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Islamic World News ( 6 Feb 2016, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Militants Deploy Child Soldiers to Fight in Syria's Aleppo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: Syrian government soldiers celebrate after taking control of a village, in north of the embattled city of Aleppo, from rebel fighters. (AFP photo)

 

Arab World

Militants Deploy Child Soldiers to Fight in Syria's Aleppo

Syria Says Any Foreign Troops Entering the Country Would Return ‘In Coffins’

Iraq PM dismisses Baghdad wall plans

Two Local ISIL Command Centers Razed by Syrian Jets

Military Strategist: Liberation of Nubl-Al-Zahra Presented Change in Global Warfare Tactics

UAE ready to send ground troops to Syria

Syrian Army Fends off Militants' Offensives East of Damascus

Russian Warplanes Strike Militant Centers Hard East of Lattakia

IRGC Commander: No Need to Dispatch Foreign Forces to Syria

Syrian Government Forces Cut off Ezaz-Aleppo Highway

ISIL Militants Trapped in Ancient Assyrian Town in Syrian Province of Homs

Syrian Army, Hezbollah Cut off Militants' Main Supply Route from Turkey

After entering Aleppo, the Syrian army may set its sights on Raqqa

Syrians flee to Turkish border, 35,000 arrived in 48 hours

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Pakistan

Bike-Borne Suicide Bomber Kills 8 in Pakistan

A Tale of Two Sharifs: Raheel Spares Nawaz Of His ‘General’ Problems

Pakistan to insist on Kashmir as main course on dialogue table

Pakistan Army seeks funds from finance ministry to raise new security division

Over 2,000 Pakistanis stranded in Jeddah as PIA strike continues

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South Asia

37 Daesh, Taliban Militants Killed In Security Operations In Afghanistan

Two Taliban Commanders Gunned Down In Maidan Wardak

NDS Arrests Would-Be Suicide Bomber Who Had Placed Explosives on His Head, Covered With a Cap

Five ISI Agents Arrested In Badakhshan

Policeman Martyred, Judges Including Six Wounded In Logar Explosion

Iran, India and Russia should be part of peace process: Karzai

Afghanistan, China would soon ink agreement for railway construction

India brought 184 Afghan athletes in special chartered flight for South Asian Games

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North America

University of Iowa Gives Growing Muslim Student Population Prayer Space

Spokesman: American Prisoners Released Only after US Accepted Conditions

Wheaton will not fire professor over Muslim worship comments, but she will leave college

What's it like being a Muslim during the US presidential elections?

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Mideast

Turkey to US: Choose either Turkey or the PYD as Your Partner

Official: Iran Confiscates ISIL-Bound Cargo of Guillotines

Turkey: Reaching limits but will keep taking in refugees

Israeli army lifts blockade of West Bank town

Turkey introduces tighter visa requirements for Iraqi citizens

World pledges more aid for refugees, ignoring permanency of crisis

Iran’s oil sales to Europe above 300,000 barrels

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India

First Event Promoting Muslim Entrepreneurship in India Taking Place Today in Pune

'Sardana, Son of a Major General's Mail Talks of Serial Blasts in India'

Azam Khan Claims PM met Dawood Ibrahim in Pakistan, government rubbishes allegation

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Europe

EU Urges Turkey to Keep Border Open To Migrants

Compiled by New Age Islam Edit Bureau

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-edit-bureau/militants-deploy-child-soldiers-to-fight-in-syria-s-aleppo/d/106260

 

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Arab World

Militants Deploy Child Soldiers to Fight in Syria's Aleppo

Feb 7, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- At least four different terrorist groups have begun to use child soldiers in their fight against the Syrian government forces in Aleppo province after the latter launched a large-scale offensive to capture the militant-held regions of the province in the North.

The Syrian army confirmed that the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front, the Free Syrian Army (FSA), Ahrar al-Sham, and Harakat Nouriddeen al-Zinki have used children as fresh combatants in a number of firefights to fight against the government forces in the Northern part of Aleppo .

Some of the children were described as “pre-teen” and unable to properly fire the automatic rifles they were being sent to battle with.

The latest child soldier to be killed in Northern Aleppo was identified as Mohammad Qassem.

 Qassem was reportedly killed at the battle of Ratyan when the government forces overran the militants' defense lines.

It appears that a severe lack of manpower for the Islamist rebels has left them in a chaotic state that has their leadership deploying children to fight their battles against the Syrian government forces and their allies in Northern Syria.

Earlier reports said that the Syrian pro-government forces pushed the militant groups back from more territories in the Southern parts of Aleppo province and restored security to one more village following hours of heavy clashes.

The Syrian Army, the National Defense Forces (NDF), Kataebat al-Ba’ath (Al-Ba’ath Battalions”, and the Palestinian “Liwa Al-Quds” (Jerusalem Brigade) imposed full control over the important village of al-Khalidiyah along the Aleppo-Damascus Highway (M-5 Highway).

The Syrian Armed Forces and their allies launched a counter-attack against al-Nusra Front, Harakat Nouriddeen al-Zinki, Liwa Suqour al-Sham, and Harakat Ahrar al-Sham from their positions at the strategic town of Khan Touman, killing several enemy combatants before they fled South from al-Khalidiyah.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941118000547

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Syria says any foreign troops entering the country would return ‘in coffins’

AP | Feb 6, 2016

DAMASCUS: Syria's foreign minister warned on Saturday that Saudi or other foreign troops entering his country would "return home in wooden coffins" and asserted that recent military advances put his government "on track" to end the five-year-old civil war.

Walid al-Moallem's comments capped a week that saw the collapse of the latest UN-led Syria peace efforts and a Russian-backed Syrian government offensive near the city of Aleppo that sent thousands of residents fleeing toward Turkey.

A Turkish official said on Saturday that as many as 35,000 Syrians had massed along the closed border.

Suleyman Tapsiz, governor of the border province of Kilis, said Turkey would send aid to the displaced, but had no immediate plans to let them in. He said Turkey was prepared to open the gates in the event of an "extraordinary crisis."

The Norwegian refugee council said thousands of Syrians have arrived at seven of the main informal camps close to the Turkish border. The group said the camps were already at capacity before the latest influx, and that aid groups are working around the clock to deliver tents and essential items to the displaced.

In Amsterdam, EU foreign ministers held informal talks on Saturday with their Turkish counterpart.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini urged Turkey to open its borders to the Syrians and said the EU is providing aid to Ankara exactly for such purposes. She said the displaced are "Syrians in need for international protection," and that this was the message delivered in the meeting.

Some of the refugees found shelter in Afrin, a Kurdish enclave to Aleppo's north controlled by a militia known as the YPG, said a Kurdish official, Idris Naasan. The militia hoped to prevent a humanitarian disaster and help those stuck at the border, he said.

The week had begun on a somewhat hopeful note, with UN envoy Staffan de Mistura declaring the launch of indirect talks between a Syrian government delegation and opposition representatives in Geneva.

However, he was forced to adjourn by mid-week, after the opposition said there was no point negotiating while pro-government troops backed by Russian airstrikes escalated attacks and gained ground north of Aleppo, once Syria's largest city. The offensive appeared aimed at encircling strongholds rebels have held in the city since 2012.

The breakdown of the talks was followed by a warning from opposition backer Saudi Arabia that it is ready, in principle, to send ground troops to Syria, albeit in the context of the US-led military campaign against Islamic State extremists who control large areas of Syria and Iraq.

Russia's defence ministry meanwhile said it had "reasonable grounds" to suspect that Turkey, another opposition ally, is making intensive preparations for a military invasion of Syria.

In his news conference on Saturday, al-Moallem signaled a newfound confidence on the part of the Syrian government, boosted by growing Russian military support. This week alone, Russian warplanes hit close to 900 targets across Syria, including near Aleppo.

The foreign minister said recent territorial gains signal that the war is nearing its end.

"I can say, from the achievements for our armed forces ... that we are now on track to end the conflict," he said. "Like it or not, our battlefield achievements indicate that we are headed toward the end of the crisis."

He called on rebel fighters to "come to their senses" and lay down their weapons.

Asked about the possibility of Saudi ground troops entering Syria, he said logic would suggest this is unlikely, but that "with the crazy Saudi leadership nothing is far-fetched." "Any ground intervention in Syria, without the consent of the Syrian government, will be considered an aggression that should be resisted by every Syrian citizen," he said. "I regret to say that they will return home in wooden coffins."

He repeated the line three times during the one-hour news conference, saying it applies to anyone who attacks Syria with ground troops.

Iran, another military ally of Syria, ridiculed Saudi Arabia.

The semi-official Fars news agency quoted Gen Mohammad Ali Jafari, commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, as saying he didn't think the Saudis were "brave enough" to send ground troops. "They talk big," Jafari said. "But even if it happens, it won't be bad because they would be definitely defeated."

Iran on Saturday held funerals for six soldiers, including a senior Guard commander, Gen Mohsen Ghajarian, who were killed in northern Syria while fighting alongside government troops.

Iran has said it has dispatched military advisers to Syria, but denies sending combat troops. A number of Iranians have been killed in recent months, including several high-ranking commanders.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Syria-says-any-foreign-troops-entering-the-country-would-return-in-coffins/articleshow/50883020.cms

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Iraq PM dismisses Baghdad wall plans

AP | Feb 7, 2016

BAGHDAD: The Iraqi Prime Minister is dismissing plans to build a wall around the Iraqi capital, according to a statement released by his office on Saturday night.

The plan for the wall was originally drafted by the interior ministry as an effort to prevent Islamic State group attacks inside Baghdad.

"Baghdad is the capital for all Iraqis and it's not possible for a wall or a fence to isolate the city," Haider al-Abadi said in the statement.

The interior ministry's spokesman, police Brig Gen Saad Maan, told The Associated Press last week that work had begun on the wall and that it would reduce the number of checkpoints inside the city.

Bombings and attacks are still a near daily occurrence in Baghdad, mainly targeting security forces and the country's Shiite majority.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Iraq-PM-dismisses-Baghdad-wall-plans/articleshow/50887354.cms

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Two Local ISIL Command Centers Razed by Syrian Jets

Feb 7, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Two local ISIL command centers in the Eastern regions of Aleppo province were razed in an intensive aerial operation by Syrian jets on Sunday, informed sources on the ground said.

The Syrian aircraft, in the airstrikes which were conducted over Rasm al-Elm and Al-Sin, managed to demolish the buildings that ISIL terrorists were using as their command centers in two villages in the Northern Aleppo province.

Also on Sunday, Syrian army tanks, taking on the Takfiri terrorists' lines in Aleppo province on Sunday, managed to push back the militants further in a strategic town in the province and cut off ISIL's transfer and supply routes in the region, informed sources said.

"The pro-government forces, during an intensive operation to recapture the town of Mayer, cut off the Ezaz-Aleppo road by winning back the town; therefore, the road, which was formerly controlled by the Takfiri militants to transfer their forces and hardware, has been effectively blocked by government forces and their allies," the sources said.

The Syrian army and its popular allies continue marching on terrorists' positions in the region, heavily pounding their positions and gatherings in Bayanoun and Kefin villages by artillery and missile fire.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941118000809

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Military Strategist: Liberation of Nubl-Al-Zahra Presented Change in Global Warfare Tactics

Feb 7, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior military strategist underlined that the recent victory of the Syrian army and its allies in Nubl and al-Zahra towns in Northwestern Aleppo province has provided a new model for the world armies and revolutionized military tactics at an international level.

The Syrian army broke the terrorists' four-year-long siege of Nubl and al-Zahra in Aleppo province on Wednesday afternoon.

"Breaking the siege of Nubl and al-Zahra presented a new military model and tactic to the world's military knowledge," Hasan Hasan told FNA on Sunday.

He reiterated that the Syrian army's victory in Nubl and al-Zahra is a success that Damascus should take pride in as it proved the Syrian army's extraordinary power.

In relevant remarks on Saturday, a senior military commander whose forces defeated the terrorists in Nubl and Al-Zahra and ended the siege of the two cities, said their victory proved that they can crush terrorists and bring back entire Syria under Damascus control.

"Breaking the siege of Nubl and al-Zahra proved that the Syrian army is capable of seizing back any region in the country," the Syrian commander who is known by his nom de guerre 'The Lion of Nubl' told FNA.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941118000620

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UAE ready to send ground troops to Syria

7 February 2016

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) said on Sunday it was ready to send ground troops to Syria as part of an international coalition to fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militant group.

Asked if the UAE was ready to send troops if need be, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said at a media briefing in the Emirati capital Abu Dhabi: "This has been our position throughout."

"We have been frustrated at the slow pace .... of confronting Daesh," he added, referring to ISIS by its Arabic acronym.

"We are not talking about thousands of troops but we are talking about troops on the ground that will lead the way ... that will support ... and I think our position remains the same and we will have to see how this progresses," he said.

Gargash added "U.S. leadership on this" would be a prerequisite for the UAE.

Saudi Arabia said last week it was ready to participate in any ground operations in Syria if the U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIS militants in Syria and Iraq decided to start such operations.

Syria would resist any ground incursion into its territory and send the aggressors home "in coffins", its foreign minister said on Saturday, in comments clearly aimed at Sunni Arab countries that have said they were ready to join such an operation.

english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/02/07/UAE-ready-to-send-ground-troops-to-Syria.html

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Syrian Army Fends off Militants' Offensives East of Damascus

Feb 7, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army repelled Jeish al-Islam terrorist group's assaults in Eastern Ghouta and forced them to retreat from the battlefield after leaving behind several dead or wounded members.

The Syrian army troops thwarted the attempts of Jeish al-Islam in Tal Kurdi to infiltrate into the government forces' defense lines.

In the meantime, the Syrian army continued to advance against the militants in Eastern Ghouta and took back control over al-Reihan and Abu Yasin Farms

The Syrian army's artillery and missile units opened fire at the militant groups' positions near Tal Kurdi and Tal al-Swan, which claimed the lives of several terrorists.

On Saturday, the Syrian army troops completed siege of a crucially important city in Eastern Ghouta.

The Syrian Arab Army’s 63rd Brigade of the 4th Mechanized Division arrived to the Four Seasons Neighborhood of Darayya in order to begin what is likely the final push to capture this strategic city in Western Ghouta.

The Syrian army confirmed that its troops were making their final preparations before they launch the massive military operation to seize the city of Darayya from the terrorists of Ajnad al-Sham and al-Nusra Front.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941118000863

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Russian Warplanes Strike Militant Centers Hard East of Lattakia

Feb 7, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Russian fighter jets, in a fresh round of combat flights, bombed the militant groups' concentration centers in the mountainous regions of the coastal province of Lattakia, claiming the lives of many terrorists.

The Russian air fleet hit the terrorists' centers and positions near Kinsibba in Kurds mountain in the Eastern part of the province.

Scores of the militants were killed and wounded and their military equipment and vehicles were also destroyed in the air raids.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941118000772

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IRGC Commander: No Need to Dispatch Foreign Forces to Syria

Feb 7, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Lieutenant Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Brigadier General Hossein Salami lauded the recent Syrian military gains against the terrorist groups, maintaining that there is no need to send foreign troops to the war-ravaged country.

"The good news is that Syria is in good conditions and it is getting even better day by day," Salami told FNA in the Northeastern city of Mashhad on Sunday.

Asked about the need to send troops to Syria, he said, "There is no need to send forces to Syria. Those already there are more than enough to battle the terrorist outfits."

Syrian army, popular forces and Hezbollah backed up by the Russian air force and receiving Iranian military recommendations, strategies and combat tactics have scored a growing number of victories in almost all lines of engagement, specially in the provinces of Aleppo, Lattakia, Hama and Damascus.

Iran and Hezbollah have been helping the Syrian army and popular forces in retaking control over the country's towns back from the terrorists.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941118000717

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Syrian Government Forces Cut off Ezaz-Aleppo Highway

Feb 7, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Syrian army tanks, taking on Takfiri terrorists' lines in Aleppo province on Sunday, managed to push back the militants further in a strategic town in the Northern province and cut off ISIL's transfer and supply routes in the region, informed sources said.

"The pro-government forces, during an intensive operation to recapture the town of Mayer, cut off the Ezaz-Aleppo road by winning back the town; therefore, the road, which was formerly controlled by the Takfiri militants to transfer their forces and hardware, has been effectively blocked by government forces and their allies," the sources said.

The Syrian army and its popular allies continue marching on terrorists' positions in the region, heavily pounding their positions and gatherings in Bayanoun and Kefin villages by artillery and missile fire.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941118000723

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ISIL Militants Trapped in Ancient Assyrian Town in Syrian Province of Homs

Feb 7, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army said its soldiers and popular forces have advanced against the ISIL militants in the Eastern part of Homs province and have deployed their units around the town of Quaryatayn, adding that pro-government forces are readying to launch the final attack on the town.

The Syrian army, the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP) and the National Defense Forces (NDF) reached the Western side of Quaryatayn and surrounded the town from three sides, leaving the ISIL with only one route to flee the area.

The government forces are waiting for their allies from Liwa Suqour al-Sahra (Desert Hawks Brigade) and Dara’ Qalamoun (Qalamoun Shield) to capture the al-Mahsa Mountain to the South.

On Saturday, the Syrian air forces pounded the military hardware of the Takfiri terrorists in the eastern parts of Homs province, specially near Palmyra (also known as Tadmur).

The Syrian fighter jets destroyed ISIL's several military vehicles in the surrounding areas of Jabal al-Sha'er (Sha'er mountain) in Palmyra in Homs province, the Arab media outlets quoted an unnamed military source as saying.

Scores of ISIL militants were killed and wounded in the Syrian air force's strikes on their military positions, the reports said.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941118000493

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Syrian Army, Hezbollah Cut off Militants' Main Supply Route from Turkey

Feb 7, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army troops alongside Hezbollah fighters drove the militant groups back from their main supply line near the border with Turkey and imposed full control over the highway.

The Syrian army men and Hezbollah ultimately cut off the terrorist groups' main supply route from the Turkish city of Gaziantep, marking the first time in nearly 3 years that they have had a presence along the Aleppo-Gaziantep Highway that stretches through the Aleppo province's Northern countryside.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941118000402

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Official: Iran Confiscates ISIL-Bound Cargo of Guillotines

Feb 7, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iranian customs authorities have discovered and seized a cargo bound for the ISIL terrorist group, an official disclosed on Sunday.

"Few days ago, we seized a cargo containing guillotines (an apparatus designed for efficiently carrying out executions by beheading) that was headed to the ISIL," Director-General of Iran's Customs Office for Transit Affairs Vahid Dashtbani told the Iranian Seday-e Eqtesad daily on Sunday.

The Iranian security forces have in the past foiled many ISIL plots to create insecurity and tension within the country.

Head of Iran’s Cyber Police (FATA) Brigadier General Seyed Kamal Hadianfar had announced in December that 53 supporters of the ISIL terrorist group were identified and arrested in Iran in almost two years.

"The FATA (Cyber) Police has identified 285 websites affiliated to those who supported the ISIL or promoted ISIL's thoughts in Iran in the past 20 months," Hadianfar told reporters in a press conference in Tehran.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941118000475

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After entering Aleppo, the Syrian army may set its sights on Raqqa

Iran’s oil sales to Europe above 300,000 barrels

Reuters — Updated about 5 hours ago

DUBAI: Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said on Satu­r­day that Iran’s crude oil sales to Europe after the lifting of international sanctions on Tehran had already reached above 300,000 barrels, according to the ministry’s news agency.

Iran’s oil exports, which had peaked at more than 3 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2011, fell to a little more than 1 million bpd after tougher sanctions were imposed in 2012 because of its nuclear programme.

After the rubber-stamping of the nuclear deal with world powers last year, however, Tehran has ordered a 500,000 bpd increase in oil output.

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1237869/irans-oil-sales-to-europe-above-300000-barrels

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Syrians flee to Turkish border, 35,000 arrived in 48 hours

February 06, 2016

Russian and Syrian government forces on Saturday intensified an assault on rebel-held areas around the Syrian city of Aleppo that has prompted tens of thousands to seek refuge across the border in Turkey.

The assault around Aleppo, which aid workers have said could soon fall to government forces, helped to torpedo Syrian peace talks in Geneva this week. Russia's intervention has tipped the balance of the war in favor of President Bashar al-Assad, reversing gains the rebels made last year.

Full report at: todayszaman.com/diplomacy_syrians-flee-to-turkish-border-35000-arrived-in-48-hours_411610.html

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Pakistan

Bike-borne suicide bomber kills 8 in Pakistan

AP | Feb 7, 2016

QUETTA: Police say a suicide bomber riding on a bicycle has targeted a vehicle carrying security forces in southwestern Pakistan, killing at least eight people and wounding more than 20.

Senior police officer Imtiaz Shah said the attacker blew himself up on Saturday near a vehicle belonging to the paramilitary Frontier Corps in Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province.

Government spokesman Anwar Kakar said the attack killed six civilians and two members of the security forces. No one claimed the attack.

Baluchistan has long been the scene of a low-level insurgency by Baloch separatist groups. Islamic militants also operate in the province.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Bike-borne-suicide-bomber-kills-8-in-Pakistan/articleshow/50880224.cms

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A tale of two Sharifs: Raheel spares Nawaz of his ‘general’ problems

Sameer Arshad | TNN | Feb 7, 2016

When Raheel Sharif retires in November, he would be Pakistan's first army chief, appointed under Nawaz Sharif's prime ministership, to leave the coveted post on time in 25 years.

The all-powerful general on January 25 clarified he would retire as per schedule amid a clamour for his extension. The announcement must have been music to Nawaz's ears as Raheel has overshadowed him with action against the Taliban.

Once bitten, twice shy Nawaz has mellowed down and been more accommodative in accepting military's role in key policy-making areas in his third term. He lost power twice in the 1990s thanks to tussles with generals for civilian supremacy, ironically after beginning his career as military ruler Zia-ul-Haq's protege.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/A-tale-of-two-Sharifs-Raheel-spares-Nawaz-of-his-general-problems/articleshow/50884531.cms

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Pakistan to insist on Kashmir as main course on dialogue table

Sachin Parashar | TNN | Feb 7, 2016

NEW DELHI: Islamabad is looking to raise the ante on Kashmir as India and Pakistan seek a mutually convenient date for foreign secretary-level dialogue which is meant to launch the recently announced comprehensive bilateral dialogue (CBD) process. Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif's adviser on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz said on Saturday that Kashmir was going to top the agenda for talks, expected to begin with foreign secretary S Jaishankar's visit to Islamabad soon.

On 'Kashmir Solidarity Day', which fell on Friday, Sharif himself had reiterated that development and peace in South Asia would not be possible until the Kashmir issue was resolved. Aziz was on Saturday quoted by Radio Pakistan as having said that Islamabad was urging the international community to fulfil its responsibility towards implementation of the UN resolutions on Kashmir.

Pakistan seems to have made up its mind, as sources in Islamabad said, that no progress in bilateral ties is possible until the comprehensive dialogue to discuss outstanding issues, most notably J&K, is held. Pakistan is clearly not inclined to have a meeting between the national security advisers, even a clandestine one, until the foreign secretaries meet.

'India will continue to engage with Pak'

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Pakistan-to-insist-on-Kashmir-as-main-course-on-dialogue-table/articleshow/50884454.cms

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Pakistan Army seeks funds from finance ministry to raise new security division

Feb 7, 2016

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Army has sought additional funds from the finance ministry to raise a new security division and an additional 28 security battalions, it emerged on Sunday.

A statement released by the ministry of finance said senior officials from the army had a meeting with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar at his ministry in Islamabad, where the demand for “financing and the release of funds” was made by military officials.

The statement quoted Dar as saying that the “government attaches the highest importance to security matters” and assured the “provision of funds for the new security division and additional battalions.”

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1237985/army-seeks-funds-from-finance-ministry-to-raise-new-security-division

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Over 2,000 Pakistanis stranded in Jeddah as PIA strike continues

February 7th, 2016

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) employees’ strike and the suspension of flight operations entered its fifth day on Saturday, affecting PIA passengers at home and abroad.

Currently, over 2,000 are Pakistanis stranded in Jeddah due to the suspension of flights, and neither the government nor PIA itself have approached them since providing them with residence at a local hotel in the city.

Many of these passengers are particularly worried because their visas will expire in two days time. “We fear that the Saudi police will arrest us on charges of visa expiry, as most people’s visas will expire in a week, or three or four days,” Usman Qureshi, a Pakistani stranded in Jeddah, told Dawn over telephone.

He said he had been stranded in Jeddah for three days, and hadn’t heard a response from PIA officials or the Pakistan embassy in Saudi Arabia.

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1237937/over-2000-pakistanis-stranded-in-jeddah-as-pia-strike-continues

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South Asia

37 Daesh, Taliban Militants Killed In Security Operations In Afghanistan

By Khaama Press - Sun Feb 07 2016

37 militants have been killed in newest security operations in different parts of the country, the Ministry of Defense announced on Sunday morning.

According to a statement issued by the ministry, six of the terrorists killed were commanders of Taliban group.

They include Qari Bashir and Haji Khalid who were collecting intelligence information for Taliban in Dand-e-Ghori District.

Other important members of Taliban killed during these operations include Mullah Ismail, Mullah Mutahid, Haji Mullah and Mutaqi, the group’s commanders for Nad Ali and Marjah districts of Helmand District.

Ministry of Defense press release adds that 21 other insurgents from Taliban and 14 from Daesh have been wounded in these operations.

The operations were carried out in Kot District of Nangarhar, Guzara District of Herat, Dand-e-Ghori District of Baghlan, in Suzma Kala of Sar-e-Pul, Ali Abad of Kundoz, Nad Ali and Marjah districts of Helmand province.

Four suspects were also detained by security forces during these operations.

khaama.com/37-daesh-taliban-militants-killed-in-security-operations-4556

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Two Taliban commanders gunned down in Maidan Wardak

By Khaama Press - Sun Feb 07 2016

Police have killed two Taliban commanders in Narkh District of central Maidan Wardak province, the Ministry of Interior announced on Sunday.

According to a statement released by the ministry, one raid was conducted in Deh Muslim area last night in which Baryalai was gunned down along with his bodyguard.

Baryalai was involved in most of the attacks on the cellular phone towers in the area.

The second raid was conducted in Shah Kabuli area around 6 am this morning in which another Taliban commander by the name of Abdul Wahid was killed.

Police have not suffered casualties in these operations, the press release adds.

khaama.com/two-taliban-commanders-gunned-down-in-maidan-wardak-4554

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NDS arrests would-be suicide bomber who had placed explosives on his head, covered with a cap

By Khaama Press - Sun Feb 07 2016

The National Directorate of Security (NDS) – Afghanistan’s intelligence agency has arrested a would-be suicide bomber who had placed explosive materials on his head and covered them with a cap.

The terrorist had intended to get to his target inside the police headquarters of southern Helmand province.

A statement released by NDS on Sunday states that Mohammad Musa S/P Haji Shinwari was prepared for suicide attack by Hafiz Mahmood, a Taliban guide for suicide bombings.

According to the statement, Mohammad Musa was trying to enter into the police headquarters for attack but NDS detained him before he could reach to his target.

The arrested terrorist has admitted carrying out a number of attacks in the past including bomb blast on a police vehicle.

NDS statements usually do not contain exact date of the achievements but they come after recent activities.

khaama.com/nds-arrests-would-be-suicide-bomber-who-had-placed-explosives-on-his-head-covered-by-a-cap-4554

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Five ISI agents arrested in Badakhshan

By Khaama Press - Sun Feb 07 2016

The National Directorate of Security (NDS)—Afghanistan’s intelligence agency has arrested five agents of Pakistan’s spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in northeastern Afghanistan.

Security officials in Badakhshan province say the arrested ISI agents include two men and three women who had covered themselves as health workers in Baharak and Kisham districts.

Officials add that police also took part in the operation to arrest the agents.

Public Health Directorate of Badakhshan province says the arrested suspects do not have any documents to indicate that they are doctors or have received medical training.

Earlier, residents of Wardooj District of Badakhshan province complained that a number of Pakistani generals have entered into their district and met Taliban commanders.

Badakhshan was comparatively a peaceful province of Afghanistan but it has been witnessing its worst security since last year.

khaama.com/isi-agents-arrested-in-badakhshan-4557

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Policeman martyred, judges including six wounded in Logar explosion

By Khaama Press - Sun Feb 07 2016

A policeman has embraced martyrdom in a landmine explosion in Pul-i-Alam, capital of central Logar province.

Governor’s spokesperson said the blast targeted vehicle of Haqiq-ur-Rahmand Haqmal, head of the appeal court around 9 am this morning.

Saleem Salih added that a policeman who was with judges for their security died and six others sustained injuries.

Those wounded include Haqmal, head of the city court Abdul Basit and four civilians, Salih said.

Taliban have claimed responsibility for the blast.

Located some 60 km south of Kabul, Logar is comparatively a restive province of Afghanistan where armed militants are operating in a number of its districts.

They often carry out attacks in the provincial capital as well.

Besides Taliban, insurgents loyal to Gulbuddin Hekmatyar’s Hizb-e-Islami and Daesh also operate in Logar but most of the attacks in this province are carried out by Taliban.

khaama.com/breaking-news-explosion-targets-vehicle-carrying-judges-in-logar-4553

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Iran, India and Russia should be part of peace process: Karzai

By Khaama Press - Sun Feb 07 2016

The former Afghan President Hamid Karzai has said that the key regional countries, including Iran, India and Russia should be part of the Afghan reconciliation process with the Taliban group.

The remarks by Karzai comes amid ongoing efforts by the Quadrilateral Coordination Group, involving Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and United States to revive stalled peace talks.

“If absence of peace in Afghanistan is because of internal disputes, then we, ourselves, should hold talks to settle our differences. However, the problem in Afghanistan is because of external factors. It is the interests of outside powers that have engulfed our country,” Karzai quoted in a report by Iran’s Fars News Agency said.

Karzai further added “Pakistan, China and the US are involved in the negotiations, making efforts to bring peace to Afghanistan. However, Iran, India and Russia, which are important regional states and neighbors, should also be part of the process.”

Full report at: khaama.com/iran-india-and-russia-should-be-part-of-peace-process-karzai-0092

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Afghanistan, China would soon ink agreement for railway construction

By Zabihullah Moosakhail - Sun Feb 07 2016

China would soon ink an agreement with Afghanistan for starting work on the railway to connect the two countries.

These comments were expressed by Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing in a meeting with President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani at the Presidential Palace “ARG” on Friday.

Jing said after the visit of China’s vice President to Afghanistan, the impression of his country’s leadership positively changed.

“After the official visit of President Ghani to China, the political, economic and security relationship between the two countries further improved.” Jing added.

President Ghani praised China for its support to Afghanistan and underscored the importance of its role in peace-talks as part of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group mechanism for finding a solution to the Afghan conflict.

The President said he is confident that relationship and friendship between Afghanistan and China would unprecedentedly strengthen which is in the best interest of both nations.

khaama.com/afghanistan-china-would-soon-ink-agreement-for-railway-construction-4553

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India brought 184 Afghan athletes in special chartered flight for South Asian Games

By Khaama Press - Sun Feb 07 2016

The Indian government has reportedly facilitated special chartered flight for 184 Afghan athletes to participate in the South Asian Games 2016.

According to the local media reports, citing government sources, the facility was provided to the Afghan athletes considering the situation in Afghanistan.

“Within a day’s time, Indian Government brought in 184 athletes from Afghanistan to Guwahati using a special chartered flight. The action was taken in an unprecedented move by the Government of India in keeping with the spirit of the Games,” South Asian Games Chief Executive Officer Injeti Srinivas said Saturday.

Srinivas further added that the representatives of the host and participating countries have appreciated the efforts put in by the Games organisers for a glittering, grand and successful opening ceremony last evening.

“It demonstrated the power of sports which highlighted the unifying factors for peace, progress and prosperity amongst the South Asian nations,” Srinivas added.

India is hosting the 12th South Asian Games, a multi-sport event, is the regional Games of the Olympic Council of Asia.

First hosted by Nepal in 1984, the event is unique in itself as it promotes sports with a view to boost up the team spirit as well as an amiable relationship between the South Asian countries.

khaama.com/india-brought-184-afghan-athletes-in-special-chartered-flight-for-south-asian-games-0091

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North America

University of Iowa Gives Growing Muslim Student Population Prayer Space

6 Feb 2016

The University of Iowa (UI) has dedicated two rooms of the Iowa Memorial Union as a prayer space for its growing Muslim student population, which is required to pray five times per day.

“We’ve had students who have tried to find empty rooms, I’ve even heard of a student using a stairwell so we did think this was a very important and necessary thing to respond to,” Dean of Students Lyn Redington said, according to CBS2Iowa. “The University of Iowa is a global, international institution, but we want all of our students to feel welcomed.”

“Normally when I’m on campus, I try to look for an empty room, which may be hard in the day with all these students or if I can’t find a room I’ll go to the top of a staircase and just pray there,” said Mohammed Ismail, a member of the Muslim Student Association (MSA).

The UI MSA posted an announcement to Facebook about the opening of the prayer space which read, “For the first time, Muslim students at the University of Iowa have a safe place to pray on campus.”

Full report at: breitbart.com/big-government/2016/02/06/university-of-iowa-gives-growing-muslim-student-population-prayer-space/

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Spokesman: American Prisoners Released Only after US Accepted Conditions

Feb 7, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Washington accepted Tehran's conditions to secure the release of four American-Iranian nationals, including Jason Rezaian, Judiciary Spokesman Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei said, adding that their release had nothing to do with the nuclear deal.

"Three of the dual-nationals had been sentenced and jailed for their crimes. One convict was Jason Rezaian, who was arrested on espionage charges. He hadn't been sentenced yet. Of course, their release had nothing to do with the ongoing nuclear deal at the time," Mohseni Ejei said in an interview with the state-run TV on Saturday night.

He noted that another person who was in prison on different charges was also freed later.

"The decisions were made by the Supreme National Security Council. Their release was conditional, which the Americans accepted. I cannot reveal the details though," Mohseni Ejei said.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941118000369

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Wheaton will not fire professor over Muslim worship comments, but she will leave college

February 6 2016

In this Dec. 13, 2015 photo, Larycia Hawkins, a Christian, and an associate professor of political science at Wheaton College, a private evangelical school in Wheaton, Ill., wears a hijab at a church service in Chicago.  (Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune via AP)

Wheaton College political science professor Larycia Hawkins has decided to part ways with the college just five days before a faculty hearing was scheduled to help decide her fate at the school, according to an email from president Philip Ryken to the campus on Saturday.

“The Administration and Dr. Hawkins have come to a place of resolution and reconciliation,” Ryken said in his email. “With a mutual desire for God’s blessing, we have decided to part ways.”

Full report at: washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2016/02/06/wheaton-lifts-charges-against-professor-who-said-muslims-and-christians-worship-the-same-god/

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What's it like being a Muslim during the US presidential elections?

7 February 2016

Barack Obama used his first presidential visit to an American mosque on Wednesday to call for writers and producers to create more rounded Muslim characters on television.

If you’re a Muslim living in America, we want to know what you think of Obama’s comments, what it’s like living in the US, and what you think of the presidential candidates’ views of Islam.

The president addressed thousands of attendees at the Islamic Society of Baltimore on Wednesday, and said many Americans do not know a Muslim person and form a “hugely distorted impression” based on TV, film and negative news reports. Since 9/11, Paris and San Bernardino attacks, he continued, “You’ve seen too often people conflating the horrific acts of terrorism with the beliefs of an entire faith.

Full report at: theguardian.com/us-news/2016/feb/06/us-muslims-islam-election-2016

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Mideast

Turkey to US: Choose either Turkey or the PYD as your partner

February 07, 2016

In one of his strongest remarks to date, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has lambasted the US after a senior official's visit last week to the northern Syrian town of Kobani, which is under the control of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), and called on Washington to choose either Turkey or "terrorists in Kobani" as a partner.

Erdoğan directed severe criticism at the visit to the town by Brett McGurk, US President Barack Obama's special envoy for the anti-Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) coalition. The visit came at a time where Geneva peace talks were taking place, and the Turkish president declared that the US should make a choice between the PYD and Turkey.

Erdoğan has called on the US and the European Union to list the major Syrian Kurdish political party and its armed wing as terrorist organizations over their affiliation with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which is fighting against the Turkish state and which is regarded as a terrorist group by Washington and Brussels.

Full report at: todayszaman.com/latest-news_erdogan-to-us-choose-either-turkey-or-the-pyd-as-your-partner_411628.html

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Official: Iran Confiscates ISIL-Bound Cargo of Guillotines

7 February 2016

The Iranian customs authorities have discovered and seized a cargo bound for the ISIL terrorist group, an official disclosed on Sunday.

“Few days ago, we seized a cargo containing guillotines (an apparatus designed for efficiently carrying out executions by beheading) that was headed to the ISIL,” Director-General of Iran’s Customs Office for Transit Affairs Vahid Dashtbani told the Iranian Seday-e Eqtesad daily on Sunday.

The Iranian security forces have in the past foiled many ISIL plots to create insecurity and tension within the country.

Head of Iran’s Cyber Police (FATA) Brigadier General Seyed Kamal Hadianfar had announced in December that 53 supporters of the ISIL terrorist group were identified and arrested in Iran in almost two years.

Full report at: islamicinvitationturkey.com/2016/02/07/official-iran-confiscates-isil-bound-cargo-of-guillotines/

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Turkey: Reaching limits but will keep taking in refugees

7 February 2016

Turkey has reached the end of its “capacity to absorb” refugees but will continue to take them in, Turkey’s deputy premier said Sunday as his country faced mounting pressure to open its border, where tens of thousands of Syrians fleeing a government onslaught have arrived.

Turkish authorities say up to 35,000 Syrians have massed along the border, which remained closed for a third day on Sunday. The governor for the Turkish border province of Kilis said Saturday that Turkey would provide aid to the displaced within Syria, but would only open the gates in the event of an “extraordinary crisis.”

Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus told CNN-Turk television that Turkey is now hosting a total of 3 million refugees, including 2.5 million Syrians.

Full report at: english.alarabiya.net/en/News/2016/02/07/Turkey-Reaching-limits-but-will-keep-taking-in-refugees.html

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Israeli army lifts blockade of West Bank town

7 February 2016

The Israeli army Saturday said it was lifting a blockade imposed on the West Bank town of Qabatiya, from where Palestinians carried out a Jerusalem attack that killed a policewoman.

“Based on an assessment of the situation, it was decided to lift the blockade of Qabatiya,” a military spokeswoman told AFP.

Three men from Qabatiya, near Jenin, on Wednesday attacked police with guns and knives outside Jerusalem’s Old City, killing a female officer and wounding another before being shot dead.

Full report at: english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/02/07/Israeli-army-lifts-blockade-of-West-Bank-town.html

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Turkey introduces tighter visa requirements for Iraqi citizens

February 06, 2016

Turkey has tightened visa requirements for nationals of its neighboring country of Iraq, a new step that an official said reflected Ankara's determination to fight illegal immigration.

Iraqi nationals were previously able to enter Turkey by obtaining a 30-day “sticker” visa issued at border crossings, under a memorandum of understanding signed by the Turkish and Iraqi governments in December 2014.

Under the new rules however, Iraqi nationals who have a valid visa or a residence permit issued by a Schengen country, the US, the UK or Ireland will be able to apply and receive an “e-visa” online to travel to Turkey, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgiç said in a statement on Saturday.

Full report at: todayszaman.com/diplomacy_turkey-introduces-tighter-visa-requirements-for-iraqi-citizens_411612.html

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World pledges more aid for refugees, ignoring permanency of crisis

February 06, 2016

Formidable challenges lie ahead after world leaders pledged more than $10 billion to help fund schools, shelters and jobs for migrants who have fled the Syrian civil war, while the European Union and the rest of the world are still divided over how to raise money and share the burden.

At an aid conference in London on Thursday, leaders and diplomats from 70 countries once more agreed to take immediate measures to improve the process of integrating refugees into their societies in order to cope with the persistent stream of people migrating from the threat of death and persecution in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

According to British Prime Minister David Cameron, who spoke to the press after the meeting, the aid fund to help the millions of Syrians displaced by war and to try to slow the chaotic exodus of refugees to Europe "will save lives, will give hope, will give people the chance of a future."

However, according to leading international aid organizations, there is still a lack of "political action and ambition to resolve the crisis." Even though Peter Maurer, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, welcomed the $10 billion, he told The Associated Press that this sort of humanitarian aid is always just a quick fix and never enough to resolve the issue completely.

Full report at: todayszaman.com/anasayfa_world-pledges-more-aid-for-refugees-ignoring-permanency-of-crisis_411564.html

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Iran’s oil sales to Europe above 300,000 barrels

Reuters — Updated about 5 hours ago

DUBAI: Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said on Satu­r­day that Iran’s crude oil sales to Europe after the lifting of international sanctions on Tehran had already reached above 300,000 barrels, according to the ministry’s news agency.

Iran’s oil exports, which had peaked at more than 3 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2011, fell to a little more than 1 million bpd after tougher sanctions were imposed in 2012 because of its nuclear programme.

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1237869/irans-oil-sales-to-europe-above-300000-barrels

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India

First Event Promoting Muslim Entrepreneurship in India Taking Place Today  in Pune

Feb 7, 2016

One of the topics set to be discussed at IMEN’s first conference is the idea of Halal investments, or business opportunities that follow Islamic guidelines

A new initiative aimed at driving Muslim involvement in India’s startup and technology economy is hosting its first event in the city of Pune on February 7. The Indian Muslim Entrepreneur Network‘s conference is being organized by Tausif Malik, Anees Kutty, and A Gaffar Khan, all of whom have a long history of involvement in business, technology, and community organizing.

The event’s theme is “Be an Entrepreneur…Be a Value Creator”, expressing the trio’s vision of the country’s Muslim community becoming more involved in stimulating the business sector and developing opportunities for the next generation. An estimated 300 people are expected to attend.

Full report at: geektime.com/2016/02/07/first-event-promoting-muslim-entrepreneurship-in-india-taking-place-today/

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Son of a Major General, 'Sardana's Mail Talks Of Serial Blasts in India'

Murari Shetye | TNN | Feb 7, 2016

ANAJI: Goa Police are verifying if Samir Sardana, the son of a decorated former major general of Indian Army who has been in police custody for the last six days, was planning to conduct serial blasts in India. An email letter recovered from his laptop and decoded by the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) talks of serial blasts in India, Goa DGP T N Mohan told TOI.

Sardana (44), who has otherwise been evasive, has denied this though, saying he has not written any such letter. We have got an email but we have not been able to identify the recipient of the email. It is being cross-checked," Mohan said.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Sardanas-mail-talks-of-serial-blasts-in-India/articleshow/50885023.cms

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Azam Khan claims PM Narendra Modi met Dawood Ibrahim in Pakistan, government rubbishes allegation

PTI | Feb 6, 2016

LUCKNOW/NEW DELHI: The government on Saturday rubbished as "false and baseless" the allegation of senior Uttar Pradesh minister Azam Khan, who claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had met underworld don Dawood Ibrahim in Lahore at the residence of his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif during his Christmas Day visit there.

"There are certain statements in a section of press that prime accused in serial blasts in Mumbai, Dawood Ibrahim, was also present during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Lahore on December 25, 2015. These statements are baseless, unfounded and totally false," an official spokesman said reacting to Khan's claim.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Azam-Khan-claims-PM-Narendra-Modi-met-Dawood-Ibrahim-in-Pakistan-government-rubbishes-allegation/articleshow/50882317.cms

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Europe

EU urges Turkey to keep border open to migrants

February 06, 2016

The European Union has called on Turkey to open its borders to thousands of Syrians who are fleeing fierce government offensives and intense Russian airstrikes.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said on Saturday that "the support that the EU is providing to Turkey, among others, is aimed exactly at guaranteeing" that Ankara can protect and host people that are seeking asylum.

EU foreign ministers met with their Turkish counterpart, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, for informal talks in Amsterdam on Saturday.

Full report at: todayszaman.com/diplomacy_eu-urges-turkey-to-keep-border-open-to-migrants_411613.html

 

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