Khan Sees Better Chance of Peace Talks with India If BJP Wins Election
Schools’ Fund Diverted to Samiul Haq’s Seminary
of Bangladeshi 'Extremists' To Surrender: Police
Ideological Shift Has Not Gone Unnoticed
Doing A Great Job’: Trump Embraces Egypt’s Autocratic President
Islamophobes Team Up Against Javid to Block His Premiership Bid
Cabinet Welcomes IRGC Terrorist Designation by US
PM Netanyahu Wins National Election: CH 12 TV
Tripoli Gov't Orders Arrest of ‘Sleeper Cells’
Appearance before NIA Paves Ways for Thorough Probe into JK Terror Funding
Issues 2200 Visas to Sikh Pilgrims on the Eve of Baisakhi Celebrations
FIA seeks cancellation of 26/11 mastermind Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi's bail
Premier: ‘No Use’ for Armed Militias Anymore
reforms, Pakistan’s growth rate to remain at 2.5pc till 2024: IMF
fails to win over Nawaz against government
Tahrir echoes anti Bangladesh propaganda
militants killed in coalition airstrikes in Southeast of Afghanistan
forces drone crashes in Helmand province of Afghanistan
militant surrender to Afghan police after killing his commander in Faryab
Special Forces destroy Taliban prison, arms and explosives depots in Kunduz
storm checkpoints kill 20 Afghan troops
Myanmar border talks begin in Naypyidaw
Ruling Party Pledges Probe into Chinese Deals after Landslide Win
Malaysia share top position in global Muslim tourism index
let pride stand between us, Mahfodz tells PAS and Umno
Power' Not Enough to Delegitimize 2019 Election: TNI
inspired by ISIS planned truck attack near DC, say US prosecutors
will fail to provide nukes to Saudi Arabia: Scholar
Man planning attack near DC 'inspired by Daesh'
Refugee Chief Warns New Zealand Massacre The Result Of Toxic Politics, Media
urges Iran’s Rouhani to avoid ‘escalation’ of tensions
to join legal fight against UK arms sales to Saudi amid Yemen atrocities
Announces Major Funding To Tackle Hate Crime In Latest Crackdown On Extremism
collected on frozen Libyan assets could be recycled for IRA terror victims
Planned to Target Mosque in UK’s First Far-Right Suicide Bomb Plot
Qatar Criticize US Designation of IRGC as Terror Group
recognition of Golan Heights as Israeli flouts intl. law: Aoun
bombers attack Syrian army post, several dead
least 9 people killed in car bomb attacks in Syria’s Raqqah
receives more T-90 battle tanks from Russia to boost ground force
bombings in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula leave 8 dead
Coalition strikes Houthi targets in Yemen’s capital
Gantz Both Claim Victory In Israeli Polls
dozen Saudi mercenaries killed, injured in Yemeni army offensives
using lethal gases against March of Return protesters: Gaza Health Ministry
decries ‘illegal’ US designation of Guards, retaliates with terrorism listing
Coalition strikes Houthi targets in Yemen’s Sanaa
report reveals Houthis blocked shipment of cholera vaccines for almost a year
postpones conference in Libya due to fighting
Forces Target S. Libya's Capital
At least 47 killed in last 3 days in Libya clashes
keeps troops in Libya despite Khalifa advance
Govt, AU Forces Arrest 9 Al-Shabab Militants in Southern Region
Haram hits Nigerian city after thousands flee military operation
Haram: Airforce hits hard on Islamic State terrorists in Borno
have rescued Nigeria from Boko Haram – Buhari boasts in Abu Dhabi
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Khan sees better chance of peace talks with India if BJP wins election
Prime Minister Imran Khan said he thinks there may be a better chance of peace
talks with India if Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP wins the general
said that if the next Indian government were led by the opposition Congress
party, it might be too scared to seek a settlement with Pakistan over Kashmir.
if the BJP wins, some kind of settlement in Kashmir could be reached,” Khan
told a small group of foreign journalists in an interview.
said Modi, like Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was electioneering
based on “fear and nationalist feeling”.
BJP’s pledge this week to propose stripping decades-old special rights from the
people of Jammu and Kashmir, which prevent outsiders from buying property in
the state, was a major concern, though it could also be electioneering, Khan
did appear to offer India an olive branch, saying that Islamabad was determined
to dismantle all Pakistan-based militias in the country, and that the
government had full support from Pakistan’s powerful army for the programme.
Those to be dismantled include groups involved in Kashmir.
said Kashmir was a political struggle and there was no military solution.
between Pakistan and India reached a crisis point in February after a suicide
bombing killed 40 Indian paramilitary police in Kashmir.
denied responsibility for the February 14 attack, which was claimed by
Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed, but the bombing prompted India
to carry out a cross border air strikes against a militant training camp in
parliamentary election is being held in phases in India and does not finish
until May 19. The results will be declared on May 23.
schools’ fund diverted to Samiul Haq’s seminary
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has diverted Rs30 million funds meant for the
development of public sector higher secondary schools in the province to
Maulana Samiul Haq’s Darul Uloom Haqqania seminary in Nowshera, sources claim.
government had allocated Rs1.7 billion in the current fiscal year for providing
higher secondary schools with basic facilities.
told Dawn that of those funds, Rs695 million was diverted to Swat district two
months ago before the government gave away another Rs30 million to the Darul
Uloom Haqania, leaving little for the schools’ development.
said the government had so far released Rs900 million to the elementary and
secondary education department for the Standardisation of Government Higher
Secondary Schools project.
sources said of the Rs695 million funds diverted to Swat, Rs116 million would
be spent on higher secondary schools, while the rest had gone to road and
provision of funds to Darul Uloom Haqqania by the previous PTI government for
its development had caused uproar.
Standardisation of Government Higher Secondary Schools initiative was launched
in the 2015-16 financial year.
it, the government had selected 200 schools across the province for providing
them with necessary facilities at the cost of Rs9.8 billion.
scheme provides for the establishment of separate labs for physics, chemistry
and biology subjects, construction of examination halls and additional
classrooms, beautification of the schools, supply of electricity and water, and
construction of washrooms.
now, work on only 72 of the selected schools has been completed at a cost of
Rs3.7 billion, sources said.
said the previous PTI government had allocated Rs460 million for Darul Uloom
Haqqania’s development before releasing Rs28 million in July 2018.
said as the seminary asked for more funds, the government diverted the higher
schools’ budgetary allocations for the purpose.
officials of the education department expressed ignorance about the development
and said the money would’ve been diverted by the planning and development
department in the recent re-appropriation of funds.
official said the P&D department didn’t cut the money out of Rs900 million
funds already released to the education department for higher secondary
said the P&D department hadn’t informed the education department about the
funds diversion to the Nowshera seminary.
official said usually, the P&D department ‘avoided’ informing the relevant
department about the ‘cutting down’ of the unreleased funds.
to the chief minister on elementary and secondary education Ziaullah Bangash
had expressed ignorance 10 days ago when asked about the funds’ diversion.
me get details (of the matter) from the quarters concerned and get back,” he
had told Dawn.
Mr Bangash neither took this correspondent’s call on Tuesday nor did he respond
to a text message sent to his cellphone number.
of Bangladeshi 'extremists' to surrender: Police
Hundreds of Bangladeshi left-wing "extremists" will lay down their
arms Tuesday (Apr 9) in what police say is the largest surrender of its kind in
decades in the South Asian nation.
than 600 insurgents were expected to turn in homemade weapons and firearms to
Bangladesh's home minister and police chief at a formal ceremony at a sports
stadium, officials said.
government will work to help rehabilitate them so they can return to
society," Sheikh Rafiqul Islam, police chief in the restive northwestern
district of Pabna, said.
western regions have been wracked with conflict since the 1970s until quite
recently, with left-wing movements including Maoist outfits and tribal groups
fighting the state from jungle redoubts.
describes them as "extremists" and blames them for the assassinations
of political figures and journalists, as well as deadly attacks on the armed
forces and police.
resistance waned with the formation of Bangladesh's elite police unit in the
mid-2000s, which forced the various insurrection movements into retreat through
a brutal crackdown.
groups have accused the Rapid Action Battalion police unit of extrajudicial
killings of left-wing figures in the country's west and northwest.
said the surrender would be the largest since 1997, when several thousand
tribal fighters from the jungle-clad Chittagong hill tracts bordering Myanmar
laid down their arms in a peace deal with the government.
years later, 400 other militants surrendered and were appointed to Bangladesh's
reserve police force.
months ago, roughly 100 methamphetamine traffickers turned themselves in under
an amnesty struck with local authorities.
government announced a no-holds-barred war on drugs last year to purge
Bangladesh of drugs, killing dozens of alleged dealers and methamphetamine
main target was to curb the smuggling of yaba, a cheap and addictive
methamphetamine pill trafficked to the country by the hundreds of millions.
said 24 "godfathers" were among the traffickers who surrendered in
Teknaf, a key border gateway for smuggling yaba into Bangladesh from Myanmar.
ideological shift has not gone unnoticed
for his reelection in the April 17 presidential race, the incumbent Joko
“Jokowi” Widodo has focused his attention more on winning the hearts and minds
of conservative voters, reflected among other means by his choice of running
mate and giving concessions to the military.
a socialist by ideology, squares off with Prabowo Subianto, a former army
general, who counts mostly on conservative voters to get him into office. Given
society’s increasing trend toward conservatism, both candidates are now
scrambling for votes from this segment.
apparent ideological shift may be more for expediency to ensure victory, but
voters from his traditional support base to the left of the political spectrum
fear it could have major policy implications for his next administration.
have declared through social media memes that they will not vote, making clear
they did not endorse the shift, but that they would not give their vote to the
challenger who is even further to the right, embracing hard-line Islamic
the final weeks before polling day, most surveys show Jokowi is ahead by a
double-digit margin. One or two surveys say his lead is in the alarming level
of a single digit.
growing concern that high absenteeism could turn the election results around,
Jokowi’s camp has been campaigning hard in the last few days to get the vote
out on voting day.
your vote and then go on holiday,” Jokowi has been repeatedly telling voters.
Others use harsher words to intimidate people to vote, even knowing that voting
day is a national holiday and with Good Friday on April 19, also a national
holiday, many people are planning to take an extended holiday, and some are
even contemplating leaving town for the entire week. They include disilusionned
voters who would have voted for Jokowi.
things stand at the moment, Jokowi appears to be unbeatable, even more so with
his apparent shift to the right. Incumbency confers advantages that Jokowi did
not have when he, as Jakarta governor, contested the presidential race for the
first time in 2014, also against Prabowo.
time, Jokowi has a track record to show for while Prabowo does not. His
die-hard supporters would argue it is excellent, but for most voters it is good
enough; not too disastruous for them to want to replace him. Then-president
Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono had a lackluster record in 2004-2009, but won by a
landslide in his reelection bid in 2009.
the economy, Jokowi has delivered a yearly growth rate above 5 percent, good
enough to sustain the economy, reducing the poverty rate to a historic low,
keeping inflation low at 3 to 4 percent and bringing down the unemployment
level to 5.6 percent. His universal national healthcare services and 12-year
free schooling policies, as well as subsidies for the poor, have endeared him
to the poor and the low-middle class. His massive infrastructure programs are
beginning to deliver the services that should further facilitate growth in the
the candidates racing to be seen as more nationalist, Jokowi is ahead with his
“resource nationalism”. During his term, the government acquired a majority
stake at PT Freeport Indonesia, which controls the largest gold reserves in the
the world in Papua, from American mining giant Freeport McMoran. He ensured
Indonesia’s appropriation of the Rokan oil field, Indonesia’s largest, from
Chevron Indonesia, and the huge Mahakam gas field from Total Indonesie.
vision for his second term does not depart much from his current policies.
Predictably, he has campaigned for continuity, and for endorsement of his
existing policies and vision.
the track record, Prabowo has struggled to come up with a better alternative.
He and his team have ended poking at some of the weaknesses and flaws in
Jokowi’s policies, rather than trying to present a real alternative.
shift to the right of the political spectrum is clearly part of his strategy to
win the race, inevitable perhaps, amid increasing conservatism.
choice of Ma’ruf Amin as running mate upset his traditional supporters who
recall that this is the same man who condemned former Jakarta governor Basuki
Tjahaja Purnama, and a close friend of Jokowi, to prison for blasphemy through
his testimony in court. Jokowi has retained the services of Yusril Izha Mahendra,
who chairs the conservative Islamist Crescent Star Party (PBB), as
constitutional law advisor. It was upon Yusril’s advice that Jokowi announced
the plan to release Abu Bakar Ba’syir, the mastermind of several terrorist
attacks in the name of Islam, in January. Jokowi backtracked after protests at
home and abroad.
decision to increase the retirement age for military officers to 58 years, and
then to allow them take up posts in the civil service, raised the specter of
the return to the dual function role of the Indonesian Military in both defense
and politics, not unlike the Soeharto years.
far to the right of the political spectrum is Jokowi shifting? Will he be able
to resist pressures from Muslim conservatives and the military who want to have
more say in his next government?
assured of election victory, Jokowi’s political fate is now very much in the
hands of those on the left of the political spectrum. If there are enough of
them too angry to vote because of his shift to the right, they could well
deliver victory to Prabowo.
doing a great job’: Trump embraces Egypt’s autocratic president
Donald Trump while meeting with President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi of Egypt in the
Oval Office of the White House, in Washington. (Tom Brenner/The New York Times)
by Mark Landler
Donald Trump welcomed Egypt’s president, Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, to the White
House on Tuesday, and bestowed on his ally what he most eagerly sought: a
ringing endorsement of his strongman rule.
64, a former general who took power in a military coup in 2013, is seeking to
amend the Egyptian Constitution to allow him to run for two more six-year
terms, which would keep him in power until 2034.
Trump was asked about the amendments, he professed not to know anything about
them, but declared: “I can just tell you he’s doing a great job. Great
visit came on the same day that another key ally of Trump’s in the Middle East,
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, was facing voters in a tight
election. In the weeks leading up to that vote, the president tried to shore up
Netanyahu’s fortunes with a series of gestures, chief among them US recognition
of Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
also came as Trump called a third ally, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of
Saudi Arabia, who has been under a cloud since reports that he ordered the
killing in October of a Saudi dissident journalist, Jamal Khashoggi.
and Crown Prince Mohammed discussed Saudi Arabia’s “critical role” in
stabilizing the region, the campaign to isolate Iran and “the importance of
human right issues,” according to a White House statement.
Egypt’s leader, Trump offered only the trappings of an Oval Office welcome,
though one with flashing cameras and looming boom mics. Back home, where
el-Sissi has methodically stifled dissent and tightened his grip on power, that
could prove more than enough validation.
single and only reason for President Sissi to visit the White House right now
is to obtain a strong endorsement from President Trump to stay in power,” said
Amy Hawthorne, deputy director of research at the Project on Middle East
their session, Trump said the two men would discuss trade and counterterrorism.
He said nothing publicly about Egypt’s human rights record, which was always
checkered but has deteriorated under el-Sissi, who has brutally suppressed the
Muslim Brotherhood and turned Egypt into a society in which a person can be
arrested over an objectionable Facebook post. Trump’s daughter Ivanka also met
with el-Sissi to discuss the empowerment of women.
Trump said nothing about several Americans currently detained in Egypt. Earlier
in the day, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo raised the issue with el-Sissi,
according to the State Department.
his part, el-Sissi said relations between Egypt and the United States had never
been stronger. “All the credit goes to you, Mr. President,” he said through a
translator. “Thank you very much for your support on all fronts.”
fact, some analysts said, the U.S. alliance with Egypt is at an awkward moment.
Trump has focused most of his energy in the region on assembling an Israeli and
Persian Gulf alliance against Iran.
you think of Trump’s agenda in the Middle East, Egypt doesn’t offer that much,”
said Brian Katulis, an expert on Egypt and senior fellow at the Center for American
Progress. “What’s interesting to me is that Trump — who is always asking
‘What’s in it for us?’ — is even doing this meeting.”
Egypt, which still receives roughly $1.3 billion a year in U.S. military aid,
recently agreed to buy 20 fighter jets from Russia, potentially exposing
individual Egyptians to US sanctions.
decision on the Golan Heights rankled Egyptian officials, as did his earlier
order to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Both moves
run counter to the spirit of the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel,
brokered 40 years ago by President Jimmy Carter.
could also make it harder for el-Sissi to voice wholehearted public support for
the Israeli-Palestinian peace plan being drafted by Trump’s son-in-law and
senior adviser, Jared Kushner.
administration has said it would present the plan sometime after the Israeli
elections, but the White House, like the Israeli public, will have to await the
results of Tuesday’s vote to determine whether Netanyahu or his opponent Benny
Gantz, are able to form a governing coalition.
is less suspense in Egyptian politics these days. Analysts said el-Sissi’s
constitutional amendments, which also include a provision that would expand the
military’s role, have drawn no public enthusiasm. But the electoral system is
set up so that they can prevail with a simple majority even if voter turnout is
coincide with el-Sissi’s visit, his critics began an online petition Tuesday to
oppose the amendments. The website was quickly blocked inside Egypt; the
government has previously blocked several other independent or critical
websites or online publications.
the petition remained accessible outside Egypt and the website counter
indicated that more than 67,000 people had endorsed it — a number that could
not be confirmed.
Barack Obama kept el-Sissi at a distance. But it was his second White House
invitation from Trump, who has obviously established a rapport with him. At a
meeting in Saudi Arabia in May 2017, the two lavished praise on each other,
with Trump even declaring: “Love your shoes. Boy, those shoes.”
of Trump’s affection may be explained by his general affinity for strongmen. At
a recent speech to Republican supporters, the president recalled an exchange he
claimed to have had with President Xi Jinping of China, who, like el-Sissi,
pushed for an extension of his term.
said he referred to Xi as a king, which prompted the Chinese leader to demur
that he was only a president.
said, ‘No, you’re president for life, and therefore you’re king,’ ” Trump said
el-Sissi succeeds in his drive to extend his term, he would serve as Egypt’s
president until the age of 80 — unless he changes the Constitution again.
Islamophobes team up against Javid to block his premiership bid
row over institutionalized Islamophobia in Britain’s ruling Conservative party
has deepened as supporters threaten to block a potential bid by interior
minister Sajid Javid to become next British prime minister.
Buzzfeed News reported on Tuesday that an account on Twitter had released
online discussions from some 20 self-professed Conservative party members on
how they could prevent Javid becoming prime minister.
information showed that Tory supporters have attacked Javid on Facebook for his
Muslim background, as they vowed to do anything they can, including backing another
candidate against their will, to prevent any potential leadership bid Javid
might make. “Britain is not ready for a Muslim PM, that would be taking the
absolute piss out of the country,” read one of the posts on Facebook by a man
who said he had joined the Conservatives to help install a leader who really
believed in Britain’s split from the European Union.
woman wrote that Javid “will protect his own” if he became prime minister,
adding that the British Pakistani Muslim politician “was sworn in on the
posts come amid an ongoing debate about a surge in Islamophobic views in the
Conservative party. Activists have repeatedly accused senior Tory politicians
of trying to pander to the far-right and extremist groups by targeting Muslims
in their rhetoric.
Conservative Muslim Forum swiftly reacted to the report on online hate attacks
against Javid, saying the comments published on Facebook were “outrageous”.
... what is it about the Conservative party and the way that it’s projecting
itself that leads people like these bigots to believe that they have a home
within the Conservative party?” said chairman of the Forum Mohammed Amin.
PM Netanyahu wins national election: CH 12 TV
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has won the Israeli national election, securing a
record fifth term in office, TV Channel 12 said on Wednesday.
96 percent of the votes counted, Netanyahu's right-wing Likud won 37 of Knesset
seats, against 36 for centrist Blue and White, headed by Netanyahu's rival,
former general Benny Gantz.
neither party captured a ruling majority in the 120-member Knesset, the
results, published eight hours after voting ended on Tuesday, put Netanyahu in
a strong position to form a coalition government with right-wing factions.
Tripoli gov't orders arrest of ‘sleeper cells’
Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) on Tuesday issued arrest
warrants for persons suspected of aiding an ongoing attack on the capital by
forces loyal to military commander Khalifa Haftar.
Zayed, a member of the GNA’s Presidential Council, told Libya’s Panorama
television channel that Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj had ordered the arrest
of suspected “sleeper cells” operating in and around Tripoli.
week, Haftar, who is affiliated with a rival government based in the country’s
east, announced the launch of an ambitious campaign to capture the capital,
where the GNA is headquartered.
Monday, however, Haftar’s campaign appeared to have lost momentum, with pro-GNA
forces recapturing two military bases near Tripoli that had been briefly seized
by Haftar’s forces.
two sides have also continued to trade blows over three strategic airports
located on the capital’s outskirts.
has remained beset by turmoil since 2011, when a bloody NATO-backed uprising
led to the ouster and death of President Muammar Gaddafi after four decades in
then, the country’s stark political divisions have yielded two rival seats of
power: one in eastern Libya, with which Haftar is associated, and another in
Tripoli, which enjoys UN support.
appearance before NIA paves ways for thorough probe into JK terror funding
of separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq before the NIA has paved the way for a
thorough probe into charges of terror funding and conspiracy against the
Hurriyat leader, officials said Tuesday. Mirwaiz appeared before the National
Investigation Agency for the second consecutive day on Tuesday for questioning
in connection with a case related to funding of terror groups and separatist
organisations in Jammu and Kashmir.
of Mirwaiz before the NIA proves the government’s determination to establish
that Kashmiri separatist leaders will have to be held accountable to the law of
the land. It has paved the way for thorough investigation into charges of
terror funding and conspiracy against the Hurriyat leader,” a home ministry
official said. The questioning of Mirwaiz by the NIA has been considered a
significant development as he had been trying to evade the questioning by the
probe agency by resorting to various stratagems. These include by not responding
initially to the NIA summons at all, and later saying he was ready to be
examined by NIA in Srinagar.
eventually he had to follow the summons and travel to New Delhi to answer
questions from the NIA. This is in line with the government’s firm stance that
separatist leaders cannot claim immunity and that they will be held accountable
for laws of the land,” the official said. The NIA had conducted raids in
February 2019 on allegations of terror funding and money laundering on the
premises of Mirwaiz and other Hurriyat leaders like Yasin Malik and son of SAS
Geelani, Naseem Geelani.
are part of Joint Resistance Leadership who frequently organise protests, stone
pelting and shutdowns in the valley, disrupting normal life, impacting students
and daily wage earners, businesses and tourism. The investigation against
Naseem Geelani and others is proceeding as per law.
legal hurdles had been cleared for resumption of trial in Jammu against Yasin
Malik in the case of terrorist attack by JKLF militants in 1990 on IAF
personnel which led to the death of four persons.
Malik had exploited the provisions in law to inordinately delay the trial. But
relentless efforts by the home ministry have finally resulted in Malik’s arrest
and transfer to Jammu jail. His plea for transfer of trial from Jammu to
Srinagar has also been quashed,” another official said.
issues 2200 visas to Sikh pilgrims on the eve of Baisakhi celebrations
DELHI: Pakistan has issued 2200 visas to Sikh pilgrims from India to
participate in the annual Baisakhi celebrations from
high commission here said in a statement that under the framework of the
Pakistan-India Protocol on Visits to Religious Shrines of 1974, a large number
of Sikh pilgrims from India visit Pakistan to observe various religious festivals/occasions
high commissioner Sohail Mahmood said that the gesture to issue these visas was
reflective of the ``reverence attached to Baisakhi, both in its religious and
marking the start of the new Sikh year, Baisakhi is the time to harvest the rabi
crop. We extend our profound greetings and felicitations to all our brothers
and sisters celebrating this auspicious occasion and wish the visiting pilgrims
a spiritually fulfilling journey,’’ said Mahmood.
2200 visas issued by the Pakistan high commission are in addition to the visas
granted to Sikh pilgrims participating in the event from other countries.
their visit to Pakistan, the Yatrees would visit the holiest shrines of Panja
Sahib, Nankana Sahib, and Kartarpur Sahib.
issuance of these pilgrimage visas is in line with the Government of Pakistan’s
efforts to facilitate visits to religious shrines and strengthen
people-to-people exchanges. This also reflects the commitment of the Government
of Pakistan to faithfully implement the 1974 Protocol on Visits to Religious
Shrines. Pakistan remains committed to preserving sacred religious places and
extending all possible facilitation for the visiting pilgrims of all faiths,’’
said the Pakistan mission in its statement.
Pakistan's top investigative agency has approached the Islamabad high court
(IHC) to seek the cancellation of the bail of LeT operations commander Zakiur
Rehman Lakhvi, the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack.
federal investigation agency (FIA) has filed an appeal in the IHC seeking
cancellation of the post-arrest bail of Lakhvi.
the appeal, a division bench of the IHC on Tuesday asked authorities to provide
the record of the Mumbai attack case in two weeks.
record of the case is currently with an Islamabad-based anti-terrorism court
(ATC) which was holding trial of Lakhavi and other accused arrested in the
LeT suspects - Lakhvi, Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid
Jamil Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younis Anjum - are facing charges of abetment to
murder, attempted murder, planning and executing the Mumbai attack since 2009.
ATC on December 18, 2014, granted the post-arrest bail to Lakhvi and set him
free. Lakhvi has been living in an undisclosed location since then.
FIA in its appeal argued that it has enough evidence against Lakhavi and his
post-arrest bail should be cancelled so that he can be re-arrested and probed.
the present case, the learned trial judge (of ATC) after the terrorist attack
in Islamabad courts (of March 2013) refused to visit Adiala Jail for a long
time due to security reasons," the FIA said in its appeal against the ATC
judge's order, Dawn reported.
the prosecutors of this case have been receiving threats through cell phones
during the proceedings which were duly conveyed to the concerned authorities.
The witnesses are also not secured, and reluctant to depose against the accused
persons in the given situation," it added.
court after hearing the argument from the FIA and Lakhvi's lawyer ordered to
provide the record of the case in two weeks.
166 people were killed in the attack carried out by 10 LeT men. Nine of the
attackers were killed by police while lone survivor Ajmal Kasab was caught and
hanged after he was handed down death sentence by the court.
Pakistan — His country nearly went to war with a neighboring enemy six and a
half times its size. Militants lurk in religious schools and in the
with inflation soaring and debt ballooning, his finance team is scrambling,
desperate to secure a multibillion-dollar rescue package to avoid economic
Imran Khan, Pakistan’s prime minister, is apparently feeling confident about
his first eight months in office — so much so that he invited a group of
foreign journalists for an informal, hourlong chat on Tuesday in Islamabad, the
he seemed subdued, with puffy circles under his eyes, Mr. Khan also sought to
project resolve — particularly about ridding Pakistan of the militants it once
have decided, for the future of our country — forget the outside pressure — we
will not allow armed militias to operate anymore,’’ he said.
Pakistan Army created them,’’ he said, referring to the 1980s when Pakistan and
the United States backed Muslim insurgents in Afghanistan against Soviet
he added, “there is no use for these groups anymore.’’
Khan, 66, sat in a brightly lit drawing room on a gold-painted chair. He wore a
long white shalwar kameez with the sleeves crisply pressed and spoke about
corruption, poverty and trying to make peace with the Taliban.
reminisced about traveling the world as an international cricket star and
expressed alarm about India’s shift toward Hindu nationalism and the rising
crimes against India’s Muslims.
used to be “a very open society,’’ he said. “I never thought that I would see
what is happening in India right now. Muslim-ness is being attacked.’’
August, Mr. Khan took over as the elected leader of one of the world’s most
troubled countries. And he did with a shadow over him.
observers said that the election was deeply flawed and that Mr. Khan had been
secretly helped by Pakistan’s powerful military, which cleared a path for him
by harassing and threatening his political opponents. In many ways, he was a
is a conservative Muslim nation, and Mr. Khan, by contrast, was once an
international playboy and celebrity athlete. He befriended notables like
Princess Diana in a high-flying life that could not be more different from the
lives of most Pakistanis, though in recent years he has mellowed and turned
more toward Islam.
office, Mr. Khan has struggled to right the economy and get the security forces
to more effectively crack down on
militant groups that shelter in Pakistan.
Khan promised that this new crackdown would go far deeper than previous ones
criticized as cosmetic. The government, for instance, plans to send 200,000
teachers to religious schools across the country to teach secular subjects like
English and math. The intention, Mr. Khan’s aides said, was to deradicalize
government sees the stakes as high. An international watchdog group, the
Paris-based Financial Action Task Force, is on the brink of blacklisting and sanctioning
Pakistan. If that happened, Pakistan would face greater difficulties in
obtaining the financial bailouts and loans it has sought.
can’t afford to be blacklisted,’’ he said on Tuesday.
Mr. Khan has also won praise for his seemingly coolheaded and statesmanlike
behavior during the recent crisis with India, which he helped de-escalate by
releasing a captured Indian pilot and emphasizing peace. He seemed quite
cognizant that the last thing Pakistan needed was a war.
Feb. 26, around 3:30 a.m., Mr. Khan said he was awakened by a phone call. A top
military official told him that Indian warplanes had just crossed the border
and conducted airstrikes on Pakistani soil.
and India have been bitter enemies since 1947 when Britain decolonized the
Indian subcontinent and created two nations: the mostly Hindu India, and the
mostly Muslim Pakistan. The two have warred several times.
time, the spark was a suicide bombing in the disputed territory of Kashmir that
killed dozens of Indian soldiers. India blamed Pakistan for supporting the
militant group behind the attack and vowed revenge.
learning that the Indian bombs had fallen into an empty ravine around Balakot
(India said the bombs had struck a terrorist training camp), Mr. Khan said
Pakistan opted for a measured response and bombed an empty area just across the
hit our trees, so we thought we’d hit their stones,’’ he said.
asked whether he or the country’s military establishment controls Pakistan, Mr.
Khan said that they work closely. Independent analysts don’t disagree, but many
Pakistanis still see Mr. Khan as the army’s puppet.
some of Mr. Khan’s own ministers have said that they worry the relationship
could sour if Mr. Khan, famous for self-confidence and unpredictability,
crosses the army bosses.
in this case, after Pakistani forces shot down an Indian fighter jet and
captured the pilot, Mr. Khan and the military seemed to agree the best response
was to release the pilot, which eased tensions.
played down the whole thing,’’ he said.
Mr. Khan is back to wrestling with the economy.
has struggled for years with high unemployment, extremely low rates of tax
collection, runaway corruption, and sluggish exports. The country’s trade deficit
had swelled to $33 billion when Mr. Khan took office in August.
blames Pakistan’s economic problems on his predecessors, especially the Sharif
family, his political rivals.
can’t have the ruling elite siphoning off money and taking it abroad,’’ he
said. “If you don’t hold them accountable, the country has no future.’’
barely enough foreign reserves to cover the country’s monthly import bills, Mr.
Khan’s government knows it needs a large bailout from the International
Monetary Fund, but those often come with painful austerity conditions. His
finance team has been reluctant to turn to the I.M.F. but now promises that a
deal will be announced in the coming weeks.
the streets, discontent is rising. People grumble about rising prices. Mr. Khan’s
government is trying to slow down demand to keep the trade deficit from growing
his government’s decisions to raise levies on fuel and collect more taxes from
ordinary Pakistanis, even if necessary for the economy’s long-term health, have
made people even angrier. Economic growth is forecast to slow further, leading
to even more joblessness.
Mr. Khan said, “my first priority is to take 100 million people out of
analysts say his priority is genuine but question how Mr. Khan can possibly pay
been pretty consistent of my criticism of the P.M. going back a long time,’’
said Mosharraf Zaidi, a newspaper columnist. “One thing that I cannot criticize
him for is the core purpose of his being in public life, which is compassion.”
far as India, Mr. Khan could not resist a few digs. He said that India’s prime
minister, Narendra Modi, had opted for airstrikes to please a domestic audience
— India begins holding elections on Thursday.
he added that Mr. Modi’s government might actually be the best possible option
for settling the Kashmir conflict, because right-wing Hindus would support Mr.
Modi in achieving it.
As Finance Minister Asad Umar leads a delegation to Washington to finalise a
three-year bailout programme, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday
forecast Pakistan’s growth to fall to 2.9 per cent and 2.8pc during the current
and next fiscal year unless its programme was accepted.
delegation led by finance minister including State Bank of Pakistan Governor
Tariq Bajwa, Finance Secretary Younas Dagha, Economic Affairs Division
Secretary Noor Ahmed and senior officials from these institutions would attend
the spring meetings (April 9 – 14) of the IMF and the World Bank and finalise a
bailout package to stabilise macroeconomic fundamentals on the sidelines.
leaving for Washington, the minister had said the proposed IMF programme would
be finalised on the sidelines of the spring meetings which will be followed by
a fund staff mission’s visit to Islamabad in the third week of the current
month to formally sign the agreement.
ministry’s spokesperson was not available for comment but Information Minister
Fawad Chaudhry said that Mr Umar is currently in Washington to hold talks with
IMF to negotiate terms of agreement — which he said are in the final stages —
but another round of talks will be held in a few days in which the loaning plan
will be finalised. He added that the tax amnesty scheme will be formally
launched after the finance minister’s return to Islamabad.
its flagship World Economic Outlook (WEO), the IMF projects mid-term growth
prospects for Pakistan to remain subdued at 2.5pc by 2024. The next year growth
rate forecast by the fund was generally in line with 2.7pc growth projected by
the World Bank a day earlier. However, the WB had forecast 3.6pc growth for the
current fiscal year compared to 2.9pc estimated by the IMF.
fund attributed negative outlook to fuel prices and macroeconomic challenges
and the impact of the slowdown in global economy. The fund projected consumer
price index in Pakistan at 7.6pc during the current fiscal year, slowing down
to 7pc next fiscal year and then stabilising to 5pc by 2024.
the other hand, Pakistan’s current account deficit was estimated at 5.2pc of
the GDP during the current year falling to 4.3pc next year before surging again
to 5.4pc by 2024. Yet, the unemployment rate was anticipated to stay largely
flat at 6.1pc during the current year, 6.2pc next year and remain in the same
band by 2024.
government has already shared its stabilisation and growth strategy along with
all the macroeconomic data with the IMF that is believed to have become the
basis of Pakistan’s economic outlook over the programme period and beyond.
in MENAP region to remain subdued’
WEO notes that the medium-term outlook for the Middle East, North Africa,
Afghanistan, and Pakistan (MENAP) region was largely shaped by the outlook for
fuel prices, needed adjustment to correct macroeconomic imbalances in certain
economies and geopolitical tensions.
Pakistan, in the absence of further adjustment policies, growth is projected to
remain subdued at about 2.5pc, with continued external and fiscal imbalances
weighing on confidence”, the IMF said.
in the region, activity is weighed down by the expected impact of sanctions in
Iran, civil strife in Syria and Yemen, and rising debt-service costs and
tighter financial conditions in Lebanon. The report explained that growth in
MENAP region was expected to decline to 1.5pc in 2019, before recovering to
about 3.2pc by 2020.
outlook for the region is weighed down by multiple factors, including slower
GDP growth in Saudi Arabia, ongoing macroeconomic adjustment challenges in
Pakistan, US sanctions in Iran, and civil tensions and conflict across several
other economies, including Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, where recovery from the
collapse associated with the war is now expected to be slower than previously
prospects are bleak for some emerging market and developing economies. Across
sub-Saharan Africa and the MENAP region, 41 economies, accounting for around
10pc of the global GDP in purchasing-power-parity terms and close to one
billion in population, are projected to grow by less than advanced economies in
per capita terms over the next five years, implying that their income levels
are set to fall further behind those economies.
oil prices have been the main driver of this widening income gaps, estimated to
have boosted the current account balance of oil exporters by about 3.5pc of
their GDP. Symmetrically, the current account deficits of some Asian net oil
importers (such as India, Indonesia, and Pakistan) have widened, reflecting
their higher oil import bills. Among major current account surplus and deficit
countries and regions, the current account surplus of China declined
considerably, to 0.4pc of GDP, while the US current account deficit is
unchanged at 2.3pc, and the surplus of the Euro area declined marginally to
report said escalation of US-China trade tensions, macroeconomic stress in
Argentina and Turkey, disruptions to the auto sector in Germany, tighter credit
policies in China and financial tightening alongside the normalisation of
monetary policy in the larger advanced economies have all contributed to a
significantly weakened global expansion, especially in the second half of 2018
caused a slower than projected global growth.
Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Tuesday failed to
seek the support of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif for the launch of an
Sindh governor Muhammad Zubair, speaking to a private television, said that the
top priority of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz was to get rid of the legal
cases, and not to launch a campaign against the government.
JUI-F chief’s latest attempt to launch an anti-government movement fell flat
after he called on former prime minister Nawaz Sharif at the latter’s residence
in Lahore to inquire after his health.
while talking to journalists later, said: “The agenda of the meeting was
limited to inquiring about his [Nawaz Sharif’s] health, but we also discussed
our shared concerns on towering inflation, which is affecting the common man,
and the troubled economy.
said he had been in touch with other political leaders, including Asif Ali
Zardari. He added that he will also call on Zardari in the next few days as
believes that “internal connections [among opposition parties] should remain
he said that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) is an institution of revenge.
“You should not expect accountability or justice from NAB. I think we need to
take some strict decisions when it comes to NAB,” Fazl told reporters following
the meeting, which lasted for two hours and focused on problems being faced by
Pakistan. While criticizing the government, Rehman described the current regime
as an “installed” one. He added that the ruling regime has no knowledge of the
ideology of Pakistan, the ground realities of the country and the economy.
repeated that the JUI-F has completed 10 ‘million march’ against the government
and that they are ready for a decisive one.
on Sunday, Rehman had said that his party was fully active and ready to bring
down the government. “We have already mobilised our workers by holding a ‘million
march’ in the country and are planning a decisive one, towards Islamabad, after
which the PTI government will not survive,” he had said while speaking to the
media at the residence of a senior party colleague in Kandhkot-Kashmore.
had echoed the concern of the PPP about the 18th Constitutional Amendment and
criticised what he called the government’s moves to abrogate the Amendment. He
had warned that such an act would be tantamount to “treason”.
militancy outfit Hizbut Tahrir (HT) has now joined the anti-Bangladesh
propaganda and has declared solidarity with Al Jazeera and militancy funder
Bangladeshi sacked military officer Shahid Uddin Khan. In a statement issued
recently, Hizbut Tahrir has not only defended a derogatory article published by
Al Jazeera, which was based on bogus information provided by Shahid Uddin Khan,
it also has warned the journalists in Bangladesh to stop supporting the
government of Sheikh Hasina and friendly nations of Bangladesh such as United
Stated and India.
may be mentioned here that, few months back, Hizbut Tahrir had circulated posters
demanding withdrawal of cases lodged against photographer Shahidul Alam. Now it
has come in defence of sacked military officer Shahid Uddin Khan and Al
Jazeera, proving its affiliations with these individuals and terror-network.
is Shahid Uddin Khan?
network Al Jazeera had all the enthusiasm in giving coverage to a notorious man
named Lt Col (sacked) Shahid Uddin Khan (Army No: BA002428, Course: 8-BMA,
Commission Date: 10-06-1983), who along with his wife Farjana Anjum and
daughters had smuggled out millions of dollars from Bangladesh and invested in
various business ventures in United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom.
connection of Shahid Uddin Khan:
the January 17, 2019 raid at the resident of this sacked army officer, printed
propaganda materials of ISIS were recovered by CTTC. Moreover CTTC also seized
documents showing Shahid Uddin Khan funding this notorious jihadist outfit.
Three separate cases have already been lodged against Colonel (sacked) Shahid
Uddin Khan and his accomplices with Cantonment Police Station in Dhaka.
to a credible source, Shahid Uddin Khan has hands behind a number of recent
terrorist attacks in Britain. Moreover, he has been enthusiastically funding
anti-Semitism in UK as well as conversion of non-Muslims into Islam.
accepted illegal money from Shahid Uddin Khan:
Uddin Khan smuggled out millions of dollars from Bangladesh to various
countries including United Kingdom. In 2009, he invested one million Pounds in
the United Kingdom in exchange of obtaining immigrant status under visa Tier 1,
vide VAF No. 511702. The investment was made in the name of Shahid’s wife
Kingdom never enquired about the legality of the money Shahid and his family
had invested, although it is learnt from various sources in Bangladesh that the
family had never taken any permission from the Bangladesh Bank for repatriating
such a huge amount of money.
Uddin Khan plotting coup:
to information obtained from one of the key cohorts of Shahid Uddin Khan, this
sacked military officer has been desperately trying to stage a coup in
Bangladesh with the help of some of his friends. His motive is to establish
Caliphate by ousting a democratically elected government. As per the existing
laws of the United Kingdom, no foreign immigrant is allowed to use the British
soil for such notoriety.
Uddin Khan investing dirty money in Britain:
Uddin Khan, his wife Farjana Anjum and daughters have already invested millions
of pounds in the United Kingdom in real estate sector. Despite the Financial
Action Task Force assessing the UK as having “a well-developed and robust
regime” to tackle money laundering, the country’s real estate market is
nevertheless recognized as being a conduit for money laundering.
company structures which hide the identity of those behind them were branded a
disgrace by the whistle-blower Howard Wilkinson, who in 2018, brought to light
an alleged 200 billion euro ($228 billion) money laundering scandal involving
said, “The role of the United Kingdom is an absolute disgrace. Limited
liability partnerships and Scottish liability partnerships have been abused for
National Crime Agency (NCA) has said it is investigating the use of
UK-registered companies and a number of so-called professional enablers in
connection with the widening scandal.
suspended Golden Visa:
December 2018 it was announced that Britain will suspend its top tier investor
visas, which require 2 million pounds ($2.55 million) in investment, as part of
a drive to crack down on organized crime and money laundering.
Russian oligarchs and Middle Eastern oil barons to newly-minted Asian
entrepreneurs and corrupt individuals, the wealthy have flocked to London over
the past two decades, snapping up everything from opulent homes to soccer
influx of super-rich has brought tens of billions of pounds in investment and
helped London preserve its position as one of the world’s top two global
financial capitals, though the government has been concerned by the provenance
of some of the wealth.
Tier 1 Investor’s Visa:
Uddin Khan and his family entered in the United Kingdom under Tier 1 Investor’s
Visa and obtained immigration. The tier 1 investor visas, which offered
non-European Union residents over three years entry in return for 2 million
pounds in investment in United Kingdom bonds, share capital or loan capital in
UK companies, has already been suspended from midnight on December 7, 2018.
National Crime Agency, which tackles serious and organized crime, said in
September 2018 that it was stepping up efforts to tackle dirty money funneled
into or through the United Kingdom by “corrupt elites”.
said it planned to extend the use of Unexplained Wealth Orders (UWOs), one
means by which the assets of corrupt “politically exposed persons” or those
with links to serious crime can be seized.
unfortunately, the case of Shahid Uddin Khan, his wife Farjana Anjum and
daughters had never been investigated.
least thirteen militants have been killed in separate airstrikes conducted by
coalition forces in southeastern Paktika and Ghazni provinces.
203rd Thunder Corps in a statement said at least eight militants were killed in
a coalition airstrikes conducted in Malik Shahi and Ganchi areas of Barmal
statement further added that a vehicle and a compound of the militants were
also destroyed during the same airstrikes.
least five militants were killed separate airstrikes conducted in Miadadwal
area of Andar district and Gari area of Nawa district, the 203rd Thunder Corps
unmanned aerial vehicle of coalition forces has crashed in southern Helmand
province of Afghanistan.
to informed military sources, the drone crashed earlier today after experience
of our unmanned aircraft experienced engine failure and crashed in Helmand
province today. We are working to recover it,” the sources said.
Taliban militant surrendered himself to Afghan police forces after killing his
commander in northern Faryab province of Afghanistan.
spokesman for the Ministry of Interior Nasrat Rahimi said the incident took
place late on Monday in northern Faryab province.
further added that a Taliban militant identified as Qari Jan Mohammad alias
Anzala who was involved in anti-government armed activities for the past three
years, shot dead his group leader Wahdat late on Monday afternoon and
surrendered himself to police forces in Faryab.
anti-government armed militants including Taliban have not commented regarding
the incident so far.
Afghan Special Forces have destroyed a Taliban prison and depots containing
weapons, munitions, and explosives in northern Kunduz province.
209th Shaheen Corps in a statement said the raid was condcuted late on Monday
night in the vicinity of 4th police district of Kunduz city.
statement further added that the raid was conducted Special Forces of the
Afghan army and Afghan intelligence.
improvised explosive devices and equipment used in suicide vests were also
destroyed during the operation, the 209th Shaheen Corps added in its statement.
anti-government armed militants including Taliban have not commented regarding
the operation so far.
Taliban fighters stormed army checkpoints in southern Afghanistan near the
Pakistani border overnight, killing 20 troops, an official said on Tuesday.
other security forces were also wounded in Monday night’s attack in Shorabak
district, Mohammad Yousof Younosi, a provincial council member in Kandahar,
official from the provincial governor’s office, who was not authorised to speak
with the media, confirmed the attack and said there were casualties among the
Afghan forces, but couldn’t provide exact figures.
Yusouf Ahmadi, a Taliban spokesman, claimed responsibility for the attack and
said the group’s fighters also seized weapons and ammunition.
northern Sari Pul province, at least five members of the country’s security
forces were killed when the Taliban attacked a joint army and police base, said
Zabihullah Amani, the provincial governor’s spokesman.
said that seven other forces were wounded in Monday night’s attack in
was no immediate comment from the Taliban. Amani said four insurgents were also
killed in the ensuing clashes.
northern Samangan province, an Afghan army officer shot and killed two of his
fellow soldiers and later fled to join the Taliban, said Sayed Hashim Bayan,
the provincial police chief’s spokesman.
said the shooter seized a Humvee and some ammunition before making his getaway
around noon on Monday.
Taliban praised the soldier’s actions and confirmed he joined their ranks in
Dari Suf district. An Afghan contractor who was believed to have been killed in
a car bomb near Kabul is alive, the US military said on Tuesday.
David Butler, a spokesman for US Forces- Afghanistan, said the Afghan
contractor was initially believed to have been killed along with three other US
service members in the blast near Bagram air base close to Kabul.
was only later that they found out the contractor was alive.
blast, which the Taliban claimed responsibility for, also wounded three US
has been relentless in Afghanistan even though Taliban militants have held
several rounds of talks with US officials about a peace settlement. The talks
began late last year, raising hopes for an end to the conflict.
attack was one of the deadliest against US personnel in recent months. In
November, a roadside bomb blast killed three US service members near the
central Afghan city of Ghazni.
war has taken a much larger toll on Afghan security forces and civilians.
five-day border conference between Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and Myanmar
Police Force (MPF) has begun at Naypyidaw in Myanmar.
formal meeting of the conference was held at Royal ACE Hotel in Myanmar’s
administrative capital from 9am to 12pm on Monday.
conference will end on April 10, said an official release of BGB.
General of BGB Major General Md Shafeenul Islam led the 11-member Bangladesh
delegation, which includes representatives from the Prime Minister’s Office and
home and foreign ministries, while Police Brigadier General Myo Than, chief of
police general staff of Myanmar, led the 17-member Myanmar delegation at the
smuggling of illegal drugs, especially yaba pills, end of firing at frontiers,
trespassing and tackling terrorism in the border areas, and other issues of
mutual interest will be discussed during the conference.
will also discuss other matters, battalion and regional flag meetings and
organizing the first meeting of Border Liaison Office (BLO), the released
information on border security at the right time, coordinated joint patrolling
between Myanmar and Bangladesh, various steps for increasing mutual trust and
other topics will also be discussed in a cordial environment, it said.
the occasion of the border conference, BGB Director General Major General Md
Shafeenul Islam made courtesy calls on Myanmar Home Ministry’s Deputy Minister
Major General Aung Thu and Chief of Myanmar Police Force Police Lieutenant
General Aung Win Oo on Monday.
ruling party pledges probe into Chinese deals after landslide win
Maldives former president Mohamed Nasheed, whose party won a landslide in the
archipelago’s parliamentary election, on Tuesday pledged to conduct a thorough
probe into deals with China.
Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) is set to secure 65 seats in the 87-member
parliament, giving it a clear majority to push for reforms including imposing the
country’s first income tax and instituting a minimum wage for the first time.
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, who is also from the MDP and unseated pro-China leader
Abdulla Yameen in September, had urged voters to back his call for an
investigation the scale of debts to China, which the party fears could run as
high as $3 billion and risks sinking the economy.
Indian Ocean island chain has been caught in a battle for influence between
India and China, which invested millions of dollars during Yameen’s rule as
part of its Belt and Road plan, designed to improve Beijing’s global trade
denies any wrongdoing in relation to the Chinese debt.
the country’s first democratically elected leader between 2008 and 2011 before
being forced to step down in a police mutiny, said the result was “a clear
mandate to implement” the party’s pledges.
of the first bills that the new parliament must consider is the pending
legislation to fully empower the presidential commission on stolen assets, and
deaths and disappearances,” MDP leader Nasheed told Reuters in the capital
government continues to scrutinize the deals signed by the previous government,
many of which, we fear, were subject to large scale corruption. We must allow
the government to examine these deals with forensic detail.”
provisional results for the election will officially be confirmed on Wednesday,
an Elections Commission official told Reuters.
MDP is just one seat shy of the three-quarters quorum required to amend the
constitution in the People Majlis or parliament. This is the first time a party
has had such a majority since the first multi-party elections in 2008. The MDP
previously ruled in coalition.
new parliament is expected to be inaugurated in May.
month, Yameen spent more than a month in police custody over a graft scandal
aimed at siphoning money from the islands’ tourism board. He was released on
bail on March 28 in time for the last week of campaigning, and denies the
and Malaysia shared the top position in the 2019 Global Muslim Travel Index
(GMTI), which was released by Mastercard-CrescentRating recently.
year, Indonesia was placed second behind Malaysia. This year, they both scored
78 in the index.
is no second position this year. Trailing behind is Turkey in third position,
Saudi Arabia in fourth position and United Arab Emirates in fifth position.
CEO Fazal Bahardeen said in a press statement issued on Tuesday that Indonesia
had invested a lot in infrastructure over the last few years to make its
destinations friendly to Muslim travelers.
terms of basic infrastructure such as the availability of halal food and
Muslim-friendly facilities, we see a lot of improvement. It also has better
connectivity,” added Bahardeen, saying Indonesia had also invested in Muslim
tourism and promoted itself through digital marketing.
however, stressed that Indonesia still had a lot of work to do to maintain its
position and develop its Muslim-friendly tourism destinations.
still has a lot to do to promote its destinations. It has conducted general
promotions, but it has to have a specific target for the Muslim market,” said
GMTI report ranks 130 Muslim traveler destinations globally. In defining the
ranking, it assesses four key factors -- access, communication, the environment
Minister Arief Yahya said Indonesia’s improved position was a result of
policies implemented since 2015. Indonesia was placed sixth in 2015, fourth in
2016, third in 2017 and second last year. “It took five years to reach this
position,” Arief added.
estimates that there were 140 million international Muslim visitors across the
globe last year. The number is projected to increase to 230 million by 2026,
with an estimated US$300 billion being poured into the coffers of the global
April 10 — Umno and PAS members must set ego aside and cooperate for the
benefit of Malays and Islam, Datuk Mahfodz Mohamed said last night.
PAS Dewan Ulama member claimed the two parties’ cooperation was not just for
their own political interests.
do not think this is only a partnership of Umno and PAS. But it is for the
purpose of empowering Islam, defending the Malay community and the sovereignty
of the Malay rulers,” he said during a ceramah in Kampung Sendayan.
went on to claim that Malays and Islam are now regularly insulted.
attempts have become more brazen as they know the Malays won’t fight back,” he
acknowledged that the alliance with Umno was not easy for PAS grassroots to
accept due to decades of enmity.
he asserted that the members were loyal and fully behind the party leaders’
decision to ally with Umno.
claimed Pakatan Harapan parties could not be trusted to preserve the Malays and
A high-ranking officer in Indonesia's military has downplayed rumors that some
powerful political figures might try to challenge the outcome of the April 17
elections – when 190 million voters will choose a president, vice president and
members of the state and regional legislatures – if the results do not go their
Gen. Joni Supriyanto, the newly appointed chief of the general staff of the
Indonesian Military (TNI), told the Jakarta Globe on Friday that there has
never been a case in the country's history when the people did not recognize
the results of an election.
people of Indonesia are much smarter nowadays, more modern, but they are also
more patriotic," Joni, who previously served as chief of the TNI's Jakarta
Command, said in an interview at the military headquarters in Cilangkap, East
three-star general said he believes Indonesians have grown "mature enough
who has ever challenged the Constitutional Court's rulings?" he added.
law, any electoral disputes can be brought before the Constitutional Court. In
the 2014 presidential election, the losing presidential nominee Prabowo
Subianto – who is running again this year – initially refused to concede defeat
to Joko "Jokowi" Widodo. Instead, his campaign team filed a string of
election dispute cases in the Constitutional Court.
impasse lasted for nearly three months until just three days before the
presidential inauguration on Oct. 20, 2014, when Prabowo held a 20-minute
meeting with Jokowi at the house of Prabowo's father, the late New Order economic
architect Soemitro Djojohadikusumo, on Jalan Kertanegara in South Jakarta, to
concede the election and congratulate the then-newly appointed president.
and Identity Politics
between the Jokowi and Prabowo camps during the election campaign has been so
strong that people draw parallels between it and the 2016 Jakarta gubernatorial
election, one of the most divisive ever. The popular Basuki "Ahok"
Tjahaja Purnama, backed by the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle
(PDI-P), which also backs Jokowi, was defeated through clever manipulation of
identity politics by his opponents, including the infamous charge against him
that he had committed blasphemy against Islam.
was not just defeated in the election, he was also sentenced to jail for two
years after he was convicted of blasphemy.
political tension heats up again in the world's third-largest democracy, the
spotlight is on the General Elections Commission (KPU) and Election Supervisory
Board (Bawaslu). Apart from their respective roles of election organizer and
election watchdog, they must also deal with criticism from powerful figures in
the country who cast doubt on their neutrality.
KPU has done well," said Joni, who assumed his new position on Jan. 25. He
applauded the KPU's efforts to devise a campaign schedule that cleverly
prevents the supporters of Prabowo and Jokowi from meeting on the streets, and
thus avoid violent clashes.
who previously also served as special staff for the Army Chief of Staff, said
the potential for clashes between the two supporter camps in Jakarta is very
real, but so far, the KPU has done a sterling job in minimizing it.
said the threat by senior opposition leader Amien Rais to launch a "people
power" protest at the slightest hint of voter fraud during the
presidential election – rather than appealing to the Constitutional Court – was
an empty one.
former speaker of the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) had wanted to draw
similarities between his threat of "people power" now with the real
people power of 1998 that managed to topple the authoritarian New Order regime
of President Suharto.
who also served as deputy head of the TNI's Strategic Intelligence Agency
(BAIS), said unlike in 1998, the economy is in good shape and people can
express their political aspirations in free elections. "People are free in
politics," he added.
he said the TNI has made preparations for the worst that can happen in the
aftermath of the elections. "We have prepared detailed contingency plans,
for anything that could happen, including worst-case scenarios."
Security Minister Wiranto said in March that more than 453,000 members of the
police and military would be deployed to secure the elections.
Maryland man who prosecutors say was inspired by ISIS extremist group plotted
to ram a stolen U-Haul truck into as many pedestrians as possible at a popular
convention and tourist destination just outside the nation’s capital, federal
prosecutors said Monday.
allegation was made in a court filing Monday as prosecutors in Maryland urged a
judge to keep the defendant, 28-year-old Rondell Henry, detained on a charge of
driving a stolen vehicle across state lines.
police arrested him on March 28 after officers saw him leap over a security
fence near where he had parked the truck.
was just going to keep driving and driving and driving. I wasn’t going to
stop,” the document quotes Henry as telling the authorities who questioned him.
six-page motion describes Henry as harboring hatred for “disbelievers” over the
last two years and looking to emulate ISIS militants he saw on beheading videos
and fighting overseas.
a computer engineer by trade, walked off his job in the middle of the day last
month and stole a U-Haul van from a storage location in Virginia after
determining that his four-door sedan “would not cause the catastrophic damage
that he desired.”
considering different locations, including Dulles International Airport, Henry
settled on National Harbor - a complex of restaurants, retail and hotels,
court filing says Henry had no escape plan and instead intended to die while
driving into pedestrians at National Harbor, telling authorities that he wanted
to create “panic and chaos” similar to a 2016 truck attack in Nice, France that
killed dozens. It wasn’t immediately clear if Henry had a lawyer. It also
wasn’t clear if and when prosecutors might add additional charges that accuse
Henry of giving material support to a foreign terror organization.
President Donald Trump is in favor of providing nuclear weapons to Saudi Arabia
but would be able to push through his plan because it is opposed by the Europe,
American writer and retired professor James Petras says.
administration of US President Donald Trump has reportedly approved six
authorizations that allow American companies to secretly provide Saudi Arabia
with nuclear technology or technical assistance.
to a document, issued by the Department of Energy and seen by Reuters on
Wednesday, the US firms had requested their government to keep their approvals
efforts to secure a nuclear energy deal with Saudi Arabia have however sparked
concern in Congress, especially after the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal
Khashoggi in Istanbul last year.
a very strong opposition to the US supplying nuclear material to the Saudis
because of their unreliability to the US as far as its role in the Middle
East,” Professor Petras said during an interview with Press TV on Tuesday.
is very much in favor of providing nuclear arms [to the Saudis]. He has
‘invented terrorist guards’ in Iran. He has been very upset by the close
relations between Iraq and Iran. So the Saudis are coming in with substantial
loans or aids to Iraq as a way of trying to disrupt this working relationship
between Iraq and Iran,” he added.
am not sure that Trump would be able to push through this nuclear program
because it is opposed by the every country in Europe, and I think it has about
a 50-50 chance of supplying the Saudi government with it,” he noted.
Arabia’s insistence that it should be allowed to produce its own nuclear fuel,
rather than import it under strict conditions, has also raised concern among
industry experts and some in Congress.
lawmakers first became wary of the plans when the Saudis refused to accept
limits preventing them from developing a nuclear weapon.
has been re-evaluating the US-Saudi relationship since Khashoggi’s death, with
lawmakers blaming Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the killing.
in Congress over whether Saudi Arabia can be a trusted partner has grown since
the gruesome murder.
relocated to the United States in June 2017 and began writing for The
Washington Post in September of that year. He was killed at the Saudi consulate
in Istanbul on October 2, 2018 by agents of the Saudi government.
lawmakers have increased their critical scrutiny of the Saudi nuclear program,
especially whether the Trump administration is doing enough to prevent
proliferation of nuclear weapons.
bipartisan resolution introduced in the Senate in February demanded that the
use of any US nuclear power technology in Saudi Arabia must be accompanied by
safeguards to ensure Saudi Arabia cannot enrich uranium or reprocess spent
last thing America should do is inadvertently help develop nuclear weapons for
a bad actor on the world stage," said Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley, one
of the resolution's sponsors.
Maryland man was charged Monday for stealing a van, which he allegedly planned
to drive into a crowd of pedestrians in a Daesh-inspired attack.
Henry, 28, of Germantown was charged by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the
District of Maryland for stealing a U-Haul van in Alexandria, Virginia, before
driving it to Dulles International Airport in the same state.
allegedly claimed to have been inspired by the Daesh terror group, according to
a detention memo from the U.S. government.
memo said Henry tried to enter the airport and breach security. But after
failing to do so, he drove to National Harbor, a convention and tourist destination
in Maryland just outside of Washington, D.C. There, he broke into a boat to
spend the night in hiding.
following morning, police tracked down the stolen van and the suspect,
had planned on conducting an attack similar to the 2016 truck attack in Nice,
France, for which Daesh claimed responsibility. That attack killed 86 people,
with one third of the victims Muslim, according to The New York Times.
two years, Henry has harbored 'hatred' for those who do not practice the Muslim
faith," the government memo said, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
detention hearing is scheduled for Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt,
continue to gather evidence as well as review evidence already obtained as part
of this ongoing investigation,” U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur said in a
refugee chief warns New Zealand massacre the result of toxic politics, media
NATIONS: The UN refugee chief said Tuesday he has never seen “such toxicity,
such poison” in politics, the media, social media and every day conversation
focused on refugees, migrants and foreigners.
High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said the March 15 attack on a
mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand that killed 50 Muslim worshippers was the
result “of that toxic language of politics.”
urged countries everywhere to take “a leaf from the exemplary response of the
people and the leadership of New Zealand” in responding to the “toxic trends”
by restating the values that underpin global solidarity and “reaffirm that our
societies will not be really prosperous, stable and peaceful if they do not
Australian white supremacist, Brenton Harrison Tarrant, who has been charged
with the mosque killings which included many immigrants, livestreamed the
shootings and sent out a lengthy manifesto. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
has said the world has been stuck in a vicious cycle of extremism which must
end, and she will never utter his name and give his views the oxygen he wanted.
told the Security Council “there is unprecedented stigmatization of refugees
and migrants,” and responses are increasingly inadequate.
said he has worked with refugees for over three decades and has seen “much
solidarity, even heroism in some of the responses that are provided on the
ground” to help them.
“that solidarity is still very strong” in many parts of the world, from African
villages to the border between Bangladesh and Myanmar, to communities in Latin
American helping Venezuelans, Grandi said.
also in these 3 1/2 decades I have never seen such toxicity, such poison in the
language of politics, in media, in social media, even in everyday discussions
and conversations around this issue — toxicity that focuses sadly, tragically,
often, on refugees, on migrants, on foreigners,” he said. “That should be of
concern to us all.”
added that “many politicians believe that — and I think they are proven right —
that doing this expands their consensus.”
he said this is wrong and unfair to people “that are fleeing because they seek
safety from war, from persecution.”
said the mosque attacks in New Zealand showed this has become an issue of
security and stability for all countries — and governments need to address the
issue of language on social media and in politics.
is an issue if left unchecked may have very grave consequences, not only for
our work but for the world in general,” Grandi warned.
leader Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday urged his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani
to avoid an escalation of tensions after Washington blacklisted Iran’s elite
Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization.
a telephone conversation, Macron urged Rouhani to “avoid any escalation or
destabilization of the region,” the French presidency said in a statement.
Donald Trump called the unit -- which has some 125,000 troops and vast
interests across the Iranian economy -- Tehran’s “primary means of directing
and implementing its global terrorist campaign.”
was the first time that the United States has branded part of a foreign
government a terrorist group.
response, Rouhani on Tuesday accused the United States of being the real
“leader of world terrorism.”
International says it is joining a fresh legal fight to end Britain’s weapons
sales to Saudi Arabia, as the kingdom continues to kill Yemeni women and
children in its years-long war against the impoverished southern neighbor.
International, Human Rights Watch and Rights Watch UK will this week join the
appeal against the UK’s continuing arms exports to Saudi Arabia in a fresh
legal challenge,” the London-based organization said in a statement on Monday.
case, brought by Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) at the Court of Appeal
in London, seeks to stop the arms sales to Saudi Arabia by questioning their
legality, arguing that the weapons are being used to kill civilians in Yemen.
the bombing of Yemen began in March 2015, the UK has licensed £4.7 billion
worth of arms to the Saudi regime, including £2.7 billion worth of licenses for
aircraft, helicopters and drones as well as £1.9 billion in licenses for
grenades, bombs and missiles.
aggression initially consisted of a bombing campaign but was later coupled with
a naval blockade and the deployment of ground forces to Yemen. Tens of
thousands of Yemenis have so far been killed and thousands more injured.
November 2018, Save the Children international rights group estimated that
85,000 Yemeni children may have died from extreme hunger or disease caused by
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) has
recorded more than 325 Saudi attacks on schools, health facilities, markets,
roads, bridges and even water points across Yemen.
in March, as the conflict entered its fifth year, British Foreign Secretary
Jeremy Hunt defended London’s weapons sales to Riyadh in an article for
Claridge, Amnesty International’s Director of Strategic Litigation, said Saudi
Arabia has put millions of Yemenis at serious risk of famine as a result of a
“relentless bombing campaign that has been made possible by British arms and
many more people must die before the UK Government admits it is in the wrong?
By selling billions of pounds worth of arms to Saudi Arabia, ministers are
signing a death warrant for the people of Yemen,” she wrote.
UK’s refusal to cease arms deals with Riyadh comes at a time when other arms
suppliers to the kingdom have either halted their deals – like the Netherlands,
Belgium (Flemish region) and Greece -- or introduced restrictive measures --
like Austria, Ireland, Sweden and Switzerland.
High Court in London originally heard CAAT’s argument in February 2017 but
dismissed it, ruling that the government was entitled to continue authorizing
the arms exports.
announces major funding to tackle hate crime in latest crackdown on extremism
UK is furthering its crackdown on extremism with a massive funding boost to
tackle hate crime in communities.
Home Office announced it will invest £346,000 into projects to combat hate
crimes and protect victims.
comes as the UK government revealed a dramatic rise in far right extremists.
week it published its white paper on tough new measures to tackle online hate
this additional funding will be given to five groups through its Hate Crime
Community Project Fund to tackle issues in neighbourhoods.
fund was launched three years ago to help groups fights hate crimes in their
for Countering Extremism, Baroness Williams, said the government is committed
to fighting intolerance.
Government is committed to tackling hate crime in all of its forms,” she said.
one should be the subject of verbal or physical abuse simply because of their
identity or their beliefs.
am delighted to award funding to these innovative projects, so communities can
engage local people to ensure intolerance has no place in our society.”
Protection Approaches, which tackles identity-based crimes, has been given the
funding to provide training for frontline staff and raise awareness on how to
report hate crimes in east London.
comes as the group’s latest research, published last month, revealed that there
had been a growth in negative social trends which it predicts will lead to a
rise in hate crime violence if not addressed.
Approaches project manager Andy Fearn said the fund would enable it to create a
“pioneering project to breakdown the barriers” preventing communities from
charity Barnado’s has been awarded funding to raise awareness of disability
hate crime in schools.
project manager Marisa Moon said: “This funding will allow us to help young
people understand the impact of disability hate crime, the consequences of
identity related bullying, and reduce the number of child victims across
secondary school and community settings.”
beneficiaries include the East European Resource Centre, which helps victims in
Eastern European communities, Nottingham BID, which aims to tackle hate crime
in late night venues, and the Proud Trust, which is working with the
authorities and rail operators to combat LGBT hate crimes on trains.
Government launched the fund in 2016, as part of the Hate Crime Action Plan,
and committed £900,000 over three years to provide grants for local community
organisations to help tackle all forms of the crime.
month the Home Secretary Sajid Javid also announced he was doubling the funding
to provide more security for places of worship.
has pledged £1.6m to help reassure communities and safeguard mosques and other
places of worship.
comes after the mosque attack in Christchurch last month which killed 50 people
and the life sentence handed to Darren Osborne who drove into a crowd of
worshippers near London’s Finsbury Park mosque in 2017.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Nobody should ever fear persecution of their
faith and it’s vital we stand together to reject those who seek to spread
hatred and divide us.
know many Muslim communities are feeling vulnerable and anxious. But they
should seek comfort from knowing we are doing everything to tackle hate and
why we are doubling next year’s places of worship fund - providing physical
protection as well as peace of mind.”
British government has been criticised for not giving tax collected from frozen
Libyan assets to victims of IRA attacks.
collected on £12 billion of assets seized after the collapse of Muammar
Qaddafi’s regime could be used to compensate victims of Semtex bombings carried
out by the Irish terror group.
Libyan dictator supplied Semtex to the Provisional IRA in the mid-1980s, which
led to a number of deadly bombings.
claim that the government has been levying significant amounts of tax on the
assets, citing “a chain of revealing correspondence” between the Foreign
Office, the Treasury and the UK tax authority – HMRC.
UN sanction in 2011 ordered Libyan-held cash, property and securities across
the world to be frozen to prevent their theft or misuse during the civil war
that overthrew Colonel Qaddafi.
government has yet to officially acknowledge whether it has been collecting tax
on the assets but MPs say that several licences have been issued to make funds
from the assets available. No details have been released to explain what or to
whom the licences were issued.
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, which published a report on compensation
for victims of IRA Semtex attacks, is recommending the government enter direct
negotiations with Libyan authorities to seek compensation.
committee said that "continued inaction" on the part of the
government had led to many victims, such as those affected by the 1996
Docklands bombing in London, not receiving any compensation from Libya.
committee is disappointed our government has been less successful in securing
compensation for UK victims of (Muammar) Gaddafi-sponsored IRA Semtex attacks
than other governments have been for their nationals," Chairman Dr Andrew
Murrison said in the report.
now find that HMRC may have been scooping up big tax receipts from frozen
Libyan assets, a small part of which could help victims pending reparations
being negotiated with the Libyan government."
report added that the government had been “opaque” about how much tax had been
have demanded an explanation as to why the government has chosen not to finance
a victims' reparations fund if tax is being collected.
to the report, the government said it took the issue “extremely seriously” and
wanted to find a just solution for victims of Libyan-sponsored IRA terrorism.
accordance with international law, when assets are frozen, they continue to
belong to the sanctioned individual or entity. Sanctions can only be lifted by
the EU or UN,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
planned to target mosque in UK’s first far-right suicide bomb plot
British man admitted to wanting to become the country's first far-right suicide
bomber in a plot to blow up a mosque in revenge for the 2017 Manchester terror
Bishop, 41, was obsessed with the Manchester Arena attack, in which a suicide
bomber killed 22 people, and the death of its youngest victim Saffie Roussos,
encrypted apps and forums on the dark web, he bought bomb-making equipment and
manuals last year.
forums were also used by New Zealand’s Christchurch terrorist prior to his
mosque attacks last month which left 50 people dead.
UK extremist, who is an alcoholic and drug addict from Thornton Heath, south
London, was caught after he made chilling remarks about his plans to a support
confessed to buying an app which would encrypt his phone and said he was going
to commit a suicide attack on the Baitul Futuh Mosque in Morden, near his
address, using a home-made bomb.
police raided his home last October and found a suitcase in a shed containing
the materials for an improvised detonator and a recipe for making explosives.
remote-control firework firing system was delivered to his house after his
discovered that just days before his arrest Bishop searched online for articles
on the Manchester bombing and for “Saffie Rose memorial”.
also viewed videos about the Manchester, London Bridge and Paris terrorist
then posted on Facebook: "Don't worry something bad is going to happen
soon mark my words."
Clarke Jarrett head of the Metropolitan Police's Counter-Terrorism Command
said: "From our investigation it was clear Bishop stockpiled a quantity of
fireworks and other component parts with the intention of creating a device
that he was intending to use to target a mosque.
to the diligence of his key worker in alerting us we were able to intervene
before he could progress with his plans any further and crucially, nobody came
to any harm.
Bishop was focused upon a mosque, and in light of recent events in New Zealand,
we also know that Muslim and other faith communities may be feeling
particularly concerned and vulnerable.
officers continue to provide support and protective security advice to mosques,
and indeed all places of worship across the UK on how to best keep their
buildings and visitors safe."
pleaded guilty on the first day of his trial at Kingston Crown Court in London
on Monday to possession of an explosive substance with intent to endanger life
or cause damage to property.
he admitted possessing information likely to be useful to a person preparing an
act of terrorism, after a handwritten note on how to make explosives was found
at his home.
an earlier hearing, prosecutors described him as a “dangerous and unpredictable
man who has a violent past”.
Qatar criticize US designation of IRGC as terror group
Turkey and Qatar on Tuesday objected to US President Donald Trump’s decision to
designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist group.
United States issued this one-sided decision in the context of sanctions and
pressure on Iran,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said during a
joint press conference with his Qatari counterpart Mohammed bin Abdulrahman
do not support Iran’s Revolutionary Guards in Syria, but no country can declare
another country’s armed forces a terrorist organization. We also do not support
unilateral decisions.” Such measures “would lead to instability in the region,”
said disagreements over the Iranian army’s behavior, or that of any other army,
should not be solved by imposing sanctions.
on Monday said he had officially decided to include the IRGC on the US list of
terrorist organizations, marking the first time that America formally labels
another nation’s military as a terrorist group.
response, Iran’s Supreme National Security Council decided to include the US
Central Command, which is responsible for American military activities in the
Middle East and Central Asia, on Iran’s list of terrorist organizations.
President Michel Aoun has strongly condemned US President Donald Trump’s
recognition of the occupied Syrian Golan Heights as sovereign Israeli
territory, describing the measure as in blatant violation of international law
threatens not only the sovereignty of a brotherly country and brotherly nation,
but also the sovereignty of the Lebanese state, which possesses land gradually
annexed by Israel, particularly in the Shebaa Farms, Kafrshuba hills and the
northern section of Ghajar [village],” Aoun said at a joint press conference
with his Bulgarian counterpart Rumen Radev in Beirut on Tuesday.
Lebanese president then urged the Israeli regime to fully comply with UN
Security Council Resolution 1701, which brokered a ceasefire in the war of
aggression Israel launched against Lebanon in 2006 and calls on Tel Aviv to
respect Beirut's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
also urged Bulgaria to stand by Lebanon in the face of repeated Israeli
attacks, and support the Arab country’s right to extract crude oil and natural
gas within its territory and territorial waters.
support Lebanon's efforts for balance, dialogue and peaceful solutions to
crises in the [Middle East] region. We also appreciate the Lebanese model of
ethnic, racial and religious tolerance,” Radev said for his part.
March 25, Trumped signed a proclamation, formally recognizing Israel's
sovereignty over Golan Heights. The announcement came as Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu visited the White House.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, in a statement, called the US
decision a “blatant attack on the sovereignty and territorial integrity” of
liberation of the Golan by all available means and its return to the Syrian
motherland is an inalienable right,” according to the statement carried by
Syria’s official news agency SANA, which added, “The decision ... makes the
United States the main enemy of the Arabs.”
Arab League condemned the move, saying that "Trump's recognition does not
change the area's status."
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said it was impossible for Turkey to accept
the US decision on the Golan Heights.
bombers disguised as farmers struck an army position in western Syria on
Tuesday in an attack that killed three people and all the militants, state-run
attack north of Hama city adds to pressures on Russian-Turkish agreements that
have contained the war in northwestern Syria, the last major foothold of the
insurgency against President Bashar al-Assad.
was no immediate claim of responsibility. The Syrian Observatory for Human
Rights, which monitors the eight-year-long war, said 10 people were killed and
the attack was carried out by a jihadist group in a “demilitarized” zone set up
under the Turkish-Russian agreement.
media said the militants were dressed as local farmers when they hit the
position near Taybat al-Imam around 3 am (midnight GMT). A tank supporting them
clash between the guards at the position and the terrorists resulted in three
martyrs and the killing of all members of the terrorist group,” state media
cited a military source as saying.
and Turkey struck an agreement last September that staved off a major
government offensive into Idlib and adjacent areas of Hama and Aleppo provinces
through the creation of the demilitarized zone.
militant groups that hold sway in the Idlib region have further tightened their
grip in recent months, and Russia remains keen to help Assad take back the
week, Damascus said its ally Russia had started to feel that its patience was
running out over the northwest. However, Moscow had told Damascus that Turkey
was still determined to implement the agreement reached in September.
least nine civilians, including children, have been killed and a number of
others wounded after two explosives-laden vehicles exploded in Syria’s northern
city of Raqqah.
state-run television announced on Tuesday that the blasts were carried out in
Basel Street earlier in the day, adding that a mine also went off at the same
time near the vehicles.
added that the terror attacks against civilians had been carried out by
remnants of the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group, which has received a complete
defeat in the Arab country and has lost all the strongholds and territories
on Tuesday, suspected members of the Takfiri Ansar al-Tawheed group attacked an
army checkpoint in Taybat al-Imam, north of Hama city in the northwestern parts
of the Arab country.
detonated their explosive vests as they came very close to the checkpoint. The
explosions both killed all the terrorists and at least three soldiers of the
high-ranking Iraqi military commander says the country’s army has received a
new batch of advanced T-90 battle tanks from Russia under a major deal struck
between Moscow and Baghdad in July 2017.
General Walid Khalifa, the Commander of the Army’s 9th Armored Division, told
the Arabic-language National Iraqi News Agency (NINA) on Tuesday that the
fourth batch of the armored fighting vehicles had arrived in the country, and
were delivered to the Iraqi Defense Ministry.
however, did not provide any information about the exact number of the battle
noted that Iraqi army troops are prepared to operate the tanks after having
received training at the hands of Russian experts.
T-90 is a third-generation Russian battle tank built upon the time-proven
Soviet T-72 design.
is among the best-selling tanks in the world, and known for its firepower,
enhanced protection and mobility.
T-90 features a smoothbore 2A46M 125mm main gun, which can fire both
armor-piercing shells and anti-tank missiles.
advanced tank also features sophisticated armor, ensuring all-round protection
of the crew and critical systems, including explosive reactive armor and active
infrared jammers to defend it from inbound rocket-propelled grenades, anti-tank
missiles and other projectiles.
Algerian and Azerbaijani militaries have purchased hundreds of T-90 battle
tanks in past years. Kuwait, Vietnam and Egypt have also expressed strong
interest in buying the tank.
people were killed on Tuesday, including at least four policemen, by twin
attacks in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.
suicide bomber blew himself up near a security force that was on patrol in the
city of Sheikh Zuwaid,” the Interior Ministry said in a statement.
addition to the bomber, six people were killed in the attack, including four
policemen and a six-year-old child, according to the ministry.
afterward, a second attack reportedly occurred near the Rafah police station,
killing one person and injuring another.
the past year, Egyptian security forces have waged extensive operations against
what they describe as “terrorist groups” based in Sinai.
The Arab Coalition in Yemen said it had struck Houthi targets in the capital
Sanaa, Saudi TV reported early Wednesday.
Houthi workshop manufacturing unmanned drones and a launchpad where hit in the
attack, said the Coalition, who is tasked with supporting the internationally
recognized government of Yemen against the Iranian-backed Houthi militia who
control the capital.
had been asked to keep away from targeted places for their own safety.
Houthis sent an unmanned drone toward the major southern Saudi city of Khamis
Mushait on Sunday. The drone was shot down by Saudi air defenses without
causing any casualties.
Gantz both claim victory in Israeli polls
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his main challenger Benny Gantz both claimed
victory after Israel’s general elections on Tuesday as exit polls showed the
two were neck and neck.
exit polls from Israel’s three main television stations appeared to show
Netanyahu better placed to form a coalition with the help of smaller right-wing
parties, but the final outcome was far from clear.
official results were not expected until early on Wednesday.
Israeli TV stations showed Gantz’s Blue and White Party with a narrow lead over
the Likud. Channel 12 TV had Blue and White with 37 seats to Likud’s 33 seats,
while Kan TV put Blue and White ahead 37-36. Channel 13 had the two parties
deadlocked with 36 seats apiece.
both parties are far short of a majority in the 120-seat parliament, they would
have to search for smaller ideological allies to cobble together a majority.
Kan and Channel 13 polls projected Likud and its hard-line allies controlling a
slight majority of seats, while a Channel 12 showed them with 60 seats apiece.
on Wednesday, Gantz addressed a raucous crowd. “Elections have losers and
elections have winners. And we are the winners,” he told supporters.
vowed to change the tone of Israel’s divisive political system and “be the
prime minister of everyone, not just the ones who voted for me.”
to represent the largest party, Gantz urged President Reuven Rivlin to give him
the opportunity to form the next government. As president, Rivlin is
responsible for choosing the prime minister after consulting with party leaders
and deciding who has the best chance of cobbling together a coalition.
who was set to address his supporters later Wednesday, said in a statement that
his right-wing bloc won a “clear victory.”
exit polls are notoriously imprecise, meaning the final results could still
swing in either direction. Official results weren’t expected until Wednesday
Plesner, a former lawmaker and head of the nonpartisan Israel Democracy
Institute, called the close and conflicting exit polls “an unprecedented
had elections before where he didn’t know the results but here it is even
messier,” he said.
final results will depend on the performance of several small parties,
including the Arab Balad party and the ultranationalist “New Right,” that were
on the cusp of winning the needed 3.25% of the votes to enter parliament. If
any of them fail to cross the threshold, the makeup of the next coalition could
be dramatically affected.
a dozen Saudi-sponsored militiamen loyal to Yemen's former president Abd Rabbuh
Mansur Hadi have been killed when Yemeni army soldiers and fighters from allied
Popular Committees launched separate offensives against their positions in the
kingdom’s border region of Asir.
unnamed Yemeni military source told the Arabic-language al-Masirah television
network that Yemeni troops and their allies fired a domestically-manufactured
Zelzal-1 (Earthquake-1) ballistic missile at a gathering of Saudi mercenaries outside
al-Rabu’ah town of the region on Tuesday evening, leaving several of them dead
in the day, Yemeni forces and their allies had staged an ambush against
Saudi-paid militiamen in the al-Alab border crossing of the same Saudi region,
killing 15 of them in the process, the media bureau of the Houthi Ansarullah
a number of Saudi mercenaries were killed and injured when Yemeni troopers and
fighters from Popular Committees carried out an offensive in Yemen’s northern
province of al-Jawf.
developments came on the same day that Saudi mercenaries lobbed more than ten
mortar shells at residential neighborhoods in the al-Hawak district of the
western Yemeni coastal province of Hudaydah.
were no immediate reports about possible casualties and the extent of damage
Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched the devastating campaign
against Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of Hadi
back to power and crushing the Houthi Ansarullah movement.
to a report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a
nonprofit conflict-research organization, the Saudi-led war has so far claimed
the lives of about 56,000 Yemenis.
spokesman for the Ministry of Health in the Gaza Strip says the number of
Palestinian protesters injured during anti-occupation protests along the fence
separating the besieged enclave and the occupied territories clearly points to
the fact that the Tel Aviv regime is dogged to either kill or maim the
Israeli occupation forces’ use of lethal force against civilians in the east of
Gaza Strip has resulted in the martyrdom of 271 citizens and the injury of
16,500 others,” Ashraf al-Qidra said on Tuesday.
noted that Israeli military forces had used various types of live bullets, in
addition to unconventional coded gas bombs that cause serious or permanent
further highlighted that the Israeli regime has developed its repressive
methods using live bullets and tear gas canisters as a tool for killing and
maiming Palestinian protesters.
have held weekly rallies on the Gaza border to protest the siege on the enclave
and demand the right for refugees to return to their homes they fled during the
1948 creation of Israel.
than 270 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces ever since
anti-occupation protest rallies began in the Gaza Strip on March 30, 2018. Over
16,000 Palestinians have also sustained injuries.
Gaza clashes reached their peak on May 14 last year, on the eve of the 70th
anniversary of Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe), which coincided this year with
the US embassy relocation from Tel Aviv to occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds.
June 13, 2018, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution,
sponsored by Turkey and Algeria, which condemned Israel for Palestinian
civilian deaths in the Gaza Strip.
resolution, which had been put forward on behalf of Arab and Muslim countries,
garnered a strong majority of 120 votes in the 193-member assembly, with 8
votes against and 45 abstentions.
resolution called on UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to make proposals
within 60 days “on ways and means for ensuring the safety, protection, and
well-being of the Palestinian civilian population under Israeli occupation,”
including “recommendations regarding an international protection mechanism.”
warned on Monday that Washington’s designation of its Islamic Revolutionary
Guard Corps as a terrorist organization could endanger peace and stability in
the Middle East and beyond, state TV reported.
also took retaliatory action by naming the United States Central Command
(CENTCOM) as a terrorist organization and the US government as a sponsor of
unwise and illegal measure is a major threat to regional and international
stability and peace ... Iran labels the American regime as a supporter of
terrorism,” Iran’s Supreme National Security Council said in a statement.
President Donald Trump designated Iran’s Guards a foreign terrorist
organization on Monday - an unprecedented step that will raise tensions in the
authorities have said that the US decision is a great mistake that will
endanger US interests in the region, where Iran is involved in proxy wars from
Syria to Lebanon.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Twitter that the move was aimed
at securing the re-election of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on
misguided election-eve gift to Netanyahu,” and another “dangerous US
misadventure in the region,” Zarif tweeted.
Revolutionary Guards commanders have repeatedly said that US bases in the
Middle East and US aircraft carriers in the Gulf are within range of Iranian
Arab Coalition in Yemen struck Houthi targets in the capital Sanaa,
spokesperson Colonel Turki al-Malki said on Wednesday.
coalition said the strikes targeted a Houthi drones manufacturing plant and a
store containing launch pads. There were no immediate reports of any casualties
to al-Malki, the strikes are an extension of military operations that targeted
and destroyed an integrated network of logistical capabilities and facilities
for Houthi drones, as well as locations where foreign experts are present.
reiterated the coalition’s commitment to prevent the Houthi militias from using
these advanced capabilities, and to take all the necessary measures to protect
civilians as well as vital areas from the threat of drones.
July 2017, a UN chartered plane carrying half a million doses of cholera
vaccine to Yemen was not given permission to land by the Houthi militias until
almost a year later, an AP report revealed.
the outbreak continued to get worse, producing more than one million suspected
officials believed they had the go-ahead to bring in cholera vaccines. Half a
million doses were loaded onto a plane in the African republic of Djibouti.
the last minute, hard-liners in the Houthi-controlled Health Ministry told the
UN they would not allow the plane to land.
officials blamed the canceled flight on the difficulties in distributing
vaccines during an armed conflict. But officials with knowledge of the episode
told the AP that the real reason was that the Houthi militias who control
northern Yemen refused to allow the vaccines to be delivered, after spending
months demanding that the UN send ambulances and other medical equipment for
their military forces as a condition for accepting the shipment.
spokesman for the UN’s World Health Organization said at the time that
delivering vaccines “has to make sense” in terms of the conditions on the
ground, adding that the vaccine doses intended for Yemen would likely be
re-routed to places that “might need them more urgently.”
officials sent the shipment to South Sudan in central Africa, where the disease
had recently erupted. The cholera outbreak in South Sudan left 436 dead but was
declared over by early 2018, largely due to the introduction of vaccines during
the outbreak’s early stages.
outbreak in Yemen went on unabated.
cancellation of the shipment was just one of the setbacks that aid agencies
faced in battling the cholera epidemic, which has killed nearly 3,000 Yemenis.
workers and government officials said they have seen repeated indications that
insiders in the Houthi-controlled north have skimmed off money and supplies for
cholera vaccines and treatment and sold them on the black market. In some
cases, treatment centers for people who had contracted cholera existed only on
paper even though the UN had disbursed money to bankroll their operations,
according to two aid officials familiar with the centers.
AP’s examination of the efforts to fight the disease in Yemen drew on
confidential documents and interviews with 29 people, including aid officials
previously based in the country and officials from health ministries run by
both the Houthi rebels and the internationally recognized government in the
south. Almost all of these individuals—including six relief and health officials
who say the Houthis were responsible for cancellation of the 2017 vaccine
shipment—spoke on condition of anonymity because of fear of retaliation.
Houthis are taking advantage of UN weakness,” the official said. “Corruption or
aid diversion and all of this are because of the UN’s weak position.” Relief
workers know that if the UN speaks out, the official said, “their visas will be
denied and they would not be allowed back in the country.”
UN officials tried to rush in oral vaccines to halt the spread, some Houthi
officials claimed vaccines were ineffective. A few messages circulated on
social media asserting that vaccines could be harmful to children. Four aid
officials and a former Houthi health official said that some rebel leaders
suggested that the vaccination plan was a plot by the US and Israel to use
Yemenis as guinea pigs.
former senior official in the Houthi Health Ministry said the concerns over the
vaccines’ safety were a pretext. Militia leaders had a list of demands and
tried to bargain with UN officials for money and equipment, he said.
weeks of negotiations over the vaccine program, the militiamen demanded that UN
officials send X-ray machines and other items they could use to treat their
wounded fighters on the front lines, according to the former health ministry
official and three aid officials.
spread across Yemen in late 2016 and throughout much of 2017 and 2018. It ebbed
late last year, but has again picked up in 2019. A new surge in the disease has
produced roughly 150,000 reported cholera cases and nearly 300 deaths since the
start of this year. The first cholera vaccine drives in Yemen didn’t start
until May 2018 in the south, aid and health officials told the AP.
al-Walidi, the deputy health minister in southern Yemen, and Youssef al-Hadri,
the spokesman of the Houthi-run Health Ministry in the north, both deny there
were delays in getting cholera vaccines into Yemen at the start of the
said claims that the Houthis blocked the shipment of vaccines into Yemen are
is all baseless, and I challenge the agencies to say this officially,” he said.
importance of vaccines
that timeframe, Houthi officials held a succession of meetings throughout much
of 2017 and into 2018 to consider the science and policy questions relating to
vaccines. In the spring of 2018, after science panels approved bringing cholera
vaccines into rebel territory, Health Minister Mohammed Salem Bin Hafez gave UN
officials the go-ahead to bring in nearly 900,000 doses of cholera vaccine,
according to documents obtained by the AP.
two of his deputies, both of them well-connected within the Houthi leadership,
said the shipment couldn’t proceed, asserting that there were still more
bureaucratic hurdles before the vaccines’ “safety and security” could be
assured, according to the documents.
a non-Houthi, Bin Hafez didn’t have the power to overrule the decisions of the
two deputies who supposedly were working under him. He wrote a letter to the
prime minister of the Houthi-controlled government, Abdel-Aziz Bin Habtour,
detailing how the delivery of vaccines had been once again been put off.
am washing my hands of the consequences of these irresponsible actions,” Bin
Hafez’s letter said. He told the prime minister that he was “putting the matter
between your hands” in the hope the government would “take the necessary
measures to use aid in a proper way and create proper work conditions for
international and local aid agencies.”
month later, Bin Hafez left his post and fled Houthi territory.
al-Daylami, one of the Health Ministry deputies that Bin Hafez blamed for
holding up the delivery of vaccines, denied that he had stopped the shipment.
there was no rejection, but we had reservations,” he told the AP. “We thought
that the vaccines would be useless” if they were deployed without more efforts
to ensure clean water and reliable sanitation systems.
United Nations (UN) has postponed a conference in Libya that had been meant to
discuss the possibility of holding elections in the country, as fighting
between rival domestic forces continues near the capital Tripoli and elsewhere.
special envoy for Libya Ghassan Salame announced on Tuesday that the two-day
conference — which had been due in the southwestern town of Ghadames on April
14-15 — would not be held according to schedule because of the fighting.
cannot ask people to take part in the conference during gunfire and
airstrikes,” Salame said, adding that the meeting would take place “as soon as
possible,” without specifying a date.
has an internationally-recognized government seated in Tripoli, the so-called
Government of National Accord (GNA). But the GNA has been unable to exercise
state powers over the entire Libyan territory, where militia groups have been
active since an uprising against the then-dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
major power faction that lays a claim to power is based in the city of Tobruk,
in Libya’s east. It has its own quasi-army, led by self-styled General Khalifa
week, Haftar ordered his forces to advance on the capital, in what seems to be
an attempt to unseat the GNA.
their way to Tripoli, Haftar’s forces have overtaken several oil fields and
towns, but have faced stiff resistance from forces loyal to the GNA near
Tripoli, where they have been stopped. The situation is deadlocked, and
fighting continues despite international calls for an end to hostilities.
GNA has carried out airstrikes against the positions of Haftar’s forces, which
call themselves the Libyan National Army (LNA). The LNA also conducted one
airstrike against the Tripoli airport on Tuesday.
that day, the GNA called the attack on the airport a “war crime” and a
violation of “all national laws and international agreements,” and ordered the
military prosecutor’s office to issue arrest warrants for Haftar and those
collaborating with him, according to Al Jazeera.
news network said Fayez al-Sarraj, the prime minister of the Tripoli-based
government, has instructed prosecutors to prepare the arrest warrants.
and Haftar had previously participated in UN-brokered reconciliation talks. The
offensive on Tripoli has dampened chances for peace and risks plunging the
country into civil war.
forces target S. Libya's capital
clashes erupted in Libya’s Ain Zara area in the south of capital Tripoli
between forces loyal to Libya’s Tripoli-based Government of National Accord
(GNA) and those loyal to Khalifa Haftar, who commands forces based in the
country’s east, according to eyewitnesses.
as the fiercest since the clashes began, the recent clashes, erupted Tuesday
evening when, the internationally-recognized, GNA forces attempted to recapture
from Haftar forces some sites it lost along the last two days.
clashes have witnessed using all sorts of weapons and erupted in a residential
area, the witnesses said.
of the families based in the Ain Zara area could not leave their houses due to
the fierce military clashes, according to the witnesses, who added that, the
Haftar-led forces have captured some streets in the area.
number od casualties over the clashes have not been announced yet.
its part, the Haftar forces announced they have advanced in the neighborhoods
of Ain Zara, announcing their control over the Al-Fitra Street and the
headquarters of the 42nd Battalion affiliated with the GNA.
clashes between forces loyal to Libya’s Tripoli-based GNA and those loyal to
Haftar, who commands forces loyal to a rival government based in the country’s
east, continued Tuesday, according to local sources.
warplanes are now targeting pro-Haftar forces deployed in Tripoli’s southern
Sog al-Khmies district,” a local military source told Anadolu Agency.
air raids, however, have failed to cause damage due to the use by pro-Haftar
forces of anti-aircraft batteries,” the source added, speaking on condition of
anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to media.
to local media reports, GNA forces are also targeting Haftar’s supply lines
linking Tripoli to the city of Ghariyan (located roughly 100 kilometers south
of the capital), which pro-Haftar forces are reportedly using as a forward
Tuesday, warplanes affiliated with Haftar’s forces struck Tripoli’s
international airport without causing casualties, local witnesses said.
last week, Haftar announced the launch of an ambitious campaign to capture
Tripoli, where the GNA is headquartered.
Monday, however, the campaign appeared to have lost momentum, with pro-GNA
forces recapturing two military bases near the capital after they were briefly
seized by Haftar’s forces.
two sides have also continued to trade blows over three strategic airports near
least 47 people were killed and 181 others wounded over last three days in Libya
clashes, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday.
Thursday, Khalifa Haftar, a military commander based in eastern Libya, launched
military operations with an ambitious campaign to capture the capital Tripoli,
where the Government of National Accord is headquartered. After initial
success, however, the campaign on Monday appeared to have lost momentum.
a news conference at UN Geneva office, Tarik Jasarevic, a spokesman of the WHO,
said among those killed were two doctors rushing to the aid of people seriously
underlined that attacks on health institutions and employees are a violation of
international human rights law.
Baloch, a spokesperson for UN High Commission for Refugees, said there were
5,700 refugees and irregular migrants in the official detention centers in
Libya, adding that the number can hike when those held in unofficial detention
centers are taken into account.
has remained beset by turmoil since 2011, when a bloody NATO-backed uprising led
to the ouster and death of President Muammar Gaddafi after four decades in
Italy on Tuesday confirmed that it would keep its military missions in Tripoli
and Misrata despite the advance of strongman Khalifa Haftar's forces on the
launched in January 2018, will "continue in order to make assistance
activities in Libya more incisive and efficient", the Italian defence
ministry said in a statement.
chief Antonio Guterres has appealed for an immediate halt to fighting in Libya
after Haftar's forces claimed an airstrike on Tripoli's only functioning
have fled violence in the capital city, according to the United Nations, since
Haftar launched a surprise assault last week which has left dozens dead.
Bilateral Mission of Assistance and Support in Libya "supports Libyan
authorities in their pacification and stabilisation activities in the country
and against human trafficking, smuggling and threats to security."
figures were provided for the current deployment but the mission has previously
included around 100 troops in Tripoli and 300 in Misrata, about 200 kilometres
(130 miles) to the east.
from former colonial power Italy are involved in "training and technical
and infrastructure assistance for Libyan security forces," in Tripoli, the
the troops provide security and assistance to a hospital within a military
academy for the UN-backed Government of National Accord.
oil-rich northern African country has been rocked by violent power struggles
between an array of armed groups since the NATO-backed overthrow of dictator
Moamer Kadhafi in 2011.
African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces said Monday they have arrested
nine al-Shabab militants during a security operation backed by Somali troops in
AU mission said the operation, which was carried out on Sunday in near Sabiid
Anole town in Lower Shabelle, about 40 km south of Mogadishu, saw al-Shabab
commander and explosive expert arrested.
militants were in possession of IED (improvised explosive device) making
materials which they intended to use to build explosives," said the AU
said the fighting erupted after the allied forces came under attack by the
terrorists but did not indicate the number of al-Shabab militants who were
killed during the fighting.
suspects are currently being interrogated by the relevant authorities," said
the AMISOM. The arrests came a week after the strategic bridge of Sabiid was
liberated by the allied forces.
AMISOM also confirmed the arrest of an al-Shabab terrorist who has been
extorting money from civilians at checkpoints in Qoryooley.
AU mission vowed to continue supporting the Somali security forces to restore
peace in all regions of Somalia.
NIGERIA - Boko Haram fighters attacked the northeast Nigerian city of Damaturu
for the first time since late 2014, residents said, after troops forced
thousands to flee a village across the state border because of a planned
locals in the Yobe state capital said suspected Islamic State-linked Boko Haram
fighters were behind the attack, which began late afternoon.
Haram jihadists launched an attack on Damaturu at about 5:45 p.m. (1645 GMT),
firing guns and throwing explosives,” Adamu Sani, a trader in the city’s
Maisandari area, told AFP.
and businesses all closed as we fled into the city to avoid being caught up in
the attack. While fleeing into the city, I saw truckloads of soldiers heading
Idris, a civil servant, added: “Everybody is indoors. We pray the soldiers push
them back otherwise it will be another disaster in the city.
is the first attack on the city since 2014.”
Haram fighters loyal to the faction headed by Abubakar Shekau launched a dawn
raid on Damaturu on Dec. 1, 2014. More than 150 people, including 38 police,
raid followed a bomb attack on June 18 that year that killed some 21 soccer
fans watching a World Cup match at a public viewing center.
previous October, 30 people, all of them thought to be soldiers, were killed in
a gun and bomb attack on police buildings in Damaturu.
latest attack followed the evacuation of some 2,000 people from Jakana village,
some 90 km (55 miles) from Damaturu on the road to Maiduguri, in neighbouring
National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said troops escorted the residents
to the Bakassi camp for internally displaced people (IDPs) in Maiduguri “for
their own safety.
northeast coordinator Abulkadir Ibrahim said the move was “a result of ongoing
operations to flush out insurgents in the area.
residents said they were given no notice. One of them, Modu Kaka, said: “The
soldiers came this morning and told us to assemble and began herding us into
left all our possessions in Jakana and we are now dependent on food aid.”
is one of several IDP camps housing tens of thousands of displaced people, who
live in squalid shelters and rely on food handouts from aid agencies.
unnamed military official said the evacuation was in preparation for a “big
operation” against Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), the IS-linked
faction of Boko Haram.
lies on a known crossing route for ISWAP fighters moving between their camps in
the Benisheikh forest area of Borno and their hideouts in the Buni Yadi area of
January ISWAP sent letters to Jakana and Mainok residents asking them to vacate
their homes for an impending raid on the military.
jihadis have in the last few weeks been under assault from intensive air and
ground offensives from coalition forces involving Nigeria, Chad and Cameroon
against militant camps in Lake Chad, according to military sources and militia
know they are going to use their traditional route to escape,” the military
Haram’s decade-long insurgency has killed more than 27,000 people in the
northeast with 1.8 million still displaced from their homes.
John Owen Nwachukwu
Nigerian Air Force, NAF, says its Air Task Force, ATF, of Operation LAFIYA DOLE
has degraded an Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) Terrorists’
hideout in Northern Borno.
spokesman, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, who disclosed this in a statement
in Abuja, said the operation was conducted on Monday.
said the ATF also neutralised some of the ISWAP fighters at Tumbun Zarami in
the Northern part of Borno.
was accomplished through air strikes conducted on Monday, April 8, as part of
the ongoing air campaign of Operation YANCIN TAFKI, which is aimed at flushing
out ISWAP elements from islands on the fringes of the Lake Chad.
Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR)
platform, on a routine reconnaissance mission, observed significant presence of
ISWAP fighters in the settlement, with several structures and equipment spotted
beneath the thick vegetation of the area.
the ATF scrambled two NAF Alpha Jets to attack the location, recording
successful strikes on the terrorists’ structures and neutralising several of
their fighters,” he said.
Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday in Dubai, stated that his government has succeeded
in rescuing Nigeria from Boko Haram insurgents.
spoke at a town hall meeting with members of the Nigerian Community in the United
Arab Emirates (UAE).
who also pledged more government investments in research, technology as well
educational institutions, promised that the prudent economic management,
diversification of production and revenue bases of the administration in the
last four years will be sustained.
Next Level is to consolidate whatever we have done till 2023 and it makes
common sense that in order to manage any outfit, whether a nation, state or
organisation, you have to secure it.
all know how many local governments Boko Haram were occupying. People from the
North-east know that they are not holding any local government today.
were holding 17 out of the 774 local governments before we came in 2015; they
are not holding any now,’’ the President said.
the interactive session, the Nigerian leader noted that a key objective of his
administration which had yielded positive results, in the last four years, was
the campaign for the nation to return to agriculture.
we did was to encourage agriculture, and fertiliser was made available at half
encouraged people to go back to land. The response was excellent. We have
virtually achieved food security; we have stopped the importation of rice.
money we have saved in foreign exchange is in hundreds of millions of dollars,
not even in naira. We are putting that into infrastructure,’’ he noted.
to a question about the pace of anti-corruption war, the President said:
‘‘Whoever calls me Baba-go-slow, I’m very conscious of historical antecedents.
You know what happened to me the last time…people [now] have to be proven
guilty before they are locked up.’’
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