New Age Islam
Thu Aug 13 2020, 07:33 PM

Islamic World News ( 9 Apr 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

12 killed in Gaza’s deadliest 24 hours since 2008-9 war

Forces kill 7 militants on Dir-Swat border

Evidence against 9/11 plotters revealed

PM Gilani, Altaf vow to support, strengthen democracy

Pak export boom will not repair economy

Pakistani boy apologizes for suicide mission

Cooperation must for fighting terror: Zardari

Altaf seeks support against feudalism

Once-armed Islamists talk tolerance by Egypt temple

US-Pakistan intelligence operations frozen: official

Pak, Iran, N.Korea eyed Swiss technology: cable leaks

'Pak-US joint intel operations on hold'

Pakistan rejects US criticism

Another Person After Swami Aseemanand, turns hostile in Ajmer blast case

UN killings raise Afghan transition fears

Al-Qaeda not on rise in Afghanistan: US Gen

Bangladesh's Yunus loses battle against sacking

Swat Taliban used grievances: WB

Afghanistan: Five civilians were killed in Sar-i-Pul offensive’

7 injured in Kabul suicide attack foreign forces kill three Taliban

Two rebel helicopters downed near Brega: Libya

Yemen pulls envoy from Qatar in row over Gulf plan

The fog of rumour shrouds Qadhafi flank attack

Libyan rebels suffer losses in Misrata attack

Libya stalemate could thicken fog of war for NATO

AU mediators want end to hostilities in Libya

Once-armed Islamists talk tolerance by Egypt temple

42 people arrested at Tahrir square

Friday protests sweep Arab world

2 reported dead in Tahrir Square clash

Egyptians turn anger on army in Cairo protest

Arab earthquake disrupts US counter-terror effort

Mastermind of Sakhi Sarwar blasts arrested in Bajaur

Israel 'truce will be met with a truce': Hamas

Tribesmen start migrating, four more killed in Tirah

Barak’s offer of Gaza ceasefire answered by mortars

Syria deploys army after clashes

UN chief ‘greatly disturbed’ by Syrian violence

EU urges Syria to stop violence

Syrian activists call for daily protests

Israel and Hamas look to end Gaza flare-up

Syrian security forces fire at mourners

Makkah red tape creating problems for Saudi

Geopolitics rears its ugly head in Libya’s turmoil

Egyptian uprising set for a revival

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/12-killed-in-gaza’s-deadliest-24-hours-since-2008-9-war/d/4427

 

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12 killed in Gaza’s deadliest 24 hours since 2008-9 war

April 10, 2011

GAZA CITY: An Israeli tank round killed a Palestinian in the Gaza Strip early on Saturday, bringing to 12 the overall toll from the deadliest 24 hours of violence since a devastating war more than two years ago.

A truce declared by Palestinian armed groups in the enclave unravelled even before it could take hold as fighters fired dozens of mortar rounds and rockets into southern Israel and the military retaliated.

Hamas put security forces and emergency services in Gaza on 24-hour alert amid the escalating tit-for-tat violence and despite calls for an end to the hostilities from both the European Union and the United Nations.

Around 30 mortar rounds or rockets fired from Gaza hit Israel early on Saturday, without causing damage or casualties, military radio said.

Twenty mortar bombs exploded, while 10 Grad rockets struck the area around Ashdod, Beersheba and Kiryat Gat, the radio said.

Israeli shelling killed the Palestinian and wounded a second in an eastern neighbourhood of Gaza City, medics said, without specifying whether they were fighters or civilians.

The Hamas interior ministry decreed a state of alert.

"All security forces must work 24 hours in 24, even civil defence and medical services, to protect and save the people targetted by the Zionist occupiers," ministry spokesman Ihab al-Ghussein said.

"Groups in Gaza committed themselves to respecting the Palestinian consensus and halting rocket attacks, but the Zionist aggressor has ruined everything by attacking and killing civilians -- women, children and old people," he said.

The latest fighting erupted on Thursday when Hamas fighters fired an anti-tank missile at an Israeli school bus, critically wounding a teenager and injuring the driver.

"The attack on a school bus yesterday crossed the line... Whoever tries to hurt and murder children, his blood will be on his own head," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in Prague on Friday before heading home.

Since the bus attack, Israel has launched dozens of raids on targets across the Palestinian territory. By early Saturday, it had killed 17 Gazans -- including a 10-year-old boy, at least five Hamas fighters and one policeman.

At least 57 Palestinians were wounded, 12 of them seriously, medics said.

The death toll of 12 made it the deadliest 24 hours in Gaza since the end of Operation Cast Lead, the devastating 22-day offensive Israel launched in December 2008 that claimed the lives of some 1,400 Palestinians -- more than half of them civilians -- and 13 Israelis, 10 of them soldiers.

Palestinian armed groups declared a unilateral truce but both Hamas and Islamic Jihad claimed mortar and rocket attacks on Israel on Friday as the violence intensified.

"Our holy warriors are ready to react to the Zionist aggression and respond to any foolish acts committed by the occupation with everything they have," said a statement from Hamas's armed wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said rocket and mortar fire by Gaza fighters continued into Saturday morning.

Several industrially manufactured Grad rockets were fired at the Israeli port city of Ashkelon but had been intercepted by the newly deployed Iron Dome short-range defence system, the spokeswoman added.

A statement on the Hamas military wing's website said the "resistance" had fired several Grads at Ashkelon on Friday, and that smoke was seen rising from the city.

However, the Israeli defence ministry said the Iron Dome anti-rocket system, deployed around Ashkelon just last Monday, had intercepted three rockets, while a fourth struck open ground. - AFP

http://www.statesman.com.pk/international/inter.htm

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Forces kill 7 militants on Dir-Swat border

April 10, 2011

SWAT: Security forces killed seven militants in a clash in border area between Swat and Dir and one security personnel lost life and two others were injured when extremists attacked forces in Mohmand Agency, Geo news reported.

According to the sources the extremists were trying to enter Swat from Mohmand via Dir upon interception they opened fire on security forces injuring two personnel. Forces in counter attack killed seven militants and seized ammunition.

A soldier embraced martyrdom and two received injuries when miscreants attacked a vehicle in Mohmnad Agency.

http://www.thenews.jang.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=13908

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Evidence against 9/11 plotters revealed

April 10, 2011

WASHINGTON: US prosecutors compiled lots of evidence against the five men accused of having organized the September 11 attacks on the United States, but not until this week have details been fully revealed.

The indictment charging self-professed mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four others was unsealed when US Attorney General Eric Holder referred the case to the Defense Department for military trials instead of trials at a US federal court in New York.Holder said Sheikh Mohammed, Walid bin Attash, Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali and Mustapha Ahmed al-Hawsawi could have been prosecuted in federal court and blamed Congress for imposing measures blocking civilian trials of Guantanamo Bay inmates.

They will be tried in military courts in the US naval base in southeastern Cuba.

The now-public details show that the United States, nearly 10 years after hijackers flew planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, reconstructed step by step the logistics of the five accused men.

They compiled bank transactions, flight records, visa applications, and dozens of telephone conversations to create the most comprehensive account of the chain of events before the attacks.

Implementation of the plan began in 1999, when Sheikh Mohammed (referred to as “KSM” by US officials) proposed to Osama bin Laden to use commercial airliners as missiles against US targets.

Until the last minute, according to the indictment, Sheikh Mohammed controlled the entire operation.

“From in or about December 1999, through in or about June 2000, Al-Qaeda selected operatives to pilot the airplanes to be hijacked and dispatched the operatives to the United States to obtain flight training and otherwise carry out the plot,” the indictment said.

Walid bin Attash, born in Saudi Arabia in 1979, traveled in first-class between Bangkok and Hong Kong, with a knife in his pocket “and approached the cockpit to test security measures.” He then took several other international flights, each time with his penknife undetected.

Meanwhile, Ramzi Binalshibh in Hamburg became friends with future hijacker Mohamed Atta. Binalshibh, a 38-year-old Yemeni, applied four times for a visa to the United States in 2000 but was denied each time.

So, at the request of KSM, Binalshibh became and intermediary between KSM and the future hijackers.

At the same time, from Dubai, KSM nephew Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali, of Pakistan, provided flight simulation software to the hijackers and began transferring money to US accounts. Between January and June 2000, US investigators pinpointed 35 telephone calls between him and the hijackers.

Mustapha Ahmed al-Hawsawi, a 42-year-old from Saudi Arabia, was accused of being the principal financier of the attacks.

Bank transfers were made in small amounts so as not to arouse suspicion and different names were used each time. Tens of thousands of dollars arrived in US accounts, including for Zacarias Moussaoui, who was involved in the plot but was arrested a month before the attacks.

In the United Arab Emirates, al-Hawsawi monitored the operations and discusses them with KSM.

Between July 9-16, 2001, Ramzi Binalshibh met with Mohamed Atta in Spain.

The two men “discussed, among other aspects of the plot, potential targets for

the hijacking attacks.” On July 23, KSM filed a visa application for the United States which was refused. At the end of August, he told bin Laden of the date for the attacks.

Between September 4-10, the men made their way from the UAE to Pakistan.

Walid bin Attash was with bin Laden on September 11, after which the Al-Qaeda leader ordered him to Tora Bora in Afghanistan to prepare for an offensive.

The five men, all of whom were arrested in Pakistan, could face the death penalty if convicted.

One year after the attacks, Pakistani police arrested Binalshibh at a home in a chic Karachi suburb. He was alone and didn’t put up a fight.

In March 2003, al-Hawsawi and Sheikh Mohammed were picked up by Pakistani special forces in a raid in Rawalpindi.

The indictment said the two men were “at a safe house where they possessed false identification and materials related to Al-Qaeda and the planning and execution of the September 11, 2001, attacks.” Bin Attash and al-Aziz Ali were arrested by Pakistani police in April 2003.

All five men disappeared into secret prisons until September 2006, when they reappeared at Guantanamo.

Sheikh Mohammed is known to have been “waterboarded” or subjected to simulated drowning 183 times during his years in US custody, a method widely recognized as torture.

After his arrest in 2003 he was handed over to American agents who held him in secret prisons before sending him to Guantanamo.

Sheikh Mohammed also claims to have personally beheaded US journalist Daniel Pearl in 2002 with his “blessed right hand” and to have helped in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing that killed six people. – AFP

http://www.dawn.com/2011/04/10/evidence-against-911-plotters-revealed.html

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PM Gilani, Altaf vow to support, strengthen democracy

April 10, 2011

LONDON: Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and MQM leader Altaf Hussain on Saturday reiterated their support for the consolidation of democracy.

The prime minister, who is on a private visit to London in connection with the treatment of his son, Haider Gilani, drove to the North London residence of the MQM leader after attending a lunch hosted in his honour by Federal Minister for Interior, Rehman Malik.

The prime minister thanked the MQM leader for the good wishes and prayers for the speedy recovery and health of his son.

He also appreciated the gesture of the MQM for sending a delegation to meet his son in the hospital.

Gilani said that he was taking all political parties along in the greater national interest and without any discrimination in the governance of the country.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik and Pakistan High Commissioner Wajid Shamsul Hasan accompanied the prime minister at the meeting. Members of the MQMs Central Coordination Committee were also present on the occasion. The prime minister, in his hour-long meeting, noted MQMs support at the Centre and said that he was thankful to the party in this regard which had gone a long way in the consolidation of democracy in the country.

Gilani called for respecting mandate of the political parties. He also appreciated the endeavours of the MQM to expand into other provinces and in this regard mentioned the Sundays public rally of the party in Lahore and wished it all success.

http://www.paktribune.com/news/index.shtml?238093

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Pak export boom will not repair economy

April 10, 2011

KARACHI: After a year of unemployment and wondering if his family would be better off if he died, Pakistani textile worker Murad Ali has got the spring back in his step.

One of thousands laid off by textile bosses last year, the father of four is now back at work and one of those to benefit from a surge in Pakistani exports in the current fiscal year, which ends on June 30.

Experts say rising global commodity prices, a government decision to prioritise power supply to industry and currency devaluation that has made Pakistani products more competitive, have fired an export boom.

Compared with the same period last year, the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan says textile exports such as silk rose 25.8 percent and agricultural produce, such as basmati, rose 6.2 percent from July to February 7, 2011.

The textiles sector is one of the key drivers of the Pakistani economy, accounting for 55 percent of all exports and 38 percent of the workforce, according to official figures.

Bosses have rehired staff who were laid off, but Ali is only getting a third of the salary as a skilled garment worker that he used to command.

Full report at:

http://www.paktribune.com/news/index.shtml?238099

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Pakistani boy apologizes for suicide mission

Apr 9, 2011

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: A Pakistani boy who took part in a suicide mission that killed more than 40 people at a Sufi shrine sought forgiveness Friday in a television interview from his hospital bed.

The boy, who police said is 14, was arrested after his belt of explosives failed to go off in Sunday’s attack. He said he had been trained by militants close to the Afghan border, and that his handlers spoke of “more than 350 other boys going through the training.” In the attack on the Sufi shrine, at least two bombers successfully detonated explosives, killing at least 44 people. The boy whose explosives didn’t go off was arrested shortly after the incident.

Police initially said he was unrepentant, and that he told them he wanted to “send them to hell.” However, in Friday’s interview, he said he is “seeking forgiveness” from the families of those killed and wounded.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/world/article351144.ece

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Cooperation must for fighting terror: Zardari

April 10, 2011

F.P. Report ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari has said that regional cooperation and establishment of transnational linkages was essential for fighting terrorism effectively. It was therefore, national and collective responsibility to make sincere efforts and implement strategies to rid the South Asian region of terrorism and militancy. This he said during his meeting with the Secretary General SAARC Ms Sathimath Dhiyanas Saeed who called on him at Aiwan-e-Sadr Saturday afternoon. Briefing the media Spokesperson to the President Farhatullah Babar said that matters relating to terrorism, drug-trafficking and socio-economic cooperation among member states came under discussion. President Asif Ali Zardari emphasized the need for SAARC to develop a comprehensive and holistic regional strategy which should include sharing of best practices in agriculture sector, technology transfer and efficient irrigation system to effectively preempt any food crises in future. The President said that regional cooperation in South Asia is the only realistic way forward for which the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAAR) should be made more relevant and visible.

Full report at:

http://www.thefrontierpost.com/News.aspx?ncat=hn&nid=2133

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Altaf seeks support against feudalism

April 10, 2011

LONDON - The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain has appealed the people of Punjab to support his party to establish a justice based society and strengthen the country.

He asked the people of Punjab to attend the public meeting of the MQM being held in Lahore on Sunday and join its struggle against corruption, heritage politics and status quo in the country.

He said that people would have to prove that they wanted to get rid of feudal system and corruption. He said that it was unfortunate that only few families had been ruling the country for 63 years and the masses were merely witnessing this musical chair. The dynastic politics had ruined the country, he added.

Altaf Hussain urged the people to support MQM for the creation of a society in which unemployment, hunger and lawlessness would not haunt anyone and rich and poor would be treated equally.

Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain has said that people of Punjab should attend the public meeting of the MQM and join its struggle against corruption and status quo in the country.

He said that people would have to prove that they wanted to expel the suppressing feudalistic system and corruption.

He said that it was unfortunate that only few families had been ruling the country for 63 years and the masses were merely witnessing this musical chair. The dynastic politics had ruined the country, he added.

The MQM chief urged the people of Punjab to support him for the creation of a society in which unemployment, hunger and lawlessness would not haunt anyone and rich and poor would be treated equally.

Full report at:

http://dailymailnews.com/0411/10/FrontPage/index.php?id=3

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Once-armed Islamists talk tolerance by Egypt temple

Apr 9, 2011

CAIRO: The Egyptian Islamist group Al-Gama’a Al-Islamiya preached non-violence and tolerance of tourism this week outside a pharaonic temple close to the Luxor site where its members massacred 58 foreigners in 1997.

The group which took up arms against the state in the 1990s and played in a role in Anwar Sadat’s assassination in 1981, gathered followers by the Luxor Temple on Friday to espouse the peaceful activism it is pursuing in the post-Hosni Mubarak era.

The organizers had picked the location, by a mosque in the Luxor Temple complex, as a message to tourists “that there is no danger to their presence in Egypt,” Sheikh Assem Abdel-Maged, one of the group’s leaders, said in a telephone interview.

“Some tourists attended the meeting and took photos and there were some meetings with tourists,” he said on Saturday.

The Gama’a Al-Islamiya is one of the Islamist groups that has emerged from the shadows since Mubarak was ousted from power on Feb. 11, trying to re-establish itself in the new era.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article351562.ece

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US-Pakistan intelligence operations frozen: official

April 10, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Joint US-Pakistan intelligence operations have been halted since late January, a senior Pakistani intelligence officer said.

US-Pakistani ties have become tense after a string of diplomatic disputes this year, including a massive drone strike in March and the case of Raymond Davis, a CIA contractor who shot dead two Pakistanis on Jan 27.

“Presently, joint operations are on hold,” the Pakistani intelligence officer told Reuters, adding that they were halted after Davis killed the two men in Lahore. Davis was released by a court on payment of blood money to the heirs of the men he had shot dead.

Previous joint operations between the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the CIA have led to the capture of high-profile Al Qaeda and Taliban leaders, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, the mastermind of the Sept 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

“The agency`s ties to the ISI have been strong over the years, and when there are issues to sort out, we work through them,” CIA spokesman George Little told Reuters. “That`s the sign of a healthy partnership.”

But a US official familiar with the state of relations said the Pakistanis are making more effort to curb, restrict, or at least more intensely monitor, CIA activities. The revelation that armed CIA contractors such as Davis were working in Pakistan deeply angered and embarrassed the ISI.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/04/10/us-pakistan-intelligence-operations-frozen-official.html

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Pak, Iran, N.Korea eyed Swiss technology: cable leaks

April 10, 2011

ZURICH: Iran, Pakistan and North Korea wanted to buy materials for possible military use from Swiss companies, a newspaper reported on Saturday, citing U.S. diplomatic cables from WikiLeaks that criticised Swiss officials for being less than transparent.

Iran was keen on magnetic digital compasses, while Syria was interested in a high-speed camera, North Korea in precision machinery and Pakistan in parts for its missiles, French-language Le Temps said.

The cables from 2006 to 2010 contain assessments by U.S. diplomats in the Swiss capital of Berne on how Swiss authorities, including the State Secretariat for Economics (SECO), were responding to interest in so-called dual-use technologies, which can be used in nuclear pogrammes but also have other applications.

"The Swiss officials are never completely open or frank and have the tendency of giving legalistic responses that are technically correct but sometimes incomplete," the paper quoted the cables as saying.

Antje Baertschi, a spokeswoman for the SECO, declined to comment on the cables and said official secrecy rules meant she was unable to comment on any Swiss companies. (Reuters)

http://www.thenews.jang.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=13907

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'Pak-US joint intel operations on hold'

April 10, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Joint US-Pakistan intelligence operations have been halted since late January, a senior Pakistani intelligence officer said, reflecting strain in a relationship seen as crucial to combating militants and the war in Afghanistan.

Uneasy US-Pakistani ties have become even tenser after a string of diplomatic disputes so far this year, including a massive drone strike in March and the case of Raymond Davis, a CIA contractor who shot dead two Pakistanis on January 27 in Lahore.

“Presently, joint operations are on hold,” a senior Pakistani intelligence officer told Reuters, adding that they were halted after Davis killed the two men. A court has since released Davis.

Previous joint operations between the powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency and the CIA have led to the capture of high-profile al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, the alleged mastermind of the Sept 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

“The agency’s ties to the ISI have been strong over the years, and when there are issues to sort out, we work through them,” CIA spokesman George Little told Reuters. “That’s the sign of a healthy partnership.”

But a US official familiar with the state of relations said the Pakistanis are making more effort to curb, restrict, or at least more intensely monitor, CIA activities. The revelation that armed CIA contractors such as Davis were working in Pakistan deeply angered and embarrassed the ISI.

Full report at:

http://www.thenews.jang.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=13895

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Pakistan rejects US criticism

April 10, 2011

PAKISTANI Foreign Ministry spokesperson Tehmina Janjua has formally rejected US criticism of Pakistan’s war efforts. Earlier, the US had levelled charges against Pakistan that it neither had a concrete plan nor the will to combat terrorism. Ms. Tehmina Janjua has rightly rebuffed the baseless charges of US. The Daily Mail is of the opinion that if Pakistan did not have an effective plan or lacked the will to fight, how its success rate in eliminating terrorists is much higher than all the NATO forces deployed in Afghanistan. In rejecting the criticism, Ms. Janjua noted that Pakistan, which has staged several offensives against insurgents, had sacrificed many lives to end the extremist threat. She also said Pakistan should not be held accountable for Western failings in Afghanistan.

“We do not share the assessment of the U.S.,” she said. “All the references to Pakistan are unwarranted.” Pakistan has its own means of assessing its strengths and weaknesses in counterterrorism, and it “has a clear strategy in dealing with these and other issues,” Janjua added. The US report released this week said Pakistan has made little progress in the past year in battling Islamist extremists and that there is “no clear path toward defeating the insurgency” in the country. It also raised concerns about political gridlock and economic problems plaguing the nation. Pakistan’s economic and political problems notwithstanding, it has a professional Army, which has become battled hardened and well honed in the war against terror. Counter insurgency operations were once upon a time, alien to Pakistan, but receiving baptism against fire, the Pakistan Army has not only assimilated the lessons learnt, but managed to score unprecedented success. Its complete routing of the miscreants in Swat and South Waziristan have been acknowledged as a success story by all the major powers involved in combating terrorism. Its settlement of displaced people of Swat became a role model for the society.

Full report at:

http://dailymailnews.com/0411/10/Editorial_Column/index.php

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Another Person After Swami Aseemanand, turns hostile in Ajmer blast case

April 09, 2011

After Swami Aseemanand, another person, who had reportedly admitted to being involved in the 2007 Ajmer Dargah blast, has retracted his confession. It is a body blow to the CBI, which had held the duo responsible in the blast case. Bharat Bhai Rateshwar, 42, withdrew his application on Friday, clai

ming he was forced by the CBI to confess his role and become an approver in the case. Rateshwar is also an accused in Malegaon, Samjhauta and Hyderabad’s Mecca Masjid blasts. On March 29, Aseemanand, who had also confessed to his role in the above cases, turned hostile.

The chief judicial magistrate court in Ajmer has ordered the Rajasthan Anti-Terrorism Squad to remove both names from the list of witnesses in the case.

On Thursday, the National Investigation Agency had taken over the investigation of Mecca Masjid, Ajmer Sharif and Malegaon blast cases in which Abhinav Bharat’s cadres are alleged to be involved. The Centre’s contention was since the same outfits were involved, the cases should be investigated by the NIA. The NIA is already investigating the Samjhauta case.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Another-turns-hostile-in-Ajmer-blast-case/H1-Article1-683344.aspx

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UN killings raise Afghan transition fears

April 10, 2011

Most Afghans no longer have confidence in their local security forces, saying they are still not ready to take control of security from Nato troops. –Photo by AFP

MAZAR-I-SHARIF: Killings of UN staff in one of Afghanistan’s safest cities have raised fears that plans for Afghans to take control of security from Nato troops in three months are being rushed.

The northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, famed for its opulent “Blue Mosque”, was thrown into turmoil last week when demonstrators took to the streets after Friday prayers to protest the burning of the Quran by an American pastor.

The protests spiralled into the attack on the UN compound in Mazar-i-Sharif, which left seven foreign staff dead.

Although peace has since been restored with stepped up patrols and pleas from local leaders, some residents say the attack leaves them worried that Afghan forces are not ready to take control of security for the city.

Those fears accompany growing hostility to foreigners; often all lumped together as Americans in the minds of many uneducated Afghans.

The United States led the 2001 invasion to oust the Taliban and Americans make up two-thirds of the 130,000 foreign troops in country.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/04/09/un-killings-raise-afghan-transition-fears.html

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Al-Qaeda not on rise in Afghanistan: US Gen

April 10, 2011

KABUL, (Afghanistan) - The top commander of U.S. and NATO forces said Saturday that while some al-Qaida fighters have been searching for hideouts in rugged areas of eastern Afghanistan, he does not think they are making a comeback inside the country.

“There is no question that al-Qaida has had a presence in Afghanistan and continues to have a presence — generally assessed at less than 100 or so,” Gen. David Petraeus told reporters at the coalition’s headquarters in the Afghan capital.

But he added: “There certainly has been some exploration for potential safe havens or sanctuaries in very mountainous areas of Nuristan and parts of Kunar provinces. Our intention, with our Afghan partners, is to maintain pressure on those who are seeking to establish safe havens.”

Speaking with reporters after a farewell ceremony for NATO’s top civilian representative, Mark Sedwill, Petraeus said the recent deaths of seven U.N. workers in Mazar-e-Sharif in northern Afghanistan would not affect plans for Afghan security forces to start taking the lead for security in the provincial capital this summer. Petraeus also confirmed that he’s in discussions that will determine his next job, but doesn’t know what it will be.

“I honestly don’t know,” he said. “I’ve obviously watched the trial balloons floated this past week — if that’s what they are.”

Full report at:

http://dailymailnews.com/0411/10/FrontPage/index.php?id=4

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Bangladesh's Yunus loses battle against sacking

April 5, 2011

In this March 6, 2011 photograph, Bangladesh microfinance pioneer Muhammad Yunus emerges from the High Court in Dhaka – AFP

Bangladesh's Nobel-winning Muhammad Yunus lost a final appeal on Tuesday against his sacking from the pioneering microfinance bank he founded and reportedly told his staff it was ‘time to leave.’

"The appeal has been dismissed by the Supreme Court," Yunus's lawyer Tamin Husain Shawan, adding that the decision, made by the full seven-member court bench of judges, was unanimous.

The central bank, which is nominally independent from the government, removed Yunus on March 2 on the grounds that he had failed to seek its approval when he was reappointed indefinitely in 1999.

The High Court upheld the order in a March 8 ruling, with judge Muhammad Mamtaj Uddin Ahmed saying the sacking was legal and that Yunus had also exceeded Grameen Bank's mandatory retirement age of 60.

Backed by a high-profile international lobby group, Yunus, 70, defied the sacking order by filing an appeal and continuing to work at Grameen's headquarters.

But after Tuesday's legal defeat, he told staff there that it was time for him to leave and make way for new leadership, a witness said.

Full report at:

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/channels/world/asia/bangladeshs-yunus-loses-battle-against-sacking-054

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Swat Taliban used grievances: WB

April 10, 2011

WASHINGTON: The Taliban gained support in Swat valley in part by building on a variety of local grievances, including weaknesses in local law enforcement and justice institutions, according to a World Bank report released on Saturday.

The World Development Report 2011: Conflict, Security and Development also points out that some 1.5 billion people live in countries affected by repeated cycles of political and criminal violence, and no low-income fragile or conflict-affected country has yet to achieve a single Millennium Development Goal.

Discussing the situation in the federally administered tribal areas (Fata), the report stresses the need for removing or amending laws perceived as unjust and discriminatory, such as the Frontier Crimes Regulation, which applies a legal regime to the tribal areas differing from the rest of Pakistan.

In places like Swat, formal systems for the provision of justice are weak or broken down, the report noted. “At the local level,

his breakdown opens gaps not only in the core criminal justice system, but also in the regulation of land and family disputes,” the report warned.

“Such gaps have led to popular frustration and have opened opportunities to violent opposition movements such as the Taliban in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, which have in some areas of the country established a shadow presence offering an alternative local dispute resolution system.”

Following Islamabad’s 2009 military offensive to drive militants from Fata and parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the government — with assistance from the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, UN, and European Union — undertook an assessment to address needs and understand the factors underlying violence.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/04/10/swat-taliban-used-grievances-wb.html

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7 injured in Kabul suicide attack Foreign forces kill three Taliban

April 10, 2011

KABUL (AIP): Seven soldiers of the Afghan National Army and three Afghan civilians were injured in a suicide blast in east part of Kabul City on Saturday. The Kabul police headquarters spokesman Hashmatullah Stanakzai told media that an on-foot suicide bomber conducted attack on a vehicle of the ANA soldiers in Ahmad Shah Baba Maina in Arzaan Qeemat area in east part of Kabul. He said that seven ANA soldiers and three Afghan civilians were injured in the blast. He maintained that the ANA vehicle suffered damage in the attack. The injured were rushed to hospital for medical treatment, he said. He maintained the suicide attacker was killed in the blast, adding that his identity could not be immediately ascertained. The Taliban have not said anything in this regard till the filling of this report. Meanwhile, Foreign forces killed three Taliban during an overnight operation in Alasai district of Kapisa province, Taliban, Afghan officials said Saturday. Zabuhullah Mujahid, spokesman for Taliban, says that their fighters attacked foreign forces night at approximately 8:00 pm (Local time) in Shirk Khiel area limits of Kapisa province.

Full report at:

http://www.thefrontierpost.com/News.aspx?ncat=an&nid=813

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Afghanistan: Five civilians were killed in Sar-i-Pul offensive’

April 10, 2011

KABUL (AIP): The team formed by the Afghan President Hamid Karzai to probe into the allegations of civilian casualties in military operation by foreign forces in Sar-i-Pul province said five Afghan civilians were killed in the offensive. A press release of the presidential media centre on Saturday said that the Sar-i-Pul governor presented the report of the delegation to the president. The report stated that five Afghan civilians were killed in the military offensive of the foreign forces in Angushka village in Sayyad district of Sar-i-Pul province on April 04, 2011. Hamid Karzai flayed killing of Afghan civilians and said it would adversely affect the war on terror. Condemning the assassination of Muhammad Daud Ashaqzai, the police chief of Gosfandi district, President Karzai expressed his deep grief over his demise. Sar-i-Pul is considered to be the stronghold of the former communist and strong follower of Hamid Karzai, General Abdul Rasheed Dostam. In the recent past, the Taliban have increased their influence and activities in the province. Meanwhile, unknown gunmen killed a civilian yesterday in Jghato district of Maidan Wardak province, security official said Saturday.

Full report at:

http://www.thefrontierpost.com/News.aspx?ncat=an&nid=815

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Two rebel helicopters downed near Brega: Libya

Apr 10 2011

Two rebel helicopters violating the no-fly zone over Libya were shot down by the Gaddafi regime in the Brega region in the east, deputy foreign minister Khaled Kaaim has said. "The insurgents used two helicopters that were shot down in the Brega region," Kaaim told a news conference here last night.

Asked if the choppers had been downed by the army loyal to Muammar Gaddafi, he replied that they had.

Kaaim hit out at the NATO forces in charge of applying Security Council Resolution 1973 imposing the air exclusion zone over Libya, saying: "NATO on Saturday permitted then rebels to violate this resolution and use combat helicopters."

Claiming that NATO was siding with the rebels, Kaaim went on: "Our question to NATO: does this resolution concern only the Libyan government or the two sides?"

A journalist on Saturday saw a Libyan military helicopter bearing the rebel colours flying at very low altitude towards the front in the Ajbabiya region of east Libya.

The international coalition has since March 19 imposed a no-fly zone over Libya under the UN resolution adopted on March 17. The rebellion against Gaddafi's regime started in mid-February.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/two-rebel-helicopters-downed-near-brega-libya/774208/

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Yemen pulls envoy from Qatar in row over Gulf plan

Apr 9, 2011

SANAA, Yemen: Yemen, angry over Qatar’s suggestion that its leader resign, recalled its ambassador to the fellow Arabian Peninsula nation on Saturday as hundreds of thousands of Yemeni protesters rallied for a second straight day to demand the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The deaths of four protesters Friday in the southern city of Taiz formed a rallying cry across the country. In Taiz, where about 400 people were injured in the earlier protests, about 100,000 people marched Saturday, blaming the local governor, chief of security and leader of the ruling party for the violence.

More than 120 people have been killed since Feb. 11 in protests inspired by popular uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt.

The official Yemeni news agency Saba said Yemen’s ambassador to Qatar was recalled for consultation on the recent statement made by Qatari Prime Minister Sheik Hamad bin Jassem about the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council’s offer of mediation between Saleh and the opposition.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article350829.ece

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The fog of rumour shrouds Qadhafi flank attack

April 10, 2011

NEAR AJDABIYA, Libya: The captives brought back by Libyan rebel fighters seemed to prove the morning rumours that Muammar Qadhafi’s forces were in retreat. Then the flank attack came less than an hour later.

Before long, Qadhafi’s forces were bombarding the outskirts of Ajdabiya — a crucial crossroads town the rebels had seized twice before — as civilians and fighters sped back towards the rebel stronghold of Benghazi.

The apparent flanking move underscored a key weakness of the rebel forces — their lack of the kind of communications equipment that could give them updated and detailed knowledge of events across the vast desert battlefield.

On Saturday morning a few dozen rebels were gathered between Ajdabiya and Brega, an oil town they have been trying to take for weeks.

A defected army officer declined to speak to reporters, barking “Military secrets!” before stalking off to supervise the loading of a truck-mounted Grad rocket launcher that then sped off to the front.

Several similar vehicles pulled in shortly afterwards, reloading and then heading back, their outgoing fire apparently too far off to be audible.

Then the prisoners arrived, one huddled in the back of a four-by-four and the other laid out in the bed of a pick-up truck, one arm shielding his eyes from the rebels’ camera phones and the other oozing blood from an open gash.

As the two were whisked off to Benghazi there was talk that the rebels had taken Brega, but of course there was no way to confirm it.

There are few identifiable rebel commanders at the front. There is no mobile phone network, and few of the rebels have satellite phones. News travels by word of mouth up and down the road, and rumours swirl across the desert.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/04/09/the-fog-of-rumour-shrouds-qadhafi-flank-attack.html

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Libyan rebels suffer losses in Misrata attack

10 April 2011,

Troops loyal to Muammar Gaddafi launched a heavy assault on the coastal city of Misrata, killing at least 30 rebel fighters, a rebel spokesman said citing comrades and medics.

Identifying himself as Abdelsalem, the rebel said government forces attacked three different parts of the city before rebel fighters beat them back.

Misrata, 200 km (125 miles) east of the capital Tripoli, is the last rebel bastion in western Libya. Gaddafi’s forces appear bent on seizing the city and crucially its port, which some analysts say Gaddafi needs if he is to survive a long conflict.

“Today they (government troops) attacked Misrata on three fronts. Medical workers and rebels told me that at least 30 rebel fighters were killed in Misrata today,” said Abdelsalem.

A second rebel spokesman, Saadoun, disputed the figure and said the day’s rebel death toll was eight confirmed and 10 unconfirmed.

The fighting centred on Tripoli street, a major artery running into the centre of Misrata that both sides have been fighting to control, as well as a road leading to the port and a neighbourhood called Kharouba, he added.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle09.asp?xfile=data/international/2011/April/international_April446.xml&section=international

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Libya stalemate could thicken fog of war for NATO

April 10, 2011

BRUSSELS: As the prospect of a long stalemate rises in Libya, the fog of war could get thicker for NATO after two friendly fire incidents highlighted the limitations of its aerial campaign.   

Rebels and Moamer Kadhafi forces have battled back-and-forth on a desert road near the flashpoint eastern city of Brega, using similar vehicles that have made it difficult for NATO warplanes to tell the two sides apart.         

The alliance admitted Friday that it had no clue the rebels were using tanks when its warplanes accidentally hit them the day before, killing four people and underscoring the poor communication between the opposition and NATO.    

The lack of discipline and experience among the rebels, outgunned and outnumbered by Kadhafi forces, was evident last weekend when NATO warplanes replied in self-defence after some fighters fired celebratory tracers in the air. (AFP)

http://www.thenews.jang.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=13901

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AU mediators want end to hostilities in Libya

April 10, 2011

NOUAKCHOTT: African Union mediators on Libya Sunday reiterated their appeal for "an immediate end to all hostilities" and proposed a transition period to adopt reforms in the insurrection-hit country.

http://www.thenews.jang.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=13901

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42 people arrested at Tahrir square

April 10, 2011

Forty two people were arrested during turmoil at central Cairo's Tahrir square in Egypt on Saturday, Xinhua quoted Egypt's Supreme Council of Armed Forces as saying. The arrested individuals include eight people, who were wearing army uniforms, and three foreigners, the council stated, addi

ng that it intends to clear the square to restore normalcy.

Thousands of Egyptian protesters returned to Tahrir Square on Saturday morning. Some of them tried to set up tents inside the square.

They called for the formation of a civil presidential council to manage the country in the transitional period until a new constitution was issued and the presidential and parliamentary elections were held.

Egypt's Ministry of Health earlier confirmed that one person was killed and 71 others were injured in the turmoil on the Tahrir square.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/42-people-arrested-at-Tahrir-square/H1-Article1-683419.aspx

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Friday protests sweep Arab world

April 09, 2011

Protests erupted across much of the Arab world on the Muslim day of prayer, with demonstrators killed in Syria and Yemen while Egyptians staged one of the biggest rallies since President Hosni Mubarak’s fall. In Syria, 22 people were killed on Friday, sources in the southern Syrian city of Deraa sai

d, in attacks on protesters condemned by US President Barack Obama as “abhorrent”.

Five people were shot dead in Yemen and at the heart of the Arab protest movement, Cairo’s Tahrir Square, military police beat protesters and fired shots to disperse crowds demanding Mubarak’s prosecution as discontent with military rule grows.

In Saudi Arabia, Shi’ites protested in the oil-producing east to call for the withdrawal of Saudi troops from Bahrain, while in Oman, a planned protest was prevented by security.

Friday has become a peak day of protest for many Arabs since popular demands for freedom, democracy and an end to corruption began in Tunisia late last year and spread across the region.

In Syria, security forces opened fire on thousands of demonstrators in the southern city of Deraa as protests against President Bashar al-Assad flared in several towns.

A volunteer at Deraa hospital and an activist said 22 people were killed and 120 wounded. It took the death toll in three weeks of protests to more than 90.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Friday-protests-sweep-Arab-world/H1-Article1-683292.aspx

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2 reported dead in Tahrir Square clash

Apr 9, 2011

CAIRO: Egyptian forces, dispersing an overnight sit-in in Tahrir Square, killed two protesters on Saturday, medics said, in the first reported deaths in the Cairo plaza since president Hosni Mubarak's ouster.

The health ministry put the official toll at one dead and 71 injured, many from bullet wounds but others with breathing difficulties or having been struck during clashes.

Witnesses said that troops, backed by riot police, fired live rounds mostly in the air and beat protesters who had camped out in the square after tens of thousands rallied on Friday for the prosecution of Mubarak and other leading figures of his regime.

A military official, under cover of anonymity, said: "We did not fire live bullets," adding that an inquiry was under way into the incidents.

Earlier, an official said the army had used only blanks in dispersing protesters, who included at least seven dissident army officers.

The medics, who said 17 people were also wounded, did not say whether the deaths were caused by live rounds.

If confirmed, they would be the first deaths in the square since it became the iconic focal point of the 18 straight days of protests that triggered Mubarak's resignation on February 11.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/2-reported-dead-in-Tahrir-Square-clash/articleshow/7927685.cms

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Egyptians turn anger on army in Cairo protest

April 10, 2011

CAIRO -Thousands of protesters turned their anger on the army on Saturday demanding that Egypt’s ruling military council hand power to civilians and pressing for former President Hosni Mubarak to be put on trial.

The army, which has ruled Egypt since Mubarak was forced out of office on February 11, has become a growing target for a hardcore of protesters who say the generals are colluding with remnants of Mubarak’s network and thwarting calls for a deeper purge.

“The military council is part and parcel of the corrupt regime. It is made up of heads of the army that have benefited from Mubarak and his 30 years of robbing the Egyptian people,” said Abdullah Ahmed, 45, a protester in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.

The army dismisses such charges and says it is guarding against any attempt by former officials to undermine reforms.

Protester ire was fueled on Saturday after the army tried to clear demonstrators from Tahrir during curfew hours from 2 a.m. to 5 a.m. Troops and police used tasers and batons. Sounds of gunshots rang out across the square overnight.

Medical sources said two men died out of 15 wounded by gunshots. The army said it only fired blanks and its operation caused no deaths. State television said one person was killed and 71 were wounded in acts of rioting, without giving details.

It was not clear if there were any other armed people in the square when the shots were fired.

Full report at:

http://dailymailnews.com/0411/10/FrontPage/index.php?id=9

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Arab earthquake disrupts US counter-terror effort

Apr 10 2011

The Arab unrest is shaking the foundations of US counter-terror efforts that have long relied on spy agencies under authoritarian regimes to help fight Islamist militants.

With popular protests toppling rulers in Tunisia and Egypt and threatening leaders in Yemen and elsewhere, US intelligence agencies are struggling to adjust to a radically changed landscape, US officials, former intelligence officers and experts say.

The United States for years has counted on Arab allies to back up its diplomatic and security interests, enlisting their help to combat al-Qaeda with harsh tactics and interrogations.

But the political wildfire spreading across the region means US spy services will have to deal with new intelligence chiefs more wary of Washington and more reluctant to cooperate on covert projects that might be unpopular with their citizens. "The immediate effect, there's no question, is that a lot of relationships which we have built over the years to fight al-Qaeda and like-minded terrorists are over," said Bruce Riedel, a former CIA officer.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/arab-earthquake-disrupts-us-counterterror-effort/774202/

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Mastermind of Sakhi Sarwar blasts arrested in Bajaur

April 10, 2011

PESHAWAR: The alleged mastermind Behram Khan, of plotting twin suicide attack on Syed Sakhi Sarwar shrine near Dera Ghazi Khan, was arrested in Bajaur agency along with five other associates on Sunday, DawnNews reported.

At least one militant was also reported to be killed during the raid by the security forces.

The blasts took place when hundreds of devotees from various parts of the country had thronged the shrine to attend the weeks-long Urs-cum-spring festivities in the remote town of Sakhi Sarwar, 35 kilometres from Dera Ghazi Khan city on April 03.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/04/10/mastermind-of-sakhi-sarwar-blasts-arrested-in-mohmand.html

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Israel 'truce will be met with a truce': Hamas

April 10, 2011

GAZA CITY: Hamas is willing to commit to a truce with Israel if the Jewish state stops attacks on the Gaza Strip, a spokesman for the Islamist group told AFP on Sunday.

http://www.thenews.jang.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=13914

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Tribesmen start migrating, four more killed in Tirah

April 10, 2011

PESHAWAR: Four more persons were killed and several families started to migrate to safer places as armed clashes between two rival militant factions continued on Sunday in the remote Tirah valley of Khyber Agency.

Sources said that clashes continued between Lanshkar-i-Islam (LI) and its rival group Ansaarul Insar to take control of Dars Jumaat base in Akkakhel area, more than a dozen tribesmen have been killed so far in last ten days.

The clash between the groups began over the murders of the religious leaders of the Zakhakhel tribe.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/04/10/tribesmen-start-migrating-four-more-killed-in-tirah.html

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Barak’s offer of Gaza ceasefire answered by mortars

April 10, 2011

JERUSALEM: Palestinian militants in Gaza fired three mortar rounds at southern Israel early Sunday, the military said, carrying worrisome new round of violence into yet another day.

No injuries were reported, but radio stations reported that electricity was disrupted by the mortar fire.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak told Israel Radio that if militants in Hamas-run Gaza cease their attacks, so would Israel.

Neither side appears to be interested in escalating the fighting to all-out war, mindful that a similar cycle of violence provoked just that in December 2008.

But the fear is that an isolated incident could easily spark a war because of the combustible situation that has developed over the past month.

Violence escalated dramatically after a Palestinian anti-tank missile struck an Israeli school bus on Thursday, wounding two people.

According to the military, 120 rockets and mortars fired from Gaza have struck Israel in the past 48 hours. Palestinians say Israeli retaliations for the missile and rocket fire have killed 18 Gazans since Thursday.

One of the Gazans killed was involved in the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier held in Gaza for the past five years, the military said. – AP

http://www.dawn.com/2011/04/10/barak’s-offer-of-gaza-ceasefire-answered-by-mortars.html

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Syria deploys army after clashes

10 April 2011

AMMAN - Syrian security forces deployed overnight in Banias and Homs area, residents said on Sunday, a day after they opened fire on mourners in the southern city of Deraa following a mass funeral for pro-democracy protesters.

Several tanks were seen in the northern district of the coastal city of Banias, home to one of Syria’s two oil refineries. Heavy gunfire was heard but there were no confirmed reports of casualties. Telephone and mobile connections with Banias were cut, activists said.

Protests against the 11-year-old rule of President Bashar Al Assad have intensified in the conservative city as he used increasing force to quell demonstrations in the south, where an uprising against Baathist rule erupted more than three weeks ago and protesters destroyed statues of Assad family members.

In the Houla area in the central province of Homs north of Damascus, buses were also seen unloading security personnel. A decision by Assad several days ago to sack the governor of Homs has failed to appease protesters.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle09.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/April/middleeast_April196.xml&section=middleeast

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UN chief ‘greatly disturbed’ by Syrian violence

10 April 2011

 UNITED NATIONS — UN chief Ban Ki-moon said on Saturday in a telephone conversation with Syrian President Bashar Al Assad that he was “greatly disturbed” by recent violence against protesters.

Ban was particularly concerned about reports of 17 people gunned down in Daraa and another 10 killed in surrounding villages Friday during anti-regime demonstrations.

“He said the killing of peaceful demonstrators was unacceptable and should be investigated,” the UN said in a statement.

“The secretary general reiterated the duty of governments to protect civilians and respect the rights and freedoms of the population including the right of free speech and peaceful assembly,” the statement said.

Ban expressed encouragement at the Syrian president’s “intention to investigate” the killings.

“He also noted there were reports that demonstrators had used violence and killed security personnel. The secretary general underlined that violence from any side was deplorable.”

Ban called for the release of detained demonstrators “as soon as possible” and said the country’s problems can only be solved through “an immediate dialogue and comprehensive reforms.”

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle09.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/April/middleeast_April189.xml&section=middleeast

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EU urges Syria to stop violence

9 April 2011

 BRUSSELS - European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton called on Syria Saturday to stop violence against protesters and immediately launch political reforms.

“I strongly condemn the continuing violence and deaths in Syria in the context of protests calling for freedom and democracy,” Ashton said in a statement.

“I urge in the strongest terms the Syrian authorities to immediately put an end to the violence,” she said.

“I cannot emphasise enough the responsibility of the state to protect all citizens and respect the right of peaceful protest and free speech.”

At least 24 protesters were killed on Friday as security forces clashed with protesters demonstrating against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad across Syria, a human rights group said.

“The announcements made by the Syrian authorities to launch reforms must be backed by credible action on the ground,” Ashton said.

“The Syrian people must be allowed to express their grievances without fear of intimidation, repression and arrest. Meaningful political reforms guaranteeing freedom of expression, fundamental rights and the rule of law must begin now.”

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle09.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/April/middleeast_April178.xml&section=middleeast

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Syrian activists call for daily protests

10 April 2011

9 April 2011, 12:57 PM BEIRUT — Syrian activists have called for daily protests against the regime after at least 32 people were killed in the single bloodiest day of demonstrations in the country’s three-week uprising

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle09.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/April/middleeast_April171.xml&section=middleeast

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Israel and Hamas look to end Gaza flare-up

10 April 2011

10 April 2011, 10:46 AM Israel and the Gaza Strip’s Hamas rulers signalled they were looking to end a flare-up in violence that began this week with a missile attack on an Israeli school bus.

The fighting stoked fears of a larger escalation that could include an Israeli ground incursion into the coastal territory, reminiscent of a Gaza war that erupted in late 2008.

But Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak said Hamas had already been hit hard in the past few days and a ceasefire may be the way to go.

“If they stop firing on our communities, we will stop firing. If they stop firing in general, it will be quiet, it will be good,” Barak said on Israel Radio.

Hamas said it, too, did not want a further escalation.

“If the Israeli aggression stopped, it would be natural for calm to be restored,” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said. “Calm will be met with calm.”

Violence erupted along the tense Israel-Gaza border on Thursday when Hamas gunmen fired an anti-tank missile at an Israeli school bus, critically wounding a teenager and wounding its driver.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle09.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/April/middleeast_April195.xml&section=middleeast

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Syrian security forces fire at mourners

Apr 9, 2011

BEIRUT: Syrian security forces fired on mourners at a funeral for slain protesters Saturday as authorities vowed to crush any new unrest from a three-week uprising that showed no sign of letting up even as the death toll topped 170.

Activists vowed to accelerate their movement with daily protests nationwide, bringing new pressure on President Bashar Assad’s authoritarian regime. Assad has answered the tens of thousands of protesters with both force and limited concessions that have failed to appease an emboldened movement inspired by the Arab uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt.

“Old-style crackdowns and techniques simply do not work anymore,” said Aktham Nuaisse, a prominent Syrian pro-democracy activist. “The first thing authorities must do is stop this violence and enact serious reforms. Failing that, I fear everyone is going to lose control of the situation.”

Protests erupted in Syria three weeks ago and have been growing steadily every week — and have even rattled the key port city of Latakia in heartland of the Alawite minority to which Assad and the ruling elite belong. Early Saturday, security forces fired live ammunition to disperse hundreds of protesters in Latakia, witnesses said.

Friday marked what appeared to be the largest and most widespread gatherings so far with demonstrations across the nation demanding sweeping reforms — and it brought the single bloodiest day of the uprising, with 37 killed around the country. Most of the deaths were in Daraa, an impoverished city near the Jordanian border that has become the epicenter of the protest movement.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article351600.ece

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Makkah red tape creating problems for Saudi eyeing a house of his own

Apr 9, 2011

MAKKAH: A Saudi citizen has complained about his woes caused by the delay in the completion of the official formalities related to the implementation of a road project in Makkah.

“I am deprived of the opportunity to take a housing loan from the Real Estate Development Fund (REDF) to construct a new house. Actually my loan has been approved after 13 years. I am badly in need of  a new house because I lost my old house to a project for road development in Al-Zahrin district,” said Waleed Khairallah, a resident of Makkah who on Saturday complained to National Society for Human Rights (NSHR).

About 16 years ago, long time before his house was marked for demolition, Khairallah applied for a house loan to the REDF and his application was approved three years ago.

“But the REDF has not given me the loan because I do not fulfill a condition set by the REDF that an applicant should have a plot to build his house. I actually had the plot when I applied for the loan but its ownership was taken away from me by the authorities for the development project. The payment of the price of my plot has been delayed because of the delay in implementing the project,” he said.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article351669.ece

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Geopolitics rears its ugly head in Libya’s turmoil

Apr 10, 2011

Oil reserves have again proven to be a curse, at least seemingly. Pointers are already there. And the theory has gained further circulation once oil from the rebel held eastern Libya finally began to trickle.

“So it was all about oil” skeptics had a heyday, as the Liberian-flagged oil tanker departed the northeastern Libyan port of Marsa Al-Hariga, carrying one million barrels of oil. The shipment marked the first sale of oil by the rebel government since the uprising that began on Feb. 17.

Traders said they believed that the payments for the sale will be made via an offshore bank account.

“The value of this first shipment is around $112 million and will be made in a bank account outside of Libya that the rebels would have access to,” one of the traders was quoted as saying.

Reports also confirmed that the first cargo from the rebel held region was destined for China. The trial deal via trading house Vitol was likely to clear the way for Europe to resume badly-needed purchases of the light Libyan oil - definitely difficult to compensate for.

“Given that several governments, including some in Europe, now recognize it as the legal government of the country, there would be no legal obstacle to buying oil from it or even paying it directly,” said J. Peter Pham, Africa director with the US think tank Atlantic Council.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/economy/article351590.ece

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Egyptian uprising set for a revival

10 April 2011

DUBAI: The Egyptian uprising appears set for its second revival with pro-democracy activists in large numbers gathering yet again on Saturday at Cairo's iconic Tahrir Square, despite a lethal Friday night crackdown.

Two people have been killed and 15 injured, after troops under the cover of darkness broke into Tahrir Square in the early hours on Saturday. Amateur video showed them firing in the air and using teargas to disperse hundreds who had remained at the square, after huge crowds of protesters, who had earlier assembled on Friday, had peacefully dispersed.

The protesters on Friday had served notice to the military to accelerate reforms and carry out a comprehensive institutional purge of remnants of the era of Hosni Mubarak, former President, who had been forced to quit on February 11. “We condemn the intentional slowness of the military council in meeting demands of the revolution and call on Egyptians to return to Tahrir Square and stay until Mubarak and his followers are arrested and tried,” read a statement of the coalition of youth groups, which had earlier spearheaded the anti-Mubarak protests.

Full report at:

http://www.hindu.com/2011/04/10/stories/2011041055421600.htm

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/12-killed-in-gaza’s-deadliest-24-hours-since-2008-9-war/d/4427


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