photo showing armed members of the Guardians of Religion. (Supplied)
Group Rejects Petition To Turn Malaysia into an 'Islamic State'
Iraq’s New Movement ‘Guardians of Religion’ aiming for a ‘Sunni Region’?
Ideologue Says Iranians Evade Islam, Turn To Secularism
for Muslims Tell Untold Story about the UK
Dominating Win Feared as Enabling Authoritarianism
RSS Can Organise Shakhaas In Parks, Why Muslims Are Denied Namaz? Retd SC Judge
Hands Khadim Rizvi, Others in 20-Day Police Remand
Ban on G25’s Book Already, Free Speech Watchdog Tells Putrajaya
visits Health Ministry amid increased institutionalisation of religion
Iraq’s New Movement ‘Guardians of Religion’ Aiming For a ‘Sunni Region’?
Militia Looting People's Assets in Eastern Syria
Syrian, Turkish Armies Going Head to Head for Confrontation
of Terrorists Killed, Wounded in Fresh Infighting in Northern Syria
Army Launches Artillery Attack on Terrorists in Hama, Idlib Provinces
rights activist Mohamed Lotfi urges Sisi to pardon detained wife
fighters withdraw from Manbij: Syria
Israeli military intel. chief wanted to assassinate Syrian president: Report
is 'religion of peace,' says head of Turkey's Diyanet
Gift Of A Mosque Sparks Fears Of ‘Neo-Ottomanism’ In Kosovo
detains two French ISIS suspects wanted by Interpol
govt calls on UN to act ‘firmly’, implement Swedish agreement
Palestine to boost security in region, says Iran’s parliament speaker
to come down hard on Palestinian prisoners
military almost completes ‘sea barrier’ off Gaza
Hand In Glove with Terror-Exporting States: Analyst
police refusing to identify Manchester attacker, says he is mental
aunt living in UK in return of investment: Daily
and India to Discuss Security Cooperation in the Wake of Recent Developments
Iranian members of Taliban killed in Afghanistan
soldiers killed in Taliban bomb attack on army outpost
journalist arrested for publishing ‘fake’ information on polls
‘missing’ youths land in jail on charges of violence in Dhaka before polls
row: Muslim League stands with pang of Ayyappa devotees
module case: Items seized can make IEDs, says NIA
Training Ultras to Wage ‘Samundari Jihad’ Against India
Major Islamic State Presence, But Efforts On To Radicalise Youth: J&K DGP
after IS flags at Jamia, Mirwaiz cleans defiled area
Muslims Better Off Than The Muslims Of Islamic Countries: Maulana Mahmood
Minister of Rajasthan Government In The Line Of Fire Of Ulama For Worshiping Lord
in Muslim Families Drop By 5%, Christian Families 13% In Karnataka
Encounter breaks out between militants, security forces in Pulwama
acknowledges its extending financial help to Pakistan
can topple PTI govt but won’t do so, says Kaira
to introduce uniform education system: Bangash
happy over displaced Thari children’s enrolment in model school
miners killed in another coal mine blast in Balochistan's Dukki district
leadership helped make operations successful: army
Bandar Seri Begawan, and Bissau Chosen as Capitals of Islamic Culture In 2019
dead in Burkina Faso after suspected jihadist attack
political parties call for formation of transitional government in Sudan
ISIS suicide bombings rock southern Libya in one day
army kills 7 al-Shabaab militants in Somalia
losing, desperate, AU says after UN base attack
Haram raids military posts in northeast Nigeria
wants India, Russia, and Pakistan to fight Taliban in Afghanistan
9/11 Leaked Files To ‘Top Snowden's Finest Work,’ Hackers Say
says US wants to protect Kurds in Syria even as it pulls forces out
Hours of What We Spend’: Trump Mocks Indian PM for Library In Afghanistan
military presence still causing concerns in Iraq
can ‘do whatever they want’ in Syria, Trump says
1,900 American tourists visited Iran over first nine months of Iranian year:
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Group Rejects Petition To Turn Malaysia into An 'Islamic State'
Jaya (The Star/Asia News Network) - The National Patriots Association (Patriot)
has rejected a Muslim group's petition to declare Malaysia an Islamic state,
saying that the Federal Constitution must remain as the founding fathers
(Retired) Mohamed Arshad Raji, the president of the association that comprises
military and police veterans, said any suggestion to amend the Constitution
should be for making it more democratic and not more autocratic.
is with G25 in stating that we will not support amendments that will change us
from a democracy to an authoritarian regime or to a theocracy," he said in
a statement on Thursday (Jan 3). G25 is a group made up of prominent Malays
known for pushing a more moderate view of Islam.
Mohamed Arshad said Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma), which had launched its
petition to reject a secular government, should define what it meant by
it means that the system of government is to be run by a council of ulama that
supersedes the current democratic parliamentary system, then it will be a
futile cause as mainstream Malaysians will not support it."
are aplenty of Muslim countries with a theocratic system (that are) not well
governed and not progressive, even to the extent of being failed states,"
Mohamed Arshad said that in many ways, Malaysia already adopted Islamic
principles in the system of governance and administration, as the nation
recognised Islam as the official religion.
is also of the view that under the current democratic Constitution, our country
has a better chance to develop into a united and successful nation than under a
Constitution based on theocracy," he added.
Iraq’s New Movement ‘Guardians Of Religion’ Aiming For A ‘Sunni Region’?
new movement “Guardians of Religion” was established lately after attracting
remnants of al-Nusra Front and Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) from Syria, while the
movement presented itself as an organization seeking to support the oppressed
and extend justice among Muslims.
to observers, this organization, despite its modest numbers, may pose a threat
to stability in the provinces that are experiencing a security loophole.
to security sources, the organization recently joined the Naqshbandi Army,
which is located in the Iraqi north of Salah Al-Din province, and has activity
in the districts of Tuz Khurmatu and Al-Shirqat and other areas of the province
lies north of Baghdad, Nineveh, Kirkuk and Diyala.
Idlib was the stronghold and base for the organization activities and is considered
one of the most prominent armed factions which rejected the Turkish-Russian
agreement on Idlib, with regard to the establishment of a demilitarized zone.
source said that the movement “Guardians of Religion” started to attract former
members of al Qaeda, and received the support of influential Iraqi political
parties, to restore violence in the Sunni areas, indicating that its stated
goal is to establish a “Sunni region” to control its resources away from the
central government of Iraq.
the source revealed that the movement began to exploit the current Sunni-Sunni
political conflict to extend its influence, and to launch qualitative attacks.
source revealed that some political parties in the provinces of Salah Al-Din
and Nineveh and Kirkuk secretly support this group, pointing out that they hold
semi-monthly meetings with them, to provide them with security, economic and
observers downplayed the impact of this movement since the numbers of its
members do not pose a threat, while their foreign nationalities will be an
obstacle for them to integrate with the local communities which is still
suffering from ISIS atrocities.
this context, Dr. Hisham al-Hashemi, an expert on armed groups, told Al Arabiya
English that this movement is not known among the Iraqis, but it tries to
promote itself through unregistered web sites, to win the support of the Sunni
street in Iraq, after it failed in Syria.
said that such moves will fail quickly in Iraq because of the lack of a
suitable environment to embrace them, especially that the military capabilities
of the Iraqi security forces have increased after the Iraqi government declared
victory in the war against ISIS in December 2017.
Mohammad Taqi Mesbah Yazdi, a top Shiite cleric and the spiritual father of
Iran's hardliner conservatives, says the Islamic Republic's leader Ayatollah
Ali Khamenei is aware that Iranians are evading religious teachings and turning
an extensive interview with hardline weekly "9 Day," in late
December, Mesbah tried to explain why the ideals promised by clerics at the
onset of Iran's Islamic revolution some 40 years ago have not materialized.
These promises included political freedom, equality and economic progress.
Mesbah appears to be pessimistic about the future of the Islamic Republic as it
is, in an article published on Radio Farda's Persian website, prominent Iranian
analyst Akbar Ganji has compared Mesbah’s views to Khamenei's insistence that
Iranians have been increasingly embracing Islamic teachings.
why the Islamic Republic's ideals have failed to materialize, Mesbah says
"All ideals are not supposed to materialize in this world which is a place
to test different ideas," stressing that "Ideals did not materialize
even at the time of the prophet." Indeed, he sounds more like a biblical
Christian who scorns materialism and believes that this world is a temporary
station on the way to a higher existence.
says Mesbah must have forgotten Khomeini and other clerics' promises about
Islam being "a guideline for man from birth to death."
not to be another Japan or US
says it is a mistake for Iran to follow the example of Japan and the Unites
States to focus on economic progress. Islam is not there to bring about
development, he said. "It is there to bring about eternal happiness."
challenges Mesbah's statement and says it contradicts Khamenei's position about
the importance of the economy and his order that calls on state officials to
invest all of their energy on improving the economy.
in his interview says that Khamenei's idea is pragmatic. "If he does not
say that he wants to improve people's economic situation, Marxists might take
advantage and hijack the economy mantle. You already see Marxist ideas becoming
popular at Tehran's universities including Islamic schools."
had also said in a December 27 speech to women that the reason why Khamenei
attaches importance to the economy is that "in most countries economic
inequality has made Marxism popular."
could have happened in Iran too if Ayatollah Khamenei did not control the
situation by hijacking Marxists' slogans."
concludes that, "So, Khamenei is not concerned about people's livelihood.
He is concerned winning against political rivals."
youth evading religious teachings
to Ganji, while Khamenei says today's youths are more religious than the
generation who was active in the 1979 Islamic revolution, Mesbah is seriously
concerned that young Iranians are turning away from Islam.
people and university professors ask, “What if we do not wish to go to heaven?
Can we say we have nothing to do with heaven and hell and Islam? And what about
freedom and human rights? Didn't you say freedom will come with the Islamic
Republic? What if I don't want to be a Muslim?" said Mesbah.
warned that "every regime official is trying to improve the economic
situation like Marxists and liberals based on Khamenei's words, and in the
meantime, our spiritual values are being destroyed."
to Ganji, contrary to Khamenei's ideas, Mesbah says that in young Iranians'
minds, "religious teachings and values are fading out and are being
replaced by freedom, democracy, human rights, progress and technology. This
threatens the future of the Islamic revolution. One day we open our eyes and
see that we have lost the revolution."
is aware of the situation
says Khamenei is aware that the next generation wants a Western-style democracy
even if they have to forget about religion, adding that nevertheless, Khamenei
makes decisions based on pragmatism and "we should simply obey what he
named pluralism and secularism as the two biggest threats against Islam, adding
that most intellectuals say that religion is not necessary for man's life.
"We see traces of secularism even among the country's top officials. This
is the case even in the seminaries."
in the interview, Mesbah said: "Our officials chants slogans saying the
U.S. cannot do anything to us. What do we have to help us stand against
America? Officials say they want to bring prices down, but what they really
want to do is compromising with the U.S. They say to Americans, we give you
this concession and you lift that sanction."
to Ganji, Mesbah as "the Islamic Republic's most prominent ideologue"
is saying that the country's situation is "critical." When he looks
deep into the society, "he does not see anything left from Islam, as if
secularism has encompassed the entire regime, and Khamenei is going ahead in
the same direction driven by pragmatism."
For Muslims Tell Untold Story About The UK
within our society have exposed themselves in recent years. Inequalities are
deepening. As an imam in London, the impact of this is clear to me every time I
hear from anxious people in our community who tell me about the abuse they face
and their fears for their children’s futures.
gaps between us widen, a political elite seems too often to be distracted from
or unbothered by the issues ordinary people face. Yet I know of another story
that is being written too: by determined and selfless people pulling us
together every day. The New Year’s Honours list in many ways speaks to this
story. It is indicative of a country’s people working together — in spite of
all we’re up against.
is heartwarming for me to see the example of young Muslims, especially women,
who are writing this story.
for example, Jamila Kossar, awarded an MBE for the exciting work she leads in
feeding homeless people in Manchester. Or Shabnam Sabir, awarded a BEM for
doing the same in Oxford. Aamer Naeem, CEO of Penny Appeal, has been awarded an
OBE for the innovative and much-needed projects his charity has carried out in
recent years, not just with people abroad but here at home in the UK.
award demonstrates that the trend of Muslim charitable work in the UK is
starting to take hold.
certainly hope that stories such as these pause the next wave of hysterical
outrage at Britain’s diverse communities and their willingness to integrate,
and instead prompt reflection for the contributions they make to our country.
many ways the parable of the Good Samaritan is apt to recall. The Gospel of
Luke tells of a Jewish person beaten, bruised, and left for dead, with only a
Samaritan — someone from whom assistance would not normally be expected —
providing the much sought-after help. I cannot but feel buoyed seeing so many
Muslims recognised with an honour this new year. They reflect the efforts of
countless others ready to help one another hand in hand with their neighbours.
But I cannot also help but feel frustrated that this is not the story being
told by many sections of the media and senior politicians.
Samaritans across the country challenge this stereotyping to live the most
basic tenet of their faith: to love for others what you love for yourself.
awards given this year are indicative of an honours system that reflects, and
an Establishment which is increasingly realising, that Britain’s diversity is
not a hindrance but an advantage. They show a society that has people ready to
work together, to pull together, just when we need one another the most.
Because of them, because of this increasing recognition, join me in looking
forward to 2019 with renewed optimism.
dominating win feared as enabling authoritarianism
Bangladesh: While Sheikh Hasina is set to begin her third consecutive term as
Bangladesh’s prime minister following a landslide election victory, critics say
having such an overwhelming majority in Parliament could create space for her
to become even more authoritarian.
Hasina-led coalition won 288 seats in the 300-seat Parliament in Sunday’s
election, amid allegations by the opposition that the voting was rigged. Hasina
rejected the accusations at a briefing with foreign journalists a day after the
new Cabinet is expected to be sworn in by Jan. 10, but members of the
opposition alliance, which won only seven seats, said they would not take the
oath. In response, the ruling party’s general secretary said by-elections would
be held for those seats. This would result in a Parliament with virtually no
her last 10 years as prime minister, Hasina took up many development projects,
from power generation to the building of a seaport, but her record of
maintaining human rights was widely criticized by activists and international
rights groups. Some of those critics now say her new government could be even
more iron-handed and aggressive.
than a dozen people were killed in election-related violence Sunday, and the
election campaign was dogged by allegations of the arrests and jailing of
thousands of Hasina’s opponents.
of activists took to the streets of Dhaka on Tuesday to protest the alleged
gang rape by Hasina supporters of a mother of four who had voted for the
opposition had blamed Hasina’s government for arbitrary arrests and enforced
disappearances of dissenters, while the jailing of a renowned photographer on
charges of spreading propaganda against the government sparked criticism at
home and abroad. The enactment of a digital security law ahead of the election
was criticized by journalists and rights groups who said it would choke free
speech and media freedom.
opposition accused the security agencies and the police of intimidation and
threats to prevent them from campaigning ahead of the elections, and there were
allegations that the Election Commission and other departments overlooked the
Hasina’s government during its previous term displayed an increasingly
authoritarian streak, deeming all legitimate criticism to be anti-state,” said
Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director for Human Rights Watch. “The ruling
Awami League’s student and youth groups had free rein to bully and intimidate,
while civil society faced pressure to self-censor.”
was particularly unfortunate that senior officials refused to address concerns
of victims, including families of disappeared persons,” Ganguly said.
doubted that the next government would be more tolerant.
remain concerned that a government that has allowed impunity for serious
violations like extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances will persist
with little tolerance for dissent and constructive criticism,” Ganguly said.
trumpeted her development agenda to woo voters and said people voted her to
power again for the development bonanza. She took up some big projects,
including a bridge more than 5 kilometers (3 miles) long, a nuclear power plant
and metro rail system for Dhaka, the capital.
an analyst said it was not a legitimate argument.
you say that we’ll give you development but you have to sacrifice your rights,
you have to sacrifice your voice,” said Asif Nazrul, a law professor at Dhaka
University and a government critic. “Because if you look at the constitution of
India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, nowhere is it written that we are going to
give you development but forget your political and civil rights.”
Hasina enjoys a lot of support, especially from religious minorities in the
Muslim-majority nation who say she has safeguarded their rights.
the Dhakeshwari Temple in Dhaka, Hindus poured in on Tuesday to pray and get a
glimpse of the Goddess Durga, something they say was not possible under
has definitely unleashed and freed us minorities,” Jayanti Sharma, a Hindu
devotee who was visiting from a nearby town, said of Hasina.
Parliament could be without a practical opposition, no major opposition leaders
even exist in the country to pose a serious threat to Hasina.
archrival, former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, the leader of the opposition
Bangladesh Nationalist Party, is in jail. A court deemed Zia ineligible to run
for office because she was sentenced to more than two years in prison after
being convicted of corruption. Her supporters say the charges were politically
Zia’s absence, opposition parties formed a coalition led by Kamal Hossain, an
82-year-old former member of Hasina’s Awami League who served as foreign
minister under Hasina’s father, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Bangladesh’s founding
is a leader of his small party, Gono Forum, which does not have much popular
support. Hasina and Zia, on the other hand, have much larger support bases and
attract hundreds of thousands of supporters to their rallies.
Monday, during a briefing with foreign journalists and election observers,
Hasina came down heavily on the opposition. In a wide-ranging discussion, she
refused a suggestion that she offer her political foes an olive branch.
opposition you see, who are they? The main party, BNP, it was established by a
military dictator (Zia’s husband, Ziaur Rahman) who introduced martial law in
this country. There were no constitutional rights for the people,” Hasina said.
dismissed questions about the fairness of the election.
feel that it was a very peaceful election,” Hasina said. “Some incidents took
place, some of our Awami League party workers were killed by the opposition.
I’m very sorry for that, but I always appreciate our law enforcement agencies,
also our people who were working hard to have this election in a peaceful
there have been allegations of widespread irregularities with the election.
Sunday, The Associated Press received more than 50 calls from people across the
country who identified themselves as opposition supporters complaining of
intimidation and threats, and of being forced to vote in front of ruling party
men inside polling booths.
complaints could not be verified independently.
RSS Can Organise Shakhaas In Parks, Why Muslims Are Denied Namaz? Retd SC Judge
Delhi: Former Chairman of Press Council of India and retired Supreme Court
judge, Justice Markandey Katju said provisions in Article 19 give full rights
for a gathering of any community peacefully without arms and hence it was
unconstitutional for Yogi Government to stop Friday congregational prayers. He
was responding to a question on watering of parks in Noida to stop Friday
Katju questioned when RSS is organizing Shakhaas in parks so why Muslims are
being denied to pray in parks? He added ‘it hardly takes 45 minutes to finish
namaz. If anyone offers namaz at the public place does he slit anyone’s head or
leg? Then why objection? If they are offering namaz they must have that much
freedom. Banning namaz in parks is wrong and I strongly condemn it.’
the question of cow issue Katju says the cow is like any other animal- horse
and dog- and there is nothing special about it to be worshipped, worshipping a
cow is stupidly.
hands Khadim Rizvi, others in 20-day police remand
An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Wednesday granted police a 20-day physical
remand of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi and other
leaders, including Hafiz Farooqul Hassan, Pir Afzal Qadri and Pir Ijaz Ashrafi.
petition over the matter was filed by Civil Lines Police which produced the
firebrand cleric before the court earlier in the day, seeking a 30-day physical
to officials, a photogrammetric test of the TLP chief was cited as the reason
for seeking physical remand. The test is used to determine if the person in
question was actually the individual represented in a video or audio clip, the
deputy prosecutor informed the court.
November last year, Rizvi was taken into ‘protective custody’ after the
government ordered law enforcement agencies to begin a countrywide crackdown on
the far-right religious outfit.
was arrested after TLP-led violent protests paralysed normal life across the
country in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to acquit Aasia Bibi, a
Christian woman on death row in Pakistan’s most high-profile blasphemy case.
to the figures issued by the government, a total of 2,899 people were taken
into protective custody from across Punjab while 139 persons from Sindh and 126
from Islamabad were also taken into custody during the crackdown.
crackdown had come two days before the TLP was going to resume its protest
against the acquittal of Aasia.
religious party, founded in 2015, burst onto the scene after the government
carried out Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer’s assassin Mumtaz Qadri’s death
sentence in 2016.
November 2017, TLP followers blocked Islamabad’s main road protesting against
the PML-N-led government’s alleged attempt to amend the “finality of
Prophethood” constitutional clause.
clashed with LEAs forcing the army to step in to curb the violence.
the Faizabad sit-in, the TLP staged a three-day long protest following the
acquittal of Aasia Bibi by the Supreme Court. During the protest, the
demonstrators termed the chief justice “liable to be killed” and called for a
rebellion against the army chief “because he is a non-Muslim”. The protest
defused after the PTI government and TLP brokered a deal.
makes it twice the federation capitulating to Rizvi’s demands, giving him
prominence in the religious sphere.
the top court had to take a suo motu of the protests and directed the federal
and provincial governments to submit a report in this regard.
the TLP also managed to translate its religious rhetoric into votes as it
bagged at least 4 per cent of the total votes in the last general elections.
The party’s count was only 300,000 votes less than its heavyweight rival
Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), an old five-party alliance.
ban on G25’s book already, free speech watchdog tells Putrajaya
LUMPUR, Jan 3 ― The Coalition for Freedom of Expression (CFOE) today urged the
Home Ministry to promptly lift the ban on a book on Islam by pro-moderation
group G25, after Putrajaya said it is still reconsidering the decision.
civil society group said the ban on the book titled Breaking the Silence:
Voices of moderation ― Islam in a constitutional democracy that was carried out
by then Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi in June 2017 was arguably
restriction on the freedom of expression as enshrined in Article 10 must be for
a legitimate reason as set out in the Constitution and must be necessary,
proportionate and reasonable.
banning of this book does not fall into any of the categories that would
constitute a legitimate restriction,” said the coalition made of civil
societies Aliran, Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ), KRYSS and Suara
Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram).
G25’s lawyer Surendra Ananth said the court has fixed 31st January as the new
hearing date after the Pakatan Harapan government stated it will need some time
to decide whether to continue the ban.
said it was inconceivable that a book of articles by distinguished former civil
servants which explores the concept of moderation in Islam in the context of
Malaysia as a constitutional democracy can be a threat to public order.
the ban on this book should be straightforward and carried out promptly.
Pakatan Harapan government should not prolong or be complicit in the arbitrary
silencing of critical and reasoned voices which was carried out by the previous
government,” it said.
from lifting the ban, CFOE also urged the immediate abolishment of the Printing
Presses and Publications Act, under which the ban was made as promised by
Pakatan Harapan in its election manifesto.
also call for a moratorium on the banning of any books under this Act in the
meantime,” it added.
book had aimed to promote discussions and dialogue on a moderate practice of
Islam and was to be part of G25's consultative process to address the excessive
politicisation of religion in Malaysia.
LUMPUR, Jan 3 ― Minister Datuk Seri Mujahid Yusof Rawa and the Malaysian
Islamic Development Department (Jakim) visited the Health Ministry today to
discuss collaborating on Shariah issues, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dzulkefly
said his meeting with Mujahid, who is Minister in the Prime Minister’s
Department in charge of Islamic affairs, included Jakim director-general Datuk
Mohamad Nordin Ibrahim, Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah,
and representatives from both ministries.
meeting among others discussed issues related to the implementation of the
‘Maqasid Shariah’ agenda in the national administration, particularly in the
context and scope of collaboration between MOH (Health Ministry) and PMD (Prime
Minister’s Department),” Dzulkefly wrote on Instagram.
Shariah” refers to the real purposes of Shariah.
visit to the Health Ministry comes amid calls by Malay-Muslim conservative
groups for greater institutionalisation of religion in multiracial Malaysia,
such as a campaign launched by Isma for the country to be recognised as an
SDF gunmen plundered civilians' assets and other valuable properties after they
managed to capture the town of Hajin in Southeastern Deir Ezzur.
SDF's move was carried out at command, a field source said, adding that the SDF
militants sotred the booty at a base in Hajin and later took them to an unknown
location outside the town.
source further said that the SDF is also preventing Hajin's residents from
returning home claiming that the town is still a military zone.
source went on to say that almost 80 percent of the Hajin has been destroyed by
the US-led coalition and the SDF.
London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported last week that
the SDF managed to advance against ISIL in Southeastern Deir Ezzur despite the
US' decision to withdraw from Syria.
said that the SDF managed to advance against ISIL near the small towns of
al-Sha'afah and al-Sousah in Southeastern Deir Ezzur.
further added that most of the ISIL gunmen had already left positions.
between the SDF and the remaining pockets of the ISIL are underway in the
the meantime, SDF Spokesman Rami Abdul Rahman said heavy fighting is underway
between his forces and the ISIL near al-Sah'afah and al-Sousah, adding that the
SDF managed to capture a key village in the region.
Arabic-language website of the Kurdish news website, Hawar news, reported that
the Ankara-backed militants attacked the positions of al-Bab Military Council
in the villages of Albuhij and Bou Qaz near the town of al-Arimah East of the
town al-Bab in Northeastern Aleppo regardless of the Syrian Army's presence in
further said that gunmen of al-Bab Military Council managed to repel the Ankara
the meantime, Manbij Military Council's media center reported that gunmen of
the Turkey-led Euphrates Shield forces targeted the council's positions at
Sajoiur line of separation near the town of Majbij in Northeastern Aleppo.
center further said that the Ankara-backed militants launched heavy shelling on
the small towns of Jokhar Kabir East on Manbij, al-Mohsenli West of Manbij and
the villages of al-Baraziyah West of the town of al-Arimah and also
al-Koridiyah region in Northeastern Aleppo.
expert said that the Ankara-backed militants' continued attacks on the Kurds
regardless of the Syrian Arm's presence in the region have increased the
possibility of direct confrontation between the Damascus forces and militants
as well as the Turkish army that is backing the latter.
Monday, The Syrian Army surrounded Manbij from three different flanks after the
Turkish-backed rebels began mass mobilizing their gunmen North of the town.
to a military source near Manbij, the Syrian Arab Army deployed their
Republican Guard, 1st Armored Division, and 4th Armored Division at the
Western, Southern and Eastern flanks of the town of Manbij, the AMN reported.
Syrian army was able to reach the Eastern axis of Manbij after the Syrian
Democratic Forces (SDF) reportedly transferred control of the Tishrin Dam to
the government troops.
thousands of rebel troops situated at the Northern outskirts of the city, the
Syrian Arab Army is taking precautionary measures to prevent a potential
invasion of Eastern Aleppo and Western Raqqa.
the recent talks between the Russian and Turkish governments regarding the
situation in Syria, Ankara is still not convinced that the Kurdish-led People’s
Protection Units (YPG) have withdrawn from Manbij.
sum of 40 terrorists were killed and tens more were wounded in a fresh round of
heavy infighting between Tahrir al-Sham and NLF-affiliated Nouralddeen al-Zinki
in Western Aleppo.
Ahmad Homsi, a notorious commander of al-Zinki, was killed in the infighting
near the town of Dar al-Izzah, a field source said, adding that tens of
civilians have also been killed or wounded in the clashes between rival
al-Sham seized the village of Basratoun in Western Aleppo and entered the
strategic town of Dar al-Izzah following the clashes.
Arabic-language Lebanese TV Channel reported on Tuesday that Tahrir al-Sham
engaged in fierce clashes with Nouralddeen al-Zinki in Western Aleppo and
managed to capture the villages of al-Sa'adiyah and al-Habayah and also Mount
further said that Tahrir al-Sham seized control over the villages of Taqad and
Ajel in Western Aleppo and its militants are now advancing and entering the
small town of Basratoun.
army's artillery and missile units pounded the positions and movements of
Turkistani Islamic Party in the village of Qastoun in al-Ghaab Plain in
Northwestern Hama, destroying several terrorist bases and arms depots and
inflicted heavy casualties on the militants.
the meantime, other artillery units pounded the movements of Jeish al-Izzah
terrorists in Hasraya, al-Jisat, al-Arbaeen and Wadi al-Dorat, killing and
wounding a number of terrorists.
other artillery units, deployed in Southeastern Idlib, launched heavy shelling
on Tahrir al-Sham's positions near the small town of Jarjanaz, inflicting major
losses on them.
terrorists' refusal to implement the Sochi Agreement to establish a
demilitarized zone is pushing the army to initiate its long-waited assault on
militants in Idlib that had been put on hold due to the Sochi Agreement.
Mar'ei Hamdan, a Syrian military expert, was quoted by the Arabic-language
website of Sputnik news agency as saying last month that Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at
is in control of nearly 70% of towns and villages in Idlib province and makes
provocative moves against the Syrian army, adding that the army's commitment to
decrease tensions is not lasting forever.
added that the Syrian army has so far repelled all attacks by terrorists
against its positions and inflicted heavy damages on them, noting that the army
is now necessitated to come out of the defensive mood to retake control of
said that Tahrir al-Sham will resort to a full-scale military operation against
the Syrian and Russian armies soon, after rejecting the Sochi agreement last
October, which leaves no room for ceasefire or disarmament anymore, and
underlined that the Syrian army's battle against Tahrir al-Sham is inevitable.
the Turkey-backed Ahrar al-Sham and National Liberation Front (NLF) terrorist
groups has also dismissed the Russian-Turkish Sochi agreement and is preparing
for military operations against the army in Northern Syria, calling for a
coalition with Tahrir al-Sham.
al-Sham and other allied terrorist groups have not left the demilitarized zone
two months after the Sochi agreement and have instead reinvigorated their
strongholds and targeted the army positions every day.
prominent rights activist appealed to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi
on Wednesday to pardon his wife, sentenced to two years in jail for posting a
video denouncing sexual harassment.
ask the President of the Republic for pardon,” said Mohamed Lotfi, who heads
the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms NGO. Former actress and model
Amal Fathi was sentenced at an appeal hearing on Sunday for “spreading false
news” and “inciting regime change”.
had been arrested in May over a video she posted online, criticizing sexual
harassment in Egypt and alleging that guards at a bank had sexually harassed
37, called on Sisi to take into account that his wife is “a victim” of
harassment, and is being treated for trauma and depression. “Her condition has
worsened during prison,” he said.
an interview with AFP, he said an appeal is being lodged against his wife’s
sentence. Fathi is under house arrest and has to report to a police station
every week. Lotfi fears his wife will be taken into full custody during her
next scheduled appointment on Saturday.
said she had been harassed by a taxi driver on the same day as the alleged harassment
at the bank. She recorded her video in a state of exasperation, her husband
said. Sisi came to power in 2014, a year after leading the military’s overthrow
of president Mohamed Morsi following mass protests against the Islamist's rule.
groups say the former defense minister has since installed a repressive and
authoritarian regime. Amnesty International has called Fathi’s sentence a
on Egypt’s streets has been a major topic of activism and campaigns. “We know
that the government is trying to fight this phenomenon”, Lotfi said. “It’s not
fair that a female victim of harassment is imprisoned”, he said.
who holds dual Egyptian-Swiss nationality, believes his own commitment to human
rights work is the “true reason” behind the justice system’s treatment of his
wife. “In a way, it is pressure on me so that I stop my human rights work”, he
said. He added that his wife is still fighting another case, in which she is
accused of “belonging to a terrorist group”.
says hundreds of US-backed Kurdish fighters have withdrawn from the city of
Manbij near the border with Turkey to take position to the east of the
Syrian Defense Ministry announced Wednesday that "approximately 400
Kurdish fighters" had left the border town, days after Kurdish groups
appealed to the government of President Bashar al-Assad to support them against
a possible Turkish offensive.
departure was in line with an agreement "for the return of normal life to
the area of northern Syria," the ministry said in a statement.
Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) had confirmed earlier that they were
evacuating the town, which they seized from the Daesh terrorist group in 2016.
online video published by the Syrian ministry showed dozens of vehicles
carrying armed fighters, some of whom waved flags of the YPG and its female
counterpart, the YPJ.
was not clear how many fighters would remain in Manbij.
week, the YPG asked Damascus to deploy troops to the key city following US
President Donald Trump's decision to pull American forces out of Syria.
said in late December that Turkey would take on Washington's military
responsibilities in Syria.
has already launched an incursion into northern Syria to push back against the
Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which regularly clashes with Turkish forces in
the Kurdish-dominated southeast of Turkey.
views YPG as the Syrian branch of the PKK.
YPG is part of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which has close military
cooperation with the US. Trump's decision to leave Syria exposes the Kurdish
group to possible Turkish attacks.
military forces have held an area bordering Manbij since 2016. Ankara has
repeatedly demanded that the YPG leave the region and retreat to the east bank
of the Euphrates.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said recently that his country’s military forces
will have no business in Manbij once YPG leaves.
report has revealed that Israel’s former Military Intelligence Director Major
General Aviv Kochavi once advocated toppling the incumbent Syrian government
and even proposed the assassination of President Bashar al-Assad over his
staunch support for the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement.
Arabia’s Arabic-language and independent Elaph online newspaper, citing an
unnamed senior Israeli official, reported that Kochavi recommended removing
Assad’s administration because “it would bring calamities to Israel from Iran,
Hezbollah, and Russian influence in the region.”
official noted that Mossad head Yossi Cohen, in return, rejected the idea and
preferred to deal with a known adversary if need be, arguing that he “wanted an
address in Syria.”
report stated that while Israel had several opportunities to target Assad and
his top leaders during the ongoing foreign-sponsored militancy, the Tel Aviv
regime instead opted to focus on preventing Iranian entrenchment in Syria by
launching attacks against purported positions of Iranian and Hezbollah forces.
officials argue that Iran’s presence in Syria, which is part of an advisory
mission requested by the Damascus government, poses a threat to the Tel Aviv
Israeli military, using this pretext, has pounded alleged positions of Iranian
and Iran-backed forces across Syria over the course of the nearly eight-year
attacks are usually viewed as attempts to prop up foreign-sponsored Takfiri
terrorist groups that have been suffering defeats at the hands of Syrian
government forces and allied fighters from popular defense groups.
is a religion of peace that defends universal values, Ali Erbaş, the head of
Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate, said on Wednesday.
is a religion of peace that defends and tries to keep the same universal values
alive all over the world," Erbas said at the opening ceremony of 2nd
meeting of European Muslims in the German city of Cologne.
said racism, xenophobia and attacks on mosques gradually narrow areas of
freedom and restrict rights.
recent increase in racial movements and anti-Islamic discourses and actions in
Europe threaten the multiculturalism of Europe, the culture of living together,
peace and tranquility," he added.
to the European Islamophobia Report 2017, a rising wave of Islamophobia has
taken hold in Europe.
report revealed 908 crimes, ranging from verbal and physical attacks to murder
attempts, targeting Muslims in Germany, as well as 664 in Poland, 364 in the
Netherlands, 256 in Austria, 121 in France, 56 in Denmark, and 36 in Belgium.
report was prepared by the Ankara-based Foundation for Political, Economic and
Social Research (SETA).
gift of a mosque sparks fears of ‘neo-Ottomanism’ in Kosovo
is six years since Islamic leaders and government officials laid the
cornerstone of Pristina’s new central mosque – a slab of stone now hidden
beneath weeds in a parking lot.
back the weeds reveals it is covered with bright red graffiti – death threats
to Kosovo’s chief mufti, along with the words: “No Turkish mosque or there will
has been controversy over the design, including rejection of plans drawn by
esteemed architects including Zaha Hadid in favour of a hulking carbon copy of
any number of centuries-old, Ottoman-style mosques.
now it seems this spot in the city’s Dardania district will finally get its new
mosque. Construction is to begin in spring.
mosque is a gift from Turkey to this Balkan state of 1.8 million, which
celebrated its 10th anniversary of independence this year. The decade has been
fraught. Twenty years after the war with neighbouring Serbia that killed
thousands and displaced hundreds of thousands more, Serbia still considers
Kosovo its territory. Some of the country’s leading Muslim religious leaders –
Kosovo is 95% Muslim – say dozens of mosques that were destroyed still haven’t
Europe they don’t have a single village without a church, but here in Kosovo
are at least 50 villages without a mosque,” remarks chief mufti Naim Tërnava in
his offices near the city’s Imperial Mosque. On Islamic holidays, the throng of
worshippers at this Ottoman-era mosque, built in 1461, often spills on to the
street outside. Tërnava is taken aback by the heated debate over Pristina’s new
mosque – for him, it is a practical necessity, “for the worship of God, and
is still struggling to carve out a place for itself in a restive part of Europe
amid poor economic prospects. The young state needs all the friends it can get.
its suitors is Turkey, which has made huge investments there and been a firm
advocate for its international recognition and eventual accession to Nato and
the EU. As the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, put it in a 2013 visit
to the country: “Turkey is Kosovo, and Kosovo is Turkey.”
words resonate in a Turkey whose assertive foreign policy has been
characterised as “neo-Ottomanism”. Kosovo plays no small role in Turkey’s
imperial history: the Battle of Kosovo in 1389 saw the defeat of the medieval
Kingdom of Serbia and the beginning of the Ottoman conquest of south-eastern
Europe. The empire went on to rule Kosovo for nearly 500 years, bringing with
it Islam and many other cultural influences.
large mosque wouldn’t seem out of place in Pristina, so why the controversy?
When the then mayor of Pristina, Isa Mustafa, laid the foundation stone, land
had already been donated by the local municipality. Mustafa went on to become
Kosovo’s prime minister, a position he held until last year, but the mosque was
city’s Islamic community claims it took a long time to select the winning
design and make sure it would “fit the location”. Pristina’s municipal
government dragged its feet in approving the mosque, but this year finally
granted permission, subject to a construction permit.
to many new mosques across Europe is rooted in fear of Islam, but with 19 of
every 20 people here Muslim, resistance to Pristina’s new mosque does not fit
neatly into that trend. Some locals resent what they see as a symbol of
Turkey’s overbearing influence, while others are suspicious of the creeping
return of faith to a secular, post-socialist public space.
the project’s most vocal opponents are local architects. Even though the public
tender stressed the need for an original building, the design chosen is
classical Ottoman. The project is being overseen by the Turkish state’s
directorate for religious affairs, Diyanet, which has built dozens of other
mosques across the Islamic world in recent years, in a move some describe as a
key vehicle of Turkey’s power play.
says the mosque will be based on the famous 16th-century Selimiye Mosque in
Edirne, north-western Turkey. In short, Pristina’s new mosque will more closely
resemble the hundreds built across the Balkans under Turkish rule – only much
30 designs were submitted just months after the call for designs was made in
2012. Even Zaha Hadid proposed a design,” says the architect Arbër Sadiki. “But
before the competition closed, interviews started appearing in the press in
which the mufti described what the new mosque would look like.
were supposed to be original, but the chosen one is just a copy of an Ottoman
mosque. The decision looks more political than architectural to me. I know
amazing architects doing work on contemporary mosques in Turkey. Why can’t we
put Pristina on the map with something similar?”
Josip Tito’s Yugoslavia, Pristina’s old bazaar and many historical buildings in
its Ottoman-era downtown were destroyed as part of a modernisation campaign
that secularised public space. As a result, explains Sadiki, modern Pristina is
mostly a postwar city, and little constructed since the 1970s has been
distinctive. Pristina’s most notable building today is its modernist, domed
national library, built in 1982.
some Kosovar Muslims are bitter, and have protested against the lack of space
to accommodate them at prayer. They see double standards at work, given that a
massive Catholic cathedral was constructed without issue in 2007, even though
Christians comprise just 3% of Kosovo’s population.
isn’t the only city in Kosovo where ostentatious Turkish-funded mosque
construction has taken place. In Mitrovica, about 20 miles north, clashes in
the 2000s led to the city’s division into southern (Albanian and Muslim) and
northern (Serb and Orthodox Christian) halves. The smaller northern district
flaunts its Serb identity, with a new Orthodox cathedral and a
much-photographed mural proclaiming “Kosovo is Serbia, Crimea is Russia”.
larger southern part of town is festooned with Albanian flags and monuments to
fighters from the Kosovo Liberation Army – as well as Kosovo’s largest mosque,
which opened in 2014 and is named after the Istanbul district Bayrampaşa that
funded its construction. Inside it is a riot of colour and ostentatiously
was no mosque like it in the city before – between 150 and 200 were destroyed
in Kosovo during its vicious war of secession from Yugoslavia, many of them
simple and modestly designed. For Mitrovica’s Muslims, the Bayrampaşa mosque is
a symbol of redemption, if not reconciliation.
in Pristina there is a sense Turkey has taken advantage of western disinterest
to expand its influence in a place Ankara treats like part of its backyard.
actors here have an interest in making the Kosovo conflict one of faith rather
than politics – for example, [the former Serb leader] Milošević played on
European Islamophobia and fears of extremism to delegitimise our struggle for
independence,” says Xhabir Hamiti, professor of Islamic studies at Pristina
authorities detained 12 suspects over alleged links to ISIS extremist group
including two French women sought by Interpol, state media reported on
suspects, including French, Syrian and Algerian citizens, were taken into
custody after anti-terror raids in the northwestern Turkish province of Bursa,
state news agency Anadolu said.
those caught were three women including the two French women who had red and
blue Interpol notices issued against them, Anadolu and the private DHA news
of the suspects had been in Syria with the extremist group before moving to
Bursa, the agency said, without giving further detail.
suspect was believed to have been a guard for an ISIS commander.
of the suspects have been sent to deportation centers, Anadolu said.
is Turkey's fourth most populous province with more two million residents.
have been a series of raids against ISIS suspects in Turkey in the past two
weeks, especially ahead of New Year celebrations.
on Wednesday, a man and a woman were detained in the central province of
Kayseri, accused of having ISIS links and believed to be preparing an attack on
New Year celebrations after arriving in Turkey from France three months
six foreign nationals were also taken into custody in the eastern province of
Elazig over suspected ties to ISIS, Anadolu reported.
of the foreigners - whose identities or countries of origin were not given -
were deported, the agency said, quoting unnamed security sources.
was hit by a series of terror attacks in 2015 and 2016 blamed on ISIS and
legitimate Yemeni government called on the United Nations to “act firmly” to
implement the Swedish agreement by ensuring the withdrawal of the Houthi
militias from Hodeidah and handing it over to the legitimacy.
comes at a time when the militias continue to breach the ceasefire in the city
and its surroundings, in addition to not opening humanitarian corridors and
trying to circumvent the agreement to not withdraw from Hodeidah and its ports.
the first day of the new year, General Patrick Kamert, chair of the
Redeployment Coordination Committee, west of Yemen, chaired a meeting with
representatives from the legitimate government and Houthis to coordinate the
meeting is a first, days after what observers called a 'Houthi act' where
diplomatic sources close to the UN envoy to Yemen told Al Arabiya that Cammaert
considered the Houthi actions a “unilateral, unacceptable operation.”
Houthi militias continue to violate the ceasefire agreement where the Arab
Coalition has reported that the militias have used mortars, RPGs, thermal
missiles, improvised explosive devices and sniper shooting since the agreement.
Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani says backing Palestine will boost security in
the region amid US and Israeli efforts to undermine the resistance front.
Palestine will help increase security in the region and the Islamic Republic
will always back the Palestinian nation and the cause of resistance,” Larijani
made the remarks during a meeting with the secretary general of the Palestinian
Islamic Jihad resistance movement, Ziad al-Nakhala, and his accompanying
delegation in the Iranian capital Tehran on Wednesday.
the current circumstances, the US and the Zionist regime (Israel) follow a
strategy of countering and hindering the axis of resistance. But measures and
initiatives by Palestinian people such as the Great March of Return foil such
acts,” Larijani said.
said supporting resistance was the only way to counter enemies, calling for
other initiatives like the Greta March of Return to contribute to the
top Iranian parliamentarian criticized certain Arab countries for taking steps
to officially normalize ties with Israel and rebuked other Arab states for
remaining silent, saying such an approach would undermine the Palestinian
his part, the Palestinian official praised Iran’s support for the Palestinian
nation, saying the Islamic Republic backed Palestine at a time when several
Arab countries were normalizing ties with Israel.
said that today the axis of resistance enjoyed great capacities and was in
possession of means to counter Israel’s acts of aggression.
the axis of resistance will emerge victorious in the region and this front will
counter any act of aggression through coherence,” he said.
have been running high near the fence separating the besieged Gaza Strip from
the Israeli occupied territories since March 30, 2017, which marked the start
of a series of protests dubbed “The Great March of Return.” Palestinian
protesters demand the right to return for those driven out of their homeland.
clashes in Gaza reached their peak on May 14 last, the eve of the 70th
anniversary of Nakba Day, or Day of Catastrophe, which coincided this year with
Washington's relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem
announces a plan to impose severe restrictions on members of Palestinian
resistance groups held in the regime's prisons.
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan announced the plan at a press conference
in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, saying it would likely be implemented in the coming
weeks once approved by the Israeli cabinet, The Times of Israel reported.
said the plan involved separating prisoners that belonged to the same
resistance movements. “I have decided that the Prisons Service will stop
holding the prisoners in wings based on their organizational affiliation,”
Erdan noted. Jailing Palestinians of same groups together had resulted in
strengthening of “their organization identity,” he said.
and water restrictions
prisoners would, meanwhile, no longer be able to cook for themselves. The
inmates, he alleged, “provided for themselves food that’s in some ways better
than the food given to criminal prisoners.”
will be clear limits on the amount of water a prisoner may consume each day,
the times in which they can shower will be limited and eventually the showers
will be moved out of the wings. Then we’ll be able to have better oversight and
limit their use,” the minister said.
prisoners' access to television and reducing the number of family visits were
also among the limitations.
official claimed the plan sought to pressure the Palestinian resistance
movement of Hamas into releasing two Israeli troops, which Erdan alleged it was
to official statistics, the number of Palestinian prisoners in Israel’s jails
has reached 5,500, including 230 children and 54 women.
Israeli military has nearly completed building a “sea barrier” off the Gaza
Strip to further tighten an already crippling blockade against the Palestinian
Channel 10 carried the report on the 200-meter-long structure earlier this
week, boasting it would “block any possibility” of entering the occupied
territories by sea.
out of stone and concrete, the barrier features a visible fence and a
subterranean wall as well as sensor systems.
barricade has been set up between Israel’s coastline and the area of Israeli
naval ships’ operations.
construction began in May, with then Minister of Military Affairs Avigdor
Lieberman claiming it would make infiltration into the coastline impossible.
at the time, the regime also alleged that members of the Palestinian resistance
movement Hamas had managed to make it into Israel by sea during Tel Aviv’s 2014
war on the coastal sliver that killed thousands of Palestinians.
began enforcing an all-out land, aerial, and ground blockade against the territory
in 2007 after Hamas won the Palestinian parliamentary elections.
measure has seen the Israeli navy maintaining heavy presence six to nine
nautical miles near Gaza. This is while, the Oslo Accords, signed by Tel Aviv
and the Palestine Liberation Organization umbrella group in the 1990s, says
Gazans can use the coastal waters as far as 20 nautical miles.
situation has severely restricted fishing activities off Gaza, where staples
are scarce. The overall blockade also threatens to render the territory
uninhabitable by 2020, according to the United Nations.
hand in glove with terror-exporting states: Analyst
United Kingdom government should be held accountable for the spread of
terrorist activities in the country and elsewhere in the West, says a political
analyst from London after a fresh terror attack in the British city of
Manchester injures three people.
there is a terrorist attack or even an apparent terrorist attack in the UK, we
have to ask the question as what are the psychological and political forces
which lead people to think they have a right to murder others,” said William
Shakespeare in an interview with the Press TV on Wednesday.
said most of the terrorist attacks carried out in the UK and elsewhere these
days are “coming from a source which can be identified”, adding that the
specific source lies in ideologies like “Wahabbism, Takfirisim, and Salafism
which is centered in Saudi Arabia”.
expert said the UK was in fact responsible for the outbreaks of terrorism in
the West as it supports Saudi Arabia and the regime's export of the
"consequences" of terrorist ideologies to other parts of the world.
monstrous that in the Wahhabist, Takfiri, Saslafist ideology, they are
encouraged and allowed to killed other Muslims, this is a sort of insanity. It
is tolerated by our government,” he said.
political analyst said no one expects countries like the UK to be able to
eradicate terror-related ideologies like Wahabbism. However, he added that when
it comes to taking steps to prevent the Wahhabi ideology from spreading, the UK
and others have no courage and determination to do so.
don't have the guts to stand up and say ... We, in practical terms, we actually
support the sources of this,” he said, adding, “We are hand in glove with the
autocratic regimes in the Middle East.”
expert said the policy for governments like the UK after terrorist attack has
been to simply blame individuals for following terror-related ideologies while
they never mention the support they have provided for countries like Saudi
ought to be ashamed of ourselves that we go around even blaming perhaps people
who are not all that intelligent in the UK for picking up on these things,
things which we in practice encourage and support,” said Shakespeare.
in the United Kingdom have refused to give the identity of a young man who
stabbed three people on New Year’s Eve in a suspected terror attack in the city
of Manchester while authorities say the man might have suffered from mental
Reuters news agency said on Wednesday that Greater Manchester Police had
refused to return requests for more information on the identity and backgrounds
of the 25-year-old man, who injured three people in the Victoria metro station
early on Tuesday.
launched a raid into the home of the man in Manchester's Cheetham Hill area on
Tuesday as they were desperately seeking information on whether the suspect had
accomplices that could launch other attacks in the city and other parts of the
UK during the New Year holidays.
had earlier announced that they were treating the incident as a terror attack
and counter-terrorism police launched an investigation.
in a fresh turn of events, police said on Tuesday that the man behind the
attack was being assessed for mental health issues. There were no further
information available and police refused to say how they had come to the
came as people who witnessed the stabbing attack, including a BBC producer who
was at the busy metro station, have said that the man was chanting slogans
against British government and saying that Britons will be target of attacks as
long as their army was bombing people in other countries.
site of the incident is close to a hall where 22 concert goers were killed in a
terror attack in May 2015.
suffered from three major terror attacks last year and authorities have
maintained the second highest security alert to severe. The country has
specifically struggling with a growing threat from nationals who have returned
from militancy engagements in the Middle East.
Ahmet Gurhan Kartal
aunt of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad was secretly granted the right to live in
the U.K. indefinitely in 2012 in return of a huge investment in the country, a
British daily reported Wednesday.
63-year-old woman, who could not be named due to legal restrictions, is one of
the four wives of Assad’s uncle Rifaat al-Assad, known as the ‘Butcher of Hama’
-- a nickname he was given after allegedly ordering the killing of up to 40,000
Syrians in 1982, The Telegraph reported.
article said the decision to give the woman, who is referred as "LA"
in legal documents, indefinite leave to remain in the U.K. was made in 2012
when Prime Minister Theresa May was the home secretary.
two sons, now aged 22 and 37, were allowed to stay at about the same time,
according to the report.
son of Rifaat, one from a different mother, was granted indefinite leave to
remain in 2014, it said.
number of relatives of Assad and his British-born wife Asma live in the U.K.,
including her father Fawaz Akhras.
al-Assad, who is 80 years old, owns hundreds of properties in France, Spain and
the U.K., many of which have now been seized, the daily said, adding that he is
facing corruption and money-laundering charges in France.
served as head of Syria's Defense Companies paramilitary unit in the 1970s and
80s but went into exile in Europe after a failed coup against his brother Hafez
al-Assad in 1984.
was considered the “muscle” behind the throne as a more brutal man than his
brother, according to the daily.
Rights Watch reported that he was responsible for the massacre of more than
1,000 prisoners in the notorious Tadmur jail in 1980.
report went onto say that Rifaat owns a £10 million ($12.7 million) Georgian
mansion off Park Lane in central London and also has houses in London,
Marbella, and France.
to the report, the details of the case came from a 37-page court ruling by the
Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC).
family had brought the appeal claim after being denied British citizenship but
the court rejected their claim.
to the SIAC ruling, Rifat’s wife first came to the U.K. in 2006 and was given
"entry clearance as an investor".
daily reported that she told the Home Office that she was "investing in
bonds, hedge funds etc" and was granted special entrance clearance.
down the appeal for citizenship, the SIAC said the current relationship with
Syria’s dictator Bashar al-Assad and the Syrian regime could not be fully
decision said: "You are the wife of Rifaat al-Assad the uncle of President
Bashar Al-Assad of Syria. Although widely reported as estranged from Bashar
Al-Assad, Rifaat is the brother of Hafez Al-Assad (the late former president of
Syria). Rifaat was a well-known and prominent member of his brother’s regime
during the 1970s and 1980s -- a regime that is widely held to have committed
crimes against humanity.
it is not possible to assess the exact nature of your current relationship with
Bashar Al-Assad and the Syrian regime, it is noted that the regime has become
inextricably linked over the last few decades with the extended Assad
Home Office explained that the U.K. plays a key role at the United Nations in
“securing resolutions that condemn regime activity against civilians”, the
daily also reported.
light of the above, the Home Secretary has determined that to grant you a
certificate of naturalization would have an adverse impact on the U.K.’s
international relations and therefore it would not be in the public interest to
grant you British Citizenship," Home Office also said.
and India to discuss security cooperation in the wake of recent developments
and New Delhi will hold new talks on security cooperation in the wake of latest
developments, specifically after news reports emerged suggesting that the U.S.
President Donald Trump is mulling withdrawal of nearly 7 thousand troops from
the country. The latest round of talks would take place between the National
Security Advisors of the two countries, it has been reported.
Afghan NSA is likely to hold parleys with his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval
along with other senior military and political leadership,” sources privy of
the development have told media outlets in India.
has played a major role in the reconstruction of Afghanistan since the fall of
the Taliban regime and has invested over $2 billion in various reconstruction
and infrastructure projects.
government of India pledged a fresh aid package of $1 billion to support the
reconstruction projects in Afghanistan during a visit by President Mohammad
Ashraf Ghani in late 2016.
two countries have also developed a high level of cooperation in terms of
military and security during the recent years.
forces have killed two Iranian members of the Taliban in northern Faryab province,
local army said Tuesday.
militants were identified as Ahmad and Jundullah, according to 1Tv News.
site added that they were among 29 militants who were killed during clashes,
airstrikes, and supplying forces convoy on highway between Shirin Tagab and
Khwaja Sabz Posh districts.
deaths include also two local Taliban commanders Nasratullah and Sadi who were
killed in airstrikes, the statement added.
more militants were injured and a Taliban hideout was destroyed.
four Afghan forces were injured in the clashes, the statement said.
Afghan soldiers have been killed in a bomb explosion carried out by Taliban
militants in a tunnel below an army outpost in southern Afghanistan.
spokesman Mohammad Ashraf Watandost said on Wednesday that six soldiers were
also injured in the attack on Tuesday in Maiwand district in the southern
province of Kandahar.
Yousuf Ahmadi, a Taliban spokesman, claimed that militants had destroyed a
large arms cache, leaving 35 soldiers killed and injured.
Afghan border security forces on Wednesday foiled an attack on Italian military
advisers at a paramilitary base in Herat Province in the west of the country.
Qadri, the commander of 207 Zafar military corps, said two assailants who had
infiltrated the border security forces tried to kill the Italians.
Italian nationals escaped uninjured. One attacker was gunned down immediately
and the other was arrested," he added.
Italian forces are part of the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission, purportedly
engaged in training and advising local Afghan troops battling Taliban militants
in four western provinces.
has 895 troops attached to Resolute Support.
attacks come few days after the Taliban militant group rejected a call by the
Afghan government for formal peace talks next month in Saudi Arabia.
Taliban leader announced on Sunday that the group’s representatives would meet
US officials in the Saudi Arabian port city of Jeddah for the fifth round of
talks within the next few days but not the representatives of the Afghan
is while the government of President Ashraf Ghani says the talks should be
“Afghan-led and Afghan-owned,” insisting on continued efforts to establish a
direct line of diplomatic communication with the Taliban.
The Bangladesh police arrested a journalist under the controversial
anti-propaganda law and are looking for another one on allegations of
publishing “fake” information about the elections held at the weekend,
officials said on Wednesday.
Hedayet Hossain Mollah, a Dhaka Tribune and Bangla Tribune correspondent, was
arrested on Tuesday evening in Khulna district after local administration chief
filed a case against him, the officer-in-charge of the local police, Mahbubur
Rahman, told Efe news.
gave fake information about election. He reported 22,419 more votes were cast
than the total numbers of vote in Khulna-1 constituency. This serious
misinformation put us in an embarrassing situation,” said Rahman.
Khulna administration chief also filed a case against Bengali newspaper Manab
Zamin’s correspondent Rashidul Islam, who is currently on the run.
had cases filed against them under the controversial Digital Security Act,
which provides jail sentences for publishing “propaganda” against the state and
“spreading rumours” and also has provisions of life imprisonment for revealing
state secrets and publishing “false or distorted” information.
four are Asian University student Abu Khaled Mohammad Jabed, Stamford
university student Md Borhan Uddin, Manarat University student Md Rezaul
Khaleque and former Dhaka Unani Ayurvedic Medical College student Syed Mominul
families earlier said the four were returning home by bus after shopping at
Shahbagh last Saturday.
people posing as members of police’s Detective Branch stopped the bus at
Farmgate and detained the four youths, the families said.
told a press conference on Tuesday that they were appearing before the media
after failing to get police to admit to the detention of the four youths.
in the evening, members of Dhaka Metropolitan Police’s DB handed the four to
Kafrul Police Station.
Zillur Rahman took the four to court on Wednesday showing them arrested in a
case started by Tanti League leader Md Zahangir over vandalism of its office
and bombing at Section-13 in Mirpur on Dec 17.
Magistrate Md Baki Billah rejected their bail petitions and granted the police
plea to send them to jail.
the petition, SI Zillur alleged the four were helping the BNP and the
Jamaat-e-Islami in acts of violence by making bombs for a long time as members
of the parties.
carried out an attack on the Tanti League’s election office before the election
in an attempt to kill the leaders of the ruling Awami League affiliate, the
may need to quiz the suspects in custody in the future, so it was necessary to
keep them behind bars, he argued.
Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) leader Sadiq Ali Shihab Thangal strongly
criticized the state government in connection with the entry of two young women
district president of the party said that government machinery was misused for
the violation of rituals in Sabarimala and the government’s stand has hurt the
sentiments of Hindu community. "There is a feeling among devotees that
government intentionally extended help to the women who entered in to the hill
shrine and government machineries were misused for the purpose, instead of
resisting the entry of young women. We stand with the pang of hundreds of
Ayyappa devotees", he said adding that the indirect support from the part
of government to those who violated ritual hurt the feeling of devotees.
IUML leader said that people’s representatives should respect the sentiments of
people. He said that party’s stand in the issue is the same as that of UDF
which already expressed solidarity with the devotees who want to protect the
customs of Sabarimala.
supreme court announced its verdict allowing all-women entry in Sabarimala
Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) had shown solidarity with the Hindu outfits
which launched state wide protest demanding protection of customs in
IUML, which is the largest ally of United Democratic Front (UDF) alliance in
Kerala, had also come out in support of calls for a review petition on the SC
verdict. The party had also come out in support of calls for review petition on
the SC verdict. The party had also appealed to its member parties to support
the opposition to the verdict.
DELHI: The seized items recovered from raids in Delhi and Amroha in connection
with the new ISIS module — Harkat-ul-Harb-e-Islam case can make IEDs, says
National Investigation Agency (NIA).
to NIA’s in-house explosives expert, it would take him only 40 minutes to
fabricate a lethal Improvised Explosive Device (IED) from the seized explosive,
reported Hindustan Times.
counter-terror probe agency on December 28 arrested 10 people including the
group head Mufti Mohammad Suhail as they were allegedly planning terror attacks
targeting some political personalities and security establishments as well as
crowded places in Delhi and the national capital region (NCR).
had recovered a country-made rocket launcher, 12 pistols, 112 alarm clocks, 91
mobile phones, 135 SIM cards, many laptops and various electronic gadgets,
besides recovering 150 rounds of ammunition during the searches.
NIA in the statement said to had also seized 25 kg of explosive material, such
as potassium nitrate, ammonium nitrate, sulphur, sugar material paste, mobile
phone circuits, batteries, 51 pipes, remote control car triggering switch,
wireless digital doorbell for remote switch, steel containers, electric wires,
knife, sword, IS-related literature and Rs 7.5 lakh in cash.
popular fire-cracker “Sutli bombs” burst during several functions and festivals
have been used to fabricate IEDs, said a senior NIA official on the condition
of anonymity to HT.
Sutli bombs, recovered from the premises of module members, are the easiest
available source of explosives. It is not the first time that IS or al-Qaeda
inspired groups have experimented with firecrackers or matchsticks to procure
explosives. Several videos are available on the Internet showing fabrication of
IEDs using these materials. The alleged kingpin of the module, Mufti Mohammed
Suhail was watching these videos on YouTube. His computer is being forensically
examined,” he said.
training ultras to wage ‘samundari jihad’ against India
ministry of home affairs informed Parliament on Wednesday that Pakistan-based
terror groups are training their cadres for underwater strike capabilities and
exhorting them for ‘samundari jihad’ (seaborne jihad) so that they can
infiltrate into India by sea or waterways to carry out attacks.
MHA reply in Parliament comes few days after intelligence bureau informed the
police agencies and the government that Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad
are imparting specialised underwater training to their cadres. The alert is
being taken seriously particularly as the country is set to celebrate Republic
major Islamic State presence, but efforts on to radicalise youth: J&K DGP
days after Islamic State (IS) supporters stormed the historic Jamia Masjid to
occupy the sacred pulpit and raise IS flags, Jammu and Kashmir police ruled out
the major presence of IS in Kashmir, but asserted that efforts are on by
anti-national elements to radicalise a section of youth.
the past, those (IS) flags have been carried and displayed publicly just to
show that there is a very large presence of such elements. We will again say
that their presence is not that big but the fact is that people are being
radicalised on those lines and that cannot be denied," said Dilbag Singh,
director general of police, Jammu and Kashmir.
on the topic, he said, serious activity on the part of anti-national and
anti-social elements is on to radicalise a section of the youth to every extent
civil society as such has been a very open society, with a very secular
culture, where we extend due respect to our places of worship and other things.
Efforts (to radicalise) have been made in certain quarters and their fruition
has been seen in the kind of activities we saw the other day (at Jamia
Masjid)," he said.
youth stormed the historic Jamia Masjid, unfurling Islamic State (IS) flags and
briefly occupying the pulpit after Friday prayers before vanishing into thin
air. Shouting slogans 'Daulat-ul-Islam' (Islamic State), one of the jeans-clad
masked youths climbed the pulpit used by Moderate Hurriyat Conference leader
and chief cleric of Jamia Masjid Mirwaiz Umar Farooq to deliver sermons on
Fridays and important days of Islamic calendar.
Director General of Police said 91 security force personnel, including 45
policemen, were killed in 2018.
of our policemen were killed in their homes. Some of them were abducted and
killed. Few of our policemen were killed in encounters. In addition, 46
security men were also killed taking the toll of security forces to 91 in
2018," he said.
after an IS flag was waived from the pulpit in Jamia Masjid here, moderate
Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq send out a strong message to supporters of
the radical IS ideology by cleaning the area that was defiled.
Hurriyat leader on Wednesday chaired a session of the Awami Action Committee
headed by him in downtown Srinagar and later carried out the purification of
the pulpit of the mosque, where IS supporters had waved black flags and also
raised slogans in support of the caliphate on Friday.
act of purification by Mirwaiz was aimed at sending out a political message
that Kashmiris reject radical ideologies. Following the Awami meeting at the
Rajouri Kadal headquarters, Mirwaiz along with his supporters proceeded to
Jamia Mosque, where he himself supervised the “purification process”.
grand cleric was seen cleaning the pulpit of the mosque, where a masked IS
supporter had climbed the steps to the pulpit with his shoes, an act widely
denounced in Kashmir as the “desecration of the mosque”. ’
the Friday incident as an “unacceptable act by the enemies of Islam”, the
meeting chaired by Mirwaiz also resolved that such acts won’t be tolerated in
Muslims better off than the Muslims of Islamic countries: Maulana Mahmood
General Secretary Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind Maulana Syed Mahmood Asad Madani said
that the situation of India is different from the remaining world. Even in the
Muslim countries, the Muslims residing there apparently look prosperous but if
we look closely their political and social affairs, the reality is different.
Madani claimed that the Muslims of India are far better than those living in
Muslim countries. The reason behind this is while they don’t have a chance to
propagate their religion, here we have an opportunity to propagate our religion
through our behaviour and manners; either orally or practically.
told this while addressing a special Board meeting of Jamiat Ulama Uttar
Pradesh on Tuesday.
minister of Rajasthan government in the line of fire of Ulama for worshiping
Delhi, Jan 3: The Congress seems to be continuing with its soft Hindutva plank
when minority and waqf affairs minister in the Rajasthan government Saleh
Mohammad has done Rudrabhishek (special kind of worship to Lord Shiva) at a
famous temple at Pokhran in Jaisalmer district of the state. He also prayed at
Mohammad, son of an Islamic religious teacher Ghzai Faqir, worshiping at Hindu
temples has become a matter of discussion in the Marwar region of Rajasthan.
Saleh Mohammad is the only Muslim face in the Rajasthan government led by Ashok
defeated BJP candidate Mahant Pratap Puri from the Pokhran Assembly
constituency. Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath and Rajasthan chief
minister Vasundhara Raje both had campaigned for Mahant at Pokhran but Saleh
emerged victorious. Saleh Mohammad said that he has great faith in both the
Hindu temples at Pokhran. "I prayed for peace, happiness and prosperity of
the state in these temples. My family has great faith in Hindu temples and
whenever I get a chance I visit a temple," said the minister. This is to
recall that during the swearing in ceremony too he was clad in saffron headgear
and put vermilion on his forehead. Also Read | Rahul Gandhi to address farmers
rally in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh But this has not gone down
well with Muslim Ulama and the minority minister is in the line of fire of
Islamic clerics for performing Rudrabhishek. Ulama are saying that he must
apologies to God for this sin. In-charge of Fatwa online Mufti Arshad Farooqui
said that Islam does not allow worshiping anyone except Allah. So he has
committed a sin.
In Muslim Families Drop By 5%, Christian Families 13% In Karnataka
The number of babies born into Muslim and Christian families in Karnataka
dipped for the second straight year in 2017, while the number of Hindu children
showed a slight upward trend, according to data on births released recently.
2017, 10.9 lakh births were registered in Karnataka with 9.3 lakh births in Hindu,
1.6 lakh in Muslim and 6,431 in Christian families. There were 11 lakh births
in 2016—9.3 lakh in Hindu, 1.7 lakh in Muslim and 7,389 in Christian families.
to overall number of births in 2016, the decline in total number of births in
2017 is marginal (0.7%). However, births in Muslim families in 2017 decreased
5% compared to 2016, while the dip in Christian babies was 13%. In the same
period, babies born into Hindu families remained flat with a paltry 0.2% rise.
is the second consecutive year that births in Muslim and Christian families
have declined, while those in Hindu families went up. Compared to 2015, births
in Muslim families had dipped 7% in 2016, while Christian families saw a
massive 42% decline. Births in Hindu families had gone up 8% that year.
declining trend in Muslim and Christian babies was despite increase in the
total number of births in 2016. There were a total of 10.5 lakh births in 2015,
which increased by 5% in 2016 to cross 11 lakh. These birth registrations are
compiled by the Registrar General of India based on information submitted by
the Karnataka government.
CM Lakshmana, head of the Population Research Centre at the Institute for
Social and Economic Change (Isec), said:
trends in education levels, acceptance and family planning would have played a
key role. But it’s difficult to attribute any particular reason for the dip in
births in Muslim and Christian families without an in-depth study.”
not whole picture
point out that while the sample registration system (SRS) serves as an
indicator to a pattern, it does not delve deep into community-wise reasons.
Sociologists told TOI that it’s difficult to immediately attribute reasons
given that the 2017 data was released only Friday last. They felt the need for
a thorough research into reasons.
encounter broke out between militants and security forces in South Kashmir’s
Pulwama district on Thursday. The gunbattle, which erupted in Gulshanpora
forest of Tral area, is underway, Awantipora Superintendent of Police Mohammed
Zahid Malik told The Indian Express.
to Twitter, police said, “Exchange of fire between security forces and
terrorists at higher reaches of Tral, Awantipora.”
days ago, a Special Police Officer (SPO) of J&K Police was killed by
suspected militants in the district. The policeman belonged to a village in
which another encounter had taken place a few days ago and where four
Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militants were killed by security forces.
to a police spokesperson, militants had barged into the house of Sameer Ahmad
Mir at Hanjan-Payeen in Pulwama and “fired upon him, injuring him critically.”
sustained critical gunshot wounds in this incident and was evacuated to nearby
hospital for medical treatment. However, he succumbed to his injuries and
attained martyrdom,” the spokesperson said.
the incident, a case was registered and a probe is underway.
Sajjad SyedUpdated January 03, 2019
China on Wednesday tentatively acknowledged it was extending financial
assistance to help Pakistan boost its dwindling foreign exchange reserves.
foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang in his daily media briefing in Beijing said:
“The Chinese side has offered and will continue to offer its best through
assistance, trade, investment and all-around practical cooperation to support
and boost Pakistan’s economic and social development.”
was responding to a question about a Financial Times report, which said that
China had pledged to lend at least $2bn to Pakistan to shore up its foreign
exchange reserves and prevent further devaluation of the rupee against the
was the first official confirmation by a Chinese official that Beijing had
planned to extend a financial package to Islamabad.
Lu further noted that Pakistan and China are “all-weather strategic partners”
and both have been “in close communication with each other on the relevant
details of the conditions on which the assistance is being extended to Pakistan
are still not known, though there have been speculations it’s being given as a
loan at an exorbitant rate.
had formally sought Chinese assistance during Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit
to Beijing last November. The Chinese leadership had after the meetings with PM
Khan pledged to help Pakistan out of the looming economic crisis, but the
details were subsequently worked out in meetings at the official and experts’
was initially said that Chinese package would also include a currency swap
arrangement and increased access for Pakistani products to Chinese markets to
redress Pak-China trade imbalance. Mr Kang in his statement also indicated that
the package would be a comprehensive one.
is also planning to launch ‘Panda Bond’ to raise up to $1 billion from Chinese
equity market. Pakistan and China are, moreover, jointly undertaking the
multi-billion dollar infrastructure and communications project — the
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). So far 22 early harvest projects under
the CPEC have been completed or are under construction with a total investment
CPEC, officials say, is being expanded and the two sides at a meeting of the
Joint Coordination Committee held on Dec 20 had signed a memorandum of
understanding on industrial cooperation and an agreement was also reached on
promoting the construction of special economic zones. Moreover, China pledged
to support projects such as education, agriculture, poverty alleviation, health
care and vocational training under the newly set up socio-economic component of
the connectivity project.
had earlier secured balance of payments support from Saudi Arabia and the
United Arab Emirates both of whom had pledged to deposit $3bn each in the State
Bank of Pakistan. Saudi Arabia has already transferred $2bn to Pakistan under
the arrangement. The kingdom has, moreover, promised to provide oil on deferred
with the International Monetary Fund over a bailout are, meanwhile, continuing
and the government last month submitted a Memorandum of Economic and Financial
Policies envisaging fiscal adjustment, energy pricing, monetary and exchange
rate policy and structural reforms, but differences between the two are said to
Pakistan Peoples Party leader Qamar Zaman Kaira says the party has the
capability to topple the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government but won’t do so
and let it complete the term so that its ineptness stands exposed before the
have the ability and required number to oust the PTI government but are
observing restraint only to fully expose its incompetence before the masses by
letting it complete its constitutional term,” he said at a press conference
here on Wednesday.
Kaira said the PPP could have checked formation of the National Assembly after
the “tainted” polls had its leadership wished so, but for the sake of democracy
it accepted the “manipulated” election results.
said that soon after the release of a joint investigation team’s report on fake
bank accounts, the PTI ministers rushed to topple the Sindh government, adding
that the chaos created by the ministers during the last two weeks was aimed at
“covering their own incompetence”.
wondered whether the JIT had been formed to probe the fake bank accounts or lay
a trap around the PPP leadership. “We do know that their aim was to encircle
Asif Ali Zardari through the JIT. But we are not afraid of it.”
former information minister asked what message the PTI government desired to
give by placing the name of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on the
Exit Control List as the step created a [political] crisis. He regretted that
despite a clear-cut directive by the Supreme Court, the government was using
delaying tactics to remove the names of the chief minister and others from the
ECL by forming a review committee.
said that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government was talking of closing the
Asghar Khan case while in the opposition he was hyperactive for a court verdict
on the issue.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government is working on introducing a uniform education
system in the province, says Adviser to Chief Minister on Education Ziaullah
to journalists here on Tuesday evening, he said that Prime Minister Imran Khan
had promised to introduce uniform curriculum in all the educational
institutions of the country including government and private schools, colleges,
universities and religious seminaries.
said that prime minister in his first address to the nation promised that his government
would introduce uniform education system in the country.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has already been working on it,” said Mr Bangash.
He said that the uniform curriculum would replace the existing class-based
added that for the purpose, prime minister called emergent consultation meeting
of all the education ministers and advisers of the federal and provincial
governments few days ago.
adviser claimed that for the first time, transparent recruitment of physically challenged
persons was made in education sector.
said that owing to growing number of students in the government educational
institutions, second shift was also being started.
said that government had decided that children of government schoolteachers
would study in the state-run schools.
myself have followed this principle and admitted my child to a government
school. The members of all the assemblies, government officers and teachers
will also abide by this rule,” he added.
Bangash asked the teachers to admit their children to government schools and
improve standard of education. “Beginning second shift in educational
institutions is part of a comprehensive educational policy of the government,”
said that government would not construct new schools rather evening shifts
would be started in the existing schools. He added that in case of
non-availability of school building in an area, a rented building would be
arranged by the government.
Bangash also said that localised recruitment of youth as teachers in schools
would be introduced.
said that government implemented public-private partnership scheme in education
sector in the localities that lacked state-run schools.
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Wednesday expressed his happiness
over enrolment of displaced Thari children in the model school built within the
recently established New Senhri Dars model village in Thar coalfield’s
batch of 48 students belonging to the Bheel community was enrolled in the
model school on Tuesday.
his message to mark the occasion, Mr Shah said: “I am quite happy that we have
not only given them good houses for living but are providing education to their
model village has been set up for the displaced families of the block-II near
of the newly enrolled students are entering school for the first time.
Thar Foundation, operating 24 schools in Islamkot and Mithi taluka of
Tharparkar district, has enrolled 2,300 students.
chief minister said that only a few days ago, the Sindh government through the
foundation shifted the Bheel community to the model village and on Tuesday,
their children were enrolled in the new school. It is a three-storey building
with a capacity of 900 students from pre-primary to grade 10.
the enrolment of the displaced families’ children, the number of total students
at the school has crossed the 300 mark as children from the nearby villages
have already been enrolled there.
Shah said more students would be enrolled in the coming week as the process of
shifting families to the village was continuing.
of 172 displaced families, 36 have been resettled another 30 would be shifted
to the village within the next 10 days.
process could be completed by the end of March.
programme in progress
district administration on Wednesday reported to the provincial authorities
that under the ongoing relief programme for the drought-hit areas, more than
97,000 ration bags had been distributed among families of pregnant and
lactating women (PLWs) in the first two phases till the turn of 2018. The third
phase has been started on Jan 1.
report submitted by the Thar deputy commissioner said that 989 ration bags were
distributed on Wednesday.
said the PLWs, identified by the health department and its affiliated
organisations, had been duly registered.
date, 60,650 bags have been distributed in the phase-II while 36,656 bags had
already been distributed in the phase-I,” said the report.
(Wednesday) 632 families were given 50kg-bags of wheat in Phase-II.
18 families who had not collected wheat bags in Phase-I, approached their
respective sentinel points and collected wheat bags to their previous phase.
Till date, 246,927 families in Phase-I and 248,804 families in Phase-II have
received wheat bags ...”
said the district and taluka hospitals in Thar had provided outpatient services
to 338,157 children, who included 67,202 children below the age of five years,
over the past six months.
coal miners burnt to death as result of a methane gas blast inside a coal mine
in Balochistan's Dukki district on Wednesday morning, less than a week after
three miners lost their lives in the same area.
incident occurred in coal-rich Chamalang area of Dukki district.
district police officer, Sardar Hashim Khan, said one coal miner sustained
serious injuries as a result of the blast.
said all the victims, two of whom were siblings, belonged to the same family
from neighboring Afghanistan. The coal miners on their own retrieved bodies of
their colleagues from the mine.
were extracting coal from thousands feet inside the mine when the tragedy
struck," a levies official said.
notice of the deaths, Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan ordered the
concerned quarters to ensure that such incidents do not occur in the future.
working conditions inside coal mines of Balochistan have been claiming precious
human lives. As per the statistics provided by the provincial Mines and
Minerals Development Department, over 1,000 coal miners have died in such kind
of incidents during the last 18 years in Balochistan.
Pakistan Army’s spokesperson on Wednesday said that cooperation between
political and military leadership of the country helped make nationwide
anti-terror military action Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad successful.
an interview with a private news channel, Inter-Services Public Relations
(ISPR) DG Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor thanked the people of Pakistan and the political
leadership for their support in making headway in the Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad,
terming it an “intelligence-based campaign”.
said the political and military leadership has combined to make such operations
successful. “Pakistan Army, the government institutions and the nation have
collectively fought the menace of terrorism in the country,” he commented.
units of illegal weapons were recovered during Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad,” he
said while adding that 75,000 covert operations were carried out during the
past two years. The military’s spokesperson further said 345 terrorists were
sentenced to death by military courts in the same period.
said the end goal of the operation is to maintain the writ of the state as the
prerogative for the use of force is held only with the state.
said that people of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) have faced
countless difficulties during the war on terror but the time has come to focus
on the development of terror-affected areas.
Gen Ghafoor said, “The new war is about progress. If anyone wants to wage a war
now, it has to be for education, health and employment … we are taking steps
for the rehabilitation of tribal areas.”
ISPR DG said that Pakistan wants peaceful relations with all its neighbouring
countries including India. He said issues and problems will not be resolved
through threat and Pakistan is capable to respond to any misadventure
also said peace in Kabul would translate into peace in Pakistan, adding that
instability in the neighbouring was not in their interest.
have seen a spillover of terrorism from Afghanistan in our country,” he said.
Three cities in Africa, Asia and the Middle East are chosen every year as
capitals of Islamic culture by the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization (ISESCO) for enriching the culture of their regions.
year, Jerusalem, Brunei’s capital Bandar Seri Begawan, and Guinea-Bissau’s
capital Bissau have been recognized for their historical significance in the
areas of culture, art, social sciences and architecture.
an exception for 2019, Tunis was included as a fourth capital since it hosted
an Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) conference in December.
of 54 member states, along with three observer states, ISESCO’s charter
stipulates that every OIC member state is officially a member of ISESCO upon
signing the charter.
Capitals of Islamic Culture program was born through an OIC resolution in 2002.
main criteria for selection are outstanding contribution to both Islamic and
universal culture, confirmed through the scientific, cultural, literary and
artistic works of scholars.
inaugurated the program in 2005, with Makkah named the first capital.
program aims to foster cultural enrichment, encourage dialogue between states
and build global bridges.
for celebrations in the four capitals are under way.
or Al-Quds in Arabic, is one of the oldest cities in the world, and bears many
scars from ancient times.
is the cradle of Christianity, and Muslims first turned toward Jerusalem for
prayer before then turning toward Makkah.
name is derived from the word “maqdis,” Arabic for sacred.
was declared a permanent capital of culture upon the proposition of ISESCO
Director General Abdulaziz Al-Twaijri during a conference in Bahrain last
faces a systematic policy of Judaization and alteration of its Islamic cultural
and civilizational landmarks, which necessitates that OIC members and the
international community unite efforts to protect the rights of the Palestinian
people and safeguard the city’s identity,” said Al-Twaijri.
was once the capital of the Muslim caliphate in North Africa.
was renowned for its unrivalled prosperity and economic, cultural and social
city is home to a blend of Arab-Islamic culture dating back to the 7th century.
around an ancient quarter with towering minarets overlooking the Mediterranean,
the city’s numerous Islamic architectural structures, some in ruins but others
well-preserved, are a testament to its ancient significance.
Culture Minister Mohamed Zine El-Abidine asserted the importance of reinforcing
culture as the “driving force for development and a bulwark against extremism
this year’s Asian capital of Islamic culture, Brunei is considered the
longest-standing Malay state since its embrace of Islam more than six centuries
small nation has played a central role in reinforcing the Islamic faith in the
celebrating the declaration of Bandar Seri Begawan as a culture capital will
kick off on Jan. 17.
teachings are rooted in the country’s political culture and history, as well as
in daily practices,” said Maj. Gen. Dato Paduka Abidin, Brunei’s culture
the African continent, the capital of Guinea-Bissau is a rich mix of Islamic
and Christian cultures enriched by traditional African beliefs.
arrived in Guinea-Bissau before the 12th century, and expanded considerably in
the 18th and 19th centuries.
year, Bissau hosts a cultural and artistic event, and several neighborhoods
showcase their vibrant cultural heritage.
proclaimed 2019 the year of heritage in the Islamic world.
a statement released on the occasion, ISESCO invited member states to plan
celebrations, and underscored the importance of cultural heritage in preserving
memory and identity.
Thirteen people died when suspected jihadists attacked a village in
central-northern Burkina Faso, triggering a deadly bout of ethnic violence,
local sources and a security official said on Wednesday.
on motorbikes attacked the village of Yirgou in Barsalogo district on Tuesday
morning, "killing six people, including the village chief" and his
son, the security official said.
Barsalogo resident, reached by phone by AFP from the capital Ouagadougou, said
local villagers, who were from the Mossi ethnic group, then attacked a nearby
camp of herders from the nomadic Fulani group, "accusing them of being
accomplices of the terrorists."
Fulani herders were lynched and their homes were burned down," the
security official said.
mayor of Barsalogo district, Abdoulaye Pafadnam, said the 13 dead were buried at
nightfall on Tuesday, but added it was possible the toll was even higher.
precarious calm has returned to the village, thanks to the presence of defence
and security reinforcements," he said.
there are reports going around of armed groups coming from the Malian border,
and these have caused a mobilisation of the koglweogo," Pafadnam said,
referring to a self-defence group.
crisis committee has been set up to get everyone around the table to talk and
avoid the worst," he said.
on Tuesday declared a state of emergency in provinces within seven of the
country's 13 administrative regions, four days after 10 gendarmes were killed
near the border with Mali.
state of emergency gives additional powers to the security forces to carry out searches
of homes and to restrict freedom of movement.
Faso lies in the heart of the vast Sahel.
region turned into a hotbed of extremism and lawlessness after chaos engulfed
Libya in 2011, followed by an Islamist insurgency in northern Mali and the rise
of Boko Haram in northern Nigeria.
attacks began in northern Burkina Faso in 2015 but then spread to the east,
near the border with Togo and Benin.
attacks have been attributed to the jihadist group Ansarul Islam, which emerged
near the Mali border in December 2016, and to the JNIM (the Group to Support
Islam and Muslims), which has sworn allegiance to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic
Sudanese political parties signed a memorandum on Tuesday which was sent to
President Omar al-Bashir, calling for the dissolution of the Sudanese
government and parliament.
parties also demanded the formation of a transitional council to manage the
country, in addition to forming a transitional government that combines
competencies and equal political representation.
Al Arabiya correspondent reported that the al-Islah party withdrew all of its
representatives from the government.
on Tuesday, al-Bashir had issued a decree to form an investigative committee to
probe the violence that occurred during anti-government protests.
to official numbers, at least 19 persons were killed and hundreds injured
during the protests that started on December 19 in several cities, including
Khartoum, after a governmental decision to raise the prices of bread and fuel.
quickly turned into marches that criticized government policy in Khartoum and
other Sudanese regions.
burnt several buildings and offices of the ruling National Congress Party. Riot
police managed to break up the marches.
Libyan army soldiers were killed and another injured on Tuesday in two suicide
bombings suspected to be carried out by ISIS, in crowded areas in Ghadwa, near
the southern city of Sabha.
Interior Minister Ahmed Baraka said the soldiers were killed when a suicide
bomber blew himself up near the Ghadwa police station.
added that another suicide bomber blew himself up inside the police station
after his arrest, resulting in no fatalities except the bomber. There was also
some material damage to the building.
suicide attacks come less than a day after an operation to free 22 Libyan armed
forces, who were held by ISIS. During the operation, several ISIS militants
Kenyan soldiers killed seven al-Shabaab militants in a military operation in
southern Somalia, the army announced Wednesday.
Defence Forces (KDF) soldiers operating under AMISOM (The African Union Mission
in Somalia) engaged Al-Shabaab militants at a location along Tabda-Delahola
supply route,” KDF spokesman Paul Njuguna said in a statement.
of the al-Shabaab militants escaped with injuries, the army said, adding, two
Kenyan soldiers also sustained injuries.
Kenyan soldiers seized nine AK-47 rifles, 10 firearm magazines, two
rocket-propelled grenade launchers, and three grenades in the operation,
according to the statement.
African Union has condemned Tuesday's mortar attack on a United Nations base in
Somalia, terming it proof that Al-Shabaab terrorists are desperate to stay
relevant as they are being defeated.
Franscisco Madeira, the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the
African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia, issued a statement on Wednesday,
reiterating support for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia
is one of the groups helping the country achieve peace and stability and push
out Al-Shabaab, who want to impose a harsh version of the Sharia Law.
the ambush at about 2pm, the terrorists fired seven mortar shells, which the
Amisom said targeted the basecamp.
mission noted that they all missed the target.
attack at the base in the capital left three people injured. Two of the victims
are UN employees and the other a contractor.
Madeira expressed solidarity with their families and UNSOM, and noted that
significant progress has been made in the quest for peace and stability.
Madeira said the Al-Qaeda-linked terrorists have been forced out of Mogadishu.
a statement released by Amisom on Wednesday, the special representative said,
"Amisom [and] the Somali National Security Forces have forced Al-Shabaab
out of Mogadishu and from most cities and towns of south-central Somalia.
attack is yet another manifestation of [the terrorists'] desperate attempt to
remain relevant after losing strongholds."
noted that Al-Shabaab, which has claimed responsibility for the attack, does
not respect the sanctity of human life.
insist on scuttling the progress achieved in restoring peace and security in
the country," the ambassador said.
in the Amisom include Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Ethiopia and Djibouti, which
Uganda, Nigeria, Ghana, Zambia and Sierra Leone contribute police.
mission announced in 2016 that it would withdrawing soldiers from Somalia in
President Uhuru Kenyatta has, however, said repeatedly that the Kenya Defence
Forces will only leave the country now led by President Mohamed Abdullahi
Mohamed, or Mohamed Farmajo, until the mission is accomplished.
Nigeria – Boko Haram jihadists have raided at least 3 military posts and
overpowered troops in the latest attacks in northeast Nigeria, sources said
Wednesday, January 2.
from the ISIS-affiliated Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) overran the
posts in Borno state on Tuesday, January 1, military and militia sources told
Boko Haram faction has in recent months intensified attacks on military targets
in Borno and Yobe states, raiding bases and killing dozens of troops.
first dislodged soldiers at a checkpoint in Kimba in Biu... and then took over
another post at Sabon Gari, 5 kilometers (3 miles) away," said one
military officer of the latest attacks.
jihadists launched another attack on a base in nearby Wajirko, according to a
militiaman in the area.
Monday, December 31, the jihadists had overwhelmed troops in Buni Gari village
in neighbouring Yobe state, leading to "some losses," an army officer
were outgunned and forced to retreat after heavy fighting with the
terrorists," the military source said.
gunmen apparently attacked the village in reprisals over the killing of fellow
jihadists in the village last month.
alerted soldiers in a nearby military base as they arrived in trucks.
an attempt by jihadist fighters to seize another base on Wednesday in Damasak,
the army said it lost a helicopter.
are scant, but if the aircraft was shot down by the insurgents it would suggest
that they now possess more sophisticated weapons than they have used in the
last 4 years of fighting.
has claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying they killed 14 soldiers and
took another hostage, according to SITE intelligence which monitors jihadist
week the group took control of the strategic town of Baga, on the shores of
Expressing dissatisfaction over New Delhi's decades-old role in the Afghanistan
peace process, US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he wants the
regional countries, including India, Russia and Pakistan to fight the Taliban
in the war-torn country.
his first Cabinet meeting of the year, the US President also referred to Prime
Minister Narendra Modi for funding a library in Aghanistan, wondering who would
use it in that country.
is not Russia there (in Afghanistan, fighting the Taliban)? Why isn't India
there? Why isn't Pakistan there? Why are we (US) there? We are 6,000 miles
away. But I don't mind. We want to help our people. We want to help other
nations," Trump told reporters in response to a question during the
US President cited India's efforts towards peace and development in Afghanistan
but alleged that the countries were not doing enough in the war-ravaged country
and that they were taking advantage of the United States.
that the Afghan war costs billions of dollars to the US, Trump said, "I
want people to treat us fairly". He noted that heads of countries have
told him that they are involved in the peace process by "just sending some
100 or 200 soldiers".
US President referred to his friendly terms with Prime Minister Modi, but
appeared critical of a library funded by India in Afghanistan.
could give you an example where I get along very well with India and Prime
Minister Modi. But he is constantly telling me, he built a library in
Afghanistan. Library! That's like five hours of what we spend (in
Afghanistan)," Trump told his cabinet colleagues.
he (Modi) tells me. He is very smart. We are supposed to say, oh thank you for
the library. Don't know who's using it (the library) in Afghanistan. But it's
one of those things. I don't like being taken advantage of," he said.
drew a comparison between the expenses being borne by the US and other
countries in the Afghan peace efforts.
other countries have done for the last long period of time is given us some
soldiers and then talk about it like it's the end of the world. And we are subsidizing
their military is by billions and billions and billions of dollars, many, many,
many times, what those soldiers cost that country," the US President said.
to a question, he said he wants India to be involved in Afghanistan.
if India's role in Afghanistan was going to be security related, Trump said:
"We are going to be doing something that is right. We are talking to the
Taliban. We are talking to a lot of different people."
here's the thing, because you mentioned India. India is there. Russia is there.
Russia used to be Soviet Union. Afghanistan made it Russia, because they went
bankrupt fighting in Afghanistan. Russia. So you tend to look at other
countries. Pakistan is there. They should be fighting. But Russia should be fighting,"
reason Russia was in Afghanistan was because terrorists were going into Russia.
They were right to be there. The problem is it was a tough fight and literally
they (Russia) went bankrupt," Trump said.
9/11 leaked files to ‘top Snowden's finest work,’ hackers say
hacker group is claiming that new files they are going to release about 9/11
would top the “finest work” by American whistle blower Edward Snowden.
we're about to announce and leak will top Edward Snowden's finest work, both in
volume and in impact,” the Dark Overlord announced in a post on Pastebin.
also posted a link to a 10-gigabyte encrypted archive of documents, vowing to
release the encryption keys if their demands were not met.
further indicated that the content would lead to an international uproar.
not just insurance litigation that we have, it's CONFIDENTIAL, CLASSIFIED, and
SECRET documents from FAA, FBI, TSA, USDOJ, and others.
thedarkoverlord (@tdo_h4ck3rs) January 1, 2019
subsequent release of these materials will generate millions of news articles
and result in the biggest and most significant data breach ever to have
group also claimed that the information was obtained from insurers and
of the documents were stolen in an April hack of an unnamed law firm, which has
reportedly paid ransom to the hacker group but also notified law enforcement
be providing many answers about 9.11 conspiracies through our 18,000 secret
documents leak,” read a Twitter post by the group, infamously known for hacking
American media-services provider Netflix.
President Donald Trump said on Wednesday the United States would get out of
Syria slowly “over a period of time” and would protect the US-backed Kurdish
fighters in the country as Washington draws down troops.
did not provide a timetable for the planned military exit from Syria, which he
announced last month against the advice of top national security aides and
without consulting lawmakers or US allies participating in anti-ISIS
decision prompted Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to resign. Trump said on
Wednesday he had essentially fired Mattis, whose letter of resignation was seen
as a sharp rebuke to the Republican president.
a Cabinet meeting at the White House in front of reporters, Trump said he had
never set a reported four-month timetable for the withdrawal of 2,000 American
troops stationed in Syria amid a battle against ISIS militants.
getting out and we’re getting out smart,” Trump said. “I never said I’m getting
out tomorrow.” He declined to be specific about how long troops would remain in
President Donald Trump on Wednesday mocked Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi
for funding a library in Afghanistan, suggesting it was of no use.
brought up India’s aid during a rambling press appearance at a cabinet meeting
as he defended his push for the United States to invest less overseas.
stating that he got along with Modi, Trump said the Indian leader was
“constantly telling me he built a library in Afghanistan.” “You know what that
is? That’s like five hours of what we spend,” Trump said.
we’re supposed to say, ‘Oh, thank you for the library.’ I don’t know who’s
using it in Afghanistan,” Trump said.
was unclear to which project Trump was referring, but India has committed $3
billion in assistance to Afghanistan since US-led forces toppled the extremist
Taliban regime after the September 11, 2001 attacks.
have included the reconstruction of an elite high school in Kabul and
scholarships to India for 1,000 Afghan students each year.
the Afghan parliament building in 2015 after reconstruction financed by India,
Modi promised to promote programs “empowering Afghan youth with modern
education and professional skills.”
has been one of the most enthusiastic countries over the US mission in
Afghanistan, where the former Taliban regime sheltered fiercely anti-Indian
India’s role has alarmed its arch-rival Pakistan, whose intelligence service’s
continued ties to extremists in Afghanistan has been seen by analysts in part
as a way to counter New Delhi.
last month moved to pull all 2,000 US troops out of Syria and cut by half the
14,000-strong force in Afghanistan, calling for less spending overseas.
Iraq, the future of the US military forces has turned into a main concern at
government and public levels. The concerns gained momentum after the recent
sneaky visit of the US President Donald Trump to Iraq during which he didn’t
hold talks with any Iraqi officials and went straight to Ain Al-Assad airbase to
meet American forces. Our correspondent Ali Musawi has more in this report.
President Donald Trump says Iranians can “do whatever they want” in Syria,
dodging a question about when the US would withdraw from the war ravaged
is pulling people out of Syria, but they can frankly do whatever they want
there,” the US president said.
about the timeline of the US withdrawal from Syria, he refused to give a direct
don't know, somebody said four months but I didn't say that either," Trump
said. "We want to protect the Kurds but I don’t want to be in Syria
forever. It's sand and it's death."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly asked Trump to prolong the
withdrawal process to four months.
don't want Syria. Obama gave up Syria years ago when he didn’t violate the red
line. I did when I shot 59 missiles but that was a long time later. And when
President Obama decided not to violate his statement that never cross the red
line and then they did and he didn't do anything about it."
decision to end the US military presence in Syria and scale it back in
Afghanistan, made him further isolated as it led to resignation of General
James Mattis as the United States Secretary of Defense.
reportedly failed to convince Trump that the US military presence in Syria is
associated with maintaining critical alliances and partnerships.
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi says nearly 1,900 American tourists
visited Iran over a period of nine months starting March 2018.
the first nine months of the current [Iranian] year, 1,879 American tourists
traveled to Iran” Qassemi told IRNA on Wednesday.
said that the tourists included cultural tourists, ones visiting monuments,
ecotourists, pilgrims as well as those attending scientific conferences and
to Qassemi, of the 1,879 American tourists, 511 were pilgrims.
nearly two dozen special sites that have been registered on the World Heritage
List of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
(UNESCO), Iran has been frequently named as a must-visit travel destination.
country is attracting camera-wielding Westerners in droves, where ancient
bazaars, museums, mosques, monuments, gardens and palaces along with historical
ruins, amazing rural landscapes and bustling cities provide a feast for the
eyes to behold and be enchanted with.
is one of the most secure countries in a region ridden with violence.
report on global security, which was released in November, portrayed Iran as
safe as much of Western Europe for travelers.
November, Iran also started to issue electronic visa for foreign tourists as
part of a larger initiative to cope with the restrictions imposed by the US
administration on those traveling to the country.
of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHTO) Ali
Asghar Mounesan said the plan was aimed at facilitating travels to Iran by
foreign tourists. He also expressed hope that the move could play a leading
role in attracting more foreign tourists to the country.
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