Geelani, Mirwaiz and Yaseen Malik on way to Narbal. (Source: IE photo by Shuaib Masoodi)
Morsi Sentenced To 20 Years in Prison over Killing of Protesters
Syrian Helicopter Gunships Kill Tens of ISIL Commanders in Hasaka Province
6 ISIL Ringleaders Killed in Iraq
ISIS claims execution of 11 pro-govt fighters in Iraq
Syria: Takfiri Militants Killed in Lattakia
Lebanon receives French arms for anti-jihadist fight
‘No plans’ to ban alcohol in Oman just yet
Gulf envoys: No ceasefire unless Houthis retreat
57 militants killed in army raids in Egypt in the last ten days
24 Dead in Saudi Attacks on Yemen's Ibb
Gaps Surfacing between Al-Qaeda, Pro-Hadi Militants in Yemen
Iran Optimistic about Imminent Halt in Saudi Strikes on Yemen
Turkey says shares Armenians' pain over Ottoman-era killings
Yemen strikes show Saudi 'mental imbalance': Iranian President
Yemen rebels urged to surrender as defections rise
12 Militants Killed In Military Operations in Afghanistan
HC: Why not party symbols, identities in local polls?
Pakistan was with us when China stood isolated: Xi Jinping
4 Hindu idols vandalised at Bangladesh (Gazipur) temple
ISIS, Taliban Announced Jihad against Each Other
Hindus among Multi-Religious Group of 29 Petitioners Challenging ‘Hindu Law’
Geelani, Mirwaiz, Yasin Share Stage, Call for Unity among Separatists
Need Law to Ensure Minimum Interference in Minorities’ Affairs: All India Shia Board
Chadar Sent By Obama Offered At Dargah of Khawaja Moinuddin Chisty
India to give befitting reply to threat by Hafiz Saeed, govt says
Car Bomb Hits Restaurant in Somali, At Least 10 Dead
ISIS claims attack on Spanish embassy in Libya
Xenophobic Attacks - Nigeria Starts Evacuation of Citizens from South Africa
Ethiopia Announces Three Days of National Mourning for Its Citizens Killed by IS
Muttahida Has Held Karachi Hostage for 26 Years, Says JI Chief
Pakistan considers security of China as its own: PM
Govt challenges SC stay on executions awarded by military courts
17 convicts hanged in nine cities across Pakistan
UN Security Council Outlines Aid Plan for Yarmouk
‘Next generation’ Muslim prayer calculator launched
Global backing for war against Houthis hailed
US Muslims See Counter-Terror Plan as Racial Profiling
Ottawa Sees Sharp Increase in Canadians Joining ISIL
US deploys aircraft carrier toward Yemen
Six Minnesota men charged with conspiring to support Islamic State
U.S. might talk to Iran about regional stability
Boston bomber back in court, prosecution demands death
Use Other Laws, Not Sedition, Against Church Protestors, Say Lawyers
Malaysia urged to punish Muslims over 'cross' protest
Combating terrorism high on AA agenda
Jokowi Says Colonization of Palestine Must End Immediately
Under Najib, Muslims getting out of hand, says ex-minister
Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau
Morsi sentenced to 20 years in prison over killing of protesters
April 21 2015
CAIRO: An Egyptian criminal court on Tuesday sentenced ousted president Mohamed Morsi to 20 years in prison over the killing of protesters in 2012, the first verdict to be issued against the country's first democratically elected leader.
The verdict involves a case in which Morsi and 14 other defendants, seven of whom are on the run, are charged with the killing of three protesters and torturing several more during clashes in front of the presidential palace on Dec 5, 2012.
The protesters were demonstrating against a Morsi decree that put him above judicial review when they clashed with his supporters.
Defence lawyers say there is no proof Morsi incited the clashes, and that most of those killed were Brotherhood members.
The Cairo Criminal Court issued the verdict as Morsi and other defendants in the case ─ mostly Muslim Brotherhood leaders ─ stood in a soundproof glass cage inside a makeshift courtroom at Egypt's national police academy.
The case stems from violence outside the presidential palace in Dec 2012. Morsi's supporters attacked opposition protesters, sparking clashes that killed at least 10 people.
Judge Ahmed Youssef dropped murder charges and said the sentence was linked to the “show of force” and unlawful detention associated with the case.
In addition to Morsi, 12 Brotherhood leaders and supporters, including Mohammed el-Beltagy and Essam el-Erian, also were sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Morsi and the rest of the defendants raised the four-finger sign symbolising the sit-in at the Rabaah al-Adawiya mosque, where hundreds were killed when security forces violently dispersed the sprawling sit-in by Morsi's supporters on Aug 14, 2013.
Morsi faces several other trials along with thousands of Muslim Brotherhood members following the military overthrowing him in 2013.
Morsi was ousted following demonstrations by millions of people calling on him to leave office.
His regime was toppled by the then army chief — and now president — Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on July 3, 2013 after mass street protests against his year-long rule.
The new authorities then launched a sweeping crackdown on his supporters in which more than 1,400 people were killed and thousands jailed.
Hundreds have been sentenced to death after speedy mass trials which the United Nations called “unprecedented in recent history”.
The authorities have also targeted secular and liberal activists who spearheaded the 2011 uprising against long-time autocrat Hosni Mubarak, Morsi’s predecessor.
He is now held at a high security prison near the Mediterranean city of Alexandria. His incarceration there followed four months of detention at an undisclosed location.
In past sessions, Morsi and most of the defendants turned their backs to the court when Youssef played several video recordings of the clashes outside the palace in 2012.
Morsi faces the death penalty in two trials, including one in which he is accused of spying for foreign powers, and escaping from prison during the 2011 anti-Mubarak revolt. Separate verdicts in these two cases are due on May 16.
21 April 2015
The Syrian army helicopter gunships killed tens of the ISIL commanders and injured dozens more in a rocket attack on their meeting in Hasaka province in Northeastern Syria on Tuesday.
Three Syrian military choppers tageted the gathering of the Takfiri terrorists' commanders in Southern Hasaka. The attack was carried out after the army received intel about ISIL commanders' plan to hold a coordinating meeting in Hasaka.
Meantime, the Syrian army's artillery units pounded the terrorists' positions in Al-Shadadi, Al-Houl, Bab al-Kheir and Al-Khamael town, killing at least 80 ISIL terrorists and destroying their vehicles and military equipment.
On Monday, Kurdish forces liberated 2 villages in the Southern countryside of Kobani city in Syria from the control of the ISIL terrorists.
The Kurdish forces managed to purge the villages of Alkan and Jaber Matars in the Southern countryside of Kobani of the ISIL terrorists, killing a large group of the Takfiri militants, the Arabic-language Al-Mayadeen television reported.
The ISIL Takfiri terrorists currently control shrinking swathes of Syria and Iraq. They have threatened all communities, including Shiites, Sunnis, Kurds, Christians, Ezadi Kurds and others, as they continue their atrocities in Iraq.
Senior Iraqi officials have blamed Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and some Persian Gulf Arab states for the growing terrorism in their country.
The ISIL has links with Saudi intelligence and is believed to be indirectly supported by the Israeli regime.
Syria has been grappling with a deadly crisis since March 2011. The violence fuelled by Takfiri groups has so far claimed the lives of over 210,000 people, according to reports. New figures show that over 76,000 people, including thousands of children, lost their lives in Syria last year.
Over 3.8 million Syrians have left their country since the beginning of the crisis. According to reports, more than seven million Syrians have become internally displaced.
The popular forces killed several leaders of ISIL Takfiri terrorist group during an operation in Southern Kirkuk.
The popular forces, along with the Iraqi army and Kurdish peshmerga forces, staged wide-scale military operations against Takfiri terrorist groups in Kirkuk, and killed, Abu Khattab al-Javali, a wanted terrorist commander.
According to reports, foreign-backed terrorists suffered major losses as Iraqi forces scored major gains against ISIL militants in the Southern province of Kirkuk.
Iraqi forces, also, killed five other leaders of ISIL group in an operation to take back control over Bashir village, 20 km South of Kirkuk, on Monday.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria claims to have executed 11 pro-government fighters in Iraq, in a series of photographs shared online on Tuesday.
The first picture shows masked men armed with assault rifles marching a line of orange jumpsuit-clad prisoners across a field.
The captives are then shown kneeling in front of the gunmen with their hands bound.
The final photographs show a row of bodies face-down in front of the militants with blood pooling on the ground.
Text accompanying the photographs said the men were killed in Salaheddin province, north of Baghdad, the scene of fierce fighting last month in which government forces recaptured its capital Tikrit.
Captions identified them as members of the Popular Mobilization paramilitary units which have been fighting against the militants alongside the army.
ISIS led an offensive last June that overran large areas north and west of Baghdad, sweeping security forces aside.
Baghdad turned to the Popular Mobilization units - which are dominated by Iranian-backed Shiite militias - to bolster its flagging forces, and has since been able to regain significant ground from ISIS.
ISIS has carried out a string of atrocities including videotaped beheadings and mass executions, rape and enslavement in areas it controls in Iraq and neighboring Syria.
The Syrian army struck a heavy blow at the Takfiri militants in the coastal province of Lattakia on Tuesday, inflicting major losses on them.
The army destroyed hideouts of al-Nusra Front terrorists in the villages of Al-Zaitouna, Reweise, Al-Rashwan, Rewiset Al-Belata and Arafeet in the Northern countryside of Lattakia.
Lebanon on Monday received the first French weapons in a $3 billion Saudi-funded programme intended to bolster its army to take on jihadist threats, particularly along its border with Syria.
French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian accompanied the first tranche of weapons, including anti-tank guided missiles, which were handed over at an air force base in Beirut.
"France and Lebanon have a fraternal relationship that has been marked over the past three years by a sharp deterioration in the security situation in the Levant, which has become an existential threat to the region," Le Drian said.
"Lebanon is under unprecedented pressure (from jihadist groups)... and this makes border control vital for its security," he added.
Full report at:
‘No plans’ to ban alcohol in Oman just yet
Amid calls to ban alcohol in Oman, a government official has said the sultanate has no plans at present to ban the trade and consumption of alcohol, Gulf News reported on Monday.
Last December, the country’s Shoura council had voted to ban alcohol, an official of the advisory body said, a move that, if approved by the cabinet, would have affected plans to expand tourism.
“The members voted for generalizing the punishment on anyone practice alcohol-related activities including production, dealing, or trading,” the official had told Reuters news agency.
“But, of course, this is still a recommendation, not a law by itself.”
More recently, government official Humaid Al Nasri has told Gulf News that there were no plans to impose a ban at the moment as there had been no response had been received so far from the cabinet.
“In case there is no response, the council will look into other alternatives to constrain the trade and consumption of alcohol in Oman”, said Al Nasri.
However, a tourism ministry official said the ministry may instead impose restrictive regulations over the consumption and trade of alcohol, the newspaper reported.
Oman, a small non-OPEC oil exporter, has smaller energy reserves than its wealthy Gulf neighbors and is trying to diversify its economy, in part by expanding its tourism sector. It seeks to become a major destination for cruise tourism.
There will be no immediate ceasefire in Yemen unless Houthi rebels withdraw from seized territory, Gulf envoys told U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon on Monday.
Saudi Ambassador to the United Nations Abdallah al-Muallami told Agence France-Presse that "certain conditions" must be met for the Saudi-led air campaign “Operation Decisive Storm” to be paused.
"We all want to see an early end to the military hostilities, but there are conditions conducive to having an early end to the hostilities," Muallami said following a meeting with Ban.
The Saudi envoy said conditions for a ceasefire had been spelled out in the recently-adopted Security Council resolution.
Fifty-seven militants were killed in a series of air strikes carried out by Egyptian army in the restive North Sinai province in the last ten days, a senior army official said on Monday.
The air strikes conducted in three different cities of Rafah, Al-Arish and Sheikh Zawayed from April 9 killed 57 militants, army spokesperson Brigadier General Mohamed Samir said, adding that 61 wanted and suspected militants were also arrested.
He said a total of 32 militant hide-outs were demolished, besides destroying 98 unlicensed vehicles and motorcycles used by militants in their attacks against police and army personnel.
Egypt’s Sinai has witnessed many violent attacks by militants since the January 2011 revolution that toppled ex-president Hosni Mubarak.
The attacks targeting police and military increased after the ouster of Islamist ex-president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.
Over 500 security personnel have been reported killed so far.
The military has launched security campaigns in the area, arrested suspects and demolished houses that belong to terrorists, including those facilitating tunnels leading to the Gaza Strip.
Saudi warplanes targeted civilian areas in the Yemeni province of Ibb on Tuesday and killed, at least, 24 people.
The Saudi fighter jets struck residential areas in al-Dalil district in Yemen's Ibb, and claimed the lives of more than 24 people.
Saudi Arabia has been striking Yemen for 27 days now to restore power to fugitive president Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh. The Saudi-led aggression has so far killed over 2,819 Yemenis, including hundreds of women and children. The attacks have also left thousands of people injured.
Hadi stepped down in January and refused to reconsider the decision despite calls by Ansarullah revolutionaries of the Houthi movement.
Despite Riyadh's claims that it is bombing the positions of the Ansarullah fighters, Saudi warplanes are flattening residential areas and civilian infrastructures.
Internal disputes have started widening gaps between the Saudi-backed al-Qaeda terrorists and loyalists to fugitive President Mansour Hadi as both militant groups are losing power and ground in the battle against the joint troops of Yemen's army and popular Ansaurllah movement.
Reports from militant-held areas said daily struggles between pro-Hadi militias and al-Qaeda terrorists have now become a daily scene, adding that rifts have been increasingly widening after Ansarullah fighters made major advances across the Arab country.
Ali al-Shami, a senior Yemeni military official, said, "More than 7000 al-Qaeda terrorists have abandoned their positions in different regions in Aden, making Riyadh deeply concerned about the eventual outcome of its military aggression."
Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian voiced optimism that the Saudi-led military strikes against Yemen would stop in coming hours.
"Following the efforts made, we are optimistic that the military strikes against Yemen come to a halt in coming hours," Amir Abdollahian said on Tuesday.
"We are optimistic that we will witness different Yemeni groups gather around the negotiating table in the next few hours and endeavor to strengthen the political process in the country," he added.
His remarks came after Iran sent a 4-step Yemen peace initiative to the UN chief last week.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday, and demanded adoption of the necessary moves by the world body to put an immediate end to the bloodshed, describing the conditions on the ground in Yemen as "alarming".
Turkey on Monday sought to reach out to Armenians ahead of the 100th anniversary of the mass killings of their ancestors in the Ottoman Empire, saying it shared their pain and wanted to heal the wounds of the past.
The statement by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu stopped well short of recognising the World War I killings as a genocide -- as Armenians want -- but explicitly referred to deadly deportations of "Ottoman Armenians".
"We once again respectfully remember and share the pain of grandchildren and children of Ottoman Armenians who lost their lives during deportation in 1915," Davutoglu said in a statement released by his office to mark the centenary of the start of the tragedy on April 24.
Armenians consider the mass killings a genocide, a term Turkey has consistently rejected.
Davutoglu made clear once more in the statement that Turkey did not accept the word genocide to describe the killings.
TEHRAN: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says a Saudi-led offensive in Yemen was prompted by the kingdom's failures elsewhere, causing what he called a "mental imbalance".
Speaking to reporters Tuesday before heading to Indonesia, Rouhani mocked Saudi Arabia by calling it a country with dashed dreams in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.
"All the failures have accumulated and caused mental and emotional imbalance for that country," Rouhani said.
Iran has long accused Saudi Arabia of supporting militants, including the self-styled Islamic State (IS) group in Syria and Iraq. Meanwhile, Saudis accuse Iran of supporting Yemen's Shia Houthi rebels who overran the capital and later forced the country's Western-backed president into exile.
The leader of the 37th brigade has rejoined the legitimate government of Yemen, which should be a further sign for the rebels to lay down their arms, according to the Saudi-led coalition.
“This is a clear signal for the Houthi militias and their supporters that this is the right time to surrender and help distribute relief aid,” Brig. Gen. Ahmad Al-Assiri, coalition spokesman and adviser in the office of the defense minister, said at his daily press briefing on Monday at the Riyadh Air Base.
Earlier, Yemen’s Brig. Gen. Abdulrahman Al-Halily of the First Military District announced his support for the government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.
Al-Assiri said that the militias are still hampering relief operations with one plane unable to take off at 6 a.m. on Sunday. “The plane of Doctors Without Borders could not leave because of fake air traffic by the Houthi militias,” Al-Assiri said.
12 Militants Killed In Military Operations In Afghanistan
Apr 21 2015,
Twelve militants have been killed during military operations across the country in past 24 hours, a statement issued Tuesday morning by the Ministry of Interior states.
According to the statement 11 insurgents were also wounded and 17 others arrested by the security forces during the operations.
The statement further states that the operations were carried out in Kunar, Nangarhar, Takhar, Kundoz, Faryab, Jawzjan, Kandahar, Zabul and Paktia provinces.
The operations were jointly conducted by Afghan National Police, Afghan National Army and personnel from the National Directorate of Security (NDS), the statement states.
Two Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) were also discovered and defused by the security forces during the past 24 hours, the statement adds.
The High Court yesterday in a ruling asked the Election Commission to explain why it would not be ordered to assign party symbols or use identities in local government elections such as city corporations.
The court also ordered to explain why the electoral rules that restrict assigning party symbols or using party identities in local government polls should not be declared unconstitutional.
The bench of Justice Quazi Reza-Ul Hoque and Justice Abu Taher Md Saifur Rahman issued the ruling in response to a writ petition filed challenging the legality of the four electoral rules that impose the restrictions.
“The court asked the Election Commission, local government secretaries and the Law Ministry to come up with explanations within two weeks,” the petitioner’s counsel, Uzzal Hossain, told reporters.
ISLAMABAD: President of President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping departed from Pakistan after a historic two-day visit to the country’s capital.
In a historic address to the joint session of Parliament earlier today, President Jinping hailed Pakistan and China's long-standing ties, saying Islamabad stood by Beijing at a time when it stood isolated on the world stage.
Jinping began his address by extending warm greetings and best wishes to the "brotherly people of Pakistan" on behalf of the 1.3 billion people of China.
"Pakistan and China’s struggles have brought their hearts and minds together," he said, as lawmakers applauded.
A gang of miscreants have vandalised four idols at a Hindu temple in Bonogram area of Gazipur city.
The gang also looted several houses of the community in the area. Six people were injured in the attacks on Sunday night.
The injured are Asadul Haque, 50, Rafiqul Islam, 28, Russel Miah,30, Mujibur Rahman, 50, and Meister, 35.
Quoting locals, Joydebpur police station officer-in-charge Khandaker Rezaul Hasan Reza said one Rafiqul Islam led the attacks.
Rafiqul is accused of several cases, including arm case, filed with the police station, he said.
Some 50 to 60 miscreants came to the area with 13 micro-buses on that night, according to locals.
Apr 21 2015
Mashaal Radio has published a report stating that Daesh and Taliban group have announced Jihad against each other.
Nabi Jan Mullahkhil, police chief of southern Helmand province has told Mashaal Radio during an interview that he has received documents in which both the terrorist groups have announced Jihad against each other.
Mashaal Radio which is related to Azadi Radio quotes Mullahkhil as saying when the matter of peace talks between government and Taliban comes into discussion some intelligence agencies make new groups to keep the war ongoing in Afghanistan.
Reports of minor clashes between the fighters of Taliban group and the newly emerged Daesh have published in the past.
Both groups oppose each other.
Abdu Bakar Al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS has called Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar “a fool and illiterate warlord”.
Al-Baghdadi has said that Mullah Omar does not deserve a spiritual or political credibility. While on the other hand Taliban fighters have been ordered by their leaders not to let Daesh flag raise in Afghanistan.
Hindus among multi-religious group of 29 petitioners challenging ‘Hindu law’
MUMBAI: In a new petition, a multi-religious, Hindu-Muslim-Christian coalition of 29 Mumbaikars has challenged the new beef ban law, claiming the Maharashtra government's aim is to impose its version of "Hindu law". The petitioners who include filmmakers, women's rights activists, professors, medical practitioners and students have targeted Section 5D of the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act that criminalizes possession of beef and, in turn, its consumption.
While the state had claimed the law was brought in to preserve cows, bulls and bullocks, the petition claims the ban on possession of even beef imported from outside the state seemed to have another motive. "The obvious and underlying reason for criminalizing the possession of beef, including that slaughtered outside Maharashtra, can only be an undeclared religious purpose," said the petition. "As it is believed (wrongly) that the Hindu religion does not permit eating of beef, the present amendment seems to have been passed. Thus, the state of Maharashtra has passed a law, which is mainly to implement its version of Hindu law." The petition claims that the new law violates the Constitutional rights "which requires citizens to cherish the rich composite culture of India".Bombay high court is scheduled to hear the case of the petitioners, who will be represented by their lawyer Mihir Desai, on Tuesday.
Geelani, Mirwaiz, Yasin share stage, call for unity among separatists
For the first time since 2008, Hurriyat leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and JKLF chairman Yasin Malik shared the stage at a rally in Narbal on Monday to show solidarity with the family of a teenager killed in police firing.
The leaders, who were placed under house arrest following deaths of Khalid Muzaffar, 25, and Suhail Ahmad Sofi, 15, were released Sunday evening.
During the joint rally, the leaders spoke of a “united stand” on the Kashmir issue. “The pro-freedom people have a similar stand on the Indian occupation and elections,” Geelani said, adding: “We may be separate but we have a unity of thought”.
While the Mirwaiz said the “people of Kashmir are united in pursuing their goal and mission of martyrs”, Malik said “it is time for pro-freedom camp to stand united.”
The rally is significant in backdrop of a “push for unity” from Pakistan, which has asked separatist leaders to unite under one umbrella. In past two weeks, several separatist leaders have left the Mirwaiz-led moderate Hurriyat, planning to join the Geelani-led conglomerate.
The All India Shia Personal Law Board (AISPLB) on Monday expressed its unhappiness over “repeated interference” by courts in Muslim personal law and demanded that there should be “a law for minimum interference in the issues of Indian minorities”.
Speaking about the April 6 Supreme Court order in the Shamima Farooqui versus Shahid Khan case, where the apex court had reiterated that a Muslim woman is entitled to maintenance by her former husband till she remarries, AISPLB president Maulana Mirza Mohammad Athar said while they agree with the judgment, there should also be a law to ensure minimum interference in minorities’ issues.
In its judgment, the Supreme Court has reiterated that civil law will prevail over any personal laws, which in essence, helps divorced Muslim women whose right to maintenance was curtailed by Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act-1986 passed by the Rajiv Gandhi government in the wake of the top court’s Shah Bano ruling.
While the SC had ruled in favour of granting maintenance to divorced Muslim women in the Shah Bano case, Rajiv Gandhi — ostensibly under pressure from Muslim clerics — had passed the Act that essentially diluted the SC ruling. However, over the years, the courts, in turn, ruled in favour of women and sidestepped the Act.
A red-coloured Chadar (holy cloth) sent by US President Barack Obama was on Monday offered at the shrine of Khawaja Moinuddin Chisty here on the occasion of 803rd Urs of the revered Sufi saint.
Today (Monday) marked the first day of the six-day annual commemoration (Urs) of his death.
The Chadar was handed over to Sufi scholar Salman Chishty by US Ambassador to India Richard Verma on Thursday in Delhi.
Chishty, a ‘Khadim’, offered the Chadar at the Dargah and read out a message sent by the US President.
“Whatever our beliefs, whatever our traditions, we must seek to be instruments of peace, and bringing light where there is darkness, and sowing love where there is hatred,” Mr. Obama said in his message.
NEW DELHI: With Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed reportedly terming India as "enemy number one", the government on Monday said India was a responsible power and would give befitting reply to any threat to it.
"These kind of elements keep threatening India. India is not a ordinary country. We are a responsible country, a responsible power. We will give befitting reply and in a responsible manner," minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju told reporters on the sidelines of a function here.
He said the country was safe and secure and it will not give knee-jerk reactions to such statements by anyone.
"Security agencies are alert and they act on every input," he said.
The minister also asked the Pakistan government to act against Saeed, the mastermind of the Mumbai terror act.
Car bomb hits restaurant in Somali, at least 10 dead
World Bulletin / News Desk
A suspected suicide bomber on Tuesday rammed a car laden with explosives into a busy restaurant in the centre of capital Mogadishu, police said.
"A policeman opened fire to stop the car bomb but it was all in vain. The policeman died and the car bomb rammed into the gate in the busy restaurant," Major Farah Hussein, a police officer at the scene of the attack, told.
"Drums of petrol are also burning, it is too early to give casualty figures," he added.
A bomb exploded outside Spain’s embassy in the Libyan capital on Monday night without causing injuries, a security source told Agence France-Presse, an attack later claimed by ISIS.
“Islamic State extremists concealed an explosive device near an exterior wall of the Spanish embassy building in Tripoli, which caused some material damage to it and to neighboring buildings,” local official Issam Naas told AFP using another name for ISIS.
Several accounts linked to the Libyan branch of ISIS claimed the attack on Twitter.
Spain’s El Mundo newspaper said nobody had been hurt as Spain, like most Western and Arab countries, had pulled out its diplomats in summer during weeks of heavy fighting between rival armed groups in Tripoli.
ISIS, which has seized chunks of Syria and Iraq, has won the support of jihadist groups across Middle East and North Africa. Several militant groups in conflict-wracked Libya have pledged allegiance to the militants.
Libya has been awash with weapons since an uprising in 2011, has rival governments and parliaments and is on the edge of all-out war as armed groups battle to control its cities and oil wealth.
Xenophobic Attacks - Nigeria Starts Evacuation of Citizens From South Africa
The Goodluck Jonathan-government has approved the evacuation of Nigerians from South Africa as xenophobic attacks linger.
The Nigerian Commission in South Africa will commence the evacuation of Nigerians, Monday, in a bid to save them from the spread of the attack.
Following xenophobic attacks by South Africans against foreigners, particularly those of African descent, Nigerians have been counting their losses with the Nigerian Consul-General, Ambassador Uche Ajulu-Okeke saying the loss by Nigerians included looted shops, burnt shops, two burnt mechanic workshops, 11 burnt cars and two stolen cars, among others.
Ethiopian government spokesperson Redwan Hussien said the country will observe three days of national mourning for 28 Ethiopian Christians killed by Islamic State militants in Libya and three of its nationals killed in South Africa following wave of xenophobic attack against African migrant workers.
The national parliament will convey tomorrow morning to commence the mourning period during which flags will fly at half mast.
A video released by the Islamic State group on Sunday April 19th appears to show the killing of two different groups of captured Ethiopian Christians by the extremist group’s Libyan affiliates.
Muttahida has held Karachi hostage for 26 years, says JI chief
KARACHI: Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) chief Senator Sirajul Haq has said that the solution of all our problems is in bringing an honest and corruption-free leadership forward and such an opportunity awaits the people of Karachi in NA-246 constituency where by-elections are scheduled for April 23.
Reiterating his call for the installation of a biometric system for conducting fair and transparent polls, he said if the government can verify 70 million SIMs through a biometric system, why it could not arrange the system for around 200,000 voters of the constituency.
The JI chief, who was addressing a press conference at Idara Noor-i-Haq here on Monday, appealed to the people to send JI candidate for NA-246 Rashid Naseem to the parliament to air their sentiments. According to him, Mr Naseem enjoys an unblemished record of service to people like ex-Mayor Abdul Sattar Afghani and Nazim Niamatullah Khan.
ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday said that Pakistan considers the security of China, as its own and called for intensification of joint efforts to eliminate terrorism.
Addressing the specially summoned joint sitting of the parliament following the speech of the President of China, he said that joint efforts of the two countries have succeeded, but there was a need to intensify these to achieve the objective.
“We would fight together to eliminate the menace of terrorism,” Nawaz said. He appreciated China for its solidarity with Pakistan and in its quest for peace and stability in South Asia through engagement on all outstanding issues.
The prime minister also reiterated Pakistan's full support to China on its one-China policy and China's stand on its core national interests, at all international fora.
ISLAMABAD: The federal government on Tuesday challenged a decision by the Supreme Court that temporarily halted the execution of six terrorists whose death sentences were awarded by military courts, Express News reported.
On April 17, the top court stayed execution of death sentences awarded by the military courts to six accused on charges of terrorism. These courts were recently established under the 21st Constitutional Amendment.
The government filed a petition on Tuesday, arguing that there is no reason for the apex court to stay executions of the convicts even before assessing the authority of military courts.
The case is expected to be heard in the apex court tomorrow (April 22).
On April 16, the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) had requested the top court to pass an interim order staying execution of the condemned prisoners.
Noor Saeed, Haider Ali, Murad Khan, Inayatullah, Israruddin and Qari Zahir were condemned to death on April 2 by the military courts which have been established through a constitutional amendment under the National Action Plan.
Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Salman Aslam Butt had expressed reservation over the apex court’s decision and said the trial of the convicts in the military courts was not a secret crime and a complete procedure was adopted.
GUJRANWALA/FAISALABAD/SIALKOT/MULTAN/SAHIWAL/GUJRAT/LAHORE/RAWALPINDI/QUETTA: 17 condemned prisoners were sent to the gallows in various jails on Tuesday morning, a day which marks the highest number of executions in the country since the moratorium on death penalties was lifted.
In Central Jail in Gujranwala, convicts Inayatullah, Zafar Iqbal and Muhammad Latif were hanged. Inayatullah was convicted for the murder of seven people from the same family in Wazirabad, whereas Iqbal and Latif were hanged for shooting four people including one woman over a petty issue.
UN Security Council outlines aid plan for Yarmouk
The UN Security Council on Monday outlined a three-point plan for the Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria’s capital for the protection of civilians.
"The members of the Security Council called for unhindered humanitarian access to the Yarmouk camp and for the protection of civilians inside," the 15-member body said in a statement.
The camp houses about 18,000 Palestinian refugees, including nearly 3,500 children.
The Council's plan includes helping civilians "who are unwilling or unable to leave Yarmouk," assisting those “who want to temporarily relocate” from the camp and providing aid for residents who have already fled.
The “world’s first” multi-functional next generation prayer calculator has been launched by an online Islamic travel platform.
Halal Trip, an online travel website specializing in halal and family-friendly travel, has allowed its mobile app to give Muslim travelers a simple way to find prayer times and locations whether on air, land or sea.
The new feature instantly calculates the prayer times for the current location, the distances for nearby mosques and the time it will take to reach them.
For travelers it will also work out whether a user can reach their hotel in time for prayers, according to a statement from the company.
The Council of Ministers has praised the international community for backing the military action in Yemen, saying it would send a message to the Houthis that their aggression would not be tolerated.
Minister of Culture and Information Adel Al-Toraifi said Monday’s Cabinet meeting at Al-Yamamah Palace, chaired by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, welcomed the talks the king held with various world leaders over the past week on regional issues including Yemen.
These included US President Barack Obama, Xi Jinping of China, Francoise Hollande of France and David Cameron of the UK. King Salman also met with Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, Sudan President Omar Bashir, Prime Minister of the German state of Bavaria, Horst Seehofer, and the envoy of the Middle East Peace Quartet, Tony Blair.
US Muslims see counter-terror plan as racial profiling
WASHINGTON: A pilot programme launched by the Obama administration to prevent radicalisation from taking root is creating suspicion that it’s a plot to profile American Muslims.
Law enforcement officials have been doing such outreach for years. But now that federal officials are putting their stamp on it, some Muslims and others fear it is profiling disguised as prevention and worry it could compromise civil liberties and religious freedom.
The effort divides Muslim leaders who, on one side, argue that more must be done to fight extremism in their community and that this programme is a historic opportunity for input. Others fear the programme, which could be rolled out nationwide after being being tested in Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Boston, is just another veiled way for law enforcement to target their community.
The number of Canadians leaving to join the ISIL terrorist group in Iraq and Syria has increased 50 percent in the past few months, a senior Canadian security official said.
"The terrorist threat to Canada's national security interests has never been as direct or immediate," Michel Coulombe, head of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service spy agency, told a Senate committee, Reuters reported.
The total number of Canadians who have gone to Iraq and Syria to fight has jumped to 75 in the past three or four months from around 50 people, Coulombe said.
He did not give a reason for the increase or say how his agency got the information or why it did not stop the Canadians from leaving.
Last October, Coulombe said about 145 Canadians had traveled abroad to take part in terrorism-related activities during an unspecified period of time.
WASHINGTON: A US aircraft carrier was steaming toward Yemeni waters on Monday, joining other American ships in the area amid a worsening conflict.
The USS Theodore Roosevelt, which was in the Gulf to launch strikes against the Islamic State group, passed through the Strait of Hormuz headed for the Gulf of Aden and the southern Red Sea.
It is being escorted by the USS Normandy, a guided missile cruiser. The US Navy said the pair will “ensure the vital shipping lanes in the region remain open and safe.”
Nine US ships are now near Yemen, where last month Saudi Arabia and a regional coalition launched air strikes targeting Huthi rebels.
The United States says it is not taking part directly in the Saudi-led strikes, but provides intelligence and logistical support.
Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steven Warren denied reports the US ships have orders to intercept Iranian vessels carrying weapons for the Huthis.
“To speculate on boardings would be premature,” a US official said on condition of anonymity.
MINNEAPOLIS, US: US authorities have charged six Somali-American young men from Minnesota with planning to join Islamic State and fight for the militant group in Syria, the US attorney for Minnesota said on Monday.
The six were part of a larger group of friends and relatives that had been conspiring for the past 10 months, many trying multiple times to leave the country, US prosecutors alleged.
They were arrested Sunday as part of a yearlong FBI investigation into young men from the area trying to travel to join Islamic State and there is no evidence they had plans to conduct an attack inside the United States, prosecutors said.
Dozens of people from the Minneapolis-St Paul area, many of them young Somali-American men, have traveled or attempted to travel overseas to support Islamic State or al Shabaab, a Somalia-based militant group, since 2007, according to US prosecutors.
“We have a terror recruiting problem in Minnesota,” US Attorney for Minnesota Andrew Luger told a news conference.
The U.S. State Department said on Monday it might talk with Iran about promoting regional stability, noting it had been open to including Iran in past efforts to achieve a Syrian peace deal if Tehran had altered its policy.
But it drew a distinction between talking to Iran about beyond its nuclear program and actually working with Tehran on such matters, something Washington has ruled out.
State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf made the comments when asked about a call by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif in a New York Times opinion piece for regional dialogue to address the crises in countries such as Iraq, Syria and Yemen.
Washington was put in an awkward position since it blames Tehran for much of the instability and because it does not wish to upset Gulf Arab allies who fear a nuclear deal being negotiated with Iran may pave the way to a wider U.S.-Iranian entente.
The State Department appeared to be treading a careful line so as to not shut the door entirely to dialogue with Iran while not alienating Gulf Arab allies like Saudi Arabia, which believes Iran is bent on regional domination.
Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will return to court for the start of his sentencing trial Tuesday when prosecutors will demand that the American jury condemn the 21-year-old to death.
The Muslim of Chechen descent was convicted in US federal court earlier this month on all 30 counts related to the 2013 marathon bombings, the murder of a police officer, a car jacking and a shootout while on the run.
The sentencing trial opens one day after more than 27,000 people took part in this year's marathon in Boston, which is still reeling from the memory of the attacks, the deadliest on US soil since 9/11.
It also comes as a growing number of survivors oppose the death penalty for Tsarnaev, a then teenage student, who with his elder brother Tamerlan killed three people and wounded 264 others in the bombings.
Use other laws, not sedition, against church protestors, say lawyers
Taking a principled stand against the Sedition Act, lawyers' group Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) is against investigating the Taman Medan church protestors with sedition.
LFL executive director Eric Paulsen said there were sufficient provisions in the Penal Code to deal with such mischief, that were more in line with democracy and fundamental rights, instead of the outdated Sedition Act which civil society groups want repealed.
He said LFL maintained that a moratorium should be imposed on all further sedition investigation and prosecution, and the Sedition Act should ultimately be abolished. All prosecution under the Sedition Act should similarly be dropped, he said in a statement today.
"We uphold the rights of all citizens to protest peacefully including the rights of the protesters, to speak and assemble freely without the hazards of oppressive laws, like the Sedition Act and the Peaceful Assembly Act.
KUALA LAMPUR: Malaysia’s government faced calls Tuesday to take action against Muslim protesters who pressured a church to remove its cross, the latest example of rising intolerance that is fuelling religious tensions in the multi-faith country.
A group of about 50 protesters demonstrated Sunday outside the small church in a Kuala Lumpur suburb, saying the Christian symbol above it was an affront to local Muslims, according to Malaysian media.
The cross was removed hours later and there were no reports of violence.
The incident caused outrage among Muslims and non-Muslims alike, amid festering anxiety over religious intolerance in the traditionally moderate country.
A group of more than three dozen high-ranking — and mostly Muslim — former civil servants and diplomats on Tuesday led the calls for action with a statement labelling the demonstration a “mindless act of hatred and intolerance.”
Terrorism-related issues received serious attention from Asian-African foreign ministers during their meeting on Monday as they agreed to step up efforts to combat terrorism, Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi said on Monday.
“The ministers see the importance of peace and stability and the need to strengthen and combat transnational crime including terrorism and drug trafficking,” she said after the closing of the Asian-African Ministerial Meeting at the Jakarta Convention Center.
The meeting was part of the commemoration of the Asian African Conference’s 60th anniversary being held in Jakarta and Bandung from April 19 to 24.
A number of ministers stressed the importance of stepping up efforts to combat terrorism.
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Ebrahim Rahimpour, for example, said that “terrorism and violent extremism” continued to affect the world.
Jakarta. President Joko Widodo has expressed support for an independent Palestine and promised Indonesia would push for Palestinian membership in the United Nations.
“Palestine is the only nation still under colonization. This must end immediately,” Joko said at the Asian-African Conference on Tuesday, as cited by state-owned news agency Antara.
The nations of Asia and Africa “owe the Palestinian people six decades,” Joko told the Conference.
The inaugural Asian-African Conference in 1955, convened by leaders of the newly independent countries of both continents, came out strongly in favor of the principle of self-determination.
Countries attending the 2015 Asian-African Conference will likewise issue a statement in support of an independent Palestine, along with declarations to reiterate the Bandung Spirit and to underline new partnerships among Asian and African countries.
Under Najib, Muslims getting out of hand, says ex-minister
Former law minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim has described Muslims in Malaysia as getting “far out of hand” under the administration of Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Commenting on the Federal Territories mufti’s suggestion that Muslims be exempt from the goods and services tax (GST) because they are already paying zakat, Zaid, in his blog posting said, Muslims had lost all sense of fairness.
“Muslims have lost the capacity to discern even the slightest idea of fairness. The idea that the burden of taxation should be shared equally by all citizens for the benefit of all citizens is not acceptable to them,” wrote Zaid.
“When making policy proposals, they no longer think about the interests of their fellow-Malaysians. Instead, they think only of themselves and yet they call themselves 'good Muslims' – and it has been under the current administration of Datuk Seri Najib Razak that things have gone so far out of hand.”
Mufti Datuk Zulkifli Mohamad had said that Muslims who already paid the zakat should not be Full report at: