New Age Islam
Tue Aug 11 2020, 02:41 AM

Islamic World News ( 5 Aug 2012, NewAgeIslam.Com)

US Gurdwara Killing: Shooter Was A 'White Supremacist with 9-11 Tattoo'

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

North America

US Gurdwara killing: Shooter was a 'white man with 9/11 tattoo'

US Mosque Fight Turns Into War on Islam

American Muslims Urge Protection for Rohingyas

Muslim civil rights group offers reward for info on gunman in deadly shooting

US shooting: US Ambassador offers prayers at Delhi Gurdwara

US, Pak join hands against Haqqanis

Inter-faith groups strongly condemn US Gurdwara shooting

Anti-terror aide keeps President Barack Obama in loop

Oklahoma Muslims Share Ramadan

Muslim month of fasting sees rise in demand for Halal meat

 

India

7 ‘terrorists’ acquitted by Delhi high court

Assam erupts again, 4 more bodies found

Pakistan troops open fire on Indian posts

Police seeks Maharashtra govt's. Nod to confront Kasab with Jundal

PM expresses shock over US Gurdwara killing

‘Bureaucratic’ defence ministry delayed Army response in violence-hit Assam

BSF-BBG avert infiltration bid by Bangladeshi Chakmas in Tripura

Jundal questioned about Bhatkal brothers, terror suspects in German bakery case

Terror explosive freely on sale

Unfazed by kill threat, Manipur scribes to spike rebel statements

 

Pakistan

Police tighten security strategy for Shia procession

40 years on, why are we unable to account for 72 prisoners of war?

Pak foreign policy based on equality, respect, peace: Pak Senate Chairman

Gilgit bus attack kills two

PPP issues show-cause notice to Abidi over press conference

Explosion kills five in Khyber

TV channels spreading vulgarity, PEMRA doing nothing: Chief justice

Agha Waqar accepts Physics teacher's challenge to run car on water

Halal industry: Pakistan has more potential than Malaysia to thrive

Gunmen attack NATO truck in Pakistan, killing 1

Khosa may prefer quitting politics to changing ‘creed’

Two children among four killed in Quetta blast

Afghanistan supporting Fazlullah: Pakistan

 

South Asia

Afghan Ethnic Violence Shows Signs of Resurgence

Eleven Afghan police defect to Taliban in Helmand province

NATO airstrike kills Haqqani leader

Two New Zealand soldiers killed in Afghanistan, six wounded

Karzai accepts dismissal of security ministers

 ‘Three dead’ in fresh Myanmar violence

 

Mideast Asia

Turkey: 115 Kurdish rebels killed in offensive

Iran 'strongly' denies hostages in Syria are military

Iranians 'confess' to nuclear scientist murders: state TV

Israel Bars Foreign Envoys From West Bank Meeting

Israel losing international support, says British ambassador

Al Qaeda blamed for Yemeni suicide bomb attack

Hamas frees Qaeda-tied leader of militant group in Gaza: source

 

Arab World

Prostitute killer snared by CSI techniques in Dubai, court hears

"Jihadists" gunmen kill 16 Egypt border guards

Al Qaeda prisoners try to tunnel out of Iraqi jail

Iraq attacks kill five

Syrian Prime Minister Riyad al-Hijab reportedly defects to Jordan

Syria conflict: Photographers' UK jihadist claim considered

Syrian prime minister sacked: State TV

Bomb blast in state TV building in Damascus: Syria

Assad's forces pound rebel stronghold in Aleppo

Reuters Twitter account hacked, false tweets about Syria sent

 

Europe

Islamic Scholar: Kurdish Pilgrims Should Use Hajj as Political Stage

Sweden "counter-jihad" rally outnumbered by anti-racists

Spain charges two Chechen al Qaeda suspects for terror

 

Africa

Saying Mali ‘Is Our Country,’ Militias Train to Oust Islamists

Mali armed groups using hundreds of child soldiers: NGO

Islamic sect leader in Nigeria rejects sanctions

Suicide bomber in Nigeria kills six soldiers, one civilian

Peacekeeper funds 'stolen in Darfur hold-up'

Libya’s interim rulers to hand over power

Three armed men killed in Libya as violence escalates

Venezuelan Charged in Diplomat's Killing in Kenya

Gao residents rise up against Islamists’ strict laws in northern Mali

South Sudan’s Marial: athlete without a country

Tunisian blogger and journalist Sofian Shurabi arrested

 

Southeast Asia

Gay couple married in US feted at Malaysia banquet

Minister Says No Need for Halal TV Certification

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

Photo: US Gurdwara killing: Shooter was a 'white man with 9/11 tattoo'

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/by-new-age-islam-news-bureau/us-gurdwara-killing--shooter-was-a--white-man-with-9/11-tattoo-/d/8174

 

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North America

 

US gurdwara killing: Shooter was a 'white man with 9/11 tattoo'

Aug 6, 2012

NEW YORK: The gunman who went on a killing spree inside a gurdwara in Wisconsin was a "white man with a 9/11 tattoo" on his arm, according to eyewitnesses.

Kanwardeep Singh Kaleka said those rescued from the Oak Creek, Milwaukee gurdwara described the attacker as a bald, white man, dressed in a white T-shirt and black pants and with a 9/11 tattoo on one arm -- which "implies to me that there's some level of hate crime there."

Kaleka, a nephew of the gurdwara's president, told CNN that the gunman started shooting in the parking lot and killed at least one person there. He "then entered into the temple and proceeded to open fire."

"It seems the few casualties that have been divulged to me have been the equivalent of priests, the holy leaders of our people," he said.

"My uncle is one of the administrators of the temple. It's mainly those individuals who have been targeted or shot. Maybe it's because the ladies were fortunate enough to dodge it out, but so far most of the people I've heard have been shot and killed were all turbaned males."

Kaleka said he was not at the temple at the time of the shooting, but helped police interview witnesses and other congregation members once they were rescued.

Meanwhile, FBI agents had cordoned off a street in Cudahy, a town about five miles from the gurdwara, where it was executing a search warrant related to the shooting.

A team of law enforcement officers, including from the Milwaukee County Sheriff's department and the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, surrounded a duplex in Cudahy.

Authorities cordoned off the area and the neighbourhood was being evacuated.

Police have searched the suspect's home, "a short distance" from the temple, a law enforcement source told CNN who added that a single 9mm semi- automatic pistol believed to have been used by the gunman was found at the scene, along with a weapon that belonged to a police officer who was injured.

Some members of the community told local news channels that Sikhs had been targeted in hate crimes following the September 11 attacks.

They said people often falsely identify them as Muslims because of their bearded and turbaned appearance.

According to the Association of Religion Data Archives, there are around 314,000 Sikhs in the United States.

In April, representative Joseph Crowley, Democrat of New York and co-chairman of the Congressional Caucus on Indians and Indian-Americans had sent a letter to attorney general Eric Holder urging that the FBI collect data on hate crimes committed against Sikhs.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/US-gurdwara-killing-Shooter-was-a-white-man-with-9/11-tattoo/articleshow/15372249.cms

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US Mosque Fight Turns Into War on Islam

05 August 2012

CAIRO – Amid claims fuelled by Islamophobes that Muslims are trying to undermine American society from within, a legal fight over the building of a mosque in the state of Tennessee is turning into a full-fledged war on Islam.

“We are going to closely scrutinize everything they do,” Rev. Darrel Whaley, a mosque opponent and pastor of Kingdom Ministries Worship Center in Murfreesboro, told The Tennessean on Sunday, August 5.

“We are not against Muslims praying in a mosque,” he said.

“We are against Islam.”

Fueled by fears that Muslims are gaining influence while Christians are losing clout, anti-Islam activists have been running a long fight against the building of a mosque in Murfreesboro, about 30 miles from Nashville.

Since plans for the new mosque to replace a 30-year-old facility were approved by local authorities in 2010, opponents have tried to stop it.

Opponents have argued that Islam is not a religion protected by the US Constitution, and that the mosque would promote Shari`ah.

Before the mosque plans were unveiled, Muslims in Murfreesboro faced almost no problems.

“I didn’t know that there were any Muslims in this community,” said Pete Doughtie, owner of the Rutherford Reader, a local free newspaper.

Like other anti-Islam activists, Doughtie was affected by claims of “stealth jihad”; or Muslims trials to undermine America from within.

These fears, stocked by the right-wing Tea Party distrust of the federal government, were first raised by author Robert Spencer, who runs a blog called Jihad Watch.

Since at least 2009, that claim has been repeated by local activists meeting in churches and community groups in Middle Tennessee.

Those meetings have regularly featured speaker known for their hostility against Islam as Spencer, Brigitte Gabriel of Act for America, Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy, and Bill French, a former Tennessee State University professor who goes by the pseudonym Bill Warner.

So when a Muslim student asks for permission to pray at school — which is allowed under the First Amendment — critics see it as an attempt to infiltrate schools with Islam.

“We have been a strong Christian country, and if we don’t get back to it, the whole face of this nation is going to change,” Doughtie said.

Prosecution Complex

Sociology professors see the hostility against Islam a result of a growing “persecution complex” or the activists’ idea that they are losing influence in American culture.

“People understand the world to be a zero sum game — so if someone else is winning, they are losing,” Amy Binder, an associate professor of sociology at the University of California at San Diego, said.

Binder likened mosque critics to other conservative groups, like supporters of teaching creationism at school.

She said that when creationists have lost court battles, they regrouped and tried a new strategy.

These feelings were apparent in the case with the mosque critics.

For months, lawyers for anti-mosque plaintiffs have filed a motion to intervene in the federal lawsuit filed by the mosque and did not dispute that Islam is a religion.

Losing in court might re-energize mosque opponents by making them feel like a persecuted minority standing up for what they think is right, Binder noted.

“Once you have that persecution complex, you want to hang together and you can’t hear what anyone else is saying,” she said.

American Rights

Living in peace with their neighbors for decades, Murfreesboro’s Muslims feel betrayed when people stereotype them as being radicals.

“I like to say there isn’t a war against Islam in Christianity. The war is good people versus evil people,” Aisha Lbhalla, chairwoman of the women’s committee at the Islamic Center of Tennessee, said.

“When you see a person that happens to be Muslim doing something atrocious, think of that as an evil person, not a representation of Islam.

“As citizens here, we should be working together to ward off any type of evil and amoral behavior in our society, not brand a whole people.”

The area Muslims say they want to live out their faith just like any other Americans.

“It’s very tough to make sense of nonsense,” Imam Ossama Bahloul of the Islamic Center said.

“It’s very hard to answer a question so many times and you intend not to listen.”

Undeterred by critics, the imam hopes for a better future for Muslims, saying winning the legal fight for building the mosque will show that the Constitution applies to all Americans.

If required inspections are completed, the opening of the new center, which could happen as early as this week, will be a great day for Murfreesboro, Imam Bahloul said.

“I think it will be a day of celebration for all of us that religious freedom is a fact existing in this nation,” he said.

“People can fight as much as they want, but what is right will prevail in the end. American values will prevail in the end.”

http://www.onislam.net/english/news/americas/458392-murfreesboro-at-war-with-islam.html

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American Muslims Urge Protection for Rohingyas

By LALIT K JHA

August 3, 2012 |

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A prominent national Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization called on the governments of Burma and Bangladesh on Thursday to seek protection for Rohingya Muslims in Burma.

The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in a letter urged Burmese President Thein Sein to urgently take steps to end human rights violations against the Rohingya in the wake of a fresh wave of communal strife that began in early June.

“Your government must take urgent steps to end human rights violations by its security forces and to allow unimpeded access for relief organizations and international monitors seeking to enter affected areas,” CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said in a letter to the Burmese president.

“Once calm is restored, Myanmar must revise its 1982 Citizenship Law, which effectively denies citizenship to Rohingya Muslims,” Awad said, urging the president to cooperate with the international community to take immediate measures to address the ongoing abuses.

In another letter to Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Awad sought protection for those fleeing Burma and seeking refuge in her country.

“The government of Bangladesh, with the support of the international community, must offer full humanitarian assistance to those forced to flee Myanmar. Denial of this assistance will inevitably result in even greater suffering, which we should all seek to prevent,” he wrote.

In its statement, CAIR also urged the international community to address the suffering of the almost one million Rohingya in Burma, as well as those who have fled to neighboring Bangladesh.

The CAIR letter came a day after Human Rights Watch released a report detailing alleged human rights abuses by the Burmese authorities.

“Burmese security forces committed killings, rape, and mass arrests against Rohingya Muslims after failing to protect both them and Arakan Buddhists during deadly sectarian violence in western Burma in June 2012,” it said.

“Government restrictions on humanitarian access to the Rohingya community have left many of the over 100,000 people displaced and in dire need of food, shelter, and medical care,” the group said.

Meanwhile the State Department said the Special Representative to Muslim Communities, Farah Pandith, concluded a trip to Burma on Wednesday.

“While there, she met with civil society leaders, members of religious and ethnic groups, including the Rohingya, youth leaders, national and international non-profit organizations, as well as with the Minister of Religious Affairs,” the State Department said.

“She discussed areas for cooperation with Muslim communities in Burma, including education, rule of law, and economic opportunity, with a particular focus on young people,” the statement said, adding that she also participated in Ramadan activities, including the US Embassy Iftar held on July 30.

http://www.irrawaddy.org/archives/10795

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Muslim civil rights group offers reward for info on gunman in deadly shooting

By Cameron Macdonald

March 6, 2011

A Muslim civil rights group announced this morning they are offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of the person who shot two elderly Indian men, killing one, in Elk Grove on March 4.

The Sacramento Valley chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) noted the possibility that a hate crime was committed against the victims who were out for a walk along East Stockton Boulevard when they were attacked around 4:30 p.m.

Surinder Singh, 65, was killed while his friend, Gurmej Atwal was wounded and remains in critical condition as of press time.

Elk Grove Police Chief Robert Lehner said that while there is currently no evidence that a hate crime was committed, he mentioned that it remains a possibility since the victims wore traditional Sikh headwear at the time of the shooting.

Basim Elkarra, the executive director of the local CAIR chapter, said that bearded Sikh men who wear turbans are often mistaken for Muslims by people who commit hate crimes against them.

"The Muslim community offers its condolences and support to the Sikh community in this time of sorrow," Elkarra said in a March 6 press statement.

CAIR earlier requested an FBI investigation of the case where a Sikh taxi driver was assaulted in West Sacramento last year. Two suspects were later charged with committing a hate crime in that case since the victim's passengers reportedly made anti-Muslim remarks.

http://www.egcitizen.com/articles/2011/03/06/news/doc4d73f3a46b726778589745.txt

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US shooting: US Ambassador offers prayers at Delhi Gurdwara

Aug 06 2012

New Delhi : Reaching out to the Sikh community in the wake of the shooting incident at a Gurdwara in Wisconsin, US Ambassador to India Nancy Powell Monday offered her prayers at a Gurdwara here and said the incident will be probed thoroughly.

"United States through the Federal Bureau of Investigation as well as the local police will conduct a thorough investigation into this crime," Powell told reporters after visiting Gurdwara Bangla Sahib here.

She offered her condolences on behalf of the entire US Mission here over the incident, which claimed seven lives, terming it a "ghastly act of violence".

"We are deeply saddened by it, particularly that it happened in a house of worship," she said.

The Ambassador was presented a 'Guru Granth Sahib' by the Gurdwara authorities on her visit.

Six people were killed in the attack on the Gurdwara during Sunday morning prayers in Wisconsin by at least one gunman who was also shot dead, police there said.

Early in the day, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed shock and sadness over the incident and hoped the authorities there will ensure "conditions" that such violent acts are not repeated.

He welcomed US President Barack Obama's statement on the tragic incident.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/us-shooting-us-ambassador-offers-prayers-at-delhi-gurdwara/984535/

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US, Pak join hands against Haqqanis

Aug 6, 2012

WASHINGTON: After over a year of rancorous relations, US and Pakistani authorities are considering to launch joint counter-terrorism operations against the dreaded Haqqani network, which has carried out several attacks on American troops, in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The operations would be intended to help stamp out major security threats facing each country, targeting what the US says are sanctuaries for the Haqqani network in Pakistan, and what Pakistan says are sanctuaries for the Pakistani Taliban in Afghanistan, said officials familiar with the proposal.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the plans are considered, at best, promising US officials have long pressed Pakistani counterparts to target the Haqqani group, without success. The United States says the Haqqani network acts like a "veritable arm" of the Pakistani military, a charge Pakistan denies.

Senator holds up envoy confirmation

An influential United States Senator is believed to have put on hold the conformation of President Obamas's nominee for ambassador to Pakistan in the Senate, in an apparent protest against continued detention of a Pakistani doctor who helped CIA trace Osama bin Laden. Rand Paul, the Republican Senator, media reports said, has objected to the nomination of Rick Olson, who was earlier nominated by Barack Obama as his envoy to Pakistan. --PTI

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/US-Pak-join-hands-against-Haqqanis/articleshow/15369494.cms

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Inter-faith groups strongly condemn US gurudwara shooting

 Aug 06 2012

Milwaukee (Wisconsin) : Inter-faith groups have condemned the Wisconsin gurudwara shooting incident, describing it as a "senseless" act of violence on religious freedom and urging the Obama administration to take steps to ensure prevention of hate crimes against religious minorities in the country.

Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) expressed solidarity with the families of victims, who were killed and injured in a shooting spree by an unidentified gunman in the gurudwara in Oak Creek, Milwaukee yesterday morning.

"American Muslims stand with their Sikh brothers and sisters in this time of crisis and loss. We condemn this senseless act of violence, pray for those who were killed or injured and offer sincere condolences to their loved ones," CAIR said in a statement.

At least six people were killed and several others injured in the shooting that took place as members of the Sikh community were preparing for Sunday morning prayers and traditional meal at the gurudwara.

The lone gunman was shot at and killed by a police officer, who also sustained injuries in the shooting. The FBI is investigating the incident as an act of "domestic terrorism."

Nevada-based Hindu organisation said the community condemns the attack and stands in solidarity with the Sikhs.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/interfaith-groups-strongly-condemn-us-gurudwara-shooting/984428/

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Anti-terror aide keeps President Barack Obama in loop

Aug 6, 2012

WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama was on Sunday briefed by his counter-terrorism advisor John Brennan on the situation arising out of the attack on worshipers at a gurudwara in Wisconsin, US officials said.

Meanwhile, various groups have condemned the shooting calling it a "coldblooded massacre of innocent worshipers".

Indian minorities advocacy network and Muslim peace coalition USA condemned the heinous attack and urged the Muslims to hold special prayer services in this holy month of Ramadan for the victims.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Anti-terror-aide-keeps-President-Barack-Obama-in-loop/articleshow/15369814.cms

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Oklahoma Muslims Share Ramadan

4 August 2012 00:00

CAIRO – American Muslims in the city of Tusla, in the US state of Oklahoma, have opened their doors and hearts to share the spirits of the holy fasting month of Ramadan with their community, bridging differences and spreading the true nature of the Islamic culture and religion.

“If we share what we believe ... we are open to the community,” Lamiaa Ali, Islamic Society of Tulsa community relations director, told Tusla World on Saturday, August 4.

“We want everyone to come see what (Islam) is all about.”

The Muslim community in Tusla celebrated the beginning of Ramadan, the holiest month in Islamic calendar, on Friday, July 20.

In Ramadan, adult Muslims abstain from food, drink, smoking and sex between dawn and sunset.

The sick and those traveling are exempt from fasting especially if it poses health risks.

Fasting is meant to teach Muslims patience, self-control and spirituality, and time during the holy month is dedicated for getting closer to Allah though prayers, reading the Noble Qur’an and good deeds.

Full report at:

http://www.onislam.net/english/news/americas/458370-oklahoma-muslims-share-ramadan.html

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Muslim month of fasting sees rise in demand for halal meat

August 5, 2012

By Elizabeth Bloom

Mehmet Gurakar, the president of McKeesport halal meat producer MRG Food LLC, has been fasting during the day for more than two weeks. But working alongside livestock and beef, veal and goat carcasses doesn't quite pique his appetite.

"We are at the beginning of the food chain," he said. "It doesn't make us very hungry."

Mr. Gurakar, who is from Turkey, is observing the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which began in late July. Partaking in the Ramadan fast is one of the five pillars of Islam, and observant Muslims do not eat or drink from sunrise to sunset during the month.

During Ramadan, demand for halal meat -- which is slaughtered in accordance with Islamic law -- is up at local grocers and producers, as members of Pittsburgh's Muslim communities look to prepare meals for the nightly break-fast meals.

Approximately 6,000 Muslims participate in local congregations in Allegheny County, according to a 2010 estimate from the Association of Religion Data Archives, though more live in the surrounding areas. Muslims form a small portion of the region's seven-county metropolitan population of 2.4 million, as counted by the U.S. Census.

Full report at:

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/news/muslim-month-of-fasting-sees-rise-in-demand-for-halal-meat-647660/

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India

 

7 ‘terrorists’ acquitted by Delhi high court

Aug 6, 2012

NEW DELHI: In a setback to Delhi Police, the Delhi high court has upheld acquittal of seven alleged terrorists on the ground they were nabbed after a " fake encounter" in 2005 and were falsely implicated.

A bench of Justices S Ravindra Bhat and S P Garg upheld the acquittal, dismissing the police appeal against the trial court's verdict. The court, however, modified the trial court's order for registration of an FIR against four policemen for faking the encounter and giving false evidence.

"It is improbable that the investigating team consisting of more than 15 police officers of different ranks from different police stations would conspire against accused residing at different places to falsely implicate them," the bench observed.

"The petitioners cannot be punished before they are found guilty...The commissioner of police is directed to inquire into the role and conduct of the petitioners in the investigation of the case and take appropriate action in accordance with statute/rules," it said.

Police claimed they had nabbed four of the seven accused after a shootout on the intervening night between July 1 and 2 in 2005 near Delhi-Gurgaon border, and had seized a huge cache of arms and ammunition. The remaining three were arrested later. Acting on a tip-off that the accused, planning a strike in Delhi and its satellite towns, including Gurgaon, would be coming to the capital, cops had been lying in wait for them. As the accused, later identified as Saqib Rehman, Nazir Ahmed Sofi, Gulam Moinuddin Dar and Bashir Ahmed Shah, did not stop their car, they were chased by a team led by sub-inspector Ravinder Tyagi, who fired from his service revolver in response to firing by Saqib, police said.

Police said they had recovered one AK-47 rifle, two magazines, 130 live cartridges, 2 hand grenades and 3 UBGL grenades at the instance of Saqib and this crucial evidence was ignored by the trial court. The lower court had acquitted all the accused saying the alleged encounter did not take place at all and a false encounter was projected.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/7-terrorists-acquitted-by-Delhi-high-court/articleshow/15368262.cms

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Assam erupts again, 4 more bodies found

August 06, 2012

The calm prevailing in the three violence-hit districts of lower Assam for the past 10 days proved deceptive, with the police finding four dead bodies in Kokrajhar and Chirang on Sunday. Indefinite curfew was imposed in Chirang district after tension mounted when a mob was seen heading to

attack a village.

With the recovery of the bodies on Sunday, the death toll in the Bodo-Muslim ethnic violence that began on July 20 rose to 60.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/Assam/Assam-erupts-again-4-more-bodies-found/Article1-908910.aspx

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Pakistan troops open fire on Indian posts

Aug 5, 2012

Pakistan troops opened fire on Indian posts along the border in Jammu district on Sunday night, violating the ceasefire agreement between the two sides.

“Pakistan Rangers fired on Indian posts along the India-Pakistan border in Jammu sector. They have violated the ceasefire,” a senior BSF officer said, adding no life was lost or property damaged during the firing.

The Pakistan Rangers fired from their Shaheed Iqbal post in Sialkot sector, targeting forward points on India’s Kote Kuba post along the International Border in the RS Pura belt of the Jammu sector at 8.20 p.m. on Sunday night.

The firing stopped around 9.15 p.m.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article3732073.ece

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Police seeks Maharashtra govt's nod to confront Kasab with Jundal

Aug 6, 2012

MUMBAI: The Mumbai crime branch has sought permission of the Maharashtra government to confront 26/11 terror attack convict Ajmal Kasab with his alleged handler Abu Jundal.

The decision to bring the two face-to-face was taken after Jundal made some revelations during his interrogation about training being imparted to terrorists in Pakistan and that he had taught Hindi to the 26/11 attackers, crime branch sources said.

The letter was sent to the state government last week and reply is awaited.

Jundal had also said that he met American LeT operative David Headley, a co-accused in the 26/11 attacks.

Kasab will be confronted with these revelations to corroborate the version of Jundal, the sources said.

Jundal was allegedly in contact with two terrorists during the siege of Chabad House, a Jewish outreach centre, during the Mumbai attacks on November 26, 2008.

Syed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal, 31, from Beed district of Maharashtra, was arrested in the 26/11 case on July 21 by Mumbai Police after he was brought here from Delhi, where he was apprehended in another case after being deported from Saudi Arabia.

Jundal is in crime branch custody till August 13. He is also wanted in other cases in Maharashtra, including the 2006 Aurangabad arms haul case, 2010 German Bakery blast case and for hatching a conspiracy to attack Nashik Police Academy.

His custody in these cases would be possible only after his interrogation in the 26/11 case is over.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Police-seeks-Maharashtra-govts-nod-to-confront-Kasab-with-Jundal/articleshow/15374556.cms

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PM expresses shock over US gurdwara killing

Aug 6, 2012

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday expressed deep shock and sadness over the shooting at a US gurdwara in which six people were killed. He hoped the US authorities would probe the attack and ensure that such "ghastly events" do not take place in future.

The Prime minister, who is a Sikh himself, also welcomed the statement by US President Barack Obama on the incident.

Speaking to reporters at Parliament House, Manmohan Singh said: "It is a very sad occurrence, the senseless killing of people who gathered at a religions congregation. It happened under tragic circumstances, it makes me enormously sad.

"I hope the American authorities will investigate whoever is behind this dastardly attack on devotees and will ensure that such ghastly events do not take place. The US president has issued a statement, I welcome that. I sincerely hope the authorizes investigate the case and provide relief and succour to affected families. I express my heartfelt sympathies to all the families who lost their kin and those who are injured."

A gunman shot dead six people in a gurdwara in the Milwaukee suburb of Oak Creek, Wisconsin, Sunday.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/PM-expresses-shock-over-US-gurdwara-killing/articleshow/15373702.cms

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‘Bureaucratic’ defence ministry delayed Army response in violence-hit Assam

Aug 6, 2012

NEW DELHI: In the backdrop of the Assam fiasco where several crucial hours were wasted in deploying the Army to contain violence, the home ministry has asked the defence ministry to change the latter's standard operating procedures (SOPs) for deployment of troops so that 'procedural' delay is not repeated in future when local administration needs assistance to deal with riot-like situations.

The SOPs, which have been in force since the anti-Sikh riots in 1984, expect local Army commanders not to entertain requests of district magistrates unless it is routed through the defence ministry. Section 130 of CrPC, however, empowers the senior-most civil/police officer having magisterial powers in a district to requisition Army to control violence. This law makes it obligatory for the armed forces to obey such requisition and help local administration in controlling violence.

As a result of the SOPs, troops did not move to troubled Kokrajhar and Chirang despite being asked by the respective district magistrates for quick deployment on the very first day of violence on July 20. The subsequent request was made from Dhubri on July 23. The actual deployment was, however, made in these districts only after a delay of three to five days once the defence ministry issued a formal order.

Finding the 'procedure' a major stumbling block in handling such violence, the home ministry has now conveyed to the defence ministry that the SOPs for troops deployment to control violence could not take precedence over existing law and therefore it should accordingly be changed.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Bureaucratic-defence-ministry-delayed-Army-response-in-violence-hit-Assam/articleshow/15369108.cms

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Border Security Force-Bangladesh Border Guards avert infiltration bid by Bangladeshi Chakmas in Tripura

Aug 6, 2012

AGARTALA: The Border Security Force (BSF) and their Bangladeshi counterpart, the Bangladesh Border Guards (BBG), thwarted an attempt of influx of Chakma tribals on Sunday through the southern border of Tripura.

BSF officials said about 250 Chakma tribals from Chittagong Hill Tract (CHT) in Bangladesh had assembled at Silachari border outpost about 200 metres from the remote south-eastern border of Tripura on Saturday demanding the guards open the gate and allow them to enter Indian territory on the grounds that they were apprehending communal violence. The Chakma villagers hailed from Masterpara and Kadamtala village under Khagricherri district of Southern Bangladesh.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Border-Security-Force-Bangladesh-Border-Guards-

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Jundal questioned about Bhatkal brothers, terror suspects in German bakery case

Aug 5, 2012

MUMBAI: The crime branch of Mumbai police are interrogating terror suspect, Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal, about the Bhatkal brothers Riyaz and Iqbal who are hiding in Pakistan. Jundal told the interrogator that Bhatkal brothers are in Pakistan but he doesn't know much about them.

The Bhatkal brothers are involved in several serial blasts across the country and had fled to Pakistan in 2009. The crime branch and central agencies are interrogating Jundal about the Bhatkals.

Riyaz, is a founder member of Indian Mujahideen (IM), involved in most of the planning for the Indian Mujahideen. Prominent among blasts for which the IM is blamed are the ones in Ahmedabad and at the German Bakery in Pune.

An officer said that though Jundal is associated with the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and the Bhatkals are the brains behind most IM operations, officials say Jundal could provide them specific and authentic information about Bhatkal brothers.

The officers believe that Bhatkal brothers had created new identities and are hiding in Pakistan. An officer said, "Some time back, Iqbal Bhatkal, had shifted to Sharjah, but he found it risky to stay there and returned to Karachi." Pakistan authority has always denied the presence of Bhatkal brothers in their country.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Jundal-questioned-about-Bhatkal-brothers-terror-suspects-in-German-bakery-case/articleshow/15364841.cms

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Terror explosive freely on sale

06 July, 2012

EXPOSED: Illegal market in ammonium nitrate used in Delhi, Mumbai & Pune blasts

SALE of banned items in the open is nothing new in India but when the sold product is ammonium nitrate; it surely is time to question the country’s security system.

The ‘explosive’ substance, used by terrorists in numerous blasts across the country, is available for ` 2,200 a sack (of 50kg) only 140 km from the national Capital. An investigative team of MAIL TODAY managed to crack a deal on Sunday morning with illegal traders settled in bordering areas of Bharatpur district in Rajasthan.

The reporters, who took the risk of entering the hub of this illegal trade, were shocked to see godowns full of ammonium nitrate. The chemical, they were told, can be bought in any amount if the buyer is ready to pay in cash.

The illegal traders are doing a roaring business in ammonium nitrate, a banned chemical, at a time when the security agencies are on a high alert in the run- up to the Independence Day and after the August 1 Pune blasts.

Full report at: Mail Today

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Unfazed by kill threat, Manipur scribes to spike rebel statements

IBOYAIMA LAITHANGBAM

Aug 5, 2012

The All Manipur Working Journalists Union (AMWJU) has decided that the print and electronic media spike news about and press releases from two underground Muslim outfits which have threatened to kill its president and other journalists.

An emergency meeting of the AMWJU — consisting of editors, journalists and newspaper distributors — and the Editors Forum Manipur here on Saturday night condemned the threats by the outfits which insisted on newspapers publishing their statements without fail.

It was on the AMWJU’s advice that newspapers did not publish press releases of the People's United Liberation Front (P.M. Akber faction). Union president A. Mobi said he and the editors had been under pressure from this faction to have its press releases published. When the AMWJU refused to budge, the editors were told they could not bring out the newspapers and a threat was held out that editors, journalists and newspaper distributors would be gunned down.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/states/other-states/article3731550.ece

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Pakistan

 

Police tighten security strategy for Shia procession

By Rana Yasif

August 6, 2012

LAHORE: Lahore police have decided to tighten their security plan for the Shia procession marking the martyrdom of Hazrat Ali (RA) on Ramazan 21 (August 10).

The procession from the Walled City to Karbala Gamay Shah was the target of a bombing two years ago in which over 50 people were killed and 250 injured.

A source in the police said that this time, City Superintendent of Police (SP) Multan Khan, along with other officials, would walk several feet ahead of the procession as a security measure. As before, Special Branch officials will check the route before the procession.

The procession goes through a dense urban area and one of the major security challenges is to ensure that there is no attack on the procession from houses along the way. The source said that previously, owners of houses along the route had to pledge to the police that no guests or outsiders would be at their property at the time of the procession, nor would they go to the rooftop.

This time, said the source, the police would undertake physical searches of houses they suspected could pose a security risk. They would pay special attention to rented properties and properties where single men lived.

General traffic is not allowed on the route on the day of the procession, but the organisers use couriers on motorbikes to transport food and other essential items to participants in the procession. The police source said that these motorbikes would still be allowed on the procession route, but each one would have to be registered to a specific driver and no one else would be allowed to use that bike for the procession.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/418073/youm-i-ali-police-tighten-security-strategy-for-shia-procession/

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40 years on, why are we unable to account for 72 prisoners of war?

Sonya Fatah | Aug 6, 2012

A little over a decade ago, the Indian media fussed over the release of one Roop Lal Shaharia (who has since been forgotten). Like Surjit Singh, released this year after 30 years, Shaharia returned home 26 years from the day he was picked up in Pakistan. Quietly arrested , such men disappear into the bowels of the prison system. Espionage is a dirty game but serving officers of legitimate armies do have some entitlements. Why then are we unable to account for 72 prisoners of war for more than 40 years?

India and Pakistan have both signed and ratified the Geneva conventions, which deal with the laws of war, including the repatriation of POWs. Yet those who have tried hard to lobby for the release of their kin, have had little luck. Apart from family collectives, human rights groups and retired officer associations, no one else really gives a damn, although we are each, culpable.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/40-years-on-why-are-we-unable-to-account-for-72-prisoners-of-war/articleshow/15369720.cms

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Pak foreign policy based on equality, respect, peace: Pak Senate Chairman

06 July, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Senate Chairman Syed Nayyer Hussain Bukhari, on Sunday, said the guiding principles of Pakistan’s foreign policy were based on the internationally recognised principles of sovereign equality, non-interference in internal affairs of other states, respect for territorial integrity, non-aggression and peaceful settlement of disputes.

He said this while addressing the Iranian parliament, according to a message received on Sunday.

He said that Pakistan believed that in the present globalised world, the multifaceted problems could be resolved through proactive participation in multilateral institutions and organisations. “We are committed to finding a negotiated settlement of the Kashmir dispute,” the Senate chairman stated.

Regarding bilateral ties, Bukhari remarked that Pakistan and Iran shared common perceptions on international and regional issues and closely cooperated in international forums. He mentioned that Iran was the first country to recognise Pakistan after its independence and the two countries shared more than six decades of close fraternal relations, which have stood the test of time.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\08\06\story_6-8-2012_pg7_26

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Gilgit bus attack kills two

06 July, 2012

GILGIT: Two passengers were killed and four others injured in a hand grenade attack on a passenger bus near Meenawar on Sunday.

According to police sources, unidentified armed men attacked the bus with a grenade, which killed two and injured four others.

Police and local relief teams reached the site of the incident and shifted the dead and injured to the district headquarters hospital. Hospital sources said the injured were in critical condition and the death toll might rise. An emergency was declared in Gilgit Hospital and doctors and nurses were called in to deal with the situation. Police said after the attack, they launched an operation to track and arrest the culprits.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\08\06\story_6-8-2012_pg1_4

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PPP issues show-cause notice to Abidi over press conference

06 July, 2012

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) issued a show-cause notice to Faisal Raza Abidi over his Sunday press conference during which the firebrand senator had lashed out at the judiciary and at Arsalan Iftikhar, son of Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, DawnNews reported on Monday.

Moreover, taking notice of the press briefing, the Supreme Court also summoned a record of it.

During the press conference, Senator Abidi had distributed copies of the bank statements of a company, ‘F&A Enterprises’, allegedly owned by Arsalan Iftikhar, son of the chief justice, carrying the address of his official residence.

The senator had also criticised the Supreme Court for nullifying the recently-passed contempt of court law and termed it part of a plan to pitch two state institutions against each other.

The show-cause notice was issued to Senator Abidi by PPP Secretary General Jahangir Badar.

The notice directs Senator Abidi to explain his press briefing of Aug 5 in which he had said that while contempt cases against a number of people, including PPP leaders Babar Awan, Sharjeel Memon and Taj Haider, were pending the court had hurriedly convicted a prime minister and sent him home.

Speaking to DawnNews, Senator Abidi acknowledged having received the notice and said he would respond to it soon.

He said he stood by his stance on the matter and was proud of what he had done.

http://dawn.com/2012/08/06/ppp-issues-show-cause-notice-to-abidi-over-press-conference/

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Explosion kills five in Khyber

06 July, 2012

LANDI KOTAL: Five militants, including a key commander, were killed in a roadside bomb blast in the northwestern tribal region of Khyber on Monday, DawnNews reported.

A locally manufactured bomb was used in the blast that took place in the Bara area of Khyber, government sources told DawnNews.

Also in Bara, a mortar shell fell on a house, injuring six people.

Khyber is among Pakistan’s seven tribal districts near the Afghan border which are rife with homegrown insurgents and are alleged to be strongholds of Taliban and al Qaeda operatives.

Militants have killed more than 4,800 people across Pakistan since July 2007.

http://dawn.com/2012/08/06/explosion-kills-five-in-khyber/

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TV channels spreading vulgarity, PEMRA doing nothing: Chief justice

By Azam Khan

 August 6, 2012

ISLAMABAD: While hearing a letter filed by justice (retd) Wajihuddin and former Jamaat-e-Islami chief Kazi Hussain Ahmed against obscenity aired on TV channels, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry observed on Monday that TV channels are “spreading vulgarity” and Pemra is doing nothing to prevent it.

The Pemra acting chairman, Abdul Jabbar, who had appeared in the courtroom today, sought a month’s time to do the research, but the court denied his request. The Supreme Court also ruled that it is not yet forming a commission, but only granting a week’s time to the regulatory authority.

The chief justice cited some offensive programmes and advertisements and said that one finds it difficult to watch them with family.

He also said that some of them are aired even during Iftar time, which should be avoided.

The chief justice told Jabbar to categorise programmes with proper ratings – like it is done in the Western media – so that the people should know beforehand what they are watching.

The Pemra acting chairman stated that Indian channels were banned in Pakistan to restrain broadcast of any improper programmes and added that the Pakistani channels will now be screened for any such programmes.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/418248/tv-channels-spreading-vulgarity-pemra-doing-nothing-chief-justice/

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Agha Waqar accepts Physics teacher's challenge to run car on water

By Web Desk

 August 6, 2012

Professor Ranomal Malani, brother of PPP MNA Dr Mahesh Malani, challenged Engineer Agha Waqar on Monday to run his car on water and get Rs5 million in return. Waqar, accepting the challenge, promised to run all his cars solely on water.

Holding a press conference at the Media Centre in Mathi, Malani handed a cheque worth Rs5 million to the press club administration and said that the cheque will remain with them for 15 more days.

Calling the ‘water car’ a fraud, Malani claimed that Waqar had fooled Federal Minister Khursheed Shah and the media representatives. He added that he was holding the press conference to save the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) from falling victim to a fraud.

Waqar, talking to Express News, asked Malani to tell him his car model and the number of cars, adding that he will prepare the car kits accordingly. “You will permanently run your car on it. It won’t be a test demonstration.”

Waqar added that he does want to be “bribed” with the prize money and said that Malani should distribute that money among the poor.

Malani, in reply, gave Waqar 10 days to prepare the kits and run his car on water. He also expressed delight over not having to hand the prize money.

“He had hidden a Hydrogen cylinder in his demonstration on TV. He fooled everyone. I know it because I teach Physics. This is impossible,” alleged Malani. But Waqar claimed that he will run the car solely on distilled water and will not add fuel or anything else to it.

Waqar had earlier claimed that he can run a 1,000CC vehicle till 40 kilometres with one litre of water by attaching a small water kit in the car that separates hydrogen from water and supplies it to the engine.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/418245/mnas-brother-challenges-agha-waqar-to-run-car-on-water/

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Halal industry: Pakistan has more potential than Malaysia to thrive

By Humayon Dar

Published: August 6, 2012

LONDON: Sitting in McDonald’s in Pakistan, one cannot help notice the halal sign on the packaging of their delectable quarter pounder. Although there is uncertainty on who issues halal certification for McDonald’s food sold in Pakistan, there is no ambiguity at all on the importance of eating halal in the life of over 1.6 billion Muslims in the world.

Consequently, a new and dynamic global halal industry is thriving. The halal brand is not only relevant to food but also pharmaceuticals and fashion including make-up, leather bags and shoes. In countries like Malaysia, the government is pushing hard to make the country a global hub for halal products. This is in addition to the central position that Malaysia has already acquired for itself in the field of Islamic banking and finance.

As Pakistan is another country where Islamic banking and finance is thriving – with over 8% share of Islamic banks in the national banking sector – the relevance of the halal industry is even more important. Malaysia is a country with approximately 29 million people, with about 60% Muslim population. Pakistan, on the other hand, has a population of over 170 million, and predominantly Muslim. Furthermore, unlike Malaysia where production and consumption of non-halal items like alcoholic beverages and other food items like pork are readily available, Pakistan has a more pure regime where consumption of alcohol is banned except for a tiny non-Muslim population and the use of pork and other non-halal food items are virtually non-existent. Hence, Pakistan stands a better chance of emerging as a global hub for the halal industry.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/417896/halal-industry-pakistan-has-more-potential-than-malaysia-to-thrive/

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Gunmen attack NATO truck in Pakistan, killing 1

By Nasir Habib

August 6, 2012

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- Militants killed a driver of a container truck carrying supplies for NATO in Pakistan's tribal region on Monday, a government official told CNN.

Three gunmen in a car opened fire on the truck in the Jamrud area of Khyber Agency, a district in Pakistan's tribal region bordering Afghanistan, said Bakhtiyar Khan, a government official in the district.

Khan said three members of the truck crew were also injured in the incident as the vehicle moved towards the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. Several anti-American militant groups, including the Taliban, are active in the region.

Pakistan reopened routes into Afghanistan a month ago after closing it to NATO traffic in anger at the killing of 24 Pakistani troops by coalition forces.

Full report at:

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/08/06/world/asia/pakistan-nato-convoy-attack/index.html

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Khosa may prefer quitting politics to changing ‘creed’

06 July, 2012

MULTAN: Veteran politician Sardar Zulfiqar Ali Khosa who has recently resigned as Punjab chief minister’s senior advisor may prefer retirement form politics to leaving the party which he joined long before the Sharifs joined the politics.

According to sources close to the Khosas, the PML-N leader from south Punjab thinks why he should leave the party, after developing differences with its Punjab leadership (read Shahbaz Sharif), as he had been affiliated with the mother party since the days it was being led by Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah.

Khosa senior claims to have been a polling agent for Ms Jinnah when she contested polls against Field Marshal Ayub Khan.

The sources say that Khosa did not expect a ‘cold shoulder’ from the PML-N President Nawaz Sharif after he resigned from the CM’s senior advisor slot.

“Mr Khosa was not expecting such attitude from the party chief Mian Nawaz Sharif over his resignation from all political offices

because of his differences with Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif,” a source said.

He said so far neither Nawaz Sharif personally contacted Mr Khosa nor any of the prominent leaders of PML-N tried to mediate between the party leadership and a disgruntled senior colleague.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/08/06/khosa-may-prefer-quitting-politics-to-changing-creed/

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Two children among four killed in Quetta blast

 06 July, 2012

* 12 others injured as explosives-laden car parked inside a house explodes

By Safiullah

QUETTA: Four people, including a woman and two children, were killed and twelve others critically injured when an explosives-laden car parked in a house in the Faizabad area exploded.

According to police, around 80 kg explosive material was used in the blast that created panic in the entire area. The blast was so powerful that it was heard around four kilometres away and smashed windowpanes of the nearby buildings.

According to DIG Wazir Khan Nasar, the explosion occurred in a house located in the Faizabad area of Sariab. “The explosives were loaded in a vehicle that was parked in the parking lot of the house. The blast destroyed the front portion of the building,” he added.

The injured were shifted to the Civil Hospital Quetta.

Doctors at the hospital confirmed that three bodies had been brought there, adding that some seriously injured people had been shifted to the Combined Military Hospital for further treatment.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\08\06\story_6-8-2012_pg1_3

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Afghanistan supporting Fazlullah: Pakistan

06 July, 2012

* Interior minister says supporters can be state or non-state actors

* Kabul says Malik’s comments 'irresponsible and baseless'

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Rehman Malik has said elements of the Afghan government are likely supporting Pakistani Taliban leader Fazlullah, who is fighting to topple the Islamabad government, accusations which could further raise tensions over cross-border raids by terrorists.

Pakistani officials say the Taliban commander known as Fazlullah has been orchestrating raids on Pakistani security forces from Afghanistan, where he fled several years ago after a Pakistani army offensive against his stronghold in the Swat Valley.

Pakistan has repeatedly called on Afghanistan to hunt down Fazlullah, whose fighters cross the border in their hundreds, set up ambushes and attack army checkpoints.

"If somebody is living in somebody's house and you ask him 'who is giving you food, who is giving you all this shelter?' You know he is in Afghanistan," Malik told Reuters in a weekend interview. "I think some of the elements (of the Afghan government) there are supporters. Maybe state actors, maybe non-state actors."

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\08\06\story_6-8-2012_pg1_2

--------

South Asia

 

Afghan ethnic violence shows signs or resurgence

06 July, 2012

KAJAB: Bloody raids by nomads armed with machine guns and rocket launchers on villages near Kabul are raising fears about a return to ethnic conflict in Afghanistan 18 months before Nato combat troops leave.

For more than a century, ethnic Pashtuns known as Kuchis have wintered in the south and east where the weather is better, and migrated in the summer to let their herds graze in the cooler north.

But a land dispute between the Kuchis and the settled ethnic Hazaras dating back 130 years has since 2005 disintegrated into seasonal violence in the Kajab valley west of the capital.

With Nato forces due to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014, there are fears that the country could slide back to the chaos seen in the 1990s, when ethnically aligned factions fought a bloody civil war.

From the early 1990s to 2001 fighting between the Pashtun-dominated Taliban and Hazaras led to tens of thousands of deaths, particularly on the Hazara side.

“Afghans have suffered a lot in internal and mainly ethnic wars in the past, and this problem, if left unsolved could hurt the volatile national unity among Afghans even further,” said author and analyst Waheed Mujda.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/08/06/afghan-ethnic-violence-shows-signs-or-resurgence/

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Eleven Afghan police defect to Taliban in Helmand province

06 July, 2012

Eleven Afghan policemen have defected to the Taliban in the southern province of Helmand, officials say.

The men switched sides early on Monday in Musa Qala district, taking with them weapons and three motorcycles, a provincial spokesman told the BBC.

It is the second such defection in recent weeks - a police commander and 13 junior officers joined the Taliban in western Farah province in late July.

That was thought to be the biggest defection so far by the police.

It highlighted a major intelligence failure and was a propaganda boost for the insurgents, the BBC's Bilal Sarwary in Kabul said.

Local police commanders are key to security and stability in remote areas where deal-making is crucial to compensate for a weak Afghan government.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-19149055

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Nato airstrike kills Haqqani leader

06 July, 2012

KABUL: Nato forces say they have killed a leader of the Haqqani insurgent group in an airstrike in eastern Afghanistan.

The international military coalition says Sher Mohammad Hakimi was killed on Sunday in Logar province.

Logar province police chief, Raeis Khan Rahimzai, says Hakimi was sitting under a tree with some associates when the Nato strike killed him. He says four others were injured.

Rahimzai says Hakimi was known for organizing roadside bomb attacks and for training insurgents. Nato says Hakimi transported weapons through the region and served directly under Haqqani leader Muhammad Agha.

The Haqqani network is allied with the Taliban and al Qaeda and is believed to be responsible for a host of attacks in Kabul and surrounding provinces.

http://dawn.com/2012/08/06/nato-airstrike-kills-haqqani-leader/

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Two New Zealand soldiers killed in Afghanistan, six wounded

Aug 5, 2012

WELLINGTON: Two New Zealand soldiers were killed and six others were injured in Afghanistan's Bamyan province on Saturday when they came under fire assisting local security forces that were fighting suspected insurgents, the New Zealand Defence Force said.

"The NZDF was responding to local security forces coming under attack and it developed into a serious incident," defence minister Jonathan Coleman said in a statement on Sunday.

The New Zealand troops arrived to assist the local security forces who encountered suspected insurgents near a village south of Do Abe, in the northeast of Bamyan Province, the NZDF said.

It added that a further six personnel were wounded during the incident, and they were evacuated to a military hospital.

Two local security personnel were also killed, it said. New Zealand, which has a 140-strong reconstruction team operating in the province, will formally end its mission at the end of the year and be brought home in 2013. The country has had troops in Afghanistan since 2001.

Five New Zealand soldiers have been killed earlier while serving in Afghanistan.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Two-New-Zealand-soldiers-killed-in-Afghanistan-six-wounded/articleshow/15358888.cms

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Karzai accepts dismissal of security ministers

06 July, 2012

KABUL: Afghan President Hamid Karzai accepted on Sunday a vote by the country's parliament to dismiss his two top security ministers, but ordered both to remain in their jobs pending replacement, a move aimed at safeguarding fragile stability. The fractious parliament voted on Saturday to remove Afghan Defence Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak and Interior Minister Bismillah Muhammadi after recent insurgent assassinations of senior officials, as well as cross-border fire incidents blamed on Pakistan, an inflammatory issue for many Afghans.

While the ministers remain in place for now, the uncertainty could complicate NATO plans to hand security responsibilities to Afghan forces before the end of 2014, as both positions are crucial to the 11-year war against insurgents as Western countries draw down their military presence. Karzai, who chaired a Sunday meeting of Afghanistan's National Security Council, issued a statement saying replacements of both ministers would be brought in according to the law. Karzai can keep both ministers in their jobs for months if he chooses, and as he previously has done after parliamentary votes to reject his choices.

Those moves may have alienated lawmakers whose cooperation he needs if he is to crack down on widespread corruption within his unpopular government in order to help guarantee up to $16 billion worth of aid promised by his Western backers.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\08\06\story_6-8-2012_pg7_2

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 ‘Three dead’ in fresh Myanmar violence

06 July, 2012

YANGON: Renewed violence between Buddhists and Muslim Rohingya has left three people dead in Myanmar, a government official said Monday, amid growing international concern about the sectarian unrest.

The fighting in western Rakhine state has killed 80 people from both sides since June, official figures show, although authorities say the situation has been generally calm in recent weeks.

The new casualties, who were not identified, died on Sunday in Kyauktaw about 100 kilometres north of the state capital Sittwe, said the official, who did not want to be named. Five others were reported wounded.

“The situation is calm and back to normal already,” the official told AFP.“We do not know why it started again.”

The violence initially broke out in June following the rape and murder of a Rakhine woman and the subsequent lynching of 10 Muslims by a crowd of angry Buddhists.

The bloodshed has cast a shadow over widely praised reforms by President Thein Sein, including the release of hundreds of political prisoners and the election of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi to parliament.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/08/06/three-dead-in-fresh-myanmar-sectarian-unrest/

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Mideast Asia

 

Turkey: 115 Kurdish rebels killed in offensive

Aug 5, 2012

ANKARA, Turkey: Turkey's security forces have killed as many as 115 Kurdish rebels during a major security offensive over the past two weeks, the country's interior minister said Sunday.

Idris Naim Sahin said the rebels were killed in an airpower backed offensive near the town of Semdinli, in Hakkari province which sits on the border with Iraq. He said the offensive began on July 23.

Sahin provided few other details on the ongoing operation but said the security forces were trying to block the rebels' escape routes into northern Iraq.

Private NTV television said earlier that as many as 2,000 troops were taking part in the offensive and that public access to some roads in the area were blocked.

Earlier Sunday, rebels fired on military posts in Hakkari province that borders Iraq, including the paramilitary station near the village of Gecimli, some 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the frontier, according to a statement from the Hakkari governor's office.

Gov. Orhan Alimoglu said the attack near Gecimli triggered clashes that claimed the lives of 22 rebels, soldiers and village guards. At least 15 soldiers, another village guard and five civilians were also injured in the attack. There were no reports of any casualties in the attacks on the other posts.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/Turkey-115-Kurdish-rebels-killed-in-offensive/articleshow/15366197.cms

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Iran 'strongly' denies hostages in Syria are military

Aug 6, 2012

TEHRAN: Iran "strongly" denies that 48 of its citizens taken hostage in Syria at the weekend are Revolutionary Guards, as claimed by their rebel captors, according to the state television website on Monday.

"We strongly reject the claims of some media that the kidnapped pilgrims are members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards," Amir Abdollahian, a deputy foreign minister in charge of Arab affairs, was quoted by the IRIB broadcaster as telling Iran's Al-Alam Arabic-language network.

"All of them are pilgrims who wanted to go to religious sites," he said.

Syrian rebels on Sunday posted an online video of 48 Iranians kidnapped the day before in Damascus, and charged they included members of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards.

A man dressed in the uniform of Syria's rebel Free Syrian Army said in the video that the 48 "were on a reconnaissance mission in Damascus" when they were captured as they were travelling in a bus.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Iran-strongly-denies-hostages-in-Syria-are-military/articleshow/15372713.cms

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Iranians 'confess' to nuclear scientist murders: state TV

Aug 06 2012

Tehran : Iranian state television Monday showed several Iranians alleged to be part of a group of 13 who "confessed" to killing four Iranian nuclear scientists after being trained by Israeli intelligence.

It said the network received orders from "Washington and London."

The television report, available online (http://www.yjc.ir/fa/news/4047313), showed the suspects speaking of how they purportedly prepared to murder the scientists, and broadcast a re-enactment of assassins on a motorbike fixing a magnetic bomb to a victim's car, while dramatic music played in the background.

It also showed images of a number of prefabricated temporary buildings in an arid area and said the site was an Israeli military camp used for their training.

The 40-minute report, which was broadcast overnight, said the 13 comprised eight men and five women, all of whom were named.

One of them was Majid Jamali Fashi, who was executed on May 15 after being found guilty of spying for Israel's Mossad spy service and playing a key role in the January 2010 murder of a top nuclear scientist in return for payment of USD

120,000.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/iranians-confess-to-nuclear-scientist-murders-state-tv/984498/

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Israel Bars Foreign Envoys From West Bank Meeting

By JODI RUDOREN

06 July, 2012

Israel on Sunday barred the delegations of five countries from attending a diplomatic conference in Ramallah, in the West Bank, upending plans by the Palestinian president to announce his intention to renew the Palestinians’ bid this September for enhanced status in the United Nations.

A senior Israeli official said the delegations — from Algeria, Bangladesh, Cuba, Indonesia and Malaysia — were denied permission to use Israeli border crossings because their governments do not recognize the state of Israel. Palestinian officials said the delegations had planned to enter on a helicopter from Jordan, and called the decision “childish,” “crude,” “irresponsible” and “blackmail,” saying it symbolized the larger problem with Israel’s occupation of the West Bank territories it seized in 1967.

“Israel is really trying to not just lay a physical siege but also a political siege,” said Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization. “We need to be able to move, to breathe, to act as a member of the community of nations. We cannot constantly be under the boot.”

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/06/world/middleeast/israel-bars-foreign-envoys-from-

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Israel losing international support, says British ambassador

Matthew Gould says Jewish state losing mainstream political support over lack of peace progress and West Bank expansion

Harriet Sherwood in Jerusalem

3 August 2012

The British ambassador to Israel has said international support for the Jewish state among those in the political mainstream is eroding, driven by settlement expansion in the West Bank and continued restrictions on Gaza.

There is "growing concern" in the UK over lack of progress towards peace with the Palestinians, and Israel was now being seen as Goliath against the Palestinians as David, said Matthew Gould, in reference to the biblical story.

In an unusually forthright interview for Israel's Channel 10 news, Gould said he detected a shift among the middle ground of British members of parliament towards a more critical view of Israel.

"Israelis might wake up in 10 years' time and find out that the level of understanding in the international community has suddenly changed, and that patience for continuing the status quo has reduced," he said.

Full report at:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/aug/03/israel-losing-international-support-british-ambassador

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Al Qaeda blamed for Yemeni suicide bomb attack

Aug 5, 2012

ADEN, YEMEN // Yemeni authorities have blamed Al Qaeda over a suicide bombing today which killed at least 42 people in a southern town recently recaptured by the army from the militant group.

In the east of the country, meanwhile, a suspected US drone strike late yesterday killed five Al Qaeda militants, a local official said.

The bomber struck in Jaar, one of a string of towns in Abyan province that were retaken by government troops in June after being held by Al Qaeda loyalists for more than a year.

"An Al Qaeda suicide bomber detonated his explosives belt during a mourning ceremony organised by the Popular Resistance Committees," a local militia that fought alongside the army in its month-long counter-offensive, said the provincial governor, Jamal Al Aqal.

An official at the Razi hospital in Jaar said it had received the bodies of 24 of the dead, while medics said 12 people died of their wounds in three hospitals in Aden.

Relatives took the bodies of six of the dead directly from the scene of the attack for burial, said Mohsen bin Jamila, a local official.

The 37 wounded were being treated in hospitals in Jaar and Aden.

"The victims' bodies were flying in all directions because the explosion was so powerful," a witness said.

The deputy head of the municipal authority in Jaar held the government partially responsible for the attack because of its slowness in deploying police to the town after its recapture by the army.

Full report at:

http://www.thenational.ae/news/world/middle-east/al-qaeda-blamed-for-yemeni-suicide-bomb-attack

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Hamas frees Qaeda-tied leader of militant group in Gaza: source

Gaza's Islamist Hamas government has freed a militant group's leader who is believed to have ties to al Qaeda and had been detained for 17 months, a source from a Jihadist Salafigroup said on Friday.

 August 04, 2012

GAZA (Reuters) - Gaza's Islamist Hamas government has freed a militant group 's leader who is believed to have ties to al Qaeda and had been detained for 17 months, a source from a Jihadist Salafi group said on Friday.

Hisham Al-Saedni, also known as Abu Al-Waleed Al-Maqdissi , was freed late on Thursday, the source said. Hamas declined immediate comment.

Saedni, in his late 50s, is believed to head the Jihadist Salafi group Tawhid and Jihad (One God and Holy War). The group adopts an Islamist ideology shared by al Qaeda, and sources said that Saedni himself joined al Qaeda in Iraq at the beginning of the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

Full report at:

http://www.laredosun.us/notas.asp?id=22563

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Arab World

 

Prostitute killer snared by CSI techniques in Dubai, court hears

Salam Al Amir

Aug 5, 2012

DUBAI // A labourer accused of murdering a prostitute in a dispute over her fee was linked to the crime scene by DNA traces left on a cigarette, the criminal court heard today.

The 27-year-old MK, from Bangladesh, was accused of strangling the prostitute - whose identity is unknown - with her shayla after paying her only half of the Dh100 fee she demanded.

Police found her badly decomposed body at an abandoned house in Al Mankhool on May 24 this year following a tip off. The body was lying on a couch and covered by a wooden bar. It had become so decomposed that her skull and arm bones were showing.

Forensic experts, who believe the woman must have died months previously, matched traces of DNA found on a discarded cigarette butt next to the dead body to the labourer - who was already under suspicion after police informants accused him of the killing.

Prosecutors said that the labourer denied knowing the woman when he was first arrested. He later confessed and said that he only knew her first name and that she was a prostitute. "We agreed to have sex for Dh100," he told them.

The labourer took her to the abandoned house and had sex with her, but afterwards paid her only Dh50. He said that the prostitute then threatened to send a number of men to beat him up.

His arresting officer JA, 24, said the labourer admitted that he then strangled her with her shayla and waited until he was sure that she was dead before leaving the room.

The labourer told police that the prostitute was from Bangladesh and in her thirties, but said he did not know any other details about her identity.

Prosecutors said the labourer left the woman's belongings next to her body and had not attempted to steal anything from her.

The labourer, who was charged with premeditated murder, did not enter a plea.

The case was adjourned to September 11.

salamir@thenational.ae

http://www.thenational.ae/news/uae-news/courts/prostitute-killer-snared-by-csi-techniques-in-dubai-court-hears

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"Jihadists" gunmen kill 16 Egypt border guards

 2012-08-06

By Ines Bel Aiba

Morsi vowed to retake control of the Sinai after attack by militants from inside Islamist Hamas-run Gaza Strip.

Gunmen on Sunday killed 16 guards in Egypt near the border with Israel before stealing two armoured vehicles and crossing into the Jewish state where one vehicle was destroyed by a helicopter.

An Egyptian medical official said gunmen in Bedouin attire drove up in two vehicles and opened fire on a checkpoint near the Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom in Hebrew) border crossing and opened fire.

The health ministry said 16 soldiers and border guards were killed, while a security official said another seven were wounded.

The official MENA news agency said the gunmen were "jihadists" from inside the Islamist Hamas-run Gaza Strip.

State television and MENA reported that Egypt was closing its Rafah frontier crossing with the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip "until further notice".

Rafah is the only crossing between Gaza and the outside world that is not under Israeli control.

Full report at:

http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=53751

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Al Qaeda prisoners try to tunnel out of Iraqi jail

06 July, 2012

BAGHDAD: A group of al Qaeda prisoners was caught trying to tunnel out of Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison, an official said on Sunday, after the militants said they would step up their fight against the government. Iraq’s Shia-led government is concerned that Sunni Muslim militants will get a boost from the insurgency in neighbouring Syria, where mainly Sunni rebels are battling President Bashar al Assad.

Jail breaks are common in Iraq and security at prisons was beefed up this week after five militants stormed a police counter-terrorism headquarters on Tuesday in an attempt to free al Qaeda prisoners. All five were killed in a long gun battle. A spokesman for the justice ministry, Haider al Saadi, said in a statement that 11 “dangerous prisoners” at Abu Ghraib dug down three metres and had tunnelled along 20 metres using a frying pan and part of a ceiling fan before they were discovered. They had fashioned breathing apparatus from soft-drink cans stuck end to end.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\08\06\story_6-8-2012_pg7_33

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Iraq attacks kill five

August 6, 2012

MOSUL: Attacks mainly targeting Iraqi security forces killed five people, among them four policemen, and wounded 16 on Sunday, security and medical officials said.

So far this month, attacks have killed 55 people, 42 of them members of the security forces, according to an AFP tally based on security and medical sources.

In the deadliest attack, gunmen shot dead three police at a checkpoint in a market in Mosul in northern Iraq, police First Lieutenant Khalaf al-Juburi said, a toll confirmed by a doctor from Mosul General Hospital.

In Kirkuk, two roadside bombs killed one policeman and wounded seven others, a security official and a doctor from a hospital in the northern city said.

In Baghdad, a car bomb in the Qahira area targeted the convoy of Brigadier General Mohammed Ghazi, the head of the personal protection directorate in the interior ministry, wounding him, two guards and three civilians, a ministry official said.

A medical official at Al-Kindi hospital, meanwhile, said the facility had received one body and six wounded people, among them three police, including the brigadier general.

The interior ministry official and a medical source also said a sticky bomb wounded a tribal leader in north Baghdad.

And gunmen attacked a checkpoint in the southwestern province of Salaheddin, wounding two police, police and a medic said.

While violence has decreased compared with its peak in 2006 and 2007, attacks remain common across Iraq. There were attacks on 27 of the 31 days in July.

Official figures put the number of people killed in attacks in July at 325, the highest monthly death toll since August 2010.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/418213/iraq-attacks-kill-five/

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Syrian Prime Minister Riyad al-Hijab reportedly defects to Jordan

By Liz Sly, Monday, August 6

ANTAKYA, Turkey — Syria’s prime minister defected to Jordan on Monday, according to news reports, becoming the most senior official yet to quit the embattled government of President Bashar al-Assad.

A statement read on the al-Jazeera Arabic news channel that was described as coming from Prime Minister Riyad al-Hijab said he had resigned to protest his government’s harsh tactics as it escalates its efforts to crush the country’s 16-month-old rebellion.

“I am announcing that I am defecting from this regime, which is a murderous and terrorist regime,” the statement said. “I join the ranks of this dignified revolution.”

Syrian state television, however, reported that Hijab had been fired, less than two months after he was appointed to the job.

Reuters news service quoted am unnamed Jordanian government official confirming that Hijab had defected and taken refuge there.

Hijab’s departure followed an accelerating stream of defections from Syria’s armed forces, including that of Maj. Gen. Manaf Tlas, a former confidante and close friend of Assad’s who fled to Turkey a month ago then went to France to join his father, a once-powerful former defense minister.

Full report at:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/syrian-prime-minister-riyad-al-hijab-

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Syria conflict: Photographers' UK jihadist claim considered

06 July, 2012

Reports that Britons were among Islamist militants who kidnapped and wounded two photographers in Syria are being taken "very seriously" by ministers, the Foreign Office has said.

The claims were made by photographers John Cantlie and Jeroen Oerlemans, who were held at a camp for a week in July.

The Foreign Office said it was closely "monitoring the situation".

The Free Syrian Army group, which is part of the opposition trying to oust Bashar al-Assad, helped them to escape.

Mr Cantlie, who is British, and his Dutch colleague, Mr Oerlemans, were both wounded in a "shooting gallery" as their thwarted captors fired after the fleeing men.

The kidnapping took place amid the ongoing conflict in Syria.

Heavy fighting is continuing in the country's second city, Aleppo, amid concerns that the army will launch a full-scale assault within days.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-19136630

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Syrian prime minister sacked: State TV

Aug 6, 2012

DAMASCUS: Syrian Prime Minister Riad Hijab has been sacked just two months after his appointment, state television said on Monday.

"Prime Minister Riad Hijab has been dismissed," the television reported.

The director of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdel Rahman, told AFP in Beirut that Hijab had fled Syria.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Syrian-prime-minister-sacked-State-TV/articleshow/15374390.cms

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Bomb blast in state TV building in Damascus: Syria

Aug 6, 2012

BEIRUT: Syrian state-run television says a bomb has ripped through the third floor of the state TV building in Damascus.

The report says at least three people were wounded in Monday's bomb attack targeting the building which also houses the country's state radio. The building is located at the Umawiyyeen roundabout in downtown Damascus.

The Syrian capital has seen a string of suicide attacks and other bombings in the past few months as the country's civil war has escalated.

A pro-government private Syrian TV station, Al-Ikhbariya, showed pictures of employees inspecting damages in the TV building and tending to a wounded colleague. The Syrian state TV remained on air.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Bomb-blast-in-state-TV-building-in-Damascus-Syria/articleshow/15373193.cms

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Assad's forces pound rebel stronghold in Aleppo

Aug 5, 2012

ALEPPO (SYRIA): Syrian army tanks shelled Aleppo on Sunday and a helicopter gunship strafed rebel positions with heavy machine gun fire as they fought for control of the country's biggest city and key battleground of the 17-month uprising.

After UN Security Council paralysis on Syria forced peace envoy Kofi Annan to resign last week, and with his ceasefire plan a distant memory, rebels have been battered by the government onslaught in Aleppo and the capital Damascus.

Reuters witnessed fierce street fighting in the Salaheddine district, a gateway into the city of 2.5 million people and the main focus of fighting in the past week.

Tanks pounded alleyways where rebels sought cover. One shell hit a building next to the Reuters reporting team, pouring rubble onto the street and sending billows of smoke and dust into the sky.

State television said Assad's forces were "cleansing the terrorist filth" from the country, which has been sucked into an increasingly sectarian conflict that has killed some 18,000 people and could spill into neighbouring states.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Assads-forces-pound-rebel-stronghold-in-Aleppo/articleshow/15365581.cms

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Reuters Twitter account hacked, false tweets about Syria sent

August 06, 2012

Reuters News said one of its Twitter accounts was hacked on Sunday and false tweets were posted, mainly related to the current armed struggle in Syria.

"Earlier today @ReutersTech was hacked and changed to @ReutersME," said a spokesperson for Reuters, which is owned by Thomson

Reuters Corp TO>. "The account has been suspended and is currently under investigation."

The incident follows the company's disclosure that the blogging platform of the Reuters News website was compromised on Friday and a false posting purporting to carry an interview with a Syrian rebel leader was illegally posted on a Reuters' journalist's blog.

In the latest incident a series of 22 false tweets were sent purporting to be from Reuters News. Some of the tweets also carried false reports about Syrian rebel losses suffered in battles with Syrian government forces.

Thomson Reuters had no immediate information on who was behind the hacking. Twitter could not be immediately reached for comment.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/RestOfAsia/Reuters-Twitter-account-hacked-false-tweets-about-Syria-sent/Article1-908975.aspx

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Europe

 

Islamic Scholar: Kurdish Pilgrims Should Use Hajj as Political Stage

05/08/2012

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region -- The chairman of the Islamic Scholars Union of Kurdistan, Mullah Abdullah Saeed, believes that Kurds have not been able to use the annual Pilgrimage of Hajj for political and nationalist purposes as other nations have.

Mullah Saeed says that the Islamic law [Sharia] does not forbid such activity "as long as it does not interfere with fulfilling the pilgrimage duties."

In Islam, Hajj is once in a lifetime obligation for all Muslims given they are financially and physically capable.

It is carried out during the ninth month of Hijri calendar and millions of Muslims from around the world head to Mecca, Saudi Arabia to fulfill this duty.

Mullah Saeed says that this annual gathering of Muslims can also be used for purposes other than religion.

"The prophet of Allah [Muhammad] has benefited from the occasion of Hajj to spread Islam,” he says. “Many other nations like Indonesians and Malaysians have introduced themselves to the world during Hajj.”

The authorities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia give entry permission for Hajj to one thousand pilgrims out of each one million Muslims per country. It was reported that last year around 2,927,717 pilgrims visited Mecca. More than one million of them citizens of Saudi Arabia.

Mullah Saeed believes that Hajj is a good opportunity for Muslim Kurds to introduce themselves to Muslims from other countries and gain support for the nation.

"Kurds have not yet benefited from this opportunity and just perceive it as a religious duty," says Mullah Saeed.

Full report at:

http://www.rudaw.net/english/kurds/5050.html

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Sweden "counter-jihad" rally outnumbered by anti-racists

Anna Ringstrom

August 4, 2012

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - A Stockholm rally by European and U.S. far-right groups seeking to create a global "counter-jihad" movement attracted fewer than 200 people on Saturday who were outnumbered by anti-racist protesters.

Police said the rival demonstration was kept apart from the far-right rally and drew a few hundred people, a small number of whom were detained.

The far-right rally was organized by groups including the English Defence League (EDL) which has been a driving force behind a handful of similar events, most recently a Danish rally in March.

The EDL gained international attention through anti-Islamic fanatic Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in Norway a year ago and who referred to it admiringly in a manifesto on the Internet. The group has denied links to Breivik.

Support has grown in European countries for populist, nationalist and anti-immigration movements and in Sweden the anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats won seats in parliament for the first time in 2010.

However, previous attempts by European far-right groups to join forces have foundered amid splits and feuding over ideology and leadership.

Nottingham University's Matthew Goodwin, an expert on British far-right militant groups, said the Stockholm meeting was of strategic importance despite the modest turnout.

"The attending are quite significant figures within the anti-jihad movement. It signifies the strengthening links between counter-jihad groups and anti-Muslim groups within Europe and the United States," he said.

Full report at:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-rt-us-sweden-farrightbre8730if-20120804,0,2229359.story

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Spain charges two Chechen al Qaeda suspects for terror

06 July, 2012

MADRID: A Spanish judge on Sunday charged two Chechen members of al Qaeda with belonging to a terrorist group and possessing bomb-making material, authorities said.

The two men were arrested Wednesday as they headed on a bus for the French border. Another man, a Turk, was arrested in a flat in the southern province of Andalucia, where police discovered the explosives.

Judge Pablo Ruz, who ordered the two Chechens jailed, based his decisions on information provided by US, French, Russian and Gibraltar authorities.

He said he could see connections between the two Chechens and other people who had been investigated for terrorist group ties.

Those charged Sunday are Eldar Magomedov, who also goes by the name Ahmad Avar, and Muhamed Ankari Adamov.

According to Spanish court documents, US authorities provided information showing that Magomedov had participated in “terrorist activities” in Waziristan, Pakistan and Afghanistan since 2010.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/08/06/spain-charges-two-chechen-al-qaeda-suspects-for-terror/

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Africa

 

Saying Mali ‘Is Our Country,’ Militias Train to Oust Islamists

By ADAM NOSSITER

06 July, 2012

Hundreds of young men are stuffed into makeshift training camps near this provincial capital, arising at 4 a.m. for physical exercises and simulated hand-to-hand combat in preparation for the day when they can free their north Mali homeland from the radical Islamists whose harsh rule has driven tens of thousands of frightened, desperate civilians to flee the country.

The eager recruits have almost no weapons, little military instruction, and not much more than the hard ground to sleep on. They are definitely not in the army. A trainer in a scavenged uniform yells out, “Present, arms!” but there are no arms to present.

Yet the young men (and a few women) in these haphazard citizen militias, poised at the edge of the de facto front line with the Islamists, have something the regular Malian Army here appears to lack: a fierce will to undo the jihadist conquest of northern Mali that has alarmed governments across the world, spurred threats of a regional intervention force and imposed a repressive regimen of public beatings, whippings and even stonings on the local people.

Ever since the Malian Army overthrew the president in March, ending decades of democratic rule, the country has lost control over its vast desert north.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/06/world/africa/mali-militias-poorly-armed-but-zealous-

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Mali armed groups using hundreds of child soldiers: NGO

 August 6, 2012

Some are serving as soldiers and others used as sex slaves, rights campaigners said

Bamako: Hundreds of children have been forced into armed groups in northern Mali, some serving as soldiers and others used as sex slaves, rights campaigners told reporters Sunday.

“We have several hundred children aged between nine and 17 within the ranks of the armed groups including the Islamists who control northern Mali,” said Mamoud Lamine Cisse, president of a Malian child rights coalition.

“After investigations, we have corroborating information that these children are used as soldiers, minesweepers, scouts, spies, messengers, look-outs, cooks and sexual slaves in the case of young girls,” Cisse told journalists.

The children were mostly from Mali, Senegal and Niger, he said.

The Malian Coalition of Child Rights is a grouping of 78 Malian and international associations.

The Islamists, who have controlled the vast desert north of Mali for four months, recently told AFP they were recruiting children of “all ages” throughout the Sahel “to fight in the name of God.”

Full report at:

http://gulfnews.com/news/world/other-world/mali-armed-groups-using-hundreds-of-child-soldiers-ngo-1.1058399

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Islamic sect leader in Nigeria rejects sanctions

 August 5, 2012

KANO, Nigeria — The leader of a radical Islamist sect in Nigeria has issued an online video dismissing recent U.S. sanctions placed against his group.

The video posted to YouTube shows Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau seated, a Kalashnikov assault rifle behind him. In the video, posted late Saturday, he speaks in the Hausa language of Nigeria's Muslim north and calls the United States "terrorists."

He also says the U.S. cannot freeze his assets. In June, the State Department listed him and two others as global terrorists. Designating these men as global terrorists blocks any assets the men may have in the U.S. and bars Americans from doing business with them.

Boko Haram is responsible for more than 650 killings this year, according to an Associated Press count.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20120805/af-nigeria-radical-sect-/

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Suicide bomber in Nigeria kills six soldiers, one civilian

Aug 6, 2012

KANO: A suicide bomber in a car rammed into a military patrol on Sunday in the northeastern Nigerian city of Damaturu, killing himself, at least six soldiers and a civilian, authorities said.

"He detonated the bomb he was carrying in his car, killing himself. Six soldiers were also killed, nine others were injured and are in hospital," Patrick Egbuniwe, the Yobe state police commissioner, told AFP.

"One civilian was killed and another one injured," he added.

A statement purportedly from a spokesman for radical Islamist group Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the attack, saying the bomber detonated the explosives when soldiers tried to stop him at a checkpoint.

Egbuniwe said the bomber was being chased by a military patrol vehicle and the driver detonated the bomb and blew himself up when soldiers closed in on him.

A security source said the attacker rammed into a multiple vehicle military convoy, affecting two of the vehicles.

Damaturu is the capital of Yobe state, which has been hard hit by attacks blamed on Boko Haram.

Sunday's attack follows a suicide bomber's attempt to assassinate Yobe state's top traditional Muslim leader, the Emir of Fika, on Friday.

The bomber sought to approach the emir after Friday prayers in the city of Potiskum but was pushed away. He blew himself up and wounded a number of others.

Authorities have been carrying out raids since the attempted attack in a bid to arrest suspected members of Boko Haram, which has claimed to be fighting for the creation of an Islamic state in Nigeria's mainly Muslim north.

The group is thought to include various factions with differing aims, however, and demands have repeatedly shifted.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Suicide-bomber-in-Nigeria-kills-six-soldiers-one-civilian/articleshow/15369897.cms

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Peacekeeper funds 'stolen in Darfur hold-up'

Aug 5, 2012

NYALA ( Sudan): Armed robbers on Sunday stole more than $300,000 destined for the African Union-UN peacekeeping mission (UNAMID) in Sudan's troubled Darfur region, sources familiar with the crime said.

It is the latest incident in a recent upsurge of violence in Sudan's vast western region, where black African rebels first rose up against the Arab-dominated Khartoum regime in 2003.

UNAMID received reports that a bank vehicle had been robbed by armed men in Nyala, the capital of South Darfur state, said Christopher Cycmanick, a spokesman for the mission.

There were no injuries but the robbers obtained "an undisclosed amount of cash," he said.

Sources with knowledge of the crime said the robbers made off with more than $300,000, which was destined for UNAMID.

The bank involved, Bank of Khartoum, declined to comment and there was no indication of who might have been responsible.

Banditry, inter-ethnic fighting and clashes between rebel groups and government forces continue in Darfur although violence is much lower than at its peak in 2003 and 2004 when the rebellion began.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Peacekeeper-funds-stolen-in-Darfur-hold-up/articleshow/15364471.cms

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Libya’s interim rulers to hand over power

06 July, 2012

TRIPOLI: Libya’s interim authorities said they will hand over power to a newly elected congress on Wednesday, less than a year after its fighters overthrew the regime of Muammar Qadhafi.

“We affirm that August 8, 2012 will be the day that power will be transferred peacefully,” Saleh Darhoub, spokesman for the outgoing National Transitional Council (NTC), told journalists in Tripoli early Monday.

Libyans cast ballots on July 7 in their first free election since a popular uprising last year that escalated into a civil war and ousted the regime of now slain dictator Qadhafi.

They elected a 200-member legislative assembly comprising party and independent representatives, which will replace the NTC and lead the country until fresh elections can be held on the basis of a new constitution.

The transition comes against a backdrop of heightened insecurity.

Three men suspected of planning bomb attacks were killed in a sting operation outside the capital on Sunday.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/08/06/libyas-interim-rulers-to-hand-over-power/

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Three armed men killed in Libya as violence escalates

06 July, 2012

TRIPOLI: Libyan security forces on Sunday killed three armed men suspected of being behind seven failed bomb plots, a state spokesman said, in the first incident of its kind since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in October.

Several violent incidents have rocked Libya in recent days and on Sunday the International Committee of the Red Cross announced it was suspending its activity in the country’s second biggest city after one of its compounds was attacked with grenades and rockets.

Security forces surprised the three armed men inside a farm near Aziziya, 25 miles south of Tripoli, in possession of the same kind of explosives used in seven previous bomb plots, said Saleh Darhoub, spokesman of the National Transitional Council.

Five members of the security forces were wounded during the clash, Darhoub told reporters without giving details on the nature of the targets, which he described as “vital”, or saying whether there were possible links between the armed men and recent explosions.

On Saturday, a car bomb exploded near the offices of the military police in Tripoli, three days after a strong explosion rocked military intelligence offices in the eastern city of Benghazi.

On Sunday, a security source blamed the car bombing, which slightly wounded a Tunisian national, on a personal vendetta.

On Tuesday, seven Iranian relief workers were abducted in Benghazi by a group of armed men. The aid workers had just started a mission in the country as guests of the Libyan Red Crescent Association.

http://dawn.com/2012/08/06/three-armed-men-killed-in-libya-as-violence-escalates/

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Venezuelan Charged in Diplomat's Killing in Kenya

06 July, 2012

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Officials in Kenya have charged the first secretary of Venezuela's embassy for the murder of that country's acting ambassador to Kenya.

Dwight Sagaray was charged in court on Monday with the murder of acting Venezuelan Ambassador Olga Fonseca. He pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutor Tabitha Oyua also charged Mohamed Ahmed Mohamed Hassan, who has gone into hiding, with Foncesa's murder.

Oyua said that on the night of July 26 to 27 the two suspects murdered Fonseca. The prosecutor said others he did not name were also involved in the killing.

Judge Florence Muchemi issued an arrest warrant for Hassan and remanded Sagaray into custody until his bail application is heard. Venezuelan officials previously agreed to waive Sagaray's diplomatic immunity so that he could be charged.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2012/08/06/world/africa/ap-af-kenya-venezuela-diplomat-killed.html?ref=world

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Gao residents rise up against Islamists’ strict laws in northern Mali

 2012-08-05

BAMAKO - Residents of Gao in Islamist-occupied northern Mali on Sunday prevented extremists from chopping off the hand of a thief, the penalty for stealing according to strict sharia law, residents said.

"They (Islamists) were not able to cut off the thief's hand. Very early on Sunday hundreds of youths stormed independence square in Gao to prevent the sentence being carried out," a local teacher said by telephone.

On Saturday night the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) announced on private radio that they would carry out the sharia sentence on Sunday at the square.

"They (Islamists) were not able to take the prisoner to the square to cut off his hand. The residents of Gao occupied the square and refused to allow the thief's hand to be amputated," the leader of a local NGO said on condition of anonymity.

According to corroborating sources, the accused was a young MUJAO recruit who had stolen weapons to re-sell them.

Full report at:

http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=53750

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South Sudan’s Marial: athlete without a country

2012-08-06

Marathon man who once ran for his life will be running for gold in London as Independent Olympic Athlete.

LONDON - They call Guor Marial an athlete without a country, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Although Marial, who fled civil war as a child, is proud to be South Sudanese, when he lines up for the Olympic marathon on August 12 in London, he won’t be wearing the colours of the world’s newest nation.

The Republic of South Sudan - which gained independence in July 2011 - was unable to send its own team so he will instead be competing as one of four Independent Olympic Athletes. (The others are from the Netherlands Antilles, which ceased to exist as a country in 2010.)

There’s little doubt in Marial’s mind, however, which country he is really representing.

“We didn’t make it to the Olympics this year ... but people will see that this is a South Sudanese running, that this is a symbol of our flag, even though our flag is not visible,” said Marial, who trains in Flagstaff, Arizona.

“The whole of South Sudan will be watching every step of that marathon and cheering me on.”

Full report at:

http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=53755

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Tunisian blogger and journalist Sofian Shurabi arrested

2012-08-05

Scathing critic of Ben Ali, Shurabi, has expressed fear of creeping Islamisation in Tunisia, where government is dominated by Islamist party Ennahda.

TUNIS - Tunisian blogger Sofian Shurabi, a scathing critic of deposed president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, said he was arrested on Sunday, as websites said he was caught drinking alcohol in public during Ramadan.

Chourabi was with another journalist, Mohammed Yassin Jelassi and a girl on the beach of El Mansura, a neighbourhood of Kelibia, a few kilometres from Menzel Temim. The beach, where the trio had set up a tent, is known to be particularly deserted, the same sources indicated.

"I was arrested at the police station Menzel Temime," eastern Tunisia, he wrote on his Facebook page, without giving details.

The interior ministry could not be reached for comment but Tunisian online media said Shurabi was arrested drinking alcohol on a beach.

Full report at:

http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=53746

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Southeast Asia

 

Gay couple married in US feted at Malaysia banquet

Sean Yoong,

 August 06 2012

In this photo taken on Saturday, Aug. 4, 2012 and released by Ngeo Boon Lin, Malaysian-born Ngeo Boon Lin, left, and his American partner Phineas Newborn III pour champagne during their wedding banquet in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Gay pastor Ngeo who married his musical producer boyfriend Newborn III in New York last year has fulfilled a vow to hold a wedding banquet in his native Malaysia. The couple believes that Saturday’s reception was the first such event in the Muslim-majority country. (AP/Ngeo Boon Lin)

A gay pastor who married his musical producer boyfriend in New York last year has fulfilled a vow to hold a wedding banquet in his native Malaysia. The couple believes that Saturday's reception was the first such event in the Muslim-majority country.

Malaysian-born Ngeo Boon Lin and African-American husband Phineas Newborn III quietly held the reception at a Chinese restaurant in Kuala Lumpur with about 200 guests, including a handful of journalists who were asked to hold their reports until afterward.

The couple risked the ire of a government that has declared that homosexuality has no place in Malaysian society.

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2012/08/06/gay-couple-married-us-feted-malaysia-banquet.html

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Minister Says No Need for Halal TV Certification

Ismira Lutfia | August 06, 2012

The minister of communication and information technology criticized on Monday a proposal to classify TV shows as either halal or haram.

“There’s no such thing as a halal or haram TV program,” said Tifatul Sembiring. “TV programs should be assessed as to whether they have educational values or if they’re in line with the laws.”

Tifatul’s comments came after a branch of the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI) asked the Indonesian Council of Ulema (MUI) to consider the possibility of a halal certification program for TV shows. The certification program would give a halal seal to “decent” TV shows that did not include themes or images violating Islamic norms.

KPI chairman Mochamad Riyanto said the broadcasting commission would carefully continue to discuss the proposal.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/home/minister-says-no-need-for-halal-tv-certification/535905

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URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/by-new-age-islam-news-bureau/us-gurdwara-killing--shooter-was-a--white-supremacist-with-9-11-tattoo-/d/8174

 

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