Media Companies Must Probe Qatar Hate Preacher, Yusuf Al-Qaradawi
Home Ministry Steps In To Stop Damaging Religious Sermons
Says US Move to Blacklist JeM Chief ‘Setting Bad Example’
by Brunei's LGBT Community Ahead Of New Sharia Law
Claims ‘Resurgence’ Of Taliban in South Waziristan
Bride Shamima Begum Asks UK For A Second Chance
Give Muslims Tickets As They Don’t Believe In Us’: Karnataka BJP Leader
Has Done Nothing To Address Khashoggi Murder: Report
Arabia Compensating Khashoggi Children: Report
Rallies against Trump's Decision on Golan Heights Continue across Syria
Army Heavily Pounds Terrorists in Hama, Idlib
Army Launches Heavy Offensives against Kurds in Aleppo
SDF Blocks Syrian Gov't's Humanitarian Aid to Hasaka
attacks on checkpoints kill 8
leader in charge of media activities killed in Helmand airstrike
forces carried out multiple surprise attacks against Taliban in Arghanj Khwa:
envoy discuss outcome of Qatar talks with Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah
Freedom in Malaysia under Microscope
Religion and Rhetoric Ramp Up In ‘New Malaysia’
dress code in private sector still under study, says deputy HR minister
military courts cease to function
police, ANP leaders accused of trying to protect people behind Kohistan
envoy Zalmay Khalilzad to reach Pakistan today
Arabia executes two Pakistanis for drug trafficking
Kurz Condemns Islamophobic Attack In Austria
US F-35 equipment shipment to Turkey over Russia's S-400: Report
Arabia, UK conduct joint military exercises
leader congratulates Erdogan's local vote win
militant tried to replicate Pulwama attack, developed cold feet: J&K DGP
row over using F-16 jets against India, Pakistan military now says it was ‘self
considering additional Iran sanctions, perhaps in May
Supreme Court turns away families of dead USS Cole sailors in Sudan suit
Martin receives $2.5bn deal to forward US THAAD deal with Saudi Arabia
Army Kills 167 Houthis in Five-Day Firefight
AKP asks Turkey election board to settle row over Istanbul vote results
lose areas in Hodeidah’s Hais and Hajjah’s Abs
loosens restrictions on Gaza fishermen
US waging ‘economic terrorism’ against Iran
forces fatally shoot young Palestinian during West Bank raid
Troops Kill 16 ‘Boko Haram Terrorists’ In Lake Chad Area, MNJTF Says
over future of children orphaned by Boko Haram
protest demands ‘legitimate’ but caused deaths, says Al-Bashir
Bashir vows reform as protests enter 4th month
al-Shabaab leader surrenders to Somali justice
Says Al-Shabab Executed Three Kenyans in Somalia
by New Age Islam News Bureau
It is time for social media companies to get tough with Qatar-based Yusuf
Al-Qaradawi, experts on extremism have said, as the controversial cleric is
named in Arab News’ ongoing “Preachers of Hate” series.
media appearances spanning decades, notably on the Doha-based Al Jazeera news
channel, Al-Qaradawi have voiced his often extreme views, which have included
justifying suicide bombings, praising the Holocaust and authorizing attacks on
all Jews. He has also issued Fatwas (religious edicts) that demean women.
is for this reason that Al-Qaradawi was included in this newspaper’s “Preachers
of Hate” series, which analyzes extremist preachers from various religions,
backgrounds and nationalities.
his weekly show on Al Jazeera no longer airing, and a recent tweet in which
Al-Qaradawi claims that he is not a preacher of hate, experts say the renegade
cleric still has vast influence. Much of this is via social media, prompting
calls for action.
Lipowsky, senior research analyst at the Counter-Extremism Project (CEP), said
it was inappropriate for Qatar to have provided Al-Qaradawi with a media
platform on Al Jazeera. “It helped raise his profile, to expand his influence.
Even though he isn’t making as many appearances as he once did, his words still
matter and he still has influence,” Lipowsky said.
elevation and prominence given to Al-Qaradawi has enabled him to continue to
spread his views. We need to make sure these platforms are no longer
by the CEP, a non-profit organization that combats extremist groups, points to
Al-Qaradawi’s vast social media network.
Foundation has been advised to bring highly educated speakers under
Ministry of Home Affairs has made six recommendations in the wake of complaints
that religious sermons foment sectarianism, instigate social divisions,
denounce women who do not observe the hijab, and make derogatory comments about
members of the showbiz community.
home ministry has sent its observations to the Bangladesh Islamic Foundation,
the National Board of Revenue and all divisional commissioners across the
recommendations underline that those who deliver sermons and receive money
should be brought under the income tax network, and they must face the law if
their sermons contain seditious elements.
Islamic Foundation has also been advised to register highly educated speakers.
Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal told Bangla Tribune: “We receive regular
reports on what the religious sermons contain and worked based on the reports.”
to note, between March 19 and 23, Bangla Tribune published a series of reports
on religious sermons, questioning if they were being commercialized.
the third week of March, the political section of the home ministry released a
report identifying 15 speakers whose sermons were fomenting discord, sowing
seeds of radicalism, and encouraging an intolerant outlook on women’s
several occasions, the sermons used lines like: demolishing any statue is a
religious duty, Rabindranath Tagore is a heretic, a person loses faith by
befriending a non-Muslim, it is not right to place flowers at the Shaheed
Minar, democracy is outlawed in Islam, etc.
report further mentions that many of these damaging sermons are being
publicised through YouTube channels.
Mohammad Alam, research division director at Islamic Foundation, acknowledged
receiving the letter of recommendations from the ministry. “We have received
the letter and will decide the course of action in the next meet,” he said.
meeting was scheduled to be held on Monday (April 1) evening.
says US move to blacklist JeM chief ‘setting bad example’
by Sowmiya Ashok
the draft resolution put forth by the United States to blacklist
Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar at the United Nations, China on
Monday said that the US is “setting a bad example” and it will only
“complicate” the matter. “It is setting a bad example that will only complicate
the matter. It is also not conducive for peace and stability in South Asia.
China is opposed to this,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang
also said it was making “positive progress” by working with various parties at
the United Nations. “China has been maintaining close communication and
coordination with various parties and have made some progress,” Geng said. “We
hope various parties will meet each other halfway and continue to properly
solve this issue under the 1267 Committee framework,” he said.
the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ regular briefing here, Geng said UNSC
members had exchanged views on the US proposed draft resolution last Friday.
majority believes that efforts should be made to solve the issues under 1267
Committee framework. They are not in favour of forcing the draft resolution.
China has been working with various parties and is making positive progress,”
US knows that very well and yet, it insists on pushing the Security Council to
adopt the draft resolution. This cannot be justified and is not in accordance
with the rules and practices of the Security Council. It is setting a bad
example that will only complicate the matter. It is also not conducive for
peace and stability in South Asia. China is opposed to this.”
asked if the US is making haste in listing the issue to benefit India’s ruling
party, Geng reiterated that US behaviour was not consistent with rules and
practices of the Security Council. “The general election is a domestic affair
of India. We do not comment on that,” he added.
by Brunei's LGBT community ahead of new Sharia law
LUMPUR: As a transgender woman growing up in Brunei, Zoe saw the country’s
slide towards conservatism from an early age, so plans to introduce strict new
Islamic laws this week came as no surprise.
19-year-old, who was born male but identified as female from early childhood,
is now awaiting the outcome of her asylum application in Canada after fleeing
her country late last year.
before Sharia law, LGBT+ people could be prosecuted under civil law,” Zoe told
the Thomson Reuters Foundation, which is identifying her by only one name for
always been scared of living my life openly in Brunei. I still am. I still
think about how I present myself, because I was conditioned to survive.”
a Muslim-majority former British protectorate with a population of about
400,000, is due to implement Sharia laws from April 3, punishing sodomy,
adultery and rape with the death penalty, and theft with amputation.
laws, elements of which were first adopted in 2014, could see LGBT+ people
whipped or stoned to death for same-sex activity. Some aspects of the laws will
apply to non-Muslims.
knew it was going to happen,” said Zoe, who hopes to one day undergo hormone
therapy and formally change her name to the one she sometimes goes by.
oil reserves were dwindling and the sultan needed a way to control the economy
once he started to enforce taxes and reduce the high subsidies.”
Brunei Prime Minister’s Department did not respond to an emailed request for
comment on Monday.
does not hold elections and any discontent is assuaged with generous government
polices including zero taxes, subsidised housing, and free healthcare and
who is worried that her LGBT+ friends back in Brunei do not fully appreciate
how dangerous the situation will soon become, faces an uncertain future.
I get sent back to Brunei, I will confess who I am and what I believe in to the
Bruneian authorities,” she said.
rather die being true to myself than resenting a long life. I wish that Muslims
who want Sharia law just keep it with themselves and God. Not enforce it onto
Hassanal Bolkiah, 72, is the world’s second-longest-reigning monarch and prime
minister of oil-rich Brunei. He ranks as one of the world’s wealthiest people.
details of the new laws were announced, actor George Clooney and musician Elton
John are among celebrities who have called for a boycott of hotels owned by the
government-owned Brunei Investment Agency.
Australia, New Zealand and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human
Rights have all called on Brunei to abandon changes to its penal code.
is seriously regrettable that Brunei’s decision contravenes a number of
international norms on human rights,” New Zealand’s Foreign Minister Winston
Peters said in a statement on Sunday.
Woolfe, founder of human rights group The Brunei Project, said it was now very
unlikely that Brunei would backtrack, but diplomatic pressure from Asian
countries could help ensure the laws were not enforced fully.
want to see more Asian governments coming out and speaking out on this. They
have been too quiet,” said the Australia-based campaigner.
conservative attitudes prevail across Asia, with Myanmar, Malaysia and
Singapore banning sexual relationships between men, while Indonesia has seen an
increase in raids targeting LGBT+ people in recent years.
of the Association of South East Asian Nations, which did not respond to
requests for a comment, have a principle of non-interference in each others’
not aware of any Asian country having come out and said anything about these
laws,” said Woolfe.
which neighbours two Malaysian states on Borneo island, already enforces
Islamic teachings more strictly than Malaysia and Indonesia, the other majority
Muslim countries in Southeast Asia.
homosexuality was illegal in Brunei and punishable by up
10 years imprisonment, while the sale of alcohol is banned and evangelism by
other religions is forbidden.
Cristobal, project coordinator at OutRight Action International in Manila,
urged other Muslim countries in the region to put pressure on Brunei.
reality, Brunei will not succumb to pressure from countries that are not
Muslim-majority countries,” said Cristobal.
might say that other regions are imposing on Asia, so it would be good to see
other Asian nations condemn these barbaric laws.”
bin Shahrani Muhammad is a gay man who fled Brunei last year after being
charged with sedition for a Facebook post that was critical of the government.
seeking asylum in Canada, the 40-year-old was surprised at the speed with which
the new Sharia laws were being implemented.
expected it to happen, just not so soon,” he said. I thought there would be
more time for people like me in Brunei to realise that it’s better to leave.”
people in Brunei back the Sharia laws because of rising unemployment and crime,
death penalty has rarely been used in Brunei and the burden of proof needed to
secure a conviction for same-sex activities is very high, he added.
for LGBT+ people, the prospect of going to trial is terrifying, carrying the
risk of being the first person to be stoned, he added.
if exonerated, they face being stigmatised for the rest of their lives –
Cristobal said the new laws gave licence “for other people to see LGBTIQ
(people) as criminals and commit violence and abuse towards them.”
19, is a gay Muslim man living in Brunei who now fears for his future.
the added laws that affect the LGBTQ+ community, I am scared,” said Khairul,
who asked not to be identified by his real name for fear of reprisals. “My life
here will become more complicated and hard.
fear of dying has become a reality, while the hope of being accepted by family
is now just a dream.”-Reuters
claims ‘resurgence’ of Taliban in South Waziristan
The ‘resurgence of Taliban’ in South Waziristan tribal district echoed in the
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly here on Monday amid heated debate over the poor law
and order situation across the province, including merged districts.
lawmakers exchanged barbs over the increasing incidents of extortion,
kidnapping for ransom and child abuse, and the issues related to the Fata-KP
debate generally focused on the law and order situation in the province.
Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani presided over the session.
week ago, I went to South Waziristan and saw gun-toting good Taliban roam
around,” ANP parliamentary leader Sardar Hussain Babak told the house.
witnesses heated debate over security situation, Fata-KP merger
Babak questioned the existence of peace committees (aman committees) in South
alleged that members of the peace committees received 30 percent kickbacks in
the development work carried out in South Waziristan.
ANP leader added that the peace committees took Rs2.4 million from every truck
carrying goods from Afghanistan.
entire world has pressured Pakistan to eliminate proscribed organisations from
its soil, while the authorities have taken steps but despite that, the
activists of such outfits are delivering speeches and collecting donations in
mosques,” he said.
Babak wondered why the provincial government was silent about the brutal
assassination of the province’s police officer, SP Tahir Dawar, in Afghanistan,
who was kidnapped in Islamabad.
of the opposition Mohammad Akram Khan Durrani said the incidents of bomb blasts
had almost ended in the province but the rate of other crimes was on the rise.
a Peshawar High Court judge is not safe, how the people will be saved,” he said
while referring to the attack on Justice Ayub Khan on Feb 28 in Hayatabad.
criticised the provincial police for its failure to arrest the people involved
in extortion, kidnapping for ransom, robbery and child abuse cases.
Durrani criticised the government for merging Fata with KP ‘without
said thousands of Khasadar Force personnel had been protesting for many days
due to the uncertainty surrounding their jobs.
entire Khasadar Force will stage a big protest demonstration in Khyber on April
3,” he said.
opposition leader also drew the government’s attention towards the interference
of KP Governor Shah Farman in the affairs of the merged districts.
Fata-KP merger, the chief minister is the chief executive of merged districts
but despite that, the governor is chairing meetings regarding merged districts
in violation of the Constitution,” he said.
Durrani demanded of the government to explain position on the floor of the
house regarding that violation of the Constitution.
lawmaker Babar Saleem said the previous provincial government had delegated a
lot of powers to the police in the larger public interest but the police’s
conduct towards the people was unsatisfactory.
warned that police should improve their conduct otherwise the power given to
them could be withdrawn by amending the relevant law.
house also passed the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Promotion, Protection and Enforcement
of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill, 2019.
bride Shamima Begum asks UK for a second chance
bride Shamima Begum has asked to return to the UK after having her citizenship
revoked, saying that she regretted leaving her east London home at the age of
15 to travel to Syria.
her first interview since the death of her son, Ms Begum, 19, said she had been
brainwashed by online groomers and extremists.
I left Baghouz [in Syria] I really regretted everything I did and I feel like I
want to go back to the UK for a second chance to start my life over again,” she
told British newspaper The Times.
was brainwashed. I came here believing everything that I had been told while
knowing little about the truths of my religion."
Begum’s three-week old son Jarrah died of pneumonia in a refugee camp on March
10. Her husband Yago Riedijk, the child’s father, is a Dutch ISIS fighter who
is being held in a Kurdish detention centre in north-eastern Syria.
Begum was moved from a refugee camp near the village of Baghouz because of risk
to her safety.
Times said she was now staying in Al Roj at a smaller camp with about 600
people, and was being de-radicalised.
on having children in Syria, she told the paper: "I do regret having
children in the caliphate.
came thinking it would be a place of belonging where I could raise a family
safely. But it was not a place to have children.”
Sun reported on March 30 that Reiddijk had been banned from entering the UK.
The ban was imposed by British home secretary Sajid Javid weeks after Begum,
19, was stripped of her citizenship.
teenager has been heavily criticised for her comments in interviews, where she
defended the 2017 Manchester Arena terrorist attack and said she was unfazed by
the sight of severed heads.
stripping of Ms Begum’s citizenship sparked a debate in the UK. On March 12,
shadow home secretary Diane Abbott criticised Mr Javid and said Ms Begum's
child died as a result of her citizenship being revoked.
150 Britons have had their citizenship revoked since 2010.
British government has refused to repatriate foreign fighters' children from
Syria because of security concerns.
of Ms Begum’s child,British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt told the BBC’s Andrew
Marr Show: “We have to think about the safety of the British officials that I
would send into that war zone.”
other European countries, such as France, have repatriated several orphaned
children from ISIS camps in Syria.
give Muslims tickets as they don’t believe in us’: Karnataka BJP leader
BJP leader in Karnataka KS Eshwarappa has made a controversial statement
against Muslims days ahead of the Lok Sabha election 2019.
sends 28 members to the Lok Sabha and will go to the polls in two phases, 14
constituencies each, on
18 and April 23. The votes will be counted on May 23.
uses you only as a vote bank and doesn’t give you tickets. We won’t give
Muslims tickets because you don’t believe in us. Believe us and we’ll give you
tickets and other things,” KS Eshwarappa said on Monday in Karnataka’s Koppal.
was addressing the members of Kuruba and minority communities.
is not the first time that Eshwarappa, a member of the Kuruba backward caste,
has made a controversial statement against Muslims. He had alleged in January
last year that Muslims who are with the Congress “are killers”, while those
linked with the Bharatiya Janata Party are “good Muslims”.
who have killed 22 RSS and BJP activists are with the Congress and those who
are good Muslims are with the BJP. Muslims who are killers are with the
Congress,” the former deputy chief minister of Karnataka had said.
BJP will field its candidates in all the 28 Lok Sabha constituencies in
has done nothing to address Khashoggi murder: Report
months after the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, U.S. President
Donald Trump has still done nothing to hold those responsible accountable, The
Washington Post said Monday.
an opinion piece, the newspaper said it is widely believed that Khashoggi, a
contributor to The Post, was murdered on the order of Saudi Crown Prince
Mohammed bin Salman. Yet Bin Salman as well as the coordinator of the
operation, Saud al-Qahtani, have enjoyed freedom from repercussions.
October, Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, where he was subsequently
killed. After offering a series of changing narratives to explain what
happened, the Saudi government eventually admitted he had died there but blamed
the operation on a botched rendition attempt.
half a year after this heinous act shocked the world, it is worth taking stock
of what has been done in response — and what has not," The Post wrote.
bin Salman has jetted around the world, high-fiving Russian President Vladimir
Putin, getting chummy with China, and rubbing elbows with other world leaders
as part of a global tour to rehabilitate his reputation," it said.
newspaper, however, applauded efforts by the international community to condemn
the murder and call for action to be taken. Some 36 countries had united at the
UN Human Rights Council to condemn the killing and call on the Saudis to
cooperate with the investigation being conducted by the UN.
also offered its own rebuke, passing a resolution to end U.S. support for the
Saudi-led coalition's war in Yemen and repeatedly investigated and criticized
Washington's response to the murder.
Trump has taken a far different approach, according to The Post. The president
has shied away from criticizing the crown prince and taking any further action
against the kingdom other than placing sanctions on the 17 individuals the
Saudi government has said were responsible for the act.
this impotent response, Trump isn’t just violating the law. He is also
undermining the credibility and moral authority of the United States," the
six months cannot pass without accountability for this abhorrent crime. Justice
for an innocent journalist — and America’s most crucial interests — require
nothing less,” it added.
Arabia compensating Khashoggi children: Report
Arabia is compensating the children of slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi for his
murder, The Washington Post reported Monday.
of the children were given houses in Jeddah worth as much as $4 million apiece
as part of a preliminary settlement and they are also receiving monthly
payments, the Post reported.
Post said the five-figure payments that Khashoggi's two sons and daughters were
getting "are part of an effort...aimed in part at ensuring that they
continue to show restraint in their public statements about the killing of
newspaper cited current and former Saudi officials as well as members of
October, Khashoggi, a U.S. resident and contributor to the Post, entered the
Saudi consulate in Istanbul, where he was subsequently killed.
offering a series of changing narratives to explain what happened, the Saudi
government eventually admitted he had died there but blamed the operation on a
botched rendition attempt.
delivery of homes and monthly payments of $10,000 or more to each sibling were
approved late last year by King Salman as part of what one former official
described as an acknowledgment that 'a big injustice has been done' and an
attempt 'to make a wrong right'," it said.
children may also receive payments -- up to tens of millions of dollars apiece
-- as part of "blood money" negotiations with the Saudi government,
said the newspaper, adding that the Khashoggi siblings have refrained from
"any harsh criticism" of the Saudi kingdom.
to the Post, a Saudi official described the payments as consistent with the
country’s practice of providing financial support to victims of violent crime
or natural disasters.
official denied the suggestion that the Khashoggi family would be obligated to
support is part of our custom and culture," the newspaper quoted the
official as saying. "It is not attached to anything else."
has sought the extradition of the Saudi citizens involved in the killing as
well as a fuller accounting of the killing from Riyadh.
Saudi public prosecutor indicted 11 unnamed individuals in November last year,
and secret court hearings began in January.
large group of residents and activists in different cities and towns of
Quneitra, Sweida, Deir Ezzur, Homs and Damascus provinces poured to the streets
on Sunday to condemn Trump's measure.
said that Trump's remarks will not change the Arab-Syrian identity of the Golan
Heights, and urged the necessity for the liberation of the region as soon as
protestors also blasted the US-Israeli attempts to rise tensions and undermine
the Syrian nation and army's achievements in the war on terrorism, stressing
continued campaign against militants in occupied areas of Syria.
against Trump's decision have been underway for more than a week now. On
Sunday, the local population in Syria's Golan Heights held protest rallies to
deplore Trump's decision.
news agency reported that the residents of the villages of Majdal al-Shams,
Baqa'atha, Mas'adeh, Ain Qineh in occupied Golan rallied in Baqa'atha to blast
carried Syria's flag, chanting slogans against Trump's "illegal"
remarks and stressing the Arab nature of Golan.
protestors underlined continued resistance against the US-Israeli plots and
measures, saying that occupied Golan should be liberated and return to Syria.
last Monday formally recognized Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Golan
Heights, reversing decades of United State's policy. The announcement came as
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the White House in a trip.
Syrian army units targeted the terrorists' movements near the town of
al-Latamineh and Ma'arkabeh in Northern Hama towards military positions on Monday,
inflicting heavy damage on them and destroying their military equipment.
the Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper reported that the Syrian army troops
have repelled Turkistani terrorists' offensives from al-Hawijeh, al-Shariah and
al-Huwaiz in Sahl al-Qab region in Northwestern Hama on military points.
in Southeastern Idlib, the army troops targeted the militants' moves in regions
near Khan Sheikhoun and al-Khuwain, killing a number of them.
on Sunday, the Syrian army fended off offensives by Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay'at
(the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) terrorist group from the
demilitarized zone on Northern Hama and Southern Idlib.
Syrian army units targeted the moves of the terrorists who intended to
infiltrate into the army-controlled regions from the town of al-Latamineh in
Northern Hama with artillery and missile attacks, leaving several militants
dead and forcing others to retreat.
al-Watan newspaper reported that the Syrian army troops repelled Tahrir al-Sham
and other terrorist groups' offensives from al-Baneh, al-Sakhar and regions
near Kafr Zita towards military points in Northern Hama, inflicting heavy tolls
affiliated to militants reported on Sunday that a Turkish soldier was killed
and another was wounded in the Kurds' military attack against one of their
military bases near the town of Mar'e in Northwestern Aleppo.
the Kurdish-language Hawar News qouted sources in Afrin as saying that 3
Turkish soldiers were killed and 3 others were wounded in an operation against
the Turkish army in the village of Marimiyeh in Shara region in Afrin in
Northwestern Aleppo. Also, the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights
(SOHR) reported that the Turkish forces have targeted regions occupied by the
Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the villages of Zourmaqar in the Eastern
parts of Jarabulus in Northeastern Aleppo with heavy attacks.
added that the Turkish army also pounded with artillery fire the villages of
Tatamanrash and Shawareqah as well as areas near Marimin in Sharan region in
a relevant development last week, over 10 Ankara-backed militants were killed
and wounded in the Kurdish militias' military operations in Afrin and A'azaz
regions in Northwestern Aleppo.
Kurdish-language Hawar News reported on Friday that the Kurdish forces in
'Wrath of Olives' operations against the Turkish army forces and affiliated
militants destroyed the positions of Firqat al-Hamzeh terrorists in the village
of Juwaiq in the town of Afrin in Northwestern Aleppo, killing 6 people and
wounding at least 4 others.
Arabic-language al-Watan Online reported on Monday that the SDF has stopped a
convoy of the Syrian Red Crescent and Red Cross societies sent to the flooded
people in the villages of Tal Hamis and Tal Borak in Northern Hasaka from
entering the region, forcing them to return to Qamishli.
flash floods in regions occupied by Kurds in Northern Hasaka have destroyed
houses and taken a toll from the population.
field sources in Hasaka reported that the SDF has detained a number of
civilians in different districts of Hasaka city, including Tal Hajar, Qawiran,
al-Aziziyeh and al-Salehiyeh, with the aim of recruiting more fighters.
sources from Hasaka province reported last month that the rallies were held to
protest at SDF's incapability to supply the needs of people in the province.
The Taliban stormed checkpoints in northern and western Afghanistan,
killing at least eight members of the country’s security forces and in one
attack, setting off an hours-long gunbattle, provincial officials said as a US
envoy arrived in Kabul on Monday to push for peace talks.
to Zabihullah Amani, spokesman for the provincial governor in northern Sari Pul
province, five security forces were killed in an attack there in Sozma Qala
district that started late on Sunday night. The fighting lasted until Monday
morning and also left two troops wounded.
insurgents captured six soldiers before fleeing the scene and their fate
remains unknown, Amani said. The checkpoints were later retaken and the area
was brought under control once reinforcements arrived.
blamed the Taliban who are active in the province and have stepped up their
attacks on Afghan security forces.
least five Taliban militants including a local leader of the group who was in
charge of media activities were killed in an airstrike in southern Helmand
provincial government media office confirmed that the militants were killed on
Monday in Musa Qala district.
statement further added that the foreign forces carried out an airstrike
targeting a compound of Taliban in Musa Qala which left at least 5 militants
dead, including Hafiz Rashid, a local leader of the Taliban in charge of media
Taliban leader identified as Takai was also critically wounded in the
airstrike, the provincial government media office added in its statement.
anti-government armed militants including Taliban have not commented regarding
the airstrike so far.
Ministry of Defense of Afghanistan has announced that the Afghan armed forces
have carried out multiple surprise attacks against Taliban militants in Arghanj
Khwa district in northeastern Badakhshan province.
Afghan National Defense and Security Forces conducted many surprise attacks and
the Afghan Air Force carried multiple airstrikes on the Taliban positions in
Arghanj Khwa district,” the Ministry of Defense said in a statement late on
statement further added that “The terrorist Taliban have suffered heavy
control of Arghanj Khwa district of Badakhshan province fell into the hands of
Taliban militants late on Friday night.
envoy discuss outcome of Qatar talks with Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah
U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay
Khalilzad discussed the outcome of Qatar talks with the Chief Executive of the
National Unity Government Abdullah Abdullah.
Office of the Chief Executive in a statement said Chief Executive Abdullah met
with Ambassador Khalilzad in Sapidar Palace today, in the presence of the U.S.
Ambassador to Afghanistan John Bass.
statement further added that foreign minister Salahuddin Rabbani was also
present in the meeting during which Ambassador Khalilzad shared details
regarding the outcome of Qatar talks, his recent trips, progress, and existing
Khalilzad quoted in the statement said negotiations have taken place regarding
severance of Taliban ties with terrorists and timetable regarding the U.S.
troops exit from Afghanistan, insisting that no final agreement has been
reached in this regard so far.
also added that initiation of intra-Afghan talks, ceasefire, and a peace deal
to include the agreement of all Afghans, are among the main components of Qatar
Freedom In Malaysia Under Microscope
the end of March 2019, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), in
cooperation with the International Panel of Parliamentarians for Freedom of
Religion or Belief (IPPFoRB), published a new report scrutinizing the
protection and enjoyment of the right to freedom of religion or belief in
Malaysia. Malaysia may not be a state that comes to mind when one thinks of
restrictions on religious freedom or of religious persecution. Yet, as the
report clearly identifies, there are several challenges pertaining to the right
to freedom of religion or belief in the country that need to be addressed.
is a predominately Muslim country with 61.3% Sunni Muslim (data published by
the Malaysian Department of Statistics in 2010, up to date data is not
available). The remaining population consist of 19.8% Buddhist; 9.2% Christian;
6.3% Hindu; 1.3% adherents of traditional Chinese religions and 0.4% other
religions. Malaysia is also ethnically diverse. Religion and ethnicity have
always played an important role in politics and society. Indeed, as the report
confirms “Ethnicity and religion have often been utilized by political parties
to advance their agenda.”
Federal Constitution of Malaysia protects the right to freedom of religion or
belief, including religious manifestation by way of professing, practicing and
propagating one’s religious beliefs. Despite this, federal law favors the
Islamic faith over any other. Article 3 of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia
equips Islam with special and effectively privileged status within the country.
This has the potential to affect the enjoyment of the right to freedom of
religion or belief by other religious groups.
intolerance has been a pressing concern in Malaysia for some time now. The
issue was raised by the UN Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights,
following a visit to the country in September 2017. However, the situation in
Malaysia goes far beyond “religious intolerance.” Indeed, the report makes it
clear that many religious minorities face discrimination and persecution. Among
others, it identifies Shi’a and Ahmadiyah communities as targeted groups. The
report identifies six main challenges pertaining to the right of freedom of
religion or belief in Malaysia that are closely related to the special status
of Islam and the consequential disadvantaged position of other religious
discrimination against religious minorities; 2) limitations on the rights of
children relating to personal matters governed by Islamic law; 3)
discrimination against persons who wish to change or adopt a new religion; 4)
criminalization and prosecution of proselytism among Muslims; 5) and
prohibitions on the use of the word ‘Allah’ by non-Muslims; and 6) relationship
with freedom of expression and the crime of sedition.”
challenges are visible from the experiences of members of the Shi’a and
Ahmadiyah communities. Over the years, many Shi’a followers have been arrested
for merely attending closed religious gatherings. This treatment intensified noticeably
followed the fatwa issued in 1996 by the Fatwa Committee for Religious Affairs
recognizing Sunni Islam as “the permitted form of Islam in Malaysia, and
imposing a prohibition on the proselytism, promulgation or professing of Shi’a
beliefs, including the distribution of any electronic or print resources.”
Public criticism of the Shi’a community has been incorporated in official
public narratives. This has contributed to the negative experience of the
community. In 2017, the United Nations
Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, Karima Bennoune, indicated
that Shi’a communities are unable to worship freely and are subject to
“obstacles in carrying out rituals which are both cultural and religious.”
the Ahmadiyah community faces discrimination and persecution, themselves being
subject of several fatwas denying their rights or even declaring them as
infidels (“kafir”). As the report identifies, “the fatwa went further in
proclaiming that the state had a duty to ensure their conversion to Sunni
the fact that conversion to Sunni Islam is allowed, the opposite is a criminal
offence. The act of apostasy, broadly defined, is criminalized in state laws
with high fines or even prison sentences. In the state of Perak, for example,
apostasy is defined as “(a)ny Muslim who by his word or conduct whatsoever
intentionally claims to cease to profess the religion of Islam or declares
himself to be non-Muslim.” The crime carries the punishment of up to two years’
imprisonment or a fine of the equivalent of $730.
state of Pahang criminalizes the acts of “claiming to be a non-Muslim”, an
“attempt to leave the religion of Islam”, or “declaring to leave the religion
of Islam for any purpose.” The punishment includes “up to three years’
imprisonment, a fine of $1,218, or both, and to whipping of not more than six
strokes.” The report indicates that “state laws do permit the act of renouncing
Islam, though the implementation of these regulations in practice effectively
prevents a Muslim from leaving the religion.”
despite assurances of the right to freedom of religion or belief in the Federal
Constitution of Malaysia, Article 11(4) of the document has the effect of
limiting proselytism. The same can be achieved with Article 5 which restricts
acts that are contrary to “public order, public health or morality.” Indeed, in
one of the landmark cases on proselytism, Minister for Home Affairs and Another
v Jamaluddin bin Othman, a man was accused of being prejudicial to the security
of Malaysia for “allegedly distributing information on Christianity to Malays
and converting six Malays to Christianity.”
report made several important recommendations which are aimed at addressing the
challenges. Among others, the recommendation is for Malaysia to become a party
to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. By doing so,
Malaysia would be bound to adhere to the international standards on the right
to freedom of religion or belief (in Article 18) and the minority rights (in
Article 27). These, if adequately implemented, could improve the situation of
religious minorities like Shi’a and Ahmadiyah communities. Without it, there is
no hope that the situation will improve on its own.
religion and rhetoric ramp up in ‘New Malaysia’
recouping the Semenyih state legislative assembly seat, it comes as little
surprise that the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) and the
Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) are finally formalising their cooperation.
The implication of this is that political discourse will only regress further
to the right. The hardening of racial and religious divides on the back of
perceived Malay-Muslim victimhood is another consequence.
legislation the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government introduces will be scrutinised
through racially-tinted lenses. Policies perceived as affecting the interests
of Malay-Muslims can expect stronger challenges from now on. At best this would
come at the cost of significantly increased political effort to pass
much-needed reforms – at worst, it could see an increase in the wielding of
this new political landscape, UMNO are no longer shackled by the Barisan
Nasional consociational model of power-sharing and PAS are free to up the
stakes rhetorically. This collaboration will demand even more exclusivist
policies when it comes to the Malay-Muslim agenda.
UMNO and PAS this formalised collaboration also lends credence to its preferred
narrative. They can argue that Malay privilege and the special position of
Islam are only upheld through mutual cooperation of the Malay-Muslim political
parties on one hand and the broad unwavering support of the Malay-Muslim
electorate on the other.
presenting an image of Malay-Muslim interests being under siege by the other
parties, UMNO and PAS can expediently position themselves as defenders of
everything ‘Malay and Islam’ in an attempt to consolidate votes on racial and
novel in Malaysian politics, they mirror the same sense of impending victimhood
as the Democratic Action Party (DAP), a largely ethnically Chinese political
party now part of the PH coalition. The DAP pushed the appointments of
non-Malay-Muslims to the key positions of Attorney-General, Chief Justice, Law
Minister and Finance Minister.
political calculations for this are obvious.
constitute the largest voting bloc in Malaysia but no one political party has a
significant majority over another. The Malay electorate in the 2018 election
were split 25–30 per cent in favour of PH, 35–40 per cent towards UMNO–Barisan
and 30–33 per cent to PAS.
as Article 113(2) of the Constitution states, any re-delineation of
constituencies is only permissible after 8 years. The constituencies allegedly
delineated along racial lines just before the 2018 election will remain so
until the next election. Up for grabs then will be 134 out of the total 222
federal constituencies in Malaysia that have Malay majorities.
with the reality that the non-Malay electorate had almost completely repudiated
UMNO and Barisan Nasional (BN) in the previous general election, this cements
the case for UMNO to collaborate with PAS and jointly attempt to capture the
contrast, PH is constrained by its positioning as a multiracial coalition and
by DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang warning that his party will leave the newfound
coalition if the ideals of ‘New Malaysia’ are abandoned. The DAP commands 42
out of 125 of PH’s seats in the Dewan Rakyat, making up almost a third of their
is also the risk that even slight flirtation with any Malay-Muslim political
exclusivism could come at the expense of PH’s non-Malay vote base. This stood
at 95 per cent of Chinese voters and 70–75 per cent of Indian voters in the
to flirt with Malay political exclusivism will only rise further as UMNO and
PAS increase the stakes and rhetoric. PH ought to refrain from knee-jerk
reactions to appease the Malay electorate that play into the hands of UMNO–PAS.
Instead, PH should understand that Cameron Highlands and Semenyih have always
been traditional BN strongholds and not read too much into the results.
of now it remains uncertain how successful the UMNO–PAS collaboration will be,
and whether it poses a genuine threat to PH. In the meantime, PH should view
the current racial and religious groundswell as a manifestation of the Malays’
insecurities, and perhaps, how things have not changed for the better since the
unfortunate fact is that while GDP and foreign direct investment numbers matter
to some in urban bubbles, it means little to many at the grassroots if it does
not improve more direct ‘bread and butter’ issues such as high living costs,
stagnant wages and low employment opportunities.
meaningfully addressing this, the sense of victimhood felt by the Malay-Muslims
will only amplify, making it no wild stretch of imagination for the Malay swing
electorate to revert to the familiarity of UMNO and PAS in the next elections.
lies the foundation of any counter-narrative PH can offer to the electorate.
This counter-narrative also needs to be coupled with nation-building
initiatives to undermine the racial and religious bravado propped up by UMNO
and PAS that seeks to appeal to the baser instincts of race and religion.
LUMPUR, April 2 — The National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC) is still studying
the guidelines for a Muslim dress code in the private sector, Deputy Human
Resource Minister Datuk Mahfuz Omar said today.
said the council has gone through the proposals prepared by the Labour
Department and the Islamic Development Department Malaysia (Jakim).
issue is still being studied by the council and this has been ongoing before
Pakatan Harapan (PH) took over. The NLAC’s membership include unions,
government representatives, employees and workers.
decision will be made by the council,” Mahfuz told reporters in Parliament.
added that the NLAC has met many times since PH took over as government, unlike
the previous Barisan Nasioal administration, but did not reveal the frequency
of the meetings.
courts in Pakistan, set up in 2015 to help the government curb terror attacks,
have ceased to function following the expiry of their second two-year
term of these courts ended on Sunday but the Pakistan government has already
made the decision to give them another extension of two years, the Express
Tribune reported on Monday.
the government's decision lacks the support of opposition parties as it does
not have the required two-thirds majority in any of the two houses of the
Parliament to carry out the constitutional amendment for the purpose, the
is no official data available about the cases heard and tried by these military
courts. The National Assembly, however, was informed in November that the
military authorities had to decide 185 terrorism-related cases before the
expiry of their two-year term in March, according to Dawn online.
Minister Fawad Chaudhry said the government had decided to engage the
opposition to take it into confidence over the issue as without their support
the period of the military courts could not be extended.
the other hand, the Pakistan Peoples Party, which had previously taken a tough
stance on the issue and extended only conditional support to the previous
government of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz over the issue, is opposed to
giving an extension to the military courts to try civilians on terrorism
Minister Pervez Khattak said that the courts had over the past four years
decided 478 cases and sentenced 284 people to death out of which 56 had already
in 2015 resumed military trials for terror suspects and lifted a moratorium on
the death penalty after a Taliban attack on a Peshawar school in 2014 killed
150 people, mostly young students.
A human rights activist has accused the leaders of a former ruling party in
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the provincial police of trying to protect people
involved in the Kohistan killings case.
Farzana Bari was briefing the Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights which
held a hearing on the case at the Parliament House on Monday. The committee’s
meeting was chaired by Dr Jehanzeb Jamaldini.
Kohistan killings case came to light in 2011 when reports emerged that an
online video of a young man dancing before a group of teenage girls had led to
murder. Five girls in the audience, as well as the man who was dancing and his
two brothers, were allegedly murdered on the order of a jirga.
Afzal Kohistani, the brother of one of the boys, who was pursuing the case in
the Supreme Court was also murdered last month.
Bari told the committee that there were some missing links in the whole story
of the Kohistan killings case, adding that some members of the provincial
bureaucracy and politicians were colluding with each other to protect the
people behind the killings. “It is not only the KP police, but also leaders of
the Awami National Party (ANP) who have been instrumental in protecting the
killers,” she added.
the fear that she may also be harmed for pursing this case, Dr Bari said the KP
police should be held responsible if anything happened to her.
alleged that the ANP provincial government in 2012 had tried to play down the
matter. When then chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry
took a suo motu notice on the issue, senior police officers in KP informed the
Supreme Court that the girls seen in the video had not been murdered and that
they were alive.
Chaudhry had directed the then interior minister, Rehman Malik, to send a
mission to Kohistan for holding a meeting with the girls. “I was member of that
mission,” Dr Bari said, adding that other members of the mission were Bushra
Gohar, an ANP member of the National Assembly at that time; Mian Iftikhar, the
then KP minister; and Munira Abbasi, a sessions judge from Swabi.
Bari said that when the mission visited the area two girls were brought before
it and the provincial officials claimed that these were the girls seen in the
video. “I objected that these were not the ones seen in the video, but both
Bushra Gohar and the sessions judge stated that these were the same girls,” she
the then CJP had closed the case with the condition that it could be reopened
sent the pictures of the girls to a digital lab in the United Kingdom and its
result was that they have only 14 and 40 per cent face resemblance from two
girls seen in the video,” Dr Bari said.
case was reopened after the brothers of Afzal Kohistani were killed,” she said,
adding: “Afzal repeatedly asked for police protection before his murder last
the senators asked about the link between the five girls and Afzal, they were
informed that one of his brothers was also seen in the video.
Bari also raised questions over the investigation into the murder of Afzal
accused the KP police of trying to project the people involved in the murder.
committee directed the KP police to provide security to three other brothers of
Afzal who were now pursuing the case, as well as the police in other provinces
to ensure safety of Dr Bari.
United States Special Representative for Afghan peace process Zalmay Khalilzad
will reach Pakistan on Tuesday.
to official reports, Khalilzad will meet civil and military leadership of the
country to discuss recent updates on the reconciliation process of Afghanistan.
Monday, the US envoy reached Afghanistan seeking a peace deal with the Taliban
to end 17 years of war. He headed back to the region for a new round of talks
and scheduled to stay till April 10, the State Department said.
State Department did not confirm he would hold fresh talks with the Taliban but
said he would stop in Qatar, the usual location for negotiations with the
trip is “part of an overall effort to facilitate a peace process that brings
all Afghan parties together in inclusive intra-Afghan negotiations”, the State
emphasis on negotiations among Afghans comes as the Taliban refuse to sit down
for talks with the internationally recognised government of President Ashraf
Ghani, despite US appeals.
over the issue recently led to Ghani’s national security adviser telling
reporters in Washington that Khalilzad had not been transparent and accusing
the US envoy — who was born in Afghanistan — of harbouring personal ambitions
in his native country.
the US ambassador to Kabul, John Bass, also emphasized the role of Afghans.
deserve to make their own choices about peace, including where they are
prepared to compromise, where they are not prepared to compromise, & how to
mend differences,” Bass tweeted.
last negotiations between Khalilzad and the Taliban closed on March 12 in Doha
and appeared to make headway.
outline of a deal is expected to see the United States withdrawing from
Afghanistan in return for the Taliban promising not to let the country be used
by foreign extremists — the reason for the US attack following the 9/11
Donald Trump has voiced impatience with continuing America’s longest war and
late last year ordered the withdrawal of half the 14,000-strong US troop
State Department said Khalilzad would also visit Belgium, Britain, Jordan and
Uzbekistan as he seeks global support for a peace deal.
Arabia’s interior ministry said four people were executed on Monday for drug
trafficking, including one woman, bringing to 53 the number of people put to
death this year.
Pakistani men, a Yemeni man and a Nigerian woman were executed in the holy city
of Makkah, the ministry said in statements carried by the official Saudi Press
people have been executed in the kingdom since the beginning of the year,
according to a count based on official data released by SPA.
ultra-conservative kingdom has one of the world’s highest execution rates, with
those convicted of terrorism, homicide, rape, armed robbery and drug
trafficking facing the death penalty.
experts have repeatedly raised concerns about the fairness of trials in the
kingdom. The government says the death penalty is a deterrent for further
Kurz condemns Islamophobic attack in Austria
Chancellor Sebastian Kurz on Monday condemned a verbal and physical Islamophobic
attack on Muslim woman.
sickening attack, which I condemn in the strongest possible terms,” Kurz wrote
on Twitter, sharing a report which included video taken by the Austria-born
Muslim woman who was attacked by an elderly Austrian woman.
#Österreich [Austria] we stand for a respectful and peaceful coexistence of all
religions!” he added.
many social media users criticized Kurz’s tweet saying the far-right government
was responsible for the rising Islamophobia in the country.
citizens, especially non-governmental organizations, also condemned the attack
on social media and showed solidarity with the victim.
discriminatory, anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim policies of the far-right
government in Austria, which had been in power for over a year, led to a
dramatic increase in racist incidents, according to reports.
United States has stopped shipment of equipment for F-35 equipment to Turkey
over the country’s defensive cooperation with Russia, a report says.
cited two unnamed sources in a report Monday, suggesting that the Turkish
officials had been notified about the matter by their American counterparts “in
next shipment of training equipment, and all subsequent shipments of F-35
related material, have been canceled,” read the report citing sources speaking
on condition of anonymity.
has said the S-400 Triumph air defense system will be delivered by Russia
despite the US pressure on the NATO member.
contract with Russia on S-400s remains in force and these defensive systems
will be delivered to Turkey. Now talks on this issue are underway,” Turkish
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said, according to Russian media.
to multiple reports, the production has been estimated to be completed in May
for subsequent delivery to Turkey in July.
are not going to sell S-400s to third countries. We do not need this as we are
acquiring them for our own needs," Cavusoglu reportedly said.
foreign minister is scheduled to take part in a summit for the North Atlantic
Treaty Organization in the US this week.
and British military forces have begun holding joint exercises in the kingdom’s
northwestern region, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Monday.
"Desert Soldiers 3", the exercises are aimed at enhancing
participants’ fighting capabilities and combat readiness, according to the SPA.
months have seen a plethora of joint military drills in the Arab Gulf region,
including the “Bright Star” wargames (held in Egypt last September); “Arab
Shield 1” (held in Egypt last November); and “Peninsula Shield” (held in Saudi
Arabia in February).
President Aleksandar Vucic congratulated his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip
Erdogan for his party's victory in the local elections on Sunday.
called Erdogan after early unofficial results were released showing the Justice
and Development (AK) Party won nearly 45 percent of the vote in local
president said he looked forward to continuing cooperation between the two
countries as Serbia attached great importance to its "true
friendship" with Turkey, and is committed to good and solid bilateral
would remain a reliable partner to Turkey and the two countries would further
develop political relations and expand economic and all other forms of
cooperation with mutual understanding and respect, he added.
also said he anticipated Erdogan's next visit his country to commemorate the
140th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Belgrade and Ankara, and to
discuss concrete projects.
and Kashmir’s Director General of Police Dilbag Singh on Monday night said that
a would-be Hizbul Mujahideen “suicide bomber” tried to repeat Pulwama-like
attack on a CRPF convoy in Ramban on March 30.
Amin, the suspect, was arrested Sunday night and has confessed to his crime,
Singh said at a press conference here late evening. Amin is said to be from
Shopian in South Kashmir.
CRPF convoy from Srinagar to Jammu had a narrow escape when a Santro car
exploded at Tethar, seven kms from Banihal in Ramban district on March 30.
car explosion around 10:30 am had slightly damaged a CRPF bus and there was no
loss of life or injuries to the CRPF personnel.
DGP said that following the car explosion, police along with security forces
launched investigations during which an unexploded IED was recovered.
driver of the car had escaped from the spot but police carefully worked on the
clues. The dots were professionally connected with the help of FSL experts. We
also recovered a tabeez (talisman), a half burnt pullover on the trail from
where the suspected terrorist had escaped.”
had also recovered some items like LPG cylinders, IED, petrol, urea and sulphur
near site of the blast during the investigations.
said that soon after the incident, check posts were put up on the
Jammu-Srinagar highway and based upon leads a dossier of the suspected militant
Amin was probably hiding in the vegetation adjoining the highway and last
evening he came on the highway and took lift in a Kashmir-bound tipper truck,”
alert policemen and security personnel nabbed him at a check post Sunday night
near Ramban while he was trying to flee back to Valley.
also found burn marks on his body, which suggested that he sustained them in
the first explosion. He confessed that he was a suicide bomber but it appeared
that the mechanism was not foolproof and the second blast could not be
triggered,” said the DGP.
first blast that was minor in intensity, Owais, alias Musaib Jihadi and Huzaifa
probably changed his mind and fled from the spot, said the DGP.
owes his allegiance to Hizbul Mujahideen and now we are trying to extract other
details from him like who were his handlers, how he managed to reach Tethar and
how and where his car was fabricated,” said Singh.
February 14 a Jaish-e-Mohammed suicide bomber Adil Mir had rammed his explosive
laden car in a CRPF convoy at Pulwama killing over 40 personnel.
has been learnt that investigators found a suicide note from the blast site,
according to which, Owais wanted to carry out a Pulwama-type terror attack on
the CRPF to avenge the “atrocities” committed by “Bharat” against the people of
claiming for weeks that Islamabad had not used US-manufactured F-16 fighter
jets in its attempted counter-strike against India, the Pakistan military
appeared to change its stance on Monday and insisted that Islamabad had the
right to use any fighter jet in its “legitimate self defence”.
had so far claimed that its air force had only used the Chinese JF17 jets in
its action against India, not the US-made F-16. It also claimed that its
fighter jets shot down two IAF jets. India has contested Islamabad on both
officials believe Islamabad had to tweak its stand in face of mounting evidence
with New Delhi and Washington that had nailed Pakistan’s claims.
Times had last week reported on the evidence that India had shared with the US
including call signs associated with PAF F-16s and specific details of the
AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air To Air Missile (AMRAAM) used by the intruding
a statement on Monday evening, the Pakistan military attempted a partial course
correction to the narrative that it had been articulating since the February 27
this, the military’s Inter Services Public Relations statement on Monday said
the JF17 jets of the Pakistan Air Force had carried out the 27 February strikes
on Indian targets from within Pakistan airspace.
when 2 Indian jets crossed LOC they were shot down by PAF. Whether it was F16
or JF17 which shot down 2 Indian aircrafts is immaterial. Even if F-16 have
been used as at that point in time complete PAF was airborne including F16s,
the fact remains that Pakistan Airforce shot down two Indian jets in self
defence,” the Pak military’s ISPR statement said.
denial on use of the F-16 fighters is linked to the condition imposed by the
United States that the fighter jets will not be used in aggression against any
other country, but only in the war against terror.
US government is considering additional sanctions against Iran that would
target areas of its economy that have not been hit before, a senior Trump
administration official told reporters on Monday.
official said the administration aimed to follow through with new sanctions
around the first anniversary of the US withdrawal from a 2015 nuclear deal
between Iran and several world powers, which President Donald Trump announced
just want a continued chilling effect,” the official said.
added: “We want businesses to continue to think doing business with Iran is a
terrible idea at this point.”
announced last May that the United States would pull out of a 2015
international agreement designed to deny Tehran the ability to make nuclear
weapons and he ordered sanctions be imposed again on the country.
deal, agreed by the United States, France, Britain, Germany, Russia, China and
Iran, sought to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear bomb in return for the
removal of sanctions that had crippled its economy.
official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the administration hoped to
take the additional measures in the coming weeks.
more we can do around the anniversary, the better,” the official said, while
adding that it takes time to put such sanctions together and that the US
Treasury Department was working on them.
of the tools the United States has employed includes sanctions on oil imports
from Iran. Washington has granted waivers to eight Iranian oil buyers, but
could change that.
official said the United States had the ability not to give those waivers at
all. “That, I think, is where we’re headed,” the official said.
the number of waivers would limit oil exports from Iran, the fourth-largest
producer in OPEC.
United States set an earlier target of driving Iranian oil exports to zero, and
the official said that goal had not changed.
domestic oil production would help offset such a change, the official said.
India, Japan, South Korea and Turkey are likely to be given waivers after they
expire in May that could cap Iran’s crude oil exports at about 1.1 million
barrels per day, US-based analysts at Eurasia Group said earlier this year.
That would remove Italy, Greece and Taiwan from the current waivers list.
Supreme Court on Monday turned away a bid by family members of 17 US sailors
killed in the 2000 al-Qaeda bombing of the Navy destroyer USS Cole to collect
some $35 million in damages from Sudan for its alleged role in the attack, six
days after also ruling against Americans injured in the attack.
justices declined to hear the relatives’ appeal of a lower court decision in favor
of Sudan. The Richmond, Virginia-based 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled
that the lawsuit had not been properly initiated in 2010 because the claims
were sent to Sudan’s embassy in Washington instead of directly to its foreign
minister in Khartoum, the African country’s capital.
high court last Tuesday ruled that the improper mailing violated the Foreign
Sovereign Immunities Act, a US law governing when foreign governments may be
sued in American courts, tossing out more than $314 million in damages from
Sudan for a group of injured sailors and their spouses.
Donald Trump’s administration sided with Sudan. It said the United States
rejects judicial notices at its embassies abroad and that allowing notices to
be sent to a foreign embassy in Washington could harm US foreign relations and
American treatment in foreign courts.
Virginia lawsuit included 56 spouses, siblings, parents and children of the 17
Americans killed in the Cole attack. They accused Sudan of providing material
support to al-Qaeda terrorist group, including funding and training, that
helped facilitate the bombing.
has denied the allegation.
October 12, 2000, two men in a small boat detonated explosives alongside the
Navy guided missile destroyer as it was refueling in the southern Yemeni port
of Aden, killing 17 sailors, wounding more than three dozen others and blasting
a gaping hole in its hull. The vessel was repaired and later returned to full
bombing came 11 months before al-Qaeda’s September 11, 2001, attacks on the
relatives sued under the 1976 Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, which generally
bars suits against foreign countries except those designated by the US as a
sponsor of terrorism, as Sudan has been since 1993.
did not defend against the claims in court. In 2014, a trial judge found that
Sudan’s aid to al-Qaeda “led to the murders” of the 17 Americans and awarded
the families about $35 million, including $14 million in punitive damages.
then sought to void the judgments, arguing that the lawsuit was not properly
served on its foreign minister, violating notification requirements under US
and international law.
US Department of Defense has awarded arms manufacturing giant Lockheed Martin
Corp a $2.5 billion contract to produce Terminal High Altitude Area Defense
(THAAD) missile systems for Saudi Arabia, as part of President Donald Trump’s
extensive arms deals with the oil-rich kingdom.
Martin Corporation Missiles and Fire Control [of] Dallas, Texas is being
awarded a $2,457,390,566 modification… contract for the production of THAAD
interceptors… to support the US government and the Kingdom of Saudi
Arabia," the Pentagon said in a press release on Monday.
November last year, Saudi and American officials signed an agreement for the
sale of 44 THAAD launchers, missiles and related equipment to Riyadh worth $15
Pentagon said the Saudi government would pay $1.5 billion of the $2.4 billion
proceeded with the deal despite international outrage over the role of Saudi
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a
Saudi critic who lived in the US and disappeared after entering the Saudi
consulate in Istanbul on October 2.
THAAD is built and integrated by Lockheed Martin, America’s biggest arms maker.
The advanced weapon is designed to shoot down short-, medium- and
intermediate-range ballistic missiles using advanced detection radars designed
by Raytheon, another US arms maker.
the new deal, the Pentagon will upgrade obsolete systems in Saudi Arabia’s air
defense infrastructure to better integrate the THAAD technology.
deal comes as Riyadh continues negotiations to purchase advanced Russian S-400
missile defense systems much to Washington’s despise.
and Riyadh entered formal discussions for THAAD in December 2016.
his first trip to Saudi Arabia in 2017, Trump signed a $110 billion arms deal
with the Saudis, with options to sell up to $350 billion over a decade.
Facilitated by Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, the massive
package includes missiles, bombs, armored personnel carriers, combat ships,
THAAD missile systems and munitions.
welcomed the deal back then, saying, “we are proud to be part of this historic
announcement that will strengthen the relationship between the United States
and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”
approval for the THAAD missile system sale was given in 2017.
discussed the sale in a late September 2018 phone call with Saudi King Salman,
according to Saudi sources.
US has already supplied the advanced missile system to the United Arab
Emirates, Saudi Arabia's neighbor and staunch ally. The system has also been
deployed to South Korea to allegedly address US regional allies' concerns about
a possible strike by North Korea.
Israeli forces complete joint THAAD drill
was reported on Monday that Israeli and American forces had wrapped up a five
week-long test of the missile system in the occupied Palestinian lands.
drill began on March 4 and involved some 250 US officers and soldiers who
trained with 15 Israeli Air Force personnel trained at the Nevatim Airbase on
quickly deploying the missile system in Israel.
Gen. Andrew J. Rowling, Deputy Commander of the US Army in Europe, told Israeli
media that the drill sought to test US troops' ability "to rapidly deploy
a THAAD system thousands of miles across the globe, and then integrate into one
of the most complex missile defense architectures in the world.”
was the first deployment of THAAD to Israel, where it is slated to add a new
layer to the regime's missile network.
of the missile prowess of Lebanese and Palestinian resistance groups as well as
Iran’s arsenal of powerful ballistic missiles, the Tel Aviv regime has so far
spent billions of dollars on developing a range of different anti-missile
Israeli military currently employs the short-range Iron Dome, the
exoatmospheric Arrow system and the David's Sling anti-missile system to
counter incoming attacks. Initial trials, however, have raised doubts about
his first trip to Saudi Arabia in 2017, Trump signed a $110 billion arms deal
with the Saudis, with options to sell up to $350 billion over a decade.
Facilitated by Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, the massive
package includes missiles, bombs, armored personnel carriers, combat ships, THAAD
missile systems and munitions.
army kills 167 Houthis in five-day firefight
The Yemeni army killed 167 Houthi militants during the five-day clashes in the north
of Al-Dhale province, Saudi news agency SPA reported on Monday.
Houthi field commander also died during the clashes, and a 100 of the militia
militants are abusing the financial and legal situation of Somalis and
recruiting them to fight in some of their fronts.
outcome of mayoral elections in Turkey’s second-largest city of Istanbul
remains in doubt as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling party is
challenging the initial results, which gave the main opposition party a slight
lead in one of the economic hub’s tightest election races in decades.
elections were held across Turkey on Sunday. Erdogan’s alliance led by the
ruling Justice and Development Party, known as AKP, succeeded in securing over
51 percent of the vote nationally, leading him to declare an overall victory.
AKP, however, suffered a major upset as results showed it had lost not only the
political center, Ankara, and the third-largest city of Izmir, but also
probably Istanbul, which is Turkey’s commercial center and Erdogan’s home city.
and his AKP had not lost a local election in Ankara or Istanbul in nearly two
of Monday afternoon, with over 99 percent of the ballots cast in Istanbul
counted, the AKP’s candidate and former prime minister Binali Yildirim, had
received 4.13 million votes, while Ekrem Imamoglu, the Republican People’s Party
(CHP) candidate, had won 4.16 million.
chairman of Turkey’s Supreme Election Board (YSK), Sadi Guven, said on Monday
that Imamoglu was leading by nearly 28,000 votes with most ballots counted.
far a total of 31,102 ballot box results [in Istanbul] have been registered to
the system, 84 ballot box results have not been concluded because of
objections,” he said.
CHP’s candidate claimed victory in the Istanbul elections and urged the AKP not
to resort to unnecessary means to challenge the outcome.
– who had initially said that he had won the race by around 4,000 votes --
admitted later that he was 25,000 votes behind Imamoglu.
there is an important detail here. The number of canceled votes is 319,500.
This is important as this figure is 10 times more than the gap between us,” the
AKP candidate said. “I will congratulate him if the election board YSK
announces him as the winner but I must note that the counting process is still
Senocak, AKP's Istanbul provincial head, said that his party had “plenty of”
evidence showing “irregularities” in the vote, which had an impact on the
of the ballots for Binali Yildirim were wrongfully recorded for CHP’s candidate
Imamoglu. There are serious irregularities that may change the election results
and AK Party is ready to prove them all,” he said.
Sezgin Tanrikulu, a CHP lawmaker from Istanbul, said that although Imamoglu had
won the race in Istanbul, the election board was now waiting for the objection
period to end to declare the official winner.
have been complaints about certain ballot boxes. Legally, the party objecting
should show a valid reason in doing so over each particular ballot box.
Therefore, the number of boxes votes will be recounted in is limited,” he told
Al Jazeera. “The government should respect the results.”
the AKP announced plans to ask the Supreme Election Council to resolve the row
over invalid votes both in Istanbul and Ankara.
at a press conference early Tuesday, AKP spokesman Omer Celik said that the
appeal process is meant to remove irregularities in the election results.
[appeal] process is legitimate. Everyone should respect it,” he added,
emphasizing that there are discrepancies between reports from polling centers
and vote counts for Ankara and Istanbul.
the AKP has secured an overall victory over its rivals, the results of Sunday’s
elections – which Erdogan had framed as a matter of “national survival” -- are
widely seen as a major setback for the president, who first rose to power after
serving as an Istanbul mayor, and a stinging blow to his 16-year-old rule.
election losses appear to be partially rooted in the country’s economic
downturn. Turkey’s currency, the lira, has been losing its value recently.
National economy slipped into recession in the last three months of 2018 amid
public discontent with rising inflation and unemployment rate.
Yemen’s army forced Iran-backed Houthi militia to retreat from areas in Hais,
south of Hodeidah province, Saudi state-news agency SPA reported on Sunday.
militants have been trying to infiltrate Hais since Saturday midnight but the
government forces, supported by the Arab Coalition, forced them to flee, an
army source said.
the Houthis stormed into a village in Abs district northwest of Hajjah and
abducted a civilian, local sources said.
loosened restrictions on fishermen off the blockaded Gaza Strip on Monday by
allowing them to travel up to 15 nautical miles into the Mediterranean, the
largest distance in years.
decision comes after Hamas, the group that rules Gaza, said it had been engaged
in Egyptian-brokered talks with Israel on easing parts of the blockade in return
has not commented on the negotiations. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is
widely seen as wanting to avoid a severe escalation in the Gaza Strip ahead of
April 9 Israeli elections.
fishing zone in the Gaza Strip has been expanded to a maximum of 15 nautical
miles (28 kilometers),” said COGAT, the Israeli defense ministry unit that
oversees such regulations.
did not say in which areas the zone would extend to 15 nautical miles. Israel
has in the past extended the distance in certain areas but not others.
distance is the largest allowed in years by Israel, which has blockaded the
enclave for more than a decade, said Miriam Marmur, spokeswoman for Gisha, an
NGO that monitors restrictions on Gaza.
however noted that it remains short of the 20 nautical miles agreed to under
the Oslo accords of the 1990s.
distance has fluctuated in recent years from between three nautical miles up to
12 in certain areas.
late February, Israel extended part of the zone to 12 nautical miles while
other areas remained at six.
Sunday, Israel reopened its goods and people crossings with the Gaza Strip
after having kept them closed for nearly a week following a rare long-distance
rocket strike from Gaza. Restrictions had also been placed on the fishing zone
after the rocket.
rocket fire wounded seven Israelis and led to Israeli retaliatory strikes
across the Gaza Strip, another serious flare-up between the two sides.
reopening of the crossings came after tens of thousands of Palestinians
protested along the Gaza border with Israel on Saturday, marking the one-year
anniversary since demonstrations and clashes erupted there.
foreign minister says the US is waging “economic terrorism” against the Islamic
Republic by employing restrictive measures that are troubling the relief efforts
targeting flood-stricken people across the country.
Javad Zarif tweeted the remarks on Monday, saying the sanctions are “impeding
aid efforts by Iranian Red Crescent to all communities devastated by
unprecedented floods. Blocked equipment includes relief choppers.”
image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter
‘s "maximum pressure"—flouting UNSC Res 2231 & ICJ ruling—is
impeding aid efforts by #IranianRedCrescent to all communities devastated by
unprecedented floods. Blocked equipment includes relief choppers: This isn't
just economic warfare; it's economic TERRORISM.
AM - Apr 2, 2019
people are talking about this
Ads info and privacy
isn't just economic warfare; it's economic TERRORISM,” he added.
United States under President Donald Trump left a multi-lateral nuclear deal
with Iran in 2017. It later returned the sanctions that had been lifted under
also reminded that the economic restrictions, which Washington is deploying
against Tehran under the banner of “maximum pressure” is “flouting UNSC Res
2231 & ICJ ruling.”
nuclear accord, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, has
the UK, France, Russia, China, and Germany as its other signatories. It was
ratified in the form of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution
2231 after conclusion in Vienna in July 2015.
October 2018, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the UN’s principal
judicial organ, ordered in response to a lawsuit filed by Iran that the United
States had to halt the unilateral sanctions it has re-imposed on
refusal to relieve its bans comes as countrywide flooding, unleashed by heavy
downpours on Iran since March 19, has killed scores of people and has pushed
relief and rescue organizations to the utmost.
day earlier, Zarif had said that Trump was grasping "at every straw"
to portray his failed policies on Tehran as a success. "Only thing proven
is that he rejoices over the misery that he thinks he has imposed on ordinary
Iranians,” the top diplomat tweeted.
is grasping at every straw to portray his failed Iran policy as a success. Only
thing proven is that he rejoices over the misery that he thinks he has imposed
on ordinary Iranians. Like his predecessors, he will learn that Iranians never
submit to pressure.
PM - Mar 31, 2019
people are talking about this
forces have shot and killed a young Palestinian during a pre-dawn raid against
a refugee camp north of occupied Jerusalem al-Quds.
Palestinian Wafa new agency cited local sources as saying that the regime’s
forces stormed the refugee camp in the occupied West Bank village of Qalandiya,
which sits between Ramallah and Jerusalem al-Quds, in the early hours of
Tuesday to make arrests there.
the raid, the soldiers fired at a Palestinian vehicle that was passing by on
al-Matar Street, killing its driver, identified by the Palestinian Health
Ministry as Mohammad Ali Dar Adwan, a 23-year-old resident of the camp.
other Palestinians also sustained injuries when the Israeli troops opened fire
on a group of locals protesting the raid, Wafa added.
Aviv’s forces detained three Palestinian brothers ransacking their home in the
refugee camp, according to Wafa.
Israeli army also said there was a “riot” during an operation in the nearby
Kufr Aqab area, and “rocks and explosive devices were hurled at the troops, who
responded with fire.”
forces regularly storm Palestinian towns in the occupied West Bank to make
arrests, in raids that frequently prompt clashes with locals.
Troops kill 16 ‘Boko Haram terrorists’ in Lake Chad area, MNJTF says
from the regional Multinational Joint Task Force killed 16 Boko Haram fighters
including a commander, in the Lake Chad area of Nigeria’s Borno state, the
MNJTF said in a release.
the weekend, troops deployed with Operation Yancin Tafki were conducting
clearance operation in the Kerenoa – likely meaning Kirenowa – area when
“contact was made with Boko Haram Terrorists at Andakar Camp,” Colonel Timothy
Antigha, the MNJTF’s Chief of Military Public Information, said in the Sunday,
March 31 release that included graphic images of dead bodies.
firefight followed and 16 militants including Malloum Moussa, who Antigha
described as “a high ranking Boko Haram Commander,” were “neutralized,” a term
commonly used to mean killed by security forces. Five technicals were destroyed
and one woman “whose relationship with the terrorists is yet to be determined”
said Moussa had “jurisdiction” over the southern Lake Chad area including
around Daban Masara, Kirta Wulgo and Koleram, and that he was “notorious for
imposing hefty levies on farmers, fishermen and cattle herders.”
MNJTF, which comprises troops from Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria, launched
Operation Yancin Tafki on February 21. Antigha said it is aimed at “making
islands and other settlements in Lake Chad untenable for Boko Haram
have been conducted in Nigeria and Niger as part of the operation.
March 9, seven Nigerien police and 38 militants were killed near Gueskerou in
the Diffa region, according to Niger’s defense ministry. The MNJTF said in a
statement that “27 terrorists” were killed.
the border in Nigeria on March 12, aircraft from Nigeria, Niger and Cameroon
supported by MNJTF ground troops killed 33 ISWA militants around Tumbun Rego
and Arege, the regional force said. Aircraft from Nigeria, Niger and Cameroon
were involved in those actions.
is unclear which Boko Haram faction was targeted in the actions around
Kirenowa, but Islamic State West Africa province is the dominant insurgent
force in the Lake Chad area.
jihadist group known as Boko Haram split into two factions in mid-2016. One led
by long-time leader Abubakar Shekau is notorious for suicide bombings and
indiscriminate killings of civilians. Shekau pledged allegiance to ISIS leader
Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi in March 2015, but ISIS central only gives formal backing
to the other faction, which it calls Islamic State West Africa province.
ISWA faction, which largely focuses on attacking military and government
targets, was led by Abu Mus’ab Al-Barnawi, but last month, audio recordings
revealed that ISIS appointed Abu Abdullah Idris bin Umar, also known as Ibn
Umar al-Barnawi, as leader. ISIS has not yet made a public statement confirming
Haram’s bloody insurgency began in northeastern Nigeria in 2009 but has since
spread into neighboring Niger, Chad and Cameroon, prompting a regional military
response. Some 27,000 people have been killed and two million others displaced,
sparking a dire humanitarian crisis in the region.
displaced persons in Borno State on Monday expressed concerns over the dangers
of having orphaned children growing up in camps without any form of parental or
concerned displaced elders said they are more scared about what the future
holds out for them regarding the “untamed” orphans than the next attack by Boko
with PREMIUM TIMES in one of the IDP camps in Kusheri suburb of Maiduguri,
TIjani Mustapha, a 60 years old IDP from Konduga Local Government Area said
there are nearly a 100,000 orphans that live in different IDP camps across
said most of them are growing wild and are uncultured “while they are conscious
of what happened to their parents and how they are living without any kind of
love or care they needed.”
said the kids are a perfect recipe for disaster, “worse than Boko Haram, in the
Mustapha raised this concern during a public screening of a filmed documentary
on the Boko Haram insurgency titled ‘Uprooted.”
movie was produced by a local NGO called PAGED Initiative in which victims relate
their stories of survival.
film is used as an advocacy tool for giving a voice to the underrepresented
people especially in conflict environments.
Mustapha and many others who watched the film were inspired to open up and
shared their experiences and concerns.
have to begin to worry about the plights of the thousands of orphans that we
have in our society now due to the activities of Boko Haram,” he said.
and indeed we the people must do something urgently to secure the future of
these orphans; if we allow them to grow, the way they are being brought up in
camps, without adequate love and care, we should as well have to worry about
what they will turn out to be in our society.
am talking about the nearly 100,000 unaccompanied children who are presently in
camps because their parents have died or killed in the insurgency. Some of the
parents died during Boko Haram attacks, some abducted and have never been seen
again; some were slaughtered or shot right in front of the children and some
were killed by the military especially during raids and shootouts.
kids are everywhere; within and outside the camps; some came in as babies found
abandoned because their parents were killed, some came in as toddlers, some grew
up in the camps and don’t even know where they come from, except they are told.
Some knew where they came from but have no relation to live with because all
their traceable relations have been killed or are nowhere to be found.
live as unaccompanied children, who go to bed and wake on their own, without
any parental care.”
aged IDP said he was once a successful local businessman in Konduga but Boko
Haram visited his community and took away all that he possessed.
are even worried about children who live in the camps with their parents, who
have little or no control on how they behave because both the children and the
parents depend on handouts given by government and NGOs before they can feed,”
how much more of a child that does not know anything called family.”
male IDP, Muhammed Abuya, said: “what may happen in the future could be worse
than what they have experienced.”
fear for the future because there is greater possibility that we may face even
a worse insurgency than the Boko Haram by the time these children grow up with
the knowledge or memory of how their parents were killed and nobody cared for
them. It would be easier for them to engage in crimes that are even worse than
same children, if care is not taken, will turn round to start killing all of us
because no one is giving them education both Islamic and Western; no one is
giving them care. The government seems to have forgotten about them,” he said.
February 2017, Borno governor, Kashim Shettima, released an official figure of
52,311 as the number of children orphaned by the Boko Haram insurgency.
number increased to 56,000 in August of the same year.
figure, though seen by many as conservative, could have doubled especially with
the resurgence of hostility in the region.
Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir on Monday acknowledged that the demands of
anti-government protesters were “legitimate” but said they had been expressed
unlawfully causing several deaths.
have rocked the east African country since December, with demonstrators calling
on the veteran leader to step down.
accuse Al-Bashir’s government of mismanaging the country’s economy leading to
soaring food prices and regular shortages of fuel and foreign currency.
economic crisis has impacted a wide section of our people,” Al-Bashir told
lawmakers in his first speech to Parliament since a state of emergency he
imposed on Feb. 22 to quell the protests.
of them took to the streets to express their legitimate demands, but some of
those gatherings used unlawful ways and destroyed properties.”
the inital days of protests that erupted on Dec. 19, several offices and
buildings belonging to Al-Bashir’s ruling National Congress Party were set on
fire during protests.
political groups are trying to use this to enhance hatred among the community
because of which we lost many people,” said Al-Bashir, dressed in traditional
white-and-blue robe and white turban.
say 31 people have died in protest-related violence so far, while Human Rights
Watch has put the death toll at 51 including children and medics.
first erupted in the central town of Atbara in response to a government
decision to triple the price of bread.
the rallies quickly escalated into nationwide demonstrations against
Al-Bashir’s rule of three decades.
charing “freedom, peace, justice,” have staged regular demonstrations against
has remained defiant and imposed a nationwide state of emergency along with a
slew of tough measures including a ban on unauthorized rallies.
President Omar al-Bashir has pledged to carry out sweeping political and
economic reforms as protests demanding his resignation entered their fourth
month on Monday.
lawmakers, al-Bashir vowed to bring peace to the country by “integrating” rebel
and opposition groups within the framework of his ongoing “National Dialogue”
are committed to supporting all our citizens, regardless of their political
affiliations,” he told MPs.
will pursue our vision of reform based on justice and transparency with a view
to ensuring our country’s continued stability,” he added.
have also ordered the cabinet to adopt appropriate measures regarding state
institutions and to carry out necessary reforms to the civil service, while
promoting good governance, rule of law, and human rights,” al-Bashir declared.
the president’s assurances, however, anti-regime protests continued at a number
of private universities in Khartoum.
to witnesses, at least three student protesters were seriously injured on Monday
in clashes with Sudanese security forces.
(ADV) – A senior leader of Somali militant group al-Shabab has surrendered to
Somali government forces in Marka town in the country’s southern region of
Lower Shabelle, officials said on Sunday.
Abdi Ali, commander of Unit 14 October Division of Somalia National Army (SNA),
told journalists that Ibrahim Mohamed Bitow has surrendered to the Somali
forces following intensified military operations on the insurgents in recent
14 days long operations on al-Shabab in Marka town, Ibrahim contacted us and
surrendered to the government forces,” the commander said.
called on other remaining cells in al-Shabab extremists to imitate the action.
former senior al-Shabab leader who served in the group for nine years said that
he joined government forces at his willing.
was the commander of 100 fighters of al-Shabab who used to fight in Lower
Shabelle region. I decided to quit al-Shabab and surrender to the government,”
who was accompanied by one of his special guards admitted they were misled into
joining the terrorist group and asked Somali people to forgive them.
the Somali security forces carried out a security operation on Friday night
targeting al-Shabab base in Barire town in southern Somalia.
Ministry of Information said the security forces overran the militants’ base
and seized military equipment and killed several terrorists while one was
will continue to chase the runaway elements to demolish targets belonging to
terrorist elements in the country,” said the ministry in a brief statement
issued on Saturday evening.
move comes after Mayor of Mogadishu Abdirahman Omar Osman also announced start
of door-to-door security operation in the capital which are aimed at thwarting
a series of al-Shabab terror attacks.
said there will be searches in neighborhoods and vehicles as part of efforts to
enhance security in the restive city. The mayor said his administration will
provide buses and ambulances to those affected by the road closures.
middle-aged woman is among three Kenyans who were executed by Al Shabaab in
Barawe, Somalia on Wednesday for allegedly spying for Amisom and the US
to an intelligence report by Kenyan security forces, Al Shabaab executed five
five, who included one Kenyan woman believed to be from the Coast and two men
from Wajir were executed by a firing squad in public after they were reportedly
found guilty by the local militant leader of spying in a what was described as
a hurriedly constituted hearing held in front of residents.
other two were the youth of Somali origin. The executions follow recent
precision attacks that were carried out by US drones in Bu'aale, Middle Juba in
which more than 40 Al Shabaab commanders were killed.
those believed to have been killed was Kenyan-born Al Shabaab commander and
propagandist Ahmed Iman of the 'Jesh Ayman.'"Al Shabaab militants believe
the attack on their high command must have had an insider's work as it hit the
building where their leaders were meeting and planning future targets,"
the intelligence report reads in part.
security agents at the Coast are on high alert after five wanted terrorists
fled following a raid on their hideout where weapons were seized on Thursday
suspects who escaped a police dragnet in Ngombeni, Matuga, Kwale County have
been identified as Salim Rashid Mohammed, Rashid Mwatsu aka Mody, Juma Waziri,
Mkauma Ali Mbuiya and Juma Mwengo. According to an intelligence report, the
suspects are also members of a criminal gang that has been raiding Mpesa shops
in South Coast to finance terrorism.
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