New Age Islam
Wed Nov 25 2020, 12:31 AM

Islamic World News ( 26 Sept 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

‘Arab Spring’ is proof that Islam and human rights can coexist: Maldives

Saudi Woman Sentenced to 10 Lashes for driving

Uyghur Organizations to Stage Demonstrations on the occasion of the Chinese National Day

Scores of women train for Libya’s new military, and hope for equality in new society

Maldives supports Sri Lanka’s stance on human rights issue

Islamophobia Network Targets Top Performing American Schools

UK Muslims demand end to Islamophobia

Kyrgyz rights activists criticize unofficial ban on Muslim headscarves in schools

Can't have selective approach in fighting terror: India to US

Gaddafi says still in Libya, ready for martyrdom

Riyadh: Shoura chief says women will bring new blood to council

Facing US fury, Pak woos India

Delhi cautious on Pak-US drama

Pakistan PM: ‘Stop blaming Pak, correct India tilt’

Beijing’s minister pledges ‘full support’, Taliban too back Pak

Pak gushes over Chinas unwavering support to counter US offensive

Pak killed US major after 2007 ‘peace’ meeting

Pak seeks trade to ease tension

Scuffle at the United Nations Ends in an Apology to Turks

8 killed in Kashmir gun battle

US missile strike kills 3 in northwest Pakistan

30 students among 37 killed as school bus crashes in Kallar Kahar

Syrian forces kill 4 defecting soldiers: Activists

Five dead in car bomb near Afghan police HQ

Militants kill 6 in Philippine attack

Roadside bomb kills 3 in Iraq

Gujarat: Amit Shah was head of an extortion syndicate, CBI tells SC

Gujarat: Modi, Shah may be behind Pandya murder: Sanjiv Bhatt

Militants attack Egyptian gas pipeline to Israel

Norway charges three in terror plot over cartoons

For China's Muslim schools, a balancing act

Nepalese Muslims protest over the murder of Faizal Ahmad

Three NATO oil tankers torched in Balochistan

More than 7,200 Indian Jews to immigrate to Israel

Krishna meets Khar, hopes Pak gets serious about dismantling terror camps

India asks Pakistan to destroy 42 operational terror camps

Bill introduced in US House to freeze all aid to Pakistan

After snubbing US on Haqqanis, Pak vows to act against anti-china militants

Taliban insists it controls Haqqanis, not Pakistan

J&K mass graves: Omar Abdullah announces DNA tests of kin

Did diamond mafia in MP kill Shehla Masood to silence her?

Blow for India as Lisbon wants Abu Salem back

China supports Pakistan’s sovereignty, says vice PM

Book on churches in Pakistan launched

Pakistan Supreme Court's website hacked

Activists hack official Syrian websites

Swiss Muslims Speak Out to Defend Swiss Flag against Claims it Offends Immigrants

Muslims explain sons discriminated against at two top Catholic schools

Bahraini Regime Detain 40 Females Over Elections

PDP walks out from J&K assembly on unmarked grave issue

Hamid Ali Rao is new Indian envoy to Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia urges world to accept Palestinians' UN bid

Former Tunisian Foreign Minister: Arab Spring shapes new Islamic orders

U.N. urges end to violence in Yemen

Yemeni defence minister Mohamed Nasser Ali 'survives attack'

Pakistanis Tied to 2007 Border Ambush on Americans

In Riddle of Mideast Upheaval, Turkey Offers Itself as an Answer

Libya's NTC Says Lockerbie Case Closed

Tribesmen seize base near Sanaa

Official: Syrian troops captured in central town

Freed US hikers describe harrowing ordeal in Iran

Egyptian detained in Lebanon for spying for Israel

Bangladesh: 3 Jamaat men held in Khulna

Hundreds of civilians flee Sirte

SWAT: How beekeeping pulled a woman from the edge

An Aid Worker Writes: Hope and Exasperation at a Kandahar Hospital

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/‘arab-spring’-is-proof-that-islam-and-human-rights-can-coexist--maldives/d/5564

 

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‘Arab Spring’ is proof that Islam and human rights can coexist: Maldives

Sep 27, 2011

UNITED NATIONS, Sept 27 (APP): The political transitions in various Arab countries this year demonstrate that Islam is compatible with human rights and democracy, Maldives’ vice president Mohamed Waheed told the General Assembly Monday.  “The democratic uprisings across the Middle East prove that Muslims yearn for democratic rights just as much as non-Muslims,” he said. Dr. Waheed also said that the Maldives, a country that went through its own democratic transition in 2008 by putting an end to a 30-year authoritarian regime, would organize an international conference next year on progressive Islamic jurisprudence and human rights to support the movement.

“We must counter the false perception that people must make the choice between devotion to Islam on the one hand, and the full enjoyment of human rights on the other.

“We strongly believe in the compatibility of Islam and human rights and seek to do our part to promote understanding and tolerance.

With this conference, we hope to renew the concepts of peace and tolerance, co-existence and inter-faith harmony that exist in Islam,” he added.

In his address, Dr. Waheed also spoke about the urgency of climate change reform in the UN, echoing previous statements from other Small Island Developing States (SIDS), urging countries to act immediately so they can respond swiftly and adequately to natural disasters.

The Maldives believes that three issues should form some of the key pillars to be discussed and acted upon in Rio [de Janeiro] next year, he said, referring to the sustainable development conference to be held in the Brazilian city in June 2012.

These issues are firstly, reform of UN support for the sustainable development of SIDS; a political declaration and strategy to give impetus to the roll-out and mobilization of renewable energy and green technologies; and finally, improvements in the integration of sustainable development principles into international and domestic policy at both strategic and project levels, he said.

He also called for a shift in seeing climate change as an  environmental issue to a security one, as well as an economic opportunity. “We do not view cutting carbon emissions as a burden but rather as an opportunity, an opportunity, not just to protect the climate, but also to create new jobs and grow our economies.”

http://ftpapp.app.com.pk/en_/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=155953&

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Saudi woman sentenced to 10 lashes for driving

Sep 27, 2011

JEDDAH: A Saudi woman was sentenced to 10 lashes for defying a ban on women driving in the conservative kingdom, an activist said on Tuesday, while another woman was arrested in the capital.

Sheima Jastaniah was sentenced on Monday by a court in the Red Sea city of Jeddah, where she was caught driving in July, the activist said, requesting anonymity.

She said Jastaniah "had refused to talk to media about her trial ... and we were shocked yesterday (Monday) that she was sentenced to 10 lashes."

Jastaniah will appeal the verdict, she added.

The sentence came a day after King Abdullah announced allowing women to vote and run in municipal polls, and to join the all-appointed Shura (consultative) Council, a first in a country that imposes many restrictions on women.

Amnesty International condemned the sentence, saying it demonstrated the "scale of discrimination against women in the kingdom.'

"Flogging is a cruel punishment in all circumstances but it beggars belief that the authorities in Saudi Arabia have imposed lashes on a woman apparently for merely driving a car," Middle East and North Africa deputy director Philip Luther said in a statement.

"Belatedly allowing women to vote in council elections is all well and good, but if they are still going to face being flogged for trying to exercise their right to freedom of movement then the king's much-trumpeted 'reforms' actually amount to very little," he added.

"Saudi Arabia needs to go much further. The whole system of women's subordination to men in Saudi Arabia needs to be dismantled," added the official from the London-based advocacy group.

Meanwhile, women rights activist Madiha al-Ajrush was detained briefly on Tuesday in Riyadh after she was caught driving around the capital with a French freelance journalist who was working on a video documentary on women.

The journalist said she herself was set free after her consulate intervened, while Ajrush was later released according to posts by the Women2Drive campaign on the group's Twitter page.

Women2Drive said police requested a male guardian to sign a pledge that Ajrush would not drive, but when no one was reached, she was told to sign herself and leave.

"Ms Madiha is standing in the street after the officer asked her to go home in a taxi after preventing her from driving," a post on the social network page said.

A group of defiant Saudi women got behind the wheels of their cars on June 17 in response to calls for nationwide action to break the ban.

The call spread through Facebook and Twitter was the largest mass action since November 1990, when 47 Saudi women were arrested and severely punished after demonstrating in cars.

There is no law banning women from driving. But the minister of interior formally banned women from driving following the protest staged in 1990.

Ajrush was one of the women who took part in the protest.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Saudi-woman-sentenced-to-10-lashes-for-driving/articleshow/10144590.cms

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Uyghur Organizations to Stage Demonstrations on the occasion of the Chinese National Day

September 27th, 2011

On the occasion of the National Day of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) celebrated each year on 1 October, Uyghur organizations worldwide will stage demonstrations to protest the occupation of their homeland East Turkestan, also known as Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China (XUAR), 62 years ago. While the Chinese government celebrate the foundation of the PRC, 1 October represents a mourning day for the Uyghur people since it symbolizes the loss of freedom and human rights. With the protest actions, the Uyghur exile movement also aims to raise awareness on the ongoing human rights abuses against the Uyghurs.

Since 1949, the Chinese government has been waging an intensive and often brutal campaigns to repress all forms of Uyghur dissent, cracking down on Uyghurs’ peaceful religious activities and expressions of ethnicity, dilute Uyghurs’ culture and identity as a distinct people, and threaten the survival of Uyghur language.  The authorities have also economically marginalized Uyghurs in East Turkestan through intense and blatant racial discrimination in employment. East Turkestan’s exceptional economic and strategic value has amplified the Chinese government’s motivations to accomplish these objectives.  East Turkestan is China’s largest producer of natural gas and oil and it occupies the strategically important position of bordering eight countries with connection of major energy supply routes from Caspian region to China. Furthermore, the region comprises one-sixth of modern-day China.

In the last years, East Turkestan has been turned into an open-air prison and the egregious human rights violations by the Chinese authorities perpetrate against the Uyghurs include:

State-sponsored mass resettlement of Han Chinese to East Turkestan and systemic, institutionalized discrimination against Uyghurs,

Forcible transfer of Uyghur women and girls to factories in Eastern China,

Assault on Uyghurs’ ethnic identity through religious and cultural repression and marginalization of the Uyghur language in the education system,

Authorities’ failure to remedy the horrific health and environmental effects of 32 years of nuclear testing in Lop Nur

Forced labor (known as “hashar”) for non-prisoners

Brutal and lethal crackdown of a peaceful Uyghur demonstration on 5 July 2009 through Chinese security forces, that left hundreds, and possibly thousands of people dead.

Since the July 2009 events, Uyghurs have been subjected to mass and arbitrary detentions and enforced disappearances (including of minors); arbitrary sentencing of Uyghurs to death, life, and various jail terms after trials plagued with intense politicization and strangleholds on due process; arbitrary executions; and intensified repression of freedom of expression, including but not limited to the detention and sentencing of Uyghur webmasters, bloggers, and journalists.

Under the global war on terror, launched after the 9/11 attacks in the United States, the oppression of the Uyghur people has drastically increased. The Chinese authorities routinely equate Uyghurs’ peaceful political, religious, and cultural activities with terrorism and religious extremism.

In addition, Uyghurs fleeing suppression in East Turkestan are in extreme risk of being extradited back to China. In the past decade, at least 180 Uyghur refugees and asylum seekers have been forcibly deported – in flagrant violation of both national deportation procedures and international law standards – from countries with strong trade and diplomatic ties to China, obeying pressure from the Chinese government: Cambodia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Malaysia, Burma/Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand, and Uzbekistan. After their return, they disappeared, were detained, or sentenced to long prison terms and death, and some were even executed.

As a result from the ongoing oppression and discrimination of the Uyghur people, the situation in East Turkestan remains tense, as recent violent incidents in Kashgar and Hotan have demonstrated.

The Uyghur organizations in exile, including the World Uyghur Congress (WUC), call on the Chinese government to establish a meaningful dialogue with the Uyghurs to resolve the situation in East Turkestan and ensure the protection of Uyghur human rights.

http://www.uyghurcongress.org/en/?p=11334%20Uyghur%20Organizations%20to%

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Scores of women train for Libya’s new military, and hope for equality in new society

September 27th, 2011

BENGHAZI, Libya — Moammar Gadhafi famously surrounded himself with a personal coterie of female bodyguards during the decades he ruled Libya. But it was more a sign of his eccentricities than a real commitment to equality for women in this conservative Islamic society.

Now the revolutionary forces that swept the longtime leader from power last month are offering military training to scores of women, some of them housewives, others high school teachers. On Sunday at a military compound in the eastern city of Benghazi, dozens of women with machine guns slung over their shoulders listened attentively to instructions in shooting and martial arts. They are the latest group of trainees as Libya’s new leaders work to build a national army.

Women were at the forefront of the protests that launched the anti-Gadhafi uprising in February, demanding democracy for the country and justice for loved ones who had been killed. Many women now hope the revolution will herald full equality.

“We should be equal and we’re fighting for the same goal, so why should the men have to carry the burdens of this fight while we sit and watch?” said Amal al-Obeidi, 35, who teaches business management at a high school in Benghazi.

“The least we can do is learn to protect ourselves so the men can focus on fighting Gadhafi on the front lines knowing that we have their back,” added al-Obeidi, who wore a headscarf and was brimming with enthusiasm.

She said Islam doesn’t forbid women from fighting alongside the men.

“The men have died on the front lines as they had to fight with no weapons and they sacrificed their lives to protect us ... while we were at home doing nothing to help like a piece of a valuable antique furniture,” she said as she struggled to hold a heavy machine gun with two hands at the school. “Gadhafi’s mercenaries could come back at anytime so I want to be ready to defend myself and my house if I have to.”

Volunteers at the military training center say they felt helpless during the months of fighting leading to Gadhafi’s ouster, especially with reports about rapes by Gadhafi forces, and no longer want to sit on the sidelines.

At least 200 women have graduated from the program since it began at Benghazi’s Technical Military Compound in late March. They are given the choice of joining the National Security Force, which operates like the U.S. National Guard and allows them to operate in their own cities. There’s currently no talk of sending women to the front lines.

The Benghazi training center is one of several set up around the country.

A unit of 20 unarmed women was deployed last month when British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy visited Benghazi and addressed a crowd in the main city square. The female guards stood watch and searched other women with fears high that male attackers could try to disguise themselves with all-encompassing robes.

Abdul-Basit Haron, a military commander in Benghazi, said all revolutionary fighters, including the women, would get a one-time fee of $5,000.

Col. Mohammed Garaboli, the commander of the compound where the training takes place, said women’s involvement in the military is important for morale.

“Women feel like they are neglected and they came here to prove that they are equal to men in this society,” he said. “They want to show the world what the Libyans are made of and how open-minded they are as well.”

The role of women is sensitive in this conservative Muslim country, even though Gadhafi regime long touted policies it said were aimed at breaking cultural taboos concerning women’s work and status. The erratic leader had a contingent of female bodyguards and a small number of women were elevated to prominent positions in government ministries.

Female soldiers — a rare sight in most Arab countries — were a trademark of Gadhafi’s regime, patrolling roadside checkpoints in khaki uniforms and Muslim headscarves and often sporting sunglasses and heavy makeup. One group of women even reportedly ran their own interrogation center for suspected female anti-Gadhafi activists.

However, there was not a fundamental commitment to improving women’s lot in life across all aspects of society.

Gadhafi’s policies were in part aimed at weakening traditional tribal and religious powers so he could impose his own vision of society, and just as for men, advancement depended on total adherence to Gadhafi’s authoritarian rule.

Col. Sabriya Mohammed al-Shraidi, a Benghazi native who graduated from the military school in the city in 1986 and specialized in military intelligence, said eight officers were training 36 volunteers in the current class, which she said would be the fourth group to graduate.

“Most of these women are housewives and working ladies. They have no experience in the military and they don’t know how to use guns so they come here to get the training in case they have to defend themselves and their children,” she said. “You never know when you need these skills.”

She said they’re given training in all types of light arms and self-defense. Those who join the force will help provide security for demonstrations, banks and other institutions.

“People are wrong when they say it’s bad for women to be in the military,” she said, pointing out that women already had provided humanitarian aid and helped smuggle weapons to the former rebels by hiding them under their robes.

“Women have contributed to this revolution in many ways,” she said. “But they are still neglected and isolated and we are trying to show ... it is not a shame to be a part of the army and the society unlike during the Gadhafi era when military women had a very bad reputation.”

Wafa al-Rayth, a 29-year-old housewife, said she signed up to join the revolutionary fighters to “show the world that the Libyan women are capable of standing next to their brothers and we are an open-minded society.”

“It is about time we help to spread peace and secure our cities, especially since our traditions require that women guard places where women gather and check their bags and make sure it is not a man dressed in women’s clothes and planning to commit an act of terrorism.”

Lameis Aghnaish, a 20-year-old engineer wearing a camouflage uniform, said she had been trying to move abroad under Gadhafi’s rule, but is now proud to stay.

“I was planning on leaving Libya to another country because life was difficult here and I never felt like I belonged to this country in any way, but now things are different,” she said. “I will sacrifice my life if I have to for this country.”

She said she was putting her career on hold to join the military.

“I will go back to my old job after everything has settled down because what we need now is safety and security and I am helping to provide that by volunteering to be a women guard,” she said.

Wafa al-Gargouri, a 49-year-old housewife who is known as a mother of the revolution for her role in leading protests, said people used to revile women soldiers, calling them Gadhafi’s toys and speculating that he used them for pleasure.

“We want the people to change the way they think about the military women,” she said.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle-east/scores-of-women-train-for-libyas-new-

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Maldives supports Sri Lanka’s stance on human rights issue

By Eleanor Johnstone

September 27th, 2011

Vice President Dr Mohammed Waheed Hassan has told Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa that the Maldives will continue to support its neighbor amidst allegations of war crimes and human rights violations from the United Nations (UN).

The leaders reportedly discussed trade during the 66th session of the UN’s General Assembly in New York last weekend. Waheed told the President that the Maldives remained supportive of Sri Lanka’s stance on the human rights allegations.

Sri Lanka is currently conducting an internal investigation of these allegations, which refer to acts of violence committed by both government and rebel forces in the final phases of Sri Lanka’s civil war.

Numerous human rights groups, including Amnesty International (AI) and Human Rights Watch (HRW), have rejected Sri Lanka’s investigation on the grounds that its Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) does not meet international standards.

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has reported that human rights groups found the commission flawed because “its members were appointed by the government, it has no real mandate to investigate war crimes in the last stages of the conflict, lacks any mechanism to protect witnesses and falls short of minimum international standards of a commission of inquiry.”

Full report at:

http://minivannews.com/politics/maldives-supports-sri-lankas-stance-on-human-rights-issue-vp-26164

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Islamophobia Network Targets Top Performing American Schools

September 27th, 2011

This September, I was interviewed by a communications firm on the topic of Islamophobia. The firm is planning a campaign to counteract Islamophobia in America and was conducting interviews with Washington policymakers who have addressed this topic. The interview came on the heels of a Center for American Progress (CAP) report published last month, called "Fear Inc: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America," which found a well-financed, well-organized network of advocates, experts and media partners conducting a strategic campaign throughout America and "spreading hate and misinformation," as CAP put it.

Islamophobia is on the rise in America, but this is hardly surprising. Scan recent American history to witness the consistent creation of an "other", whether it was anti-Catholicism and anti-Semitism in the 19th century (and beyond), the first Red Scare in the early 1900s, the Japanese-American scare and second Red Scare in the mid-1900s, or the Muslim American scare in the early 2000s. There is purpose here. When entire races, religions or regions are dehumanized, it is easier to wage war, expel immigrants, and forge new, discriminatory (or oppressive) domestic and foreign policies to deal with these vilified populations.

Turkish-Americans are the latest to feel the heat. Despite serving as NATO's number two troop supplier and recently agreeing to host a NATO radar defense system, Turkey is often accused by Washington for contradicting US foreign policy aims and objectives when negotiating with Iran, Syria, Israel and Libya. Additionally, Turkey's market-friendly version of political Islam has often rubbed the West the wrong way.

Full report at:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-shank/islamophobia-network-targets-top-

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UK Muslims demand end to Islamophobia

September 27th, 2011

British Muslims have convened a peace conference under the title of 'Peace for Humanity' at Wembley Arena in London to demand an end Islamophobia, terror and violence.

More than 12,000 Muslims attended the conference, whose main speaker Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, the founder of Islamic organisation Minhaj-ul-Quran International, called for global peace.

"We reject unequivocally all terrorism because at the heart of all religions is a belief in the sanctity of the lives of the innocent”, Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri told the conference.

The event launched a campaign to get a million signatures to back its declaration for peace.

“We, the signatories to this 'London Declaration for Global Peace & Resistance against Extremism', affirm that all humans everywhere possess inherent dignity and immutable rights: these including freedom from poverty, oppression, fear and prejudice and freedom of belief, worship and expression,” said a statement posted on Minhaj-ul-Quran International Full report at:

http://presstv.com/detail/201246.html

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Kyrgyz rights activists criticize unofficial ban on Muslim headscarves in schools

Sep 27, 2011

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - Kyrgyz human rights activists have criticized the unofficial ban imposed on the Kyrgyz Education Ministry on Muslim headscarves in schools.

"Headscarves do not pose a threat to national security, they do not violate public order, and do not threaten other people's health and morals," the Kyrgyz Human Rights Council said in a statement obtained by Interfax.

The human rights activists believe such a ban "makes it impossible for believers to attend secondary schools and violates children's fundamental right to secondary education."

"The Constitution guarantees freedom of religion and people's rights and liberties can only be restricted by law to protect democratic values such as national security, public order, health protection, and the protection of morals," the statement says.

Full report at:

http://abna.co/data.asp?lang=3&Id=268054

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Can't have selective approach in fighting terror: India to US

Sep 27, 2011

NEW YORK: India has conveyed to the US that countries with a "determined position to fight terror" cannot be selective in their approach in dealing with the menace and have to fight the scourge together "across the board".

External affairs minister S M Krishna discussed the issue of terror with secretary of state Hillary Clinton at a bilateral meeting that lasted here for over 40 minutes.

Terming the meeting as "very good and constructive," Krishna later told reporters that the two sides spent time on discussing the issue of terrorism and condemned the recent attacks on the American mission in Kabul and at the High Court in New Delhi.

"I made out the point that it is necessary for all those countries which have taken the determined position to fight terror will have to act together and fight it across the board without being selective in our approach," he said adding that "Secretary Clinton agreed with us."

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Cant-have-selective-approach-in-fighting-terror-India-to-US/articleshow/10137003.cms

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Gaddafi says still in Libya, ready for martyrdom

27 September 2011

TRIPOLI — Fugitive Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi has told his supporters that he is still fighting on the ground and is ready to die a martyr, a loyalist website reported on Tuesday.

“Heroes have resisted and fallen as martyrs and we too are awaiting martyrdom,” the website of the defunct Allibiya state television channel quoted Gaddafi as saying in a speech broadcast on local radio in Bani Walid, one of his last remaining bastions.

The toppled despot hailed the fierce resistance put up by his loyalists in Bani Walid, a desert city, 170 kilometres (105 miles) southeast of Tripoli, which has resisted a bloody siege by forces of the National Transitional Council for several weeks.

The region’s Warfalla tribe was a major source of recruitment for the elite troops of Gaddafi’s regime and the strongman told its members that they were continuing in that martial tradition.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/international/2011/

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Riyadh: Shoura chief says women will bring new blood to council

Sep 27, 2011

RIYADH: The Shoura Council applauded the decision of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah on Monday to give women an opportunity to become members of the council.

The second regular session of the council was chaired by Shoura Council President Abdullah Al-Asheikh.

According to an announcement made by the king on Sunday, Saudi women would be allowed to stand and vote in municipal elections and also become members of the Shoura Council.

In his opening remarks during the first session following the king’s speech, Al-Asheikh thanked King Abdullah for inaugurating the third year of the fifth session of the Shoura Council and pointed out that his landmark decision amply demonstrated his support for the welfare of Saudi women in the Kingdom.

"Saudi women have excelled in education, health, economics, administrative and social fields in the society," Al-Asheikh said, adding that they have made remarkable achievements in research studies and some have served the council as consultants.

Therefore, he added that women's entry to the council would bring new blood to an institution where national and international problems are discussed to achieve the Kingdom's goals.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article507394.ece

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Facing US fury, Pak woos India

Sep 28 2011

Washington: After it fawned all over China,complained to the Saudis,kissed up to Iran,Islamabad reached out to India to counter US anger at its fostering of terrorism and acts of war against American forces.

Look at all the smiles on every Pakistani face, Pakistans foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar was quoted as telling her Indian counterpart S M Krishna about his presence at the reception she hosted on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.She was extremely warm and I was very pleased that I did go to the reception, Krishna gushed too,saying such gestures will go a long way in improving bilateral relations.

While Khar and Krishna were wreathed in warm smiles,a little down south,a furious Washington was barely able to sheath its anger and embarrassment over Pakistani perfidies it has long sought to play down.A shocking new report about how Pakistani soldiers unexpectedly attacked a US military team in 2007 after talks in a Pakistani village killing a US Major added to American outrage that has led to a growing chorus that Pakistan is actually a US enemy and not an ally as it long been touted.

Full report at: Times of India

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Delhi cautious on Pak-US drama

Indrani Bagchi

Sep 28 2011

New Delhi: India is watching with keen interest US statements that could have,at different times, easily emanated from New Delhi.

While Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, was berating Pakistan, India was playing host to a high-level commerce officials delegation from Pakistan in Mumbai,holding out the promise that Pakistan may grant MFN status to India soon. In New York, foreign minister SM Krishna dropped in on a reception hosted by Hina Rabbani Khar.

But Krishnas message remained cautious. I am sure they (Pakistan) will realize and they have, by now they should have (realized) that terrorism cannot be fought selectively, he said. Quoting the PM, he said, It has to be fought across the board.

For many years,Indian officials and leaders have slammed Pakistan for supporting terror networks. The Indian embassy in Kabul was hit on July 7,2008 by a combination of terrorists from the Haqqani network and ISI. Intelligence tracing the attackers to the Haqqanis as well as their masters in the ISI was provided to the Indians by the US.

Full report at: Times of India

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Pakistan PM: ‘Stop blaming Pak, correct India tilt’

Sep 28 2011

Islamabad : Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani today warned the US to stop accusing it of playing a double game and to correct Washington’s perceived tilt towards India.

“The negative messaging, naturally that is disturbing my people,” Gilani said. “If there is messaging that is not appropriate to our friendship, then naturally it is extremely difficult to convince my public. Therefore they should be sending positive messages.”

The US was criticising Pakistan because “they expected more results from Afghanistan, which they have not been able to achieve”, Gilani said.

Gilani said anti-Americanism in Pakistan was partly a result of an “imbalance” between Washington’s relationship with India and Pakistan.

“There is an acute shortage of electricity in Pakistan... But they (the US) are doing the civilian nuclear deal not with Pakistan, but with India. Now how can I convince my public that they are your (Pakistan’s) friends and not the friends of India? The perception matters.”

In Washington, however, the US kept up the pressure, with both the State Department and Pentagon saying a “clear message” had been sent to Islamabad about what it must do. In a separate briefing, the Pentagon said the US had repeatedly shared details of Pakistani “complicity” with terrorists.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/stop-blaming-pak-correct-india-tilt/852811/

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Beijing’s minister pledges ‘full support’, Taliban too back Pak

Sep 28 2011

China today “categorically extended” its “full support” to Pakistan’s “sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity” amid mounting US pressure that Islamabad has denounced as amounting to interference in its sovereign affairs.

Following a meeting with China’s Public Security Minister Meng Jianzhu, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani declared that “a friend of China is Pakistan’s friend, its enemy (is) Pakistan’s enemy and China’s security (is) Pakistan’s security.”

The meeting was attended by Interior Minister Rehman Malik, Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir and ambassadors of both countries. Meng met Pakistan army chief Ashfaq Parvez Kayani shortly after arriving in Islamabad yesterday.

Later, Malik vowed to go after militants based in Pakistan who were targeting Chinese interests in its western provinces.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/beijings-minister-pledges-full-support-taliban-too-back-pak/852818/

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Pak gushes over Chinas unwavering support to counter US offensive

Sep 28 2011

Islamabad: As ties between the United States and Pakistan strain further, Islamabad has turned to China and Saudi Arabia for support. To help strengthen ties with Beijing, Islamabad has even vowed to root out Uighur militants holed up in its territory.

The Uighur rebels are known to be receiving training in Pakistans lawless tribal areas. Earlier, PM Yousaf Raza Gilani said the two countries were true friends and that they count on each other after. Thank you once again-... for (the) supportive statement in favour of Pakistans sovereignty and integrity.

Analysts say Islamabad is trying to ensure that China fills any diplomatic and economic void if the US severs or downgrades ties.China and Pakistan have long enjoyed good ties and share wariness of India and a desire to prevent growing US influence.

Beijing had called Osama bin Ladens killing a progressive development but defended Islamabad on charges of failing to find the global fugitive. President Asif Ali Zardari acknowledged that Pakistan was grappling with many challenges simultaneously and that Chinese assistance was most welcome in stabilizing the situation.

Full report at: Times of India

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Pak killed US major after 2007 ‘peace’ meeting

Sep 28 2011

A group of US military officers and Afghan officials had just finished a five-hour meeting with their Pakistani hosts in a village schoolhouse settling a border dispute when they were ambushed — by the Pakistanis.

An American major was killed and three American officers were wounded, along with their Afghan interpreter, in what fresh accounts from the Afghan and American officers who were there reveal was a complex, calculated assault by a nominal ally. The Pakistanis fired on the Americans, who returned fire before escaping in a blood-soaked Black Hawk helicopter.

The attack, in Teri Mangal on May 14, 2007, was kept quiet by Washington. The reconstruction of the attack, which several officials suggested was revenge for Afghan or Pakistani deaths at American hands, takes on new relevance given the worsening rupture in relations between Washington and Islamabad.

The 2007 was seen, even at the time, as a turning point by officials managing day-to-day relations with Pakistan.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/pak-killed-us-major-after-2007-peace-meeting/852820/

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Pak seeks trade to ease tension

Sep 28 2011

Appeal for peace from centre of 26/ 11 attack

PAKISTAN’S commerce minister and a group of businessmen on Tuesday appealed to India to take bold steps to dismantle trade barriers that could ease tensions between the two countries and benefit all, ironically, from the same Ball Room of the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai, which was witness to murder and mayhem at the hands of heavily- armed Pakistani terrorists.

In that attack of November 26, 2008, Pakistani terrorists had gunned down 34 innocent people.

The delegation that is currently visiting India believes that growing trade relations between the two sides would ultimately force both the governments to soften their stance against each other and trade could be the catalyst for achieving peace and prosperity in the region.

To achieve this they asked for relaxation in visa norms, uninterrupted mobile telephone services while travelling and opening up of more border posts other than Wagah for uninterrupted bilateral trade that is now restricted to $ 2 billion.

Full report at: Mail Today

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Scuffle at the United Nations Ends in an Apology to Turks

By NEIL MacFARQUHAR

Sep 27, 2011

Resurgent Turkey has become a Middle East story to watch, and just how perilous standing in its way can be became abundantly clear to a few somewhat hapless United Nations security guards during the annual General Assembly meeting of world leaders.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was apparently pushed by a United Nations guard while demanding to enter the General Assembly hall through the wrong entrance on Friday, according to diplomats and United Nations officials. An ensuing melee sent one guard to the hospital and Secretary General Ban Ki-moon scurrying over to the Turkish mission to apologize, they said.

Details of the incident remain murky, despite Mr. Ban’s often declared commitment to “transparency.” The United Nations’ spokesman, Martin Nesirky, refused to clarify what happened beyond saying the “unfortunate misunderstanding” had been “satisfactorily resolved.” The Turks made no official comment.

But some particulars have emerged from diplomats and at least one United Nations official who overheard the altercation.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/27/world/world-peace-still-elusive-as-un-guards-scuffle-

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8 killed in Kashmir gun battle

Sep 27 2011

Srinagar : Eight persons, including an Army officer and five militants, were killed in a fierce overnight gun battle in north Kashmir's Kupwara district, officials said.

The encounter broke out at Awathkul forest area of Kralipora, 130 kms from here, yesterday when police assisted by Army launched a search operation following information about presence of heavily armed militants, they said.

Intermittent firing was going till late tonight, IG (Kashmir) S M Sahai said, adding, "We have lost two boys (policemen) and an Army Lieutenant in the gun battle."

An army spokesman said five militants were killed in the operation so far.

He said the casualties suffered by militants could not be ascertained immediately as "it is a difficult terrain and so far we have not recovered body of any militant from the scene of the gun battle."

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/8-killed-in-kashmir-gun-battle/852783/

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US missile strike kills 3 in northwest Pakistan

Sep 28 2011

DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan — An American drone fired two missiles at a house in a northwestern tribal region near the Afghan border Tuesday, killing three people, Pakistani intelligence officials said.

The two officials said some people were also wounded in the strike near the town of Wana in South Waziristan.

They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief reporters.

Washington has fired scores of missiles into northwest Pakistan since 2008 to target Taliban and al-Qaida-linked operatives. Some have hit their intended targets, while others have also killed civilians

The latest strike comes at a time of heightened tensions between Washington and Islamabad following a recent claim by top U.S. military officer, Adm. Mike Mullen, that Pakistan's main spy agency backed militants who carried out attacks against American targets in Afghanistan.

Pakistani officials have denied the allegations and said Washington is trying to use Pakistan as a scapegoat for its troubled war in Afghanistan.

In a bid to beef up ties with other world powers, Pakistani leaders met with visiting Chinese Public Security Minister Meng Jianzhu in Islamabad on Tuesday.

China has helped Pakistan bolster its defense.

Full report at:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44681546/ns/world_news-south_and_central_asia/

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30 students among 37 killed as school bus crashes in Kallar Kahar

Sep 27, 2011

CHAKWAL: At least 37 people — 30 students, six teachers and a school principal — were killed and more than 65 suffered serious injuries when a school bus overturned in Kallar Kahar area on Monday night.

According to police, the accident took place near Salt Range after brakes of the bus failed. The school principal was identified as Mr Hafeez.

Students of the Grammar School, situated in Millat Town of Faisalabad, accompanied by teachers, were returning to Faisalabad from Murree and Islamabad where they had gone on a picnic. They were on way to Faisalabad via Kallar Kahar, also a picnic point, when the tragedy struck and more than 100 students were on board the bus.

The bus overturned after its brakes failed, trapping all students and teachers inside it, DPO Syed Ali Mohsin told Dawn. Bodies of the victims and the injured students were taken out of the vehicle after cutting open body of the bus, Kamran Rasheed, district in-charge of Rescue 1122, said.

He said all bodies and the injured people were taken to Fauji Foundation Hospital, Kallar Kahar, and DHO hospital, adding that the rescue agency was shifting some of the critically injured people to hospitals in Rawalpindi and an emergency had been declared in all hospitals concerned to cope with the situation.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/09/27/30-students-among-37-killed-as-school-bus-crashes-in-

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Syrian forces kill 4 defecting soldiers: Activists

Sep 27, 2011

BEIRUT: Four Syrian soldiers were shot dead on Monday as they tried to escape a military camp and troops sealed off towns in a continuing crackdown on opponents of President Bashar Assad, activists said.

The military campaign has focused on towns and villages north of the city of Homs, where increasing numbers of defectors have been organizing and mounting guerrilla raids on roadblocks manned by troops and gunmen loyal to Assad.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, based in Britain, said the four soldiers were killed by military police when they tried to flee their post in the northern province of Idlib, which borders Turkey. Another seven soldiers were arrested.

In the town of Rastan, north of Homs, three people were injured when troops opened fire with heavy machine guns mounted on tanks surrounding the town, which lies on the main northern highway leading to Turkey, residents said.

Faced with expanding street protests demanding an end to 41 years of Assad family rule, the president has sent troops and tanks into cities and towns across the country.

The military crackdown has killed at least 2,700 people, including 100 children, according to the United Nations. Syrian authorities say 700 police and army have been killed during the unrest which they blame on “terrorists” and “mutineers.”

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article507414.ece

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Five dead in car bomb near Afghan police HQ

Sep 27, 2011

LASHKAR GAH: A suicide car bombing killed five people and wounded two dozen others near a police headquarters in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday, officials said.

Mohammad Rasoul, a spokesman for the Afghan army, said three police were killed and three others wounded in the blast in Lashkar Gah, capital of troubled Helmand province.

Enayatullah Ghafari, public health director in the province, told AFP that two dead civilians were also brought to local hospitals.

“I’m sure there are more dead,” Ghafari added.

Some 25 other people, both police and civilians, were also wounded, he said.

Lashkar Gah was one of seven areas handed over to Afghan government control by Nato forces in July in a first wave of transition which will see all foreign combat forces leave by the end of 2014.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/09/27/five-dead-in-car-bomb-near-afghan-police-hq.html

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Militants kill 6 in Philippine attack

Sep 27, 2011

The Philippine military says al-Qaeda-linked militants have killed a soldier and five villagers and wounded five others in an attack in a restive southern island province.

Provincial military commander Col Alex Macario says Abu Sayyaf gunmen attacked the homes of pro-government militiamen outside Sumisip township on Basilan Island before dawn Tuesday.

Macario says the militants killed a soldier, one militiaman and four villagers and wounded five other residents.

The assault comes two days after about 50 members of an armed Muslim group with links to the Abu Sayyaf attacked Philippine marines guarding a US-funded school construction project on Jolo Island south of Basilan.

That clash killed 13 gunmen, two marines and two villagers.

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/latest_news.php?nid=32595

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Roadside bomb kills 3 in Iraq

Sep 27, 2011

BAGHDAD: A roadside bomb in northern Iraq killed three people Monday, while in Baghdad gunmen wounded two government officials in failed assassination attempts, officials said.

Police Brig. Gen. Sarhat Qadir said the blast struck a car carrying four people near the city of Kirkuk, some 290 km north of Baghdad. One person was wounded in the explosion.

Kirkuk sits on top of one of Iraq’s largest oil reserves and has long been a point of friction among Arabs, Kurds and Turkomen who are vying for control of the city and the land surrounding it.

In Baghdad, two government officials were wounded in separate assassination attempts, police and hospital officials said.

Gunmen shot judge Munir Hadad in his hand during a drive-by shooting on a highway in central Baghdad. Hadad served as the spokesman for the Iraqi High Tribunal formed to prosecute Saddam and his aides.

Also, senior Finance Ministry official Mohammed Ali Al-Safi was wounded in western Baghdad after assailants opened fire on his car.

Both police and medical officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information.

Attacks on Iraqi forces and officials have stepped up in recent months as the US military prepares to withdraw from the country.

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article507410.ece

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Gujarat: Amit Shah was head of an extortion syndicate, CBI tells SC

Sep 27 2011

New Delhi : The CBI today alleged that former Gujarat minister Amit Shah was heading an extortion syndicate culminating in the fake encounter killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh.

Appearing before a bench of justices Aftab Alam and Ranjana Prakash Desai, additional solicitor general Vivek Tankha, cited statements recorded before the judicial magistrate and disclosure statements by various witnesses who had accused Shah of running an extortion racket.

He cited the purported statements of several real estate owners and businessmen who had testified that the former minister of state for home had let loose a reign of terror by engaging top police officials like D G Vanzara to extort money by threatening to kill them in fake encounters.

Tankha alleged that Tulsiram Prajapati, one of the witnesses, was eliminated by Gujarat Police as he knew about the killing of Sohrabuddin and his wife Kauser Bi in November 2005.

The CBI had earlier filed an application for cancellation of Shah's bail on the ground that he has considerable clout to intimidate witnesses. The agency had filed the cancellation application after the Gujarat High Court had in October last year granted him bail.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/amit-shah-was-head-of-an-extortion-syndicate-cbi-tells-sc/852749/

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Gujarat: Modi, Shah may be behind Pandya murder: Sanjiv Bhatt

Sep 28 2011

Suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt has filed an affidavit before the Gujarat High Court (HC) putting on record a possible link between the fake encounters of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati and the killing of former state minister Haren Pandya.

Bhatt has also hinted at the possible involvement of CM Narendra Modi and former minister Amit Shah in Pandya’s murder.

The CBI had arrested Shah in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case, but he is now out on bail.

Bhatt says in his affidavit that he has “intentionally refrained” from disclosing the details of the evidence in this regard since he would be required to depose before other “legally empowered” fora.

Bhatt made these revelations while contesting one of the state government’s contentions with reference to a 1990 case of custodial torture and murder registered against him and six other policemen in Jamnagar district.

According to Bhatt, in November 2003, when he was posted as the Superintendent of Sabarmati Central Jail, he had sent a very important documentary evidence regarding the role of certain “highly placed state functionaries/politicians and senior police officers of the state of Gujarat” in the killing of Haren Pandya to the Home Department. However, on the same day, Bhatt added, the then minister of state for home Amit Shah telephoned him and expressed severe displeasure about the evidence forwarded.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/modi-shah-may-be-behind-pandya-murder-bhatt/852952/

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Militants attack Egyptian gas pipeline to Israel

Sep 27 2011

El-Arish : Security officials say gunmen have attacked Egypt's gas pipeline to Israel in the northern Sinai Peninsula.

The officials say assailants in two pickup trucks struck a pumping station on the pipeline about 15 miles (25 kilometers) west of the region's main city of el-Arish before dawn Tuesday, causing a loud explosion and fire.

It was not immediately clear whether the blast was the result of gunfire or whether the gunmen planted explosives and detonated them.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorised to brief the media, said one person was injured in the attack.

The pipeline in question, has been targeted several times this year by saboteurs.

Although the cause of this latest explosion has not yet been established, Israel's supply of gas from Egypt has been regularly disrupted since Egypt's former president Hosni Mubarak was toppled in February.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/militants-attack-egyptian-gas-pipeline-to-israel/852465/

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Norway charges three in terror plot over cartoons

Sep 27, 2011

Prosecutors in Norway have charged three men with conspiracy to commit terrorism in connection with the 2005 Prophet Muhammad cartoon controversy.

The three are accused of planning to attack Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard and the newspaper Jyllands-Posten, which published his cartoons.

The men - of Iraqi Kurdish, Chinese Uighur and Uzbek origin - were arrested in Norway and Germany in 2010.

They had allegedly acquired bomb components and tried to buy a gun.

The three are expected to be tried next month.

They were named as Mikael Davud, a Norwegian of Uighur origin, Shawan Sadek Saeed Bujak, an Iraqi Kurd residing in Norway, and David Jakobsen, an Uzbek also living in Norway.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-15074372

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For China's Muslim schools, a balancing act

ANANTH KRISHNAN

Sep 27, 2011

For the Ningxia Islamic College's 420 students, lessons can often be confusing.

During their morning classes, the students, all from China's 10 million-strong Hui Muslim minority group, recite verses from the Koran and study Arabic.

When afternoon lessons resume, after prayers, their teachers shift tack: the students pore over Chinese textbooks on Socialist theory, learning about capital, labour and Communist Party philosophy.

“Socialism and Islam are, usually, not the most compatible of subjects,” says Ma Ming Xian, the vice dean of the college, with a smile.

Getting the equation right in the curriculum is just one of many balancing acts that Islamic schools routinely face, in a country home to 20 million Muslims but has national education policies directed by an officially atheist ruling party.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article2485102.ece

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Nepalese Muslims protest over the murder of Faizal Ahmad

Sep 27, 2011

KATHMANDU — Gunmen shot dead a Muslim community leader in the Nepalese capital Kathmandu on Monday, police said, sparking angry protests by supporters and grieving relatives.

Faizan Ahamad Ansari, 36, general secretary of the Islamic Association, an organisation promoting education among Muslims, was gunned down in the street by two raincoat-clad assassins, police said.

"He was rushed to the Bir Hospital but was declared dead by the doctors," police spokesman Binod Singh told AFP. "He had injuries to his head, neck and chest."

Ansari had just been praying in a mosque opposite the city's main police station when the gunmen struck.

Kathmandu metropolitan police chief Kuber Singh Rana said two assassins in their 30s fled the scene immediately after one had pulled out a gun concealed in his coat and opened fire in the pouring rain.

Full report at: Copyright © 2011 AFP.

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Three NATO oil tankers torched in Balochistan

By Shehzad Balcoh

September 27, 2011

QUETTA: Unknown gunmen torched three Afghanistan bound oil tankers near Dasht area in Mastung district on Tuesday.

According to Balochistan Levies, three oil tankers carrying fuel for North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) forces stationed in Afghanistan were on their way to Kandahar from Karachi when armed men opened fire on them. As a result, fire erupted from the oil tankers.

One of the drivers also sustained injuries in the attack.

“The oil tankers were completely gutted,” a local official said, adding that levies and other law enforcement agencies cordoned off the area immediately after the incident.

Fire tenders from Quetta and nearby township also reached the spot.

The militants often target NATO suppliers in Balochistan which is the second largest route for allied forces combating in Afghanistan.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/261537/three-nato-oil-tankers-torched-in-balochistan/

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More than 7,200 Indian Jews to immigrate to Israel

Sep 27, 2011

JERUSALEM: The Israeli government is expected to approve the long awaited 'aliyah' (immigration) of more than 7,200 Indian Jews from the north-eastern states of Manipur and Mizoram in the coming weeks, a media report said.

The decision to allow the last members of the "lost" Bnei Menashe tribe to immigrate to Israel is being greeted with excitement by local Evangelical Christian groups, who view it as fulfillment of Biblical prophecy and who have pledged financial support for the move, 'The Jerusalem Post' daily reported.

The ministerial committee on immigration and absorption, headed by foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman, decided, about three months ago, "in principle" to bring the remaining 7,232 members of the northeastern Indian community to the Jewish state

"I am very optimistic that within the next few weeks we will at last have a historic breakthrough which will allow the lost tribe of Bnei Menashe to return to Zion," Michael Freund, founder and chairman of Shavei Israel, a Jerusalem-based organisation that has been at the forefront of Bnei Menashe immigration to Israel, was quoted as saying.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/More-than-7200-Indian-Jews-to-immigrate-to-

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Krishna meets Khar, hopes Pak gets serious about dismantling terror camps

Sep 27, 2011

NEW YORK: Asserting that there cannot be a "selective approach" in the fight against terrorism, India today hoped that Pakistan will be "serious" in dismantling terror camps on its soil and live up to its pronouncements.

"I am sure they (Pakistan) will realise and they have, by now they should have (realised) that terrorism cannot be fought selectively," external affairs minister SM Krishna said after meeting his Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar at a reception hosted by her here.

"It has to be fought across the board" as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has stressed repeatedly, Krishna told reporters here.

Krishna recalled that Khar had mentioned during her visit to New Delhi in July this year that her country too was a victim of terrorism.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Krishna-meets-Khar-hopes-Pak-gets-serious-

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India asks Pakistan to destroy 42 operational terror camps

Sep 27 2011

New Delhi : India today asked Pakistan to destroy 42 terror camps operational there, saying a resurgent Taliban could be a “security threat” to the country after US forces pull out from Afghanistan.

“There are 42 terror camps which are still operational. We want all of them to be destroyed,” Defence Minister A K Antony told reporters on the sidelines of the Coast Guard Commanders' Conference here when asked about India's concerns over the

existing terror camps in Pakistan.

In the recent past, reports have suggested that a large number of terrorists are waiting on the other side of the Line of Control (LoC) to infiltrate into Jammu and Kashmir.

To a query on the impact of the pullout by the US forces from Afghanistan in the next couple of years, he said, a resurgent Taliban can be a “security concern for us” after western forces leave the war-torn country.

American troops are scheduled to leave Afghanistan by 2014 and are engaged in the process of building capabilities of the Afghan National Army to enable it to handle security on its own.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/india-asks-pakistan-to-destroy-42-operational-terr.../852563/

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Bill introduced in US House to freeze all aid to Pakistan

Sep 27, 2011

WASHINGTON: A key American lawmaker from Texas has introduced a resolution in the House of Representative to freeze all US aid to Pakistan.

The House Resolution (No HR 3013) if passed will freeze all US aid to Pakistan with the exception of funds that are designated to help secure nuclear weapons.

"Since the discovery of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan has proven to be disloyal, deceptive and a danger to the United States," Congressman Ted Poe said in a statement after tabling the resolution in the House on Friday.

"This so-called ally continues to take billions in US aid, while at the same time supports the militants who attack us.

"The United States must immediately freeze all aid to Pakistan," said Poe, who is a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Pakistan has made it "painfully obvious" that they will continue their policy of "duplicity and deceit" by pretending to be US ally in the war on terror while simultaneously promoting violent extremism, the Congressman said.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Bill-introduced-in-US-House-to-freeze-all-aid-

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After snubbing US on Haqqanis, Pak vows to act against anti-china militants

Sep 27, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Ruling out any possibility to act against the Haqqani network which Washington blames for attack on its embassy in Kabul, Pakistan on Tuesday vowed to eliminate Chinese militants hiding in the country's volatile tribal regions.

The strong show of support was made by interior minister Rehman Malik after his meeting with visiting Chinese vice premier Meng Jianzhu.

"We will strike very hard against them," Malik said. "Anybody who is the enemy of China is the enemy of Pakistan."

Leading a Chinese delegation, Jianzhu, who is also China's top security official, landed in the capital on Sunday and held talks with Pakistani civilian and military leaders.

Malik had earlier claimed that Pakistan had killed and extradited several Chinese militants. However, he did not specify when or from where those militants were arrested. However, militants of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) who carried out terrorist attack in China's western Xinjiang province were known to be training in Pakistan's tribal areas along with al-Qaida and other international extremist networks.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/After-snubbing-US-on-Haqqanis-Pak-

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Taliban insists it controls Haqqanis, not Pakistan

Sep 27, 2011

KABUL: The Taliban took the unusual step Tuesday of insisting that it, not Pakistan, controls the Haqqani network, with Islamabad under growing US pressure to cut alleged ties with the group.

The militia advised Pakistan to prioritise “Islamic and national” interests and stand firm in the face of “America’s two-faced and implacable politics”.

“Neither are our bases in Pakistan nor do we need residence outside of our country,” said the English-language statement in the name of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan —the Taliban’s name for itself —on its Voice of Jihad website.

“All the military and civilian activities in the country are our own initiatives and our own actions.

“The respected Maulawi Jalaluddin Haqqani (the group’s founder) is (one of the) Islamic Emirate’s honourable and dignified personalities and receives all guidance for operations from the leader of the Islamic Emirate.”

Most analysts consider the Haqqani network a powerful Taliban faction loyal to Taliban supreme leader Mullah Omar, with strong ties to al Qaeda.

“Our advice to the people of Pakistan and its government is that it should deliberate on America’s two-faced and implacable politics,” said the Taliban.

“It should always give precedence to its Islamic and national interests and they should have a firm belief that America will never be happy with them until they loot all their material and moral assets.”

http://www.dawn.com/2011/09/27/taliban-insists-it-controls-haqqanis-not-pakistan.html

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J&K mass graves: Omar Abdullah announces DNA tests of kin

Muzamil Jaleel

Sep 28 2011

Srinagar : Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today said his government was ready to begin DNA profiling of relatives of missing persons to determine the identities of those buried in the state’s “unmarked graves”. He also promised to implement recommendations of the State Human Rights Commission in this regard.

This was the first time the matter was discussed in the state Assembly. The discussion that lasted more than two and a half hours included an emotional address by the ruling National Conference’s Kupwara legislator Mir Saifullah, on how his neighours and friends had disappeared. NC legislator Kafeel-ur-Rehman alleged “a 1,000-ft deep gorge in his border constituency where crows are eating corpses”.

“Those people whose loved ones are missing, first of all they should register an FIR with the human rights cell (of the SHRC). They should give DNA samples, they should provide us hints where to look... It won’t happen overnight, we have to conduct DNA tests and make DNA profiles,” Omar said.

The Indian Express first reported the SHRC finding of over 2,000 unmarked graves in north Kashmir.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/j&k-mass-graves-omar-announces-dna-tests-of-kin/852916/

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Did diamond mafia in MP kill Shehla Masood to silence her?

Sep 28 2011

SHEHLA Masood, the RTI activist who was shot dead in front of her house last month, appears to have paid the price for exposing illegal diamond mining in Madhya Pradesh’s ( MP) Chhattarpur district.

It has now come to light that Shehla probably knew about the involvement of politicians and bureaucrats in the illegal work being carried out by one of the world’s leading mining companies in the state’s Bunder region, which is considered one of the largest diamond reserves.

Interestingly, the foundation stone of the company in MP was laid by CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan himself.

“ I strongly believe Shehla’s murder is linked to a mining deal for which some politicians and bureaucrats were lobbying. Five days before her death, she had told a friend that she had information which could shake the BJP government in the state,” Ayesha, Shehla’s sister, said.

Full report at: Mail Today

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Blow for India as Lisbon wants Abu Salem back

Sep 28 2011

IN AN embarrassment to the government, the Portuguese High Court has ordered termination of extradition of underworld don Abu Salem for breach of agreement by India for slapping offences which attract death penalty.

A Lisbon High Court allowed the plea of extradited gangster, being tried in eight criminal cases including the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, that he be sent back to Portugal, lawyers associated with the case said.

Salem, a gangster extradited from Portugal in November 2005, was also charged with the MCOCA for allegedly making extortion calls to a Delhi- based businessman Ashok Gupta in 2002, demanding ` 5 crore as protection money.

The Portuguese court said that in view of the new charges against Salem which entail death penalty, the authorisation granted for his extradition has been terminated.

Full report at: Mail Today

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China supports Pakistan’s sovereignty, says vice PM

Sep 27, 2011

ISLAMABAD: China on Tuesday extended its full support to Pakistan’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity and vowed to work with Pakistan for progress and peace in the region and the world.

Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani who met the Deputy Premier of China Meng Jianzhu here at the PM House termed China as its close friend.

Jianzhu said Pakistan was the only country enjoying all-weather friendship with China.

Gilani said “a friend of China is Pakistan’s friend, its enemy Pakistan’s enemy and China’s security Pakistan’s security.”

He said the two countries together can progress and prosper and bring the dividends of development to their people.

The meeting was also attended by Interior Minister Rehman Malik, Foreign secretary Salman Bashir and ambassadors of the two countries.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/09/27/china-extends-support-to-pakistan%E2%80%99s-sovereignty-integrity.html

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Book on churches in Pakistan launched

By Peerzada Salman

Sep 27, 2011

KARACHI: A book titled Churches of Pakistan by Safdar Ali Shah was launched at the British deputy high commission here on Monday.

Introducing the book to the audience, head of a publishing firm Iqbal Saleh Mohammad said it was a tribute to Pakistani Christians who had done so much for the country.

He said there were many an unsung and unremembered member of the Christian community who had served Pakistan in different capacities. He began by naming S.P. Singha and Mr Gibbons, who before partition voted in favour of the division of Punjab in the legislative assembly. He also talked about Brig Harold Boyd Rodham, an Indian army officer, who after partition opted for Pakistan and joined the Pakistan Army. He touched upon the invaluable services rendered by Justice Cornelius to Pakistan – he was a judge even before independence and became the Chief Justice of Pakistan after 1947.

Squadron Leader W.D. Harney and Wing Commander Mervyn Leslie Middlecoat were given a mention. He said despite the fact that the Christian community comprised only three per cent of the country’s total population, its contribution was significant.

He claimed that one of the many feats that the book would achieve was that it’d make students aware of an outstanding minority.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/09/27/book-on-churches-in-pakistan-launched.html

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Pakistan Supreme Court's website hacked

Sep 27, 2011

ISLAMABAD: The website of Pakistan's Supreme Court was today defaced by a hacker who asked the Chief Justice to ban all pornographic websites and do more to help the poor.

A message posted on the apex court's website by the hacker using the name Zombie_Ksa mocked security measures, saying the site was in "wrong, untalented hands".

The hacker, who appeared to be a Pakistani, said the Supreme Court's website was chosen for hacking to "convey a message" to Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry.

"So I am here to request you to go out there and help the poor, needy and hungry," the message posted by the hacker said.

The hacker, in the message peppered with expletives, called on the Chief Justice to initiate suo motu action to ban pornographic websites in Pakistan.

The Supreme Court's website has been defaced by hackers on at least one occasion in the past.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pakistan-Supreme-Courts-website-hacked/articleshow/10136938.cms

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Activists hack official Syrian websites

Sep 27, 2011

BEIRUT: Two online activist groups said they hacked several official Syrian websites in the latest tactic to oppose President Bashar Assad's authoritarian regime.

Online hackers RevoluSec and Anonymous said Monday they were behind the latest Internet attacks, which targeted the websites of several ministries and some major Syrian cities.

The activists said they replaced the websites with caricatures of Assad and messages that read: "Don't let Bashar monitor you online."

The presence of larger-than-life photos of Assad throughout Syria combined with a brutal security crackdown on dissent serve as continuous reminders for Syrians of the government's watchful eye on anti-government activity. The government frequently blocks and disables Internet access in Syrian cities where protesters are demanding Assad resign.

Monday's Internet hacking comes as activists said at least four people were killed in central Syria. The United Nations estimates that more than 2,700 civilians have been killed in the government's crackdown on the uprising that began mid-March.

Thousands more have been detained as Syrians.

Anonymous said on its website that 12 websites had been defaced by RevoluSec. Most of the websites have since been restored, but some were still down. The cartoons of Assad have been removed.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Activists-hack-official-Syrian-websites/articleshow/10136921.cms

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Swiss Muslims Speak Out to Defend Swiss Flag against Claims it Offends Immigrants

Sep 27, 2011

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - Muslims in Switzerland have distanced themselves from a suggestion to do away with the current Swiss flag in order to accomodate religious minorities.

The suggestion, which has caused unwelcome tensions between the Swiss majority and the country's 5% Muslim minority, was actually made by a Christian multi-culturalist.

 Ivica Petrusic, vice president of immigrant association Secondos Plus, suggested dropping the cross from the Swiss flag and adopting a different flag instead.

 Petrusic says he himself is Christian, but he does not think a Christian symbol should be used in a country with so many atheists and people who profess other religions. He says the cross does not represent the religious and cultural diversity in Switzerland today.

In an 18 September interview with the Swiss newspaper Aargauer Zeitung, Petrusic said the cross has a Christian background and while the Christian roots of Switzerland should be respected, "it is necessary to separate church and state" because "Switzerland today has a great religious and cultural diversity. One has to ask if the State wants to continue building up a symbol in which many people no longer believe."

Full report at:

http://abna.co/data.asp?lang=3&Id=268065

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Muslims explain sons discriminated against at two top Catholic schools

Sep 27, 2011

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - FOUR MUSLIM families have alleged their sons are being discriminated against at two leading Catholic boys secondary schools in south Co Dublin.

In two instances, the Department of Education has overturned decisions by each school – St Benildus and Oatlands Colleges – not to enrol Muslim boys when parents appealed under section 29 of the 1998 Education Act.

However, of the four Muslim families who have daughters, they said they have encountered no difficulty in enrolling them in girls’ secondary schools in the same Stillorgan area.

Azzedine Medbou and his wife are from Algeria and have been in Ireland since 1999. Their five daughters and one son attended Our Lady’s Grove primary school on Goatstown Road, with the older girls progressing to the nearby Jesus Mary College.

As it says on Our Lady’s Grove website: “From the primary school the girls may transfer to Jesus Mary College, and the boys to Oatlands College and St Benildus College.” Their son, Ilyes, applied to enrol at St Benildus for the year 2012/2013, in October 2010. His application was rejected.

Full report at:

http://abna.co/data.asp?lang=3&Id=268043

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Bahraini Regime Detain 40 Females Over Elections

Sep 27, 2011

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - Bahraini security forces have arrested and beaten more than 40 females protesting against the parliamentary by-elections in Bahrain, the country's main opposition group, al-Wefaq, says.

The female Bahrainis, including seven minors aged between 12 and 15, were arrested on Friday, one day before the by-elections -- boycotted by the opposition -- to replace 18 lawmakers who resigned from the parliament in protest to the crackdown on anti-government demonstrators.

"More than 40 Bahraini women were savagely arrested... in a commercial centre,” al-Wefaq said in a statement on Monday, adding that they were "beaten and humiliated."

Al-Wefaq condemned the females' arrests as "savage and inhumane,'' saying that they had only been expressing their "right to freedom of expression".

Election results in Bahrain show that more than 80 percent of the electorate refused to vote in the by-elections in the country.

According to a Bahraini government website, less than one in every five voters cast their ballots on Saturday.

Full report at:

http://abna.co/data.asp?lang=3&Id=268015

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PDP walks out from J&K assembly on unmarked grave issue

Sep 27, 2011

SRINAGAR: People's Democratic Party members on Tuesday staged a walk-out from the state assembly after Speaker Mohammad Akbar Lone rejected their adjournment motion seeking discussion on the unmarked graves issue in place of the question hour.

Speaking to the media outside the assembly , PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti said that they wanted a discussion on the unmarked graves issue . "Thousands of unmarked graves were found in various districts in Jammu and Kashmir and this has been even reported by the State Human Rights Commission. The issue needs a thorough discussion in the assembly," she said.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/PDP-walks-out-from-JK-assembly-on-unmarked-grave-issue/articleshow/10138413.cms

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Hamid Ali Rao is new Indian envoy to Saudi Arabia

Sep 27, 2011

JEDDAH (Saudi Arabia): Hamid Ali Rao, an Indian Foreign Service officer from the 1981 batch, has taken charge as India's ambassador to Saudi Arabia. He succeeds Talmiz Ahmad who retired from the service last month.

Hailing from Meerut in Uttar Pradesh, Rao is presently the permanent representative of India at the United Nations Conference on Disarmament in Geneva.

Rao is the son of late Kunwasr Mohmood Ali Khan, a former governor of Madhya Pradesh.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Hamid-Ali-Rao-is-new-Indian-envoy-to-Saudi-Arabia/articleshow/10128856.cms

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Saudi Arabia urges world to accept Palestinians' UN bid

Sep 27, 2011

UNITED NATIONS: Saudi Arabian foreign minister Prince Saud al-Faisal urged the United Nations on Monday to accept the Palestinians' request for full membership in the world body and to recognize it as an independent state.

"As a result of the continued Israeli intransigence and disruption of the peace process, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia calls upon all member states of the United Nations to state of Palestine on the border of June 4, 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital, and to grant it full membership of the United Nations," Faisal said.

The Saudi foreign minister did not appear in person to give his speech. His statement was issued in written form at the end of Monday's speeches at the annual UN General Assembly session in New York.

Faisal's comments will add to the pressure on Washington, which has vowed to veto the Palestinian UN membership application that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas delivered to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday.

The UN Security Council will meet on Wednesday to hand the issue to a committee that will review and assess the Palestinian application. Abbas has said he wants the council to make a decision within weeks, but Western diplomats say that the process could take much longer.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Saudi-Arabia-urges-world-to-accept-Palestinians-UN-bid/articleshow/10135662.cms

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Former Tunisian Foreign Minister: Arab Spring shapes new Islamic orders

September 27, 2011

Some Arab countries are following up their march towards democracy with a far more vital debate: what kind of Islam to have. As transitional governments — from Tunisia, where the so-called Arab Spring started, to Egypt and Libya — reboot their old political systems and grapple with new Legal processes, they are looking towards modern constitutional frameworks.

Street fighters may have been the face of the uprisings, but many of the real backers of the uprisings — for example in Libya - are either constitutional experts or political scientists with established teaching careers in Europe. There are signs of a new Islamic order - one in sync with modern political systems — emerging out of their hands.

“Islam is not a red line that it cannot be crossed,” Ghazi Ghrairi, former Tunisian foreign minister, told Hindustan Times, on the sidelines of the International Forum for Democratic Transitions in Moroccan capital Rabat on September 16-17.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/africa/Arab-Spring-shapes-new-Islamic-

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U.N. urges end to violence in Yemen

Sep 27, 2011

The U.N. Security Council is urging all sides in Yemen to reject violence and take urgent steps towards a political transition.

The U.N.’s most powerful body backed the Gulf Cooperation Council’s transition plan, which calls for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to resign and hand over power to his vice president in exchange for immunity from prosecution.

In a statement Monday, the council expressed “grave concern at the continued serious deterioration of the economic and humanitarian situation in Yemen” and “at the worsening security situation, including the threat from al-Qaeda in parts of Yemen.”

Yemen has been wracked by violence since February when an uprising broke out to demand Mr. Saleh’s ouster. Government forces have killed hundreds in an attempt to stamp out the revolt.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article2489871.ece

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Yemeni defence minister Mohamed Nasser Ali 'survives attack'

Sep 27, 2011

Yemen's defence minister has escaped an attack on his convoy in the southern city of Aden, officials say.

They said a car bomb exploded near Mohamed Nasser Ali's convoy, injuring several soldiers. Other reports said grenades were thrown.

There has been a surge in violence in Yemen as supporters and opponents of President Ali Abdullah Saleh battle each other in the capital, Sanaa.

Mr Saleh, who survived an attack in June, returned to Yemen on Friday.

Details of Tuesday's attack in Aden are still emerging.

One report said a car packed with explosives had been detonated by remote control. Another said the car was driven by a suicide bomber.

It was not immediately clear who carried out the attack.

In southern Yemen, security forces have been battling al-Qaeda militants who have taken advantage of the country's political instability.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-15074619

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Pakistanis Tied to 2007 Border Ambush on Americans

By CARLOTTA GALL

Sep 27, 2011

KABUL, Afghanistan — A group of American military officers and Afghan officials had just finished a five-hour meeting with their Pakistani hosts in a village schoolhouse settling a border dispute when they were ambushed — by the Pakistanis.

An American major was killed and three American officers were wounded, along with their Afghan interpreter, in what fresh accounts from the Afghan and American officers who were there reveal was a complex, calculated assault by a nominal ally. The Pakistanis opened fire on the Americans, who returned fire before escaping in a blood-soaked Black Hawk helicopter.

The attack, in Teri Mangal on May 14, 2007, was kept quiet by Washington, which for much of a decade has seemed to play down or ignore signals that Pakistan would pursue its own interests, or even sometimes behave as an enemy.

The reconstruction of the attack, which several officials suggested was revenge for Afghan or Pakistani deaths at American hands, takes on new relevance given the worsening rupture in relations between Washington and Islamabad, which has often been restrained by Pakistan’s strategic importance.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/27/world/asia/pakistanis-tied-to-2007-attack-on-

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In Riddle of Mideast Upheaval, Turkey Offers Itself as an Answer

By ANTHONY SHADID

Sep 27, 2011

ISTANBUL — Not so long ago, the foreign policy of Turkey revolved around a single issue: the divided island of Cyprus. These days, its prime minister may be the most popular figure in the Middle East, its foreign minister envisions a new order there and its officials have managed to do what the Obama administration has so far failed to: position themselves firmly on the side of change in the Arab revolts and revolutions.

No one is ready to declare a Pax Turkana in the Middle East, and indeed, its foreign policy is strewn this year with missteps, crises and gains that feel largely rhetorical. It even lacks enough diplomats. But in an Arab world where the United States seems in retreat, Europe ineffectual and powers like Israel and Iran unsettled and unsure, officials of an assertive, occasionally brash Turkey have offered a vision for what may emerge from turmoil across two continents that has upended decades of assumptions.

Not unexpectedly, the vision’s center is Turkey.

“Turkey is the only country that has a sense of where things are going, and it has the wind blowing on its sails,” said Soli Ozel, a professor of international relations at Istanbul Bilgi University.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/27/world/europe/in-mideast-riddle-turkey-offers-itself-

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Libya's NTC Says Lockerbie Case Closed

Sep 27, 2011

LONDON (Reuters) - The investigation into the 1988 bombing of a U.S.-bound airliner over Lockerbie in Scotland is closed and Tripoli will not release more evidence that could lead to others being charged, Libya's interim leaders said on Monday.

The British Foreign Office, however, said the investigation into the bombing "remains open."

Scottish prosecutors had asked Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) to give them access to papers or witnesses that could implicate more suspects, possibly including deposed leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Libya's interim justice minister Mohammed al-Alagi turned them down, telling reporters: "The case is closed."

But the Foreign Office in London said it had talked with the NTC late on Monday and it had promised continued cooperation.

"NTC chairman Mustafa Abdul Jalil has already assured the prime minister that the Libyan authorities will cooperate with the UK in this and other ongoing investigations," a Foreign Office spokesman said.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2011/09/26/world/africa/international-us-libya-

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Tribesmen seize base near Sanaa

Sep 27, 2011

SANAA: Anti-government tribesmen overran an army base housing an elite unit north of Yemen's capital early Monday, killing the commander and capturing 30 soldiers and dealing a blow to the prestige of the powerful Republican Guards led by the son of the country's embattled president.

The assault by the tribesmen on the Republican Guards' base at Dahrah took place early Monday. The Defense Ministry said in a statement that base commander Brig. Ali Al-Keleibi was killed in the fighting.

The officials said the tribesmen captured 30 guards when they seized control of the facility. At least four tribesmen were killed and 27 wounded in the fighting.

It was the second Republican Guards' base to be captured in a week. Protesters backed by renegade soldiers overran a base belonging to the guards last week in Sanaa as the opposition stepped up its campaign to oust President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article507402.ece

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Official: Syrian troops captured in central town

Sep 27, 2011

BEIRUT: A Syrian official says gunmen have kidnapped 14 army officers in an ambush that killed six soldiers and a security agent.

The official says the incident occurred Sunday outside the town of Qusair near the border with Lebanon. The official spoke Monday on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

Qusair is in the central province of Homs, which has been witnessing intense violence since the uprising against President Bashar Assad’s regime began in mid-March. Activists in Homs have said most clashes of the clashes pitted troops against army defectors.

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article507231.ece

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Freed US hikers describe harrowing ordeal in Iran

Sep 27, 2011

Two American hikers being held in an Iranian prison got a big surprise one day after their exercise routine: Instead of being blindfolded and led back to their cell, they suddenly heard the words, “Let’s go home.”

That’s what a diplomatic envoy from Oman told them before whisking them away to the Tehran airport — and freedom, the two men said Sunday at a Manhattan news conference. “After 781 days of prison, Shane and I are now free men,” a jubilant Joshua Fattal announced, hours after he and Shane Bauer landed at Kennedy International Airport.

Safe on US soil, the two spoke for the first time in public about their ordeal of more than two years at the hands of Iranians — accused of spying for their country by illegally walking across the Iran-Iraq border. They say they simply got lost while hiking with another American, Sarah Shourd, who was released last year. The three paid a brutal price for their adventure, they said. “Many times, too many times, we heard the screams of other prisoners being beaten and there was nothing we could do to help them,” Fattal said.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\09\27\story_27-9-2011_pg4_8

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Egyptian detained in Lebanon for spying for Israel

Sep 27, 2011

BEIRUT: The Lebanese Army says it has detained an Egyptian man and his Lebanese wife in southeast Lebanon on suspicion of collaborating with Israel’s Mossad spy agency.

An army statement said Monday that the man confessed to accepting money in return for spying and that he traveled to Israel three times since 1999.

The army says Lebanese authorities found in his home equipment used for spying and CDs with pictures of security locations.

More than 100 people have been arrested in Lebanon since 2009 on suspicion of spying.

Lebanese officials maintain that Israel regularly recruits spies in Lebanon and has penetrated the country’s telecommunications networks.

The two countries remain in a state of war.

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article507409.ece

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Bangladesh: 3 Jamaat men held in Khulna

Sep 27, 2011

Police arrested three leaders and activists of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami in Khulna city Tuesday morning foiling a pre-scheduled press conference of the party.

The arrestees are: Munshi Mainul Islam, assistant secretary of Khulna city unit Jamaat; Azizur Rahman Swapon, Jamaat president of Khan Jahan Ali unit under Khulna metropolitan area; and Dr Yasin Uddin, a member of the city unit Jamaat; reports our Khulna correspondent.

SM Kamruzzaman, officer-in-charge of Khulna Sadar Police Station, said they captured the trio from in front of Khulna Press Club around 11:30am on suspicion that they might carry out subversive activities.

Khulna city unit Jamaat fixed 11:30am for holding a press conference at the press club demanding immediate release of their party leaders and activists arrested recently.

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/latest_news.php?nid=32602

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Hundreds of civilians flee Sirte

Sep 27, 2011

SIRTE, Libya: Hundreds of civilians fled Muammar Qaddafi's hometown Monday to escape growing shortages of food and medicine and escalating fears that their homes will be struck during fighting between revolutionaries forces and regime loyalists.

Anti-Qaddafi fighters launched their offensive against Sirte nearly two weeks ago, but have faced fierce resistance from loyalists holed up inside the city. After a bloody push into Sirte again over the weekend, revolutionary fighters say they have pulled back to plan their assault and allow civilians more time to flee.

NATO has kept up its air campaign since the fall of Tripoli last month. The alliance said Monday its warplanes struck eight military targets near Sirte a day earlier, including an ammunition and vehicle storage facility and rocket launcher.

Sirte, 400 km southeast of Tripoli on the Mediterranean coast, is one of the last remaining bastions of Qaddafi loyalists since revolutionary fighters stormed into the capital last month, ending Qaddafi's rule. The fugitive leader's supporters also remain in control of the town of Bani Walid southeast of Tripoli and pockets of territory in the country's south.

Civilians fleeing Sirte Monday described grave shortages of food, fuel, drinking water and medicine.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article507396.ece

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SWAT: How beekeeping pulled a woman from the edge

By Fazal Khaliq

September 27, 2011

SWAT: Shahi Bakhta has single-handedly steered her life and those of her children out from the depths of poverty and managed to economically stabilise her family.

Bakhta, 38, lives with her five children in Nehrabad village in Swat’s Kabal town. She was widowed in May 2009 at the peak of the Swat insurgency when her husband, Mohammad Rashid, was hit by a stray bullet in crossfire between the security forces and militants.

In that one moment, Bakhta’s life changed and she was left to provide for her three sons and two daughters alone. “I have seen some tough and very bitter days in life. My children would ask for bread and I had nothing to offer to them. Sorely disappointed, I made many suicide attempts. But my children’s innocent faces stopped me.”

Rashid worked as a labourer but also operated a business on the side, where he bred honeybees. After his death, desperate for financial assistance, Bakhta decided to take over the business.

“I had to sell all the equipment of honeybee keeping to arrange for money for my children. I also sold poultry and other things one by one for survival,” she told The Express Tribune, adding that she would do odd jobs from dawn till dusk but not earn enough money to make ends meet.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/260475/how-beekeeping-pulled-a-woman-from-the-edge-

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An Aid Worker Writes: Hope and Exasperation at a Kandahar Hospital

By JESSICA BARRY

Sep 27, 2011

Each time I walk along Mirwais’s crowded corridors, or visit the wards bustling with mothers and sick children, it is a new experience. No two visits are ever the same. There are more patients, more anxious mothers, more men gathered in gossiping groups on the stairwells; more prayer beads turning, more busy staff, more noise.

I love visiting Mirwais, despite its clamor and hospital smell and tragedy. It is where life happens before your eyes. Afghan life that is, with all its beauty, poverty, struggle, hope, anger, resignation and dignity.

Today in the cacophonous wards, there are more victims of traffic accidents than there are war wounded. That says a lot. Over the past 10 years of a booming war economy, some people, in urban areas at least, have enjoyed a relative prosperity. In addition, the construction of roads and buildings has been done using daily workers, providing thousands of temporary jobs to village men who would otherwise struggle to feed their large families out in remote rural areas.

Full report at:

http://atwar.blogs.nytimes.com/

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/‘arab-spring’-is-proof-that-islam-and-human-rights-can-coexist--maldives/d/5564


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