life of Omar Ibn Said, a Fullah Slave in Fayetteville, North Carolina
Muslim Scholars, Doctors Endorse Measles Rubella (MR) Vaccination
Holds Jirgas Violative of Pakistan’s World Commitments
Library of Congress Puts American Muslim Slave Autobiography Online
Government Fighting To Keep Details of Counter-Extremism Radio Shows Secret
Attack Survivor's Escape from Al Shabab Militants: We Were Focused On Getting
Awami League Criticizes Islamic Leader over Comments on Girls’ Education
Students Facing Charges in Oregon Disappear
20 militants appear to offer gun salute to Zeenat ul Islam in Shopian
modules: NIA conducts fresh raids in UP, Punjab
of 88 Who Fled Bangladesh Due To Religious Persecution Still Pending
International Airlines to Stop Playing Soft Music during Flights
presses Afghan Taliban to meet US envoy in Islamabad
Afghan refugees pin hopes on PM Imran Khan
Imran promises support for reopening MQM’s legitimate offices
told to ensure strict vigilance of Afghan DPs
for the Pakistan Church in 2019
frees another senior Taliban leader
Official under Fire for Saying Rashida Tlaib Might 'Blow Up' US Capitol
suicide attack kills four Americans in north Syria
assures his party about sticking to his Syria, Afghanistan policy
Press TV anchor’s children subpoenaed to testify
Pence claims Daesh defeated hours after attack
Syria must be under regime control, says Russia’s Lavrov
urges more efforts for peace in Yemen
Union envoy: We greatly value Turkish-EU ties
Muslim Clerics Join Other Religious Leaders to Condemn Terror Attack
Why Al-Shabaab Targets Kenya, and What Can Be Done to Stop Attacks
strike paralyzes Tunisia as 670,000 public servants demand pay rise
forces kill militants who stormed Nairobi hotel
protests rumble on as Bashir remains defiant
toll in Nairobi attack climbs to 21, plus 5 attackers
attack shows Al Shabab still powerful despite US efforts
Parliament to have first transgender MP
Exodus from India to Bangladesh Hits 1,300
Forces video shows Taliban militants blown into pieces in an airstrike
leader Abul Talha and his fighters killed in Faryab operations
Taliban commander among 4 militants killed in Pakistan
to quit peace talks if US troops are not pulled out of Afghanistan
Official Accuses US Forces of Opening Safe Corridors for ISIL
Kurds Not to Accept Turkish-Controlled Safe Zone in Syria
Syria attack kills at least 16, including US soldiers
US Soldiers Killed, Wounded in Suicide Blast in Manbij
Thousands of Iraqi Troops Preparing for Joint Anti-ISIL Military Operations
with Syrian Army
Terrorists Preparing for Chemical Attack in Idlib Province
US Spying for ISIL on Hashd Al-Sha'abi Along Iraq-Syria Borders
US soldiers dead, three injured in ISIS-claimed suicide bombing in Manbij
Kurdish militants reject US-proposed ‘security zone’ under Turkish control
of Misguided Individuals Should Not Tar Good Name of Malay/Muslim Community: Ministers
Teacher Placed On Restriction Order for Extremist Teachings
Paralympic Committee says upset with Malaysia’s ban on Israeli swimmers
Siang: Cameron Highlands win is Najib’s chance to return as PM
Prabowo to square off in first debate
Embassy in Beirut Slams US As ‘ISIS Incubator’
fighters await ‘zero hour’ to attack Syria’s Manbij
Coalition, Yemeni army kill 23 Houthis in Taiz
raps Israeli occupation as Palestine takes over G77 chairmanship
Turkey to control buffer zone spanning 460 km in Syria’s north
Security Council approves up to 75 truce monitors to Yemen’s Hodeidah
landmines kill, injure dozens of children in Yemen’s Mocha
forces strike military base in southwestern Saudi Arabia
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Delhi: Much excitement is witnessed among minorities regarding ambitious
nationwide measles-rubella vaccination drive. Muslim scholars and intellectuals
have urged Muslims not to Believe rumours about the vaccination and said taking
care of one’s health is obligatory.
cleric Dr Mufti Mukarram Ahmed said the vaccination is for good health hence
everyone should go for the vaccination.
Madrasa Babul Uloom Maulana Dawood Zafar Ameeni also dispelled rumours and
urged parents to vaccinate their children.
royal doctor Dr Hanif said Measles Rubella (MR) Vaccination drive is run by the
government in collaboration with UNICEF hence people should avail the
Prof of Medical college of Dr Nair Hospital in Mumbai, Dr Mohammed Abbas said
this is compulsory, we should go for it. Immunisation for the diseases is
compulsory for children aged between 9 months and 15 years.
holds jirgas violative of Pakistan’s world commitments
The Supreme Court on Wednesday held the system of jirgas and panchayats in
violation of Pakistan’s international commitments under the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights (ICCPR) and Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of
Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).
commitments placed a responsibility on Pakistan to ensure that everyone had
access to courts or tribunals and is treated equally before the law, a verdict
authored by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar said.
decision came on a petition moved by the National Commission on Status of Women
(NCSW) as well as the government of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).
genesis of the issue raised in the case lies in the reality that in today’s
age, informal custom-driven parallel legal systems in the form of ‘council of
elders’ or ‘kangaroo courts’ exist in tribal areas, particularly in the north
of KP and in some rural areas of KP, Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan.
NCSW, through its petition, had sought a declaration from the Supreme Court on
the legality of jirgas/panchayats prevalent in the country, thereby challenging
their operation as adjudicating bodies awarding judgements, executing
punishments and deciding family, civil, criminal and other disputes.
key question arising from the petition was whether to the extent that these
informal village or tribal gatherings acted as courts in the form of jirgas or
panchayats, they were illegal under the law in place read with international
commitments made by Pakistan under various treaties/conventions.
response, the verdict held that the manner in which jirgas or panchayats
functioned in the country was violative of Articles 4, 8, 10-A, 25 and 175(3)
of the Constitution and explained that this practice of parallel judicial
system did not fall under the constitution or any other law, because this
system attempted to adjudicate on civil or criminal matters.
jirgas or panchayats could operate within the permissible limits of the law to
the extent of arbitration, mediation, negotiation or reconciliation forums
between parties involved in a civil dispute who willingly consented to the
same, the judgment said.
verdict also declared as illegal and against the spirit of the constitution any
order, decision or a directive issued by any such individual or group of
persons, since no individual or persons in the name of a jirga/panchayat or
under any other name could assume the jurisdiction of a civil or criminal court
without any lawful authority.
judgment also provided guidelines by holding that the law-enforcement agencies
all over Pakistan were duty-bound to be vigilant and ensure that if any crime
had gone unreported, they of their own accord filed FIR(s) with regard to the
same and initiated the process of investigation, the verdict said.
as a consequence of any illegal decision, order, directive or inducement of
such self-appointed adjudicatory bodies any crime was committed, the offender
as well as the individual or group of persons involved in aiding such jirga/panchayat
shall be jointly held responsible for the offence and must be proceeded against
in accordance with the law, the judgement said.
the police must ensure compliance with standard operating procedures (SOPs)
which should be introduced by them within two months from the date of
announcement of this judgement which should be circulated throughout the
country with a compliance report to be submitted to the Supreme Court at the
end of the two-month period.
judgement also highlighted that after the 25th Amendment, there was no
rationale on which the people of Fata could be distinguished from the people of
the rest of the province of KP and thus the application of Fata Interim
Regulation to one part of KP while the rest of the province enjoyed the
protection of the provincial laws was absolutely unjustified, grossly
discriminatory and in contravention of the fundamental right to equal
grounds of discrimination which cannot be justified under any reasonable
classification and the law, the Fata Interim Regulation is declared as ultra
vires on the touchstone of Articles 4, 8, 25, 175 and 203 of the Constitution.
judgement also asked the KP government to develop infrastructure for taking
steps in six months from the date of announcement of this judgement for a
uniform system of courts of ordinary jurisdiction in KP, mandating the local
law-enforcement agencies to ensure that the rule of law was observed by
reducing jirgas/panchayats to arbitration forums which might be approached voluntarily
by local residents to the extent of civil disputes only.
Library of Congress puts American Muslim slave autobiography online
United States Library of Congress is putting online the only known surviving
narrative written in Arabic by a slave. The story belongs to Omar Ibn Said, a
man who was captured in West Africa and brought to the US as a slave in 1831.
to the organisation, his writings are the only known extant autobiography of a
slave written in Arabic in the US.
significance of this lies in the fact that such a biography was not edited by
Said's owner, as those of other slaves written in English were, and is
therefore more candid and more authentic,” says Mary-Jane Deeb, chief of the
African and Middle Eastern Division at the Library of Congress.
also reveals that many Africans who were brought to the United States as slaves
were followers of Islam, an Abrahamic and monotheistic faith. Such
documentation counteracts prior assumptions of African life and culture,” she
his autobiography, Ibn Said describes himself as a wealthy and highly educated
man who was eventually sold into slavery. He was also a member of the Fula
ethnic group, according to the Library of Congress. The Fula are the largest
ethnic group across the Sahel and West Africa, numbering some 40-50 million
for the condition of the manuscript, some of the pages proved to be weak and
vulnerable from being passed around from various owners and libraries.
an effort to preserve Ibn Said’s words, conservators mended and reinforced
Said’s entire manuscript is now available online through the US Library of
addition to posting the digital copy of his text online, the Library is
planning to host a special programme to discuss the significance of Ibn Said’s
words to coincide with African American History Month in February.
government fighting to keep details of counter-extremism radio shows secret
British government is attempting to prevent publication of material that would
show how counter-extremism propaganda is being channelled covertly through
radio dramas broadcast in the UK.
for the government are resisting an attempt to force disclosure of documents
that would expose the role the Home Office's secretive Research, Information
and Communications Unit (RICU) has played in the creation and production of
supposedly independent radio shows.
part of the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism (OSCT) within the Home
Office, is known to have been producing and disseminating communications for
around a decade as part of the British government's controversial Prevent
strategy. The unit goes to great lengths to obscure the extent of its
lawyers are arguing that any disclosure - under the UK’s Freedom of Information
Act - that revealed details of RICU’s secret involvement in radio drama would
jeopardise national security.
relevant information clearly concerns matters which have the potential to expose
the United Kingdom and its citizens to a national security threat," they
said in a submission to the Information Tribunal, the court that is set to rule
on an appeal in the case.
lawyers also say that although the request centres on a 20-part drama that was
broadcast in 2010 by a small community radio station in the north west of
England, the "operational blueprint" that was employed at that time
is similar to campaign processes being used by the Home Office today.
Home Office claims it wants to conceal the identities of individuals and
organisations involved in the project, so that others are not deterred in the
future from assisting RICU.
unit’s communications campaigns are generally disseminated through third-party organisations,
including civil society groups and media agencies, in order to conceal the
British government’s involvement.
stake following this information request, however, may be the secrecy that
obscures the extent and manner in which the Prevent programme is covertly
financing and directing the arts more widely in Britain.
2016, the Guardian newspaper exposed RICU’s unacknowledged role in the filming
of a documentary about Muslim athletes competing at the 2012 London Olympics,
which was broadcast on Al Jazeera and the Islam Channel.
work has also included the door-to-door leafleting of 760,000 homes; the
creation of a number of websites that appeared to be the work of Muslim civil
society groups; and the establishment of what appeared to be a charitable
campaign for Syria.
addition, a communications company under contract to RICU had set up a separate
public relations company, which persuaded journalists to take an interest in
the press releases of the civil society groups backed by the government without
disclosing that the government was behind the campaigns.
that were leaked at that time showed that the communications were aimed at
“Prevent audiences”, which were defined as British Muslims, particularly males
aged 15 to 39.
documents also showed that RICU privately stated that it retained editorial
control over any material disseminated through third-party organisations, and
that its aim was to "effect attitudinal and behavioural change".
year, Middle East Eye reported that RICU was modelled on a British Cold War
propaganda unit called the Information Research Department, which produced
books, newspaper articles and - with the CIA - covertly funded a literary
magazine called Encounter.
the extent of RICU’s involvement in the arts remains largely hidden, a number
of former and serving government officials have confirmed that the arts have
been receiving direction and funding as part of the Prevent programme.
has been going on for some time,” said one person with knowledge of the
radio drama at the centre of the Freedom of Information battle was called
Divided We Fall, and was broadcast by Preston FM, a community station in
Lancashire that has since been relaunched under a different name.
drama sought to draw parallels between the radicalisation of a young Muslim
Asian boy and a young white ex-soldier who had returned from serving in
a press release issued at the time referred to Home Office funding, no mention
was made of the involvement of the OSCT or RICU, nor was there any reference in
it to Prevent.
Freedom of Information request has been made by Faisal Qureshi, a
Manchester-based film researcher, who argues that the secrecy surrounding
RICU’s operations is counter-productive, and that the lack of public scrutiny
of covert government funding of the arts may result in the money being misused.
it being broadcast and produced nearly 10 years ago, the Home Office is
attempting to suppress all information about this programme, claiming it to be
for reasons of national security," Qureshi said.
use of drama in tackling radicalisation is an area that has not been
sufficiently examined and it's of interest for researchers to assess how
effective a tool it has been."
made his request more than two years ago, during which time the Home Office
disclosed some material, but continues to withhold the more sensitive
request is not being supported by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO),
which oversees the UK Freedom of Information Act.
submissions to the Information Tribunal during Qureshi’s appeal, the ICO said
that it accepts "that there is a strong public interest in transparency
about Home Office involvement in dramatic programmes not broadcast under the
Home Office’s banner: the Commissioner recognises that some may deem such
programmes – however justified and well meaning – as propaganda".
added, though, that these concerns were outweighted by the need for an
effective counter-terrorism strategy that helps stop people being "drawn
into terrorism or extremism".
of this week’s two-day appeal hearing was held in private, with the press and
the public excluded.
submissions to the hearing, the Home Office said the radio drama was a key part
of the Prevent programme, which forms part of the government’s
Moore, a RICU official, told the hearing that the question of whether to
acknowledge Home Office involvement in similar projects was addressed on a
added that she believed the messages being communicated would be less credible
if the government was known to be behind them.
tribunal’s decision is expected to be handed down in a few weeks’ time.
an explosion and gunfire rang out in Nairobi’s leafy suburb of Westlands on
Tuesday afternoon, hundreds of terrified office workers barricaded themselves
inside or fled for their lives on foot.
have no idea what is happening. Gunshots are coming from multiple
directions," said Simon Crump, an employee at a public relations company
who was hiding with two of his colleagues.
Australian was among a first wave of people evacuated from the office buildings
surrounding the DusitD2 hotel, after sustained gunfire. When the attack began,
he and his colleagues barricaded themselves inside a spare room.
waited for about two and a half hours for help to arrive.
were focused on getting out of there alive, being acutely aware that there were
active shooters throughout the compound that we could potentially come under
fire from," he told the ABC’s The World Today programme.
Crump said he thought the Australian High Commission had come under attack.
got a good view of the high commission from my window, and once I realised it
wasn't an attack on the embassy, I realised it potentially was a more serious
incident than I was anticipating," he said.
soldiers finally reached the group, they instructed them to put their phones
away and put their hands in the air.
the security personnel arrived there was a lot of commotion," Mr Crump
said. "One of the biggest fears you have in such a situation is whether
the people who are banging at the door are the people who are going to get you
out of such a situation, or whether they are the people who are going to hurt
group was eventually led to safety.
a traumatic time, it's a very stressful time … you are wondering whether you
should be messaging your loved ones to say, 'Thank you, it's been swell, please
forgive me and I love you', or, 'Please be calm and we will be out
forces worked throughout the night to get people to safety and secure the
compound, which includes a 101-room hotel, spa, restaurant and office
buildings, after the attack claimed by Al Shabab militants on Tuesday
were ‘very confident’
survivor rescued from the building told a local television station the
attackers were "very confident; they were people who knew what they were
least one suicide bomber blew himself up at the hotel while gunmen sprayed fire
before engaging security forces and holing themselves up at the premises.
video showed three attackers dressed in black running across the car park at
3.30pm local time (4.30pm UAE), shortly followed by a fourth.
least two of the men were wearing green scarves in the close-up footage. One
appeared to be wearing a green belt with grenades on it.
flash of lights and a loud bang'
is a base for hundreds of diplomats, aid workers, businessmen and others
operating around East Africa.
just started hearing gunshots, and then started seeing people running away
raising their hands up and some were entering the bank to hide for their
lives," a woman working in a bank in the complex said, adding she heard
Maingi said there had been "a flash of lights and a loud bang" at the
Secret Garden restaurant where he works.
I peeped outside I saw a human leg which has been cut off. We hid in the room
and then some police officers rescued us," he said.
Kimani, a barista who was rescued after several hours trapped inside the hotel,
said he recognised one of the attackers as a client.
knew one of them because he had a big scar on one of his hands," he said.
"I saw them. They shot six of my friends, four didn't die but two
Otieno, who works at a beauty salon in the complex, said he heard a loud bang
from something thrown inside the building, then saw shattered glass.
hid until we were rescued," he said.
with scarves on their head and bandoliers of bullets’
compound targeted contained offices of various international companies, in an
echo of a deadly 2013 assault on a Nairobi shopping centre in the same
main door of the hotel was blown open and there was a human arm in the
street," said Serge Medic, the Swiss owner of a security company who ran
to the scene to help when he heard of the attack from his taxi driver.
Medic, who was armed, entered the building with a policeman and two soldiers,
he said, but they came under fire and retreated. An unexploded grenade lay in
the lobby, he said.
man said he saw two armed men with scarves on their head and bandoliers of
bullets," Mr Medic told Reuters, as gunfire echoed in the background.
the siege stretched into its second day on Wednesday, it was revealed that 14
people did not make it out of the hotel complex alive, with 11 Kenyans, a
Briton and an American reported among the dead.
mid-morning Kenya’s president Uhuru Kenyatta said that security forces had
killed all four militants who stormed the complex. More than 700 people had
been taken to safety, he said.
can confirm that... the security operation at Dusit complex is over and all the
terrorists eliminated," Mr Kenyatta said in a televised address to the
Awami League Criticizes Islamic Leader Over Comments on Girls’ Education
senior official with Bangladesh’s ruling party on Wednesday joined rights
activists and educators in condemning comments made by the chief of an
influential but conservative Islamic group, who recently suggested that girls
should not be schooled beyond nine or 10 years old.
Ahmed Shafi, a cleric who heads the Hefazat-e-Islam group, called on his
followers last week to declare that they would not send their daughters to
school past the fourth or fifth grades. The 99-year-old heads an organization
that honored Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in early November as she prepared to
lead her Awami League party to a landslide victory in the Dec. 30 general
Khan, an Awami League presidium member, denounced Ahmed Shafi’s comments about
Awami League promotes women’s empowerment. Our leader, Sheikh Hasina, would
never compromise with women’s empowerment. He should refrain from making such
offensive comments in future,” Khan told BenarNews.
Khan Menon, president of Awami League’s political ally, the Workers Party of
Bangladesh, echoed that sentiment.
Shafi cannot be supported under any circumstances. What he said was against the
constitution. Bangladesh has become a middle-income country due to active
participation of women at all levels.”
an organization, Hefazat is hardline,” he added. “They want to push the country
and the society back. They want to see women trapped within four walls.”
whose government has held power for the past decade, has been criticized as an
autocrat by human rights and free speech advocates but praised in other
quarters for leading Bangladesh on a path of economic growth. During that time,
the country has also made greater strides in educational opportunities for
girls and women.
is the daughter of Bangladesh’s assassinated founding father, who led an
independence movement that brought about the creation of the secular-based
nation after a war with Pakistan in 1971.
comments are against Bangladesh’s constitution and all rules and norms. Our
constitution guarantees education for all,” Rasheda K. Chowdhury, executive
director of Campaign for Popular Education, a local NGO, told BenarNews,
referring to the Hefazat leader’s remarks.
cannot force people not to send girls to schools and colleges. No sensible
people can accept his idea.”
said women were engines of the nation’s growth and change.
is one of leading countries in terms of women’s empowerment in South Asia and
the world. Our women are not at the backstage. They cannot be pushed into four
walls,” she said.
has had a woman as prime minister for more than half of its 48-year-history.
has made progress in educating girls in recent years.
nearly 6.4 million girls in secondary school in 2015, Bangladesh is among the
few countries to achieve gender parity in school enrollment, and have more
girls than boys in the secondary schools,” Shilpa Banerji wrote in a blog for
The World Bank in 2017.
comprise more than 80 percent of garment workers, the industry that forms the
backbone of Bangladeshi exports and its current transition out of
Shafi is wicked. He wanted to obstruct the advancement of women by giving the
wrong interpretation of Islam. Women took our country forward. They have been
successful everywhere – education, sports, ready-made garments (RMG) industry,
politics and so forth,” Nazma Aktar, chief of the Sommilito Garments Sramik
Federation, told BenarNews.
never obstructs women’s education,” she added. “We should not give his
statement so much importance. Rather we should focus on girls getting more
not let girls study’
addressing an annual religious gathering in Chittagong last week, Ahmed Shafi
administered an oath to his devotees where they promised to not send their
daughters to schools and colleges.
not let girls study at schools and colleges. At best, you can allow them to
study up to fourth or fifth grade. If you let them study any more... You have
seen in the newspapers that... If you educate your girl up to ninth, tenth, MA,
BA levels then that girl will not remain yours.
you educate your girls, other men will snatch them away,” he said.
as criticism over his remarks began to pour in, Ahmed Shafi sent a
clarification to reporters. He claimed he had told parents that they should not
compromise in efforts to seclude girls for educational purposes, pointing out
that most schools were coeducational.
Bangladesh, 51 percent of students at primary schools are girls, according to
official figures. At the secondary education level, the rate increases to 54
percent and drops to 48 percent at the high secondary level.
up to Hasina
Nov. 4, 2018, less than two months before the election, Hefazat honored Hasina
for recognizing the educational degrees issued by madrassas, or Islamic
event where Ahmed Shafi’s group presented a plaque to the prime minister, was
another instance in which Hasina, despite leading the secular Awami League, was
seen as seeking to strengthen ties with Islamic hardliners.
April 2017, Hasina caused consternation among many Bangladeshis when she made
concessions to Hefazat-e-Islami despite fears that growing Islamization was
eclipsing secular traditions of Bengali culture.
then with Hefazat leaders at her residence, Hasina announced that her
government would recognize degrees from thousands of unregulated Qwami
madrassas, including those run by Hefazat. She also agreed to changes in public
school textbooks to make them more Muslim-friendly, as demanded by Hefazat.
follow religious guidelines, but I do not mix politics with religion,” Hasina
said at the time in response to criticisms of her actions. “Recognition of the
Qwami madrassa certificate will bring jobs to lakhs [hundreds of thousands] of
students. There is no politics in it.”
students facing charges in Oregon disappear
Arabia is believed to have helped a number of its citizens in the U.S. state of
Oregon escape after being involved in criminal activities, in some cases
helping them get away with murder, according to a report.
al Duways, a student at Western Oregon University, was arrested in December
2014 and accused of raping a classmate after giving her marijuana and alcohol.
His bail was set at $500,000, and his passport was turned over to the lawyer
Saudi consulate in Los Angeles posted bail a few days later, and al Duways
disappeared, The Oregonian newspaper reported Monday.
case preceded a similar one, involving Portland Community College student
Abdulrahman Sameer Noorah, who had similarly disappeared after being charged in
2016 with the deadly hit-and-run of a 15-year-old girl. The law enforcement
authorities told The Oregonian that the government of Saudi Arabia helped
total of five cases involving Saudi nationals escaping potential imprisonment
were reported, and the cases have strikingly similar characteristics.
of the cases involved young Saudi citizens studying at a university or college,
and in four of the most recent cases the same defense lawyer, Ginger Mooney,
was used. In four of the cases, the Saudi government posted the bail of the
suspect, and all the individuals disappeared before facing charges or jail
is even more evidence that the Saudi government has acted to help its citizens
escape justice for crimes committed in Oregon," Senator Ron Wyden told The
newspaper reported the five cases add to a list of illicit activities conducted
by Saudi Arabia. The list is headlined by the murder of journalist Jamal
Khashoggi, who was killed Oct. 2 in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.
initially denying any knowledge of Khashoggi's whereabouts, Saudi Arabia
eventually blamed his grisly slaying on a botched rendition operation being
carried out by rogue agents.
body has yet to be found amid reports it was dismembered and chemically
has indicted 11 people tied to Khashoggi's killing and is seeking the death
penalty for five suspects. But critics have suggested the individuals are
merely taking the fall for Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman's operation after
an unexpected international outcry.
wrote a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Acting Attorney General
Matthew Whitaker last month, demanding answers for the disappearance of Noorah.
are shocking claims in any event, but with the barbaric murder of U.S. resident
Jamal Khashoggi, they suggest a brazen pattern of disregard for the law and
abuse of diplomatic privileges," Wyden wrote in the letter obtained by The
they are accurate, they would require significant restrictions on Saudi
Arabia’s diplomatic privileges and call into question the future of America’s
bilateral relationship with the Saudis," he added.
The Kashmir Walla
People were in panic after hearing massive gunfire on Wednesday in Sugan area
of South Kashmir’s Shopian district.
group of at least 20 armed militants appeared in Sugan on the Chauhram of Al
Badr militant commander Zeenat ul Islam, who was killed on Saturday, and
offered gun salute to the slain commander, locals told The Kashmiriyat.
per eyewitnesses, militants fired several aerial rounds as a mark of respect to
Zeenat ul Islam.
from various villages and town were seen visiting the families of the militants
Islam and his associate Shakeel Ahmed Dar were both killed in a gunfight with
the government forces on Saturday in South Kashmir’s Kulgam district.
incident of militants’ appearance or the firing was not confirmed by the police
DELHI: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday conducted fresh
searches at seven places in western Uttar Pradesh and Punjab in connection with
the presence of the suspected ISIS modules in the region.
December 26, NIA had busted an Islamic State-inspired group resulting in the
arrest of 10 men.
agency said the terrorist group were planning suicide attacks and serial blasts
targeting politicians and government installations in Delhi and other parts of
accused were arrested after raids in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh — at six places in
Amroha, two in Lucknow, two in Hapur and two in Meerut.
NIA had seized a locally-made rocket launcher, material for suicide vests and
112 alarm clocks to be used as timers during its searches. It had also
recovered 25 kg of explosive materials, during the raids. The NIA had also
seized steel containers, electric wires, 91 mobile phones, 134 SIM cards, three
laptop computers, a knife, a sword and ISIS-related literature.
of 88 who fled Bangladesh due to religious persecution still pending
of as many as 88 individuals, who fled from Bangladesh due to religious
persecution and sought Indian citizenship, are pending with the Home Ministry,
according to records available with the MHA till September 2018.
confirmed that more than 3,400 applications for request for grant of
citizenship from nationals of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan are pending
with the state and Union government. Among these applications, around 2,600 are
from Pakistan and 700 from Afghanistan. The sources clarified that the Centre
does not maintain religion-wise data.
the government introducing the 2016 Citizenship Amendment Bill in Parliament,
the issue of grant of citizenship to six persecuted minority communities —
Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, Parsis, Christians and Buddhists — from Pakistan,
Afghanistan and Bangladesh, who came to India before 2014, has led to massive protests
in Assam and other parts of the Northeast. Following the protests — which were
supported by All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and North East Students’
Organisation (NESO) — Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had said, “Assam has
borne the disproportionate burden of migration due to religious persecution in
our neighbouring countries and Assam should not bear this burden alone.”
Bill, however, will pave the way for thousands of migrants who came before
December 31, 2014, to be eligible for Indian citizenship, which is against the
Assam Accord signed in 1985. The online records available with the MHA show
that as many as 605 people were granted Indian citizenship in 2015, 1,106 in
2016 and 816 in 2017.
online application for citizenship started in 2011 and prior to that the
applications were processed offline. There are very few offline cases prior to
2010 which are pending with the MHA and state government,” a ministry official
sources told The Indian Express that more than 10,000 individuals have been
granted long term visa (LTV) in 2018 alone, out of 14,000 who had applied.
officials said that 11,000 LTVs were issued in the last four years for
persecuted minorities from Pakistan, but the data on those granted LTVs from Bangladesh
and staying in Assam are still being collated. MHA had earlier relaxed norms
for those staying on LTV, allowing them to buy property, open bank accounts and
obtain PAN as well as Aadhaar cards.
Centre has also empowered district magistrates and state home secretaries of
seven states — Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh,
Chhattisgarh and Delhi — to grant citizenship to Hindu minorities. The border
districts in these states have a large number of persecuted minorities, said
International Airlines to stop playing soft music during flights
International Airlines (PIA), the national flag carrier of Pakistan, will stop
playing soft music or muzak during flights. Pakistani news channel ARY News
reported that the airline’s Chief Operating Officer Air Marshal Arshad Malik
has ordered that the music be replaced by Qaseeda Burda Shareef (religious
praise for the prophet of Islam).
not clear whether the decision has been influenced by the Wahhabi Islam’s sense
of piety. Hardline Islamists consider music as haraam (sinful) and denounce
music as a vice that leads people astray.
is clear is that decision is part of PIA’s revamp plan. In deep debt and
suffering recurring losses, PIA has been asked to shape up and soon after
taking over Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had asked the PIA chairman to
submit a detailed plan to revive the ailing airline. At the time, PIA’s total
losses had ballooned to over Rs 400 billion.
has been in news recently for negative reasons. Its staffers have been caught
smuggling drugs to the UK. Nearly 200 of its officers were dispatched home for
being in the job after submitting bogus certificates. This included at least
seven flying officers who were not even graduates, five of them had not even
gone to college.
year, a pilot and a crew member were engaged in a public brawl over smuggling.
The flight from Lahore to London took off 3 hours past departure time because
the pilot refused to allow a crew member to fly, openly accusing the latter of
flight steward of PIA was caught by the French police in Paris for smuggling
heroin. That staffer is in French prison after being sentenced for 2 years in
2017, Pakistan’s own law enforcement arrested 14 PIA employees for
Pakistan is believed to be making serious efforts to arrange a meeting between
the US special representative for Afghanistan and Afghan Taliban leaders in
Islamabad to help break the deadlock and speed up the Afghan peace process,
Office spokesman Dr Mohammad Faisal said he had no knowledge of the meeting
between US special representative Zalmay Khalilzad and Afghan Taliban
representatives but the sources said Pakistan had conveyed to the Taliban
leadership its desire to convene a meeting in Islamabad this week to push
forward the peace agenda.
Taliban did not announce its agreement to sit down with Mr Khalilzad though
sources said chances of talks between the two adversaries were high. Mr
Khalilzad’s visit to Islamabad was delayed and rescheduled to allow the Taliban
leadership to consult each other and come up with a firm response, the sources
comes in the backdrop of media reports about the arrest of a senior Taliban
figure and his subsequent release and raids and arrests of some Taliban
commanders to put pressure on the group to return to the negotiating table and
also to get them to meet the Afghan government representatives.
signals a paradigm shift in Pakistan’s policy long accused of protecting and
facilitating the Afghan Taliban. Pakistan says it supports an Afghan-owned and
Afghan-led peace process.
Taliban have so far refused to meet representatives of the Afghan government,
dubbing them as puppets of foreign occupying powers.
has taken Kabul into confidence about its efforts to expedite the peace
process. President Ashraf Ghani’s Special Envoy Mohammad Omer Daudzai during
his visit to Pakistan last week also seemed satisfied with the endeavours.
by Riyadh to hold an Afghan peace conference in Saudi Arabia fizzled out after
the Taliban declined to attend it, describing the two-day International
Conference of Ulema for Peace and Security in Afghanistan in July last year as
“a meeting arranged with US orders”. The seven-point declaration issued at the
end of the conference said suicide attacks targeting innocent people and
intense killings among Muslims were all acts prohibited by Allah and His
subsequent meeting between the US Special Envoy and Taliban representatives in
Qatar was also called off after Taliban demanded withdrawal of travel
restrictions on their key leaders.
had earlier arranged an ice-breaking meeting between representatives of the
Afghan Taliban and Afghan government in Murree in July 2015, but things took a
dramatic turn after Kabul accused Islamabad of trying to cover up the news
about the death of the Taliban movement founder Mullah Mohammad Omar.
Shahzad Alam has proposed marriage to several women and been rejected each time
for the same reason, he says: their discovery that he is not the Pakistani shoe
shop owner they thought he was, but an Afghan refugee.
romantic future could be given a boost by Prime Minister Imran Khan, who has
ignited a national debate with a controversial vow to grant citizenship to
Afghan refugees born in Pakistan -- potentially creating more than a million
is one of the largest refugee-hosting nations in the world, home to an
estimated 2.4 million registered and undocumented people who have fled
Afghanistan, some as far back as the Soviet invasion of 1979.
many Pakistanis view them with suspicion, accusing them of spurring militancy
and criminality, and calling for them to be sent home.
Pakistan´s constitution, anyone born in the country after 1951 has the right to
citizenship. But feeling against the refugees is so strong that no leader has dared
take moves to implement the policy -- Khan´s promise is the first time any
Pakistani premier has made such a vow.
greeted his words joyfully. Twitter users joked that Khan could now win
elections in Afghanistan. "May God bless Imran Khan," Alam told AFP.
the announcement has also prompted a national outcry, with columnists claiming
he had opened a "Pandora´s Box". Heads of Pakistan´s main opposition
parties quickly condemned it.
the debate continues in the country´s newspapers and on social media, salesman
Alam´s life remains in limbo.
speaks with a Pakistani accent, dresses in Pakistani fashions, and has lived
all his life in the northwestern city of Peshawar where he was born after his
parents fled Afghanistan in 1979.
he says women have asked him to propose marriage in the past, the relationship
would always "end the moment we introduce ourselves as Afghan".
United Nations says there are 1.4 million Afghans registered as refugees in
Pakistan, and estimates that some 74 percent were born there.
live in camps, while others have created lives for themselves in Pakistan´s
cities, marrying and raising children, opening shops and supporting themselves.
one Peshawar bazaar, thousands of Afghans could be seen running hundreds of
shops bursting with local and Chinese goods, fresh fruits, and vegetables --
visible signs of their economic contributions.
feel like I am in my own village, my own country," said Ashiqullah Jan, a
their status has always been temporary, with deadlines set for them to leave
Pakistan repeatedly pushed back as the conflict in Afghanistan worsens.
analysts predict security will continue to deteriorate in 2019 despite a
renewed push for peace talks.
2016 a wave of forced repatriations from Pakistan to Afghanistan sparked fears
of a humanitarian crisis. The decision by Khan is a significant departure from
you are born in America, you get the American passport... so why not here? How
cruel it is for them," he said when announcing the measure last September.
of the outcry prompted by his words has been centred on security fears.
Pakistan has fought a long and bloody war with militancy, with the army often
blaming extremists based in Afghanistan and claiming insurgents hide in refugee
has reiterated his support for the measure, but faced with the outcry has not
yet formally taken it to parliament.
Rahimullah Yusufzai warned that even if the prime minister -- who has developed
a reputation for U-turns since coming to power last July -- does push the
policy through, implementing it will take time.
won´t be easy to give them citizenship or to develop a consensus on the issue
in parliament or in the country," he said.
do not want to leave´
United Nations refugee agency UNHCR has welcomed the move.
many of the young Afghan refugees were born here and they only know
Pakistan," country representative Ruvendrini Menikdiwela told AFP.
Pakistanis who spoke to AFP in the bazaars of Peshawar, whose proximity to the
Afghan border has made it a centre for refugees, remained staunchly opposed.
government should send the refugees home "as soon as possible",
42-year-old Rehman Gul told AFP.
Khan, a fresh produce seller, was one of the few Pakistanis supporting the move
-- but his stance sparked a heated argument among his customers.
Khayesta Khan, one of the customers, told AFP there was "nothing
left" in Afghanistan but "the Taliban and Daesh (Islamic State) and
Prime Minister Imran Khan has assured Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P)
for recovery of its missing workers besides reopening of their legitimate
offices in Karachi, Hyderabad and Mirpurkhas.
of the National Assembly belonging to MQM-P called on PM Imran Khan here at the
PM Office on Wednesday.
said MQM delegation put demand before PM Imran for reopening their legitimate
offices and early recovery of their missing workers.
the Minister for Information Technology Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Minister for
Law and Justice Dr Farogh Naseem and MNA Syed Ameen-ul-Haq, the meeting was
also attended by Minister for Finance Asad Umar, Special Assistant to PM
Naeem-ul-Haq and MNA Malik Muhmmad Amir Dogar.
the meeting, the matters relating to civic problem faced by the people of Sindh
province as well as the big cities including Karachi and Hyderabad were
coalition matters between MQM and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf were also discussed
during the meeting.
Prime Minister said that the federal government was cognizant of the problems
faced by the people of Sindh province and would play its role in addressing
order to further improve coordination between the two political parties
regarding development projects at provincial level, the meeting decided to
constitute a committee under Governor Sindh Imran Ismail.
Prime Minister would perform the ground-breaking of Hyderabad University next
month, it was revealed during the meeting.
Expressing concern over the presence of a large number of Afghans living in
Pakistan, the government has directed the law enforcement agencies to ensure
strict vigilance and security till the repatriation process is completed.
issue of Afghans living in Pakistan and their repatriation was discussed at a
meeting held in Islamabad recently. Senior officials of the federal government
and intelligence agencies attended the meeting.
meeting was informed that the presence of a large number of Afghans (registered
and unregistered) in Pakistan was a point of concern for law enforcement
agencies. The officials were of the view that although the number of
unregistered refugees was collated by the police through FIRs registered, there
was a need to chalk out a comprehensive strategy at the national level for
was also pointed out that majority of the Afghan settlers were not willing to
return and so a clear-cut policy might be devised for their early repatriation.
The law enforcement agencies officials said that there was an urgent need to
develop a mechanism for re-verification of Afghan refugees through biometric
systems as 32 per cent of them were living in camps but the remaining 68pc were
living outside camps.
intelligence officials said that there were many unregistered Afghans who had
settled in Pakistan and obtained Pakistani identity documents using illegal
means. They suggested that till completion of the repatriation, the security
around the refugees must be ensured to avoid any untoward incident.
meeting asked the Ministry of States and Frontier Regions to share data of the
total number of Afghans living in Pakistan and directed law enforcement
agencies to ensure strict vigilance and security till the completion of the
the Punjab government recently chalked out standard operating procedures (SOPs)
for the security of foreigners, especially Chinese.
was observed by the law enforcement agencies that foreigners were visiting
sensitive locations without acquiring no objection certificate (NOC) from
intelligence agencies concerned and provincial and district governments.
fresh guideline was given to all divisional police chiefs and commissioners and
suggested that all foreigners shall report their departure and arrival
New Year is here and while it is always encouraging to see Pakistani bishops
making resolutions, revisiting some old ones might be a good idea.
don't get me wrong. I truly believe that it is time of year when the world
should look forward to a new beginning.
Joseph Arshad of Islamabad-Rawalpindi rightly announced "the Year of Peace
and Hope" on Dec. 1, during the inauguration ceremony of the new year in
the Cathedral of St. Joseph of Rawalpindi.
when Archbishop Sebastian Francis Shaw of Lahore announced that 2019 will be
the Year of Dialogue in his archdiocese, he also talked about focusing on Muslim-Christian
dialogue. For the vulnerable religious minorities, this is the key to survival
amid rising religious fundamentalism in the country.
Joseph Coutts is also very clear about it.
is becoming more Islamic in a subtle way. Taliban, the so-called Islamic state
and Al Qaeda reject democracy as a western idea. They reject democratically
elected governments and are struggling for a theocratic state; a
caliphate," Cardinal Coutts told me.
are treated not as equals but as protected citizens. Most of our problems are
while the New Year period is a great time to set new goals, it is also a time
to look back. Did we really stick to the promises made in years bygone?
biggest change in the aftermath of the Second Vatican Council was an explosion
of lay participation in evangelization and catechesis.
closure of the council in 1965 opened windows of opportunities for laity in
Pakistan and church commissions started hiring them for top positions. Caritas
Pakistan was established in that same year as an expression of concern of local
Catholics for justice, peace and development. It should also be noted that all
prominent human rights defenders in the Islamic republic are Catholics.
the Caritas diocesan unit in Lahore has not had a lay Executive Secretary in at
least a decade. Priests heading this charity over these years were already very
busy with other jobs. The executives included a vicar general, bishop’s
secretary, cathedral rectors etc.
are other examples.
Pakistan or Theological Institute for Laity has been led by its founding Father
Emmanuel Asi since 1989. Despite its dedicated name, he is finding it hard to
discover a lay successor.
institute, based in a village of Punjab province, has published more than 200
books in Urdu, the national language, for both Catholics and Protestants plus
visiting Muslim scholars. More power to the 70-year-old theologian who is also
the executive secretary of the Catholic Bible Commission but more lay
researchers and Biblical scholars could help him in his work.
and trusting lay staff can help overburdened priests, encourage laity and
continue their formation in the faith. Well-informed lay leadership can also
help in filling any gaps created from shortage of priests.
a rule, it’s easier to keep just one resolution rather than several but it
would be unfair to skip the most common demand by people everywhere I go;
namely the wish for a 24-hour Catholic satellite channel.
the New Year Mass of 2018, Lahore Archdiocese launched a fundraising campaign
to elevate its cable based Catholic TV to satellite. Launched in 2009, the
channel airs programs on catechism, family fellowship, youth, children, hymns,
Bible quizzes, career counseling, bible-themed movies as well as live homilies
on television and social media.
is presently being viewed in more than 20,000 Christian homes in Lahore
Archdiocese and some villages of Punjab and Sindh province. Despite its major
popularity, the channel nearly closed last year, according to Father Morris
Jalal, the founder and Executive Director of Catholic TV.
October, we were notified that the bishop could no longer finance the channel.
As we started packing up the equipment, a group of worried priests from all the
eight diocesan districts agreed to pay and save the channel at a joint
meeting," Father Jalal told me.
media in Islamic Republic has been ignoring Christians and other religious
minorities for decades. At Christmas, Catholics and Protestants get 30 minutes
each on the Pakistani television network. At Easter, this drops to 15 minutes.
revisiting last year's resolution might be a good idea. Pentecostal Church has
already taken the lead by launching Isaac TV, Pakistan’s first Christian
satellite broadcaster in 2012. A vibrant media can become a powerful platform
to improve the lives of Christians.
church in Pakistan has served the nation through its public welfare services
including health and education. However, it cannot do that by itself and the
church needs laypeople who 'dare to dream’ as Pope Francis puts it.
on Tuesday released a senior Afghan Taliban leader who was taken into custody
from Peshawar a few days ago, Taliban sources said.
Mohibullah is the member of a Taliban political commission and has taken part
in several rounds of peace talks. Taliban officials said they do not know as to
why he was arrested at a time when Taliban and the US were engaged in talks to
find out a political solution to the Afghan conflict.
Afghan Taliban warned on Tuesday that they would be forced to stall all talks
and negotiations if US refused to discuss withdrawal of foreign forces from
Afghanistan. A Taliban statement said the US is ‘backing away’ from the agenda
and is unilaterally adding new subjects besides using pressure tactics.
warning came days after Zalmay Khalilzad, US special representative for
Afghanistan reconciliation, cancelled his meeting with Taliban in Qatar.
Khalilzad is now seeking cooperation from Pakistan and other stakeholders to
exert pressure on Taliban to join the intra-Afghan dialogue and it will be the
main item on agenda of his talks with Pakistani officials, which will start on
Wednesday in Islamabad.
the US agreed during Doha meeting in the month of November 2018 about
discussing the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan and preventing
Afghanistan from being used against other countries in the upcoming meeting,
she now is backing away from that agenda and is unilaterally adding new
subjects,” the Taliban statement said. “Hence the Islamic Emirate warns US if
the current state of affairs continues and US sustains her insincerity, then
the Islamic Emirate will be forced to stall all talks and negotiations,” it
official under fire for saying Rashida Tlaib might 'blow up' US Capitol
official from Florida is facing increasing criticism for calling the first
Muslim Congresswoman a "danger" who might "blow up" the US
Lima-Taub, a city commissioner in south Florida, signed an online petition on a
crowdsourced site known as "We The People" to have Rashida Tlaib
removed from office and left a scathing message with it.
signed," Ms Lima-Taub wrote, according to a screen grab of the post.
"A Hamas-loving anti-Semite has NO place in government! She is a danger
and [I] would not put it past her to become a martyr and blow up Capitol
Hill." She later deleted the post after a local newspaper asked her about
petition garnered more than 100,000 signatures, which requires that the White
House respond to it.
Tlaib, who is also the first Palestinian-American to enter Congress, has gained
notoriety for criticising US President Donald Trump. She said last month that
she wanted to "impeach that motherf-----".
Tlaib lashed out at the official on Twitter. “This sort of hateful anti-Muslim
rhetoric doesn’t happen in a vacuum — this President embraced it and Republicans
have happily gone along with it,” she wrote.
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), America's top Muslim body, called
for Ms Lima-Taub to step down.
strongly condemns the disgraceful racist and Islamophobic statements published
by Commissioner Annabelle Lima-Taub,” Wilfredo Ruiz, the CAIR Florida chapter
’s communication director, said in a statement. “Her un-American, xenophobic
statements establish that she is unfit to hold the Commissioner’s seat.”
colleagues on the commission at Hallandale Beach, a community of around 40,000,
criticised her remarks.
Lima-Taub’s behavior is indefensible and a black eye for Hallandale Beach,”
said Michele Lazarow, another Hallandale commissioner, according to the
Florida-based Sun Sentinel newspaper.
Lima-Taub was born in Israel but grew up in New York, according to her
biography on the community's website.
A suicide attack killed four US personnel in northern Syria on Wednesday,
causing the United States to suffer its worst combat losses in the war-torn
country since 2014 as it prepares to withdraw. Among the four who died were two
soldiers and two civilians.
bombing claimed by the IS group comes after US President Donald Trump’s shock
announcement last month that he was ordering a full troop withdrawal from Syria
because the jihadists had been “largely defeated”.
US-led coalition fighting IS said “US service members were killed during an
explosion while conducting a routine patrol in Syria” on Wednesday, without
giving a death toll.
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said two Americans soldiers, nine Syrian
civilians, and five US-backed fighters were killed in the attack on a
restaurant in the northern city of Manbij near the Turkish border.
to Pentagon statistics, Wednesday’s blast was the deadliest attack for US
coalition forces in Syria since they deployed in 2014.
Britain-based Observatory, which relies on a network of sources in Syria, said
it was the first such suicide attack in the city in 10 months.
at a gathering in Washington of US ambassadors, Vice President Mike Pence did
not comment on the attack and just said that the United States would ensure the
defeat of IS, also known as ISIS.
stay in the region and we’ll stay in the fight to ensure that ISIS does not
rear its ugly head again,” he said.
bombing comes as Syrian Kurds present in areas around Manbij reject any Turkish
presence in a planned “safe zone” to include Kurdish-held areas along the
has repeatedly threatened to attack Washington’s Syrian Kurdish allies who
Ankara views as “terrorists” on its southern flank.
which has relied heavily on the Kurds in its campaign against IS in Syria, has
sought guarantees for their safety after Trump’s pullout announcement.
Tuesday, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Ankara would set up a
“security zone” in northern Syria following a suggestion by Trump.
senior Kurdish political leader Aldar Khalil said any Turkish deployment in
Kurdish-held areas was “unacceptable”.
said the Kurds would accept the deployment of UN forces along a separation line
between Kurdish fighters and Turkish troops.
“other choices are unacceptable as they infringe on the sovereignty of Syria
and the sovereignty of our autonomous region,” Khalil said.
has welcomed Washington’s planned withdrawal of some 2,000 US troops from
Syria, but the future of Kurdish fighters has poisoned relations between the
President Donald Trump has reassured the GOP that he would stick to his plans
for troop pullout from Syria and Afghanistan.
made the comment among a group of Republican senators at the White House
decision to pull out of Syria and reduce forces in Afghanistan has been met
with some opposition.
Republican Senator Rand Paul, a libertarian conservative, is among those
supporting the president.
really am proud of the president for making an argument that really no
president in recent history has made and that is that we’ve been at war too
long in too many places and he’s really going to make a difference,” Paul said
after meeting with Trump. “Not only is he following through with his Syria
policy, I really do think there will be changes in Afghanistan as well… If you
look at the polling data for the American people, I think the American people
are with the president and they’re tired, frankly, of both parties who are
unwilling to stand up and say enough is enough.”
regard to Afghanistan Paul asserted that, “We’re not going to stay forever. The
Afghans will need to step up. The Afghans will need to begin fighting their own
wars and taking care of their country… It’s not that we’ll do nothing. I think
the president still will help them. I think we’ll still actually probably be
there longer than I would like to be."
American senator further noted that the Unite States needs “to learn” how to
brand the War on Afghans a victory.
the president, I think, is willing to acknowledge that America’s longest war
needs to come to a close and that we need to learn how to declare victory,” he
Trump officials, including National security adviser John Bolton, have
contradicted their boss.
TV anchor Marzieh Hashemi’s son, Hossein, has told Press TV's website he and
his siblings have received subpoenas to appear before the grand jury in
is a transcription of what Hossein Hashemi said:
name is Hossein Hashemi. I am the eldest son of Marzieh Hashemi, also known as
Melanie Franklin. I just want to give an update from where we stand. Currently,
the information that is available to us is that she has been detained as a
material witness. There aren’t any charges against her. The officials have let
us know that much in regard to her case. However, she is being detained in a
Washington DC facility. It is a prison system. She has an inmate number and she
is being held in a cell.
we have been very curious as to how someone who does not have any charges
against them can be held in the circumstances. We were able to speak with her.
My sister spoke with her last night. This is over 48 hours since she was
detained, since she was apprehended that we made contact with her. Up until
that time, we had very little information even about the fact that there were
no charges and so forth.
seemed OK. She was upset about the kind of treatment that she was receiving as
a person who [faces] charges would be treated.
had only eaten pretzels because her dietary restrictions limited her from the
kinds of food that the prison facility would offer.
is also upset about the fact that her hijab was removed during processing and
later on she was only able to cover her hair with a T-shirt apparently.
these are the issues that she was upset about it.
think from our perspective obviously we want more clear answers. The fact that
she has not been charged has made it difficult for us to know what kind of
lawyers to pursue and what route forward we should go with, because lawyers
have specialties and the fact that she hasn’t been charged makes it difficult
... we have hard time understanding how someone who is not charged can be held
in a facility like that.
think it is important to know that she is an American citizen and she is a
journalist. She is somebody who does documentaries on Black Lives Matters and
is critical of a lot of the domestic policies of the United States government,
the school-to-prison sort of pipeline and the white community and also the wars
abroad and the regime change policies that the United States enforces all the
time and puts major budgets behind.
is critical of all these things and that is all plays into it. We don’t know
whether those are the reasons for her apprehension, but it is difficult to not
become sort of conspiratorial about what is going on with a person as
high-profile as my mother.
Vice President Mike Pence claimed Wednesday the Daesh terrorist group has been
finally defeated just after it claimed an attack that took the lives of a yet
determined number of service members and civilians in Manbij, Syria.
caliphate has crumbled and ISIS has been defeated," Pence declared at a
State Department gathering of more than 180 ambassadors, using another name for
U.S.-led anti-Daesh coalition said the number of American soldiers who were
"killed during an explosion while conducting a routine patrol"
reports suggested the attack, reported to be a suicide bombing, claimed the
lives of four American service members.
Donald Trump abruptly announced in December that all U.S. troops would be
pullout decision came during a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip
Erdogan in which the two leaders agreed on the need for more effective
coordination over the civil war-ravished country.
it has resulted in significant pushback within his administration and on
Capitol Hill. Secretary of Defense James Mattis resigned his post shortly after
the announcement was made public, and Trump's closest legislative allies have
warned against following through with the policy.
during a committee hearing, Senator Lindsey Graham reiterated his long-standing
concerns adding "you had set in motion enthusiasm by the enemy we are
would hope the president would look long and hard of where he is headed in
Syria," said Graham.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday that Syria’s regime must take
control of the country’s north, after calls from the US to set up a
Turkish-controlled “security zone” in the area.
are convinced that the best and only solution is the transfer of these
territories under the control of the Syrian government, and of Syrian security
forces and administrative structures,” Lavrov told reporters.
urged the international community on Wednesday to step up efforts to end the
war in Yemen.
will face a humanitarian catastrophe if we do not succeed in ending the war,”
Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said at an international conference in Berlin.
conference hosted by the German Foreign Ministry brought together senior
officials from 17 countries, including key actors and major donor countries.
Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths and Resident Coordinator of the UN in
Yemen Lise Grande also attended.
Dec. 13, Yemeni peace talks in Sweden concluded with a cease-fire deal in the
coastal Al-Hudaydah province.
the warring parties have failed to withdraw from the province amid accusations
of truce violations, and fighting continued in other parts of the country.
European Union greatly values its ties with Turkey, said a top EU official in
Ankara on Wednesday.
place great importance on Turkish-EU relations," said Eva Horelova, head
of the political section of the European Union Delegation to Turkey.
with Hakan Cavusoglu, the head of Turkish Parliament's Human Rights Commission,
in the capital Ankara, Horelova called Turkey a key country for the EU.
applied for EU membership in 1987 and its accession talks began in 2005.
— Muslim leaders have joined other clerics to condemn Tuesday's terror attack
that claimed 14 lives.
leaders called upon Kenyans to put aside their religious differences and
support security agencies in the war on terror.
journalists at Jamia Mosque on Wednesday, Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims
(SUPKEM) Vice Chair Al-Hajj Hassan said there is no religion that supports the
killing of innocent people and that terrorism has nothing to do with religion.
dismissed claims that terrorists are Muslims saying that they also lost their
Muslim brothers in the attack and called upon the people of Kenya to stay calm
and shun attempts to divide the country along religious and ethnic lines.
so-called acts of terrorism are acts of criminality and has nothing to do with
religion. If it was about religion, we could not have bombs blowing up in
Somalia where almost 99 per cent of people there are Muslims; there is nothing
religious about terrorism this is an act of crime," he said.
clerics have also set up a counselling and blood donation center at Chiromo
where those in need will be assisted.
Uhuru Kenyatta and NASA leader Raila Odinga led other leaders in condemning the
incident as they called upon Kenyans to be each other's keeper.
Brendon J. Cannon, Khalifa University and Martin Plaut, School of Advanced
has claimed responsibility for the terror attack in Nairobi in which at least
14 people were killed and scores injured. The question the terror attack raises
is why the group continues to target Kenya. The Conversation Africa's Moina
Spooner and Julius Maina spoke to Brendon Cannon and Martin Plaut.
Cannon: Al-Shabaab is an Islamist terror group formed in Somalia in the first
decade of this century. Its original leadership was affiliated with Al-Qaeda,
having trained and fought in Afghanistan.
was originally dedicated to removing foreign influence from Somalia and
bringing a strict form of Islamic governance to the country. At the height of
its power, around 2008-2010, it controlled the capital, Mogadishu, and a
sizeable territory south and west of the capital, including the ports of Merca
al-Shabaab was a fairly hierarchical organisation and one, that despite
ideological and tactical differences, was largely consolidated under Ahmed Abdi
Godane aka Mukhtar Abu Zubair, the leader of the group when it attacked
Westgate in 2013.
his death in 2014, al-Shabaab has reportedly fragmented. This may partially
explain the atomised group's twin focus of attacks on both Somalia and Kenya.
That is, Kenyan fighters trained by and loosely affiliated with al-Shabaab
appear to be responsible for at least some of the attacks perpetrated in Kenya,
particularly in the country's northeast.
its motive for attacking Kenya?
Cannon: The group began attacking targets outside Somalia in 2007. Its first
attack on Kenyan soil was in 2008. The Kenyan government responded with force.
In 2011, to "protect national security", the country's defence forces
entered southern Somalia to create a buffer zone between al-Shabaab held
territories and Kenya. In the process, the Kenyan forces captured the port of
Kismayo and quickly joined troops from the African Union Mission in Somalia in
publicly states its attacks are in retaliation to the Kenya Defence Force's
incursion in Somalia. It also justifies them for nebulous reasons associated
with international jihad.
it's also motivated to attack Kenya because of the benefits vis-à-vis
recruitment and fundraising that are a partial byproduct of international press
coverage. That is, front page news of the group's attacks in Kenya
inadvertently provides an outlet for al-Shabaab to showcase its attacks with
few filters and to exploit such media stories in its own propaganda. The
results of the deadly carnage often serve as prime recruiting tools in terms of
foot soldiers and funding.
also launches attacks because it can. The group has been able to exploit the
absence of a strong government in Somalia and the 682 kilometre long porous
border between it and Kenya for a number of years.
2011 the group has lost territory in Somalia. Nevertheless, it continues to maintain
the capabilities and is intent on inflicting significant damage in Somalia and
Kenya. The attacks in Somalia have typically been small-scale, targeting the
military and police. There have been some large incidents. For example in 2017
at least 300 people were killed when a truck packed with explosives detonated
in the centre of Mogadishu.
Plaut: The Kenyan invasion of Somalia in 2011 was undertaken for understandable
reasons. But the decision to go ahead was taken against the advice of its international
friends - including the US and its neighbour Ethiopia. The Kenyan army has
attempted to establish Jubaland, partitioning the regions of Gedo, Lower Juba
and Middle Juba from the rest of Somalia. It has met with little success.
attempt to prevent al-Shabaab from establishing itself on the Kenyan border has
become a mission too far, posing questions about how long it can be sustained
and at what cost.
Kenya more than other frontline states?
Cannon: As highlighted in one of my recent articles, Kenya is attacked far more
than Ethiopia or other eastern African states. This is because of highly
rational reasons that are based on cost-benefit analyses and the presence of
has high international visibility and its relatively free and independent media
widely publicises terrorist attacks. Another factor is that Kenya has developed
a lucrative tourist sector which provides soft targets.
advantages are that there are a high number of Kenyan-born fighters within the
group's ranks that possess local knowledge. This has helped al-Shabaab perform
attacks and maintain terror cells in Kenya. An expanding democratic space and
high levels of corruption also mean that the group is able to exploit the
country's governance weaknesses when it comes to security.
these variables help al-Shabaab plan and execute terrorist acts while
fulfilling the group's quest to survive by maintaining relevance.
is your assessment of Kenya's immediate response?
Cannon: Reports on the latest incident are still fragmented. But, it seems that
in terms of security there has been some progress since the Garissa University
attack in 2015 and the attack on the Westgate Mall in 2013.
response of Kenyan security forces, particularly the General Service Unit - a
paramilitary wing in the National Police Service of Kenya - seem to have been
timely and relatively effective.
sad truth is that coordinated attacks - replete with suicide bombers, as well
as heavily armed and motivated terrorists against relatively soft targets - are
extremely difficult to thwart. No matter how professional and robust the
Plaut: As Murithi Mutiga, of the International Crisis Group, has pointed out,
previous attacks have seen Kenyan reprisals against its Muslim population. The
authorities responded with blanket arrests of Muslims and indiscriminate
crackdowns aimed at ethnic Somalis. This inflamed tensions and made matters
worse. It's vitally important that this mistake isn't repeated. Only by uniting
can Kenyans defeat the threat posed by these terrorist attacks.
can Kenya do to address this menace?
Cannon: As terrible as this attack is, it's worth noting that major commercial
areas and tourist hubs have largely avoided attacks by al-Shabaab since 2013 --
until yesterday. This is all the more surprising because elements within
al-Shabaab remain motivated and possess the capabilities to continue attacking
question the rationale of some politicians who advocate the Kenyan Defence
Force's withdrawal from Somalia as a way for Kenya to avoid attacks. After all,
al-Shabaab attacked Kenya multiple times prior to 2011 when the KDF entered
forward, Kenya must attempt to tighten border control mechanisms, broadcast
state power throughout the entire Kenyan landmass and re-energise its fight
against al-Shabaab in Somalia: a fight that has slowed significantly since
is a Herculean task and one that Kenya's government and security professionals,
given the nature and type of threat, should be commended for doing quite well
Plaut: Kenyans need to be patient and tolerant - to build links between their
communities and to face the threat together. At the same time there needs to be
a serious reassessment of Kenya's role inside Somalia. There is little
indication that al-Shabaab can be defeated by outside powers, even if it can be
biggest union, UGTT, started a nationwide strike on Thursday affecting the
country’s airports, schools and state media to protest against the government’s
refusal to raise the salaries of 670,000 public servants.
is under pressure from the International Monetary Fund to freeze public sector
wages as part of reforms to help reduce the country’s budget deficit.
International lenders have threatened to stop financing the economy, which has
been in crisis since the toppling of President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali in 2011.
one-day strike will hit airports, ports, schools, hospitals, state media and
government offices, but Prime Minister Youssef Chahed said the state will
provide minimum services in vital sectors including aviation, ports, buses and
state-owned airline Tunisair expects major disruptions to its flight schedule
due to the strike and urged customers to change bookings, it said, adding that
at least 16 flights will be postponed. Chahed said the strike will be very
expensive but the government could not raise wages disproportionately to the
state’s ability to afford it.
Tahri, Deputy Secretary-General of the UGTT, said the government had come under
the dictates of the IMF and had chosen the difficult solution of confrontation
with public servants. Government and union sources told Reuters that the
government had proposed spending about $400 million on pay rises whereas the
UGTT had asked for about $850 million.
struck a deal with the IMF in December 2016 for a loan program worth around
$2.8 billion to overhaul its ailing economy with steps to cut chronic deficits
and trim bloated public services, but progress has been slow. Tunisia’s economy
has been in crisis since the toppling of autocrat Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali threw
it into turmoil, with unemployment and inflation shooting up.
president said early on Wednesday that security forces had killed all four
militants who stormed an upscale hotel complex in Nairobi the previous day, in
an attack that killed at least 14 people.
Kenyatta said 14 civilians were confirmed dead and over 700 others had been
attack on the dusitD2 hotel began shortly after 3PM on Tuesday with an
explosion in the parking lot and then a suicide bomb blast in the foyer, police
Kenyans, an American and a Briton were among the casualties, morgue staff said.
Two victims had not been identified.
who had gone to the Chiromo morgue seeking loved ones were told they could not
view the bodies until a forensic investigation had been performed, provoking
grief and anger.
militant Islamist group al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack.
least two groups of people had still been trapped inside as dawn broke, and
gunfire continued to ring out around the complex in Riverside Drive.
One month after protests erupted across Sudan against rising bread prices,
anti-government demonstrations have turned into daily rallies against a defiant
President Omar al-Bashir who has rejected calls to resign.
organisers have called for a march on the presidential palace in the capital
Khartoum on Thursday, along with simultaneous demonstrations in several other
say at least 24 people have died since the protests first broke out on December
19 after a government decision to triple the price of bread.
group Human Rights Watch has put the death toll at 40, including children and
protests have escalated into nationwide anti-government demonstrations that
experts say pose the biggest challenge to Bashir since he took power in an
Islamist-backed coup in 1989.
have been demonstrating and will continue to demonstrate until this regime is
overthrown," vowed Adel Ibrahim, 28, who has participated in demonstrations
are protesting to save our future and the future of our homeland."
initially broke out in the eastern town of Atbara, which has a history of
anti-government sentiment, and within days spread to other provinces and then
like Port Sudan, Gadaref, Kassala and agricultural regions that previously
backed Bashir saw protests calling for him to step down, while the western
region of Darfur too witnessed rallies against the 75-year-old veteran leader.
social media networks to mobilise crowds, most protesters have marched chanting
"Peace, freedom, justice", while some have even adopted the 2011 Arab
Spring slogan -- "the people want the fall of the regime".
of demonstrators, whistling and clapping, have braved volleys of tear gas
whenever they have taken to the streets, witnesses said.
a momentum now and people are coming out daily," said prominent Sudanese
columnist Faisal Mohamed Salih.
the authorities are astonished."
the unrest was triggered by the cut in a vital bread subsidy, Sudan has faced a
mounting economic crisis in the past year, including an acute shortage of
shortages of food and fuel have been reported across cities, including in Khartoum,
while the cost of food and medicine has more than doubled.
have blamed Washington for Sudan's economic woes.
US imposed a trade embargo on Khartoum in 1997 that was lifted only in October
2017. It restricted Sudan from conducting international business and financial
critics of Bashir say his government's mismanagement of key sectors and its
huge spending on fighting ethnic minority rebellions in Darfur and in areas
near the South Sudan border has been stoking economic trouble for years.
this regime continues like this, we will soon lose our country, which is why we
have to fight," said Ibrahim, who has been looking for a job for years.
umbrella group of unions of doctors, teachers and engineers calling itself the Sudanese
Professionals' Association has spearheaded the campaign, calling this week the
"Week of Uprising".
don't even know the organisers by names, but they still trust them," said
authorities led by the feared National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS)
have cracked down on protesters, drawing international criticism.
than 1,000 people, including protesters, activists, opposition leaders and
journalists have been arrested so far, rights groups say.
has remained steadfast in rejecting calls for him to resign.
will not change the government," he told a rally in Darfur on Monday as
supporters chanted "Stay, stay".
only one road to power and that is through the ballot box. The Sudanese people
will decide in 2020 who will govern them," said Bashir, who is planning to
run for the presidency for the third time in elections to be held next year.
uprisings in Sudan in 1964 and 1985 saw regimes change within days, but experts
say this time protesters have a long road ahead.
the moment, Bashir appears to have the majority of the security services on his
side," said Willow Berridge, a lecturer at Britain's Newcastle University.
ruling National Congress Party has dismissed the demonstrations.
are some gatherings, but they are isolated and not big," party spokesman
Ibrahim al-Siddiq told AFP.
International Crisis Group think-tank said Bashir might well weather the
Kenya: The death toll from an extremist attack on a luxury hotel and shopping
complex in Nairobi climbed to 21, plus the five militants killed, police said
Wednesday in the aftermath of the brazen overnight siege by Al-Shabab gunmen.
Two people accused of facilitating the attack were arrested.
number of those killed at the DusitD2 complex rose with the discovery of six
more bodies at the scene and the death of a wounded police officer, said Joseph
Boinnet, inspector-general of Kenyan police. Twenty-eight people were hurt and
taken to the hospital, he said.
a televised address to the nation earlier in the day, President Uhuru Kenyatta
announced that the all-night operation by security forces to retake the complex
was over and that all of the extremists had been killed.
will seek out every person that was involved in the funding, planning and
execution of this heinous act,” he vowed.
an attack that demonstrated Al-Shabab’s continued ability to strike Kenya’s
capital despite setbacks on the battlefield, extremists stormed the place with
guns and explosives. Security camera footage released to local media showed a
suicide bomber blowing himself up in a grassy area in the complex, the flash
visible along with smoke billowing from the spot where he had been standing.
the civilian victims, 16 were Kenyan, one was British, one was American and
three were of African descent but their nationalities were not yet identified,
which is based in neighboring Somalia and allied with Al-Qaeda, claimed
responsibility. The Islamic extremist group also carried out the 2013 attack at
Nairobi’s nearby Westgate Mall that killed 67 people, and an assault on Kenya’s
Garissa University in 2015 that claimed 147 lives, mostly students.
US airstrikes and African Union forces in Somalia have degraded the group’s
ability to operate, it is still capable of carrying out spectacular acts of
violence in retaliation for the Kenyan military’s campaign against it.
bloodshed in Kenya’s capital appeared designed to inflict maximum damage to the
country’s image of stability and its tourism industry, an important source of
government said late Tuesday that buildings were secure. However, gunfire
continued into Wednesday morning, and dozens of trapped people were rescued
overnight. Several loud booms were heard Wednesday as teams sought to clear the
complex of booby traps and other explosives.
announcement that the security operation was complete came about 20 hours after
the first reports of the attack.
Kenyan Red Cross said about 50 people were unaccounted for. But many of those
were believed not to have been in the complex during the attack.
Njoroge, CEO of a company in the DustiD2 complex that offers mobile banking
services, said he was unable to locate several employees. “It’s very difficult
for the families because the passage of time only makes the problem bigger,” he
American killed in the attack was identified as Jason Spindler, co-founder and
managing director of San Francisco-based I-DEV International. Spindler’s
father, Joseph, said his son worked with international companies to form
business partnerships in Kenya that would boost local economies.
Houston-raised Spindler had a brush with tragedy on 9/11: He was employed by a
financial firm at the World Trade Center at the time of the 2001 terrorist
attack but was running late that morning and was emerging from the subway when
the first tower fell, according to his father. He became covered in dust and
debris as he tried to help others, the elder Spindler said.
the Nairobi attack, a man who gave only his first name, Davis, described how he
had escaped with colleagues by fleeing down a fire escape.
after gunmen launched an attack on an upmarket Nairobi hotel on Tuesday
afternoon, the SITE intelligence group picked up a claim of responsibility from
the Al Shabab militant group.
the coming hours, the east African militant group, whose name means “The Youth”
in Arabic and is an abbreviation of the Mujahideen Youth Movement, issued
updates on the ongoing attack, calling the location “one of the most opulent
areas of the Kenyan capital… where offices of international representatives are
present,” according to SITE, which monitors extremist groups.
attack, in which 14 people were killed, illustrates that Al Shabab remains
powerful, despite ongoing counter-terrorism efforts by the United States and
Horn of Africa nations.
Shabab, which is based in Somalia but has become known for carrying out brutal
attacks in neighbouring Kenya, remains Al Qaeda’s most active affiliate, says
Rita Katz, the Director of SITE Intelligence Group. The group consistently
claims the largest number of attacks and suicide operations, maintains a large
area of territory, and is focused on expanding into neighbouring countries, she
tweeted on Tuesday.
group was founded as the militant wing of the Islamic Courts Union, a group of
hard-line Sharia courts in southern Somalia that controlled Mogadishu in 2006
and challenged the Transitional Federal Parliament for control of the country.
Ethiopian forces drove the ICU from the Somali capital in late 2006, Al Shabab
continued fighting the United Nations-backed Federal Parliament independently.
The group gained notoriety for gruesome suicide attacks while advocating a
severe doctrine that saw the group stoning to death women accused of adultery
and amputating the hands of thieves.
initially receiving support from sectors of the Somali public fed up with two
decades of insecurity, these acts repelled many. Al Shabab were driven from the
Somali capital by African Union troops in 2011 and out of the port city of
Kismayo the next year.
2012 video showed then Al Shabab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane pledging allegiance
to Al Qaeda leader Ayman Al Zawahiri. Al Shabab debated joining ISIS in 2014
but eventually only a small splinter faction pledged its loyalty to its leader
Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi.
Godane was killed in a US drone strike in the same year, Al Shabaab has been led
by Ahmad Umar, who is believed to command between 7,000 and 9,000 fighters. The
group raises funds from a highly developed system of extortion that rivals the
Somali government's tax system, collecting levies from charcoal exports,
agricultural products, and goods in transport via a network of checkpoints on
roads across southern and central Somalia.
March 2017, President Donald Trump expanded military action against Al Shabab,
which saw the US increase airstrikes on Somalia. At least 40 strikes were carried
out in 2018 and 35 the year before. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism
estimates over 400 people were killed in these strikes, a higher number than
the previous 10 years combined.
500 US troops are now deployed on an “advise and assist” mission in Somalia.
The death of an American soldier in Somalia in May 2017 was the first since the
disastrous 1993 Black Hawk down incident in which 18 US soldiers died. But so
far the increased military action against Al Shabab has failed to dent the group’s
Parliament is going to have its first transgender MP from the reserve quotas
for the women. As per the existing provisions, 50 seats are reserved in the
parliament for women. This time, ruling Awami League will nominate to 43 seats,
the Jatiya Party will seat four, BNP will seat one, and independent coalitions
will seat two. A source close to Awami League said, since the transgender
community got official recognition in Bangladesh couple of years back, this
time the ruling party is willing to allow at least one MP from the transgender
community. This decision of the ruling party will receive global appreciation
as well it will brighten the image of Bangladesh as a secularist country.
many decades, transgender community in South Asia has been facing numerous forms
of neglect. Bangladeshi transgender community is locally known as hijra,
constitutes around half a million out of 160 million total population.
rights in Bangladesh:
the fact of rejecting radical Islam, state machinery in Bangladesh and the existing
laws still are hostile towards the LGBT. Section 377 of the Bangladesh Penal
Code forbids anal or oral sex, regardless of the gender and sexual orientation
of the participants. This section says, “Whoever voluntarily has carnal
intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal shall be
punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description
for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine”.
is sufficient to constitute the carnal intercourse necessary to the offense
described in this section.
ambit of Section 377 extends to any sexual union involving penile insertion.
Thus, even consensual heterosexual acts such as fellatio and anal penetration
may be punishable under this law.
2009 and 2013, the Bangladeshi Parliament refused to overturn Section 377.
society doesn’t recognize same-sex relationship, consensual romantic
relationship and marriage between two opposite genders is supported though
social conservatism is an impediment in this context also (society is less
supportive) as culturally society is based on ‘marriage arranged by guardian’
23 July 2013, a lesbian couple was arrested for marrying in secret. Shibronty
Roy Puja, a 16-year-old Hindu, and Sanjida Akter, 21-year-old Muslim, fled
their town for Dhaka, the capital, and got married in a Hindu ceremony. They
were then arrested and threatened with life imprisonment. Similarly, another
lesbian couple was arrested in October 2013 for their relationship. One member
of the couple was described as having short hair and identified as the husband.
The police had them take sex identification tests, and the doctors stated they
were both females. The case was filed under Section 209, which is about
public display of affection between friends of the same sex in Bangladesh is
commonly approved and does not raise any controversies, there appears to be a
strong objection towards homosexuality as such. This hostile attitude results
from religious tradition of the country, with Islam being professed by
approximately 90 percent of the population, and mentality of Bangladeshi
society. There appears to be an intense social pressure to marry someone of the
opposite sex, grounded in patriarchal
model of the society. Non-family members, including police and religious
fundamentalist groups, have been known to blackmail, harass and even physically
attack LGBT people. These “morality minders” are not sanctioned by the
government, but they take advantage of the absence of civil rights and hate
crime laws for sexual and gender minorities.
2003, Dr. Gary Dowsett, an Australian professor, published a report titled A
Review of Knowledge About the Sexual Networks and Behaviours of Men Who Have
Sex with Men in Asia as part of a study on how the AIDS pandemic is impacting
the nation. The bulk of the report focused on male prostitution, but it did
generate some public discussion about LGBT issues, with Indian movies and water
poisoning through arsenic being blamed for making homosexuality more common. In
reply, some people criticized these negative viewpoints as being unsound
scientifically and based on prejudice.
2011, a research-based engagement with a school of public health at a university
in Bangladesh had aimed to raise public debate on sexuality and rights in a
very sensitive political context. By bringing together stakeholders, including
members of sexual minorities, academics, service providers, media, policy
makers and advocacy organizations, the research engagement worked to bring
visibility to hidden and stigmatized sexuality and rights issues. Critical
steps towards visibility for sexual minorities include creating safe spaces for
meeting, developing learning materials for university students and engaging
with legal rights groups.
least 1,300 Rohingya Muslims have crossed into Bangladesh from India since the
start of the year, an official said Wednesday, as fears of deportation to
Myanmar spark an exodus.
Delhi has faced sharp criticism for turning members of the persecuted minority
over to Myanmar in recent weeks, despite the army there being accused of
atrocities against the Rohingya.
United Nations and rights groups accused India of disregarding international
law and returning the Rohingya to possible danger in Buddhist-majority Myanmar.
which is not a signatory to the U.N. Refugee Convention, arrested 230 Rohingya
in 2018 — the most in years as Hindu hardliners called for the displaced
Muslims to be deported en masse.
round-ups in India, and fear of deportation to Myanmar, have driven even more of
the stateless Muslims into Bangladesh, where a million Rohingya live in giant
refugee camps in the country’s southeast.
Bose, a spokeswoman for the Inter Sector Coordination Group (ISCG), which
includes U.N. agencies and other foreign humanitarian organizations, said the
pace of new arrivals had escalated since January 3.
1,300 individuals from 300 families have arrived from India to Bangladesh until
today,” she told AFP.
new arrivals were being housed in a U.N. transit center, she added.
spokesman Firas Al-Khateeb said the U.N. refugee agency was “aware of the
crossing the border in recent weeks have been detained by police and sent to
Cox’s Bazar, a southern district home to the world’s largest refugee camps.
40,000 Rohingya have been living in India. Police said those who arrived were
living in India for years.
for decades have faced persecution and pogroms in Myanmar, which refuses to
recognize them as citizens and falsely labels them “Bengali” illegal
were concentrated in Rakhine state, the epicenter of a brutal Myanmar army
offensive in August 2017 that U.N. investigators described as genocidal in
least 720,000 Rohingya fled the bloody crackdown and entered Bangladesh to join
some 300,000 already living in the camps.
International, among other rights groups, has blasted India for forcibly
repatriating the Rohingya to Myanmar when persecution in Rakhine is ongoing.
of Rohingya were also deported from Saudi Arabia to Bangladesh last week. They
were arrested for illegally using Bangladeshi passports to travel to the
on the Subject
fate of nearly four million people in the Indian state of Assam came into
question on July 30, when the National Register of Citizens, a
government-maintained list of citizens in the state, was updated.
register lists people who have valid documents to prove that they had entered
India by March 24, 1971, a day before neighboring Bangladesh declared
independence, a phenomenon preceded by a massive number of Bangladeshis fleeing
for life and taking shelter in safe havens in India.
who sought refuge after that cut-off date is not entitled to Indian
citizenship. During the turbulent days of 1971, the Indian forces were
understood to have supported the liberation of Bangladesh, then known as East
Pakistan, from its parent country Pakistan.
Union government of India, led by the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP),
which also rules in Assam, has claimed that the information exercise is aimed
at identifying illegal entrants to India from neighboring Bangladesh.
Special Forces have released a video which purportedly shows an airstrike on a
Taliban gathering in Afghanistan.
is yet not clear if the airstrike has been carried out by the Afghan Air Force
or the coalition forces based in Afghanistan as both the Afghan and coalition
forces conduct regular airstrikes against the high profile targets of
anti-government armed elements.
Special Operations Corps of the Afghan Military in a statement has said that
the Taliban militants and their leaders will no more remain hidden from the
sight of the National Defense and Security Forces.
the meantime, the Afghan Military in the North has said leader of a terrorist
group Abu Talha has been killed with his six fighters during an operation of
the Afghan Special Forces in northern Faryab province of Afghanistan.
209th Shaheen Corps of the Afghan Military in the North in a statement said the
Afghan Special Forces conducted operations with the help of close air support
in Garziwan district on Tuesday.
statement further added that the operations were conducted in Adam Qala area of
the district leaving terrorist leader Abul Talha dead with his six fighters.
leader of a terrorist group Abu Talha has been killed with his six fighters
during an operation of the Afghan Special Forces in northern Faryab province of
to 209th Shaheen Corps, at least five militants were also wounded and five
weapons were destroyed during the operations.
anti-government armed militant groups have not commented regarding the killing
of the militants in Faryab so far.
Security forces in Pakistan have gunned down four militants, including a top
Taliban commander who masterminded the last year's powerful bomb blast in the
restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in which at least 31 people including three
Sikhs were killed.
killed in the exchange of fire include Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)
commander Islam and Mohibullah who were involved in various terror activities,
huge cache of arms and ammunition was also recovered from their possession.
agencies raided a house near Qazi pump area where the militants were believed
to be hiding. The owner of the house was also killed in the firing between the
militants and security forces.
November, 31 people including three Sikhs were killed and over 40 others
injured in the bomb blast at the Friday Market (Juma Bazar) near an imambargah,
a Shia religious place, in Orakzai tribal district's Kalaya area, bordering
Minister Imran Khan had strongly condemned the terrorist attack.
The Taliban said on Tuesday they would call off peace talks with the US if its
troops were not pulled out of Afghanistan. The threat came as the US special
envoy landed in Kabul.
Khalilzad arrived in Kabul to brief the government and politicians on his
engagement in the region regarding the peace process.
month, it was reported that President Donald Trump had ordered the withdrawal
of thousands of troops.
there has been speculation the US wants to keep some military bases in
Afghanistan, and that it is pushing the Taliban to hold direct talks with
Taliban has objected to government involvement in its meetings with Khalilzad
and wants foreign troops to leave Afghanistan.
armed group said the US must pursue the peace talks with “sincere intentions”
or it would be forced to stall all talks and negotiations until its “unlawful
pressures and maneuvering” ended.
United States agreed during the Doha meeting in November to discuss the
withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan and prevent Afghanistan from
being used against other countries in the upcoming meeting,” the Taliban said,
accusing the US of “backing out from that agenda and unilaterally adding new
US Embassy in Kabul said Khalilzad was meeting President Ashraf Ghani, CEO
Abdullah, and political leaders to discuss the next steps in efforts to support
and facilitate an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process.
arrival in Kabul followed stops in India, the UAE and China.
Akbari, one of those at the meeting, said Khalilzad had expressed optimism
about his efforts and regional cooperation but had not revealed why he was so
later tweeted about the “good session” in Kabul.
discussed the peace process & all agree that progress depends on Afghans
sitting with each other, negotiating a future for all Afghan people,” he said.
US Embassy said the goal was to promote dialogue among Afghans about how to end
the conflict, and to encourage parties to come together at the negotiating
table to reach a political settlement in which every Afghan citizen “enjoyed
equal rights and responsibilities under the rule of law.”
Zia Rafat, a political science professor, said peace talks in a normal country
faced ups and downs but there would be more hurdles when it came to Afghanistan
because of the war’s complexity.
had 40 years of war so one should not expect a quick resolution of the crisis.
The first priority for peace is for Afghanistan and Pakistan to settle their
historical differences,” he told Arab News.
al-Anbari told the Arabic-language al-Ma'aloumeh news website on Wednesday that
the US forces in al-Anbar are making suspicious moves at the border with Syria,
adding that they are creating safe corridors for the ISIL in the province.
added that the US forces have increased deployment in Ein al-Assad and
al-Ramanah bases, noting that al-Anbar province does not need presence of
the Arabic-language Sumer news quoted Eid Ammash, another member of al-Anbar's
provincial council, as saying that the US forces have been deployed in two new
bases, 30km away from the Eastern and Southern banks of the Euphrates river in
relevant remarks earlier today, a senior commander of Iraq's Hashd Al-Sha'abi
(Iraqi popular forces) in al-Anbar province underlined that the US Army has
been spying on security units along borders with Syria in favor of the ISIL
terrorist group, and dismissed the media reports on the American troops'
pullout from Syria.
US Army has been trying to obtain intelligence from Hashd al-Sha'abi along
Iraq-Syria borders to inform the ISIL terrorists stationed in Hajin and Souseh
in Syria about the Iraqi popular forces' movements," al-Maloumeh news
website quoted Qassim Muslih, the commander of Hashd al-Shaabi forces in
al-Anbar province, as saying on Wednesday.
Iraqi popular forces commander reiterated that after the US Army's attempt,
Hashd al-Sha'abi has reinforced its positions along borders with Syria in a
move to confront any unprecedented incident.
Muslih rejected the US troops' pullout from Syria, and said that the US Army
has recently dispatched massive military equipment and troops from Iraq to
also pointed to the coordination between Iraqi and Syrian sides in combating
terrorists in the region, and said, "We are waiting for the order of the
Iraqi Command to cross into Syria to cleanse the surrounding areas of Iraq's
border and prevent the ISIL terrorists from crossing the border.
should first be clear who is a threat and the security of which side should be
protected to create a safe zone," Aldar Khalil, the head of YPG's
diplomatic relations committee, told the Kurdish-language Hawar news on
added that if the safe zone is meant to establish security in Northern Syria
and protect the region against Turkish threats, it is a good policy.
Turkey with controlling the safe zone in Northern Syria is a source of deep
concerns because it has threatened of occupation of all regions in Northern
Syria," Khalil said.
are opposed to the creation of a safe zone under the control and supervision of
Turkey in Northern and Northeastern Syria," he underlined.
President Donald Trump and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan have
both floated the idea of a safe zone in Northern Syria as a solution to prevent
a Turkish military offensive against Kurdish forces in the area. Ankara says
that the YPG are a terror organization and a threat to Turkey. The YPG denies
the charge and says Turkey is the aggressor.
and Erdogan discussed the proposal in a phone call on Monday, after Trump
tweeted about it.
A bomb attack claimed by Daesh killed US troops in northern Syria on Wednesday,
weeks after President Donald Trump said the group was defeated there and he
would pull out all American forces.
US official who declined to be named said four US troops had been killed and
three wounded in the blast, which a Daesh-affiliated site said was the work of
a suicide bomber. Others said only two had been killed.
US-led coalition fighting Daesh said that "US service members were killed
during an explosion while conducting a routine patrol", and that it was
still gathering details.
Turkish President RecepTayyip Erdogan gave his own death toll for the attack,
saying it had killed 20 people, including five US troops. Erdogan said he did
not believe the attack would impact Trump's decision to withdraw from Syria.
attack, which took place in the town of Manbij, controlled by rebels opposed to
Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, appears to be the deadliest on US forces in
Syria since they deployed there in 2015.
Pentagon spokeswoman said only two US troops had previously been killed in
action in Syria. There were two additional non-combat fatalities.
month, Trump made a surprise announcement that he would withdraw all 2,000 US
troops from Syria after concluding that Daesh had been defeated there.
announcement helped trigger the resignation of his defense secretary, Jim
Mattis, stunned allies and raised fears of a long-threatened Turkish military
offensive against US-backed Kurdish forces in northern Syria.
witness in the city said the attack had targeted a restaurant where US
personnel were meeting members of the local militia that Washington backs
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said 16 people had been
killed, including two Americans. A militia source in north Syria also said two
US troops had been killed.
said a Syrian fighter had detonated his explosive vest on a foreign patrol in
witnesses described the blast to Reuters.
explosion hit near a restaurant, targeting the Americans, and there were some
forces from the Manbij Military Council with them," one said.
Manbij Military Council militia has controlled the town since US-backed
Kurdish-led forces took it from Daesh in 2016. It is located near areas held by
Russian-backed Syrian government forces and by anti-Assad fighters backed by
of the witnesses said there was a "heavy" presence of military
aircraft over Manbij following the blast, which took place near a vegetable
on a local Kurdish news site showed two mutilated bodies, several other bodies
lying on the ground with people gathered around them, damage to a building and
vehicles, and blood smears on a wall.
Kurdish-language Hawar news reported on Wednesday that the explosion occurred
in Kasr al-Umara restaurant at Sondos street, killing at least 10 people,
including members of Manbij military council.
added that two US soldiers were also killed and two others were wounded.
some field sources reported that 5 US forces have been killed in the attack
which was a suicide blast.
in Manbij told the Arabic-language service of Sputnik that leaders of the local
military council and an unnamed delegation were at the site of the blast.
to them, the explosion took place near a cafe where the leaders of the council
and guests from the delegation, "whose identity has not yet been
established", had gathered.
sources also reported that 20 people were wounded in the blast.
to the Sputnik, the ISIL terrorist group has reportedly claimed responsibility
for the explosion.
Iraqi Army troops are standing orders to join the Syrian Army for an imminent
battle against the ISIL along Iraq-Syria borders, Al-Etejah Press quoted an
Iraqi military source as saying on Wednesday.
source said over 30,000 Iraqi soldiers are now behind the borderline in order
to enter Syria's Eastern deserts (Badiyeh) and engage in battle with remaining
ISIL terrorists along the border.
source noted that Iraq's Hashd al-Sha'abi (Iraqi popular forces) plan to
actively take part in the anti-ISIL operations.
noted that the military operations will soon start, and said the Syrian and
Iraqi governments have done the needed coordination to launch the joint assault
on ISIL in cooperation with the Russian Air Fore.
relevant remarks on Tuesday, a senior commander of Iraq's Hashd Al-Sha'abi
(Iraqi popular forces) in Al-Anbar Province underlined that his forces have
prevented the US Army's spying on security units along borders with Syria.
US troops are trying to obtain precise and sensitive intelligence from Iraq's
security forces along borders with Syria," the Arabic-language Al-Maloumeh
news website quoted Qassim Muslih, the commander of Hashd al-Shaabi forces in
al-Anbar province, as saying.
reiterated that Hashd al-Sha'abi operations command has stopped US spying
operations by preventing the US troops from getting close to Hashd al-Sha'abi
units and forcing them to return to Ba'er al-Morasemeh base.
pointed to the US forces' reconnaissance operations along Iraq-Syria borders
and questions from border police and Iraqi army about the battle zones off the
border regions, the amount of ammunition, type of weapons and the number of
troops of each region, and explained that secret intelligence related to the
forces stationed along the border regions helps them to easily target any
Russian Interfax news agency quoted a Russian source as saying that the
militants in Idlib province are preparing to conduct chemical attacks in
Ma'arat al-Numan in Idlib province as the terrorists have piled up chemical and
poisonous substances in Idlib and Northern Lattakia.
terrorists of Ajnad al-Qoqaz, Jeish al-Izzah and Islamic Turkistani Party are
preparing for concurrent chemical attacks in Lattakia, Idlib, Aleppo and Hama
by means of bombs and missiles armed with poisonous substances as well as
drones," the source said.
noted that the terrorist groups have sent 500 liters of chemical substances to
Abu Dhuhur in Idlib and Halfaya in Northern Hama.
a relevant development in December, with the help of western spy agencies a
30-member group of terrorists had been sent to Ariha region of Idlib in late
December to build missiles and mortars containing chemical substances to
prepare for chemical attacks on residential areas and later falsely accuse the
Syrian government of carrying out the same attack.
after massive penetration of terrorists in the demilitarized zone in Idlib and
defeat of Turkey in implementing Sochi agreement, the Syria Army is preparing
for cleansing the province.
a relevant development in mid-December, Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at (the Levant
Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) deployed about 50 chemically armed
missiles in the demilitarized zone in Southeastern Idlib.
Tahrir al-Sham terrorists have transferred the chemical-loaded missiles in 5
stages, the Arabic-language service of Sputnik quoted informed sources as
al-Sham has handed over 10 missiles to Ajnad al-Qafqaz militants in Tal Sultan
region and several other missiles to Jeish al-Izza in Kafar Zita town in
Northern Hama," the sources said.
Al-Nusra terrorists has also handed over several other missiles to Horras
al-Deen terrorists in Mourek city in Northern Hama and two missile consignments
to the Islamic Turkistani Party and also another group.
US Army has been trying to obtain intelligence from Hashd al-Sha'abi along
Iraq-Syria borders to inform the ISIL terrorists stationed in Hajin and Souseh
in Syria about the Iraqi popular forces' movements," the Arabic-language
Al-Maloumeh news website quoted Qassim Muslih, the commander of Hashd al-Shaabi
forces in al-Anbar province, as saying on Wednesday.
relevant remarks on Tuesday, Muslih underlined that Hashd al-Sha'abi forces
have prevented the US Army's spying on security units along borders with Syria.
US troops are trying to obtain precise and sensitive intelligence from Iraq's
along borders with Syria," he said.
pointed to the provocative measures by the US troops to obtain secret
information from border security guards, and warned that the move is a blatant
violation of Iraq's national sovereignty.
relevant remarks earlier in January, Muslih underlined the necessity for
Washington to evacuate its military men from Iraq.
reports have been released about establishment of new US bases in al-Anbar and
Saladin provinces which is a violation of Iraq's national sovereignty,"
underscored the necessity for the US forces to leave Iraq, and said, "We
are capable of supporting and protecting our land and borders and there is no
need for the deployment of foreign forces."
for the withdrawal of US forces from Iraq have increased after US President
Donald Trump in a surprise visit late December landed at an airbase West of the
Iraqi capital, Baghdad, where he thanked the soldiers for their service.
US soldiers were killed and three injured in a suicide bombing targeting US-led
coalition forces in the northern Syrian city of Manbij on Wednesday.
war monitor, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said 16 people, civilians
and US servicemen, were killed in the attack.
US official confirmed the death of four and injury of three American soldiers
in the blast.
president has been fully briefed and we will continue to monitor the ongoing
situation in Syria,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement,
referring questions to the US Department of Defense.
Military Council's Facebook page only confirmed injuries in its initial report
on the attack.
news site linked to ISIS said the suicide attack had struck an international
coalition patrol in Syria's Manbij on Wednesday.
news site, Amaq, said the attacker had used an explosive vest to cause the
has been held by US-backed fighters allied to the Kurdish YPG militia since
they took it from ISIS in 2016. It is located near areas held by Russian-backed
Syrian government forces and by anti-Assad fighters backed by Turkey.
Kurdish militants have rejected Washington’s proposal for the establishment of
a “security zone” under Turkish control along the Syrian side of the two
countries’ border, saying it infringes on the sovereignty of the Arab country.
Khalil, a Syrian Kurdish politician and co-chair of the Democratic Society
Movement, told AFP on Wednesday that the Kurds would accept the deployment of
UN forces along the separation line between Kurdish militants and Turkish
troops to ward off a threatened offensive.
choices are unacceptable as they infringe on the sovereignty of Syria and the
sovereignty of our autonomous region,” he said.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday that Ankara would establish the
“security zone” in northern Syria proposed by US President Donald Trump, a day
after the two leaders held a phone conversation.
noted that during a “quite positive” telephone conversation, Trump reaffirmed
that “a 20-mile (30 kilometer) security zone along the Syrian border... will be
set up by us.”
could create such a safe zone if coalition forces, especially America, provide
logistical and financial support,” Erdogan added.
and Washington engaged in a war of words over the fate of the Kurdish militants
in Syria following the planned withdrawal of American troops. Turkey views the
Washington-backed militants as terrorists.
threatened to devastate NATO ally Turkey economically if it launches attacks
against the Kurdish militants in Syria when US troops leave the Arab country.
response, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu stressed that Turkey was “not
scared of and will not be intimidated” by such rhetoric and that economic
threats “will get nowhere.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reacted to Washington’s proposal and
said Wednesday that the Syrian government must wrest back control of the
are convinced that the best and only solution is the transfer of these
territories under the control of the Syrian government, and of Syrian security
forces and administrative structures,” Lavrov told reporters.
top Russian diplomat further said Moscow welcomed and supported “contacts that
have now begun between Kurdish representatives and Syrian authorities so they
can return to their lives under a single government without outside
further highlighted the progress in efforts to resolve Syria’s seven-year
conflict, and said the focus should remain on Idlib Province -- the last major
militant stronghold in the country.
Syrian settlement is progressing, though of course more slowly than we would
like,” he said. “The fight against terrorism must be completed. Now the main
hotbed of terrorism is Idlib.”
announced the plan to pull US forces out of Syria last month amid plans by
Turkey to launch an operation against anti-Damascus Kurdish militants.
Kurdish militants in northern Syria, who have long enjoyed US support, feel
abandoned by Washington.
US has been arming and training Kurdish militants under the banner of helping
them fight Daesh, but Syria and several other countries see ulterior motives
behind the deployment.
of misguided individuals should not tar good name of Malay/Muslim community:
- The actions of a few misguided individuals cannot ruin the good name of the
Malay/Muslim Community, said two ministers, in response to news that a former
religious teacher and student pair are issued Restriction Orders (ROs) under
the Internal Security Act.
Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said on Wednesday (Jan 16) that Murad Mohd Said,
46, was placed on an RO on Dec 5 last year while his student, 56-year-old
technician Razali Abas, was arrested in September last year and placed on an RO
Singaporeans held radical beliefs promoting violence and views detrimental to
a Facebook post on Wednesday, Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Masagos
Zulkifli, who is also Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, said:
"The issuance of restriction orders against Murad bin Mohd Said and Razali
bin Abas show that the challenge of countering radicalisation continues. The
swift actions of our security agencies are timely.
the actions of a misguided few must not be allowed to tar the good name of our
a separate Facebook post, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu
said Singaporeans should support the Malay/Muslim community and defend the
country's multi-religious harmony.
and Razali do not represent our Muslim community, and we must continue to stand
together with our Muslim friends, to protect the deep friendships and harmony
between our races and religions in Singapore," she said.
was a freelance religious teacher until he was struck off from the Asatizah
Recognition Scheme (ARS) in May last year for his segregationist ideologies
that contravened the ARS Code of Ethics, according to the MHA, which added that
Razali had attended Murad's classes some time in 2012.
ARS is managed by the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis), the
Asatizah Recognition Board (ARB) and Singapore Islamic Scholars and Religious
Teachers Association (Pergas).
said in a separate statement that Murad had been engaged by Muis and ARB for
his divisive views, but did not change them.
was then struck off the ARS register and barred from conducting classes here.
He did not obey this and continued spreading his views online.
the authorities investigated Razali, they discovered Murad's teachings had
influenced him. It was then that they deemed Murad's case to be serious enough
for him to be placed on an RO.
Masagos said: "Murad's violent and problematic views as a religious
teacher, or Asatizah, carried weight among his followers, and had the potential
to mislead many more, with grave consequences for our religious harmony."
urged the Malay/Muslim community to continue to look out for each other.
anyone has questions or doubts, our ARS-recognised teachers and the Asatizah
Youth Network are best-placed to answer their queries. If there are signs of
radicalisation, we should refer these individuals early to Muis, the Religious
Rehabilitation Group or the police," Mr Masagos added.
said in its statement that the cases of Murad and Razali reinforce the need to
remain vigilant against exclusivist and extremist teachings and the importance
of the mandatory ARS to ensure Muslims receive religious guidance only from
certified religious teachers.
Pasuni Maulan, vice-chairman of the Asatizah Recognition Board, which manages
the ARS with Muis, said it is actively monitoring and engaging religious
teachers and Islamic religious schools to ensure the Code of Ethics is put into
practice, and would not hesitate to remove from the scheme any teachers who
violate the code.
individuals would not be allowed to mislead the community, as these teachings
are clearly incompatible with the values of the Muslim community, who are
well-adjusted to Singapore's multiracial and multi-religious society," he
teacher placed on restriction order for extremist teachings
religious teacher and another person were placed under restriction order (RO)
by Singapore authorities for extremist teachings that promote violence,
according to a Ministry of Home Affairs statement.
Mohd Said, 46, has been placed on a RO under the Internal Security Act for
spreading exclusivist and extremist teachings that promote violence, the
statement issued Wednesday stated.
taught that it was compulsory to kill apostates, defined broadly to include
non-believers, Sufis, Shi'ites, and Muslims who have renounced Islam or
disregarded texts and rulings from the Quran and Sunnah, it said.
statement said a person issued a RO has to adhere several conditions and
restrictions such as not allowed to travel out of Singapore and change address
also taught that Muslims were allowed to defend themselves by waging armed
jihad against infidels who persecuted them, it said.
also encouraged his students to withdraw from Singapore's secular society,
disregard secular laws, and adhere to the rulings of Syariah law instead, the
ministry said said.
student Razali Abas, a 56-year-old technician, met him in 2012 and started
attending his classes. Abas was placed under a RO to prevent him from
continuing his downward spiral into extremism, the statement said.
time, Abas became convinced that it was legitimate to kill those he felt were
oppressors of Islam, it said
began to seek out individuals with militant-looking profiles on Facebook,
seeing them as heroes who were making sacrifices he could not make himself,
according to the statement..
said their posts also reinforced his belief in armed violence and his
admiration and support for terrorist groups such as the Al Qaeda.
statement added that Murad's binary us versus them worldview and violent
teachings, which he propagated to his students and followers, could have led
them to develop extremist views, as well as lead to inter- and intra-faith
statements on the primacy of Syariah law over secular laws also undermine
Singapore's secular nation-state system, the ministry said
is no longer accredited as a freelance religious teacher by the Islamic
Religious Council of Singapore (Muis). It is mandatory for Islamic religious
teachers to be accredited under the Asatizah Recognition Scheme since January
2017, according to the statement.
LUMPUR, Jan 14 — The International Paralympic Committee expressed
disappointment Saturday after Malaysia said it would not allow Israeli swimmers
to attend a competition in the country that will serve as a qualifying event
for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
is one of a number of Muslim-majority countries that has no formal diplomatic
ties with Israel, with entry to the country on an Israeli passport prohibited.
city of Kuching in the eastern Sarawak state will host hundreds of swimmers
from 70 countries from July 29 to August 4.
on Thursday, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Kuala Lumpur would
deny visas to Israeli para swimmers seeking to attend the meet.
maintain our stand on the prohibition. If they do come, it is a violation,” he
was quoted as saying by the official Bergama news agency.
they (the International Paralympic Committee) want to withdraw Malaysia’s right
to host the championship, they can do so.”
IPC said in a statement that it was “disappointed” with Dr Mahathir’s comments,
although it would aim to “find a solution” to the issue.
in Malaysia support the Palestinian cause, with thousands taking to the streets
to protest in December 2017 when US President Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem
as the Jewish state’s capital.
1997, the Israeli cricket team was allowed to play in the 22-nation
International Cricket Council Trophy tournament in Kuala Lumpur despite violent
was the first official visit by an Israeli sports delegation to Malaysia.
has long supported a two-state solution in the Palestine-Israel conflict.
LUMPUR, Jan 17 — Faced with 39 criminal and corruption charges, Datuk Seri
Najib Razak is banking on Barisan Nasional’s (BN) victory in the Cameron
Highlands by-election to pave the way for his return to power, according to DAP
adviser Lim Kit Siang.
Iskandar Puteri MP noted the former prime minister has been playing an active
role on the campaign trail up the mountain and even extended his two-day stint
to four, and said all these were indicative of two things: BN’s confidence in
retaining the Pahang parliamentary seat; and a plot for Najib’s political
comeback in the next general election to “legitimise his kleptocratic
premiership” that has been dogged by financial scandals.
Cameron Highlands by-election will be the opening shot of this new Najib plot
to return as Prime Minister of Malaysia in the 15th General Election, which
will grant him immunity and impunity for the 1MDB scandal.
BN can recapture Putrajaya in the 15th General Election and Najib return as
Prime Minister, then he would be able to frustrate any attempt to jail him in
Sungai Buloh Prison for the 1MDB scandal and crimes of a global kleptocracy in
his premiership,” Lim said in a statement.
claimed this is why BN’s two component parties MIC and MCA “are playing such a
submissive and compliant role to be comrade-in-arms with PAS”, even tolerating
the Islamist party president’s recent pronouncement that “a corrupt Muslim is
anytime better than an honest and God-fearing non-Muslim”.
first presidential debate scheduled for Thursday night, which will see
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Ma’ruf Amin square off against Gerindra
Party chairman Prabowo Subianto and running mate Sandiaga Uno, is set to
revolve around issues related to law, corruption, terrorism and human rights.
say that both camps have plenty of fodder to throw at each other across the
four topics, singling out law and human rights in particular as the most
potentially contentious issues.
pledged in his 2014 presidential campaign to resolve past human rights
violations, but activists and experts have criticized the incumbent for not
making any apparent breakthroughs to resolve the past atrocities.
President has also been attacked by opposition activists for allegedly criminalizing
ulema and vocal critics of his administration, such as Islam Defenders Front
(FPI) leader Rizieq Shihab and musician Ahmad Dhani.
Prabowo has long raised deep concerns among human rights activists for his
alleged links to the forced disappearances of 13 prodemocracy activists between
1997 and 1998 in his capacity as then-commander of the Army’s Special Forces
Madani political analyst Ray Rangkuti, however, doubted that either pair would
be too aggressive in pursuing human rights issues.
think it is the weakest area for both candidates, so both will likely be more
passive,” he told The Jakarta Post. “If Jokowi is attacked on past human rights
violations or legal cases involving [pro-opposition activists], he can counter
with the kidnapping allegations and vice versa.”
the topic of corruption, the debate is expected to turn into a battle between
Jokowi’s boasts on what he has done in the last five years and Prabowo’s offer
for a change in strategies to eradicate corruption once and for all, said the
Gadjah Mada University’s Corruption Studies Center director Zainal Arifin
example, the President might brag about his push for a more aggressive strategy
for fighting corruption, including the formation of the Illegal Levy
Eradication Task Force [Saber Pungli],” he said.
special team has uncovered more than 800 cases since its establishment in 2016.
the other hand, Zainal said Prabowo might emphasize, among other issues, the
rampant corruption across the country and the failure of Jokowi’s
administration to eradicate such crimes for good.
President has also been under pressure from the public to speed up the
investigation into an acid attack against Corruption Eradication Commission
(KPK) investigator Novel Baswedan on April 11, 2017, which has been left
unsolved for more than a year without any significant progress.
International Indonesia secretary-general Dadang Trisasongko said the
opposition pair might have the upper hand during the debate if they raised the
mid-2017, the House of Representatives launched a controversial inquiry to
prove allegations that the antigraft body had abused its power. Jokowi’s party,
the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), was a vocal supporter of
the investigation at that time.
the height of the crisis, Jokowi refused to intervene — a stance that appeared
inconsistent with his promise to defend and reinforce the KPK.
Jokowi’s supporting parties became a liability in the anticorruption
perspective,” Dadang said.
he added that the incumbent might be able to counter the attacks by pointing
out that Prabowo’s Gerindra Party had among the highest number of ex-graft
convicts contesting in the 2019 legislative elections. It is tied with the
Golkar Party with six politicians running in the election who were once jailed
expected Jokowi to have the upper hand on terrorism as the frequency and scale
of terrorist attacks have declined during his administration.
said he and running mate Ma’ruf Amin were well-prepared to answer all questions
during the debate, including those related to the settlement of past human
rights abuse cases and Novel’s case.
will answer [the questions] tomorrow [Thursday],” Jokowi told reporters, adding
that his camp would also refer to data and facts in their statements. “Another
important [strategy is to explain] our plans for the future.”
who received special training from his campaign team to sharpen his political
communication skills, said that among the key ideas the pair would deliver
during the debate was that Indonesia was a country that upheld the rule of law.
uphold the supremacy of the law as well as an independent and impartial
judiciary, and that all citizens are equal before the law,” he said.
executive Andre Rosiade said Prabowo and Sandiaga, along with their coaching
team, had been finalizing their preparations for the debate and held several
simulations since Tuesday, including “on what Prabowo will say regarding the
solution to eradicating corruption”.
embassy in Beirut slams US as ‘ISIS incubator’
an official visit to Lebanon by the Under Secretary of State for Political
Affairs David Hale, the Iranian embassy in Beirut released an aggressive
statement calling the US an “ISIS incubator which burned the green and the rotten
through American financial, logistical and regional support.”
the bizarrely worded rant, the Iranian embassy accused the US of seeking to
“annihilate the resistance axis in the region and achieve the White House and
its Zionist stepdaughter’s goals.”
statement came as a response to comments made by US Secretary of State Mike
Pompeo during a regional tour and those by Hale. Both vowed to step up efforts
to counter Iran’s activities around the region and expel from Syria “every last
simpler terms, the Iranian embassy also described the visit as “provocative”.
to its wise leadership, its government, people, military and responsible
resistance, Lebanon has become a force to be reckoned with in regional balances
where it has become a bulwark against the dictations of others and its enemies,
not allowing anyone any party to dictate wrong decisions to it.”
Iranian statement went on to boast Iranian-Lebanese cooperation.
Islamic republic will not spare any effort to cooperate with the valiant
Lebanese government and military, and the prideful resistance,” the statement
his official visit, Hale said after a meeting with the Lebanese Prime
Minister-designate, Saad Hariri, that the United States was pursuing “efforts to
counter Iran’s dangerous activities around the region, including the financing
and activities of proxy terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah.”
unacceptable to have a militia outside the control of the state and
unanswerable to all the people of Lebanon, digging attack tunnels across the
Blue Line into Israel, or assembling an arsenal of over 100,000 missiles with
which to threaten regional stability,” Hale said.
pledged continued support for the Lebanese military and security forces and
said that while Lebanon has the right to defend itself, “that is the right of
the Lebanese state alone.”
SYRIA: Opposition commander Adnan Abu Faisal and his army are encamped near the
frontline in northern Syria, waiting to launch an offensive on his home city of
they are not the ones who will decide whether to march on the strategically
important city, held for more than two years by Kurdish forces supported by the
decision will depend on Turkey, the main backer of Abu Faisal’s group, and on
how contacts evolve between Washington and Ankara over the US plans to withdraw
forces from Syria, a move set to reshape a major theater of the war.
US and Turkey are allies both in the NATO defense alliance and in the fight
against Daesh, but Ankara sees the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG)
forces that helped the US-led coalition drive Daesh out of Manbij in 2016 as a
YPG fear the US withdrawal will open the way for a threatened Turkish attack
into northern Syria, including Manbij, but US President Donald Trump has warned
Turkey of “economic devastation” if it goes ahead with the attack.
Faisal’s fighters are awaiting orders near Jarablus, a town held by Turkey and
its Syrian opposition allies about 35 km south of Manbij. The frontline in the
area runs through open farmland where wheat and corn are usually grown.
are ready with our forces ... for ‘zero hour’ to begin any military action,”
Abu Faisal, whose forces have more than 300 vehicles including pickup trucks
and armored vehicles provided by Turkey, told Reuters.
are going at full speed,” he said.
Faisal, 36, was an army captain before Syria’s civil war began in 2011 but
defected from the Syrian Army in 2012 to join the fight against Bashar Assad.
Faisal helped wrest control of Manbij from the Syrian Army early in the
conflict but fled when it was seized by Daesh in 2014 and has not set foot
there since then.
YPG have also left Manbij but retain influence over the Kurdish-allied groups
that hold the city 30 km from the border with Turkey.
lies near the junction of three separate blocks of territory that form spheres
of Russian, Turkish and, for now, US influence.
US military pullout will not only leave Kurds exposed to possible confrontation
with Turkey but will also open the way for the expansion of Russian and Iranian
sway into the areas that US forces will be leaving.
US military deployed into Syria as part of the fight against Daesh but
officials later indicated wider objectives included containing Iran, Assad’s
main regional ally.
last month, the YPG called on Assad’s forces to protect Manbij from attack by
Turkey. Syrian government forces, which are backed by Russia, answered the YPG
appeal by deploying outside Manbij.
Houthi fighters have been killed in Arab Coalition airstrikes on the Yemeni
governorate of Taiz, while 12 others were killed during clashes with the Yemeni
army on Wednesday.
of the Maqbanah front in Taiz, Colonel Hameed al-Khaleedi, said that “the
Yemeni army attacked several Houthi locations with artillery, killing 11 and
others were killed in five Arab Coalition airstrikes which targeted Houthi
locations, burning an arms-storage site.
President Mahmoud Abbas has denounced Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian
territories, as he assumes the chairmanship of the largest bloc of countries at
the United Nations.
made the remarks at a ceremony marking the handover of the chair of the Group
of 77 (G77) from Egypt to Palestine at the UN headquarters on Tuesday.
am pleased to take over today the chairmanship of the Group of 77 on behalf of
the Palestinian people and the State of Palestine,” he said. “It is a great
responsibility that the State of Palestine will bear with complete humility.
Group of 77, a coalition of 134 mainly developing countries and China, was
founded in 1964. It initially had 77 members, but currently represents some 80
percent of the world’s population.
his Tuesday's speech, Abbas blasted Israel for hampering the development in the
Middle East through its occupation policy.
continued colonization and occupation of the State of Palestine undermines our
development and capacity for cooperation, coordination and obstructs the
cohesive future development of all peoples of the region,” he said.
also stressed his commitment to a “peaceful solution” to the decades-long
Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which “brings an end to the occupation and the
realization of the independence of the state of Palestine with East Jerusalem
[al-Quds] as its capital.”
Palestinian president further condemned the scourge of terrorism “in all its
forms, colors, and types” regardless of who perpetrates it.
takes place worldwide on a daily basis. It is an epidemic and I therefore call
on all countries of the world to cooperate, to put an end to terrorism, to
uproot it,” he added.
officials hailed Palestine’s G77 chairmanship as a step towards the country’s
full UN membership.
Minister Riyad al-Maliki announced that Palestine is consulting with the UN
Security Council member states about its membership bid despite the US threat
to veto the measure.
moment we conclude the process, we will present the application,” he told US
television network CBS.
Saeb Erekat, the secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization
(PLO), described the Palestinians’ chairmanship of the G77 as a “historic step
that was made by the sacrifices of our people and their long struggle for
move, he added, “signifies the recognition of the international community of
Palestinian statehood and our right to self-determination. Despite the reality
under Israel’s military occupation, Palestine can play a significant role
within the global system. The Palestinian people have a tremendous potential to
share with the rest of the international community.”
November 2012, the UN General Assembly upgraded Palestine’s status from
“non-member observer entity” to “non-member observer state” despite strong
opposition from Israel.
then, the Palestinians have joined dozens of international organizations and
agreements as part of a campaign to garner support for the recognition of their
homeland as a sovereign state.
has announced a 460-km wide and 32-km deep buffer zone along the border with
Syria after reports of rising tension in the region, state-run Anadolu news
spokesperson Ibrahim Kalın said that Turkey would have control over the
proposed safe zone along Syria’s northern border.
Turkish media outlets quoted Turkish president Recep Erdogan as saying that an
agreement with the United States to set up a security zone along the country’s
spokesperson for Kurdish umbrella organization Movement for a Democratic
Society (TEV-DEM) said on Tuesday that Kurdish militia would not accept a
Turkish-controlled security zone in northern Syria, according to Kurdish news
that Erdogan had been voicing the same safe zone proposal for four years, Kalın
said this time the same idea was floated at the top levels of the current US
administration, according to Daily Sabah.
has positively responded to US President Donald Trump’s offer to establish a
32-km buffer zone, Kalın said but added that the details of the zone needed to
be worked out.
Anadolu said that the safe zone will include Syria’s locations to the north of
Raqqa and others to the north of a-Hasakah, passing through Sarrin, the north
Ayn Issa, Suluk, Ras al-Ayn , the north of Tell Tamer, Darbasiya, Amuda,
Qamishli , Wardiyah, Tell Hamis, Al-Qahtaniyah , Al-Yarubiyah and Al-Malikiyah.
northern towns of Shuyukh Tahtani, Ayn al-`Arab (Kobani), Tell Abyad,
al-Darbasiyah, Amuda, al-Qahtaniyah, al-Jawadiyyah and al-Malikiyah will fall
entirely inside the safe zone, it added.
line, on the West, begins from the edge of banks of Sajur River, located in the
east of Manbij, while central Manbij remains outside of the 32-km zone,
according to Ahvalnews.
United Nations Security Council has unanimously voted to authorize the
deployment of up to 75 observers to Yemen’s port city of Hodeidah for six
months to monitor the ceasefire.
unarmed monitors would be sent to Hodeida and its port along with the ports of
Saleef and Ras Issa for an initial period of six months.
port of Hodeida is the entry point for the bulk of Yemen’s supplies of imported
goods and humanitarian aid.
between the Yemeni government and Houthi militias last month in Sweden on
ending the devastating war led to an agreement on the observer force.
first group of about 20 monitors was authorized by the council last month to
begin work in Yemen, but their mandate expires on January 20.
British-drafted resolution calls on UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to
“expeditiously” deploy the United Nations Mission to support the Hodeida
Agreement (UNMHA), led by retired Dutch General Patrick Cammaert.
Saeed Mohammed, eight years old. Post bomb explosion, open fracture of the
tibia and fibula,” a woman reads from a piece of paper at a Doctors Without
Borders (MSF) hospital as the little girl lays in a bed, looking frail, and
top of that, Amarah is one of the 150 people treated by MSF in the port city of
Mocha alone who have encountered deadly Houthi landmines. According to the
organization, one third of those are children.
was looking after the sheep and playing in the fields,” her mother said.
“Several kids were injured or got killed in the explosion. People get injured
by landmines everyday.”
the cities of Taiz and Hodeidah, Houthi militias have planted thousands of
mines and improvised explosive devices.
to an MSF report titled “Trapped by mines”, the Houthis not only planted the
mines on roads and strategic infrastructures to cut-off an advance of the
Yemeni army and Arab Coalition forces in areas they have fled, but also plant
many on agricultural lands, like Mocha, which are the only source of income and
sustenance for many civilians in southwestern Yemen.
‘not once but twice’
45-minute drive from Mocha, the Mawza district has seen its population halved.
“People who live here are punished – not once, but twice. The mines not only
blow up their children but also prevent them from cultivating their fields.
They lose their source of income as well as food for their families,” Claire
Ha-Duong, MSF head of mission in Yemen, said.
report profiles several patients, including children, affected by the Houthi
militias’ often-used tactic of planting landmines across the southwestern
region of the country to fend off Arab Coalition forces from advancing toward
the strategic port city of Hodeidah.
farmer said he went to the fields eight months ago when a Houthi mine exploded
under him. “I found myself lying on the ground. My father picked me up and took
me to a hospital in Aden to get my leg treated.”
journey from Mocha to Aden takes approximately eight hours.
the father of a 14-year-old boy who had part of his leg amputated after
stepping on a mine told MSF that since the accident, they have been
apprehensive about walking in the fields around Mafraq Mocha. “We know mines
have been planted around the town, but the problem is we don’t know exactly
where,” he said.
Shiban, a Middle East and North Africa caseworker at the Reprieve human rights
organization, told Al Arabiya English that the Houthis have been using landmine
planting tactics since before the start of the conflict in 2012.
anyone has been following the (country’s) conflicts since 2012, you would know
it’s an ongoing Houthi strategy. I first came across the planting of mines in
huge amounts in my hometown of Hajjah in a tribal conflict with Houthis in
2012,” Shiban said. “Since then, I realized that it’s an effective way to
prevent people from coming back. This slows down any quick territorial losses
they suffered in conflict,” he added.
explained that this means that even if a group managed to push the Houthis out
of an area, it will slow down the settling in process, especially by villagers
the Yemeni army, according to the Yemen Executive Mine Action Centre, has
cleared 300,000 mines between 2016 and 2018 with the help from the Arab
Coalition and organizations like KSRelief, a lot more needs to be done.
the second week of December 2018, the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief
Center landmine clearance project (MASAM) in Yemen extracted 64 anti-personnel
mines, 1,430 anti-vehicle mines, 85 improvised explosive devices and 955
unexploded ordnances, which is a total of 2,534 mines.
MASAM was launched in June, 2018, a total of 26,609 mines planted by the
Iranian-backed Houthi militias in the territories, schools, and homes across
Yemen were removed.
according to the Supervisor General of KSRelief, Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, the
project – launched with an initial budget of $40 million with an aim to achieve
a landmine-free Yemen – still has to tackle a total of 600,000 mines planted in
liberated areas by the Houthi militias. This includes 130,000 internationally
banned sea mines, 40,000 mines in Marib and 16,000 mines on the island of Mayon
alone, according to local reports.
June of 2018, Al-Rabeeah confirmed that Houthi mines resulted in over 1,539
recorded deaths, injury for over 3,000 and permanent disability to over 900
Yemenis, mostly women, children and the elderly.
to a report by UK-based organization Conflict Armament Research (CAR), the use
of landmines and IEDs is a growing threat in Yemen, especially as their
investigation points to Iran’s hand at providing the Houthis with the necessary
and Radio Controlled Improvised Explosive Device (RCIED) employed by Houthi
forces continue to contain components that originate in Iran. The most recent
seizures of IED electronics reveal attempts to conceal their provenance,” the
CAR report, published in September 2018, read.
report also said that the problem of landmines and IEDS will continue “long
after the current phase of the conflict concludes.”
primary problem of the mines planted by the Houthis is that, not only are they
camouflaged and hidden, they are sometimes made to look like everyday items in
order to trick whomever may walk in its path.
Arabiya English previously reported how the Houthis had planted mines that
resemble the trunks of palm trees near the strategic Kilo 16 area in the
al-Hali district of Hodeidah, close to civilian areas. In another report,
coalition forces found mines randomly planted in roads and made to look like
ordinary rocks. Those landmines would be come to known as “death stones” by
even though Amarah faced the death stone firsthand, she is fighting to survive,
unlike many who couldn’t.
got shrapnel wounds and a penetrating abdominal wound,” Bernard Lemenager, an
MSF doctor, said. “We could repair the large intestine straight away but it
often doesn’t hold properly so the repair could leak and in turn cause
army soldiers, supported by allied fighters from Popular Committees, have
launched an attack against a military base in Saudi Arabia’s southwestern Jizan
region in retaliation for the Riyadh regime’s atrocious military campaign
against their impoverished homeland.
media bureau of Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement released video footage on
Tuesday, showing Yemeni troops and their allies targeting vehicles at Awjebah
base with a domestically-developed combat drone and a salvo of artillery
soldiers and Popular Committees fighters also fired a Zelzal-1 (Earthquake-1)
ballistic missile and several artillery rounds at the gathering of Saudi-paid
militiamen loyal to Yemen's resigned president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi east of
al-Nar mountain in the northern Yemeni province of Hajjah.
unspecified number of Saudi mercenaries were killed and injured in the process.
on Tuesday, Yemeni snipers shot and killed five Saudi border guards on the
outskirts of MBC mountain in Saudi Arabia’s Jizan region.
coalition violated Hudaydah truce over 470 times'
the spokesman for Yemeni Armed Forces says the Saudi-led military coalition has
on more than 437 occasions breached a UN-brokered truce in the strategic port
city of Hudaydah over the past 72 hours.
a press conference in the capital city of Sana’a on Tuesday, Brigadier General
Yahya Saree said Saudi troops and their mercenaries have lobbed a total of 316
mortar shells at various residential neighborhoods of Hudaydah during the
top Yemeni military official highlighted that the Saudi-led military coalition
carried out 63v airstrikes on different Yemeni regions over the past three
Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating military
campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the aim of bringing Hadi’s
government back to power and crushing the country’s Houthi Ansarullah movement.
to a new 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 around 56,000 Yemenis.
Saudi-led war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure,
destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN has already said that a
record 22.2 million Yemenis are in dire need of food, including 8.4 million
threatened by severe hunger. According to the world body, Yemen is suffering
from the most severe famine in more than 100 years.
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