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Islamic World News ( 26 Aug 2012, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Taliban behead 17 at late-night party in Afghanistan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

South Asia

Taliban behead 17 at late-night party in Afghanistan

Myanmar Sentences 2 UN Staff to Jail for Violence

Attacks Kill 27 Afghans and 2 U.S. Soldiers

Badruddin Haqqani is dead, claim Afghan intelligence

‘US ready to cede three provinces to Haqqanis’

Taliban attack army post, kill 10 Afghan soldiers

Bangladesh: NHRC to seek judicial probe into Limon attacks

Bangladeshi gunned down in US

Bangladesh: Santhia Jamaat ameer, 10 activists charge sheeted

 

India

Sarabjit close to freedom?

Ulfa warns non-Assamese in Assam

UPA’s go-slow on equality commission piques Muslims

Shutdown paralyses life in Assam, no fresh incident of violence reported

Navy’s critical requirement for Israeli Barak missiles stalled due to CBI case

Resolve Syrian conflict, row over nuclear plan, Manmohan Singh to tell Iran

Fresh violence rocks Assam's Kokrajhar, Dhubri districts on Sunday killing one and injuring two

 

Pakistan

Pakistani PM faces SC, seeks time to write Swiss letter

26/11 Mumbai attacks case: Pak asks India to allow lawyers to quiz key witnesses

Three Shias, five others gunned down in Balochistan

Pakistan: Committee rejects reports about Hindus’ migration

Sectarian bloodshed a conspiracy against Islam, Pakistan: Altaf

Pak PM Raja Pervez Ashraf appears in Supreme Court to face contempt charge

Pak parliamentarians floats soft transportation policy betwen two countries

Hajj scam: Court admits Kazmi's bail plea, orders immediate release

AQ Khan set to launch own political party

Abandoned institutes: Without teachers, 99% children out of schools in a village in Swat

Fata’s primary attraction: The ‘Little London’ of Waziristan

Violence in Karachi claims five lives

‘Silent majority responsible for democracy’s failure’: Pakistan Visionary Forum

Thousands flee Waziristan in fear of military offensive

Karachi criminals using toy guns

‘Indo-Pak parliamentarians want to facilitate people’

 

Southeast Asia

Mob Torches Islamic Boarding School in Depok: Indonesia

Sunni – Shia local figures meet following violence: Indonesia

Idul Fitri Fatalities Nearly Double from Last Year: Indonesia

Seven Suspects of assault on a group of Shiites Arrested for Alleged Involvement in Sampang Attack

2 dead in Sunni-Shiite mayhem in Madura

Malaysia Court Defends Suspension of Rape Sentence

 

Mideast Asia

Report: Iran Could Open Military Site to Visits

Muppet Urges Israelis to Prepare for Possible Emergency

Former Israeli soldiers disclose routine mistreatment of Palestinian children

Iran flaunts NAM Summit as ‘failure’ of US sanctions

At Summit Meeting, Iran Has a Message for the World

Iran primes NAM summit amid high security

Gunmen kill south Yemen separatist

Iran deports 49 Pakistanis

Israel arrests three children over taxi attack

Man dies in Egypt blast near Israel border

 

Arab World

Syrian regime accused of killing hundreds in Daraya massacre

Saudi foils 'terror' plot, busts two cells: Ministry

Saudi Oil Producer’s Computers Restored After Virus Attack

Daraya massacre an 'atrocity on a new scale'

SR 552 million raised so far for victims of brutal Assad

Saudis arrest 8 ‘Qaeda-linked terrorists’

320 dead as Assad’s forces cleanse Daraya

Gunmen kill Iraq border forces general

Gulf Arab nations seek India to rein in Iran

Syrian helicopter down in Damascus as fighting rages

Bombs, shootings kill eight in Iraq

 

North America

American Taliban John Walker Lindh seeks group prayer in US prison

 

Europe

Ngruki group link with terrorism in France

Two ‘Qaeda-linked’ British Pakistanis challenge conviction

 

Africa

Tripoli turned into a war zone as rivals fight street duels with grenades

Libya's under-fire interior minister quits

Nigeria confirms informal Boko Haram talks

Two dead as clashes flare again in Lebanon’s Tripoli

Dozens dead in Sudan’s S. Kordofan: rebels

Jacob Zuma risks removal over handling of Marikana mine killings

Analysis: South Africa Mine Killings Could Hurt Zuma Ahead of Vote

Violence Returns Near Lonmin's South Africa Operations

South Africa's Marikana mine closed by 'intimidation'

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

Photo: Taliban behead 17 at late-night party in Afghanistan

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/by-new-age-islam-news-bureau/taliban-behead-17-at-late-night-party-in-afghanistan/d/8435

 

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South Asia

 

Taliban behead 17 at late-night party in Afghanistan

Aug 27, 2012

KANDAHAR: Taliban Islamist insurgents beheaded 17 civilians, including two women, who were holding a party with music in a southern Afghanistan village, officials said on Monday.

"I can confirm that this is the work of the Taliban," the Helmand provincial governor's spokesman Daud Ahmadi told AFP.

"Two women and 15 men were beheaded. They were partying with music in an area under the control of the Taliban," he said.

Nematullah Khan, the Musa Qala district chief confirmed that the villagers had organised a party with music, and one local official said he suspected that the two women had been dancing.

Secret parties with dancing women from a gypsy-type tribe are common across southern Afghanistan.

During their 1996-2001 rule in Afghanistan the Taliban, waging a fierce insurgency against the NATO-backed government of President Hamid Karzai, also tried to stop the mixing of men and women who were not related.

The latest atrocity happened near Zamindawar village, an area on the border between Kajaki and Musa Qala districts where the Taliban are active.

The insurgents have in the past been blamed for beheading local villagers, mostly over charges of spying for Afghan and US-led NATO forces.

Haji Musa Khan, a tribal elder in Musa Qala district, said the region had seen a surge in such killings in recent months.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Taliban-behead-17-at-late-night-party-in-Afghanistan-Officials/articleshow/15816869.cms

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Myanmar Sentences 2 UN Staff to Jail for Violence

27 August 2012

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — A court in Myanmar has sentenced two United Nations staff members to prison terms for their alleged involvement in a spate of bloody communal violence in the west of the country in June, the world body said Monday.

The punishments were handed down Friday in the Rakhine state town of Maungdaw, said Aye Win, a U.N. spokesman based in Myanmar. One of those sentenced was an employee of the U.N. refugee agency and the other the U.N. World Food Program.

A spokesperson for the world body's refugee agency in Bangkok, Vivian Tan, called the verdicts "very disappointing."

Tan said a third aid worker employed by another unidentified humanitarian group partnered to the U.N. was also convicted.

U.N. officials said they had no details on the official charges.

The Myanmar independent Weekly Eleven newspaper reported that the staffers — all believed to be from the local Muslim community — were charged with various crimes, including promoting hatred between Buddhists and Muslims and participation in arson attacks. The paper cited anonymous court sources in its report, and said the sentences ranged from two to six years.

Violence between Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims exploded in June, leaving more 80 people dead and thousands of homes burned to the ground. Human rights groups say around 100,000 people were displaced during the conflict. They have accused the government over cracking down too harshly on Muslims, allegations the government has denied.

Humanitarian groups say that in all, at least 12 local staff employed by international aid groups were detained by the government in June for suspected involvement in the unrest. Six have so far been released.

Last week, Doctors Without Borders said that two of its employees were still being held, while the U.N. refugee agency said two Myanmar nationals on its staff were in custody. The World Food Program is also believed to have staff who have been detained, but it has given no details about them.

___

Associated Press writers John Heilprin in Geneva and Todd Pitman in Bangkok contributed to this report.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2012/08/27/world/asia/ap-as-myanmar-un.html?ref=asia&gwh=D703982A188F8397F6E1A604E1FE971C

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Attacks Kill 27 Afghans and 2 U.S. Soldiers

By GRAHAM BOWLEY and RICHARD A. OPPEL Jr.

27 August 2012

KABUL, Afghanistan — Two American soldiers were shot and killed by a member of the Afghan Army in eastern Afghanistan on Monday when a dispute broke out during a joint American and Afghan patrol, Afghan officials said.

There were unconfirmed reports that the dispute erupted after the convoy was hit by a roadside bomb. NATO confirmed that two of its soldiers had been killed by a member of the Afghan Army.

In a separate episode in the southeast, attackers killed 10 Afghan soldiers at a checkpoint in Helmand Province early on Monday, in what a provincial spokesman described as the latest attack by insurgents who had infiltrated the Afghan military.

The Taliban, meanwhile, cut the throats of 17 civilians — including two women — in a rural, Taliban-controlled district of Helmand on Sunday, Afghan officials said.

The killing of American soldiers in the east, in Laghman Province, took to 42 the number of coalition soldiers shot by Afghan police and military forces so far this year, 12 of them this month alone.

Noor Rahman, a Laghman police official, said the shooting happened at about 9 a.m. in the Alingar district. “A verbal argument erupted and fire was exchanged,” he said. Lt. Col. Hagen Messer, a NATO spokesman in Kabul, said that the Afghan soldier was shot and killed in a return of fire and that no other coalition soldiers were wounded.

“According to our initial operational reporting, a service member of the ANA turned his weapon against ISAF forces, killing two ISAF service members,” he said, referring to the Afghan Army and the International Security Assistance Force, the formal name of the NATO-led force. “Isaf forces returned fire, killing the attacker.”

The shooting of the Afghan soldiers in the south in Helmand Province took place at a checkpoint in the Washir district, according to Dawood Ahmadi, the spokesman for the Helmand governor.

Mr. Ahmadi said five other Afghan soldiers fled the checkpoint. He described these as insurgents who had infiltrated the Afghan Army and plotted to carry out the attack.

“The enemy does not have the strength to fight our forces face to face,” he said. “Therefore they try to carry out attacks by infiltrating in Afghan forces.”

The number of so-called green-on-green, or insider, attacks by Afghan police and military forces on their own troops has risen sharply over the past two years, mirroring a similar increase in attacks by Afghan forces on NATO troops

The majority of attacks on Western forces are motivated by outrage or personal disputes, officials say. But officials blame infiltration by the Taliban for most of the Afghan-on-Afghan attacks.

Early reports were confusing, however. The Ministry of Defense in Kabul, while confirming the deaths, rejected the characterization of the episode as an insider attack by infiltrators. A spokesman, Dawlat Waziri, said that a large number of insurgents had attacked the checkpoint, and that there had been a prolonged confrontation, leaving several members of the Taliban dead.

In the case of the throat-cuttings in Helmand, officials said the authorities were investigating the reasons for the killings, which occurred in the Kajaki district. “The government does not have access to this area because of the strong Taliban presence,” said Mr. Ahmadi, the provincial spokesman.

He vowed that a military operation would be carried out there soon. He said none of the victims had any ties to the government.

The Afghan Interior Ministry provided a very similar account of the killings and called them “another unforgivable and shameful crime.” The ministry said the attack took place in the Shah Kariz region of Kajaki on Sunday when “armed Taliban opened fire” and slit the throats of “17 innocent civilians, including two women.”

By late Monday morning a disagreement had emerged between local Helmand officials about the killings.

Haji Naimatullah Khan, the governor of the Musa Qala district, which borders Kajaki to the west, said the throat cuttings occurred in Musa Qala, in a village known Roshan Abad.

He confirmed the death toll of 17 — including two women — but said the men who were killed either did have links to the government or were providing information to the authorities. The women were killed, he said, because they had begged for the Taliban to spare the lives of the men. He said he based his account on reports from witnesses and relatives of the victims.

“Sometimes they provided intelligence information to the government, and the Taliban learned that these are the people who had links with government,” Haji Khan said of the victims. “They were detained in their homes and taken away.”

“The area is not secure, and there is a heavy presence of Taliban,” he said.

Taimoor Shah, Sangar Rahimi and an employee of The New York Times contributed reporting from Kabul, and an employee of The New York Times from Helmand Province.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/28/world/asia/attacks-on-soldiers-and-civilians-leave-dozens-dead-in-afghanistan.html?hp&gwh=16A691A21CD9F83B8E791D50F8560312

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Badruddin Haqqani is dead, claim Afghan intelligence

27 August 2012

Afghanistan’s intelligence agency says its operatives have confirmed that the son of the founder of the powerful Haqqani militant network has been killed.

Agency spokesman Shafiqullah Tahiri said on Sunday that Badruddin Haqqani was killed in an airstrike in Pakistan. He said the strike took place last week but did not give more details. He would not say whether the agency’s sources have seen the body.

The Taliban, which is allied with the Haqqani network, have said that Badruddin Haqqani is still alive and in Afghanistan.

Mr. Tahiri said the Afghan government is confident that its information is correct.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article3824605.ece

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‘US ready to cede three provinces to Haqqanis’

By Kamran Yousaf

August 27, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Far from the hostile public position against the Haqqani network, the United States is eager to seek rapprochement with the group blamed for most of the deadliest attacks against the US-led Nato troops in Afghanistan.

Washington is willing not only to engage the group in talks but also to give it an important role in the future political dispensation of Afghanistan, according to a senior American military official.

He said the United States would hand over the control of three Afghan provinces to the Haqqanis if they agreed to withdraw their support for the Taliban-led insurgency in Afghanistan.

The official spoke to The Express Tribune on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak on the subject publicly.

Led by the aging warlord, Jalaluddin Haqqani, and his son Sirajuddin Haqqani, the network has a stronghold in Paktia, Paktika and Khost provinces. But, the group also has foot soldiers – believed to be in thousands – in many parts of the war-ravaged country.

The Haqqani network is accused of orchestrating some of the most spectacular attacks on US-led Nato forces in Afghanistan and is also credited with introducing suicide bombings as a major tactic of their asymmetric warfare.

“Neither the Americans nor Pakistanis can completely defeat the Haqqani network,” explained the American military official, citing the reason behind America’s willingness for peace talks with the group.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/426756/us-ready-to-cede-three-provinces-to-haqqanis/

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Taliban attack army post, kill 10 Afghan soldiers

 Aug 27, 2012

KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN: Taliban insurgents overran an Afghan army post in the troubled southern province of Helmand in a predawn attack on Monday, killing 10 troopers, authorities said.

Four soldiers were wounded and six others were missing following the attack in the province's Washir district, senior regional police officer Mohammad Ismaiel Hotak told AFP.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Taliban-attack-army-post-kill-10-Afghan-soldiers-Officials/articleshow/15807818.cms

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Bangladesh: NHRC to seek judicial probe into Limon attacks

Limon Hossain

27 August 2012

National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) will file a writ petition with the High Court next Sunday for forming a judicial enquiry commission to investigate the incident of Limon Hossain, the college student maimed by Rab shooting last year.

NHRC Chairman Prof Mizanur Rahman said this at a press conference at the commission’s Moghbazar office in the capital Monday afternoon.

Mizanur said the Eid-day attack on Limon, his mother and brother and filing of a murder case against the family members of Limon is regretful.

“How hove such incidents been done?” Mizanur questioned.

Terming the two cases filed against Limon ‘apparently false’, Mizanur said they had earlier sent formal letter to the home ministry to withdraw the cases.

But the ministry has yet to take any steps in this regard, he added.

Limon, his mother and brother were attacked on the Eid day by a Rab informant and his aides in Jhalakathi.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/latest_news.php?nid=40318

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Bangladeshi gunned down in US

27 August 2012

Unknown assailants have gunned down a Bangladeshi national at the Circle H Food Mart on Burnside Avenue in Connecticut's East Hartford in the United States.

Victim Lutfur Rahman Tarafdar Belal, 45, was shot dead in the chest during a robbery at the Food Mart on August 25 night (NY time), Connecticut's East Hartford police confirmed this to The Daily Star over phone.

None was arrested in connection with the killing.

Belal was pronounced dead at the scene.

Belal who was working as a clerk at the Food Mart hailed from Ekatuna union of Moulvibazar Sadar upazila, reports Bangla daily Prothom Alo.

“We lost our friend. Three kids lost their parent,” said Nahid Wahed, a friend of the victim.

Wahed said the husband and father of three was loved by the community, reports NBC Connecticut.

“He was very nice. Every single person [said he was] very friendly. If anybody in the community need help, he’s right there,” said Wahed.

Wahed is shocked by the timing of his friend’s death.

“He was not supposed to work last night. He was covering [for] someone else,” added Wahed.

Investigators were at the crime scene throughout Sunday, collecting evidence.

While police search for the gunman, family and friends of Belal want the person responsible for the killing to serve a long sentence.

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/latest_news.php?nid=40304

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Bangladesh: Santhia Jamaat ameer, 10 activists charge sheeted

27 August 2012

Police has submitted charge sheet against 11 activists of Jamaat-e-Islami in a case for misappropriating 120 tonnes of wheat meant for a project under Water Development Board (WDB) in Santhia upazila under the district.

The charge sheet submitted on August 12 was documented in the court file yesterday, court sources said.

The accused are Md Sirajuddoula, former chairman of Nandanpur union parishad under Santhia upazila, Mohammed Ali, ameer of Santhia upazila unit of Jamaat, Md Shafikul Islam Ratan, Md Selim, Md Abdul Kader, Md Harunur Rashid, Md Masudul Haque, Md Abdul Kuddus, Md Mukul Hossain, Most Nazma Khatun and Md Jahangir Alam.

Mohammed Ali also served as assistant private secretary to the then agriculture minister Motiur Rahman Nizami, also the chief of Jamaat.

On May 17, 2007, Md Lutfar Rahman, a resident of Rangamatia village, filed a case with Santhia police station alleging that the accused people in collusion with WDB officials misappropriated 120 tonnes of government allocated wheat in name of repairing irrigation canal under WDB in Santhia upazila in 2002, during the BNP-led four-party alliance rule.

The complainant also blamed then agriculture minister Nizami for using influence in forming the project implementation committee (PIC) for the purpose.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=247236

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India

 

Sarabjit close to freedom?

August 26, 2012

Sarabjit Singh, the Indian on death row in Pakistan, is a few "formalities away" from being freed, Jehangir Badr, visiting secretary-general of the Pakistan People's Party, has said.

"Some formalities are to be completed between the two governments to pave the way for Sarabjit's

freedom on humanitarian grounds. I say this on the basis of discussions at the top level of the Pakistan government," Badr, leader of the house in the Pakistan senate, said on Saturday.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/Patna/Sarabjit-close-to-freedom/Article1-919816.aspx

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Ulfa warns non-Assamese in Assam

Aug 26, 2012

GUWAHATI: The Ulfa Sunday warned of attacks on "Indians" in Assam if "atrocities" on Assamese people did not halt in other parts of the country.

A statement signed by its elusive chief Paresh Baruah alleged that 14 Assamese youth had been killed in "mainland India".

"The atrocities on Assamese ... must be stopped immediately, failing which we will be forced to take necessary action on Indians living here," said the statement.

The statement also warned India-based Muslim groups against spreading communal hatred in Assam.

It charged All India United Democratic Front chief Badaruddin Ajmal with spreading communal hatred by saying Muslims were being killed in Assam.

The Ulfa statement follows ethnic violence in Assam and the consequent flight of thousands of Assamese from places like Bangalore and Pune due to mysterious telephonic threats.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Ulfa-warns-non-Assamese-in-Assam/articleshow/15765842.cms

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UPA’s go-slow on equality commission piques Muslims

By Aditya Menon

27 August 2012

EVEN six years after the Justice Sachar committee recommended the creation of the Equal Opportunities Commission in its report, the United Progressive Alliance government seems to be continuing to drag its feet on the matter.

In a written reply to the Lok Sabha, Union minister for minority affairs Salman Khurshid has said the constitution of the EOC will be delayed further as there was a need for more consultation on the matter.

“ Recommendations of the Group of Ministers ( GoM) have been taken into account in preparing the Draft Equal Opportunity Commission Bill, 2011. This Bill was again circulated to various ministries/ departments concerned and comments of most of the ministries have been received.

As the comments received need further consultation, some more time will be required for its finalisation before its introduction in Parliament,” Khurshid said in his reply.

Muslim leaders see the delay as being reflective of the Congress party’s insincerity towards the welfare of the community.

Full report at: Mail Today

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Shutdown paralyses life in Assam, no fresh incident of violence reported

Aug 27, 2012

GUWAHATI: Life was paralysed in Assam by a 12-hour bandh called by the Bajrang Dal to protest the violence in the lower Assam districts where the situation was calm with no fresh incident reported on Monday.

Bandh supporters burnt tyres and pelted stones at vehicles in different parts of the state following which the police took nearly 500 of them into preventive custody in Guwahati, Golokgunj and Agomoni in Dhubri, official sources said.

Schools, colleges and educational institutions, commercial and business establishments, financial institutions remained closed with attendance in government offices thin, the sources said.

Vehicles remained off the roads with a few state transport buses running with police escorts.

Bandh supporters were also taken into preventive custody near the North East Frontier Railway at Maligaon here when they stopped railway employees from reporting for duty, the sources said.

Rail and air services, however, remained unaffected. The bandh was supported by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and RSS.

There was no fresh incident of violence in lower Assam districts since Saturday evening where seven people have died and two others injured since Friday taking the toll in the more than month-long violence to 87.

Night curfew was continuing in the districts of Kokrajhar, Chirang and Dhubri with the army on patrol.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Shutdown-paralyses-life-in-Assam-no-fresh-incident-of-violence-reported/articleshow/15813244.cms

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Navy’s critical requirement for Israeli Barak missiles stalled due to CBI case

 Aug 27, 2012

NEW DELHI: The defence ministry has virtually shot down a renewed bid by the Navy to get additional supplies of missiles to arm the Israeli Barak-I anti-missile defence (AMD) systems fitted on 14 frontline warships, including solitary aircraft carrier INS Viraat and three new Shivalik-class stealth frigates.

While the MoD led by defence minister AK Antony accepted the "critical operational urgency'' for acquiring the 262 Barak-I missiles at a cost of over $140 million, it indicated last week that its hands were tied due to the pending CBI investigation into the infamous Barak kickbacks case, sources said.

"Legal opinion obtained from the law ministry and the solicitor general holds that the fresh procurement case should not be progressed for the cabinet committee on security till the CBI probe is complete,'' said a source.

But with the CBI investigation failing to reach anywhere in the last six years, a desperate Navy may now be forced to make a case for seeking fresh legal opinion. Confronted with a critical shortfall in the missile reserve stocks, the Navy has been forced to curtail even practice firings of the Barak-I AMD systems integrated into the 14 warships as part of their "combat management systems''.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Navys-critical-requirement-for-Israeli-Barak-missiles-stalled-due-to-CBI-case/articleshow/15794688.cms

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Resolve Syrian conflict, row over nuclear plan, Manmohan Singh to tell Iran

Indrani Bagchi

 Aug 27, 2012

NEW DELHI: The ongoing unrest in the Middle East, particularly the conflict in Syria, is expected to dominate discussions at the forthcoming NAM Summit, but India doesn't want specifics to be reflected in the official NAM document, sources said.

As PM Manmohan Singh heads to Tehran for the NAM Summit, Iran is projecting it as a kind of global vote of confidence for Iranian policies, especially with a growing number of world leaders including the UN secretary general attending. Sources here said India would have no objection to Iran's statements as long as they are their own. But an Iran-slant won't find acceptance by India in the official statements.

Singh's bilateral conversations with Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad will have pride of place during his maiden visit to Tehran next week. His message to the Iranian leadership will be strong - that India does not want to be a casualty in the growing unrest in the Middle East and Gulf states, particularly as it takes a more sectarian turn.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Resolve-Syrian-conflict-row-over-nuclear-plan-Manmohan-Singh-to-tell-Iran/articleshow/15788148.cms

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Fresh violence rocks Assam's Kokrajhar, Dhubri districts on Sunday killing one and injuring two

Aug 26, 2012

GUWAHATI: Fresh incidents of violence were reported Sunday from Assam's troubled Kokrajhar and Dhubri districts.

Police recovered the body of a missing person near Bogribari area in Dhubri district Sunday morning, while two people, including a woman, were injured in an attack by a group of miscreants in Salakati area of Kokrajhar district, a senior police officer said.

Five bodies were recovered from Chirang district Saturday evening, following which an indefinite curfew was clamped in the district and which continued Sunday.

Following the Bodoland Peoples' Front (BPF) suspending its indefinite bandh to protest against the arrest of it's legislator Pradeep Brahma last Thursday, the indefinite curfew in Kokrajhar district was relaxed from 4 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.

Brahma was arrested for his alleged role in the violence.

The three districts of western Assam - Kokrajhar, Chirang and Dhubri - have since July 19 witnessed violent clashes between the Bodos and Bengali-speaking Muslim settlers, which claimed 86 lives till Sunday.

The violence has displaced over 400,000 people - the majority of whom are still living in relief camps in the three districts.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Fresh-violence-rocks-Assams-Kokrajhar-Dhubri-districts-on-Sunday-killing-one-and-injuring-two/articleshow/15769038.cms

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Pakistan

 

Pakistani PM faces SC, seeks time to write Swiss letter

Aug 27, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Facing a show-cause notice for failing to implement a Supreme Court order, Pakistan Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Monday sought more time to write to Swiss authorities to reopen corruption cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.

Ashraf requested the court to give him four to six weeks to write the letter to Swiss authorities, reported Dawn.

"I need time to understand the matter... as it involves certain legal and constitutional points," Ashraf told the court. He also pleaded that the show-cause notice be withdrawn.

"I need enough time from the court to seek the assistance of constitutional and legal experts," he said.

Jostled by crowds, Ashraf waved before stepping inside the court building.

A five-judge special bench comprising Justices Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, Ejaz Afzal Khan, Ijaz Ahmed Chaudhry, Gulzar Ahmed and Muhammad Ather Saeed is hearing the case.

The apex court had issued the notice August 8.

The order said it was unfortunate that the prime minister had failed to implement the court's directives.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pakistani-PM-faces-SC-seeks-time-to-write-Swiss-letter/articleshow/15809249.cms

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26/11 Mumbai attacks case: Pak asks India to allow lawyers to quiz key witnesses

Aug 26, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani authorities have sent two requests to India to allow defence lawyers to cross-examine key witnesses in the 2008 Mumbai attacks case, saying any failure to do so could allow the accused in the country to go scot-free.

In a message sent to Indian authorities through diplomatic channels on July 20, the Federal Investigation Agency asked that the defence counsel should be allowed to cross-examine surviving attacker Ajmal Kasab, chief investigation officer Ramesh Mahale, and Ganesh Dhunraj and Chintaman Mohite, the two doctors who performed the autopsies of slain attackers.

The FIA also sent to India authorities the July 17 order of a Pakistani anti-terrorism court that declared illegal the findings of a Pakistani commission which had recorded the statements of these four witnesses during a visit to India.

The court rejected the findings of the panel after lawyers defending the seven accused said they had not been allowed to cross-examine the witnesses.

The Pakistani authorities are awaiting a reply from their Indian counterparts though a reminder was sent on the issue, the Dawn newspaper quoted its sources as saying.

If the Indian government does not allow cross-examination by the defence lawyers, the statements of key witnesses recorded earlier would be declared inadmissible in the case, the sources said.

In such a situation, even the confessional statement of Kasab, CCTV footage of the attackers and 780 documents that the Indian government handed over to Pakistan through diplomatic channels will all go to waste, the sources were quoted as saying.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/26/11-Mumbai-attacks-case-Pak-asks-India-to-allow-lawyers-to-quiz-key-witnesses/articleshow/15744922.cms

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Three Shias, five others gunned down in Balochistan

 August 27, 2012

QUETTA: Three Shias were gunned down on Monday in Quetta, a police official said.

According to police officer Zakir Ali all three of them were killed in a sectarian drive-by shooting.

Balochistan is a flashpoint for sectarian violence involving majority Sunnis and minority Shias that has left thousands dead since the 1980s.

Earlier late Sunday, gunmen shot dead five people in attacks on two buses in Bolan as rebels staged a strike to mark the death anniversary of tribal chieftain Nawab Akbar Bugti, officials said.

According to police official Iftikhar Bugti, five people including two women were killed in the incident.

There was a “complete strike” in Quetta and several other districts on Sunday, local police chief Wazir Khan told AFP, with shops and markets closed and traffic brought to a standstill.

The halt was called by Balochistan Republican Party (BRP) leader Brahmdagh Bugti to mark the sixth anniversary of the death of his grandfather Akbar Bugti, who was killed in his mountain hideout during a military operation in 2006.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/426850/three-shias-five-others-gunned-down-in-balochistan/

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Pakistan: Committee rejects reports about Hindus’ migration

27 August 2012

HYDERABAD: A committee formed by President Asif Ali Zardari to look into reports of mass migration of Hindus to India has rejected claims that members of the minority community are leaving Sindh because of security fears.

According to a source, the committee had finalised its proposals and recommended that elements behind forced conversion of Hindu girls should be exposed regardless of their party affiliation. If they happened to be PPP members they should be denied tickets in next elections, the committee suggested.

The committee rejected claims of mass migration of Hindus and recommended that in case of ‘conversion’, the girl should be kept at a neutral place for about a fortnight and her parents and family members or husband must have access to her until she appeared in a court and made a final statement which then should be accepted by all sides.

The committee comprising Federal Minister for Political Affairs Maula Bux Chandio and Senator Hari Ram formulated the proposals after meeting leaders of Hindu community in Jacobabad and Hyderabad.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/08/27/committee-rejects-reports-about-hindus-migration/

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AQ Khan set to launch own political party

By Zahid Gishkori

August 27, 2012

ISLAMABAD: With election fever gripping the politically astute across the country, Dr Abdul Qadir Khan, renowned as the father of Pakistan’s nuclear programme, is all set to launch a nationwide campaign under the banner of Tehreek-e-Tahaffuz Pakistan (TTP). The campaign will be aimed at increasing political awareness amongst the youth in the country.

Talking to The Express Tribune, Dr Khan said, “TTP wants to create political awareness amongst the youth regarding who to vote for and who not to vote for. I will consistently urge youth to elect honest persons in upcoming elections and stand for survival of the country.”

Noting the failure of traditional political parties in delivering on their promises, Dr Khan called a spade a spade by emphasising that his party’s campaign would ask the youth not to vote for traditional parties such as Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

Established in July 2012, the TTP has so far gained little political ground among the masses. Political pundits have predicted that while Dr Khan carries enormous respect among the people for his invaluable commitment and service to the country, the TTP is unlikely to gain any significant vote bank or public support.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/426738/aq-khan-set-to-launch-own-political-party/

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Sectarian bloodshed a conspiracy against Islam, Pakistan: Altaf

27 August 2012

KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain has said that the barbaric slaying of innocent Muslims and religious extremism were part of a vicious conspiracy against Islam and Pakistan.

He expressed these views while talking to religious clerics and scholars belonging to various schools of thought, on telephone, said a release issued here on Sunday. Talking to Maulana Tanvirul Haque Thanvi, Maulana Asad Deobandi and Maulana Dr Jamil Rathore, he urged them to play their full role against the conspiracy to destabilise Pakistan. He also stressed upon the Ulema to issue a unanimous fatwa against the killings of innocent people because of sectarian differences.

He said that he had been emphasising in the gatherings of religious scholars that there is no compulsion in the religion according to the teachings of the Holy Quran. He said that the Shia people were being killed for the past one year after being pulled off from buses and after being properly identified. It was because of these killings that he had to say that the Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah himself belonged to the Khoja Shia Twelver sect. He said whatever may be the religious beliefs of the Quaid-i-Azam he was a staunch believer in “Do not leave your own belief and do not touch other’s faith.” Addressing the Constituent Assembly on August 11, 1947, he had stated in unequivocal terms that Pakistan had become a free country and all the people living in it were Pakistanis. Everyone was free to practice and follow his own religion. Hussain said that baseless propaganda was done against him in order to make criticism of his statements. He said that his paternal grandfather was the mufti of Agra, and his fatwas were still a part of the record of the grand mosque in Agra. He also used to lead the Tarawih prayers regularly there.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\08\27\story_27-8-2012_pg7_29

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Pak PM Raja Pervez Ashraf appears in Supreme Court to face contempt charge

Aug 27, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Monday reached Pakistan's Supreme Court to face a charge of contempt of court for refusing to reopen graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari, the second premier to be summoned by the court on the same ground.

Ashraf was driven to the main entrance of the apex court in a SUV shortly after 9 am.

Several federal ministers, including information minister Qamar Zaman Kaira and interior minister Rehman Malik, and leaders of the ruling coalition arrived in the court earlier to appear alongside the premier as a show of solidarity.

The premier will appear before a five-judge bench headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa to respond to a contempt of court charge for refusing to revive the graft cases against the President in Switzerland.

Both Kaira and Malik told reporters outside the court that the premier was appearing in the court as the ruling Pakistan People's Party had always respected the judiciary despite decisions that had gone against the party, including the "judicial murder" of PPP founder Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.

The two ministers further said they expected justice from the Supreme Court.

In June, the apex court disqualified Ashraf's predecessor, Yousuf Raza Gilani, after convicting him of contempt for not acting on repeated orders to revive the corruption cases against Zardari.

Legal experts have said Ashraf could face the same fate as Gilani.

A meeting of leaders of the ruling coalition chaired by Zardari late last night decided that the premier would appear in court despite reservations expressed by several top PPP leaders.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pak-PM-Raja-Pervez-Ashraf-appears-in-Supreme-Court-to-face-contempt-charge/articleshow/15807584.cms

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Pak parliamentarians floats soft transportation policy between two countries

Aug 26, 2012

AMRITSAR: The Pakistani parliamentarians have floated the idea of soft transportation between India and Pakistan during meeting with their Indian counterparts besides liberalization of visa regime. MP Nadeem Afzhal Gondal who is also member of Pak India Friendship Group said "We wish people of both countries could just drive across the borders in their own vehicles as if they are visiting another city in their own country".

He said the Pak parliamentarians have suggested that soft transportation policy between two countries would go in a long way in cementing ties and promoting people to people contact. The Pak parliamentarians had stopped in the city to attend a function hosted by Congress MLA OP Soni before crossing over the border. He said the time was to pave way for a peaceful coexistence for the coming generations of both countries.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Pak-parliamentarians-floats-soft-transportation-policy-betwen-two-countries/articleshow/15761418.cms

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Hajj scam: Court admits Kazmi's bail plea, orders immediate release

August 27, 2012

RAWALPINDI: The trial court hearing the Hajj corruption case of 2010 admitted former federal minister for religious affairs Hamid Saeed Kazmi’s bail plea on Monday and ordered his immediate release, Express News reported.

Special Judge Muhammad Ahmad Farooqui directed him to submit two surety bonds of Rs100,000 each.

The former minister had been incarcerated in Adiala Jail for one year and five months and is likely to be released today, if the bonds are deposited.

The two other accused in the scam, former additional secretary to ministry of religious affairs Raja Aftabul Islam and former director-general Hajj Rao Shakeel were also present during the hearing.

Shakeel filed an application, requesting the court to unfreeze his salary account.

The court reserved its judgement on his application which will be announced during the next hearing on August 30, 2012.

Kazmi, Shakeel and Islam were accused of indulging in widespread corruption during the course of renting residential buildings for Pakistani pilgrims in Saudi Arabia and inflicting a loss of a billion rupees to the national exchequer. Most of the buildings rented by the Hajj administrators were five kilometres away from the Haram Sharif, while according to law the accommodation for Hajjis should not be more than two kilometres away.

All three of them, if summoned, will have to appear in the hearings of the case in future.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/426844/hajj-scam-court-admits-kazmis-bail-orders-immediate-release/

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Abandoned institutes: Without teachers, 99% children out of schools in a village in Swat

By Fazal Khaliq

August 27, 2012

SWAT: Every day for the past seven years, children in Boyun village have been made to walk for several hours to go to school. This is because the two schools in the village lack the very basic component – teachers; and children have no option but to either stay home or to go to schools in neighbouring, but far-off, areas.

Locals said that Government Girls’ Primary School and Government Boys Middle School at Boyun village of Kalam have been dysfunctional since 2005.

Hazrat Mohammad, a social activist, said that initially in year 2000, the boys’ middle school ran well, but then the teachers started skipping work. He said that teachers’ continued getting lax in the following years and by 2005 “they just stopped coming”. The girls’ school, he said, had it worse; “Not a single student or teacher has come to the school since it was constructed in 2005.”

Muhammad said that because of absence of teachers, majority of the children in the village remain out of schools, and estimated that only 1% opt for making long journeys to schools in neighbouring areas of the valley. He said that children who go to schools in central Kalam valley have to walk for over four hours to make the journey.

He said that the villagers have recorded their protests over the issue numerous times but their demands remain unfulfilled. “We even brought the issue to the attention of our Member of Provincial Assembly, who promised to make the schools function, but those have proved to be mere verbal guarantees,” he added.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/426663/abandoned-institutes-without-teachers-99-children-out-of-schools-in-a-village-in-swat/

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Fata’s primary attraction: The ‘Little London’ of Waziristan

By Zulfiqar Ali

 August 27, 2012

RAZMAK: Razmak, called ‘Little London’ by the British before the partition, is a beautiful landscape no less spectacular than the famed Murree hills of Pakistan. Hills covered with evergreen forests and numerous streams passing through the area make it a potential tourist spot. However, constant neglect by authorities concerned and deforestation by tribesmen is robbing the place of its beauty.

Razmak was strategically built. The British established ‘The Razmak Fort’ to control warrior tribes on both sides of the Shora Alqad. About 3km south of Razmak Bazaar, it divides the Wazirs of North Waziristan and the Mehsuds of South Waziristan.  It was the favourite destination of the Faqir of Eppi (Haji Mir Zali Khan), who fought countless wars against British rule in the region.

A famous Pashtu song of a local folk singer, late Kamal Mahsud about the area says ‘Dha Thazhaa Thazhaa Waziristan Dai, Tharikh Yaa Malom Pa Tool Jahan Dhai’ is a beautiful brief poetic outline of the land and people of Waziristan.

Likewise, lyrics of another local folk singer, Abdur Rehman Darpa Khel’s ‘Shanaa Shanaa Dee Gharoona,’ also describe the scenic  area.

Gull Shameer, 47, a resident of Spin Wam Tehsil on vacation in Razmak, expressed grief that the city, once full of students and residents, is now seemingly deserted. “It makes me cry when I see the Cadet College Razmak empty. It was the only college in this area and now that too has shifted due to lack of security.”

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/426633/fatas-primary-attraction-the-little-london-of-waziristan/

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Violence in Karachi claims five lives

27 August 2012

KARACHI: Different violent incidents in Karachi claimed at least five lives, DawnNews reported.

A tortured dead body was found from Landhi near Murtaza roundabout; the deceased was reportedly killed by firing.

Another dead body, stuffed in a bag, was found from Maripur road in Lyari near crown cinema. The man was kidnapped before he was shot dead.

A dead body was also found from the sea side near Rehri Goth.

A political worker, Rafique, who was injured earlier, succumbed to his injuries and passed away. The news of his death caused tension in the area.

Unidentified men killed a man, named Haji Shakoor, in the area of Memon Goth. Police sources claimed that the deceased was a criminal and his death was result of the personal enmity.

Authorities have tighten up the security in the volatile areas. Extra Rangers and Police troops have been deployed there.

http://dawn.com/2012/08/27/violence-in-karachi-claims-five-lives/

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‘Silent majority responsible for democracy’s failure’: Pakistan Visionary Forum

27 August 2012

LAHORE: Over 55 percent of the eligible voters in the country, who didn’t cast vote in past elections, are responsible for failure of democracy in Pakistan and this silent majority must wake up and exercise their right to vote out political black sheep, said experts of Pakistan Visionary Forum (PVF) on Sunday.

While making public the results of a focus group discussion on the causes of failure of democratic system in Pakistan, the forum appealed to every registered voter to vote in all the future elections to save Pakistan, warning that otherwise the people should be ready to face much worse situation in the country in the shape of economic crisis, lawlessness, corruption, injustice, unemployment, bad governance, poverty, insecurity, water and power shortage, foreign interventions and pressures, chaos, etc.

The forum has already proposed a new electoral system in a report containing recommendations to reform and improve the system of governance in the country.

PVF Secretary General Muhammad Azeem said that their committee had gathered opinions from their electoral system committee head Dr Muhammad Sadiq, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Qayyum Nizami, former National Assembly speaker Fakhar Imam, former intelligence chief Lt Gen Ziauddin, former Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) information secretary Zubair Sheikh and Abdul Majeed Khan.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\08\27\story_27-8-2012_pg7_16

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Thousands flee Waziristan in fear of military offensive

27 August 2012

MIRANSHAH: Thousands of people have fled one of Pakistan’s troubled northwestern tribal districts in recent days, fearing a military offensive against militants, locals and officials said.

Panicked residents have hastily left the area of North Waziristan despite officials repeatedly insisting that Pakistan has no immediate plan to launch an offensive in the volatile region, they added.

North Waziristan, one of Pakistan’s seven tribal districts and riddled with militancy, is considered a stronghold of the Afghan Taliban and Al-Qaeda operatives.

Although Pakistan has fought Taliban militants across much of the region it has so far withstood American pressure to move against the Al-Qaeda-linked Haqqani network in North Waziristan.

“Thousands of people have so far left the area, they are fleeing their homes due to the fear and rumours of a military operation,” Saif-Ur Rehman, a government official in the main town of Miranshah, told AFP.

Tasleem Khan, another government official confirmed the evacuation.

Mian Iftikhar Hussain, information minister for Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, which borders North Waziristan, told AFP that thousands of people have reached several districts in his area.

Rumours started early this week after a spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban told local media that it had received “an exclusive intelligence report” about an offensive in North Waziristan.

In an email sent to media, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan said the campaign was to be launched on August 26 and would last one month.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/08/26/thousands-flee-waziristan-in-fear-of-military-offensive/

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Karachi criminals using toy guns

27 August 2012

Karachi: Commissioner Karachi Roshan Ali Shaikh has suggested imposing ban forthwith on importing, manufacturing and selling various kinds of toy guns, as according to him such artificial weapons are used in committing the crimes in the city. “A high level meeting of civil administration would soon be convened to evolve strategy for curbing this trend,” he said in a statement on Sunday. “The toy guns are reportedly used in committing dozens of crimes daily in the city by the extortionists and street criminals, as it is very easy to throw the artificial weapons away and escape the arrest,” he said adding that in many cases it has been observed that toy guns are used as they look like real weapons. In many incidents the children have been injured while playing with toy guns, which is also matter of concern. “The demand of toy guns is growing and very much needs to be curbed,” he urged.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\08\27\story_27-8-2012_pg7_12

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‘Indo-Pak parliamentarians want to facilitate people’

27 August 2012

LAHORE: An 18-member Pakistani delegation comprising of parliamentarians returned home on Sunday via the Wagah border after a five-day visit to India saying that parliamentarians of both sides wanted to facilitate the people of the two nations.

Talking to media upon their return the members of the parliamentarians’ delegation stressed on resolving the public issues between the two sides on urgent basis.

Briefing the media about the fourth round of meeting among Indian and Pakistani parliamentarians in New Delhi, Senator Jehangir Badar said that public representatives of the two sides and other segments had discussed the options of providing facilities to the people.

He said that joint recommendations had been prepared for higher level meetings to resolve the issues of local bodies, health, education, economy, trade, visa, fishermen and prisoners of both sides and they could be discussed in the meetings of presidents, prime ministers, ministers and secretary level meetings.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\08\27\story_27-8-2012_pg7_19

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Southeast Asia

 

Mob Torches Islamic Boarding School in Depok: Indonesia

Vento Saudale | August 27, 2012

Depok. Enraged over reports that a headmaster was physically abusing his teenage wife who was also his student, a mob attacked and torched an Islamic boarding school early on Monday morning.

“Locals were furious when they heard that the head of the pesantren, 40-year-old preacher Fauzan, was said to be abusing MJ, 16 years old, whom he took as his wife through nikah siri two years ago,” Sawangan Police chief Comr. Wasimin said on Monday.

Nikah siri refers to the unregistered marriage recognized by Islam. But Fauzan, head of the school named Mashadul Al Mustatobah, which has about 150 students, was said to have taken MJ as his wife without the consent of her parents.

“The entire family was surprised to find out that she's married to Fauzan,” Abudin, MJ's uncle, said according to Metrotv.com. “Strangely, the wedding was not attended by anyone other than the two of them.”

According to family members, MJ told her father that Fauzan often physically abused her.

“The case is now being investigated by the Depok Police Women and Children protection unit,” Wasimin said, adding that Fauzan is detained at the Depok Police detention center.

The school was empty during the attack as the students were on holiday.

Fully armed police officers were seen securing the school on Monday to prevent further attacks.

“The situation is under control and the locals have calmed down,” Wasimin said.

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/home/mob-torches-islamic-boarding-school-in-depok/540515

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Sunni – Shia local figures meet following violence: Indonesia

August 27 2012

Following a disturbance that left two Shiites dead in Sampang, East Java, Sunni and Shia local figures gathered on Monday to “cool” the tension.

The meeting, which was hosted by the Semampir Police precinct, was attended by Semampir Police precinct chief Comr. Mudakkir, as well as representatives from the Tanjung Perak Port Police Office, the local Subdistrict Military Command and the Public Order Agency.

Tanjung Perak Police deputy chief Comr. Kholilur Rahman perceived the meeting as halal bihalal (a gathering especially to ask for forgiveness that follows Idul Fitri).

“We want to prevent the conflict from spreading to Surabaya as the city also hosts a Shia community that still lives peacefully there,” he said, as quoted by tribunnews.com.

On Sunday, Shia community members and an anti-Shia group were involved in a fracas, resulting in the deaths of two Shiites. The incident left hundreds of Shiites homeless.

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2012/08/27/sunni-shia-local-figures-meet-following-violence.html

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Idul Fitri Fatalities Nearly Double from Last Year: Indonesia

Jakarta Globe | August 27, 2012

The number of fatal traffic accidents during this year’s Idul Fitri exodus nearly doubled, according to the latest statistics.

“Boy rafli Amar said that during the Ketupat operation, there were 5634 motorcycle accidents, 1188 private car accidents, 276 bus accidents, 658 cargo vehicle accidents and 104 non motor vehicles accidents [which include bicycles, becaks and delmans]. The total accidents was 7,870,” spokesman of the National Police Brig. Gen. Boy Rafli Amar said on Monday. “From that figure, 908 people died.” By contrast, there were 490 fatal accidents last year.

Boy said the main factors behind the accidents were driver negligence, speeding, slippery roads and recklessness when passing other vehicles. Boy also said 69 percent of all accidents involved motorcycles.

Traffic accidents this year caused an estimated 1,505 people to suffer serious injuries, while 5,139 sustained minor injuries. The material losses caused by the accidents during the 16 days exodus an estimated Rp 11.8 billion ($1.2 million).

“There were 227 traffic accidents on Aug. 26 with 39 dead, 67 people heavily injured and 226 suffering minor injuries, with material losses of [approximately] Rp 383,000,000.”

Most of the accidents occurred in Central Java, East Java, West Java, Jakarta and Bali, Boy said.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/home/idul-fitri-fatalities-nearly-double-from-last-year/540562

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Seven Suspects of assault on a group of Shiites Arrested for Alleged Involvement in Sampang Attack

Arientha Primanita | August 27, 2012

A few hours after President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono criticized Indonesia’s law enforcement intelligence for failing to detect and prevent the most recent violence in Sampang, the National Police chief announced that the police have named seven suspects allegedly involved in the assault on a group of Shiites in Sampang, East Java.

“At the moment, seven suspects have been arrested,” National Police chief Gen. Timur Pradopo said on Monday at the Palace. “The mastermind of the attack, whose first initial is R, has also been arrested. There are still three more suspects at large. God willing, we will arrest them soon.”

On Sunday morning, a mob of Sunni Muslims attacked a group of Shiite students and teachers with swords and machetes in Sampang. Two Shiites, Hamama and Tohir, died in the attacks, while five more were injured. The mob also torched dozens of homes belonging to the Shiite community.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/home/seven-suspects-arrested-for-alleged-involvement-in-sampang-attack/540532

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2 dead in Sunni-Shiite mayhem in Madura

August 27 2012

Two Shiite followers were killed in the latest religious violence involving Shia community members and an anti-Shia group in Sampang regency in Madura, East Java, on Sunday.

The victims have been identified as Mochamad Kosim, 50, and his brother Tohir, 46. They died of machete wounds. At least four other Shiites were injured during the attack.

At the height of the violence, the mob also set alight dozens of houses belonging to Shiite members in Nangkernang hamlet, Karang Gayam village, in Sampang.

The majority of Indonesians are Sunni Muslims.

Kulsum, the wife of incarcerated Shiite leader Tajul Muluk, confirmed that one Shiite follower was hacked to death and, according to reports from human right activists on the scene, another man, identified as Tohir, was also killed.

“One man died after being attacked with a machete, while all I knew at the time was that Tohir was dying. I haven’t heard if he eventually died because I am now separated from the others,” Kulsum said.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2012/08/27/2-dead-sunni-shiite-mayhem-madura.html

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Malaysia Court Defends Suspension of Rape Sentence

August 27, 2012

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A Malaysian court is defending its decision to allow a former member of the national youth bowling team to avoid prison for statutory rape.

The Court of Appeals drew widespread criticism this month when it suspended a five-year sentence imposed by a lower court on 21-year-old Nor Afizal Azizan. He admitted having sex with a then-13-year-old girl in a hotel room in 2010.

The appeal court said Nor Afizal can remain free as long as he commits no offenses for five years. Some Malaysians believe the court let him off lightly because he was a national bowler.

The court said in a statement Monday that Nor Afizal was only 19 when he committed the offense and had not coerced the girl.

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/international/malaysia-court-defends-suspension-of-rape-sentence/540536

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Mideast Asia

 

Report: Iran Could Open Military Site to Visits

27 August 2012

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran could allow representatives from nonaligned nations to visit a military site that the U.N. nuclear watchdog suspects has housed nuclear experiments.

Access for diplomats and others to the Parchin base would be an attempt by Iran to show openness during this week's Non-Aligned Movement gathering, but it would certainly not satisfy U.N. demands.

U.N. nuclear inspectors have been pressing for wider access to Parchin, southeast of Tehran, to probe suspicions that Iran carried out explosive tests with possible nuclear trigger applications.

Monday's report by the state-owned yjc.ir news website quotes Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammad Mahdi Akhounzadeh as saying Iran may consider opening to the site to delegates from the 120-nation group. The gathering ends Friday.

The West suspects Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapons program. Tehran denies the charge.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2012/08/27/world/middleeast/ap-iran-military-

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Muppet Urges Israelis to Prepare for Possible Emergency

27 August 2012

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - The Israeli muppet on the cover of a new, emergency pamphlet being distributed nationwide puts a happy face on some grim warnings in a country preparing for possible war with Iran.

Israelis, the military-issued booklet says, would have only between 30 seconds and three minutes to find cover and hunker down between the time air raid sirens sound and rockets slam into their area.

The 15-page pamphlet has started to appear in mailboxes across the country, and instructs Israelis how to prepare a safe room or shelter for emergency situations.

On the cover a smiling Moishe Oofnik, the Israeli muppet version of Oscar the Grouch - the resident pessimist of the U.S. children's show Sesame Street - sticks out of the trash can he calls home.

He strikes a more pensive pose inside the booklet, resting his head on his hand under instructions on what to do when sirens wail.

Stepped-up rhetoric by Israeli officials in recent weeks has suggested Israel might soon attack an Iranian nuclear programme its sees as an existential threat, raising international concern about regional conflict.

Israeli ministers have said up to 500 civilians could die in any war following a strike on Iran.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2012/08/27/world/middleeast/27reuters-israel-iran-

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Former Israeli soldiers disclose routine mistreatment of Palestinian children

Harriet Sherwood

 26 August 2012

Booklet of testimonies of former Israeli soldiers describes beatings, intimidation and humiliation of children

More than 30 former Israeli soldiers have disclosed their experiences of the treatment of Palestinian children during military operations and arrests, pointing to a pattern of abuse.

A booklet of testimonies, published by Breaking the Silence, an organisation of former Israeli soldiers dedicated to publicising the day-to-day actions of the army in the occupied territories, contains descriptions of beatings, intimidation, humiliation, verbal abuse, night-time arrests and injury. Most of the children had been suspected of stone-throwing.

The witness statements were gathered to show the "common reality" of acts of violence by soldiers towards Palestinians, including children, in the West Bank, said Yehuda Shaul of Breaking the Silence. "Sadly enough this is the moral consequence of prolonged occupation of the Palestinian people," he said.

Full report at:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/aug/26/israeli-soldiers-mistreatment-palestinian-children

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Iran flaunts NAM Summit as ‘failure’ of US sanctions

27 August 2012

Tehran: Iran has hit out at the US, saying the holding of the 16th NAM Summit in Tehran proves the ”failure” of America’s “threat and sanction” policy against the oil-rich country.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amirabdollahian said the anti-Iran policies of the US-led Western nations are doomed for failure.

Amirabdollahian described the presence of heads of states and high ranking delegations of NAM member countries in Tehran as important “under such critical conditions arising from developments in the Middle East and North Africa and its coincidence with Islamic awakening movement” in the region.

“The threat and sanction policy [of the US] has failed despite pressures exerted on Iran by the US and some other countries,” the official IRNA news agency quoted Amirabdollahian as saying.

He also said Iran’s hosting of the summit would improve its position in the international fora while the US and European Union are facing severe financial crisis.

During the summit, Iran will take over the NAM rotating presidency from Egypt for the next three years. While Western countries have tried to downplay Iran holding the summit, Tehran sees it as a major diplomatic win.

Full report at:

http://www.firstpost.com/world/iran-flaunts-nam-summit-as-failure-of-us-sanctions-432162.html

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At Summit Meeting, Iran Has a Message for the World

By THOMAS ERDBRINK

27 August 2012

TEHRAN — At the entrance to the convention hall where Iran is sponsoring an international summit meeting are the crumpled wreckage of three cars driven by Iranian nuclear scientists who have been killed or hurt in bomb attacks. Placards with the photos of the scientists and their children stand alongside.

The message is clear. As Iran plays host to the biggest international conference the Islamic republic has organized in its 33-year history, it wants to tell its side of the long standoff with the Western powers, which are increasingly convinced that Tehran is pursuing nuclear weapons.

Tehran, which denies that it is after the bomb, believes the scientists were killed by Israeli agents, an assertion that Israel has not acknowledged but never fully disputed.

The meeting of the so-called Nonaligned Movement, a group formed during the cold war that considers itself independent of the major powers, has so far proven to be something of a public relations success for Iran.

Last week, the United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, decided to attend despite pressure from the United States and Israel. Egypt’s new president also said he would come to the conference, although his country has long been estranged from Iran, and India’s prime minister plans to bring a delegation of 250 people in an attempt to advocate for more trade with Tehran.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/27/world/middleeast/iran-uses-nonaligned-meeting-to-

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Iran primes NAM summit amid high security

27 August 2012

TEHRAN: Iran on Monday was deploying formidable security around a Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) meeting preparing for a summit later this week that Tehran is determined to use to bolster its international status.

Some 110,000 police have been dispatched around the country, many of them to man street corners and suddenly ubiquitous vehicle inspection points in the capital.

The heavy uniformed presence underlined the authorities’ intent to ensure nothing upsets an event that Iran is portraying as a diplomatic coup against US-led pressure.

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is expected to reinforce that message when he opens the two-day NAM summit on Thursday.

NAM officials from some 100 countries were on Monday forging through a second day of preparations for the summit. Foreign ministers were to take over on Tuesday for another two days of finessing the details.

The summit itself will see heads of state and government from more than 30 countries taking part, alongside lower-ranking officials from the rest of the NAM members, according to the Iranian organisers.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/08/27/iran-primes-nam-summit-amid-high-security/

----------

 

Gunmen kill south Yemen separatist

27 August 2012

ADEN: Unidentified gunmen shot dead a south Yemen separatist on Sunday when they fired at a protest camp in the port city of Aden, an activist said. The attack took place while security forces arrested two al Qaeda suspects, eight days after a deadly attack on the intelligence headquarters in the city. "Gunmen fired from a car at the camp of the Southern Movement, killing one of the activists," Nizar al Saadi told AFP. He said that protesters camping in al Mansura neighbourhood "blocked the road" in retaliation. Meanwhile, two suspected al Qaeda militants were arrested in a raid on a house where they were hiding, said a security official.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\08\27\story_27-8-2012_pg7_7

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Iran deports 49 Pakistanis

27 August 2012

QUETTA: Iranian security officials handed over 49 Pakistani nationals to Pakistani officials on Taftan border. Levies said on Sunday that Iranian security officials had arrested these Pakistani labourers because they were living in Iran despite expiry of their visas. Pakistani officials deployed at Taftan Zero Gate on Pak-Iran border received these deportees and later handed them over to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for further investigation.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\08\27\story_27-8-2012_pg7_10

----------

 

Israel arrests three children over taxi attack

27 August 2012

Three Israeli children have been arrested on suspicion of fire-bombing a Palestinian taxi.

Six people were injured, two seriously, in the attack, which targeted an Arab family on their way to the supermarket in the West Bank.

The three children, aged 12 to 13, are all from Bat Ayin, an Israeli settlement south of Jerusalem.

The incident is the second high-profile case this month where young Israelis have been accused of attacking Arabs.

Hours after the taxi attack, a mob of Jewish youths - some as young as 13 - attacked a Palestinian teenager in central Jerusalem, leaving him criticially injured.

The taxi attack took place on 16 August near Bat Ayin as members of a Palestinian family, including two children, where travelling in the vehicle.

The car burst into flames and flipped over after being hit by the device.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-19389914

----------

 

Man dies in Egypt blast near Israel border

 27 August 2012

CAIRO: Egyptian security officials and witnesses said a man was killed in an explosion near the border with Israel yesterday, with some accounts saying he was trying to fire a rocket into Israel.

Witnesses said he was killed in an explosion as he tried to fire a rocket, and as an Israeli military drone hovered in the sky above its side of the border.

The man, Ibrahim Ouda Bereikat, had been detained briefly last week as part of a sweeping military crackdown in the Sinai Peninsula against Islamist militants, Bedouin sources said.

Security officials confirmed that a man was killed in an explosion near the border with Israel, but could not give a clear account of the circumstances.

They said he might have been killed by a land mine, or accidentally in “militant training exercises.”

Authorities and security officials have been very reluctant to admit that militants used Egyptian territory to fire rockets into Israel, most recently on August 15.

An Islamist militant group calling itself the Partisans of Jerusalem claimed responsibility for that attack, saying it fired two Grad rockets at the town of Eilat, the SITE Intelligence Group reported.

The Egyptian military launched an unprecedented campaign in the lawless peninsula after hard-line Islamist militants killed 16 soldiers in an attack on a border outpost on August 5.

The military build-up, which included tanks and helicopter gunships, is the largest since Israel withdrew from Sinai in a 1979 peace treaty that restricted the Egyptian military presence in the desert and mountain peninsula.

http://www.arabnews.com/man-dies-egypt-blast-near-israel-border

---------

Arab World

 

Syrian regime accused of killing hundreds in Daraya massacre

Julian Borger

 27 August 2012

At least 200 dead in poor Sunni community on outskirts of capital city targeted by President Bashar al-Assad's troops

The Syrian civil war reached new heights of brutality on Sunday with government troops accused of massacring civilians a few miles from Damascus on a weekend which saw one of the worst reported death tolls in 17 months of conflict.

Opposition groups claimed more than 200 bodies had been found in Daraya, a poor Sunni community on the south-west outskirts of the capital, after Syrian troops had stormed the town on Saturday, going door to door in what President Bashar al-Assad's regime described as a counter-terrorism operation. Opposition and human rights activists claimed many of the dead were civilians.

A New York Times employee in Daraya reported seeing "scores of bodies lined up on top of each other in long thin graves moist with mud".

The paper quoted a 40-year-old resident, Abu Ahmad, as saying: "The Assad forces killed them in cold blood … I saw dozens of dead people, killed by the knives at the end of Kalashnikovs, or by gunfire. The regime finished off whole families, a father, mother and their children. They just killed them without any pretext."

The claimed death toll could not be independently verified, but if confirmed, it would be the worst single massacre of the civil war.

With the world's major powers still divided on how to respond to the bloodletting, Syria's neighbours took urgent steps to try to stop the violence spreading on to their territory. Turkey temporarily closed its borders to refugees, trapping 2,000 people trying to flee the conflict on the Syrian side of the frontier, until shelters could be built to accommodate them. Jordan appealed for more international aid for looking after more than 160,000 Syrian refugees, who it said were arriving at the rate of 2,000 a day.

The spillover into Lebanon was being held back by a fragile ceasefire in the port city of Tripoli, where Sunni-Shia clashes broke out as a result of the abduction of Lebanese pilgrims by an anti-government militia in Syria, evoking uneasy memories of Lebanon's own long civil war.

Full report at:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/aug/26/syrian-regime-accused-daraya-massacre

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Saudi foils 'terror' plot, busts two cells: Ministry

Aug 26, 2012

RIYADH: Saudi authorities today announced they had foiled a "terror" plot by elements suspected of links to al-Qaida, mostly Yemenis, and busted two extremist cells in Riyadh and Jeddah.

The interior ministry said in a statement the suspects were "in contact with the deviant organisation abroad," a term usually used to refer to al-Qaida jihadist network.

The suspects were working on "recruiting elements to execute criminal attacks targeting security forces, citizens and foreign residents, as well as public installations," it said in a statement carried by the official SPA news agency.

The ministry said two Saudis and six Yemenis were arrested, and it also named two nationals as wanted for questioning.

"Investigations revealed that those elements were at an advanced stage... including preparing explosives and testing them outside Riyadh," the ministry said, adding that one suspect accidentally lost a finger during the tests.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Saudi-foils-terror-plot-busts-two-cells-Ministry/articleshow/15770812.cms

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Saudi Oil Producer’s Computers Restored After Virus Attack

27 August 2012

DUBAI (Reuters) — Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil producer, has resumed operating its main internal computer networks after a virus infected about 30,000 of its workstations earlier this month, the company said Sunday.

Immediately after the Aug. 15 attack, the company announced it had cut off its electronic systems from outside access to prevent further attacks.

On Sunday, Saudi Aramco said the workstations had been cleansed of the virus and restored to service. Oil exploration and production were not affected because they operate on isolated systems, it said.

“We would like to emphasize and assure our stakeholders, customers and partners that our core businesses of oil and gas exploration, production and distribution from the wellhead to the distribution network were unaffected and are functioning as reliably as ever,” Saudi Aramco’s chief executive, Khalid al-Falih, said in a statement.

However, one of Saudi Aramco’s Web sites taken offline after the attack — www.aramco.com — remained down on Sunday. E-mails sent by Reuters to people within the company continued to bounce back.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/27/technology/saudi-oil-producers-computers-restored-

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Daraya massacre an 'atrocity on a new scale'

27 August 2012

LONDON/ALEPPO, Syria: Britain said yesterday it was deeply concerned by emerging reports of a “brutal massacre of civilians” in a Damascus suburb that President Bashar Assad’s army recaptured from rebels over the past week.

Activist groups said on Sunday most of about 320 bodies found in houses and basements in the town of Daraya had been killed “execution-style” by troops.

The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said 32 more bodies, some of them of women and children, said 32 more bodies, including three women and two children, were found in the streets of Daraya on Sunday.

The killings in Daraya, a working class Sunni Muslim town that sustained three days of bombardment before being overrun by the army on Friday, raised the daily death toll to 440 people on Saturday, one of the highest since the uprising began, another activist network called the Local Coordination Committees said.

It said and 633 people have been killed there since the government launched its assault last week.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/daraya-massacre-atrocity-new-scale

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SR 552 million raised so far for victims of brutal Assad

GHAZANFAR ALI KHAN

 27 August 2012

A major donation campaign launched by Saudi Arabia to alleviate the suffering of Syrian civilians raised SR 552 million as of yesterday. The campaign under the title ‘Saudi National Campaign for the Support of Brothers in Syria,’ launched late last month by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah with a donation of SR 20 million, has been joined by a large number of philanthropists and donors, including businessmen.

The campaign was launched under the supervision of Prince Ahmad bin Abdulaziz, the Interior Minister, said an SPA report yesterday. A spokesman of the secretariat for the campaign said that the secretariat continued to receive donations in its accounts even yesterday. An accredited account has been set up at National Commercial Bank for this purpose.

“The total cash collected by the campaign exceeds SR 522 million,” he confirmed when asked about the exact figure and whether the donations are still pouring in.

“The move to extend financial support to Syrians is significant given the deplorable situation in that country. The killing of innocent men, women and children are continuing,” added the spokesman. The bodies of more than 30 civilians — some of them women and children — were found yesterday in the streets of the Syrian town of Daraa where President Bashar Assad’s forces have been waging a fierce assault against rebel holdouts. The latest deaths brought the toll in Daraa to more than 120 in the past week alone.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/sr-552-million-raised-so-far-victims-brutal-assad

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320 dead as Assad’s forces cleanse Daraya

27 August 2012

* Vice president, rumoured defected, appears in Damascus

* Assad says Syria will resist interference ‘no matter the cost’

ALEPPO/AMMAN: Syrian opposition activists accused President Bashar al Assad's army on Sunday of massacring hundreds of people in a town close to the capital that government forces recaptured from rebels.

In the town of Daraya to the southwest of Damascus, some 320 bodies, including women and children, were found in houses and basements, according to activists who said most had been killed ‘execution-style’ by troops in house-to-house raids.

Activists uploaded several videos to the Internet showing rows of bloodied bodies wrapped in sheets. Most of the dead appeared to be young men of fighting age, but at least one video showed several children who appeared to have been shot in the head. The body of one toddler was soaked in blood.

Due to restrictions on non-state media in Syria, it was impossible to independently verify the accounts.

Clashes are raging across Syria as the 17-month-old rebellion grows increasingly bloody, particularly in the northern city of Aleppo, where the army and rebels appear stuck in a war of attrition.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\08\27\story_27-8-2012_pg7_1

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Gunmen kill Iraq border forces general

27 August 2012

BAGHDAD: Gunmen shot dead an Iraqi border forces brigadier general on Monday, among two people killed and five wounded in nationwide violence, security and medical officials said.

Brigadier General Abdul Hussein Mohsen was gunned down by several armed men while he was in the town of Taji, just north of Baghdad, an interior ministry official said.

A medic at Kadhimiyah hospital in the north of the capital confirmed the facility received Mohsen’s body, adding that the general died of multiple gunshot wounds.

A bomb blast targeting an army patrol in the town of Haditha, 210 kilometres (130 miles) west of Baghdad, meanwhile killed a civilian and wounded three soldiers, according to an army officer and a doctor at Haditha hospital.

And in the main northern city of Mosul, two young boys were wounded by a roadside bomb apparently aiming for an army patrol, according to police First Lieutenant Islam Hamed and doctor Faiz Tareq from the city’s main hospital.

The latest fatalities took to 258 the number of people killed in nationwide attacks so far in August, according to an AFP tally based on reports from security and medical officials.

Violence has significantly decreased in Iraq compared to the brutal years of 2006 and 2007, but attacks are still common across the country.

http://dawn.com/2012/08/27/gunmen-kill-iraq-border-forces-general/

----------

 

Gulf Arab nations seek India to rein in Iran

Indrani Bagchi

 Aug 27, 2012

NEW DELHI: Gulf Arab countries want India to play a larger role in maintaining peace and security in their region. In particular, they want India to influence Iranian outlook and behaviour.

Speaking to TOI, ambassador of Bahrain, Mohammed Ghassan Shaikho, said, "India has strong strategic interests in our region. Apart from energy supplies, there are six million expatriate Indians living and working in Gulf countries, sending back remittances of more than $40 billion. Bilateral trade between India and the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries is over $160 billion."

As India and Bahrain prepare to travel to Iran for the 16th NAM summit next week, Shaikho said India, as a founder member of NAM, should take the lead in giving the grouping a new political vision. This vision, according to him, should be centred on two main principles — "good working relations between neighbours and non-interference in internal affairs of other states." "We must recognize the importance of regional groups to deal with regional problems," he said.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Gulf-Arab-nations-seek-India-to-rein-in-Iran/articleshow/15792288.cms

----------

 

Syrian helicopter down in Damascus as fighting rages

Aug 27, 2012

DAMASCUS: A Syrian combat helicopter crashed in Damascus on Monday, state television said, as fierce fighting reportedly gripped the east of the capital a day after the regime was accused of a new massacre.

A series of explosions rocked the city from about dawn and a watchdog reported heavy shelling and fighting between government troops and rebels in several eastern and northeastern districts and nearby towns.

State television said the chopper came down near a mosque in Qaboon, but gave no further information, while the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it believed it "was hit while it was being used in fighting nearby."

Helicopter gunships were shelling the neighbouring district of Jubar, where anti-regime sentiment is strong, the Observatory said, and reported heavy fighting between the rebel Free Syrian Army and government troops.

There was no immediate comment from the FSA, which claimed to have shot down a Syrian warplane on August 13 in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor.

The assault on the northeast of the capital was unleashed a day after opposition activists accused President Bashar al-Assad's regime of gruesome new massacre in the southwestern town of Daraya.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Syrian-helicopter-down-in-Damascus-as-fighting-rages/articleshow/15817806.cms

----------

 

Bombs, shootings kill eight in Iraq

Aug 26, 2012

BAGHDAD: A series of attacks across Iraq on Sunday killed eight people, among them three soldiers and two policemen, security and medical officials said.

Three soldiers were killed and two were wounded near Garma east of Fallujah, when two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) struck their patrol, Lieutenant Colonel Mohammed Jerefi said.

Hamed Tafesh from Fallujah hospital confirmed his facility had received the bodies of the three soldiers and had also treated the two wounded.

Two policemen were killed and another wounded at Ur, a district north of Baghdad, when gunmen opened fire on a police checkpoint, an interior ministry official said.

A source at the Imam Ali Hospital confirmed the facility had received the two bodies.

In another attack, gunmen armed with silencer-equipped pistols shot dead three security guards in Baghdad's district of Zayuna, the interior ministry official said.

A source at Al-Kindi Hospital and another from the city's morgue confirmed the toll.

A sheikh was also wounded in a gunfire attack at the Al-Wathak intersection in central Baghdad, medical sources said.

Late on Saturday, three soldiers were wounded by an IED north of Baquba, a city 60 kilometres (37 miles) north of Baghdad, security and medical sources in the province of Diyala of which Baquba is the capital said.

The latest fatalities took to 254 the number of people killed in Iraq violence so far in August, according to an AFP tally.

Violence has significantly decreased in Iraq compared to the brutal years of 2006 and 2007, but attacks are still common across the country.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Bombs-shootings-kill-eight-in-Iraq/articleshow/15764181.cms

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North America

 

American Taliban John Walker Lindh seeks group prayer in US prison

Aug 27, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS: An American-born Taliban fighter imprisoned in Indiana will try to convince a federal judge that his religious freedom trumps security concerns in a closely watched trial that will examine how far prisons can go to ensure security in the age of terrorism.

John Walker Lindh was expected to testify Monday in Indianapolis during the first day of the trial over prayer policies in a tightly restricted prison unit where he and other high-risk inmates have severely limited contact with the outside world.

Lindh, 31, a Muslim convert who was charged with supporting terrorists after he was captured by US troops in Afghanistan and later pleaded guilty to lesser charges, claims his religious rights are being violated because the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, deprives him of daily group prayer.

Muslims are required to pray five times a day, and the Hanbali school to which Lindh belongs requires group prayer if it is possible. But inmates in the Communications Management Unit are allowed to pray together only once a week except during Ramadan. At other times, they must pray in their individual cells. Lindh says that doesn't meet the Quran's requirements and is inappropriate because he is forced to kneel in close proximity to his toilet.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, which is representing Lindh, contends the policy violates a federal law barring the government from restricting religious activities without showing a compelling need.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/American-Taliban-John-Walker-Lindh-seeks-group-prayer-in-US-prison/articleshow/15784521.cms

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Europe

 

Ngruki group link with terrorism in France

Margareth S. Aritonang

 August 27 2012

A terrorist network linked with Al-Mukmin (Ngruki) Islamic boarding school in Surakarta, Central Java, is suspected of being behind terrorism incidents in Paris and Toulouse, France, in March.

The National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) chairman Insp. Gen. (ret.) Ansyaad Mbai told The Jakarta Post on Sunday that the French police had informed the agency that three French nationals, including fugitive militant Frederic C. Jean Salvi, were planning to take shelter in Ngruki after the planned attacks.

Salvi, according to Ansyaad, spent several years studying with Islamic militants in Indonesia, and is among the country’s most wanted fugitives.

“We are watching the Ngruki boarding school closely and in constant touch with the French authorities. We are investigating how these three French citizens got in touch with the school and the purpose of their planned trips there,” Ansyaad said.

Ngruki was founded by firebrand cleric Abu Bakar Ba’asyir, now serving 15 years in prison for organizing a terrorism training camp in Aceh. Many of the school’s graduates have been involved in terrorism, including the first Bali bombing in 2002 that claimed more than 200 lives, mostly foreign tourists.

Salvi is suspected of links with the terrorist network responsible for the shooting that claimed seven lives in Toulouse, in March. Network member Mohamed Merah, 23, was shot dead by the French authorities during a raid.

According to the BNPT, the group is involved in two separate incidents at the Indonesian Embassy in Paris.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2012/08/27/ngruki-group-link-with-terrorism-france.html

----------

 

Two ‘Qaeda-linked’ British Pakistanis challenge conviction

By Asif Mehmood

27 August 2012

LONDON: Two British Pakistanis, who were allegedly tortured by the British Intelligence Agency MI5 for being al Qaeda members, have appealed in the European Court of Human Rights to quash their conviction.

Salahuddin Amin and Rangzeib Ahmed have claimed that MI5 was complicit in their torture at the hands of Pakistani security services, an accusation that was rejected by British courts.

Amin was jailed for life in 2007 for his role in a terrorist cell that plotted to kill thousands of people in a bomb attack on a British shopping centre, whereas Rangzieb Ahmed, as per MI5, is believed to be the highest-ranking member of al Qaeda yet to be put on trial in Britain.

The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, has allowed the application even after extreme pressure by the British media rather than rejecting it and now the UK government has to respond to the claims.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\08\27\story_27-8-2012_pg7_27

---------

Africa

 

Tripoli turned into a war zone as rivals fight street duels with grenades

Mitchell Prothero

 26 August 2012

The Syrian conflcit has spread into neighbouring Lebanon

Gunmen have transformed Tripoli, Lebanon's northernmost city, into a war zone in the past week as rival groups fight duels using snipers and rocket-propelled grenades.

Syria Street is the front line – ironic given that it is the violence gripping its neighbour that has set these factions on their destructive path. And whether by design or chance, the war in Syria is seeping into Lebanon and vice versa.

Sheikh Bilal al-Masri, a street preacher with about a dozen armed followers, arrives in the alley behind his apartment and apologises profusely for making reporters climb through a hole beaten into a cinderblock wall behind the building. "I'm sorry we can't use the front door, but they know my face and are waiting to shoot me," he explains. "I put in the holes so I can move down to the street safely."

Masri is one of about a dozen militia commanders in Lebanon's poorest neighbourhood, Bab al-Tabbaneh, a slum populated by poor Sunni Muslims. It is notorious for crime under normal circumstances, but today it is at the heart of a sectarian war with its mostly Alawite neighbours in Jabal Mohsen.

Full report at:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/aug/25/lebanon-tripoli-turned-into-war-zone

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Libya's under-fire interior minister quits

August 27, 2012

TRIPOLI: Interior Minister Fawzi Abdelali resigned on Sunday after coming under fire for the performance of security forces during a surge of violence that has rocked Libya, an official from his office told AFP.

“He submitted his resignation to protest against congressmen criticising the government and to defend the revolutionaries,” the official said, referring to former rebels who now form part of the country’s security services.

Libyan security services have come in for censure following double car bombings that killed two people on the day Muslims celebrated the feast of Eidul Fitr a week ago in Tripoli and attacks on several Muslim shrines in the past few days.

The criticism has been led by the newly elected General National Congress, which on Sunday accused the interior ministry’s High Security Committee of being lax or even implicated in the destruction of shrines, including those of the Sufi sect.

Hardliners on Saturday bulldozed part of the mausoleum of Al-Shaab Al-Dahman, close to the centre of the Libyan capital.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/426836/libyas-under-fire-interior-minister-quits/

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Nigeria confirms informal Boko Haram talks

27 August 2012

The Nigerian government says it has started informal talks with Boko Haram to try to end deadly attacks by the militant Islamist group.

A presidential spokesman said the dialogue was through "backroom channels", without elaborating further.

The group's main faction earlier this week ruled out peace talks.

Boko Haram, which wants to create an Islamic state, is accused of killing hundreds of people and targeting churches and other targets.

"The form of the dialogue is that backroom channels are being used to reach across with the sole objective of understanding what exactly the grievances of these persons are, what exactly can be done to resolve the crises," presidential spokesman Reuben Abati said.

He said this was being done "in the overall best interest of ensuring peace and stability in Nigeria and the security of life and property".

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-19388695

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Two dead as clashes flare again in Lebanon’s Tripoli

 27 August 2012

TRIPOLI, Lebanon: Two people were killed yesterday in Lebanon’s northern city of Tripoli, a security source said, where sporadic fighting between pro- and anti-Syrian regime gunmen over six days has mirrored sectarian faultlines in the raging conflict in neighboring Syria.

Sunnis in Syria have been the driving force of a 17-month uprising against President Bashar Assad, whose minority Alawite sect has dominated the country’s political and military elite for more than four decades.

At least 18 people have been killed and more than 100 wounded in nearly a week of clashes in Tripoli.

Lebanon’s army deployed tanks and troops to clamp down on violence on Thursday, but fighting flared up again, residents said. They said the army raided parts of the city on Sunday and arrested several gunmen.

The fighting is the latest in a series of clashes that have hit the port city since the revolt in Syria began in 2011.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/two-dead-clashes-flare-again-lebanon%E2%80%99s-tripoli

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Dozens dead in Sudan’s S. Kordofan: rebels

27 August 2012

KHARTOUM: Sustained fighting in Sudan’s South Kordofan state has killed several dozen government troops and five rebels, the insurgents claimed yesterday after the army said it repulsed them.

The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) said “fighting is still continuing inside Al Moreib,” a village in Rashad district of northeastern South Kordofan.

The rebels first reported a battle in Al Moreib on Friday, when they accused the government of attacking and looting the area. Two other Rashad-area villages had earlier been attacked by government soldiers and militia, they said.

Late on Saturday the army said it had “clashed with the rebels and drove them outside the area” where they had been “terrorizing and intimidating” residents.

It said one soldier and more than two dozen rebels were killed.

Access to the region is restricted, making verification of casualty claims difficult.

Ethnic minority insurgents of the SPLM-N have been fighting in South Kordofan since June last year and in Blue Nile state since September.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/dozens-dead-sudan%E2%80%99s-s-kordofan-rebels

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Jacob Zuma risks removal over handling of Marikana mine killings

David Smith

26 August 2012

Political rivals and press blame South African president for 'string of errors' over police shooting of striking mine workers

Jacob Zuma, the president of South Africa, could be ousted later this year after what has been described as "a string of unbelievable errors" in his handling of the mine massacre that shocked viewers around the world.

Zuma is facing criticism for a sluggish response to one of post-apartheid South Africa's biggest disasters, in which 34 striking mineworkers were gunned down by police. With factionalism rampant in the governing party, some believe the episode could tip the balance against him when he seeks re-election at an African National Congress (ANC) conference in December.

Critics say that in the hours after the bloodshed at the Marikana platinum mine in the north-west of the country, Zuma was slow to return to South Africa from a summit in neighbouring Mozambique. By the time he did reach the mine, it was "too dark" to address the angry mineworkers, he was quoted as saying last week.

Instead the president visited survivors in hospital and read a prepared speech to journalists at a game lodge owned by Lonmin, the company that owns the mine, announcing a commission of inquiry. Many of those present described the address as flat.

Rubbing salt into Zuma's wounds, his arch political enemy, Julius Malema, addressed the miners the following day, earning cheers as he accused Zuma of presiding over mass murder and called for him to resign. Zuma did speak to the mineworkers last week, but he failed to attend a memorial service, where the limelight was again stolen by Malema, the expelled president of the ANC youth league.

Full report at:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/aug/26/jacob-zuma-marikana-mine-killings

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Analysis: South Africa Mine Killings Could Hurt Zuma Ahead of Vote

27 August 2012

MARIKANA, South Africa (Reuters) - South African's President Jacob Zuma rose to power as a man of the people but seemed a world away from the masses when he stood in a suit under a parasol to speak to destitute miners about the deadliest police killing since apartheid ended.

The deaths of 44 in a labor dispute this month at Lonmin's Marikana mine, including 34 armed miners shot by police, could undermine Zuma's populist appeal and threaten his chances in a December vote where he seeks re-election as the leader of the party that dominates politics.

Zuma's critics say the day last week he spoke to miners for a few minutes under the blazing sun showed him more beholden to special interest groups than to millions of South Africans waiting for him to ease poverty.

He took more time to speak to Lonmin's executives than miners and then left the mine to dance in front of cameras at a ruling African National Congress event, despite declaring a week of mourning.

"Our government is becoming a pig that is eating its own children," Julius Malema, the ANC Youth League expelled from the ruling party after crossing swords with Zuma, said at a memorial service on Thursday for the victims.

"Our government is failing to intervene in mines because our leaders are involved in mines," Malema said.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2012/08/27/world/africa/27reuters-safrica-mines-

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Violence Returns Near Lonmin's South Africa Operations

27 August 2012

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Violence has spread to the eastern operations of world No. 3 platinum producer Lonmin, the company said on Monday, raising concerns of deadly unrest flaring again after 44 people were killed this month in labor strife.

"There have been incidents of intimidation towards bus drivers overnight as well as intimidation of Eastern's workers this morning, preventing them from coming to work," the company said in a statement.

Lonmin, where most operations have been suspended for two weeks by a wage strike among about 3,000 of its workers, also said only about 13 percent of its 28,000-strong workforce has shown up on Monday morning. This is far short of the numbers needed to start pulling ore from the earth again.

Trade union Solidarity, which represents skilled workers, also reported high levels of intimidation.

In another development, workers at a mine run by junior producer Eastern Platinum in South Africa were blocked on Monday from going to their posts by people believed to be colleagues, the National Union of Mineworkers said.

Lonmin is racing to resume ore extraction across its operations with no guarantee striking workers will return this week after the end of a mourning period for comrades killed in the recent wave of labor unrest.

The violence stems from a bloody turf war between the dominant National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the small but militant Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), which has been spreading through the sector.

Lonmin has also said it may issue new shares to shore up a balance sheet hit by the lost production and revenue. Its situation will become tougher the longer its mines are idle.

(Reporting by Sherilee Lakmidas and Ed Stoddard; Editing by Jon Herskovitz)

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2012/08/27/world/africa/27reuters-safrica-

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South Africa's Marikana mine closed by 'intimidation'

27 August 2012

Miners are being intimidated into staying away from work at the South African mine where 34 people were recently shot dead by police, the owners say.

Lonmin says just 13% of workers have reported for duty on Monday and says miners have been threatened.

Hundreds of miners have reportedly gathered outside the mine, amid a heavy police presence.

Leaders of the ruling ANC are expected to discuss the deaths.

The ANC has been criticised for the way the matter was handled, and President Jacob Zuma is expected to face tough questions at the closed-door meeting.

Lonmin, the world's third largest platinum producer, had hoped that the strike at the Marikana platinum mine would end and production would resume.

"Employees are waiting for the environment to be safe. Groups of people are walking around intimidating people who come onto the property," Lonmin spokeswoman Sue Vey told the BBC.

Alfonso Mofokeng, a miner from Lesotho, told the AFP news agency: "We are aware that some people have gone back to work, we have noted that behaviour, and we need to come up with a plan to deal with them."

The 13% turnout is a sharp drop from the 30% who turned up for work last week and 57% at the weekend.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-19388584

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/by-new-age-islam-news-bureau/taliban-behead-17-at-late-night-party-in-afghanistan/d/8435

 

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