrogation. The court did not allow this plea but directed the NIA
that the interrogation could be allowed for four days but has to remain
restricted to their current pending cases only.
patrol unit was targetted by a vehicle mounted with an Improvised Explosive
Device (IED) in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir on Monday, the Army said
in a statement. Jammu-Kashmir police said six army jawans and two civilians
were injured in the blast. The jawans
are stable while the civilians have been
shifted to a hospital, the police added.
spokesperson Colonel Rajesh Kalia informed that the driver of the vehicle is
injured and is under ‘specialist care’. Other soldiers are brought to the
hospital with minor bruises and concussion/contusion are stable. “The damage
was minimised due to swift action of the driver. Operation is underway. Further
updates will be shared later,” he added.
attack took place when a patrol unit of the 44 Rashtriya Rifles was moving
towards Arihal village in Pulwama. The Army has cordoned off the area and has
also launched a search operation.
failed attempt was made to attack a mobile vehicle patrol of 44 RR with a
Vehicle Based IED while the Army patrol was moving in the general area Arihal
in district Pulwama today evening. Troops all safe. Few minor injuries. Reports
of attack on Army convoy are unfounded and baseless. Area cordoned and search
operations in progress,” the Army said.
failed attack comes days after Pakistan informed India of a possible attack in
the district near Awantipora. A top security official in Srinagar had confirmed
to The Sunday Express about the possible attack by militants using an IED
mounted on a vehicle. “The Pakistanis shared this information regarding the
possibility of such an attack with our High Commission in Islamabad. They had
also shared this information with the Americans, who too, informed us. So this
information has come directly as well as via the Americans to us,” the official
site of the blast is 27 kms from the area where a convoy of vehicles carrying
security personnel on the Jammu Srinagar National Highway was attacked by a
suicide bomber on 14 February in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed, PTI
A New Zealand man was jailed for 21 months on Tuesday for distributing gruesome
live stream video of the Christchurch mosque attacks that killed 51 Muslim
worshippers, local media reported.
Arps, 44, was arrested in Christchurch four days after alleged gunman Brenton
Tarrant’s March 15 rampage at two mosques in the South Island city resulted in
the worst massacre in modern New Zealand history.
pleaded guilty to two charges of distributing objectionable material for
sharing footage that was live-streamed to social media during the attack.
District Court heard Arps distributed the raw footage to about 30 people and
had another version that was modified to include crosshairs and a “kill count”,
the New Zealand Herald reported.
was in effect a hate crime against the Muslim community,” judge Stephen O’Driscoll
said it was “particularly cruel” to share the video in the days after the
attacks when relatives were still waiting to hear news of their loved ones.
found that Arps had set out to “glorify” the deaths of Muslims and any punishment
other than imprisonment was inappropriate, Radio New Zealand reported.
Zealand’s chief censor David Shanks classified the video from the mosque
shooting as objectionable content soon after the shooting, making sharing the
footage a crime punishable by up to 14 years in jail.
also outlawed publication of the rambling “manifesto” the shooter posted online
before the attacks, saying it was intended to inspire “murder and terrorism”.
a self-described white supremacist, was convicted in 2016 of offensive
behaviour for leaving a pig’s head at the Al Noor mosque, one of those that
were targeted in the mass shooting, Newshub reported.
last week pleaded not guilty to terrorism charges, as well as 51 counts of
murder and 40 of attempted murder.
was committed to stand trial in May next year
and Britain on Monday warned Tehran not to breach uranium stockpile limits set
by the 2015 nuclear deal, as the EU’s diplomatic chief dismissed Iranian
threats as “political dialectics”.
set a 10-day countdown on Monday to exceed the 300-kilogram limit set on its
enriched uranium stocks, dealing another blow to the crumbling nuclear accord
signed by Tehran and six international powers.
EU has battled to save the agreement since US President Donald Trump withdrew
and re-imposed sanctions, but Iran said it would step back from exceeding the
300-kg limit on June 27 only if “other parties live up to their commitments”.
move comes as Iran tries to step up pressure on the deal’s other signatories –
Germany, France, Britain, China, and Russia – to help it sidestep US sanctions
and in particular enable it to sell oil.
Foreign Minister Heiko Maas rejected the Iranian ultimatum and insisted Tehran
must stick to its commitments under the deal.
have already said in the past that we will not accept less for less. It is up
to Iran to stick to its obligations,” Maas said after talks with EU foreign
ministers in Luxembourg. “We will certainly not accept a unilateral reduction
spokesman for the British government echoed the call, saying the E3 – the
European signatories to the deal – has “consistently made clear that there can
be no reduction in compliance”.
now Iran remains within its nuclear commitments. We are coordinating with E3
partners on next steps,” the spokesman added.
European Union’s diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini said the bloc would not
act on the basis of Iranian rhetoric but wait for reports by the UN’s nuclear
watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
assessment on the implementation of the nuclear deal has never been, is not and
will never be based on statements, but on the evaluation that the IAEA makes,
the reports that the IAEA produces and that can be done at any time,” Mogherini
said after the talks.
are relevant elements of political dialectics but our assessment on the
implementation of the agreement is based on the factual, technically sound
assessment and evaluation that the IAEA makes in its reports.”
May 8, President Hassan Rouhani said Iran would stop observing restrictions on
its stocks of enriched uranium and heavy water agreed under the 2015 nuclear
said the move was in retaliation for the unilateral US withdrawal from the
accord a year earlier, which saw Washington impose tough economic sanctions on
British ministers have criticized US President Donald Trump for his racist
attack on London Mayor Sadiq khan, urging him to stop interfering in the UK’s
minister Sajid Javid said on Monday that Trump’s tweet a day earlier in which
he had branded Khan a “disaster” for his inability to contain surging crime in
London was “unbecoming” of the position of the US president.
an influential British politician of Pakistani Iranian origins and one of
several candidates seeking to replace outgoing British Prime Minister Theresa
May, called on Trump to stop “interfering in another country’s domestic
Brexit minister Dominic Raab, also a key hopeful to replace May, said Trump’s
actions were not “helpful, savory or constructive” while saying that he was
“proud” to have a Muslim mayor of London.
Secretary Michael Gove, a senior Conservative Party lawmaker, said it was a
mistake that Trump had mentioned a British far-right figure in his online
comments on Khan.
think it's always a mistake to retweet anything that Katie Hopkins tweets,”
said Gove, making reference to Hopkins’s tweet in which she had called the
British capital city under Khan as Londonistan.
development secretary Rory Stewart also hinted that Trump’s comments were
should be firm, you should talk about your national interests, you should talk
about it politely, you should talk about it very clearly and you should do it
privately,” he said.
150 percent supportive
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt welcomed Trump’s statement on Khan, saying he was
raising the point that instead of trying to make London a safer place, Khan is
only thinking of advancing the political agenda of the opposition Labour Party.
... in that I 150 percent agree with the president,” said Hunt who is second
behind former foreign minister Boris Johnson in an internal race to become the
next leader of the Conservative Party.
drew controversy last week when he supported Trump’s claims that Iran had been
behind attacks on two oil tankers near the Persian Gulf waters.
tweet about Khan came after three people were either shot or stabbed to death
in London in a matter of one day last week. The American president had previously
slammed Khan for his failure in tackling crime, especially during his early
June visit to London where the two figures repeatedly clashed on the social
says there is a window of opportunity between now and July 8 -- when Iran has
warned it could be forced to suspend more of its nuclear obligations -- to save
the nuclear deal between the Islamic Republic and world countries.
will do all we can with our partners to dissuade Iran and find a path to a
possible path for dialogue," Emanuel Macron said in Paris on Monday during
a press conference alongside his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskiy,
agreement was made between the P5+1 group of states -- the United States, the
UK, France, Russia, and China plus Germany -- and Iran in Vienna in July 2015.
the US left the deal last May. Bowing under Washington’s pressure, Europe too
has been throwing only verbal support behind the agreement ever since.
month, Iran announced that it would suspend the implementation of some of its
commitments under the deal. It warned that in 60 days it would resume refining
uranium to a higher fissile degree if Europe failed again to ensure Iran’s
interests under the accord despite the US’s pressure.
on Monday, the spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran said the
country would surpass the uranium stockpile limit, set under the nuclear deal,
from June 27.
is based on the Articles 26 and 36 of the (nuclear deal), and will be reversed
once other parties live up to their commitments," Behrouz Kamalvandi
the remarks, Macron said, "I regret, of course, the Iranian announcements
however, reminded that the United Nations nuclear watchdog, the International
Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), “has underlined Iran is respecting its
commitments” under the nuclear agreement.
strongly encourage it to continue its patient and responsible behavior,"
the French head of state noted.
European Union’s foreign policy chief also reacted to the announcement, saying
Iran was still technically complying with the deal and urging the country to
continue to abide by the accord.
Mogherini said the European Union, which coordinated the talks leading to the
agreement, would wait for reports by the IAEA to make its assessment of Iran’s
Secretary General Antonio Guterres echoed the call, asking Iran to stick to the
deal. Guterres also urged other signatories to deal to support its
Egyptian Revolutionary Council (ERC) is calling for an independent, third-party
investigation into the death of former President Mohamed Morsi, who passed away
Monday during a court appearance to face espionage charges.
council also accused Western governments of hypocrisy for supporting and aiding
the military regime of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who overthrew Morsi’s democratically
elected government in 2013, while remaining silent over the mass human rights
abuses committed by Sisi in the years since the military coup.
ERC calls on all human rights organizations and all Western governments to
pressure the military regime in Egypt to accept an independent third-party
investigation into his death, which we maintain was a result of a premeditated
policy by the military regime,” it said in a press release.
ERC notes in contrast how Western governments, despite the rhetoric of standing
for the values and principles of democracy, chose to back a military regime
that came to power on the back of murder, torture and rape for the sake of
narrow self-interests,” it added.
organization, which represents an array of Egyptian opposition movements in
exile, said that ultimately all dictatorships will come to an end and that the
Egyptian people will hold to account those responsible for the ensuing
oppression and will judge the West on their hypocrisy and their lack of action
in supporting Egyptian democracy and those who oppose tyranny.
Morsi chose to sacrifice his freedom and ultimately his life in defense of the
democratic rights of the Egyptian people to control their own destiny by
standing up to the military coup and refusing to step down to bestow legitimacy
on a military coup,” the ERC said.
can be no truer statement of belief in democracy than such a noble and selfless
became Egypt’s first democratically-elected president in 2012 and was ousted
the following year in a military coup by Sisi, who was then chief of staff of
the Egyptian military. Following the coup, Morsi and senior officials of the
Muslim Brotherhood were arrested on charges that many call politically
mockup of Turkey's first national combat jet -- the Turkish Aerospace
Industries' (TAI)-developed TF-X made debut on Monday in the Paris Air Show,
the largest aerospace-industry event in the world.
the TF-X, Turkey aims to meet the operational needs of the Turkish Armed Forces
(TFA) in the mid-term.
General Manager Temel Kotil told Anadolu Agency this was the first time the
fifth-generation national combat aircraft was showcased.
is going to be the best fighter aircraft in Europe," he said, adding that
the TF-X would bear similar features to the F-35 fighter jets produced by the
U.S.-based Lockheed Martin, and the epicenter of a dispute between Turkey and
the U.S. for the past few months.
between the U.S. and Turkey have simmered over Ankara’s purchase of the S-400
Russian missile defense systems.
claims the purchase will jeopardize Turkey's role in the F-35 fighter jet
program and has threatened sanctions.
has said there is no conflict between the S-400 and the F-35 and has called for
a working group to clarify the issue.
added that the TF-X’s maiden flight was planned to be carried out in 2025.
TK129 ATAK multirole combat helicopter also joined the prestigious show with a
its high performance and maneuverability, as well as with durability against
heavy blows and ballistic strikes, the ATAK helicopter provides its pilots with
superior operational capability.
line with Turkey’s ATAK program, the Turkish Armed Forces will be provided a
total of 91 helicopters, with an option on 32 more, with the Interior Ministry
receiving another nine.
to live upto FATF’s standards, the country is likely to face action from
has failed to complete 25 of the 27 action points given by the international
terror financing watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to check funding
to terrorist groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and JeM (Jaish-e-Mohammad)
and frontal groups like Jamat-ud-Dawah and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation.
this, multilateral lenders like the IMF, the World Bank and the EU may continue
downgrading Pakistan, making its financial situation more precarious.
Paris-headquartered FATF has asked Pakistan to explain whether it has launched
any investigation into the $7 million allocated to maintain schools, madrasas,
clinics and ambulances originally operated by terror groups like LeT, JeM, and
LeT fronts Jamat-ud-Dawah and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation.
and FIF are founded by terror mastermind Hafiz Saeed.
is in deep trouble at the FATF meeting beginning Sunday in Florida in the US,
people aware of the development said.
has been unable to complete 25 of its 27 action points. It has one last chance,
till its 15-month deadline ends in October 2019, when the FATF Plenary will be
held,” one of them added.
June 2018, Pakistan was placed in the ‘Grey’ list and given a 27-point action
plan by FATF. This plan was reviewed at the last plenary in October 2018 and
for the second time in February this year, when the country was again put into
the ‘Grey’ list after India submitted new information about Pakistan-based
FATF continuing Pakistan in the ‘Grey’ list means its downgrading by IMF, World
Bank, ADB, EU and also a reduction in risk rating by Moody’s, S&P and
Fitch. This will add to the financial problems of Pakistan, which is seeking
aid from all possible international avenues.
a bid to bluff the financial watchdog, Pakistani authorities have shown arrests
of LeT, JeM, JuD and FiF cadres.
has detained JeM founder Masood Azhar and LeT founder Hafiz Saeed mostly under
the laws that provide for detention for apprehension of breach of peace; they
have never been prosecuted under anti-terror laws.
FATF implements UN designations, which do not warrant arrest. They ask only for
freeze of funds, denial of access to weapons and travel embargo. The financial
watchdog also wants nations to impose penalties that are proportionate and
has also seized several hundred properties of LeT, JuD, FiF and JeM, including
schools and madrasas. However, these properties are now being run by its
Punjab provincial government has allocated $2 million per annum for their
upkeep. Similarly, other provinces have allocated $5 million. The annual
expense allocated by Pakistan totals $7 million.
FATF has now asked Pakistan to explain whether there are any terror-funding
investigations to unearth the sources and entities that funded these
organisations with $7 million per annum for the past several years.
FATF currently has 35 members and two regional organisations — European
Commission and Gulf Cooperation Council.
the last meeting of the FATF in Paris, the FATF said Pakistan should continue
to work on implementing its action plan to address its strategic deficiencies.
it said, should demonstrate that competent authorities are cooperating and
taking action to identify and take enforcement action against illegal money or
value transfer services, demonstrating that authorities are identifying cash
couriers and enforcing controls on illicit movement of currency and
understanding the risk of cash couriers being used for terror financing (TF),
improving inter-agency coordination including between provincial and federal
authorities on combating TF risks besides others.
In a surprise move, Prime Minister Imran Khan removed his chief of the
Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) just eight months after he had been appointed
to head the country’s most powerful spy agency. The Khan government replaced Lt
Munir with Lt Gen. Faiz Hameed, believed to be a close confidant of Chief of
Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.
new DG ISI, Lt Gen. Hameed, who previously served in the spy agency as the head
of internal security, is from Pakistan Army’s Baloch Regiment. Inter-Services
Public Relations (ISPR), the Pakistan army’s media wing, made the announcement
of his appointment on Sunday.
Gen Asim Munir had been appointed to lead the ISI in October last year.
Generally, the ISI chief is appointed for a period of three years. Munir’s
eight-month stint as head of the ISI chief was one of the shortest among those
who have served this office.
ISPR gave no reason for his early departure. Munir, however, has been appointed
as corps commander of Gujranwala, in Punjab.
appointment of director general of ISI, like the appointment of army chief, is
the prerogative of the prime minister. The PM, however, makes the spymaster’s
choice in consultation with the army chief.
of Pakistan’s ruling and opposition parties expressed grief Monday over the
martyrdom of former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and said the Muslim world
has lost a true hero.
a statement, Senator Siraj ul Haq, chief of Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan, the
country’s mainstream religious party, said Morsi had refused to bow to
dictatorship and withdraw support for the Palestinian struggle for freedom and
independence, which were his only “crimes”.
stood tall in the face of all pressures aimed at forcing him to withdraw from
his struggle for the fundamental rights of the people of Egypt and his support
to Palestine," Haq noted, adding, "the dictatorial regime failed
miserably to break his resolve".
announced that the party would hold funeral prayers in absentia Tuesday for
Morsi across Pakistan.
-- sad news. What hope there was and how tragically it all ended. RIP,"
Shireen Mazari, Pakistan’s human rights minister, said on Twitter.
Iqbal, leader of the main opposition party Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)
and former interior minister, said Morsi will be remembered.
democratically elected President of Egypt Mohamed Morsi will be remembered in
history for his courage and dignity in captivity. May Allah Bless his soul
Ameen!" Iqbal tweeted.
Nawaz Sharif, daughter of jailed former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and PML-N
vice president, expressed similar sentiments.
1st democratically elected President charged with ‘espionage’, ‘leaking state
secrets’ ‘insulting the judiciary’. Charges every elected representative faces
before being thrown out. It is how you’re remembered honoured by history
posterity that matters. You win. RIP," Maryam tweeted.
am deeply saddened at death of former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi. He was
not granted right to fair trial faced political victimization by military
regime. International community, especially Islamic world, must raise voice
against it,” Mohammad Sarwar, governor of Punjab province, said on Twitter.
A special anti-terrorism court in Pakistan, hearing the Benazir Bhutto
assassination case, on Monday once again sought an explanation from the
country's top investigation agency on the transactions in the frozen bank
accounts of former military dictator Pervez Musharraf.
directives were issued to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) during the
hearing of the murder case of former prime minister Bhutto, in which the former
president, now based in Dubai, is among the accused.
FIA's prosecutor and investigation officer did not attend the hearing and the
court expressed its displeasure over the agency's failure to present details of
75-year-old Musharraf's assets and transactions from his frozen bank accounts,
The Express Tribune reported.
Asghar Khan adjourned the hearing till July 27 and ordered the FIA to present
an explanation on how transactions were taking place from a frozen account.
anti-terrorism court has been seeking details of the transactions for months
now, the report said.
February 15, the FIA had submitted details of Musharraf's properties in
agency told the court that its report contained complete details of Musharraf's
assets except for some of his bank accounts.
court had reprimanded the FIA for allowing withdrawal of money from Musharraf's
frozen bank accounts and directed it to present a report.
the time, the court was told that no huge amounts were debited and only bank
charges were deducted.
despite the passage of over three months, the FIA is yet to submit a
comprehensive report on the illegal financial activity, the report said.
court had also issued perpetual warrants for Musharraf's arrest.
Lahore High Court had suspended the sentence, while the district administration
detained the suspects under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) law.
to a report submitted by the FIA in January, Musharraf's assets included a
1,000 square yards plot in Sanghar Housing Society, Gwadar, a farmhouse in
Islamabad, agricultural land registered in the name of his wife Sahba Musharraf
in Kotha Kalan and Rs120 million in 15 banks accounts.
court had issued permanent warrants for Musharraf's arrest for deliberately
avoiding the hearing and ordered the FIA and district administration to provide
details of his property.
is also absconding in the high treason case after a special court indicted him
in March 2014.
left for Dubai in 2016 to "seek medical treatment" and has not
February, he was admitted to a hospital in Dubai after suffering a reaction
from a rare disease for which he is already under treatment.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government had filed the treason case
against Musharraf over the president's imposition of extra-constitutional
emergency in November 2007.
ruled Pakistan from 1999 to 2008.
The alleged front man of Leader of the Opposition in Punjab Assembly Hamza
Shahbaz and his brother Salman Shahbaz on Monday confessed to have laundered
over Rs600 million for the two brothers.
have been working for the two brothers since they started looking after their
family’s sugar business in 2005,” said Mushtaq Cheeni in his confessional
statement recorded by a judicial magistrate under Section 164 of the CrPC.
Accountability Bureau (NAB) personnel produced Cheeni before judicial
magistrate Amir Raza Baitu and stated that the suspect had become an “approver”
in a money laundering case against Hamza and Salman and that he was ready to
record his confessional statement.
magistrate was also told that the NAB chairman had already approved an
application of the suspect to become approver in the case.
magistrate recorded the statement of the suspect after his lawyers and the NAB
team left the courtroom.
copy of the suspect’s statement available with Dawn revealed that Cheeni, who
was a wholesale dealer for Ramzan Sugar Mills, claimed that Hamza and Salman
used to receive foreign remittances through bank accounts of his company,
Mushtaq & Co. He had no information about the senders of the payment and
was just required to issue cheques of the amounts in the name of Salman, he
Saturday, a judicial magistrate had refused to record the statement of Cheeni
after his lawyers and officials of the NAB insisted to stay in the courtroom.
the magistrate recorded Cheeni’s statement on Monday, the NAB produced him
before an accountability court and stated that it did not require him anymore.
prosecutor stated that the bureau would have no objection if the court sent the
suspect to jail on judicial remand. At this the court sent Cheeni to jail.
this case, Hamza is already in the NAB custody, while Salman is out of country.
The bureau alleged that Hamza maintained various accounts in different banks in
which credit turnover of Rs500 million was observed between 2006 and 2017.
The representatives of Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan along with UNHCR, the UN
Refugee Agency called on the international community to support refugee-hosting
countries and communities and provide development assistance to put an end to
future Afghan displacement.
development took place during the 6th Quadripartite Steering Committee Meeting
held here with Minister for SAFRON Shehryar Khan Afridi in the chair. Minister
of Refugees and Repatriation (MoRR) H.E Sayed Hussain Alemi Balkhi represented
Afghanistan; Deputy Minister of Interior for Security and Disciplinary Affairs
H.E Hossein Zolfaghari represented Iran, and Director of the Regional Bureau
for Asia and the Pacific Indrika Ratwatte represented UNHCR.
purpose of the meeting was to discuss developments and challenges in the
implementation of the multi-year regional Solutions Strategy for Afghan
Refugees (SSAR) to support voluntary repatriation, sustainable reintegration
and assistance to host countries and to improve the implementation mechanisms
and coordinated efforts.
parties reaffirmed their commitment to the SSAR and agreed to extend it to the
year 2021 and extendable as a valid framework for identifying and implementing
solutions for Afghan refugees.
representatives reiterated their call for joint advocacy and resource
mobilisation to support the implementation of the strategy while all
participants urged the development actors and other partners to help provide
adequate, tangible and predictable support and assistance in support of the
implementation of the SSAR.
parties reaffirmed their assurance to the principle of voluntary repatriation
in safety and dignity and called for joint efforts to create an environment
conducive to phased, gradual and orderly voluntary return and sustainable
reintegration in Afghanistan, as well as to continue to more appropriately
support host communities in Iran and Pakistan, within the SSAR framework.
the participants, Minister SAFRON Shehryar Afridi said that the moot had once
again highlighted the need for the world community to understand the pain of
being displaced which cannot be fully removed despite consolation by the host
countries of Iran and Pakistan.
the recent war and conflict in Syria and Iraq, it seems the priorities of the
global community are fast changing under the influence of world powers and
Afghan refugee issues have been put on the backburner. Due to this new change
in priorities, Pakistan and Iran have been left to suffer the most as both our
states are already suffering due to certain sanctions by the US,” said the
on the occasion, Indrika Ratwatte underlined the need for robust support of the
international community in ensuring the sustainability of voluntary returns in
Afghanistan and in providing tangible support to host communities in host countries.
challenges and emerging displacements globally, UNHCR equally advocates for
supporting a protracted situation like Afghanistan. Sustainable return is
linked to sustainable reintegration in Afghanistan. If the integration is not
sustainable, people will remain on the move,” he added.
Hossein Zolfaghari said that Iran has enhanced services for Afghan refugees,
issued driving licenses, regularise parts of the population and has been
issuing work visas.
said that Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan needed more international support and
the UNHCR needs to step up its efforts to urge the global community to fulfill
their commitments made for the humanitarian cause of Afghan refugees.
airstrike by the Afghan Air Force killed 30 Taliban militants in Faryab
informed military sources said Monday that the Air Forces carried out the
airstrike in Gurziwan district.
Afghan Air Force conducted an air strike in Gurziwan district killing 30
Taliban fighters,” the sources said.
Taliban militants have not commented regarding the airstrike so far.
comes as the security situation in some districts of Faryab has deteriorated
during the recent years.
militants are active in some districts of the province and often conduct
terrorist related activities.
the Afghan forces conduct regular counter-terrorism operations against the
anti-government armed groups in this province.
NATIONS: An independent review of United Nations operations in the years before
hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims fled a violent crackdown by Myanmar’s
military concluded that the organization’s many bodies failed to act together,
resulting in “systemic and structural failures.”
36-page review by Gert Rosenthal, Guatemala’s former foreign minister, released
Monday said the UN could conceivably have reconciled competing views on whether
quiet diplomacy or outspoken advocacy against human rights abuses in Myanmar
should have been used — but it didn’t.
result — as in Sri Lanka at the end of the civil war against Tamil separatists
in 2009 — was a “dysfunctional performance of the UN system,” Rosenthal said.
question serious errors were committed and opportunities were lost in the UN
system following a fragmented strategy rather than a common plan of action,” he
said, adding that the “systemic failure was further magnified by some
bureaucratic and unseemly infighting.”
long-simmering crisis exploded in August 2017 when Myanmar’s military launched
what it called a clearance campaign in northern Rakhine State in response to an
attack by a Rohingya insurgent group. The campaign forced more than 720,000
Rohingya to flee to neighboring Bangladesh and led to accusations that security
forces committed mass rapes, killings and burned thousands of homes.
said the key lesson is “to foster an environment encouraging different entities
of the UN system to work together.”
a more optimistic note, he said since UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres
took office at the start of 2017, “there appears to be renewed recognition of
the crucial importance of improved coordination.”
spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Guterres, who commissioned the report, has
accepted all of its recommendations “and is committed to implementing them.”
secretary-general is very grateful to Mr. Rosenthal for producing a candid,
forthright and very useful report,” he said.
review covers the UN involvement in Myanmar since 2010, when the at the time
military-fueled nation moved started opening up to the outside world,
eventually leading to elections and moves toward a more open, market-oriented
said “for all these positive tendencies with their ups and downs over time,”
Myanmar also engaged in “long-festering discriminatory treatment against
minorities” for decades, most especially the Rohingya.
Myanmar has long considered the Rohingya to be “Bengalis” from Bangladesh even
though their families have lived in the country for generations. Nearly all
have been denied citizenship since 1982, effectively rendering them stateless,
and they are also denied freedom of movement and other basic rights.
his conclusions and recommendations, Rosenthal said Myanmar’s government is
mainly responsible for the grave abuses against the Rohingya.
said the UN system “has been relatively impotent to effectively work with the
authorities of Myanmar to reverse the negative trends in the area of human
rights and consolidate the positive trends in other areas.”
also noted “increasing criticism regarding the lack of leadership displayed by
Aung San Suu Kyi,” the government’s de facto leader, “as well as her
unwillingness to take distance from the military.”
the UN’s systematic failures are not down to any single entity or any
individuals, Rosenthal said, “clearly there is a shared responsibility on the
part of all parties involved in not having been able to accompany the
government’s political process with constructive actions, while at the same
time conveying more forcefully the United Nations’ principled concerns
regarding grave human rights violations.”
said the UN Security Council as the world body’s most powerful organization
should also bear some responsibility because its divisions failed to provide
support to the UN Secretariat “when such backing was and continues to be
Secretariat “would have benefited enormously” from Security Council support for
an impartial UN observer presence in Rakhine state “to deter the use of
violence in general,” he said.
said the UN, which has multiple ways to engage its 193 member states, could
find ways “to criticize and prod governments that engage in serious violations
of international law while at the same time cooperating with them in delivering
humanitarian and development assistance.”
would be the highly desirable objective to address the obvious dysfunctional
performance of the UN system observed in both Sri Lanka and Myanmar,” he said.
Rosenthal said “recent experience, precisely in both countries, has gone in the
opposite direction, with mindsets and specific actions” competing rather than
complementing each other.
Charbonneau, UN director at Human Rights Watch, said the United Nations failed
to keep its promise of “never again” to mass atrocities after the wartime
deaths of tens of thousands of civilians in Sri Lanka.
attacks in Sri Lanka hints new type of terrorism threat in south Asia, says
Nepal's defense minister
June 17 (Xinhua) -- Nepal's Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Ishwar
Pokhrel said on Sunday that the bombing attacks in Sri Lanka in April had sent
a clear and strong message that a new type of terrorism threat has arrived in
defence minister made the remarks while addressing a seminar titled
"Dialogues on Public Security: Countering Terrorism" organized by the
Nepali Army in the capital on Sunday.
April 21, multiple terror attacks struck churches and luxury hotels in Sri
Lanka on the Easter holiday, killing more than 200 people and wounding
said the Nepali government thinks it is very important to understand the
complex phenomenon of terrorism in regional and national contexts. "We
also think that we need to learn from the lessons and experiences of our friends
around the world, on counter-terrorism," he said.
minister stressed the need for domestic, regional, and international efforts to
address the problem of terrorism.
this century, many security threats are cross-cutting and unconventional in
nature. They are neither limited by national boundaries nor dealt with by
conventional warfare. The worst of these threats to challenge humanity and
global security is terrorism," the minister said.
minister also said that the government of Nepal recently unveiled the National
Security Policy to reflect the changed security environment.
Afghanistan, June 15 (Xinhua) -- A total of 14 militants have been confirmed
dead after military planes stormed Taliban hideouts in Mizan district of
southern Zabul province on Friday, said an army statement released here
sorties, according to the statement, was conducted late on Friday that in Regi
area of Mizan district as part of night operations, killing 14 armed insurgents
and capturing two others.
were no casualties on security and civilians, the statement said.
militants who are active in parts of Zabul province have yet to make comment.
eleven years back, in the eyes of the international community, Bangladesh was
seen as a poor, corruption-plagued struggling nation. Ruling elites were busy
in rampant loot of public wealth while the former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia’s
son was behaving like a rowdy mafia king, who had formed a band of culprits and
criminals not only to help him in robbing-off hundreds of millions of dollars
through numerous forms of crimes and corruption but also in treating the people
of this country as slaves of his desire. Thanks to the popular masses of the
country for giving a landslide victory to Bangladesh Awami League under the
leadership of Sheikh Hasina during the 2008-general election. Should it not
happen, pro-Islamist and anti-Semitic Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and
its political darling Jamaat e Islami Bangladesh (JIB) would already have
turned this country into another Afghanistan – if not even worst!
of radical Islam, anti-Semitism and jihadist forces
of BNP, Maj Gen Ziaur Rahman was a notoriously radical Muslim with extreme
anti-Semitic mindset. Few of his top allies were Yaseer Arafat, Saddam Hussain
and Muammar Al Gaddafi. From the list of his allies, it can be easily
understood, Zia was an anti-West and fully Islamist individual, who was having
the dream of turning Bangladesh into an Islamic republic.
the death of Zia, his wife Khaleda Zia came to power twice – in 1991 and 2001 –
and during each of her tenures, she had shown Bangladesh the ugliest example of
state-patronized corruption, nepotism and of course appeasing of radical Islam.
Members of her family became filthily wealthy through corruption, while her own
younger brother Maj (Retired) Sayeed Iskander established a business company
with Khaleda’s sons and made tons of money not only through corruption but also
by taking hundreds of millions of Taka from the banks. During those two tenures
of BNP, Sayeed Iskander and Tarique Rahman emerged as the mightiest figures in
Bangladesh. They were making money by receiving bribes and kickbacks from each
of the purchase contracts, while they did not hesitate in taking part in some
extremely nasty business – such as dealing in drugs and money laundering.
political darling Jamaat e Islami was engaged in implementing their blueprint
of transforming Bangladesh into another Pakistan. Some of the influential BNP
leaders such as Salauddin Quader Chowdhury, a known agent of Pakistani spy
agency Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) was also playing key-role in pushing
Bangladesh towards radical Islam and the pro-Pakistan bloc.
betrayed with their foreign allies
years, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party was having China as its best friend.
But, soon after it came to power for the second term in 2001, BNP tried to
back-stab China by letting Taiwan open its economic office in Bangladesh, which
clearly went against Beijing. Furthermore, Khaleda Zia had no problem in
letting the Islamist forces hold rallies and processions in various cities and
towns in the country – chant anti-America and anti-Israel slogan and most
disturbingly – burn American and Israeli flags in broad-daylight. Law enforcing
agencies did not interrupt such notoriety of those Islamists as they too knew,
the hearts of the ruling elites were filled with anti-US and anti-Semitic
the request of Yaseer Arafat, BNP’s founding father Maj Gen Zia had sent
hundreds of Bangladeshis to ‘Palestine’ to take part in the war against the
Jewish State – kill Jews and Christians. It is even learnt that Arafat was
receiving donations from Zia’s government for Palestine Liberation Organization.
affection towards the Muslim Brotherhood and Hezbollah
2003, the then BNP government named a bridge after the notorious jihadist group
Hezbollah. The bridge is located in the southern part of Bangladesh, spanning
the Batakhali River in an area known as Cox’s Bazaar. Justifying naming of the
bridge, Salauddin Ahmed, state minister for communication told French news
agency AFP, “I named the bridge Hezbollah because of our love for the Lebanese
is the only group which is fighting Israel and the bridge is named after the
group as a mark of honour,” he added.
United States has identified Hezbollah as a terrorist group, meaning, BNP has a
track record of not only of appeasing terrorists and militants but also of
encouraging such notoriety.
Zia serving imprisonment while her son is a fugitive
postponement and obstruction of trials into a number of corruption cases, in
2018, a court in Dhaka sentenced Khaleda Zia and her son with rigorous
imprisonment in just one corruption case, while several cases already are under
trial. Her son, Tarique Rahman faces conviction in a number of criminal cases
as well. Although Khaleda was sent to prison on February 18, 2018, directly
from the trial court, her son Tarique Rahman remains as an absconder. It was
learnt from media reports that Tarique Rahman, his wife and daughter had sought
political asylum in the United Kingdom and surrendered their Bangladeshi
passport. Sitting in London, Tarique has been plotting and coordinating
terrorist activities in Bangladesh. He played key-role behind series of arson
attacks, the murder of innocent people, rape of Hindus and Buddhists,
vandalizing of public and private properties during January-April, 2014. During
the subsequent years, Tarique had hands behinds several terrorist activities,
including plots of assassinating Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and abducting her
only son, Sajeeb Wajed Joy.
such extreme notoriety of Tarique Rahman, British authorities neither had
initiated any investigation into his activities nor had ever warned him of
consequences of using British soil for terror-plotting.
journey of hope under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina
since Sheikh Hasina became Prime Minister in 2009, she had dedicated rescuing
Bangladesh’s economy from mere bankruptcy. She also had focused on combating
radical Islam and militancy, which was extremely essential for saving the
country from becoming a rogue nation. After ten years, Bangladesh now has
emerged into one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Massive
infrastructural development works have been continuing, while by 2030,
Bangladesh economy is all set to emerge as the strongest economy in South Asia.
Sheikh Hasina has also ensured the rule of law and by showing zero tolerance
towards militancy and terrorism. Although she is yet to attain success in
combating corruption and the culture of nepotism.
the past few years, although Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has effectively
succeeded in combating the rise of radical Islam, she is yet to succeed in
pulling out from the decades-old culture of anti-Semitism and Israel bashing.
But political analysts say, within next one year, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina
also may shift from the culture of anti-Semitism and Israel bashing and even
may open the door of economic and technological cooperation with the Jewish
Xi Jinping sees the best ally in Sheikh Hasina
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is one of the most prominent partners in Chinese
President Xi Jinping’s signature Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) program. While
several countries that have earlier agreed to Belt and Road Initiative projects
had suspended, scaled back or terminated it, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina
remains firm on her commitment being a part in BRI, despite repeated
oppositions from a number of nations, including India. In this case, Sheikh
Hasina’s message to those opponent countries is loud and clear – she will do
anything which is beneficial for Bangladesh.
in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative (also known as One Belt One Road or OBOR,
aims to strengthen participating country’s connectivity with the world. Once
implemented, this project will help Bangladeshi exporters and importers in
finding a much convenient way of reaching the target countries in Asia, Europe,
and Africa and beyond.
BRI is a global development strategy adopted by the Chinese government
involving infrastructure development and investments in 152 countries and
international organizations in Asia, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the
Americas. ‘Belt’ refers to the overland routes for road and rail
transportation, called the ‘Silk Road Economic Belt’, whereas ‘road; refers to
the sea routes or the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.
benefit for Bangladesh from BRI
support the BRI, Beijing has injected massive amounts of capital into Chinese
public financial institutions, such as the Chinese Development Bank (CDB) and
the Export-Import Bank of China (EXIM). These banks enjoy very low borrowing
costs as their bonds are treated like Chinese government debt with very low
interest rates and they have access to lending from the People’s Bank of
China’s (PBOC), allowing them to lend cheaply to Chinese companies working on
easy financing enables China’s state-owned enterprises (SOEs) to offer highly
competitive bids for projects against foreign companies that might be more
financially constrained. For instance, in 2015 Japanese construction companies
lost out to their Chinese counterparts in a bid to build a high-speed rail
project in Indonesia.
means Bangladesh will be able to undertake massive infrastructural development
project by availing the special benefit of getting a much softer loan in
comparing to the World Bank, Asian Development Bank etc.
and opponents of BRI say dependence of Chinese funding for implementing massive
infrastructural projects might help Beijing in significantly gaining political
and other gains. Others say it would actually place China into a much stronger
position. But, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is not willing to buy such
arguments for just one particular reason – to her, Bangladesh is the priority
and for the best interest of her country, Sheikh Hasina will always do the
right thing defying all criticism or opposition.
opposes Bangladesh joining BRI
since President Xi Jinping announced the Belt and Road Initiative project,
India has been opposing to it thinking the implementation of this project would
actually place China into a further height and Indian influence in South Asia
would be greatly curtailed. Delhi has been making frantic bids in convincing
Dhaka in getting it excluded from BRI. But, considering the national interest,
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is totally unwilling to pay any heed to any such
persuasion or effort. She is known as the individual of high-integrity and once
she promises anything, she would stand firm on her commitment under any
adversity. According to my own judgment, China will find its best partner in
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina once the BRI is implemented.
Bangladesh can expect from China
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina remains committed in the BRI initiatives, it is
the responsibility of China not only to help the Bangladeshi counterpart in smoothly
implementing the infrastructural projects but also encourage Chinese investors
and entrepreneurs in giving priority to Bangladesh while either relocating
their industrial projects from China or making investments in newer projects.
Chinese readymade garment ma manufacturers already have found Bangladesh as the
most suitable country for relocation or newer investment, which is helping
Bangladesh’s export of textile products increase significantly. Similarly,
China should consider investment in hi-tech industries in Bangladesh. There
should also be scope for the Bangladeshi exporters and importers in much
smoothly transacting business deals.
definitely expects wholehearted cooperation and support from the Chinese
leadership, especially President Xi Jinping.
Sheikh Hasina is an important figure in Asia
Chinese President Xi Jinping, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has already emerged
as the important politician and statesman. Moreover, she also is gradually
becoming a prominent voice in the Muslim world.
political chief of Taliban Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar has visited China ahead
of the 7th round of talks with the United States.
former Taliban spokesman Abdul Hai Mutmayen has told Arab News that Mullah
Baradar is leading a delegation of Taliban leaders during the visit to Beijing.
further added “It seems that Taliban leaders are making efforts to hold
consultations and exchange their views with key stakeholders ahead of the next
round. The visit is an indication that the seventh round is important.”
comes as China has offered to host intra-Afghan talks in a bid to help end the
ongoing conflict in the country.
Afghan forces arrested a notorious Taliban commander Zmarai in Kabul city.
Rahimi, a spokesman for the Ministry of Interior said Zmarai is one of the most
dangerous commanders of Taliban.
further added that the security forces arrested Zmarai from the 7th district of
Kabul city on Monday.
a resident of Logar, Zmarai was in orchestrating major terrorist attacks in
Moqtada Al-Sadr, the powerful Iraqi Shiite cleric, on Monday threatened to
withdraw his support for the government of Adel Abdul Mahdi if the prime
minister fails to finalize the formation of his Cabinet within 10 days.
is one of the most influential clerics in the country, with millions of
followers, a large armed faction and a parliamentary bloc. He is the official
sponsor of the Reform Alliance, the second-largest parliamentary coalition,
which is overseeing the formation of the government following the national
parliamentary elections in May last year. The removal of his support for Abdul
Mahdi’s government might take the form of an announcement that he no longer has
confidence in the Parliament, or the organization of mass demonstrations.
Mahdi, who became prime minister in October, formed his government with the
support of Reform and the pro-Iranian Construction coalition. The latter is led
by Hadi Al-Amiri, the commander of Badr Organization, one of the most powerful
Shiite armed factions. However, disputes between the two alliances over some of
the candidates erupted at the last minute, as a result of which four ministries
remain vacant: Interior, defense, education and justice.
statement, which was signed by Al-Sadr and described as his “last call,” was
addressed to his Saeiroon parliamentary bloc, the leaders of all political
blocs, and Abdul Mahdi. It was issued in response to criticism on social on
Monday because of the vote by members of the parliamentary blocs, including
Al-Sadr’s MPs, the day before to grant all the privileges enjoyed by the former
MPs to the deputies who ruled out by the Federal Supreme Court due to the error
of counting their votes.
the political blocs must authorize the prime minister to complete his
ministerial Cabinet within 10 days…and he (Abdul Mahdi) must choose (the
ministers) according to the standards of integrity, efficiency and
specialization, or I will not support him,” Al-Sadr’s statement read.
position is the latest in a series of events that have put pressure on Abdul
Mahdi in recent weeks. These include efforts by some political blocs, including
Saeiroon, to dismiss a number of ministers under the pretext of failure to
improve services and inability to combat the financial and administrative
corruption that is rampant in their departments.
most political leaders believe that reaching a political agreement on
candidates to fill the vacant ministries within 10 days “will be very
difficult” and predict “this may be the end of the government of Abdul Mahdi,”
some believe that Al-Sadr’s goal is to pile more pressure on Abdul Mahdi as a
way to obtain certain concessions.
is still negotiating with the prime minister and the other political partners
to obtain some key government posts that its rivals are looking to get, and
Abdul Mahdi refused to give them to the Saeiroon candidates, so this could be a
part of this,” said a prominent Shiite negotiator who asked not to be named.
“No one can predict what Al-Sadr thinks and even his MPs do not know what the
man thinks, so it is likely that this threat is part of the ongoing
A Syrian national has been arrested in southern Lebanon on suspicion of
involvement with the Daesh terrorist group. It is alleged he discussed with
other people potential locations, including churches, for attacks in Lebanon
where the largest numbers of people could be targeted and killed.
is thought that they were aiming to emulate similar Easter attacks in Sri
Lanka. Daesh leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi released a video message in April in
which he praised the Sri Lankan terrorists.
security source confirmed that a Syrian man has been detained and
investigations are continuing. He added that the arrest “came on the basis of a
professional intelligence operation” and that the security forces are working
with external parties.
General Directorate of Internal Security Forces (ISF) said that as a result of
“preventive and proactive security operations conducted by the Information
Division of the ISF concerning the monitoring of activities of serious
terrorist cells, especially those affiliated with Daesh, the division was able
to monitor and identify a resident of southern Lebanon who was active on social
media spreading the ideology of the organization and recruiting people for it.”
continued: “A special force from the Information Division arrested a person
named Z.M. who was born in 1999 and is a Syrian residing in the town of Yater.
The investigation found that he was promoting the ideology of Daesh through
social media by creating a large number of channels and groups on a number of
applications that follow and publicize publications of the Daesh organization.”
is a village near Tyre in Southern Lebanon. Locals said that Z.M. was arrested
six days ago. He worked in construction and agriculture and lived alone in a
house without a family, they added.
ISF said that the man “was associated with people outside Lebanon and
cooperated with them to establish online groups to spread and promote Daesh
ideology. After publishing the video in which Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi blessed the
operations in Sri Lanka...the detainee bought spray paint and...sprayed on one
of the walls at the entrance to Yater slogans containing the words ‘Grandson of
Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi’ and ‘The Islamic state.’”
ISF investigations found that the detainee “discussed with a number of those he
communicated with the idea of carrying out actions for the organization in
Lebanon, including entering a church and killing the largest number of people
also discussed with them the idea of targeting husseiniyas (congregation halls
for Shiite ceremonies) in Shiite villages and towns. He also logged on to
jihadist websites of the organization on the internet, including encyclopedias
giving details of how to make explosives, and downloaded them to his phone.”
ISF also said that the detainee “communicated with the Syrian S.B. (born in
1990), who has also been arrested, and tried to recruit him to embrace the
ideology of Daesh. He said that at the time of his arrest he was still in the
process of planning and had not taken any practical steps.”
security source did not specify whether Z.M. is a Syrian refugee, a laborer
working under the sponsorship of a Lebanese citizen, or in the country
illegally. However, he stressed: “What this person did has nothing to do with
Syrian refugees in Lebanon.”
army commander Gen. Joseph Aoun said on Monday: “The army is dealing today with
an unconventional terrorist enemy hiding among people, where the complexities
are many and unclear.”
added: “The rapid response of the (security) units to the terrorist attack in
Tripoli recently confirms the importance of the principles that we learn in the
College of Command and Staff.
airstrikes, intense shelling and fighting on the ground in rebel-held areas in
northwest Syria claimed the lives of dozens of people Saturday, Syrian
opposition activists said.
state media reported later that an explosion was heard in a military area in
Dummar, a northwestern suburb of the capital Damascus. Syrian state TV said the
blast was the result of an explosion in an arms depot that triggered some fires
in nearby brush.
TV gave no further details about the cause of the blast or whether there were
northwest Syria, fighting intensified as government forces pressed their
offensive toward Idlib province, the last major rebel stronghold in the
country's lengthy civil war.
Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the opposition's Syrian
Civil Defense said at least 10 civilians were killed in Saturday's airstrikes
and shelling of rebel-held villages and towns.
state media said militants shelled government-held areas causing material
Observatory said Saturday's fighting alone left 26 troops and pro-government
gunmen dead along with eight militants.
Ibaa news agency, the media arm of al-Qaida-linked Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, or
HTS, said the militants killed and wounded "a whole group" of Syrian
soldiers in their second failed attempt to advance toward a strategic hill.
weeks of violence has driven nearly 300,000 people from their homes. Many are
living under olive trees, in tents or unfinished buildings, crammed into
overcrowded shared rooms.
by Mohammed Ebraheem
(IraqiNews.com) – Iraqi Shiite militias thwarted on Sunday a plot by Islamic
State militants to sneak into Samarra city in Salahuddin province, where they
planned to carry out terrorist attacks.
a statement carried by Alsumaria News TV channel, the Samarra Operations
Command of the Shiite Saraya al-Salam said that “it received intelligence
information on a plot by IS terrorists to infiltrate into al-Madarat city in
Samarra on board six boats.” The militiamen, according to the statement, opened
fire at the IS terrorists and forced them to retreat.
declared the collapse of Islamic State’s territorial influence in November 2017
with the recapture of Rawa, a city on Anbar’s western borders with Syria, which
was the group’s last bastion in Iraq.
declared a self-styled “caliphate” in a third of Iraq and neighboring Syria in
2014. A government campaign, backed by a U.S.-led international coalition and
paramilitary forces, was launched in 2016 to retake IS-held regions, managing
to retake all havens, most notably the city of Mosul, the group’s previously
Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem said on Tuesday that he does not want to see
fighting between the Syrian and Turkish militaries.
made the comment in Beijing during a joint briefing with China’s Foreign
Minister Wang Yi.
Syrian foreign minister remarks come amid escalation between Turkish forces and
regime forces in Syria’s Idlib region where a Turkish observation post was
attacked on Sunday with mortar fire and shelling from an area controlled by the
Syrian government forces, causing damage but no casualties, the Turkish Defense
mortar shells landed on a military base hosting US forces north of Baghdad late
on Monday without causing casualties, a military source said.
mortars came down in the Iraqi section of the sprawling Taji military base,
located about 30 km north of the Iraqi capital.
Security forces have arrested a Syrian national suspected of having links to
the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group that was plotting to launch attacks on
religious sites in the south of the country.
Internal Security Forces (ISF) said in a statement on Monday that they had
“tracked down and identified a man in southern Lebanon who actively publishes
ISIL propaganda on social media networks and recruits new members” for the
suspect, a 20-year-old Syrian national from Lebanon’s southern village of
Yater, was in contact with individuals outside Lebanon who helped him to create
social networking sites to promote Takfiri ideology, according to the
ISF said the Syrian national used the sites to discuss plans to carry out bomb
attacks on Christian churches, inspired by the deadly Easter bombings in Sri
Lanka, and Shia religious centers in the south.
to the ISF, the suspect shared in April a Daesh video that showed the group’s
leader Ibrahim al-Samarrai, also known as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, hailing the Sri
Lanka bombings, which targeted churches and luxury hotels in the Sri Lankan
capital of Colombo and two other cities on April 21 and claimed at least 253
also downloaded a manual compiled by followers of the Takfiri terrorist group
instructing readers on how to make improvised bombs and explosives, the ISF
suspect is also believed to have spray painted Daesh slogans on walls in the
has often seen the infiltration of Takfiri elements from neighboring Syria into
its territory, where they target the civilian population or security forces
August 2014, members of the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, formerly known as Nusra
Front, and Daesh terrorist groups overran the town of Arsal, located 124
kilometers northeast of Beirut, killing a number of Lebanese forces. They took
30 soldiers hostage, most of whom have been released.
then, Hezbollah resistance fighters and Lebanese military forces have been
defending Lebanon on the country’s northeastern frontier against foreign-backed
terrorist groups from Syria.
attempted to shoot down a U.S. drone that was surveilling the attack on one of
two tankers hit in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday morning, U.S. Central Command
said. The attempt missed the MQ-9 Reaper by "approximately one
Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous along with another tanker, the Front Altair,
were damaged by mines that the U.S. said Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard
Corps (IRGC) had placed on the ship's hulls.
to our assessment, a modified Iranian SA-7 surface-to-air missile attempted to
shoot down a U.S. MQ-9, at 6:45 a.m. local time, June 13, over the Gulf of
Oman, to disrupt surveillance of the IRGC attack on the M/T Kokuka
Courageous," CENTCOM spokesperson Lt. Col. Earl Brown said in a statement
to ABC News on Saturday.
said that, prior to the attempt by Iran to shoot down the MQ-9, the drone had
observed the Front Altair on fire.
SA-7 was ineffective and its closest point of approach to the MQ-9 was
approximately one kilometer," Brown said. "Subsequent analysis
indicates that this was a likely attempt to shoot down or otherwise disrupt the
MQ-9 surveillance of the IRGC attack on the M/T Kokuka Courageous."
the day following the attacks, Iranian small boats prevented salvage tugs from
towing the Front Altair, as they had been contracted to do, a U.S. official
told ABC News.
23 mariners on board the Front Altair were rescued shortly after Thursday's
attack by the Hyundai Dubai, but Iranians aboard small boats quickly demanded
the crew be turned over to their custody, a U.S. official said. The master of
the Hyundai Dubai contacted the headquarters of his shipping company in Seoul
and was instructed not to turn the crew over to the Iranians. However, the
ship's master felt he had no choice but to comply with the Iranian demands.
being held in Iran for two days, the crew of the Front Altair was flown to
Dubai where they will continue on to their home countries, according to the
Kokuka Courageous is now in territorial waters of the United Arab Emirates, a
second official said.
also confirmed on Saturday that another U.S. MQ-9 was shot down by a Houthi
SA-6 surface to air missile over Yemen on June 6.
altitude of the engagement indicated an improvement over previous Houthi
capability, which we asses was enabled by Iranian assistance," Brown said.
- Yemen’s Houthi movement launched fresh drone attacks targeting Jizan and Abha
airports in southern Saudi Arabia, the group’s Al-Masirah TV said Saturday,
adding that the installations were out of service.
Saudi-led coalition said in a statement that it had intercepted and downed a
Houthi drone targeting the southwestern city of Abha.
Iran-aligned group said multiple drone strikes targeted control rooms at Jizan
airport and a fuel station at Abha airport.
two airports are now out of service. We promise the Saudi regime more painful
days as long as the aggression and siege continue on our country,” the group’s
armed forces spokesman said in a tweet published by Al-Masirah TV’s account.
Houthis have launched several strikes targeting Abha airport since Wednesday,
when a missile attack against the same airport wounded 26 people.
Saudi-led coalition, which intervened in 2015 in Yemen’s civil war to restore
the government of President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, said earlier this week that
it intercepted five drones that targeted Abha airport and Khamis Mushait in the
response to these attacks, the Western-backed coalition said it had destroyed
Houthi military assets on the outskirts of the Houthi-held capital Sanaa.
was unclear if there were any casualties following Saturday’s drone strikes.
leaders, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, accuse Iran’s Revolutionary
Guards and Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah of supporting the Houthis, a charge
all three deny.
Houthis have stepped up missile and drone attacks against Saudi cities as
tensions have risen between Iran and Gulf Arab states allied with the United
States. Last month, the group carried out drone strikes on two Saudi oil
and Washington have engaged in a war of words since the United States reimposed
sanctions on Tehran and increased its military presence in the Gulf.
Houthi militia launched a large attack in Yemen on Sunday, targeting sites
controlled by the joint forces in Hodeidah as a new escalation threatens the UN
peace efforts in the port city.
Houthis had attacked sites controlled by Al Amalikah Brigades in Kilo 16, east
of the city, Arab Coalition spokesman Col Wathah Al Dubaish told The National
rebels also attacked Al Amalikah divisions in Al Fazah, in the south of
Hodeidah, pushing towards the coast to try to cut the main route linking the
Houthi rebels have been escalating all over the western coast in
Hodeidah," Col Al Dubaish said.
pushed huge forces to Al Jabaliya area, attacking our sites with all kinds of
in Al Jabaliya continued for more than 24 hours as the Houthis intensified
their attacks after one of their high-ranking commanders was killed in clashes
top officer killed was Mohammed Ali Al Sharif,” Col Al Dubaish said.
is one of the top field commanders in Hodeidah of those highly trained in Iran
and has close ties with the Houthi leader Abdulmalik Al Houthi.”
said the Houthi escalation was “a hazardous threat” that could endanger the
UN-backed ceasefire in the city.
joint forces won’t keep watching the Houthis wreaking havoc in Hodeidah,” Col
Al Dubaish said.
have shown restraint over thousands of violations committed by them since the
halt began in December 2018 and the UN kept watching silently. It is enough.”
Al Dhalea province in southern Yemen, the Southern Joint Forces thwarted a
large-scale attack on Sunday.
Military support by Qatar and Turkey to militias has hampered an ongoing
campaign by Libyan forces to “liberate” the capital Tripoli, the country’s top
lawmaker has said.
April, forces of the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Khalifa
Haftar initiated a massive offensive to capture Tripoli from militias loyal to
a weak UN-backed government headed by Fayez Al Serraj.
of the Libyan elected parliament, Aqila Saleh, blamed Qatari-Turkish military
support to the Serraj-aligned militias for the delay in the city’s takeover.
this will not discourage the army from doing its duty towards the country’s
security and stability,” Saleh told pan-Arab newspaper Asharq Al Awsat in
remarks published Monday.
and Ankara are staunch backers of militias in strife-plagued Libya.
is a populous city. War on terrorism there is not a regulated one or even a
street war. Instead, it is happening inside houses. Accordingly, the army has a
tight move plan to protect civilians there,” Saleh added.
defended Haftar’s campaign for Tripoli as part of war on terrorism.
it make sense for the Libyan army to remain handcuffed and unable to tackle the
militias tampering with the country and the people?”
ruled out a new meeting between Libya’s leading rivals.
and talks between Haftar and Al Serraj are impossible, especially after Libyans
were killed and the head of the Presidency Council [Al Serraj] has been accused
of this,” Saleh said.
February, Haftar and Al Serraj met in the Emirati capital Abu Dhabi where they
agreed on the necessity of holding long-delayed elections as part of a
UN-sponsored peace process.
will not wage war against any nation, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said on
Tuesday in a speech broadcast live on state TV.
of a confrontation between Iran and the United States have mounted since
attacks on two oil tankers at the entrance to the Gulf on Thursday, which
Washington has blamed on Tehran.
will not wage war against any nation,” Rouhani said.
said: “Those facing us are a group of politicians with little experience.”
all of the Americans’ efforts in the region and their desire to cut off our
ties with all of the world and their desire to keep Iran secluded, they have
been unsuccessful,” Rouhani added.
Monday, a spokesman for Iran's atomic agency said the country will break the
uranium stockpile limit set by Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers in the
next 10 days.
Kamalvandi made the comment in a news conference carried live on Iranian state
people have been killed after a dinghy carrying refugees sank off Turkey's
western coast, the Turkish coast guard says, adding that 31 others had been
and rescue operations were launched by the coast guard to reach the passengers
of the boat, which sunk off the coast of the Bodrum district in the Mugla
coast guard said in a statement that the operations, carried out by two boats,
a diving team and a helicopter, had found the bodies of 12 people from the
sunken boat at around 32 meters deep in the sea.
search and rescue operations are continuing.
became one of the main launch points for refugees taking the sea route to
European Union territory in 2015, many fleeing conflict and poverty in the
Middle East and Africa. The movement was drastically curtailed by a 2016 accord
between Ankara and the EU.
in the besieged Gaza Strip will receive a new tranche of financial aid donated
by the gas-rich Persian Gulf state of Qatar.
reports quoting unnamed Qatari officials reported on Monday that the money was
brought into the Palestinian enclave Sunday evening by a Qatari envoy to Gaza.
cash grant of 10 million US dollars was to be distributed to more than 100,000
impoverished Gazan families all over the coastal sliver, with each receiving
15 million dollars would be provided for infrastructure and cash-for-work
early May, Qatar allocated nearly half a billion US dollars in aid to the
Palestinian Authority as well as the Islamic resistance movement, Hamas, in order
to support education and health services and provide urgent humanitarian
has committed to providing $15 million a month into Gaza under an informal
agreement struck last November.
January 24, Hamas turned down Qatari funds over Israel’s change of conditions
due to the unrest along the border fence between the strip and the
Israeli-occupied territories, criticizing Tel Aviv for imposing new conditions
on the money entering the blockaded Palestinian territory.
has recently announced a series of new measures to support low-income families,
improve electricity infrastructure, expand imports and exports and ensure
unemployed university graduates find work.
has also witnessed tensions since March 30, 2018 which marked the start of the
Great March of Return protests, with participants demanding the right to return
for those driven out of their homeland.
coastal sliver of land has been under a crippling siege by Israel since 2007
and witnessed three wars since 2008.
to the United Nations, around 80 percent of Palestinians in Gaza are reliant on
Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates has called on the
International Criminal Court (ICC) to launch an immediate investigation into
the crimes of the Tel Aviv regime and extremist Jewish settlers.
ministry, in a statement released on Monday, condemned the settlers' assault on
the town of Kafr Malik, located 17 kilometers northeast of the occupied central
West Bank city of Ramallah, which resulted in the damage of a number of private
Palestinian vehicles and racist graffiti being spray-painted on the walls of a
Israeli regime’s pride in settlement expansion and land grabs reached a blatant
provocation in a ceremony attended by [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu and
[US Ambassador to Israel David] Friedman to launch a new settlement in the
occupied Golan Heights named after US President Donald Trump,” the statement
added, “The rise in Israeli forces’ and settlers’ expropriation of occupied
Palestinian territories and their reckless disregard for international law and
resolutions constitute a flagrant challenge to international peace, and the
so-called advocates of human rights that claim peace can be achieved through
[the so-called] two-state solution.”
Palestinian foreign ministry finally called on local, regional and
international human rights organizations to quickly document these crimes in
order to submit them to the ICC, urging them to speed up the opening of an
official investigation into these crimes in order to hold Israel accountable
for war crimes.
Jewish settlers stormed Kafr Malik late on Sunday, slashing the tires of four
Palestinian vehicles and spray-painting racist anti-Palestinian slogans on the
walls of a mosque there.
Monday morning, Israeli military forces stormed the Palestinian neighborhood of
al-Isawiyah in East Jerusalem al-Quds, uprooting tens of trees under the
pretext of “security measures.”
Abu al-Hummus, a member of a local follow-up committee, said Israeli forces
raided the southwestern flank of the area, and took out tens of trees, claiming
they were “obstructing the work of surveillance cameras” installed in the
settlers uprooted and chopped down 30 olive trees near the town of Bani Na'im,
located 8 kilometers east of al-Khalil, on Sunday.
Jabour, a local activist, said the tress belonged to Palestinian farmers, and
they had been planted there some 30 years ago.
600,000 Israelis live in over 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967
Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East
Turkey has ordered the arrest of 128 military personnel over suspected links to
the network accused by Ankara of orchestrating an attempted coup in 2016, state-run
Anadolu news agency said on Tuesday.
were looking for just over half of the suspects in the western coastal province
of Izmir and the rest across 30 other provinces, Anadolu said.
were suspected of being supporters of US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen,
who is accused by Turkish authorities of masterminding the failed putsch three
years ago. Gulen has denied any role.
than 77,000 people have been jailed pending trial, while about 150,000 people
from the civil service, military, and elsewhere have been sacked or suspended
from their jobs under crackdowns since the attempted coup.
groups and Turkey’s Western allies have criticized the scope of the crackdown,
saying Erdogan has used the abortive coup as a pretext to quash dissent.
least 30 persons were killed and 42 injured in multiple explosions in troubled Nigeria's
northeastern Borneo State.
suicide bombers, one male and two female, detonated explosives at a local tea
shop and a Cinema centre of the small town of Konduga, said Usman Kachala,
Director of the Search, Rescue and Operations of the State Emergency Management
about 8 p.m. [GMT1900] on Sunday, there was a loud explosion at Konduga, but we
couldn't access the place that night. This morning, we brought our men for
rescue operations and I can confirm to you that about 30 people were killed and
42 injured," Kachala noted.
added that the attack initially killed 17 people but casualties shot up due to
inadequate health facilities in the town which has experienced several attacks
-- including bombings -- by the Boko Haram terror group.
Haram has intensified attacks in the country northeast region in recent time in
a wave of violence which started since July 2009 in the area.
Present Mohamadu Buhari has repeatedly pledged to end the decade of violence in
2009, the terrorist organization's insurgency has killed tens of thousands and
displaced millions in the Lake Chad region.
(Reuters) - Somali militants killed eight Kenyan police with a roadside bomb
near the border between the two countries on Saturday, officials said, while
another eight died in a bombing the same group carried out in the Somali
attacks were claimed by Somali Islamist insurgents, who also kidnapped three
Kenyan police reservists on Friday from the same area, in Wajir district in
military forces have occupied part of southern Somalia along the border since
2011. The Kenyans, along with allied Somali militia, wrested control of the
territory from al Shabaab jihadists after a spate of kidnappings on Kenyan
Shabaab is fighting the weak, U.N.-backed Somali government and its
international allies in a quest to impose strict Islamic law.
vehicle that was hit by the roadside bomb was carrying 11 policemen, police
spokesman Charles Owino told Reuters. A local official said eight were killed.
bodies were found and taken to Wajir. Two were rescued, but they are in
critical condition,” said Muhumed Ali Gedi, a member of the local community
security team from Wajir who witnessed the rescue mission.
Mogadishu, al Shabaab detonated two bombs. Police said the first blast, at a
busy junction known as K4, was a car bomb intercepted by security services that
caused no casualties.
other blast killed eight people and injured 16, said Abdikadir Abdirahman, the
director of Aamin ambulance service.
joint operation by the Malian army and the French anti-jihadist force Barkhane,
underway in northeastern Mali, has resulted in the “neutralization” of some 20
jihadists, the Malian Armed Forces (FAMa) announced Saturday evening.
20 terrorists neutralized in #Ménaka. The #FAMa and #Barkhane are conducting a
joint operation in the locality of Akabar, in the Ménaka sector. This operation
made it possible to neutralize about twenty terrorists,” the Malian army
reported on Twitter, without further details.
jihadist group that calls itself the “Islamic State in the Great Sahara” (EIGS)
is mainly active in this region of Ménaka and across the border with Niger.
particular, he claimed responsibility for the October 2017 attack on Tongo
Tongo in Niger. This ambush cost the lives of four American and four Nigerian soldiers.
Mali had fallen in March-April 2012 under the control of jihadist groups,
largely dispersed by a military intervention launched in January 2013 at the
initiative of France. This intervention continues with Operation Barkhane,
which mobilizes some 4,500 soldiers in the Sahel.
entire areas of Mali are beyond the control of Malian, French and UN forces,
despite the signing in 2015 of a peace agreement intended to definitively
2015, violence has spread from the North to the centre, and sometimes even to
the South. They are very often involved in inter-community conflicts, a
phenomenon that also affects neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger.
Dogon village of Sobane Da, near Bandiagara (central Mali), was the scene of an
attack on the evening of 9 June that killed 35 people, including 24 children.
Kenya — At least 10 Kenyan police officers died after their vehicle struck an
improvised explosive device near the Somali border in a suspected extremist
attack on Saturday, officials said.
killed in the Wajir County blast were among 13 officers who had been pursuing
suspected extremists who had kidnapped police reservists, the officials said.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized
to share the information.
on Friday said a number of gunmen thought to be members of the Somalia-based
al-Shabab extremist group stormed Konton center in Wajir East and kidnapped
was no immediate claim of responsibility for the latest attack. Al-Shabab often
targets Kenyan security forces. It has vowed retribution for Kenya’s deployment
of troops to Somalia in 2011 to combat the extremists after they carried out
high-profile kidnappings inside Kenya and hurt the country’s lucrative tourism
recent months the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab has resumed the abductions.
April the extremist group kidnapped two Cuban doctors in Mandera County and
demanded $1.5 million for their return.
United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) on Monday condemned the use of children
as suicide bombers by Boko Haram terrorists in Nigeria's northeast.
agency’s statement came hours after two underage girls and a boy blew
themselves up at a community football viewing center in the Konduga area of
Borno State -- the heart of the 10-year-old insurgency.
incident left at least 30 dead and 40 others injured.
condemns the use of children as human bombs and in any combat or non-combat
roles in the conflict in northeast Nigeria," the agency said in a
is unacceptable that children should be used in this way. UNICEF appeals to all
those involved in this terrible conflict to protect children at all times and
to keep them out of harm’s way."
said the incident brought to five the number of children used as human bombs
this year. In 2018, 48 children died as suicide bombers, while more than 83
children suffered a similar fate in 2017.
– Libyan officials say forces loyal to military commander Khalifa Hifter are
pursuing Islamic State militants in the country's south, killing more than a
dozen militants over the past three days.
officials said Sunday that the self-styled Libyan National Army began its
attack on a militant hideout in the mountainous area of Haruj earlier this
week. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not
authorized to brief the media.
LNA media center said Friday that the IS militants were responsible for recent
attacks in southern areas.
acknowledged the ongoing LNA attack and claimed to have killed and wounded dozens
of LNA troops.
— The roadside bomb that disabled an American vehicle in Niger last week was
rudimentary and harmed no one, but its location — roughly 70 miles into the
country’s interior and minutes from an American Army outpost — was unusual and
alarming, military officials said.
strike was the latest in a string of attacks carried out by Islamic State
affiliates using roadside bombs in Niger that have, until now, mostly targeted
extremist group claimed responsibility for the blast, which occurred on the
outskirts of the small town of Oullam. The blast’s proximity to American troops
has increased concerns about the growing threat of improvised explosive
devices, or I.E.D.s, that have long defined American conflicts in Iraq and
bomb used on June 8, according to a military official, was activated by a
weatherproofed pressure plate and wired to an 81 millimeter mortar projectile,
which exploded, causing a main charge of nearly a dozen 60 millimeter mortar
rounds to detonate. The explosives were buried roughly three feet underground
and positioned at a key choke point on a road that led to a shooting range
frequented by American, Canadian and Nigerien troops.
roughly 12-ton American all-terrain vehicle, known as a M-ATV, with soldiers
from the 19th Special Forces Group inside, triggered the device. According to a
military official familiar with the blast, the bomb was packed similarly to one
used in northern Niger this year. If a lesser-armored vehicle had detonated the
explosives, there would have been significant casualties, the official said.
Little else is known about the bomb.
military efforts in the region, including a concerted and continuing
counterterrorism mission led by France throughout the Sahel since 2014, extremist
groups there are expanding their efforts to strike further afield than they
have in the past.
Lebovich, a visiting fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations who
focuses on North Africa and the Sahel, said that the spate of roadside bomb
attacks highlights the growing threat that American and French forces are
facing in Niger despite their efforts.
an evolving threat and it’s spreading,” Mr. Lebovich said. He added that
militants in Niger are varying their assaults with improvised explosive devices
in addition to their often-used tactic of staging ambushes primarily from
Oct. 4, 2017, Islamic State militants attacked an American Special Forces team
of 11 soldiers alongside roughly 30 Nigerien troops in much the same way,
leaving four Americans and five Nigeriens dead. A recently released redacted
report detailing the ambush pointed to an intelligence failure as one of the
reasons that the small American force was caught off guard by a large Islamic
State force on the Niger-Mali border.
month, at least 25 Nigerien soldiers were killed in an ambush near Tongo Tongo,
the site of the October 2017 gun battle. The attack was carried out by Islamic
State militants who used a combination of small arms and at least one roadside
bombs have been nearly nonexistent in this part of the country until recently.
According to a United Nations report published last month, the first roadside
bomb to target Nigerien forces in northwest Niger was during a Jan. 31 attack,
which left four soldiers wounded.
then, there have been at least six more episodes involving improvised explosive
devices in western Niger, according to data compiled by Heni Nsaibia, a
researcher with the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project. But in
southeastern Niger, the weapon has been used against government forces fighting
Boko Haram around Diffa, Niger, since 2015.
growing presence of roadside bombs is not just a problem in Niger. In central
Mali, according to the United Nations secretary general, roadside bomb attacks
have more than tripled to nearly 100 in 2018 from 29 in 2017.
Christopher Karns, a spokesman for Africa Command, said that American forces
provide counterroadside bomb training to local forces, but he would not comment
on the growing threat from the hidden explosives, nor on the details of the
June 8 blast.
so presents potential information to adversaries, and we’re not in the business
of doing that,” Colonel Karns said in an email.
New York man who attempted to join the Islamic State was sentenced to 20 years
in prison after he tried to provide material support to the terror group and
boasted about how easy it would be to carry out an attack in Times Square.
Rafik Naji, 40, became a “committed supporter” of ISIS in 2014, according to
the Department of Justice. He traveled to Yemen in an attempt to join the
terror group in March 2015, said federal authorities.
returning to the United States in September 2015, Naji repeatedly distributed
pro-ISIS messages on social media and advised an individual on how to travel
overseas and join the terrorist group.
individual was a confidential FBI informant, the Justice Department said in a
press release Friday. Naji went on to tell the informant that he had pledged an
allegiance to ISIS, saying “I belong to the Islamic State only.” He also
discussed the potential for carrying out a terrorist attack in Times Square,
suggesting that a garbage truck could be driven into a crowd of pedestrians.
was arrested in 2016 and pleaded guilty to charges of attempting to provide
material support to terrorists in 2018. He was sentenced to 20 years in federal
prison on Friday.
like Mr. Naji believe murdering innocent people advances their political
agendas,” said FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney. “In the end, Mr. Naji,
like many others before him, find the only thing their actions lead to is a
different vantage point from which to watch the world pass by — through the
steel bars of a federal prison.”
President Donald Trump says he knows who was behind the September 11, 2001
terrorist attacks that left thousands of Americans dead.
an exclusive interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos broadcast on
Sunday, Trump categorically said that “Iraq did not knock down the World Trade
was not Iraq,” he told the American broadcaster. “It were other people. And I
think I know who the other people were. And you might also.”
September, 11, 2001 attacks, also known as the 9/11 attacks, were a series of
strikes in the US which killed nearly 3,000 people and caused about $10 billion
worth of property and infrastructure damage.
officials assert that the attacks were carried out by 19 al-Qaeda terrorists
but many experts have raised questions about the official account.
believe that rogue elements within the US government, such as former Vice
President Dick Cheney, orchestrated or at least encouraged the 9/11 attacks in
order to accelerate the US war machine and advance the Zionist agenda.
the 9/11 attack, the United States, backed by some allies including Britain,
invaded Afghanistan, where al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was sheltered,
according to the George W. Bush administration.
Then 9/11 was used as part of the justification for the 2003 invasion
and occupation of Iraq, which resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands
the ABC News interview, Trump criticized Washington’s military intervention in
the Middle East, which he said was ”the worst decision made in the history of
described the Middle East region as “like quicksand.”
was a terrible decision to go into the Middle East. Terrible. We’re now up to almost $8t trillion
(£6.4trn). And when we want to build a roadway, a highway, a school, or
something, everyone’s always fighting over money. It’s ridiculous. So that was
a bad decision,” he added.
by the way, Iraq did not knock down the World Trade Center. It was not Iraq. It
were other people. And I think I know who the other people were. And you might
also. But it was a terrible decision,” he continued.
his 2016 presidential election campaign, Trump has been leaking out a little
bit of what independent analysts call “forbidden truth” about 9/11.
has done this before regarding 9/11 and bin Laden issues, for example when he
blamed the 9/11 on George W. Bush. That was of course too much for a lot of
Republicans but it did not hurt his ability to gain Republican nomination,”
according to Dr. Kevin Barrett, a founding member of the Scientific Panel for
the Investigation of 9/11.
the media always goes after Trump when he says things about 9/11 that let out a
little bit of truth, when Trump talked about the dancing Muslims celebrating
9/11 in New Jersey. Of course, that was taken by many as a bleak reference to
the dancing Israelis that’s the Mossad agents who widely celebrated the success
of their operation, and flipped cigarette lighters and held them up for cameras
and video cameras as they celebrated during the fire and then the explosive
destruction of the world trade center,” he told Press TV in November last year.
trial of an elite US Navy Seal accused of shooting unarmed civilians and
stabbing a teenage captive to death in Iraq began on Monday at a military court
Operations Chief Edward Gallagher, 40, is charged with several war crimes
including premeditated murder, attempted murder of two civilians – including a
young girl – with his sniper rifle and obstruction of justice.
alleged acts in Iraq in 2017 were reported by men under his own command in the
special operations branch of the US Navy.
were among American troops deployed to Mosul, in northern Iraq, alongside Iraqi
forces battling ISIS for control of the city.
Gallagher, a decorated veteran of combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan,
faces life imprisonment if convicted by the San Diego court.
denies all the charges against him.
lawyers claim he is the victim of a "cabal" who plotted against him
in order to remove him from the platoon.
Marines, four sailors and a Navy Seal were questioned on Monday during jury
selection. Most served in conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Each said they
thought it possible that Navy Seals could lie or make false allegations. A jury
is likely to be seated on Tuesday.
lead prosecutor was removed from the case earlier this month for tracking the
defence team's emails.
to statements read at a preliminary hearing last year, some members of the
"Alpha" platoon were so horrified by Mr Gallagher's behaviour that
they tampered with his sniper rifle and fired warning shots to scare civilians
away before he had time to open fire on them.
told investigators that Mr Gallagher would brag about the number of people he
had killed, according to The New York Times.
May 2017, Iraqi forces captured an injured ISIS combatant who appeared to be
about 15 years old.
to the testimony of two Seals, Mr Gallagher approached while a doctor was
treating the young man and stabbed the prisoner several times in the neck and
chest with a hunting knife.
few minutes later Mr Gallagher and his commanding officer allegedly instructed
members of the platoon to pose for a photo around the body as if it were a
Gallagher's case has proven divisive in the US, where he remains a war hero to
cause has been championed by about 40 Republican members of Congress, as well
as the right-wing Fox News channel.
will be consulted on uniform shariah law plan, govt assures
JAYA: The government has sought to allay fears that the rulers will be left in
the dark on its proposal for a uniform code of shariah criminal laws for all
states, saying they will be updated on developments and their consent sought
once the final draft is drawn up.
assurance by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of Islamic
affairs Mujahid Yusof Rawa and deputy minister Fuziah Salleh followed a call by
a former MP for the rulers’ views to be taken into account since they are the
heads of Islam in their states.
Ismail, former MP for Sungai Benut, said he feared the move could be a step
towards the greater centralisation of power over religion by Putrajaya.
also said discussions on uniform shariah criminal laws could be used as a back
door for implementing harsh punishments for Islamic criminal offences in the
record has shown that PAS-controlled states lean towards harsher penalties,”
Tawfik said, citing the controversial move by PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang to
table a private member’s bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal
Jurisdiction) Act with enhanced penalties.
Mujahid told FMT the rulers would need to give their consent for the proposal
to be adopted, adding that he would personally keep the rulers informed on any
said decisions made among the states would also be reported to them.
meanwhile described Tawfik’s concern as a non-issue as the “natural next step”
would be to bring details of the proposal to the attention of the rulers.
said there was still a long way to go before the proposal would be brought to
the Cabinet or made into law.
this stage, it does not have to be brought to them (the rulers) for their
approval but the final document will eventually be brought to them for their
consent,” Fuziah told FMT.
is already incorporated in the procedures.”
said there would be a number of technical discussions and meetings with
stakeholders before a draft bill is drawn up and presented to the Cabinet and
then the Attorney-General’s Chambers.
that, the draft will be brought back to the National Council of Islamic
Religious Affairs and only then will the complete document be presented to the
Council of Rulers,” she said, adding that the process could take up to a year.
said the lack of a standardised system meant there were different punishments
for the same offences under shariah law, which was unfair.
example, an offence punishable by caning in one state is not the same in
another,” she said, citing the case of two women who were caned in Terengganu
after being convicted of engaging in same-sex relations in 2018.
the women had committed the same offence in Perlis, their punishment would have
been different because caning is not the prescribed punishment in the state.
also penalises public drinking with caning while other states do not, she said,
adding that it was time for all states to get on the same page on such matters.
said five standardised Islamic laws had previously been implemented.
successful implementation of the Islamic Family Law (Federal Territories) Act
1984, she said, was evidence that standardisation was good.
this wasn’t uniform, you could get married in one state and avoid certain
procedures instead of marrying in another state where it is much stricter.”
also said all states must agree on what sort of punishments will be
not just a unilateral decision by the minister. Only after all the states agree
will it be included in the final draft.”
announced plans for the uniform code of shariah criminal laws on Sunday.
said the inconsistency was an injustice “especially to the accused, the
prosecution and those involved in a shariah criminal case”.
the proposal, a draft of a uniform set of shariah criminal laws will be drawn
up by amending the existing provisions, as well as adding new provisions to the
Syariah Criminal Offences (Federal Territories) Act.
draft will then be presented to the other states for their views and agreement.
When consensus is reached, it will be used as a guide for the states to
formulate uniform shariah laws.
The Maldives Saturday called for international help to rehabilitate up to 160
of its nationals languishing in Syrian detention camps after the defeat of the
Islamic State group.
Mohamed Nasheed said the Maldives kept a close tab on citizens who had joined
the militant group, but that the island nation was not ready to accept them
back without an internationally supervised reintegration programme.
neighbouring Sri Lanka where 258 people were killed in jihadi attacks recently,
Nasheed said the question of foreign IS fighters in Syria should be addressed
as a global issue.
many as 160 Maldivians are thought to be held in detention camps after the fall
of IS in March.
do not know the situation they have gone through. We don't have the capacity to
rehabilitate these people to the extent that they will not have a further
impact on society," Nasheed said.
think the international community should join together and decide what we
should do to the returnees. Hopefully, there is an international arrangement
where they are first received, not necessarily to their countries of origin or
said the Maldives was concerned about the 30 to 40 children said to be of
Maldivian parents now living in detention camps in Syria, but insisted that
there should be international involvement to screen the parents. "I don't
think we should say they can come back in the first flight they can
catch," he added. Nasheed said the nation of 340,000 Sunni Muslims was
keeping a close watch on any attempt to radicalise its population, which is
known to practise a liberal form of Islam -- and relies heavily on luxury tourism.
than two thirds of the Maldivian parliament was spending a three-day holiday in
Sri Lanka, to demonstrate it was safe for foreigners to visit the island after
the deadly Easter Sunday attacks, Nasheed said.
a chilling warning of the impact of terrorism on tourism, Sri Lanka's thriving
tourism sector is projected to lose at least USD 1.5 billion revenue this year
with a 30 per cent slump in the number of holidaymakers visiting the island.
and his legislators were staying at the luxury Cinnamon Grand -- one of the
three hotels hit by a local jihadi group which pledged allegiance to IS leader
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi -- to show Sri Lanka was still a safe tourist destination.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi flew to Sri Lanka last week, the first world
leader to visit the island after the Easter attacks.
calls on Indonesian bishops to forge Muslim ties
Francis has called on Indonesian bishops to forge greater ties with Muslims by
drawing inspiration from a groundbreaking document he signed this year while on
a visit to the United Arab Emirates.
light of concerns over rising intolerance in predominantly Muslim Indonesia,
Pope Francis told the bishops to try to adhere to principles set out in “Human
Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together," the document he signed in
Abu Dhabi in February with Ahmed Al Tayeb, the grand imam of Al Azhar.
document invites Christians and Muslims to respect each other and work together
for the common good.
pope’s call came during the ad limina visit by 37 Indonesian bishops to the
Vatican from June 8-16.
are encouraged [by the pope] to share the message of this document to all
Catholics [in Indonesia]," Archbishop Ignatius Suharyo of Jakarta told
ucanews.com on June 16.
Indonesian Muslim groups say they appreciate the message the document seeks to
Aqil Siradj, head of Nahdatul Ulama, Indonesia’s largest Muslim organization,
said the document's message mirrored their commitment to end hostility between
Muslims and non-Muslims. It also supported their call to accept democracy,
reject a caliphate and realize peace throughout the world.
Nurcholish, an Islamic scholar and head of the education division at the
Indonesian Conference on Religious and Peace, said that if the bishops follow
up on the pope's request, it will greatly help any efforts to maintain
religious tolerance in Indonesia.
said the document was very relevant to the current situation, where primordial
barriers and religious sentiments have strengthened, particularly in the last
decade, which has damaged relations among religions.
restoring better Islamic-Catholic relations in this country, it is hoped that
this will improve interfaith relations at a broader level, both nationally and
internationally," he added.
bishops’ visit was a routine visit by bishops of each country every five years
to the Vatican to give a country report to the Holy See.
LUMPUR, June 18 — PAS and Umno have agreed to join forces to fight the ruling
Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition in any election, the Islamist party’s deputy
Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man told Utusan Malaysia in an interview published today that
the two parties have a mutual agreement to support the other, which depends on
who holds a bigger advantage in a seat being contested.
have agreed that when a by-election takes place, it will be ‘one against one’.
If Umno is strong, then PAS will support Umno and if PAS is strong in a
constituency, then Umno will support PAS for a straight fight,” he was quoted
said the two parties will unite on any issue involving Muslim and Malay
interests. Their coordination will also include matters to raise in Parliament.
LUMPUR, June 18 — Malaysia is looking forward to the thorough report from Egypt
on the cause of its former President Mohamed Mursi’s death, Deputy Prime
Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said.
stressed that Malaysia acknowledged the statement by Egypt’s public prosecutor,
but was still concerned with the numerous reports by human rights bodies about
the treatment of Mursi prior to his passing.
Mursi was the first democratically-elected president of Egypt following the
2011 Arab Spring revolution, whose term was abruptly ended after 12 months.
his tenure as president, Mr Mursi showed courage and moral fortitude in his
attempt to lead Egypt away from decades of authoritarian rule and establish
true democracy there,” she tweeted.
also said the death of Mursi was a great loss for democracy.
sincerely hope the late former President Mursi will be given the appropriate
burial,” she added.
an earlier tweet, Dr Wan Azizah also said that she was deeply saddened by the
passing of Mursi and extended her deepest condolences to his family and people
Allah bless his soul and grant him Jannah,” she said.
67, died Monday during his trial on “espionage” charges. He had requested to
speak during the session before he fainted and died.
media reported that the Muslim Brotherhood claimed the death was a
public prosecutor Nabil Sadek said in a statement that Mursi arrived dead to
the hospital and there were no marks of injuries on his body.
Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned on Tuesday that the world should not open a
“Pandora’s Box” in the Middle East, as he denounced US pressure on Iran and
called on it not to drop out of a landmark nuclear deal.
of a confrontation between Iran and the United States have mounted since last
Thursday when two oil tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman.
United States blamed Iran for the attacks, more than a year after President
Donald Trump withdrew from a 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
denied involvement in the tanker attacks and said on Monday it would soon
breach limits on how much enriched uranium it can stockpile under the deal,
which had sought to limit its nuclear capabilities.
US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan announced on the same day the deployment
of about 1,000 more troops to the Middle East for what he said were defensive
purposes, citing concerns about a threat from Iran.
in Beijing after meeting Syria’s foreign minister, Chinese Foreign Minister
Wang Yi said the United States should not use “extreme pressure” to resolve
issues with Iran.
told reporters that China was “of course, very concerned” about the situation
in the Gulf and with Iran, and called on all sides to ease tension and not head
toward a clash.
call on all sides to remain rational and exercise restraint, and not take any
escalatory actions that irritate regional tensions, and not open a Pandora’s
box,” Wang said.
particular, the US side should alter its extreme pressure methods,” Wang said.
unilateral behavior has no basis in international law. Not only will it not
resolve the problem, it will only create an even greater crisis.”
also said that the Iran nuclear deal was the only feasible way to resolve its
nuclear issue, and he urged Iran to be prudent.
understand that relevant parties may have different concerns but first of all
the comprehensive nuclear deal should be properly implemented,” he added. “We
hope that Iran is cautious with its decision-making and not lightly abandon
the same time, China hopes other parties respect Iran’s legitimate lawful
rights and interests, Wang said.
and Iran have close energy ties, and China has been angered by US threats
against countries and companies that violate US sanctions by importing Iranian
oil, including Chinese firms.
has had to walk a fine line as it has also been cultivating relations with
Iran’s regional rival, Saudi Arabia, the Asian giant’s top oil supplier.
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