New Age Islam
Thu Dec 03 2020, 09:19 PM

Islamic World News ( 13 Aug 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Attack on Afghan governor’s compound kills 19

Pakistan frets over burqa bombers

China commandos in Xinjiang worries Pak

Heavy clashes as Libyan rebels enter Zawiya

Twin blasts kill Iraqi soldier in Baghdad

Bomb blast at hotel kills 11 in Pakistan

Six terrorists killed in South Waziristan

Three soldiers killed as rockets hit base in Pak

Ilyas Kashmiri threat to hit on Indian Independence Day

Convicted Afghani lens man wanted to pass on navy secrets to Pak

UN says Israel does not Allow Muslims Right to Worship in Jerusalem

15th amendment ensures citizens' equal rights: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina

NAC warned against M-worded schemes

Former US Intelligence Chiefs: Pakistan Must Stop Playing Both Sides

Somalia wants humanitarian force to guard food convoys

King Abdullah and Obama tell Syria killings ‘must end now’

Syria unrest: 'Deadly military attack' on Latakia port

Scheme to pay for tertiary education of needy Malay-Muslim students expanded

Foreigners must obtain visa to enter Gaza: Hamas

Democracy guarantor of peace, prosperity: Pak Prime Minister

Indian Malaysian gets 8 years in jail for human trafficking

Yemeni Qaeda’s likely new weapon is deadly toxin

Pakistan Court told: Accused and handler had ‘same voice’

Modi tells PM to rein in PC on ‘careless cops’

Imran Khan is the most popular Pakistani politician: Survey

Canada extends sanctions against Syria

Punjab border farmers still tune into Pak FM

Religious brotherhood: Muslims craft 'kanwars' for Hindu pilgrims

Ayatollah Jafar Sobhani: Islam is the Religion of Peace

Blind reciter says holy Quran has given him eyes

Ahmadinejad says Holy Quran is book of life

Wahhabis only, supporters of Al-Hassan wal-Hussain TV serial

“Risalat Islam” Quranic channel started in five continents of the world

Channel to air English, French translation of Qur'an

Norway attacks: Breivik taken back to Shooting Island

Women bargaining chips in family feuds: Pak rights panel

Pair charged with triple murder over Pakistanis’ deaths

Pakistan wants US ties beyond anti-terror cooperation: Pak PM

Organisation of Islamic Cooperation offers to play role in Syria dialogue

Celebrated Bangladeshi filmmaker Tareq Masud, four others die in road crash

 “An example for others who want to reach out to victims of war”

After last week's riots, Moradabad a tinderbox

Sometimes, solace comes from the “enemy”

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/attack-on-afghan-governor’s-compound-kills-19/d/5256

 

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Attack on Afghan governor’s compound kills 19

14 August 2011

Suicide bombers and insurgent gunmen killed at least 19 people during an attack on a governor’s compound in central Afghanistan on Sunday, officials said, with gunbattles and blasts heard before the assault was put down.

A Reuters witness and others nearby reported hearing at least five explosions as Afghan security forces inside the compound of Parwan governor Abdul Basir Salangi fought back.

‘So far we have received 16 bodies and 29 have been injured,’ Mohammad Asif, a doctor at the Parwan provincial hospital, told Reuters. ‘Most of the bodies are government employees.’

Parwan lies about an hour’s drive northwest of the capital, Kabul, another worrying sign of the reach of the Taleban and other insurgents.

The Taleban claimed responsibility for the Parwan attack.

Eight days ago, a rocket-propelled grenade fired by the Taleban brought down a NATO helicopter in another central Afghan province near Kabul, killing 30 US and eight Afghan troops in the worst single incident for foreign forces in 10 years of war.

Salangi said as many as six suicide bombers and insurgent gunmen attacked his compound.

‘The enemies are still inside the compound. We are fighting back,’ Salangi earlier told private TOLO News television.

‘Six suicide bombers attacked while we were holding a meeting,’ he said. TOLO reported that the provincial police chief was also at the meeting.

Insurgents, often from the Taleban, have launched a series of attacks against government targets over the past year, often in the east of the country near the porous border with Pakistan’s largely lawless tribal lands.

The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force said it had been asked to help Afghan forces put down the attack.

‘ISAF are assisting the Afghan-led response to this attack by providing helicopter support,’ an ISAF spokesman in Kabul said.

VIOLENT TREND

Violence across Afghanistan in 2010 reached its worst levels since the Taleban were toppled by U.S.-backed Afghan forces in late 2001, and 2011 has followed a similar trend.

While foreign military casualties hit record levels last year — and 2011 has been almost as bloody — civilians continue to bear the brunt of the costly and increasingly unpopular war.

UN figures released last month showed that the first six months of 2011 had been the deadliest of the war for ordinary Afghans, with 1,462 killed, a rise of 15 percent on the same period last year. The same UN report blamed 80 percent of those civilian casualties on insurgents.

US and other NATO commanders have claimed success in halting the momentum of a growing insurgency in the Taleban heartland in the south over the past year, although insurgents have hit back with strikes against targets in once relatively peaceful parts of the country.

A recent spike in violence also followed the beginning of a gradual process to hand security responsibility back to Afghans last month.

That process will end with the final foreign combat troops leaving Afghanistan by the end of 2014, although some US lawmakers have questioned whether that timetable is not quick enough.

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle09.asp?xfile=data/international/2011/August/international_August642.xml&section=international

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Pakistan frets over burqa bombers

Aug 14, 2011

Burqa-clad women suicide bombers in Pakistan have posed a potent threat to the country as it grapples to deal with the Taliban.

This has been vindicated by two recent attacks on the security forces that appear to have rudely awakened the authorities to the new Taliban tactic.

Thursday's attack on a security checkpost in Peshawar by women suicide bombers was the second such attack in less than two months. The previous attack was in Bajaur June 26.

The Bajaur attack too targeted a checkpost. The bombing by the husband-wife duo left 46 people dead and over 80 injured.

The involvement of women suicide bombers has posed a major security challenge in Pakistan with the Eid shopping in full swing. As shopping is primarily done by women, security agencies are yet to devise ways to identify burqa-clad bombers in the crowd, said a report in Daily Times Friday.

A senior police official overseeing the security measures in Lahore for Ramazan, said the government should get a decree from ulema to ask women to remove their burqas as a security measure before entering shopping malls meant for them, he said requesting anonymity.

He said it was required because there are few women police officers available, particularly during Eid when shopping malls are thronged by women, the Daily Times report said.

Traditionally, security forces in Pakistan are reluctant to search women due to cultural sensitivities, which may have helped the Taliban to use them in their operations.

The Peshawar attackers seem to have had no hurdle in getting close to the target, although a police cordon was put in place after another blast same day near the checkpost claimed the lives of five policemen.

In Bajaur, the attackers managed to get pass the security because of one them was a woman.

Another police official contended that Peshawar attack presented a new challenge for the security forces as male officers doesn't search women.

"The attack does pose serious problems for security personnel, who will have to find ingenious ways to avert such bombings. We need to improve intelligence and gadgetry," he said on condition of anonymity.

http://www.asianage.com/international/pakistan-frets-over-burqa-bombers-390

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China commandos in Xinjiang worries Pak

Saibal Dasgupta

Aug 14, 2011

BEIJING: Within days of pointing the finger at Pakistan as the source of strength for terrorists in its Xinjiang province, China on Saturday sent an elite military commando unit to the region bordering its western neighbour.

A worried Pakistan reacted by dangling the carrot of playing the role of a "conduit for China to reach out to the Muslim world". The move suggests a possible crackdown by the military, which may be gradually losing confidence over the ability of Xinjiang's local forces to tackle well-trained terrorists flowing in from across the border in Pakistan. The People's Liberation Army's Snow Leopard Commando unit is expected to carry out "anti-terrorist missions" in Kashgar and Hotan area, which were hit by deadly violence in recent weeks.

The elite force will focus on riot control, bomb disposal and be prepared to react to any possible hijacking attempts by the separatists, the official media said. The government is trying to ensure security at a forthcoming trade conference in the region, which saw killing of 30 people in July.

Pakistan appeared shaken since experts in government run think-tank came out openly saying Pakistan is the source of training and support to the terrorists seeking separation of Xinjiang from China to form an independent nation. The statement has caused serious harm to its public image as an "all-weather friend" of China.

"We will help China build a bridge to the Middle East and West Europe. We are also a conduit for China to reach out to the Muslim world," Pakistani ambassador Masood Khan was quoted in the Chinese media as saying.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/china/China-commandos-in-Xinjiang-worries-Pak/articleshow/9597168.cms

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Heavy clashes as Libyan rebels enter Zawiya

Aug 14, 2011

Libyan rebels have fought their way into the strategic city of Zawiya west of Tripoli on in their most significant advance in months, battling snipers on rooftops and heavy shelling from Muammar Qadhafi’s forces holding the city.

Zawiya, 30 miles (50 kilometers) from the capital, is a key target for rebels waging a new offensive launched from the mountains in the far west of Libya, an attempt to break the deadlock in combat between the two sides that has held for months in the centre and east of the country.

A credible threat from the rebels in the west could strain Mr. Qadhafi’s troops, which have been hammered for months by NATO airstrikes. Defending Zawiya is key for the regime but could require bringing in better trained forces who are currently ensuring its hold over its Tripoli stronghold or fighting rebels on fronts further east.

A group of about 200 exuberant rebel fighters, advancing from the south, reached a bridge on Zawiya’s south-western outskirts on Saturday, and some rebels pushed farther into the city’s central main square. They tore down the green flag of Mr. Qadhafi’s regime from a mosque minaret and put up two rebel flags. An Associated Press reporter travelling with the rebels saw hundreds of residents rush into the streets, greeting the fighters piled into the backs of pickup trucks with chants of “God is great.”

Mr. Qadhafi’s forces then counterattacked with a barrage of heavy weapons, and the loud crackle of gunfire could be heard as rebels and government troops battled.

Regime snipers were firing down from rooftops on the rebels, said one resident, Abdel-Basset Abu Riyak, who joined to fight alongside the rebels when they entered the city. He said Mr. Qadhafi’s forces were holed up in several pockets in the city and that there were reports of reinforcements coming from Tripoli, though there was no sign of them yet.

Rebel spokesman Jumma Ibrahim claimed that the opposition’s fighters controlled most of Zawiya by nightfall. “What remains are few pockets (of Qadhafi forces) in the city,” he said. “The road is now open all the way from the western mountains to Zawiya, we can send them supply and reinforcement anytime.”

Perhaps more importantly, the rebels now control the main highway linking Tripoli to the Tunisian boarder, according to Fadlallah Haroun, the head of the rebels’ security council in Benghazi. The road passes through Zawiya.

Zawiya’s residents rose up and threw off regime control when Libya’s anti-Qadhafi revolt first began in February. But Mr. Qadhafi’s forces retaliated and crushed opposition in the city in a long and bloody siege in March. Many of Zawiya’s rebels fled into the mountains -- and were among the lead forces advancing on the city Saturday -- while others like Abu Riyak remained in the city, lying low.

Speaking to the AP by telephone, Abu Riyak said residents were now joining up with the rebels’ assault, saying, “95 percent of Zawiya’s people are with the revolution.”

“There is shooting from all sides,” said another rebel, 23-year-old Ibrahim Akram. “The people joined us. Fierce clashes are still ongoing, but thank God our numbers are great.”

But Mr. Qadhafi is likely to fight hard to keep control of Zawiya. The city of about 200,000 people on the Mediterranean coast is key because it controls the main supply road to the capital from the Tunisian border and is the site of the sole remaining oil refineries in the west still under the regime’s control.

The state of government forces after months of punishing NATO airstrikes is not known. The best armed and equipped units, led by Mr. Qadhafi’s sons, have been involved in fighting at the main fronts -- around the city of Misrata, east of Tripoli, and at the oil port of Brega in the centre of the country.

Government spokeman Moussa Ibrahim dismissed reports of rebel advance on Zawiya as a “media game,” dismissing it as the act of “remnants of armed gangs.” He told state TV that “Tripoli is secure and safe. Even if there is advancement by the armed gangs, it’s only temporary under the cover of NATO.”

The rebel force has been advancing into the coastal plain for the past week from the Nafusa Mountains, an opposition stronghold about 60 miles (100 kilometres) to the south. Commanders have said the plan is to seize Zawiya and other nearby towns and then move on Tripoli itself, Mr. Qadhafi’s stronghold.

At the same time, rebels were attempting to seize control of another strategic town, Gharyan, south of Tripoli.

In the morning Saturday, rebels claimed control of Gharyan, saying they had moved into the center of the town and that Gadhafi’s troops had withdrawn. But several hours later, regime forces returned with reinforcements and the two sides clashed, said rebel spokesman Gomma Ibrahim.

Gharyan lies at the northern end of the Nafusa Mountains, and Mr. Qadhafi’s hold on the town had been a sticking point for rebels who have taken control of most of the range. The town lies on the main road leading directly from Nafusa to Tripoli, 50 miles (80 kilometres) to the north on the coast.

South of Zawiya, rebels said a suspected NATO airstrike accidentally killed four opposition fighters in a tank captured from Gadhafi forces.

Saturday’s initial foray into Zawiya appeared hasty, with a band of enthusiastic rebels pushing to the main square while the main force remained on the outskirts. Still, the rebels appear to have learned from the main mistakes from the fronts further east, where the untrained citizen fighters were long on enthusiasm and short on skill.

But during this week’s advance in the west, rebels were more cautious. On a main highway headed to Zawiya, rebels set up a rear position at a key intersection by erecting an earthen wall across the road, manned by a tank, to fall back to if necessary. That was a contrast to past battles in the east, where fighters would charge ahead in furious advances, then retreat pell-mell when hit by Mr. Qadhafi’s artillery and rockets.

Libya’s revolt began in February, with the rebels quickly wresting control of much of the eastern half of the country, as well as pockets in the west.

But since April, the conflict has been locked in a stalemate. Despite months of NATO airstrikes hitting regime forces, rebels have failed to budge the main front lines, particularly at the oil port of Brega.

Rebels were claiming some progress at Brega, saying they seized part of the residential zones around its oil terminal. The Benghazi-based rebels’ military spokesman, Col. Ahmed Bani, said that rebel fighters are clashing with Mr. Qadhafi forces to take control over the rest of the town. “Very soon all Brega will be liberated,” he said.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article2356308.ece

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Twin blasts kill Iraqi soldier in Baghdad

14 August 2011

 Security and medical officials say a pair of bombs have hit an Iraqi army patrol in north Baghdad, killing one Iraqi soldier.

An Iraqi army officer says the roadside bombs went off in quick succession while the patrol was traveling through the Sunni neighborhood of Azamiyah on Sunday.

A police officer and a doctor at a nearby hospital confirmed the death toll and said nine people were wounded.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to release information.

Violence has significantly dropped in Iraq since 2008, but attacks still occur, particularly in Baghdad, where Al Qaeda militants appear determined to show they are not a spent force.

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/August/middleeast_August326.xml&section=middleeast

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Bomb blast at hotel kills 11 in Pakistan

14 August 2011

 QUETTA, Pakistan - A bomb ripped through a two-story hotel in Pakistan’s restive southwest on Sunday, killing at least 11 people and wounding nearly 20, police said.

No-one claimed responsibility for the attack in Dera Allah Yar, a town in the southwestern province of Baluchistan, although police said they suspected ethnic Baluch separatists.

‘The bomb was planted inside the hotel and it exploded when a large number of people were sitting in a hall,’ local police official Javed Gharsheen told Reuters. The town is around 300 km (185 miles) east of provincial capital Quetta.

Witnesses said the two-story building was destroyed. Rescue workers and police were removing the rubble to find any survivors.

Police said the death toll could rise as several people were believed to have trapped in the rubble.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/international/2011/August/international_August645.xml&section=international

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Six terrorists killed in South Waziristan

Aug 14, 2011

WANA: Six terrorists were killed and five others injured in a search operation conducted by security forces in Sholaam area of tehsil Sarokai, South Waziristan Agency, according to sources in the security forces. Security forces launched a search operation in Sholaam area on Razmak Road, 40 kilometres north from Wana. Meanwhile, twelve mortar shells were fired from Afghanistan into tehsil Birmal of South Waziristan Agency.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\08\14\story_14-8-2011_pg7_3

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Three soldiers killed as rockets hit base in Pak

Aug 14, 2011

Intelligence officials say suspected militants have fired rockets at a paramilitary base in Pakistan’s northwest during an independence day ceremony, killing three soldiers and wounding 23 others.

The officials say the soldiers had just finished raising the Pakistani flag and were gathering for speeches Sunday when the rockets hit the base in Miran Shah, the main town in the North Waziristan tribal area.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

North Waziristan is the main sanctuary for Taliban and al-Qaeda militants in Pakistan’s semiautonomous tribal region along the Afghan border.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article2356287.ece

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Ilyas Kashmiri threat to hit on Indian Independence Day

Aug 14, 2011

Security has been strengthened across the country ahead of Monday’s Independence Day celebrations. Security has also been beefed up at all sensitive places in the national capital.

According to sources, security forces are on maximum alert and vigil has been heightened at key public places, including railway stations, bus stands, shopping malls and cinema halls. Sources said inputs with the Central intelligence agencies suggest that at least seven hardcore militants of Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (LeT), trained by their Pakistan-based handler Ilyas Kashmiri — are waiting to cross the international border into India through Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).

“Security has also been beefed up at all important installations, including airports, nuclear installations, seaports, Metro stations and government offices, in the country. The anti-sabotage teams are also on alert to meet any threat. There are reports that Ilyas Kashmiri has instructed over ground workers of LeT operating in India, especially in J&K, to provide all possible help to the trained militants of the outfit once they enter India,” sources said. The state police and other security agencies have already been alerted in this regard. Kashmiri was a key conspirator in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks and wanted in India for his role in the terror act, which claimed 166 lives.

Indian border guarding forces are already on high alert. All the state police have been instructed to intensify checking and patrolling at bus terminals, railway stations, airport, cinema halls and other public places. Central security agencies have increased their security cover, sources said. Reports confirm that LeT commanders have already sent their guides in J&K, who will assist these militants when they cross over, sources said.

http://www.asianage.com/india/ilyas-threat-hit-i-day-463

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Convicted Afghani lensman wanted to pass on navy secrets to Pak

Rebecca Samervel

Aug 14, 2011

MUMBAI: A fortnight after a sessions court convicted 35-year-old Qamar Shafi Afghani, under the Official Secrets Act, a 54-page detailed judgment copy was made available to him. On July 26, sessions judge Sadhana Malpani Pawar sentenced him to five years' rigorous imprisonment for carrying out a recce around the coast off the Gateway of India and clicking 52 photographs of naval vessels stationed off the local base.

Afghani could not provide a satisfactory answer as to why he was in possession of the sensitive documents relating to the IAF and Naval Command.

Finding Afghani guilty under the Official Secrets Act, the court observed, "It appears that his purpose for keeping all those documents in his possession was for the purpose prejudicial to the safety of the state. He must have had the intention of sending the photographs and documents, which are concerned with defence of India, to its enemy country Pakistan." The ATS that arrested Afghani in 2007 had early on suspected his links with the ISI.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Convicted-lensman-wanted-to-pass-on-navy-secrets-to-Pak/articleshow/9598474.cms

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UN says Israel does not Allow Muslims Right to Worship in Jerusalem

Aug 14, 2011

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - As the month of Ramadan begins, the majority of the Muslim population in the occupied Palestinian Territory remains unable to exercise its right to freedom of worship due to Israeli restrictions on access to East Jerusalem and the Al Aqsa Mosque, according to a United Nations report published Friday.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the occupied territories (OCHA) said in its weekly Protection of Civilians report covering the period between August 3 and 9 that on the first Friday of Ramadan on August 5, the majority of the Muslim population in the occupied territories, including all of Gaza’s population and over 40% of the West Bank population, was prevented from accessing the Al Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem.

Men over 50 and women over 45 holding West Bank IDs and children below 12 years of age were allowed through the checkpoints into East Jerusalem without permits, while men between the ages of 40 and 50, and women between 35 and 45 were eligible for special permits.

Full report at:

http://abna.co/data.asp?lang=3&Id=259437

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15th amendment ensures citizens' equal rights: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina

Aug 14, 2011

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said the government has amended the constitution to ensure equal rights of all citizens as well as seal off the usurpation of power in the future.

“We want to ensure rights of all citizens irrespective of their religion and race,” she said this while she was addressing the leaders of Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Parishad and Janmasthami Udjapan Parishad at her official Gono Bhaban residence.

Hasina said the present government wants to create an atmosphere where every citizen would feel that they are enjoying equal rights like others. “That's why we've brought about the 15th amendment to the constitution,” she said.

Referring to the critics of the amendment, she said some vested quarters have emerged all on a sudden and are threatening to throw away the constitution. “I don't know what their problem with the constitution is,” she said.

Hasina said the amendment was done to ensure that no one could grab the state power, everyone should get their rights and people could cast their votes in favour of the party of their choice.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=198556

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NAC warned against M -worded schemes

Subodh Ghildiyal

New Delhi: The minority affairs ministry has told the Sonia Gandhi-chaired National Advisory Council that calling its welfare schemes as catering exclusively to Muslims could trip it in courts where it faces litigations accusing it of appeasement and discrimination on religious grounds.

The ministry argued that it was successful in two cases in the Bombay high court because of its strategy to play by the Constitution and design its schemes like multi sector development (MSD) as catering to five nationally notified minorities as against singling out any group like that of the Muslims.

It warned that while the Centre successfully navigated two court battles, it was faced with two more cases on the implementation of the Sachar committee report. It said that the Constitution only mentions minorities and has no mention of any specific minority group.

The vociferous defence follows a report by the Centre for Equity Studies which slammed UPAs minority initiatives as a non-starter. It blamed the poor implementation on the governments timidity to not specify the schemes as targeting Muslims for fear that BJP would raise the appeasement bogey again.

The report, prepared by NAC member Harsh Mander, said the governments choice of an omnibus identity like minority or minority concentration district blurred the focus on Muslims.

Full report at: Times of India

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Former US Intelligence Chiefs: Pakistan Must Stop Playing Both Sides

Gary Thomas

Aug 14, 2011

A resident walks past the compound where U.S. Navy SEAL commandos reportedly killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad May 5, 2011 (file photo)

The relationship between the United States and Pakistan has been severely strained in recent months.  Two former top U.S. intelligence officials say the relationship has been sorely tested because Pakistan has been trying to have it both ways by cooperating with U.S. counterterrorism efforts while maintaining ties with Taliban groups.

In separate interviews, ex-Central Intelligence Agency Director Michael Hayden and former Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair both say Pakistan is trying to use Taliban groups to maintain influence in Afghanistan.

Hayden, who served as CIA chief from 2006 to 2009, says Pakistan's army and its primary intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence directorate (ISI), have been using the Haqqani network as leverage.

"It is clear, it is unarguable, that the Pakistani government, particularly the Pakistani security establishment - the army and the ISI - view the Haqqani network, that's the Taliban group in North Waziristan, [as] more of an - in their calculus they know it's an enemy of the United States, but in their calculus it's dominated by the fact that they believe that the Haqqani network is a friend of Pakistan.  And that may be the single most troubling aspect of the relationship: our divergence of views on that particular network," said Hayden.

The Haqqani network is viewed as perhaps the most lethal of the Afghan Taliban groups, crossing into Afghanistan from its safe havens in Pakistan's tribal areas to mount attacks on NATO forces.

Full report at:

http://www.voanews.com/english/news/asia/Former-US-Intelligence-Chiefs-Pakistan-Must-Stop-Playing-Both-Sides-127319298.html

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Somalia wants humanitarian force to guard food convoys

By IBRAHIM MOHAMED

Aug 14, 2011

MOGADISHU: Somalia on Saturday called for the creation of a special humanitarian force to protect food aid convoys and camps in the famine-hit Horn of Africa country.

Islamist rebels mostly retreated from the capital Mogadishu last weekend but the threat of guerrilla-style attacks such as suicide bombings remains despite their battlefield defeat.

The government and a 9,000-strong African peacekeeping force admit they do not control all of the capital even after the rebel withdrawal, placing thousands of Somali refugees who are streaming into Mogadishu searching for food in danger.

The pullout by the Al-Qaeda-affiliated al Shabaab insurgents has raised hopes that humanitarian groups will be able to step up aid deliveries after years of obstruction by the militant group.

Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali held a joint news conference with Valerie Amos, UN emergency relief coordinator, visiting the capital.

“We met today with Valerie Amos ... we have discussed the current humanitarian situation in Somalia and the best way that we can assist with humanitarian aid to the people,” said Ali.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/world/article487992.ece

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King Abdullah and Obama tell Syria killings ‘must end now’

Aug 14, 2011

WASHINGTON: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah and US President Barack Obama demanded Saturday that the Syrian regime "immediately" halt its brutal crackdown on protesters, the White House said.

Speaking by telephone, Obama and his key Arab ally in the region "expressed their shared, deep concerns about the Syrian government's use of violence against its citizens," the White House said in a statement.

"They agreed that the Syrian regime's brutal campaign of violence against the Syrian people must end immediately, and to continue close consultations about the situation in the days ahead."

King Abdullah and Obama also discussed ways of strengthening bilateral relations as well as major regional and international issues, the Saudi Press Agency said.

The call came after Saudi Arabia recalled its ambassador from Damascus on Monday and King Abdullah said the Syrian crackdown is not acceptable. "Syria should think wisely before it's too late ... and enact reforms that are not merely promises but actual reforms."

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article488050.ece

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Syria unrest: 'Deadly military attack' on Latakia port

14 Aug, 2011

Footage said to show security forces taking hold of Latakia on Saturday

Syrian warships have joined a military assault targeting protesters in the northern port city of Latakia, activists say.

At least 19 people have been killed in the operation, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The military attack began on Saturday, targeting the protesters' stronghold of Ramleh in the city, it said.

More than 1,700 people have reportedly died in the six-month uprising against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad.

'Residents flee'

Some 20 tanks and personnel carriers were also said to be taking part in the Latakia assault, with heavy gunfire reported in the Ramleh neighbourhood.

One witness told Reuters news agency by telephone: "I can see the silhouettes of two grey [naval] vessels. They are firing their guns and the impact is landing on al-Ramleh, al-Filistini and al-Shaab neighbourhoods."

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-14520830

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Scheme to pay for tertiary education of needy Malay-Muslim students expanded

Aug 14, 2011

SINGAPORE - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has announced that a scheme that pays for the tertiary education of needy Malay-Muslim students will be expanded to cover more families.

The Singapore Government will revise the income ceiling for the longstanding scheme that helps poorer Malay students pay for their tertiary education.

The income criteria had not changed since the scheme was introduced 20 years ago PM Lee said this in his National Day Rally speech at the University Cultural Centre on Sunday evening in Malay for the country's Malay Muslim community.

Mr Lee said: "I fully support all the efforts of Malay parents to steer their kids to success in various forms. I want to see more young Malays seize the opportunities and do well. This requires hard work, but as many of you have shown, you can do it."

Students from poorer households enjoy free education in universities and polytechnics while the better off have to pay fees – this is a key principle of this Tertiary Tuition Fee Subsidy (TTFS) that will remain.

http://www.asiaone.com/News/Latest%2BNews/Edvantage/Story/A1Story20110814-294466.html

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Foreigners must obtain visa to enter Gaza: Hamas

Aug 14, 2011

A spokesman for Gaza’s Hamas rulers says foreigners must now obtain visas to enter the Gaza Strip.

Ihab Ghussein’s comments on Saturday come a day after the United States warned it would cut USD 100 million in American aid money if Hamas continues its “unwarranted audits” of local American non-profit organisations.

Hamas recently shut down a U.S.-financed aide group that refused an audit.

Mr. Ghussein says the government must know who is staying in Gaza in order to protect foreigners.

If implemented, the visa demand could complicate the work of international aid groups in Gaza since the U.S. and U.N. consider Hamas a terrorist organisation.

As such, many international aid groups are prohibited from having direct contact with Hamas or providing the Islamic group with cash.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article2354188.ece

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Democracy guarantor of peace, prosperity: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani

Aug 14, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani said democracy is a guarantor of peace and prosperity and the government will continue building consensus with all political parties to resolve issues facing the country.

In his address to the nation here on Sunday at a ceremony at Convention Centre to mark Pakistan’s 64th Independence Day, the Prime Minister said the parliament is about to complete its four years and that the political leadership of Pakistan agrees that it will succeed in stabilising democracy.

The prime minister felicitated the nation on its 64th Independence Day and paid rich tributes to the founder of Pakistan Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and leaders of the Pakistan Movement for providing a spirited leadership which created the world’s first ideological state through democratic struggle.

“The creation of Pakistan was the best example of democratic struggle,” he noted.

The prime minister also praised PPP leaders Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto for laying down their lives for democratic ideals and rights of people.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/14/democracy-guarantor-of-peace-prosperity-gilani.html

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Indian Malaysian gets 8 years in jail for human trafficking

Aug 14, 2011

An ethnic Indian in Malaysia has been sentenced to eight years in jail for human trafficking and abusing his Indonesian maid, three months after his wife was jailed for scalding the woman with a hot iron, a news report said on Saturday.

A. Vealu, a 42-year-old grass-cutting contractor, was convicted of exploiting a 26-year-old Win Farida, a maid from East Java, who was found with burn injuries after she was abandoned by Vealu and his wife Poongavanam last year.

Vealu and Poongavanam were jointly charged under the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act which carries the maximum 20 years' jail sentence and fine. Vealu has not yet been jailed pending his appeal, the New Straits Times said on Friday. Poongavanam is currently serving an eight year jail sentence after she was found guilty of grievously hurting Faridaa with a hot iron in September last year, the daily said.

Full report at:

http://www.asianage.com/international/indian-malaysian-gets-8-years-jail-human-trafficking-428

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Yemeni Qaeda’s likely new weapon is deadly toxin

Aug 14 2011

American counter-terrorism officials are concerned that the most dangerous regional arm of al-Qaeda is trying to produce the lethal poison ricin, to be packed around small explosives for attacks against the US.

For more than a year, according to classified intelligence reports, al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen has been trying to acquire large quantities of castor beans, which are required to produce ricin, a white, powdery toxin that is so deadly that just a speck can kill if it is inhaled or reaches the bloodstream.

Intelligence officials say they have evidence that Qaeda operatives are trying to move castor beans and processing agents to a hideaway in Shabwa Province, in one of Yemen’s rugged tribal areas held by insurgents. The officials say the evidence points to efforts to secretly concoct batches of the poison, pack them around small explosives, and then try to explode them in contained spaces, like a shopping mall, airport or subway station.

US President Barack Obama and his top national security aides were first briefed on the threat last year and have received periodic updates since, top aides said. American officials say there is no indication that a ricin attack is imminent.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/yemeni-qaedas-likely-new-weapon-is-deadly-toxin/831669/

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Pakistan Court told: Accused and handler had ‘same voice’

Aug 14, 2011

A PROSECUTION witness on Saturday told the Pakistani court conducting the trial of seven suspects in the 26/ 11 Mumbai attack case that the voice of one of the accused had matched with that of a handler who directed the terrorists involved in the assault.

Deposing before anti- terrorism court Judge Shahid Rafique, inspector Nisar Ahmed Jadoon of the Federal Investigation Agency ( FIA) also provided details of raids conducted on Lashkar- e- Tayyeba camps in Karachi where the attackers had trained before the attacks in November 2008.

Jadoon said the voice of an accused had matched with that of a handler who directed the 10 attackers in Mumbai from a camp in Pakistan.

Defence lawyer Khwaja Sultan, however, questioned how the prosecution had matched the voice as the FIA did not have voice samples of the seven suspects.

Pakistani law does not allow authorities to obtain voice samples without the permission of suspects.

Interior minister Rehman Malik has contended this as the reason why Pakistan has been unable to hand over voice samples of suspects sought by India.

During his deposition, Jadoon said the banned LeT had set up three training camps in Karachi which were raided by an FIA team. None of the accused was present in the camps at the time of the raids, Jadoon was quoted as saying by sources. Also no incriminating evidence, including weapons, bomb- making materials or documents were found in the camps Jadoon added.

Full report at: Mail Today

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Modi tells PM to rein in PC on ‘ careless cops’

By D. P. Bhattacharya

Aug 14, 2011

THE war of words between Narendra Modi and P. Chidambaram escalated on Saturday with the Gujarat chief minister shooting off a letter to the Prime Minister asking him to reign in the Union home minister.

The letter follows Chidambaram’s remark on Friday offering to help IPS officers facing the rough end of the stick under Modi’s rule.

“ Rules do provide for the central government to take certain decisions at certain stages but that rule has to be invoked by the officer concerned. If the officer concerned invokes the rule, certainly we will look into it,” Chidambaram said on Friday.

Modi wrote to the PM on Saturday saying Chidambaram made his statement regarding “ some delinquent police officers of Gujarat cadre”. “ This is the second time that the home minister has intervened in favour of such officers and thus encouraging indiscipline,” Modi said.

Full report at: Mail Today

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Imran Khan is the most popular Pakistani politician: Survey

Sameer Arshad

Aug 14, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan has crisscrossed the terror-scarred country, addressed rallies and led dharnas when the country's top politicians have confined themselves to their fortress-like houses in exclusive security zones.

The world cup-winning captain also did the unthinkable by leading a dharna under open sky in northwestern city of Peshawar that has seen near-daily Taliban attacks in the last few years.

Is the 1970s and 80s heartthrob a fool rushing where angles fear to tread? No, say his admirers who call him the next big thing in Pakistan's politics.

They assert that Imran would most likely emulate his exploits in the cricketing field in electoral politics in 2013 when Pakistan goes for the next general elections.

Latest surveys ranking Imran by far the most popular Pakistani politician must be music to their ears.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Imran-Khan-is-the-most-popular-Pakistani-politician-Survey/articleshow/9598640.cms

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Canada extends sanctions against Syria

Aug 14, 2011

TORONTO: Canada has broadened economic sanctions imposed against Syria over its continuing violent crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, Canada's foreign affairs minister has said.

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said yesterday that Canada is strengthening the measures imposed in May by barring additional members of President Bashar Assad's government from traveling to Canada and freezing assets of more entities linked to the regime.

Syrian activists say at least 1,700 civilians have been killed in the government crackdown on protesters in the past five months.

The violence has generated increased pressure on the Assad regime to end the violence, Baird said.

"There's been significant movement in the Arab world in condemnations from a number of not just Arab leaders but others in the Arab world so the chorus is getting louder," he said.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently called for the international community to cut links with the Assad regime. She also urged a global trade embargo on oil and gas from Syria.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Canada-extends-sanctions-against-Syria/articleshow/9597831.cms

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Punjab border farmers still tune into Pak FM

Rohan Dua

Aug 14, 2011

MADHRE VILLAGE (Ferozepur): For more than three decades now Puran Singh Madhre's paddy farm, stowed in one of the tiny villages of Ferozepur, Punjab, has resonated with soulful melodies broadcast from a township located 70-odd km across the tall barbed fences on Hussainiwala border.

Low frequency range of national radio broadcasters and the absence of any local FM station have kept radio service from Pakistan the most popular source of entertainment, say the farmer families on the fringes of Ferozepur.

Every morning as the 56-year-old Madhre sets off for work in his fields, the twist of a dial on his 4-inches long radio-receiver gives him bursts of joy even as he sweats out in the blistering heat.

He cheerfully hums along the lyrics of famous songs sung by Pakistan's Ahmed Rushdi, Naheed Akhtar and Masood Rana.

"Despite the service by Prasar Bharti, we have never had the opportunity to regularly listen to any of the famous Punjab singers. But the Punjabi and Urdu songs on the Pakistan radio stations has given the feeling of an imaginary world where people of similar culture live," says Madhre.

"It's high time the government had an FM station here or some private channel for us. We want to listen to our own legends as well," said 23-year-old Inderjeet.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Punjab-border-farmers-still-tune-into-Pak-FM/articleshow/9598480.cms

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Religious brotherhood: Muslims craft 'kanwars' for Hindu pilgrims

By Imran Khan

Aug 14, 2011

Sultanganj : Tens of thousands of Hindu pilgrims are seen slinging these wooden structures, called 'kanwars', across their shoulders at this time of the year in an act of penance and faith. But unknown to most, these are made by poor Muslim artisans in this small town of Bihar who, with their simple passion for their craft, reinforce a glorious tradition of communal harmony in India.

There are over 24 such Muslim artisans in Sultanganj in Bhagalpur district, about 200 km from state capital Patna. And Hindu Kanwariya pilgrims readily buy their 'kanwars' to fetch holy water from the Ganges river.

Mohammad Kalam is a name to reckon with among all these artisans. He has been doing this for nearly three decades.

"We eagerly wait for the arrival of the month of Shravan (July-August) for making kanwars of different designs and to display them as art pieces to woo Hindu devotees," Kalam said.

Even as these Muslim artisans are busy observing fasts during the ongoing holy month of Ramzan and are offering prayers, they are very much doing their job. Hundreds of "Hindu brothers and sisters" from Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, West Bengal, New Delhi and Bangalore visit Kalam's shop for kanwars.

Kanwars are wooden carriers fitted with metal or plastic water pots. The Shiva pilgrims, in their month-long Kanwar Yatra, carry poles across their shoulders hanging the pots in these kanwars.

Full report at:

http://twocircles.net/2011aug13/religious_brotherhood_muslims_craft_kanwars_hindu_pilg

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Ayatollah Jafar Sobhani: Islam is the Religion of Peace

Aug 14, 2011

Grand Shia cleric says "Muslims are not war-mongers and Islam is the religion of peace."

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - Grand Shia cleric says "Muslims are not war-mongers and Islam is the religion of peace."

 Speaking among Qom seminary students, Ayatollah Jafar Sobhani underscored the importance and the necessity of Jihad in Islamic World.

“Islam is not a pro war religion and the only thing which can keep our lands and countries safe is the sprite of Jihad and Martyrdom, “ said the grand Ayatollah stating that such a sprite let us defend out country when the enemies attack it.

The seminary instructor went on,” a soldier who fights for getting money cannot have a serious combatant but when a soldier knows he sells his soul to get Heaven instead, then he has no fear. “

“Islam is the religion of balance and Muslims people should be a paradigm for other people by abiding the rules of this religion,” the grand Ayatollah mentioned. 

http://abna.co/data.asp?lang=3&Id=259423

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Blind reciter says holy Quran has given him eyes

Aug 14, 2011

Ahmed Sarikai was born blind, but that did not stop him memorising the entire Quran by the age of 8.

Sherzat Khizhin, 10, does not speak a word of Arabic but finished memorising the Quran two years ago while sitting in a circle with his father and siblings.

Their two voices have joined those of people from more than 90 countries competing for positions as the top 10 reciters of the Quran in the world.

The Dubai International Award for the Holy Quran is in its 15th year.

The competition is for the best "sout samawi", or voice of heaven, who can recite the words of Allah through the divine book.

"The Quran has given me eyes," says Mr Sarikai, now 21, of Turkey. "If you listen with your heart, the words find a place in your heart and are never forgotten."

The Istanbul man learnt Arabic by listening to TV channels, and the Quran from listening to recordings of reciters.

His distinctive, deep-throated style of recitation is helped by his pastime of playing the nay.

http://abna.co/data.asp?lang=3&Id=259400

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Ahmadinejad says Holy Quran is book of life

Aug 14, 2011

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, by praising Holy Quran reciters and memorizers, underlined that Quran is the book of life, society and mankind management.

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - Addressing members of Iran's Qur'anic Society in Tehran on Saturday evening, President Ahmadinejad appreciated those who make efforts in the field of promotion of Qur'anic culture.

The president expressed hope that by the rule of Qur'anic teachings, an ideal human society will be established in the world.

http://abna.co/data.asp?lang=3&Id=259382

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Wahhabis only, supporters of Al-Hassan wal-Hussain TV serial

Aug 14, 2011

Speaking at a press conference on the sidelines of the Glorious Qur’an Exhibition, Seyyed Mohammad Hosseini added, “The faces of infallible Imams (P), and Lady Zeinab (P) are shown in this serial, which is against the verdicts of the Islamic world jurists.”

The Culture Minister stressed that the producers of this serial have also presented a deviated account on a part of the Islamic history in this unfounded serial, adding, “Producing this serial was not only opposed by the Shi’a world Alims, but also incited great objection and criticism throughout the Sunni world, arguing that it is insulting against the Imams (P), since they, too, although do not believe in infallibility of the pure progeny of the Prophet (P), but do love those great personalities.”

IRAN CAPABLE OF PRODUCING FILMS ON INT’L ISSUES

The Culture and Islamic Guidance Minister referred to the need for the Iranian cinema’s entry into issues such as the Middle East, Somalia catastrophe and… announcing the Culture and Islamic Ministry’s readiness to approve of the production of films with international subjects.

Full report at:

http://www.irna.ir/ENNewsShow.aspx?NID=30517209&SRCH=1

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“Risalat Islam” Quranic channel started in five continents of the world

Aug 14, 2011

In relevance with the Holy month of Ramadan, the Quranic channel named “Rasalat Islam” has started its transmissions in English, French and Hispanic languages in five continents.

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - The Quranic channel named “Rasalat Islam” has started its transmission with the beginning of Ramadan and it is decided that during 24 hours, this channel will broadcast a large number of rare manuscripts of the Holy Quran with translation in English, French and Hispanic languages.

Dr. Abdul Aziz Al-Fouzan the supervisor of this channel said about the inauguration of this channel in the Holy month of Ramadan that Ramadan is the month of the Holy Quran’s revelation which invites towards meditation and deliberation in this Allah’s book and this Quranic channel has been inaugurated in accordance with the month of Holy Quran’s revelation.

Al-Sabaq reported that Fouzan further said that a feature of this channel is that in addition to recitation and graphics of the Holy Quran, the translation is also presented in English, French and Hispanic languages.

http://abna.co/data.asp?lang=3&Id=259386

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Channel to air English, French translation of Qur'an

By GALAL FAKKAR

Aug 14, 2011

JEDDAH: The Holy Qur’an Channel recently launched the transmission of Qur’an translations in English and French along with recitations of 10 famous reciters, including Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, Ali Al-Hudaifi, Saud Al-Shuraim, Ali Jaber, Abdul Basit Abdussamad and Mahmoud Hasri.

Culture and Information Minister Abdul Aziz Khoja said the translation project was carried out on the directive of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, who wanted non-Arabic speaking Muslims to learn the meaning of the holy book.

“We have already recorded translations of the recitations by more than 10 reciters of the holy book in English and French and this will be broadcast on the channel daily throughout the year,” the minister said.

Saudi Arabia launched the Qur’an Channel as part of a series of specialist channels. At present there are more than 12 Qur’an channels. Some of them explain the science of the Qur’an and teach the public how to recite and memorize the holy book.

Yasser Abdul Aziz, a broadcaster, commended the ministry’s move to translate the recitations into English and French, saying it would help the channel attract viewers from around the world.

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article488008.ece

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Norway attacks: Breivik taken back to shooting island

14 Aug, 2011

A July 22 Commission is investigating Mr Breivik's killings

Norwegian gunman Anders Behring Breivik has been taken back to the island of Utoeya for a police reconstruction of the killing of his 69 victims there.

Mr Breivik, wearing a bulletproof vest and tethered on a rope, was seen pointing to where he had fired shots. Police will give more details later.

Mr Breivik's attacks on 22 July also killed eight in an Oslo bombing.

The 32-year-old far-right extremist admits the killings but denies any criminal guilt.

Act of solidarity

The Verdens Gang newspaper published photographs of the reconstruction, saying Mr Breivik was taken to Utoeya at about 1400 local time (noon GMT) on Saturday, with police helicopters flying overhead.

He reportedly went on the same ferry that he took before carrying out the massacre.

Some of the Verdens Gang pictures showed Mr Breivik standing in a firing position, as if aiming a gun out on the water.

It quoted Mr Breivik's lawyer, Geir Lippestad, as saying police had filmed the reconstruction to use in evidence and that his client remembered in detail each shot he fired and every person he had killed.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-14521521

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Women bargaining chips in family feuds: Pak rights panel

Aug 14, 2011

MULTAN: On April 14, two men entered Asma Firdous' home, cut off six of her fingers, slashed her arms, lips and nose. Before leaving the house, the men locked their 28-year-old victim inside.

Asma, from impoverished Kohaur Junobi village in Pakistan's south, was mutilated because her husband was involved in a dispute with his relatives, and they wanted revenge. Her fate is familiar in parts of Pakistan's remote and feudal agricultural belts, where women are often used as bargaining chips in family feuds.

Pakistan is the world's third-most dangerous country for women, after Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, said a survey conducted by the Thomson Reuters Foundation. In its own 2010 report, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan says 800 women were victims of "honour killings" and 2,900 women raped, almost eight a day. The bulk, almost 2,600, were raped in Punjab alone, Pakistan's most populous and prosperous province.

And the numbers are rising: media reports say crimes against women have risen 18% in the year till May and the rights commission believes its figures represent only a fraction of attacks which take place across the country.

Dr Farzana Bari of Quaid-e-Azam University says a patriarchal society condones violence against women, especially in rural families.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Women-bargaining-chips-in-family-feuds-Pak-rights-panel/articleshow/9597308.cms

 

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Pair charged with triple murder over Pakistanis’ deaths

14 August 2011

BIRMINGHAM, United Kingdom: A man and a teenager were due in court Sunday, police said, charged with the murder of three Pakistani men hit by a car while defending their neighbourhood against looters in Britain’s second city.

They are the first people to be charged over the deaths that occurred during Britain’s worst riots in decades that began in London last Saturday and spread to other major English cities.

Haroon Jahan, 20, Shazad Ali, 30, and his brother Abdul Musavir, 31, were killed early Wednesday by the entrance to a fuel station in the inner-city neighbourhood of Winson Green in Birmingham, west central England.

Joshua Donald, 26, from nearby Ladywood and a 17-year-old male from Winson Green were charged Saturday with three counts of murder, West Midlands Police said. The police cannot name those aged under 18.

They were due to appear at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court at 9:00am (0800 GMT). “Two people, aged 23 and 27, remain in custody,” WMP said.

“A 16-year-old and 32-year-old have been bailed pending further enquiries.”Police said earlier that they had recovered two cars in their investigation and had obtained 400 exhibits and more than 70 witness statements.

Jahan’s father Tariq has been praised for his emotional plea not to seek revenge for his son’s death.

Police acknowledged that his appeal lowered the temperature, amid fears for relations between Birmingham’s ethnic communities.

A total of 509 people have been arrested across the greater Birmingham conurbation following last week’s disorder, which also hit the West Midlands city of Wolverhampton and the town of West Bromwich.

Besides the three deaths in Birmingham, two other people died in the wave of urban unrest.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/14/pair-charged-with-triple-murder-over-pakistanis-deaths.html

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Pakistan wants US ties beyond anti-terror cooperation: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani

14 August 2011

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said Pakistan wanted an enduring partnership with the United States and a relationship beyond cooperation on terrorism.

In his meeting with US Senator John McCain at the PM House, Prime Minister Gilani said he looked forward to a deeper level of engagement with the United States in all areas of bilateral relations, including energy and economic cooperation.

Prime Minister Gilani appreciated Senator John McCain’s continued support to Pakistan in the US Congress and said he would welcome the visit by the US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton.

Later, President Asif Ali Zardari also met with Senator McCain at Aiwan-e-Sadr.

“We need to build framework for an enduring strategic partnership,” said President Zardari.

He said that Pakistan has been the worst sufferer in the war against terror and has suffered losses that exceed in quantum to any other nation.

He said that with direct and indirect economic losses equaling to $ 68 billion and 35000 martyrs behind us, we were determined to pursue this war till its logical conclusion.

“Our commitment remains above-board and without even slightest shadow of doubt,” the President emphasized.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/13/pakistan-wants-ties-with-us-beyond-anti-terror-cooperation-pm.html

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Organisation of Islamic Cooperation offers to play role in Syria dialogue

Aug 14, 2011

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia - The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation called on Syrian authorities to “exercise restraint” in their showdown with anti-regime protesters and offered to mediate in a dialogue.

OIC chief Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu urged “the Syrian leadership to exercise utmost restraint through immediate cessation of the use of force to suppress people’s demonstrations,” said the world’s largest pan-Islamic body.

It called on Damascus “to engage in dialogue with all parties in Syria in order to agree on acceptable reform measures and to expedite their implementation.”

Ihsanoglu “expressed the readiness of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to play a role in this regard, as he believes that dialogue is the only secure option through which this devastating crisis could be contained.”

Security forces backed by tanks have been trying to crush dissent city by city and town by town since pro-democracy protests erupted in mid-March.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says 2,150 people have since been confirmed dead.

The UN Security Council is to hold a special meeting next Thursday to discuss human rights and the humanitarian emergency in Syria, diplomats at the United Nations said.

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/August/middleeast_August313.xml&section=middleeast&col=

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Celebrated Bangladeshi filmmaker Tareq Masud, four others die in road crash

August 14, 2011

DHAKA: Award-winning Bangladeshi film-maker Tareq Masud died Saturday along with four other people in a road crash west of the country’s capital, Dhaka, police said.

Masud and four others, including the chief executive of Bangladesh’s private ATN television news channel, Mishuk Munier, died on the spot when the minibus carrying them collided head-on with a bus at Ghior, police said.

Masud’s US-born wife and producer, Catherine Masud, and a noted Bangladeshi painter, Dhali al Mamun, and his wife were seriously injured in the accident, local police chief Mohammad Raisuddin told AFP by telephone.

“They had come to Ghior to select a shooting spot for Masud’s next film. They had made their choice and were returning home when the accident occurred,” he said.

Ghior, a scenic district close to the Ganges River, lies around 70 kilometres (40 miles) west of Dhaka.

Masud shot to fame after his 2002 film “Matir Moina” (The Clay Bird) won several prizes, including an International Federation of Film Critics award at the Cannes Film Festival.

Police said Masud was believed to be around 50 years of age.

Road accidents are common in Bangladesh and kill thousands of people each year. Shoddy highways, poorly maintained vehicles and drivers’ disregard for road safety are blamed for most fatalities.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/231044/celebrated-bangladeshi-filmmaker-tareq-masud-four-others-die-in-road-crash/

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“An example for others who want to reach out to victims of war”

K. V. PRASAD

Aug 14, 2011

Excerpts from an interview with Farida Singh, daughter of Jehangir Engineer, who was piloting the Beechcraft when it was shot down by a Pakistan Air Force F-86 piloted by Qais M. Hussain.

Q. What were your immediate thoughts on receiving the request from common friends that he was seeking to get in touch with you/your family?

A. It was a great surprise to me. It came at a time, some months ago, when I had still to come to terms with the passing away of my younger brother. Uncharacteristically, I was a bit apprehensive because I knew that I had to relive one of the most painful episodes of my life.

Was it a difficult decision to make to receive the letter and how supportive was your family for you to arrive at the decision?

When I decided that I should extend my hand to Mr. Hussain, not long ago, it dawned on me that it was always my intention to do so. I felt that I should not wait any longer. I made the decision on my own as my husband, who was always supportive and would have left the decision to me, passed away in December 2004. Like their father, both my children (who live in the United States), would have done the same.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article2354496.ece

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After last week's riots, Moradabad a tinderbox

VIDYA SUBRAHMANIAM

Aug 14, 2011

Latest violence seen as a continuation of last month's clashes at Arahlatnagar Bagah village

A semblance of quiet has returned to Moradabad but only just so. Though curfew has been relaxed, the riots of the past week have left their imprint on the town and its residents. Violence is all-present – not just in the physical shape of looted and burnt houses and establishments but in the bristling anger that erupts only too easily when Hindus and Muslims come face to face.

There are only two Muslim houses on the inside lane leading out from the Asha Masjid on Jayantipur Road. On the night of August 9, mobs carrying firearms vandalised one and set it aflame. They then smashed the glass front of the second house, leaving Nazia, its owner and only occupant at the time, cowering in fright all night.

The mob attack followed two days of violent Hindu-Muslim clashes over attempts by the Kawariya pilgrims to take their procession through the Muslim neighbourhood of Rahmat Nagar. On August 7, the Kawariyas were lathicharged and beaten back by the police. However, the commotion brought the Muslims out of their homes and a fierce fight broke out between the two communities, resulting in a night-long exchange of fire, arson and looting. The rioters hurled brickbats at the police and damaged their vehicles. It did not help that the Kawariyas had the backing of the Shiv Sena-led Sarvadaliya Hindu Mahasabha (SHM).

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article2354477.ece

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Sometimes, solace comes from the “enemy”

K. V. PRASAD

Aug 14, 2011

There are other incidents in which the pain and anguish of losing a loved one in war has prompted families of “enemy combatants” to reach out to each other across the India-Pakistan divide in order to come to terms with their loss. Conventional military histories rarely record these stories, but that does not erase them. We feature here two instances from the 1965 war.

Sqd. Ldr. A.B. Devaiah, Indian Air Force

Squadron Leader Ajjmada Bopaiah Devaiah did not return from a mission to attack Sargodha airbase in Pakistan, on September 7, 1965. He was flying his sub-sonic fighter Mystere. For long years he was classified as ‘Missing in Action.' After a time period stipulated for all MIA cases, he was moved to the “presumed dead” category to facilitate the payment of pension and other benefits to his family.

The courage and bravery of this officer might have gone unsung had it not been for an account of how he met his end by an officer of the Pakistan Air Force, Amjad Hussain, a Flight Lieutenant at the time of the incident. The account, contained in the book Battle for Pakistan by John Fricker, led to a Mahavir Chakra for Sqd. Ldr. Devaiah after an IAF officer stumbled upon it in the book.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article2354505.ece

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/attack-on-afghan-governor’s-compound-kills-19/d/5256


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