New Age Islam
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Islamic World News ( 18 Dec 2013, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Abuse Amounting To War Crimes 'Rife In Secret Al-Qaeda Jails in Syria'

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Members of Islamist Syrian rebel group Jabhat al-Nusra (Reuters / Molhem Barakat)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arab World

Abuse Amounting To War Crimes 'Rife In Secret Al-Qaeda Jails in Syria'

Shiites attacked in Iraq, toll rises to 22

16 children freeze to death as Syrians struggle to survive

Syria: Saudi and Islamist rebel threat not stopping Geneva II

Ex-Imam of Ka'bah refused entry to UK

Constitution rejection leaves Egypt 'prey to conspirers, say Salafists

Report: Iran, Syria smuggling weapons to Hezbollah through Iraq

Saudi jailed 15 years for 'Qaeda recruiting': report

Egypt's Mohammed Morsi to face charges of espionage 'linked to terror campaign'

 

South Asia

Local Turf-Sharing Accord with the Taliban Raises Alarm in Afghanistan

Dhaka tells Islamabad to stay out of its internal affairs, that it is no longer 1971

Sever diplomatic ties with Islamabad, protesters tell government

Jamaat: Govt may attack major establishments

Strongly condemn Pakistan's resolution on executed Islamist, PM Hasina says

 

Africa

Are the Chinese Next On Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb's Hit List?

22 killed in Nigeria attack

Worry in Tunisia over Youths Who Turn to Jihad

South Sudan Rebels Seize Key Town of Bor: Army

Muslims, Christians torn apart in Central African Republic

Nearly 1,000 killed by ex-rebels in C. Africa capital: Amnesty

 

Pakistan

At least 23 suspected militants killed in North Waziristan

25 civilian killed in Mirali Shelling

Suicide attack kills five soldiers in North Waziristan

Pakistan wants peaceful relations with India, Afghanistan

‘Pakistan following no-interference policy in Afghanistan’

Nation urged to get united against terrorism: President Mamnoon Hussain

General calls for containing JuD & LeT

Pakistani Taliban threaten Imran Khan for supporting polio jabs

 

Mideast

Israeli universities boycotted by US scholars over treatment of Palestinians

Accused 9/11 conspirator kicked out of Gitmo court for complaining about torture

‘Almost 2,000 Palestinians have died in Syrian war’

Iran to resume 20%-uranium enrichment within day if West fails to honour Geneva accord

 

Southeast Asia

Pharmaceutical products must have Halal certification: Indonesian Ulema Council

Higher Education for All Crucial If Indonesia Wants to Keep Growing

Anti-Shia sentiment is temporary, says Mat Sabu

Education attaché in London accredited as registrar of marriages – Bernama

 

North America

Guantanamo detainees transferred to Sudan

US designates Qatari, Yemeni global terrorists

US blacklists Algeria jihadists, Al Nusra leader

Israeli-American gets 25 years in Taliban weapons sting

Pakistan protests may make US fly war cargo out

 

Europe

UN passes resolution on drone strikes after pressure from Pakistan

NSA surveillance needed to fight terrorism: Putin

Russia airlifts equipment for Syria chemical arms removal

UN condemns Syria, Iran and North Korea on human rights violations

Russia and Iran call for an end to bloodshed in Syria - FM

Double standards are main problem in fight against terrorism - Russian diplomat

 

India

196 Ceasefire Violations by Pakistan This Year: Antony

Over 141,000 Indians Returned From Saudi Arabia

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/abuse-amounting-to-war-crimes--rife-in-secret-al-qaeda-jails-in-syria-/d/34915

 

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Arab World

 

Abuse Amounting To War Crimes 'Rife In Secret Al-Qaeda Jails in Syria'

19 December 2013

Torture and summary executions are rife in secret prisons in Syria run by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), Amnesty International says.

A new report says al-Qaeda affiliate had committed serious rights abuses, including some amounting to war crimes.

Isis is one of the main jihadist groups fighting government forces, and has a strong presence in the north of Syria.

The rights group says "the people of al-Raqqa and Aleppo are suffering under a new form of tyranny imposed by Isis".

"Those abducted and detained by ISIS include children as young as eight who are held together with adults in the same cruel and inhuman conditions," said Amnesty's regional director Philip Luther.

'Reign of terror'

The report alleges that in areas they control, ISIS forces had committed numerous serious rights abuses, including some that amount to war crimes, such as abductions, arbitrary detention, torture and other ill-treatment, and unlawful killings.

Ten former detainees interviewed by an Amnesty researcher in the past month recounted "a shocking catalogue of abuses", the report said, including being flogged with rubber generator belts or cables, tortured with electric shocks or forced to adopt a painful stress position in which their wrists were secured together over one shoulder.

Some of those held by ISIS were suspected of theft; others of "crimes" against Islam, such as smoking, alcohol consumption or sex outside marriage, the report added. Others were seized for challenging ISIS's rule or because they belonged to rival rebel groups.

Amnesty said it was told that several children had received severe floggings. Two detainees described how they had seen a 14-year-old get more than 90 lashes during interrogation at Sadd al-Baath, an ISIS prison beside a dam on the Euphrates river at al-Mansoura.

Amnesty said the local Sharia court judge at Sadd al-Baath invariably appeared wearing an explosives belt and had "instituted a reign of terror over its detainees".

Former detainees accused him of presiding over grotesquely unfair trials lasting no more than a few minutes, and of handing down death penalties which were subsequently carried out.

"After years in which they were prey to the brutality of the Assad regime, the people of Raqqa and Aleppo are now suffering under a new form of tyranny imposed on them by ISIS, in which arbitrary detention, torture and executions have become the order of the day," Mr Luther said.

'Significant advances'

Raqqa, a city sheltering around a million people, is under the full control of ISIS.

Smaller but better funded than other rebel groups, it has historically been made up of foreign jihadists from Arab countries - particularly Iraq, but also Libya, Tunisia, and Saudi Arabia - Russia's north Caucasus, and Europe.

But activists from Raqqa told the BBC's Newsnight that it was now attracting more and more Syrian recruits.

In the past few months, ISIS has made significant advances, largely at the expense of rebel brigades affiliated to the Western-backed Free Syrian Army, and controls a wide swathe of northern Syria close to the Turkish border.

Amnesty called on the international community to help to block the flow of arms to Isis and other armed groups implicated in war crimes and serious rights abuses.

It also renewed its appeal to the Syrian government to "end its violations of human rights and international law, including the use of torture in its own detention centres".

The United Nations says more than 100,000 people have been killed since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began in March 2011. More than nine million others have been forced from their homes.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-25440381

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Shiites attacked in Iraq, toll rises to 22

AFP | Dec 19, 2013

BAGHDAD: A suicide bomber detonated an explosives belt among Shiite pilgrims in Iraq on Thursday, killing at least 17 people, while militants shot dead a family of five, officials said.

The attack on the pilgrims in the Dura area of south Baghdad took place at a tent where they are served food and drinks on their way to the shrine city of Karbala, and also wounded at least 35 people, security and medical officials said.

Hundreds of thousands of people make pilgrimages to Karbala, many of them on foot, during the 40 days after the annual commemoration marking the death of the Prophet Mohammed's grandson, known to Shiites as Imam Hussein.

The 40th day, known as Arbaeen, falls on December 23 this year. Sunni militants, including those linked to Al-Qaida, frequently target members of Iraq's Shiite majority, whom they consider to be apostates.

The throngs of pilgrims on the roads make for an easy target, and they have been hit by a series of attacks in recent days.

On Wednesday, a suicide bomber targeted Shiite pilgrims in Khales, north of Baghdad, killing five people and wounding 10.

The toll would likely have been higher were it not for the selfless actions of a policeman who embraced the bomber just before the attack, in an effort to shield others from the blast.

On Tuesday, two attacks against pilgrims in and near Baghdad killed at least eight people, and on Monday two car bombs targeting pilgrims south of the capital killed at least 24 people.

Also on Thursday, militants dressed in army uniforms attacked the house of an anti-Al-Qaida militiaman in the Abu Ghraib area, west of Baghdad, killing him, his wife and their three children.

The Sahwa militia are made up of Sunni Arab tribesmen who joined forces with the United States from late 2006, helping to bring about a significant reduction in violence.

They are frequently targeted by Sunni militants, who consider them traitors.

Violence in Iraq has surged this year to levels not seen since 2008, when the country was just emerging from a brutal sectarian conflict.

More people were killed in the first eight days of this month than in all of December last year.

And more than 6,550 people have been killed since the beginning of 2013, according to AFP figures based on security and medical sources.

Analysts say that widespread discontent among Iraq's minority Sunni Arab community is a major factor fuelling the surge in unrest.

The civil war in neighbouring Syria, which has bolstered extremist groups, has also played a role.

While the government has made some concessions aimed at placating Sunni Arabs, including freeing prisoners and raising the salaries of Sahwa fighters, underlying issues remain unaddressed.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Shiites-attacked-in-Iraq-toll-rises-to-22/articleshow/27656568.cms

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16 children freeze to death as Syrians struggle to survive

World Bulletin / News Desk

December 19, 2013

As many as 16 children have frozen to death in Syria due to harsh weather conditions that have gripped Syria in its third winter under the shadow of civil war.

Children remain the most vulnerable as lack of power and fuel further aggravates the cold.

Burak Karacaoglu of Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) says nearly 50,000 children are facing death in makeshift tents put up by Syrians near the Turkish border, adding the current flow of aid is not sufficient.

"Syrians are in a very difficult situation," he said Thursday. "Children living in tent cities are battling epidemics."

Eighty percent of the patients in stopgap hospitals run by non-profit Doctors Without Borders are children, sources say.

Karacaoglu says more people flee to border camps every day, exacerbating the humanitarian situation.

Sosen Ahmet, 50, says she is in grave difficulty living with her newborn daughter Hewler, who has suffered a number of illnesses since her birth.

"We cannot return before (Syrian leader) Bashar al-Assad falls. We are at a loss as to what we do and how we live."

http://www.worldbulletin.net/?aType=haber&ArticleID=125294

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Syria: Saudi and Islamist rebel threat not stopping Geneva II

December 19, 2013

Damascus (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Preparations continue for the Peace Conference on Syria scheduled to start on 22 January 2014 in Geneva, this despite the partial meltdown of Syria's secular opposition and the hostility of Saudi Arabia, which remains opposed to Western overtures to the regime.

Recently, the United States, the European Union and Russia have tried to get the various factions in the fight against the regime to take part in the meeting.

However today, the Islamic Front, an umbrella group that includes the six main Islamist groups active in Syria, refused to meet with Robert Ford, the US ambassador in Damascus.

In recent days, the US diplomat had made contact with their leaders to persuade them to participate in the peace conference.

So far, only the Syrian National Council (SNC), the exiled secularist group, has agreed to participate in Geneva II. But the Council and its armed wing, the FSA, now represent only 10 per cent of the forces opposed to the regime.

For months, extremist Islamist groups, the real force fighting against Bashar al-Assad, have also attacked FSA forces and have reportedly seized its caches along the Syrian-Turkish border,

For its part, Turkey yesterday denied reports that it had sent weapons to Syria, or that it had financed Islamist rebels.

According to the London-based International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence (ICSR), whose mission is to analyse and promote the understanding of political violence and radicalisation in the Middle East and around the world, at least 11,000 Islamist fighters are in Syria on a jihad against the Syrian regime.

Such movements have been apparently supported and financed by Gulf monarchies and Saudi Arabia.

Yesterday Saudi Ambassador to Britain Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz criticised Western positions on Bashar al-Assad and Iran, calling them "a dangerous gamble."

In a commentary in the New York Times, the Saudi diplomat slammed the US and Britain for stopping non-lethal aid to the rebels and for the overture to Tehran that could put at "risk the stability of the region and, potentially, the security of the whole Arab world".

Under the circumstances, "the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has no choice but to become more assertive in international affairs: more determined than ever to stand up for the genuine stability our region so desperately needs," Abdulaziz wrote.

http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Syria:-Saudi-and-Islamist-rebel-threat-not-stopping-Geneva-II-29851.html

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Ex-Imam of Ka'bah refused entry to UK

World Bulletin / News Desk

December 19, 2013

Sheikh Adel Al Kalbani, a prominent Saudi Arabian Muslim scholar and former Imam of the Ka’bah in Mecca, Islam’s most holy mosque, has been denied entry to the UK.

Despite gaining an entry visa for the UK, the scholar was stopped by British agents before he could even depart from King Khaled International Airport in the capital.

“I was stopped at the door of the plane and told that the authorities received a message from the British Embassy saying that I was not allowed to enter Britain,” Al Kalbani told Arab News.

“I don’t really know why they denied me entry. I was in Britain about four years ago and other countries.”

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/?aType=haber&ArticleID=125277

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Constitution rejection leaves Egypt 'prey to conspirers, say Salafists

December 19, 2013

Leader of the Salafist Nour Party Younis Makhioun has warned that the rejection of a revised constitution will leave Egypt a "prey" to what he described as "foreign conspirers".

"The revised charter is better than the suspended 2012 constitution," Makhioun told a rally in the coastal city of Alexandria on Wednesday to promote the revised constitution.

"The new constitution will close the door to foreign enemies who do not wish to see stability in the country," he said.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/?aType=haber&ArticleID=125251

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Report: Iran, Syria smuggling weapons to Hezbollah through Iraq

 Dec 19, 2013

Iran and Syria are reportedly smuggling weapons to Hezbollah through Iraqi airports, to avoid IDF attacks on weapons convoys crossing the border from Syria to Lebanon, Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Seyassah reported.

According to the report, this method of smuggling arms has been agreed on by the two sides two months ago.

A source in the Iraqi ruling party told the paper that while senior Iraqi officials aide Tehran and Damascus in smuggling weapons to Hezbollah, Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is unaware of it.

Full report at:

http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Report-Iran-Syria-smuggling-weapons-to-Hezbollah-through-Iraq-335476

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Saudi jailed 15 years for 'Qaeda recruiting': report

2013-12-19

RIYADH: A Saudi court has jailed a man for 15 years after convicting him of recruiting 14 nationals to join Al Qaeda's affiliate in neighbouring Yemen, Al-Hayat newspaper reported Thursday.

A Riyadh court specialising in security cases convicted the unnamed Saudi national of recruiting the militants online after he held meetings in Yemen with Al Qaeda leaders, the daily said.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1075074/saudi-jailed-15-years-for-qaeda-recruiting-report

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Egypt's Mohammed Morsi to face charges of espionage 'linked to terror campaign'

December 19, 2013

Mohammed Morsi, Egypt’s deposed president, was yesterday charged with consipring with foreign groups to commit terrorism in the country, in a significant escalation of the new authorities’ attempts to destroy him and his movement.

Mr Morsi is said to have conspired with Hamas, the Palestinian militant group whose stronghold is in neighbouring Gaza, and its Lebanese ally Hizbollah, to “smuggle arms, organise military training for group members, and to stir chaos and threaten national security”.

Mr Morsi and most of the rest of the senior Brotherhood leadership, including its supreme guide, Mohammed Badie, already face a variety of cases, including incitement to murder. But the new prosecution brings all the currently detained inner circle together on a single raft of charges.

Full report at:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/egypt/10525635/Egypts-Mohammed-Morsi-to-face-charges-of-espionage-linked-to-terror-campaign.html

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South Asia

 

Local Turf-Sharing Accord With the Taliban Raises Alarm in Afghanistan

By AZAM AHMED and TAIMOOR SHAH

December 19, 2013

KABUL, Afghanistan — An Afghan Army commander stationed in the deadliest corner of Helmand Province brokered a cease-fire and turf-sharing deal with local Taliban insurgents there, according to government and police officials, in an example of the sort of ground-level bargaining that some see as increasingly likely once international troops withdraw next year.

Details of the accord, which took place in the district of Sangin, remain murky. But the issue was fraught enough that the army scrambled to send a delegation there to investigate on Tuesday, officials said. And local residents say that commanders were promising that the deal would halt immediately and never happen again.

The alarm was in part because of what Sangin has come to symbolize. It is one of just a few areas of Afghanistan where the Taliban have never been dislodged, and it was one of the deadliest battlegrounds in the country for American Marines and British troops who waged several offensives there over the years. It was handed over to Afghan security control early this year, and any appearance that the Afghans would be willing to essentially give back hard-won gains to the Taliban would be politically problematic, at best.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/19/world/asia/a-local-peace-accord-afghanistan.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&_r=0

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Dhaka tells Islamabad to stay out of its internal affairs, that it is no longer 1971

December 19, 2013

Dhaka (AsiaNews) - Bangladeshi authorities expressed anger over Pakistan's "interference in the domestic affairs of Bangladesh" where it no longer has any right to meddle.

This comes after Pakistan's National Assembly passed a resolution on Monday against the execution of Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh leader Abdul Quader Mollah, who was put to death for crimes against humanity committed during Bangladesh's war of liberation from Pakistan in 1971.

Mollah's hanging on 12 December sparked a backlash among supporters of his party. In Pakistan, the country's parliament adopted a resolution in which it "expresses concerns over the execution" and called on "the Bangladesh government not to rake up the memories of 1971 and all cases against JI leaders [of Bangladesh] should be settled amicably."

Full report at:

http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Dhaka-tells-Islamabad-to-stay-out-of-its-internal-affairs,-that-it-is-no-longer-1971-29850.html

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Sever diplomatic ties with Islamabad, protesters tell government

 Dec 19, 2013

Activists of Ganajagaran Mancha yesterday attempted to lay siege to the Pakistani High Commission in Dhaka, beating several police blockades on their way, to protest the Pakistani parliament’s resolution against the hanging of Quader Molla. They demanded that the government temporarily break off diplomatic relations with Islamabad by 3pm today and warned of a non-stop sit-in programme if the demand was not met. Mancha Spokesperson Emran H Sarker announced the demand while addressing the demonstration. “The government has to break off diplomatic relations with Pakistan temporarily within 20 hours and the police officials who charged at our activists have to be punished,” he said. It was around 3pm when about 500 people, including activists of Ganajagaran Mancha as well as family members of the Liberation War martyrs and women gathered at Gulshan-2.

Full report at:

http://www.dhakatribune.com/foreign-affairs/2013/dec/19/sever-diplomatic-ties-islamabad-protesters-tell-government#sthash.av7SLYsj.dpuf

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Jamaat: Govt may attack major establishments

 Dec 19, 2013

Jamaat-e-Islami has alleged that the government may attack important establishments and people in the country, whilst blaming the opposition.

Jamaat-e-Islami acting ameer Mokbul Ahmed said yesterday in a press statement: “It has been heard the government may play an evil game and blame the opposition by attacking important establishments, especially foreign missions and embassies, and also foreigners who are working in Bangladesh.”

Full report at:

http://www.dhakatribune.com/politics/2013/dec/19/jamaat-govt-may-attack-major-establishments

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Strongly condemn Pakistan's resolution on executed Islamist, PM Hasina says

PTI | Dec 19, 2013

DHAKA: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina slammed Pakistan on Thursday as anger mounted over a Pakistan parliamentary resolution condemning execution of Jamaat-e-Islami leader Abdul Quader Mollah for crimes against humanity in 1971.

"By passing the resolution at National Assembly, Pakistan has proved that it never accepted the victory of Bangladesh in the Liberation War of 1971 ... I strongly condemn the resolution," Hasina told a meeting of her Awami League-led ruling alliance.

She added that the 1971 collaborator of Pakistan saying they "will not get any shelter on Bangladesh's soil" and reiterated that her government would continue to execute the court verdicts against the Bengali-speaking associates of Pakistani troops during the Liberation War.

Her comments came hours after hundreds of youngsters and 1971 veterans marched towards the Pakistan high commission and issued a 20-hour ultimatum to severe diplomatic ties with Islamabad.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Strongly-condemn-Pakistans-resolution-on-executed-Islamist-Bangladesh-PM-Hasina-says/articleshow/27609691.cms

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Africa

 

Are the Chinese Next On Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb's Hit List?

December 19, 2013

With Beijing backing some unpopular regional regimes and suppressing Muslim Uyghurs back home, Chinese workers could soon find themselves on the wrong side Islamist militant groups.

Although China's role in North Africa generally gets less attention than its investments south of the Sahara, the Asian giant's economic, political and security footprint in this region has also long been widening and deepening.

China is heavily engaged in Libya and Algeria's energy, mineral and construction sectors, the number of Chinese migrants to the region is believed to be steadily rising, and as with the rest of the continent, Chinese manufacturers are happily taking advantage of the demand for cheap manufactured goods.

Full report at:

http://allafrica.com/stories/201312181196.html?viewall=1

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22 killed in Nigeria attack

19 December 2013

At least 22 people were killed in an attack by gunmen who entered a business centre in Mubi area of Nigeria’s Adamawa State.

Commanding officer of the Special Battalion in Mubi, Lt. Col. Beyidi Martins, said the special troops killed 12 gunmen on Wednesday who attacked Mubi Central Market, Xinhua reported on Thursday.

An eyewitness said that about 20 gunmen attacked foreign exchange shops in the market, killing 10 people, while they stole an undisclosed amount of currencies.

Lt. Col. Martins said the soldiers caught up with the escaping criminals near Digil village in Mubi, where a shootout ensued.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/22-killed-in-nigeria-attack/article5478744.ece

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Worry in Tunisia Over Youths Who Turn to Jihad

By CARLOTTA GALL

December 19, 2013

ZAGHOUAN, Tunisia — Hayet Saadi says the trouble with her son Aymen began more than a year ago, when he was just 16. He started attending the mosque five times a day, she said. Then he began talking of jihad, and of going to Syria to join the rebels fighting the government of President Bashar al-Assad. In March, he skipped his high school exams and left home.

Finally, on Oct. 30, Ms. Saadi came home to find the police surrounding her house. A suicide bomber had blown himself up in Sousse, a seaside resort about an hour’s drive south. Another was caught before he could detonate his payload. The police confiscated the family’s computers and phones, and her husband spent the rest of the day at the police station. He called her later from there. “Yes, it is your child,” he told her. Aymen is now in prison.

In the weeks since the attack, Aymen’s trajectory from promising student to potential suicide bomber has shaken Tunisia, where the Islamist government has recently shown moderation by striking a compromise with its secular opponents. Homegrown suicide attacks, previously unheard-of here, are the latest sign of spreading radicalization among young people in a country that has become fertile ground for Islamist groups recruiting fighters for the conflicts convulsing the region.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/19/world/middleeast/young-tunisians-are-being-recruited-to-jihad.html

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South Sudan Rebels Seize Key Town of Bor: Army

 Dec 19, 2013

Juba. South Sudan rebels loyal to fugitive former vice president Riek Machar have seized the key town of Bor, the army said Thursday, as fighting continued following an alleged failed coup bid.

“Our soldiers have lost control of Bor to the force of Riek Machar late on Wednesday,” said army spokesman Philip Aguer.

“There was shooting last night… we don’t have information on casualties or the displaced in the town, as operations are ongoing.”

Bor, which lies some 200 kilometers north of Juba, is the capital of the eastern state of Jonglei, one of the most volatile regions in the young nation.

South Sudan President Salva Kiir has blamed Machar for organizing a coup bid, with fighting breaking out late Sunday in Juba between army units.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/international/south-sudan-rebels-seize-key-town-of-bor-army/

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Muslims, Christians torn apart in Central African Republic

2013-12-19

BOSSANGOA (Central African Republic): The Christian camp is on one side, the Muslim camp on another, separated by a red dirt road littered with abandoned homes, a no man’s land swirling with bitterness, rumours and accusations.

Wrenched apart by sectarian violence, the Central African Republic town of Bossangoa has become little more than a ghost town.

Religious tensions in the country have exploded in the past two weeks, following months of crisis sparked by a March coup, and has sent residents in Bossangoa, 300 km north of the capital Bangui fleeing for their lives.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1074911/muslims-christians-torn-apart-in-central-african-republic

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Nearly 1,000 killed by ex-rebels in C. Africa capital: Amnesty

2013-12-19

BANGUI: The Central African Republic's mostly Muslim ex-rebels killed nearly 1,000 people in the capital Bangui two weeks ago in a rampage avenging deadly Christian militia attacks, Amnesty International said in a report Thursday.

The death toll was significantly higher than earlier estimates by the United Nations, which spoke of 450 killed in Bangui and another 150 elsewhere in the country.

The two-day spasm of violence by fighters from the former Seleka rebel group came after Christian militias known as “anti-balaka” (anti-machete) went door-to-door in some districts in the capital “and killed approximately 60 Muslim men,” Amnesty said in a statement.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1075059/nearly-1000-killed-by-ex-rebels-in-c-africa-capital-amnesty

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Pakistan

 

At least 23 suspected militants killed in North Waziristan

ZAHIR SHAH SHERAZI

2013-12-19

MIRAMSHAH: At least 23 suspected militants were killed late on Wednesday during a clash with security forces in the country's troubled northwest, officials said.

According to a security official who requested anonymity, the suspected militants tried to ambush a convoy of security forces which was returning back from Khajuri checkpost area in Mirali Tehsil of North Waziristan tribal region.

The convoy had gone in the area to rescue soldiers who were injured in a suicide bomb attack yesterday.

Security forces retaliated with gunfire and encircled the suspects inflicting heavy casualties.

The gun-battle continued for several hours during which the 23 suspected militants were killed.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1075069/at-least-23-suspected-militants-killed-in-north-waziristan

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25 civilian killed in Mirali Shelling

 Dec 19, 2013

PESHAWAR: More than 25 people including women and children were killed in mortar shelling and firing of the security forces after the suicide attack over Kajuri fort near Mirali in NWA. Locals of the area said the people of Mussaki, Epi and other areas have started migration to safer palces where women and children are passing through lots of hardships and mental torture. It was also reported that several shops in mirali Bazaar were gutted as a result of shelling while casualties were also reported. Situation in NWA is reportedly turned worst and curfew was imposed all over the main roads in NWA for the third consecutive day.

http://www.thefrontierpost.com/article/62675/25-civilian-killed-in-Mirali-Shelling/

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Suicide attack kills five soldiers in North Waziristan

2013-12-18

MIRANSHAH: At least five soldiers were killed and 34 wounded when a suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden car into a military checkpoint in Pakistan's troubled northwest on Wednesday, security officials said.

The attack came in the Mir Ali area of Miranshah, the main town in the North Waziristan tribal region, a hub for Taliban and al Qaeda linked militants on the Afghan border.

A senior security official said that “a truck laden with explosives was rammed into the checkpoint when security officials were offering evening prayers”.

As a result, “five soldiers embraced shahadat (martyrdom)”, the official said.

“The checkpoint has been completely destroyed and 34 injured security personnel have also been recovered,” he said, revising an earlier toll of 4 people dead and 25 injured.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1074861/suicide-attack-kills-five-soldiers-in-north-waziristan

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Pakistan wants peaceful relations with India, Afghanistan

 Dec 19, 2013

KAMRA: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Wednesday the country’s defence strategy was being devised keeping in view the contemporary professional requirements, as no battle could be won with outdated technology and discarded strategies.

“The new technology and modern expertise have transformed our defence into a great force ... We want that our defence forces should be ever ready for any contingency,” he said at the roll-out ceremony of the 50th JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft at Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, Kamra. The prime minister expressed satisfaction that the country’s military leadership was fully cognisant of the changing environment and was following an agreed and well-integrated approach.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013\12\19\story_19-12-2013_pg1_1

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‘Pakistan following no-interference policy in Afghanistan’

 Dec 19, 2013

ISLAMABAD: Winding up a debate on foreign policy, Adviser to the PM on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said on Wednesday that peace in neighbourhood is the top priority of government for which the prime minister had visited both India and Afghanistan.

He informed the Upper House of Parliament that Pakistan is following the policy of non-interference in Afghanistan and not of fighting proxy wars.

He further said that Pakistan has no favourites in Afghanistan and its policy of non-interference in Afghanistan affairs has helped improve bilateral relations. The adviser said that Pakistan is in favour of Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process.

He said 2014 presents both challenges and opportunities for Afghanistan and three kinds of transition – political, economic and security. The issue of the Bilateral Security Agreement and residual presence of ISAF forces after 2014, he said, was still in the process of being sorted out.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013\12\19\story_19-12-2013_pg7_1

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Nation urged to get united against terrorism: President Mamnoon Hussain

 Dec 19, 2013

ISLAMABAD: President Mamnoon Hussain on Wednesday urged the nation to stand united and support government’s efforts for countering extremism and terrorism.

Addressing a grand tribal jirga at the Presidency, the president lauded the people of tribal areas for being at the forefront in the war against terrorism and confronting difficulties with courage, determination and patience.

He said terrorism had not only damaged the national economy and brought a bad name to the country but also maligned Islam – a religion of peace and security.

The nation would have to rise above petty differences and strive hard to highlight the peaceful identity of Islam and Pakistan, he added.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013\12\19\story_19-12-2013_pg7_4

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General calls for containing JuD & LeT

2013-12-19

ISLAMABAD: A recently retired general has called for containment of India-centric militant groups Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) to defuse tension in the region.

The advice was given by Lt Gen Syed Owais, who retired last year as commander of Air Defence, at a seminar on regional and national security jointly hosted by a think tank, Strategic Vision Institute, and German institute Konrad Adenauer Foundation.

The proposal came a day after the army said it was inviting the Indian head of military operations to defuse tension along the Line of Control, which has witnessed clashes earlier this year.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1075047/general-calls-for-containing-jud-let

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Pakistani Taliban threaten Imran Khan for supporting polio jabs

 Dec 19, 2013

The former cricketing star travelled to a remote village in north-western Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province Wednesday to administer vaccine to children.

Pakistani Taliban have threatened leading politician Imran Khan for supporting a UN-funded vaccination campaign to eradicate polio, his party said on Thursday.

The former cricketing star travelled to a remote village in north-western Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province Wednesday to administer vaccine to children.

Mr. Khan had declared polio workers to be “soldiers of Islam” and said those attacking them were not doing any justice to humanity, religion or Pakistan.

Islamist militants accuse health workers of acting as spies for the United States and say the polio vaccine is intended to make Muslim children sterile.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/pakistani-taliban-threaten-imran-khan-for-supporting-polio-jabs/article5478278.ece

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Mideast

 

Israeli universities boycotted by US scholars over treatment of Palestinians

 Dec 19, 2013

Israeli academia, often seen by the right as a bastion for left-wing, dovish sentiment, has been stung by a vote to boycott higher education in the country by an American academic association in protest against Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.

“This boycott is saying ipso facto if you are an Israeli academic or ipso facto at an Israeli institution you are ipso facto immoral,” said Galia Golan, a political scientist at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, near Tel Aviv and a founder of the Peace Now movement after the American Studies Association (ASA) made their decision.

“This is lumping into one big group all academic endeavours in Israel to say it’s politically tainted,” she said.

Full report at:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/israeli-universities-boycotted-by-us-scholars-over-treatment-of-palestinians-9013856.html

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Accused 9/11 conspirator kicked out of Gitmo court for complaining about torture

December 19, 2013

A Yemeni national accused of helping plan the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks was ejected three times from a courtroom at the United States military base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba this week during pretrial hearings.

Ramzi Binalshibh, 41, caused a commotion during both the morning and afternoon sessions at Gitmo on Tuesday this week, so much so that Army Colonel Judge James Pohl elected twice to remove him from the proceedings. On Wednesday, Binalshibh again earned himself a ticket out of the court after angrily protesting his confinement before the judge.

Binalshibh was first expelled from court on Tuesday morning after he refused to provide Pohl with a yes-or-no response when he was asked if he understood his rights. Instead the detainee erupted before the judge in both English and Arabic about “secret CIA prisons” and “torture,” according to multiple accounts from reporters who covered the hearing at both the base and from before closed-circuit feed provided to the media at Fort Meade, Maryland.

Full report at:

http://rt.com/usa/ginalshibh-gitmo-ejected-court-448/

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 ‘Almost 2,000 Palestinians have died in Syrian war’

 Dec 19, 2013

A total of 1,807 Palestinians have been killed in Syria since the beginning of the violence nearly three years ago, a Palestinian group announced on Wednesday.

Palestinians were living in extremely harsh conditions because the Syrian army was besieging their camps, the Working Group for Palestinians in Syria said.

The group pointed out that Yarmuk refugee camp near Damascus has been under siege for 156 days. It said the Syrian army was preventing food and medicine supplies from reaching the camp residents, who were facing a “humanitarian catastrophe.”

Other refugee camps such as Khan Dannun and Sayeda Zeinab also face severe shortages in food, medicine and fuel.

Full report at:

http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Almost-2000-Palestinians-have-died-in-Syrian-war-335447

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Iran to resume 20%-uranium enrichment within day if West fails to honor Geneva accord December 19, 2013

Iran may resume 20%-uranium enrichment within a single day if the six world powers fail to honor their commitments under the nuclear agreement signed in Geneva, Iranian Foreign Ministry Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Wednesday.

"The structure of our nuclear program is unchanged. We are able to restore 20%-enrichment within 24 hours," he said.

Commenting on the Geneva accord, he said that it opened up opportunities for an ultimate and lasting solution to the nuclear standoff between Iran and the West.

Full report at:

http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2013_12_18/Iran-to-resume-20-uranium-enrichment-within-day-if-West-fails-to-honor-Geneva-accord-Iranian-FM-7862/

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Southeast Asia

 

Pharmaceutical products must have Halal certification: Indonesian Ulema Council

December 19 2013

The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) said pharmaceutical products, both medicines and vaccines, must obtain halal certification.

“Pharmaceutical products are in the same position as food products, which must first be certified halal before being consumed,” said MUI chairman KH Ma’ruf Amin in Jakarta on Thursday, as quoted by Antara news agency.

He said that for Muslims, ensuring that a product was halal, or permissible according to Islamic teaching, was part of their faith and belief.

“Thus, the halal certification for pharmaceutical products is part of efforts to protect Muslims from consuming medicines tainted with haram [forbidden] substances,” said Ma’ruf.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2013/12/19/pharmaceutical-products-must-have-halal-certification-mui.html

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Higher Education for All Crucial If Indonesia Wants to Keep Growing

 Dec 19, 2013

Higher education is an engine of economic growth. Its demand is not only fueled by youth population growth and the return it yields for its graduates, but also by companies’ needs for a quality workforce. In an increasingly globalized world, where graduates and companies face growing competition, there is pressure on governments to equip students with the skills they need.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/opinion/higher-education-for-all-crucial-if-indonesia-wants-to-keep-growing/

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Anti-Shia sentiment is temporary, says Mat Sabu

 Dec 19, 2013

PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu (pic), who was accused of being a Shia Muslim by the authorities recently, believes that the anti-Shia campaign will not last.

He believed that like the anti-communism campaign in the last century, the anti-Shia sentiment sweeping Malaysia is temporary and is the result of politics rather than a genuine schism between different faiths.

Malaysians should heed the lessons of the past and not be caught up in this power play, said Mohamad Sabu, who is fondly known as Mat Sabu.

Mohamad said the campaign and the persecution of Shia Muslims in Malaysia was to sow fear and to prop up the Barisan Nasional administration.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/anti-shia-sentiment-is-temporary-says-mat-sabu

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Education attache in London accredited as registrar of marriages – Bernama

 Dec 19, 2013

Noorkhairan Nordin, the education attache for religious matters and counselling at the Malaysian High Commission in London, has been accredited as the registrar for marriages, divorces and reconciliation for Malaysian Muslims in the United Kingdom and Eire.

Noorkhairan, 32, received his certification of accreditation on Wednesday from the Raja Muda of Perlis, Tuanku Syed Faizuddin Putra Jamalullail, who is also the president of the Perlis Islamic Religious and Malay Customs Council (MAIPs).

The certificate, signed by the Raja of Perlis, Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Putra Jamalullail, authorises Noorkhairan to serve as the registrar for Muslims not only from Perlis but also the other states in Malaysia who are in the UK and Eire.

After receiving the certificate, Noorkhairan told Bernama that he hoped that Malaysian Muslims in London would not regard getting married abroad as something simple because he would scrutinise every application for marriage.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/education-attache-in-london-accredited-as-registrar-of-marriages-bernama

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North America

 

Guantanamo detainees transferred to Sudan

19 December 2013

One of the first inmates at Guantanamo Bay is among two detainees to have been transferred to Sudan, according to US officials.

Ibrahim Othman Ibrahim Idris, 52, arrived at the prison in January 2002 and was never charged.

He was transferred with Noor Uthman Muhammed, 51. Both men were considered by the US to be members of al-Qaeda.

The latest repatriations are part of a renewed push by US President Barack Obama to close Guantanamo Bay.

The two men arrived at the airport in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, in the early hours of Thursday.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-25443897

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US designates Qatari, Yemeni global terrorists

December 19, 2013

Washington: The US on Wednesday imposed sanctions on two Al Qaida supporters and added militants to its lists of terrorists.

The Treasury Department sanctioned Abdul Rahman Bin Umair Al Nuaimi in Qatar and Abdul Wahhab Mohammad Abdul Rahman Al Humaiqani in Yemen by naming them as specially designated global terrorists.

Al Nuaimi is a suspected terrorist financier and facilitator who allegedly has provided money and support and conveyed communications to Al Qaida and its affiliates in Syria, Iraq, Somalia and Yemen for more than a decade.

Full report at:

http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/qatar/us-designates-qatari-yemeni-global-terrorists-1.1268706

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US blacklists Algeria jihadists, Al Nusra leader

December 19, 2013

Washington: The United States on Wednesday blacklisted a shadowy Al Qaida breakaway faction behind the bloody siege of an Algerian gas plant, and the leader of a Palestinian group fighting for Islamists in Syria.

The Signatories in Blood, an armed unit founded by the one-eyed Mokhtar Belmokhtar last year when he split from Al Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, was designated a foreign terrorist organisation by the State Department.

Full report at:

http://gulfnews.com/news/region/algeria/us-blacklists-algeria-jihadists-al-nusra-leader-1.1268641

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Israeli-American gets 25 years in Taliban weapons sting

 Dec 19, 2013

NEW YORK - Oded Orbach, an Israeli who immigrated to the US, one of two American citizens among a group of men accused in 2011 of trying to sell weapons to people they thought were Taliban militants, was sentenced to 25 years in prison on Wednesday in Manhattan federal court.

Orbach, 55, and former US Army translator Alwar Pouryan, the other US citizen netted in a sting, were convicted in April of conspiring to provide material support to terrorists and conspiring to acquire anti-aircraft missiles.

The two men were among seven indicted in 2011 following an undercover investigation by the US Drug Enforcement Administration into drug trafficking in West Africa.

Full report at:

http://www.jpost.com/International/Israeli-American-gets-25-years-in-Taliban-weapons-sting-335470

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Pakistan protests may make US fly war cargo out

AP | Dec 19, 2013

WASHINGTON: US officials, frustrated that hundreds of military shipments heading out of Afghanistan have been stopped on the land route through Pakistan because of anti-American protests, face the possibility of flying out equipment at an additional cost of $1 billion.

More than a week after Pakistani officials promised defense secretary Chuck Hagel that they would take "immediate action" to resolve the problem, dozens of protesters are still gathering on the busy overland route, posing a security threat to convoys carrying US military equipment out of the war zone before combat ends a year from now.

US officials said Wednesday they have seen no effort by the Pakistanis to stop the protests, which prompted the US three weeks ago to halt Nato cargo shipments going through the Torkham border crossing and toward the port city of Karachi.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Pakistan-protests-may-make-US-fly-war-cargo-out/articleshow/27632303.cms

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Europe

 

UN passes resolution on drone strikes after pressure from Pakistan

December 19, 2013

UNITED NATIONS: The United Nations on Thursday unanimously passed a resolution against US drone campaign in foreign territories, Express News reported.

Pakistan has been a vocal opponent of the strikes conducted with the help of unmanned aircraft in the country’s tribal areas and had raised the issue at the UN General Assembly.

The assembly adopted the resolution calling on US, who use drone strikes as a counter-terrorism measure, to comply with international law as the 193-member body acted on a range of issues relating mainly to human rights.

The unanimous call for regulating the use of remotely piloted aircraft against suspected terrorists was contained in a comprehensive 28-paragraph resolution, entitled “Protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism.” The portion about drone strikes was included as a result of intensive efforts made by the Pakistan delegation.

In this regard, the Assembly underscored the “urgent and imperative” need for an agreement among member states on legal questions about drone operations.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/647672/un-passes-resolution-against-drone-strikes-unanimously/

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NSA surveillance needed to fight terrorism: Putin

AP | Dec 19, 2013

MOSCOW: President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that the National Security Agency surveillance is necessary to fight terrorism, but added that the government needs to "limit the appetite'' of the agency with a clear set of ground rules.

Putin's comment at a major news conference was surprising support for President Barack Obama's administration, which has faced massive criticism over the sweeping electronic espionage program.

Putin, a 16-year KGB veteran and the former chief of Russia's main espionage agency, said that while the NSA programme "isn't a cause for joy, it's not a cause for repentance either'' because it is needed to fight terrorism.

He argued that it's necessary to monitor large numbers of people to expose terrorist contacts.

"On political level, it's necessary to limit the appetite of special services with certain rules,'' he said.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/NSA-surveillance-needed-to-fight-terrorism-Putin/articleshow/27648851.cms

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Russia airlifts equipment for Syria chemical arms removal

AFP | Dec 19, 2013

MOSCOW: Russia has sent 10 planes to Syria carrying equipment to help in the multinational operation to remove and destroy the country's chemical weapons arsenal, its ambassador to Damascus said on Thursday.

The planes carrying the equipment have touched down in the Syrian port city of Latakia, Russia's ambassador to Syria Azamat Kulmukhametov told the RIA Novosti news agency.

"An air bridge has been established to deliver the technology and the equipment necessary for assisting the operation for the removal of the chemical weapons from Syria," he said.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Russia-airlifts-equipment-for-Syria-chemical-arms-removal/articleshow/27640901.cms

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UN condemns Syria, Iran and North Korea on human rights violations

December 19, 2013

The United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday condemned Syria for widespread human rights abuses and expressed concern about such violations in Iran and North Korea, but it welcomed pledges by Iran's president to improve in some areas. The resolution on Iran was approved with 86 votes in favor, 36 against and 61 abstentions, and the draft on Syria was adopted with 127 votes in favor, 13 against and 47 abstentions. The resolution on North Korea was passed by consensus, but some states publicly disassociated themselves from the text.

A resolution that has become an annual event since the start of Syria's civil war in 2011 was backed by 127 countries in the 193-nation assembly, with support down from 135 last year. Thirteen voted against and 47 abstained.

Full report at:

http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2013_12_19/UN-condemns-Syria-Iran-and-North-Korea-on-human-rights-violations-0123/

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Russia and Iran call for an end to bloodshed in Syria - FM

December 19, 2013

Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, the Special Russian Presidential Envoy to the Middle East met with the Iranian Ambassador to Russia Mehdi Sanaei in Moscow on Wednesday to discuss the convocation of the Geneva-2 Peace Conference.

“Mikhail Bogdanov and Mehdi Sanaei discussed the situation in the Middle East and North Africa with the focus on the situation in Syria. They called for ceasing the bloodshed in Syria as soon as possible and ending the sufferings of the people through launching a broad inter-Syrian dialogue,” the Russian Foreign Ministry reported.

http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2013_12_19/Russia-and-Iran-call-for-an-end-to-bloodshed-in-Syria-FM-9886/

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Double standards are main problem in fight against terrorism - Russian diplomat

December 19, 2013

Some of Russia's anti-terrorist fight partners have a mixed attitude to the activities of terrorist organizations, head of the Russian Foreign Ministry department for new threats and challenges Ilya Rogachev said.

"In my opinion, the notorious double standards demonstrated by some of our partners, including the Americans, are the main impediment. They divide terrorists into bad and no so bad, for instance, in Syria. These standards manifest themselves, in particular, in the ideologised approach to illegal armed units and operations of terrorist and extremist organizations in the North Caucasus," Rogachev said in an interview published by Kommersant on Wednesday.

Full report at:

http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2013_12_18/Double-standards-are-main-problem-in-fight-against-terrorism-Russian-diplomat-7559/

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India

 

196 Ceasefire Violations by Pakistan This Year: Antony

 Dec 19, 2013

There have been 196 ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir this year till Dec 15 and all were taken up with Pakistan, Defence Minister A.K. Antony told the Rajya Sabha Wednesday.

Antony told the Rajya Sabha in a written reply that there were 93 ceasefire violations along the LoC by Pakistan in 2012.

"All violations of ceasefire are taken up with the Pakistan military authorities at the appropriate level through established mechanism of hotline messages, flag meetings as well as weekly talks between the DGMOs (Director Generals of Military Operations) of India and Pakistan," Antony said.

He said there has been significant reduction in the incidents of ceasefire violations following telephonic talks between the director generals of military operations Oct 25 and 29 this year.

http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/196-Ceasefire-Violations-by-Pakistan-This-Year-Antony/2013/12/18/article1952504.ece

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Over 141,000 Indians Returned From Saudi Arabia

 Dec 19, 2013

Over 141,000 Indians returned home from Saudi Arabia as of Nov 27 during the course of a grace period offered by that Gulf nation to illegal expatriates to rectify their residency status, the government said Wednesday.

Replying to a starred question in the Lok Sabha, Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi said that over 1.4 million Indians availed of the concessions offered during the grace period that ran from April 6 to Nov 4 this year.

Of these 141,301 returned to India “without facing penal action or no ban on their return”, he said.

The grace period was offered after the Saudi government introduced the Nitaqat or Saudisation policy that makes it mandatory for all Saudi companies reserve 10 percent of their jobs for Saudi nationals.

Full report at:

http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/Over-141000-Indians-Returned-From-Saudi-Arabia/2013/12/18/article1952268.ece

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/abuse-amounting-to-war-crimes--rife-in-secret-al-qaeda-jails-in-syria-/d/34915

 

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