New Age Islam
Wed Aug 12 2020, 04:51 PM

Islamic World News ( 23 Feb 2016, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Indian Muslims 'Not Doing Badly', Top Jihadi Said

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: Over 50 militants killed in counter-terror operations led by Afghan army

 

India

India Wants ‘Respectful’ Ties with Pakistan: President

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South Asia

Over 50 Militants Killed In Counter-Terror Operations Led By Afghan Army

7 Afghan Soldiers Martyred In the Latest Wave of Violence

Afghan Taliban insist on preconditions as direct talks expected in early March

Atmar hints at military option against militants pursuing violence

Afghan intelligence arrest 13 involved in major terror activities in Takhar

Afghanistan gets final vote results of presidential elections after a year and half

125 Afghan citizens arrive to Afghanistan from Germany

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Pakistan

Ancient Hindu temple in Peshawar being 'secretly' demolished, say locals

COAS Gives Go-Ahead for Final Phase Of Operation in Shawal

Two JeM men sentenced to 10 years in prison

Musharraf alone was responsible for imposition of emergency, claims AG

US Senate committee chairman questions Pakistan F-16 deal

Pakistani cities rank poorly on quality of living index

Blast near check post injures five FC personnel in South Waziristan

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Mideast

PYD’s Muslim Says No Plan for Kurdish State in Syria

Turkish Military Helicopters Kill 9 In Strikes on PKK Targets

Turkey Cautious On Peace as US, Russia Agree On Syria Truce

Amnesty report reveals significant deterioration of rights in Turkey

Refugees denied temporary ID cards as Turkey tries to reduce terror threat

German injured in İstanbul bombing dies, toll reaches 12

DNA report suggests Ankara bomber was Turkish

Ex-AK Party deputy Hakan Şükür faces up to 4 years in jail for ‘insulting Erdoğan’

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Australia

University of Sydney Muslim Prayer Room Trashed

Australia’s Largest Islamic School Accused of Unexplained Payments to Islamic Body

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Arab World

Assad Agrees To Peace Deal, but Doubts Persist

Syria: ISIL, Nusra Militants Face More Losses in Army Attacks in Homs

59 More Militants Surrender to Syrian Government in Two Provinces

Militants' Arms Depot Targeted by Syrian Army in Idlib

Syrian Warplanes, Artillery Units Hit Militant Centres Hard in Homs

Syria: Army, Popular Fighters Recapture Chunk of Main Supply Line to Aleppo

Syrian Army, NDF Score More Victories against Militants in Damascus

Army Destroys Militants' Defense Lines in Lattakia Province

Terrorists Receive New Arms Cargos from Turkey

Syrian Army Wins Back Key Height in Lattakia Province

Syria: Gov't Forces Enter Small but Strategic Town South of Aleppo

Eastern Ghouta: Syrian Army Continues Advances in Strategic Regions

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Southeast Asia

Muslim Council to Deploy More Peace Envoys

Onslaughts against gays and lesbians challenge Indonesia’s LGBT rights movement

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Africa

‘Libya Can’t Fend For Itself’: UN Official Says 1mn in Dire Need of Urgent Medical Supplies

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Europe

Spain Arrests 9 PKK, 4 ISIL Militants

Syria Truce Centre Launched At Khmeimim Airbase, Russia Hands over Hotline Contact to US

EU, UN criticize Balkan police crackdown on Afghan migrants

Russian car exports to resume to Syria and Lebanon

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North America

How US Muslims should fight Islamophobia — by voting

Russia role vital to Syrian truce, but US has ‘Plan B’ – Kerry

US says ISIL foreign fighter ranks drop to 25,000

Compiled by New Age Islam Edit Bureau

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-edit-bureau/indian-muslims--not-doing-badly-,-top-jihadi-said/d/106453

 

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India

Indian Muslims 'Not Doing Badly', Top Jihadi Said

Bharti Jain | TNN | Feb 24, 2016

NEW DELHI: Abdul Aziz alias Giddah, accused of conspiring to organise blasts in Andhra Pradesh a decade ago, was deported from Saudi Arabia earlier this month after serving 10 years in a prison there for planning to blow up oil installations in the country's eastern region and other acts of terror. TOI has learnt that the top Jihadi was arrested by Saudi authorities in 2005 even as he planned to go to Iraq from Jeddah to fight American forces.

He had travelled to Jeddah in July 2005 from Dhaka by a Gulf Airways flight and stayed at the house of Shakeel, a Pakistani. Having fought on the frontline in Bosnia and Chechnya, Aziz was contemplating leaving for his next Jihadi assignment in Iraq when Saudi authorities took him into custody. He was sentenced to eight years of imprisonment but served more than 10 years. In fact, the Saudi government even paid Aziz compensation for the extra two years he had to stay in prison.

After his release, Saudi authorities deported him to India on February 2. According to details of his interrogation accessed by TOI, Aziz was drawn more to jihad in theatres like Bosnia and Chechnya than India.

In 1997, when he was persuaded by handler Mohd Ismail and Pakistani Lashkare-Taiba operative Salim Junaid to wage jihad in India, he argued that there was no such need "since the position of Muslims in India is not as bad as in other countries".

Later, however, he was convinced by Sheikh Ahmed, director of Saudi-based NGO International Islamic Relief Organisation, to wage war against India over the Babri masjid demolition, for a hefty sum. Sheikh sent Rs 9.5 lakh to Aziz, which was further transferred to his father-in-law by the Hawala route.

Aziz was arrested by Hyderabad police in 2001for allegedly acquiring weapons and detonators for carrying out explosions in the city.

He was released on bail in December 2001 but jumped bail in 2003 and fled to Bangladesh. There, he paid Rs 35,000 to an agent to acquire a fake Bangladeshi passport. However, he was unable to get the passport and returned to India in 2004.

While in India, he allegedly conspired with terror aide Moulana Naseeruddin to target key installations like dams and a Ganesh temple in Secunderabad. He trained eight youngsters in Hyderabad to assemble IEDs but they were arrested by the Andhra Pradesh Police.

Fearing arrest, Aziz once again fled to Bangladesh via Bengaluru and Howrah.

There, he got the Bangladeshi passport he had applied for earlier. He also secured an Umrah visa to visit Mecca. In July 2005, he left for Jeddah.

Aziz joined radical outfit Darsgah-e-Jihad-Shahadat in the late 1980s, and trained for 4-5 months in the use of lathi. He was in contact with known terrorists Fasiuddhin and Azam Ghori. In 1989, his father gave him some money to go to Saudi Arabia.

He went to Medina in 1991, returned to India and then again went to Dammam in 1993 for work. There he met Shaik Obaid, who ran a charity outfit, Markaz Ul Dawa Ul Nushan. He underwent a three-month course in Islam and Arabic, and read magazines that said Muslims were being "subjected to torture in Bosnia". In 1994, he travelled to Zanitica, Bosnia, and fought on the frontline for about three months.

He returned to Riyadh in 1995 and later to India. The same year, he got a tourist visa for Moscow and travelled further to Chechnya for jihad. In mid-1999, Aziz tried to go to Chechnya again by reaching Georgia via Dubai and Istanbul, but was sent back due to the visit of Pope John Paul II to Georgia.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Indian-Muslims-well-off-felt-top-jihadi/articleshow/51114708.cms

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India wants ‘respectful’ ties with Pakistan: President

February 24th, 2016

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants a “mutually respectful relationship” with Pakistan, his government’s policy paper said on Tuesday.

The policy paper was read out by President Pranab Mukherjee as his traditional address to a joint sitting of the parliament’s two houses, which kicks off the annual budget session.

The Modi government’s agreeable posture appeared to follow reported progress in Pakistan with the Pathankot attack probe. The statement also came ahead of a possible meeting bet­ween Prime Ministers Modi and Nawaz Sharif in Washington next month during a nuclear security summit.

The president said the government was committed to forging a “mutually respectful relationship” with Pakis­tan and in creating an environment of cooperation in combating cross-border terrorism. He called upon all MPs to discharge their responsibilities in a spirit of cooperation and mutual accommodation.

Asserting that the government was fully committed to firmly dealing with all challenges concerning India’s security, President Mukhe­rjee said terrorism is a global threat and strong counter-terrorism measures are necessary worldwide to eradicate it.

“Let me congratulate the security forces in successfully foiling the recent attack at the Pathankot airbase by terrorists. Firm and effective steps will be taken to deal with any situation arising out of cross-border terrorism,” he said.

He said the government believed in a secure and prosperous future for the neighbourhood while committing itself to the principle of ‘the world is one family’.

The government on its part would strive for smooth and constructive conduct of parliamentary business.

The remarks assume significance in the context of repeated disruption of business on various issues, loss of time of parliament and the stalling of legislative business in Rajya Sabha, where the government lacks majority.

“Let noble thoughts come from all directions, should be the spirit behind the debate in this temple of democracy. Being a member of this great institution bestows great honour as well as important responsibilities,” Mr Mukherjee said.

dawn.com/news/1241577/delhi-wants-respectful-ties-with-islamabad-mukherjee

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South Asia

Over 50 militants killed in counter-terror operations led by Afghan army

By KHAAMA PRESS - Wed Feb 24 2016

The anti-government armed militants have suffered heavy casualties during counter-terrorism operations led by the Afghan armed forces in the past 24 hours.

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) said over 50 militants were killed and 15 others were wounded in the latest operations led by the Afghan army.

A statement by MoD said at least 2 suspected militants were also arrested and various types of weapons, ammunition and explosives were confiscated.

At least 10 militants affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group and 14 militants belong ing to the Taliban group were killed and 7 othrs were wounded in a joint operation by security forces in Achin district, MoD said.

The statement also added that 19 others including 2 commanders of the militants were killed in Dand-e-Ghori district of northern Baghlan province, 4 others were wounded and 2 more were arrested.

Another militant was killed in southeastern Ghazni province, 2 others were wounded, while 3 others were killed in Uruzgan province, MoD added.

According to MoD, a militant was killed and 4 others were wounded in a separate operation in Shahwali Kot district of southern Kandahar province.

The anti-government armed militant groups have not commented regarding the reports so far.

khaama.com/over-50-militants-killed-in-counter-terror-operations-led-by-afghan-army-0161

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7 Afghan soldiers martyred in the latest wave of violence

By KHAAMA PRESS - Wed Feb 24 2016

At least seven members of the Afghan National Army (ANA) forces were martyred in the latest wave of violence across the country, the Ministry of Defense (MoD) said.

In a statement released to the media, the Ministry of Defense (MoD), said the Afghan soldiers lost their lives while suppressing the terrorist activities of the militant groups in the past 24 hours.

According to MoD, the operations were conducted in Nangarhar, Ghazni, Uruzgan and Kandahar province of the country where heavy casualties to the anti-government armed militants were incurred, including the affiliates of ISIS terror group and other insurgents.

There has been a sharp rise in the casualties of the Afghan national security forces since they took full control of the security responsibilites from the coalition forces at the start of last year.

Full report at: khaama.com/7-afghan-soldiers-martyred-in-the-latest-wave-of-violence-0162

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Afghan Taliban insist on preconditions as direct talks expected in early March

By KHAAMA PRESS - Wed Feb 24 2016

The Taliban group representatives based in Qatar insist on preconditions of the group as direct talks between the Afghan government and representatives of the Taliban is expected to take place in the first week of March.

Admitting that the group is unaware of the potential upcoming direct talks with the Afghan government, a spokesman for the group’s political office in Qatar, Mohammad Naim told Radio Free Europe (RFE) that they have not changed their preconditions for joining the peace process, which he had announced at the Pugwash research center in Doha on January 23.

Full report at: khaama.com/afghan-taliban-insist-on-preconditions-as-direct-talks-expected-in-early-march-0160

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Atmar hints at military option against militants pursuing violence

By KHAAMA PRESS - Wed Feb 24 2016

National Security Adviser Hanif Atmar said Wednesday that the militant groups pursuing violence would face onslaught by the security forces, insisting that the ongoing reconciliation efforts is the best option for the anti-government armed militant groups to give up violence.

Atmar further added that the foreign insurgents waging violence against the Afghan people will not be part of the reconciliation process.

In his remarks during the delivery of Russia’s military aid to the Afghan security forces, Atmar said foreign insurgents including Al-Qaeda and other terror networks are fighting in the country besides the insurgency led by the Afghan Taliban militants.

Atmar further added that the Afghan security forces will be equipped and the process will continue so that the military options can be used to eliminate the menace of terror by the foreigners.

Full report at: khaama.com/atmar-hints-at-military-option-against-militants-pursuing-violence-0157

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Afghan intelligence arrest 13 involved in major terror activities in Takhar

By KHAAMA PRESS - Wed Feb 24 2016

The Afghan intelligence operatives arrested a group of thirteen militants involved in major terror related activities in northeastern Takhar province of Afghanistan.

The National Directorate of Security (NDS) said the detained individuals were involved in terrorist activities, including assassination of religious clerics, tribal elders and kidnappings.

NDS said the intelligence operatives have also confiscated some weapons and explosives including an Ak-47 rifle, a pistol and hand grenades from the detained individuals.

The anti-government armed militant groups have not commented regarding the detention of the suspected militants so far.

Full report at: khaama.com/afghan-intelligence-arrest-13-involved-in-major-terror-activities-in-takhar-00156

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Afghanistan gets final vote results of presidential elections after a year and half

By KHAAMA PRESS - Wed Feb 24 2016

In an unexpected move, the Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan announced the final vote results of the 2014 presidential elections.

The controversial presidential election in 2014, organized in two rounds, led to the formation of the government of national unity.

The final vote results of the second round of the presidential election remained unascertained; however the IEC chief Mohammad Yousuf Nuristani announced the final results during a press conference today.

Full report at: khaama.com/afghanistan-gets-final-vote-results-of-presidential-elections-after-a-year-and-half-0159

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125 Afghan citizens arrive to Afghanistan from Germany

By KHAAMA PRESS - Wed Feb 24 2016

A group of 125 Afghan citizens arrived to Afghanistan this morning from Germany with the support of the Afghan and German governments.

“Today, 125 Afghan citizens return to Afghanistan: After a difficult way to Germany in the hands of people smugglers they realized that their future is in Afghanistan and that they are needed in their home country,” according to an official statement.

The statement further added that the cost of the return of the Afghan citizens has been covered by the government of Germany.

The returnees will also receive a small reitegration support in cooperation with the International Organization for Migrant (IOM), the statement said, adding that Germany and Afghanistan continue to jointly fight people smuggling.

Full report at: khaama.com/125-afghan-citizens-arrive-to-afghanistan-from-germany-0158

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Pakistan

Ancient Hindu Temple In Peshawar Being 'Secretly' Demolished, Say Locals

PTI | Feb 23, 2016

PESHAWAR: An ancient Hindu temple in this north-western Pakistani city is being demolished secretly in the name of repair with a commercial plaza set to come up on its land.

The ancient Hindu temple located in Karimpura in Peshawar's old city is being demolished in the name of repairs, several inhabitants of the area said.

They said the process started some 10 days and is going on without any hindrance.

"It is a pity that a criminal act of pulling down a heritage structure has been launched. The building is being knocked down clandestinely to erect a commercial plaza on the site," a resident said.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Ancient-Hindu-temple-in-Peshawar-being-secretly-demolished-say-locals/articleshow/51110540.cms

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COAS gives go-ahead for final phase of operation in Shawal

February 24th, 2016

RAWALPINDI: The Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif has given the go-ahead for the initiation of the final phase of operation Zarb-i-Azab in the Shawal valley region of North Waziristan.

The go-ahead was given by the army chief during his visit to forward positions of the army in Shawal valley.

The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) stated that the army chief was briefed regarding operational gains and impending operations.

The deep and forested ravines of Shawal valley and the area of Data Khel are frequently used infiltration routes used by the militants, the army chief was told.

The last phase of the operation aims to clear the last remnants of the militants from their hideouts in the forested ravines, isolate them and destroy them in detail, while also severing their links to their abettors across the country.

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1241628/coas-gives-go-ahead-for-final-phase-of-operation-in-shawal

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Two JeM men sentenced to 10 years in prison

February 24th, 2016

RAWALPINDI: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Tuesday sentenced two Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) activists to 10 years in prison for raising funds for the banned outfit.

Kashif Siddique and Rashid Iqbal were arrested by the Punjan Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) in Attock district on Aug 7 last year, along with a money box placed near a mosque.

The CTD officials found Rs210 in the box and seized empty cash receipts, membership cards, books and pamphlets related to JeM, led by Maulana Masood Azhar.

Public prosecutor Imran Qaiser informed the ATC that Siddique and Iqbal were not only openly raising funds for the banned outfit, but also inviting people to join the group.

In 2014, the Punjab home department, through a notification, had placed Iqbal in the fourth schedule of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) 1997 and they were under surveillance of law enforcement agencies.

According to the court’s documents, an FIR was also registered against Iqbal under Section 9 of the ATA for delivering hate speech.

The prosecutor requested the court to punish the two accused for raising funds and inviting people to join the banned outfit.

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1241592/two-jem-men-sentenced-to-10-years-in-prison

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Musharraf alone was responsible for imposition of emergency, claims AG

February 24th, 2016

ISLAMABAD: The federal government still believes that former President Pervez Musharraf is solely responsible for clamping the Nov 3, 2007, emergency which led to confining of a number of superior court judges in their houses and sacking of another over 100 judges.

The stand was reiterated by Attorney General Salman Aslam Butt before a three-judge Supreme Court bench, headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, hearing an appeal of former Chief Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar.

Justice Dogar had challenged the Dec 12, 2015, order of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) which upheld the Nov 27, 2015, order of the three-man special court hearing a treason case against former President Pervez Musharraf which had ordered the investigation team concerned to re-investigate the treason case by ‘interrogating’ Musharraf, former prime minister Shaukat Aziz, former minister Zahid Hamid and former chief justice of Pakistan Abdul Hameed Dogar as well as people who could be presumed to be associated with the commission of the alleged crime.

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1241593/musharraf-alone-was-responsible-for-imposition-of-emergency-claims-ag

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US Senate committee chairman questions Pakistan F-16 deal

Reuters | Feb 24, 2016

WASHINGTON: The chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee on Tuesday sharply questioned US plans to sell F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan, questioning Pakistani actions he described as threatening US troops as they try to stabilize Afghanistan.

"They continue to support the Taliban, the Haqqani network and give safe haven to al-Qaida," Republican Senator Bob Corker said to secretary of state John Kerry, who was testifying to the committee about the state department's annual budget request.

The US government said on Febraury 12 it had approved the sale to Pakistan of up to eight F-16 fighter jets built by Lockheed Martin Corp, radar and other equipment in a deal valued at $699 million.

Lawmakers have 30 days to block the sale and Corker has made clear he has doubts about it.

Kerry responded that the issue is complicated and said Pakistan also has been an ally.

"I understand your reservations about it but their military has been deeply engaged in the fight against terrorism," he said.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/US-Senate-committee-chairman-questions-Pakistan-F-16-deal/articleshow/51116423.cms

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Pakistani cities rank poorly on quality of living index

February 24, 2016

Three cities from Pakistan made it to consulting firm Mercer's quality of living ranking of 230 cities. At positions 193, 199 and 202, Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi feature very low on the list, which is topped by Austrian capital Vienna.

Vienna's 1.7 million inhabitants benefit from the city's cafe culture and museums, theatres and operas. Rents and public transport costs in the city whose architecture is marked by its past as the centre of the Habsburg empire are cheap compared with other western capitals.

Switzerland's Zurich, New Zealand's Auckland, Germany's Munich and Canada's Vancouver follow Vienna which has achieved the best position for the seventh time in a row in the top five of most pleasant cities to live in.

Luxembourg ranks highest on the list for personal safety, while Baghdad ranks lowest both on personal safety and on the overall list. Waves of sectarian violence have swept through the Iraqi city since the American-led invasion in 2003.

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1241615/pakistani-cities-rank-poorly-on-quality-of-living-index

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Blast near checkpost injures five FC personnel in South Waziristan

February 24, 2016

PESHAWAR: At least five Frontier Corps personnel were wounded in an improvised explosive device (IED) blast near a security checkpost in South Waziristan tribal agency's Wana area on Wednesday.

A security forces' vehicle was on routine patrol when the IED, planted along the roadside, exploded wounding five FC personnel, according to security sources.

The injured were shifted to agency headquarters hospital in Wana.

Meanwhile security forces initiated a search and strike operation in the area.

The attack took place while Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif is visiting front lines in North Waziristan tribal agency's Shawal tehsil, according to a tweet by Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Lt -Gen Asim Bajwa.

Tweet by DG ISPR Lt -Gen Asim Bajwa

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1241612/blast-near-checkpost-injures-five-fc-personnel-in-south-waziristan

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Mideast

PYD’s Muslim says no plan for Kurdish state in Syria

February 23, 2016

The Kurdish armed groups currently fighting in Syria do not want an independent Kurdish state on Turkey's border, according to the leader of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), Saleh Muslim.

Speaking to German news agency DPA on Tuesday, Muslim said the Kurds in Syria have no dream of establishing a Kurdish state in the region and that they only want to gain constitutional rights.

“We [PYD] do not want an independent Kurdish state neighboring Turkey,” he said, accusing Turkey of being “Kurdophobic.”

Muslim added that Turkey's push to form a safe zone inside Syria is a direct threat to the sovereignty of the country, claiming that Kurds as well as Arabs and Turkmens living in Syria reject the idea.

Muslim's PYD, along with the People's Protection Units (YPG) -- its armed wing -- have recently emerged as one of the leading ground forces in the fight against the terrorist Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria.

Full report at: todayszaman.com/diplomacy_pyds-muslim-says-no-plan-for-kurdish-state-in-syria_413111.html

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Turkish military helicopters kill 9 in strikes on PKK targets

February 24, 2016

Turkish military helicopters killed nine terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) members in strikes near the southeastern border with Syria on Wednesday, security sources said, in a conflict becoming increasingly intertwined with developments in Turkey's war-torn neighbor.

The Cobra attack helicopters launched the assault at around 6 a.m. (0400 GMT) as a group of PKK militants travelled through a mountainous area near the İdil district of Turkey's Şırnak province, the sources said.

Parts of İdil were placed under 24-hour curfew last week as the security forces carried out an operation against the militants. That was part of a wider military campaign which began last December in towns in the mostly Kurdish southeast following the collapse in July of a ceasefire with the PKK.

The violence in Turkey's southeast is at its worst since the 1990s, turning parts of the region into a war zone. PKK militants have dug trenches and erected barricades in towns and cities, and the death toll has climbed into the hundreds as the security forces try to flush them out.

Full report at: todayszaman.com/national_turkish-military-helicopters-kill-9-in-strikes-on-pkk-targets_413152.html

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Turkey cautious on peace as US, Russia agree on Syria truce

February 23, 2016

Turkey says it has welcomed a recent deal brokered by the United States and Russia after intense diplomatic wrangling, outlining terms of the agreed cease-fire in Syria, but expressed caution and pessimism about its implementation amid continuing violence.

Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş spoke about Turkey's positive stance on the latest attempt by the US and Russia, but said that Turkey is not optimistic that talks on a political transition will bring a positive outcome, he said on Tuesday.

Kurtulmuş said Ankara has reservations concerning actions which Russian forces could take against Syria's moderate opposition and civilians.

The US and Russia announced plans for a "cessation of hostilities" in Syria that would take effect on Saturday but exclude groups such as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and al-Qaeda's al-Nusra Front, a loophole Syrian rebels immediately highlighted as a problem.

"We view it as possible that a cease-fire will be reached. We hope it will not be like previous cease-fires and will have the capacity to be implemented," Kurtulmuş told reporters at a press conference after a Cabinet meeting on Monday.

Full report at: todayszaman.com/diplomacy_turkey-cautious-on-peace-as-us-russia-agree-on-syria-truce_413115.html

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Amnesty report reveals significant deterioration of rights in Turkey

February 24, 2016

An annual report released by prominent rights watchdog Amnesty International indicates that there has been a decline in human rights in Turkey, with people experiencing increasing restrictions in the exercise of these rights, in particular after the June 7, 2015 general election.

"The human rights situation deteriorated markedly following parliamentary elections in June and the outbreak of violence between the Kurdistan Workers' Party [PKK] and the Turkish armed forces in July. The media faced unprecedented pressure from the government; free expression online and offline suffered significantly. The right to freedom of peaceful assembly continued to be violated. Cases of excessive use of force by police and ill-treatment in detention increased. Impunity for human rights abuses persisted. The independence of the judiciary was further eroded," the report said.

The AI report also said separate suicide bombings attributed to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) targeting left-wing and pro-Kurdish activists and demonstrators killed 139 people, adding that an estimated 2.5 million refugees and asylum seekers were accommodated in Turkey but that individuals increasingly faced arbitrary detention and deportation as the government negotiated a migration deal with the European Union.

todayszaman.com/national_amnesty-report-reveals-significant-deterioration-of-rights-in-turkey_413149.html

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Refugees denied temporary ID cards as Turkey tries to reduce terror threat

February 23, 2016

As Turkey struggles to come to grips with the aftermath of a series of suicide bombings, the latest of which took place in Ankara and left at least 28 people dead, Syrian refugees are being denied temporary ID cards, signaling further distress for the 2.5 million Syrian refugees currently residing in Turkey.

The attack was the second of two such incidents in Ankara in four months. The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) was blamed for the first. The incidents highlight insufficient security at the southeastern Turkey-Syria border, which has turned into the main crossing point for Syrian refugees and, seemingly, terrorists.

A car loaded with explosives was detonated next to military buses near the Turkish Air Forces' headquarters while they were waiting at a traffic light on Feb. 17. Authorities announced that 28 people -- 27 military personnel and one civilian -- were killed in the explosion, while 61 others were injured.

Full report at: todayszaman.com/diplomacy_refugees-denied-temporary-id-cards-as-turkey-tries-to-reduce-terror-threat_413086.html

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German injured in İstanbul bombing dies, toll reaches 12

February 23, 2016

German authorities said on Friday that a woman has died from injuries sustained in a suicide bombing last month in İstanbul, bringing the number of people killed in the attack to 12.

Bavaria's state interior ministry said Tuesday that the 52-year-old woman died on Sunday at a hospital in Offenbach, near Frankfurt, news agency dpa reported.

The bomber set off the explosion on Jan. 12 near German tourists visiting İstanbul's landmark Blue Mosque, killing 10 of them. An 11th victim died in Berlin in late January.

todayszaman.com/anasayfa_german-injured-in-i-stanbul-bombing-dies-toll-reaches-12_413135.html

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DNA report suggests Ankara bomber was Turkish

February 24, 2016

A DNA report from a suicide bombing that killed 29 people in the Turkish capital Ankara last week suggests the main perpetrator was Turkish-born, not Syrian as initially stated by the government, a senior Turkish security official said on Tuesday.

A car laden with explosives detonated next to military buses as they waited at traffic lights near Turkey's armed forces' headquarters, parliament and government buildings in the administrative heart of Ankara last Wednesday.

The next day, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu blamed a Syrian Kurdish YPG militia fighter working with Kurdish militants inside Turkey for the attack, naming him as Salih Necar, born in 1992, and from the Hasakah region of northern Syria.

But the DNA report suggested the attack was carried out by Abdulbaki Somer, born in the eastern Turkish city of Van, said the security official and the state-run Anadolu news agency, which cited prosecution sources.

That matches the name given by the Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK), a Kurdish militant group, when it claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement on its website on Friday.

Full report at: todayszaman.com/national_dna-report-suggests-ankara-bomber-was-turkish_413138.html

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Ex-AK Party deputy Hakan Şükür faces up to 4 years in jail for ‘insulting Erdoğan’

February 24, 2016

Former international football player and Justice and Development Party (AK Party) deputy Hakan Şükür faces up to four years' imprisonment for allegedly insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on his Twitter account.

The Bakırköy 28th Criminal Court of First Instance accepted on Wednesday an indictment prepared by Bakırköy Deputy Chief Public Prosecutor İdris Kurt that seeks a prison sentence of up to four years for Şükür over claims of insulting Erdoğan.

According to the indictment, complainants of the case are Bekir Savram and Erdoğan's lawyer Ahmet Özel. The indictment also states that although Şükür had presented a defense petition to the court saying the tweets in question were not about Erdoğan, it is evident that Şükür was talking about Erdoğan and “it is understood that he committed the crime he is charged with.”

todayszaman.com/national_ex-ak-party-deputy-hakan-sukur-faces-up-to-4-years-in-jail-for-insulting-erdogan_413164.html

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Australia

University Of Sydney Muslim Prayer Room Trashed

Feb 24 2016

The Muslim prayer room at the University of Sydney has been ransacked, with an abusive note left behind.

The Sydney University Muslim Students' Association says it's the fifth time in three months the prayer room has been trashed by vandals.

A student discovered the vandalised room on Monday morning, with an anti-Islamic flyer left at the scene.

The flyer included an image of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and a letter accusing Muslims of "enslaving women, blowing up planes and trains, selling ice to our kids, bashing police, theft (and) throwing gays off tall buildings".

Association spokesman Shahad Nomani said the place of solace and prayer had been attacked by bigots.

Full report at: 9news.com.au/national/2016/02/24/18/12/sydney-uni-muslim-prayer-room-trashed#kwIc7SUzuWoqFPV3.99

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Australia’s Largest Islamic School Accused of Unexplained Payments to Islamic Body

24 February 2016 02.55 GMT

A phantom loan, mystery payments and undeclared conflicts of interest are among the issues identified by a federal government investigation into Australia’s largest Islamic school, which faces closure after being stripped of $19m federal funding.

The full extent of the alleged mismanagement at Malek Fahd Islamic school (MFIS) is laid out in a proposed Department of Education decision sent to school administrators in November, obtained and published in full by Guardian Australia on Wednesday.

It includes a number of allegations that commonwealth funding was not entirely being spent on the school and that hundreds of thousands of dollars were instead paid to senior administrators and the school’s parent organisation, the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (Afic).

Full report at: theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/feb/24/malek-fahd-school-accused-of-unexplained-payments-to-islamic-body-and-staff

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Arab World

Assad Agrees To Peace Deal, but Doubts Persist

February 24th, 2016

DAMASCUS: Syria’s regime agreed on Tuesday to a ceasefire deal announced by the United States and Russia, but there were widespread doubts that it could take effect by the weekend as hoped.

The truce agreement, announced on Monday, does not apply to militant groups like the Islamic State (IS) and Al-Nusra Front, putting up major hurdles to how it can be implemented on Syria’s complex battlefield.

A Syrian foreign ministry statement said the government would continue to fight both those groups as well as other “terrorists”, while agreeing to stop other military operations “in accordance with the Russian-American announcement”.

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1241575/assad-agrees-to-peace-deal-but-doubts-persist

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Syria: ISIL, Nusra Militants Face More Losses in Army Attacks in Homs

February 24, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army and popular forces targeted the ISIL and al-Nusra Front positions in the Eastern and Northern parts of Homs province respectively and inflicted a heavy death toll on the terrorists.

The ISIL concentration centers near al-Sha'er oilfield in the Eastern part of Homs province came under the attacks of the Syrian Army and the National Defense Forces (NDF), which claimed the lives of dozens of the terrorists and destroyed their military hardware.

In the meantime, the Syrian army troops and the NDF forces stormed the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front's gathering centers in Tir Ma'ala, al-Mashjar al-Janoubi and Talbiseh in the Northern territories of Homs province, which ended in the killing and wounding of tens of the terrorists.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941205000555

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59 More Militants Surrender to Syrian Government in Two Provinces

February 24, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- At least 59 militants in two provinces of the country laid down their arms and turned themselves in to the Syrian authorities as the pro-government forces keep on advancing across the Mediterranean country.

The militants formerly fighting in the provinces of Damascus and Idlib surrendered to the Syrian government as the forces loyal to the Syrian President Bashar Assad continue gaining ground across the country.

Surrendering to the Syrian government now seems has turned into a frequent development as earlier this month, at least 57 wanted militants also turned themselves in to the Syrian authorities in three key provinces.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941205000434

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Militants' Arms Depot Targeted by Syrian Army in Idlib

February 24, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army attacked a base of the militant groups in Idlib province and destroyed a large depot of weapon inside the base.

The Syrian army's attack on the Jeish al-Fatah's base near the village of Maarat Hermeh ended the killing of at least 10 terrorists and destruction of an approximately large depot of weapons.

On Monday, informed military source announced that the Syrian army was preparing for large-scale operations to regain control of strategic strongholds and areas in Idlib countryside.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941205000739

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Syrian Warplanes, Artillery Units Hit Militant Centers Hard in Homs

February 24, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Air Force and artillery units struck the militant groups' defense lines and bases in the Northern, Eastern and Northeastern parts of Homs province, battlefield sources said Wednesday, adding the attacks slowed down the terrorist groups' logistic-military movements.

"The Syrian army's artillery units opened fire at the militants' positions near Dar al-Kabireh, Keisin and al-Sa'an al-Aswad in the Northern part of the province, and pinned down the terrorists behind their lines of defense," the sources said.

"The Syrian artillery, meantime, shelled the ISIL gatherings near the ancient city of Palmyra (Tadmur) and the village of Hawash Hajjow in the Southeastern part of Homs province, which left several terrorists dead," the sources added.

"The Syrian fighter jets, for their part, pounded two bases of the militant groups in Tir Ma'ala in North and several strongholds of the ISIL near Taloul al-Soud, Palmyra and the ancient Assyrian town of Quaryatayn, which inflicted major losses on the terrorists," they further said.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941205000659

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Syria: Army, Popular Fighters Recapture Chunk of Main Supply Line to Aleppo

February 24, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army troops and their popular allies drove the militant groups back from their defense lines in a strategic village on the main supplying route of government forces Southeast of Aleppo.

The Syrian army and the National Defense Forces' (NDF) operation to reopen the Ithriya-Khanaser road ended in the liberation of the villages of Rasm al-Nafal in the Southeastern part of Aleppo province.

The terrorist groups of Jund al-Aqsa and Free Syrian Army (FSA) left behind dozens of the dead or wounded members and fled the battlefield.

Liberation of Rasm al-Nafal will guarantee the security of the small town of Shalaleh al-Kabireh in a long chunk of Ithriya-Khanaser road.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941205000382

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Syrian Army, NDF Score More Victories against Militants in Damascus

February 24, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The militant groups withdrew forces from more strongholds in the Eastern part of Damascus province under the heavy offensive of the Syrian Army and the National Defense Forces (NDF).

The Syrian government forces continued to advance against the militant groups in the Northern side of Marj al-Sultan region towards Tal Farzat in Eastern Ghouta and pushed the terrorist group, mainly from Jeish al-Islam, form more position in the region.

Scores of the militants were killed or wounded and their military hardware and vehicles were destroyed in the attacks.

In relevant developments in the Southwestern part of the province on Tuesday, the Syrian army troops alongside the NDF stormed the militant groups' positions in the Southern side of one of the strategic cities in Western Ghouta and pushed the terrorists back from more lands.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941205000298

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Army Destroys Militants' Defense Lines in Lattakia Province

February 24, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army and air force backed by the popular forces destroyed the defense lines of the Takfiri terrorists in Lattakia province.

The army units backed by the popular forces inflicted heavy losses on the militants in Lattakia province, killing scores of militants and injuring many more in heavy clashes.

The Syrian army and popular forces also hit hard the military positions of the Takfiri terrorists in other key provinces across Syria.

Lattakia

The Syrian air force jets in a series of incessant operations heavily pounded several militant positions, their gatherings and defense lines in a village in Northern province of Lattakia.

"Several militant positions and their military grid were severely damaged during Syrian jets combat sorties over the village of Ma'ar Baya in Lattakia province," the sources on the ground confirmed.

Meanwhile, at least three members of the "Ansar al-Sham" terrorist group were killed and many more were injured during the clashes that flared as Syrian soldiers have been trying to win back more areas in rugged areas of Lattakia province.

The Syrian Army announced on Tuesday that it has dispatched a large number of fresh forces to the Northeastern heights of Lattakia province near the border with Idlib province to join an imminent anti-terrorism operation.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941205000427

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Terrorists Receive New Arms Cargos from Turkey

February 24, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The terrorists stationed in the Northern outskirts of Lattakia city have been equipped with new cargoes of weapons reportedly coming from Turkey.

The new batch of arms includes BM-21 122-mm Grad multiple rocket launchers, sources said on Wednesday.

Lattakia is a province bordering Turkey. The Syrian army and popular forces have recently pushed the militant groups back from more territories in the Northern part of Lattakia province and took back several villages and heights.

Earlier this week, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said that more than 80 nations, particularly Turkey and Saudi Arabia, have provided financial, logistical and material assistance to terrorist groups, who are fighting in Syria.

The Syrian leader described foreign sponsorship as "active" and "unlimited." Some of those countries support radicals "directly with money, with logistical support, with armaments, with recruitments," he noted in an interview with Spain's El Pais newspaper.

Others help "them politically, in different international forums", he added.

Assad accused Saudi Arabia of being the key financial backer of the militants, who are trying to overthrow him. He also urged the international community to prevent "other countries, specially Turkey, from sending more recruits, more terrorists, more armaments, or any kind of logistical support" to terrorists, if it wants to see an efficient ceasefire in Syria.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941205000571

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Syrian Army Wins Back Key Height in Lattakia Province

February 24, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army made new gains in the coastal province of Lattakia in tough battle with Jeish al-Fatah (Army of Conquest) militants, winning back a strategic region.

The army units seized back the key Height 458. 19 in Lattakia province pushing back the terrorists from the region.

Scores of militants were killed and injured in clashes with the army units.

Almost 7 percent of Lattakia province is now under the control of the ISIL as the Syrian army and resistance forces have won back over 100 villages in the past two months.

In a relevant development on Tuesday, the Syrian fighter jets in a series of incessant operations heavily pounded several militant positions and their gatherings in a village in Northern province of Lattakia.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941205000598

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Syria: Gov't Forces Enter Small but Strategic Town South of Aleppo

February 24, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army announced minutes ago that its soldiers and their popular allies have prevailed over the ISIL militants' defense lines in a town on one of the main supply lines of government forces.

The Syrian army, Liwa al-Quds (Jerusalem Brigade), the National Defense Forces (NDF), and the Cheetah Forces “Team 3” entered the important city of Khanaser after losing it to the ISIL during clashes yesterday morning.

The Syrian government forces broke through the ISIL defenses at the Southern side of Khanaser this morning and secured the perimeter before they entered town.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941205000856

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Eastern Ghouta: Syrian Army Continues Advances in Strategic Regions

February 24, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army continued its advances in Eastern Ghouta in Damascus countryside, inflicting heavy losses on the terrorist groups in fierce clashes.

The army units destroyed the military positions and gathering centers of the terrorists in al-Marj, Jobar, Beit Naim and al-Nashabiyah towns in Eastern Ghouta in Damascus countryside.

"Al-Marj region in Eastern Ghouta was the scene of fierce clashes between the Syrian soldiers and the terrorists, which claimed the lives of many Takfiri combatants," a military source on the ground said.

Meantime, the Syrian army made considerable advances in the axis of Tal Farzat in Eastern Ghouta and took full control of several strategic regions there.

In a relevant development on Monday, the Syrian warplanes tracked and targeted several vehicles carrying militants and their arms and ammunition on the roads in Beit Naim and Utaya in al-Nashabiyah area near the city of Duma in Eastern Ghouta, destroying the vehicles and annihilating all militants in them.

Also on Tuesday, the Syrian army, in a series of concerted operations, heavily pounded terrorists' positions in both Eastern Ghouta, inflicting more casualties on the terrorists, military sources said on Tuesday.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941205000549

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Southeast Asia

Muslim Council to deploy more peace envoys

February 24, 2016

Dr. Ali Al Nuaimi, secretary general of the Council

Talking to Khaleej Times, Dr. Ali Al Nuaimi, secretary general of the Council, said there are many factors which contributed to the rise of extremist ideology.

The Muslim Council of Elders will deploy more peace envoys to more countries "to counter the spread of extremist ideology and divisiveness in Muslim communities, and to promote moderate Islam."

Talking to Khaleej Times, Dr. Ali Al Nuaimi, secretary general of the Council, said:

"We have to step up and guide particularly the youth about the challenges facing the Muslim world on how to restrain terrorism and extremism."

Full report at: khaleejtimes.com/nation/general/muslim-council-to-deploy-more-peace-envoys

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Onslaughts against gays and lesbians challenge Indonesia’s LGBT rights movement

February 24, 2016 10.23am AEDT

Diana Teresa Pakasi does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond the academic appointment above.

The Conversation is funded by CSIRO, Melbourne, Monash, RMIT, UTS, UWA, ACU, ANSTO, ANU, Canberra, CDU, CQU, Curtin, Deakin, ECU, Flinders, Griffith, the Harry Perkins Institute, JCU, La Trobe, Murdoch, Newcastle, UQ, QUT, Swinburne, Sydney, UNDA, UNE, UniSA, UNSW, USC, USQ, UTAS, UWS, VU and Wollongong.

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Full report at: theconversation.com/onslaughts-against-gays-and-lesbians-challenge-indonesias-lgbt-rights-movement-54639

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Africa

‘Libya can’t fend for itself’: UN official says 1mn in dire need of urgent medical supplies

24 Feb, 2016

Islamic State, Libyan conflict

"Our estimation is that by the end of March, Libya may run out of life saving medications which will impact about 1 million people," said Ali Al-Zatari, the United Nations humanitarian coordinator for Libya, as cited by Reuters.

Political unrest in the North African country is not helping matters, making it difficult to coordinate deliveries of life-saving medicines. Al-Zatari says there is a drastic shortage of pharmaceuticals needed to try and treat diseases such as cancer, while he is also worried about the state of hospitals in Libya, which are not receiving adequate funding.

Al-Zatari was recently in the city of Benghazi, where he observed that only one or two hospitals out of a dozen were working. He also said that patients were not getting the care that they needed.

"It is really difficult for a hospital to continue like this in a town that is witnessing constant daily fighting in certain parts," he said.

Dozens of authorities in Libya

Full report at: rt.com/news/333443-libya-aid-un-crisis/

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Europe

Spain arrests 9 PKK, 4 ISIL militants

February 23, 2016

Spanish authorities arrested nine people accused of belonging to and collaborating with criminal and terrorist organizations due to connections with the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which fights against NATO ally Turkey.

The move against PKK sympathizers and members has come at a time when Spanish security forces are intensifying a crackdown on radical militant networks on Spanish territory.

Full report at: todayszaman.com/national_spain-arrests-9-pkk-4-isil-militants_413104.html

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Syria Truce Centre Launched At Khmeimim Airbase, Russia Hands over Hotline Contact To US

24 Feb, 2016

Russian servicemen at the Hmeimim military base in Syria © Dmitriy Vinogradov / Sputnik

A coordination centre to reconcile the warring parties in Syria has started its work at the Khmeimin airbase near Latakia, Russia's Defense Ministry says. Moscow has also handed over the hotline contact to the US, as required by the joint plan to monitor the truce.

The coordination center created at the airbase Russia has been using for its anti-terror campaign in Syria will monitor the various sides’ compliance with the ceasefire.

It also plans to help establish contacts between the Syrian government and the opposition, the Defense Ministry’s spokesman, Major General Igor Konashenkov, said in a statement Tuesday.

The centre will “render the maximum assistance” to everyone who applies to it, Konashenkov said. This however excludes Islamic State and Al-Nusra militants as well as other terrorist groups designated by the UN Security Council.

Full report at: rt.com/news/333381-syria-reconciliation-russia-hotline/

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EU, UN criticize Balkan police crackdown on Afghan migrants

By KHAAMA PRESS - Wed Feb 24 2016

The European Union and United Nations on Tuesday criticized new police restrictions imposed on those traveling along the main migrant route through the Balkans, where hundreds of Afghans have been blocked from crossing into Macedonia, Associated Press reports.

Police chiefs from EU nations Austria, Croatia and Slovenia plus non-members Serbia and Macedonia agreed last week to only allow in people “arriving from war-torn areas.”

They decided migrants must carry identity documents, be fleeing a conflict zone and have a “registration form issued by Greek authorities.” The new rules block entry for people wanting to reunite with families, avoid military recruitment or escape “personal disputes.”

Full report at: khaama.com/eu-un-criticize-balkan-police-crackdown-on-afghan-migrants-4598

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Russian car exports to resume to Syria and Lebanon

24 Feb, 2016

Russia’s flagship automaker AvtoVaz has confirmed plans on restart sales of its automobiles in Syria and Lebanon.

Visitors look at the Lada Granta CNG fueled by natural gas and petrol, presented at the 2013 AutoSib exhibition in Novosibirsk (RIA Novosti / Alexandr Kryazhev) AvtoVAZ sells low-cost Lada cars to Europe to test demand

“AvtoVaz intends to begin exporting vehicles to Syria and Lebanon with the help of our partner Nissan,” a source from the company’s press center told RIA Novosti.

The exact dates and numbers are not yet known, but AvtoVaz expects to return to the Syrian market when the situation there is normalized.

Full report at: rt.com/business/333453-avtovaz-cars-sales-resume/

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North America

How US Muslims should fight Islamophobia — by voting

February 24, 2016

FLORIDA: On a cool Friday evening in Florida, while beaches and restaurants are brimming with weekend crowds, not everyone is given the luxury of enjoying the weather. Some Muslims at a local mosque in South Florida are spending their two day break learning how to use 40,000-volt tasers and pepper sprays.

Nezar Hamze, a deputy sheriff at Broward County, trains Muslims at a local mosque in the South, teaching them self-defence. But unlike other self-defence classes, Hamze prepares his students for a completely different challenge: a possible attack on a mosque by a “radical” American fuelled by anti-Muslim sentiments, currently on the rise in the United States.

According to Hamze, anti-Islam sentiment particularly peaks during election years. Right-wing extremists attack Muslims to rally support and build followings by pitting one community against the other. “They insult Muslims, they insult Islam,” Hamze says. “Because certain groups in the US like that.”

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1239926/how-us-muslims-should-fight-islamophobia-by-voting

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Russia role vital to Syrian truce, but US has ‘Plan B’ – Kerry

24 Feb, 2016

The US is discussing “Plan B” options should the Syrian ceasefire and political transition fail, Secretary of State John Kerry told a Senate committee, while praising Moscow’s crucial role in brokering the agreement reached by the US and Russia.

“There is a significant discussion taking place now about a Plan B in the event that we do not succeed at the [negotiating] table,” Kerry said while giving testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday.

The Secretary was challenged by senators on the prospects of the ceasefire, which is scheduled to come into effect across Syria at midnight on Saturday (22:00 GMT Friday). Proposed by the Russian and American presidents on Monday, the cessation of hostilities includes all “parties to the Syrian conflict that have indicated their commitment.”

According to the plan, those who agree to the conditions must abstain from attacking any of the other sides in conflict with weapons, including rockets, mortars, and anti-tank guided missiles.

Full report at: rt.com/usa/333419-kerry-plan-ceasefire-syria/

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US says ISIL foreign fighter ranks drop to 25,000

February 24, 2016

A top Obama administration official says the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) ranks of foreign fighters have dropped to about 25,000 from a peak of 35,000.

Brett McGurk is the US special envoy for the global coalition to counter ISIL. He says fighters from 120 countries have joined the group.

McGurk is touting progress in the US-led effort to defeat ISIL. He says the extremist group is under pressure and has cut fighters' salaries by about half.

McGurk says President Barack Obama will get an update on diplomatic and political efforts Thursday at the State Department.

todayszaman.com/world_us-says-isil-foreign-fighter-ranks-drop-to-25000_413136.html

 

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-edit-bureau/indian-muslims--not-doing-badly-,-top-jihadi-said/d/106453

 

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