Kashmiri Shiite Muslims
flagellate themselves as they take part in a religious procession held on the
seventh day of Islamic month of Muharram, in Srinagar
Leader, Haibatullah Akhundzada, Was Openly Teaching and Preaching In Pakistan
Americans Express Disappointment over Debate Rhetoric Tying Muslims to
Army Kills over 70 ISIL Militants in Sirte
Screaming In Pain As Man Slices Its Head Open In Shi'ite Islamic Bloodletting
to Nawazuddin’s Participation in Ram Leela are Ignorant of India’s Pluralistic
Milkman Donates 60 Litres Milk to Goddess Durga for Making of Prasad during
Youth Rescue Soldier Trapped Inside Damaged Vehicle
VHP Leader Caught Harassing Muslim Woman at Muharram Gathering
Sena advocates for Uniform Civil Code
Ravan’s effigies bring Hindu, Muslim artisans together
of terror - `Moideen met Islamic State module members'
Strikes Kill 8 ISIS Loyalists in East of Afghanistan
ISIS deaths reported in Jawzjan province of Afghanistan
terrorist group’s mine making centre busted in Takhar: NDS
to launch major clearance operation in Kunduz province
army helicopter crashed due to technical issues, killing 7 on board: MoD
Police Chief Criticized For Perceived Anti-Muslim Facebook Posts
Donald Trump questioned Muslims, Turnbull and Shorten did something remarkable
celebrates Muslim Americans
Suggests US Working with Russia, Allies in Fight against ISIL
Terrorists Fleeing Nineveh to Turkey
Supreme Council Rejects Talks with UN before Cease of 'Massacre'
Condemns 'Deliberate Criminal' Saudi Attack in Yemen's Sana'a
Military Forces Continue to Hunt Terrorists in Aleppo Districts
Gov't Forces About to Win Full Control over another Key District in Aleppo
Long-Range Ballistic Missile Hits Saudi Arabia's Airbase in Ta'if City
Arabia Sends National Guard Forces to Najran
UN Help to Send Humanitarian Aid to Yemen
Calls for Broadening of Economic Cooperation among Asian Countries
Seeking to Strengthen Ties with Iran
to become ‘Capital of Islamic Tourism’
Kills 38 ISIL Militants, Rebels Advance in Syria
Killed In PKK Suicide Bomb Attack in Turkey’s Hakkari
drone attacks Turkish troops in Bashiqa camp
office revises death toll in PKK suicide attack in Hakkari to 15
minister due in Turkey for first post-crisis visit: Official
probes 500,000 digital documents to find more evidence for Gülen extradition
liberalization with Turkey possible after ‘dust settles’
Stream deal may be signed during Putin’s Istanbul visit: Russian minister
Asked To Trace 102 Missing Militants
Vows to Stop WCLA from Running Badshahi Mosque
burdened country with debt: JI
Will Be Major Beneficiary of CPEC, Says PM Nawaz
minister, KP CM to be nominated in APS attack FIR
not interested in joining talks ‘for the heck of it’, says Basit
chief visits LoC, praises operational preparedness of troops
Voices Concern over Islamic State Presence in Somalia
Extremist Jailed For Raising £3,000 for ISIS-Linked Terror Group
Merkel pledges help for 'troubled' Mali
state orders arrest of banned Shiite group’s spokesman
Sends Troops into Muslim-Majority Region after Deadly Attacks
secular versus religious divide
Muslims on trial for illegally importing 90 cows for Eid al-Adha
police probe mosque vandalism amid tension ahead of election
Plans Permanent Naval Facility in Syrian Port of Tartus
police detain Syrian man wanted in alleged bomb plot
Anti-Muslim Vigilante Group Is Roaming the Melbourne CBD Pledging To “Keep Our
Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau
Baby Screaming In Pain As Man Slices Its Head Open In
Shi'ite Islamic Bloodletting Ritual
9 October 2016
This is the moment a baby screamed out as a relative
sliced its head open with a kitchen knife as part of an Islamic
self-flagellation ceremony to mourn the death of the Prophet Muhammad's
grandson 1,300 years ago.
Gruesome pictures show a man holding a knife to the head
of a young child in Ahmadabad, India while others show boys whipping themselves
with sharp blades.
In separate images, men can be seen crying out in pain as
they use knives attached to chains to cut their own backs at a mosque in Kabul,
Pools of blood can be seen on the floor of the building
after the men performed the ritual to mark Ashura - one of the major fixtures
of the Islamic calendar.
The tradition is seen by some as a way of washing away
their sins and is a national holiday in many countries with thousands taking
part in the annual rituals.
A national holiday in many countries, thousands take part
in the annual rituals which include people whipping and cutting themselves with
chains and knives.
Ashura mourns the death of Imam Hussein, a grandson of
the Prophet Mohammed, who was killed by armies of the Yazid near Karbala in 680
That event lies at the heart of Islam's divide into
Shiite and Sunni sects.
In recent years, there have been a spate of attacks on
Ashura celebrations around the region by Sunni extremist groups which regard
Shiites as heretics.
Some Shi'ite leaders discourage self-mutilation and
bloodletting, claiming it has no basis in early religious history.
Others say it creates a negative image, and encourage
people to donate blood instead.
Thousands of men perform the same brutal practice in
Lebanon, Bangladesh, Iraq, Pakistan and Myanmar and even Athens, Greece.
Taliban Leader, Haibatullah Akhundzada, Was Openly
Teaching and Preaching In Pakistan
Mon Oct 10 2016
The new supreme leader of the Afghan Taliban Mawlavi
Haibatullah Akhundzada was openly teaching and preaching in a mosque in
Balochistan province of Pakistan before he was appointed to succeed Mullah
Akhtar Mansoor who was killed in US drone strike in Pakistan.
The mosque, Al Haaj mosque, where Mawlavi Akhundzada was
teaching and preaching is located in Kuchlak, near the city of Quetta, the
associates and students of Akhundzada told Reuters.
According to Reuters, the latest disclosures regarding
Akhundzada could put further pressure on Pakistan to do more to crack down on
militants openly living there.
Akhundzada was appointed the supreme leader of the
Taliban group in May, days after Mullah Mansoor was targeted in a US drone
strike in the vicinity of Balochistan province of Afghanistan.
He is believed to be hiding after taking charge of the
group with his associates and students saying “Once he became Emir, he left
with his whole family.”
Hafiz Abdul Majeed, who runs the Al Haaj mosque, told
Reuters that he himself studied for several years under Akhundzada.
“You can’t teach religion and run (the Taliban’s)
government at the same time. And it would of course have been dangerous for us
and the students and the mosque if he remained here,” he added.
This comes as the Afghan officials have long been
criticizing Pakistan for remaining reckless to act against the leadership
councils of the Taliban and the notorious Haqqani terrorist network based in
Peshawar and Quetta cities of Pakistan.
The Afghan officials also accuse the Pakistani military,
specifically the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) for supporting the Afghan
Muslim Americans Express Disappointment Over Debate
Rhetoric Tying Muslims to Terrorism
Oct 10, 2016
During Sunday night's presidential debate, Gorbah Hamed,
a Muslim woman who was part of the debate's night's "uncommitted"
audience, asked both presidential candidates how they would help Muslim
Americans deal with the rise of Islamophobia.
"There are 3.3 million Muslims in the United States,
and I'm one of them," Hamed said, addressing Republican presidential
nominee Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
"You've mentioned working with Muslim nations, but with Islamophobia on
the rise, how will you help people like me deal with the consequences of being
labeled as a threat to the country after the election is over?"
Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump and
Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton (R) listen to a question
from the audience during their presidential town hall debate at Washington
University in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S., October 9, 2016. Saul Loeb/Pool /
Trump began his response by acknowledging Islamophobia,
calling it "a shame," and argued that Muslims must do better to
"report when they see something going on."
"When they see hatred going on, they have to report
it. As an example, in San Bernardino, many people saw the bombs all over the
apartment of the two people that killed 14 and wounded many, many people.
Horribly wounded. They'll never be the same. Muslims have to report the
problems when they see them," Trump said.
However, as NBC News reported Sunday in its live blog of
the debate, there is no evidence to support the claims that Muslim neighbors of
the San Bernardino couple saw and did not report explosives in their apartment.
Trump has made similar statements previously, including
after the deadly mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub in June, when he told
CNN, "For some reason, the Muslim community does not report people like
In response to those claims, FBI director James Comey
commented on the agency's relationship with Muslims, saying, "They
[Muslims] do not want people committing violence, either in their community or
in the name of their faith, and so some of our most productive relationships
are with people who see things and tell us things who happen to be
Comey added, "It's at the heart of the FBI's
effectiveness to have good relationships with these folks."
According to a Muslim Public Affairs Council policy
report about post-9/11 terrorism incidents, Muslim communities helped U.S.
security officials prevent nearly two out of every five al Qaeda plots
threatening the U.S. since 9/11.
Clinton responded to Hamed's question by highlighting
Trump's "demagogic rhetoric" toward Muslims and how it aids the
recruiting efforts of ISIS.
"We are not at war with Islam. And it is a mistake
and it plays into the hands of the terrorists to act as though we are. So I
want a country where citizens like you and your family are just as welcome as
anyone else," Clinton said.
But Clinton also echoed the need for Muslims to be part
of the efforts to ensure safe communities. "We need American Muslims to be
part of our eyes and ears on our front lines. I've worked with a lot of
different Muslim groups around America. I've met with a lot of them, and I've
heard how important it is for them to feel that they are wanted and included
and part of our country, part of our homeland security, and that's what I want
to see," she said.
Many Muslims were disappointed by both candidates'
rhetoric towards Muslims, often regarding them as tools in the war against
terrorism, and took to Twitter to share those frustrations
Libyan Army Kills over 70 ISIL Militants in Sirte
October 10, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Libyan army allied with UN-backed
Government of National Accord killed more than 70 ISIL militants during an
anti-terror operation in the city of Sirte, local media said.
The GNA army liberated strategic positions in Sirte's
Eastern suburbs from the ISIL and killed over 70 militants in battles to
liberate the areas in the city which is considered as the last stronghold of
ISIL militants in Libya, LANA reported.
Local residents provided assistance to the government
forces by pointing out ISIL militants shelters to the soldiers.
ISIL terrorist organization, gained a foothold in Libya
during the ongoing turmoil in the North African country that erupted following
the 2011 ouster of the country’s longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi.
Some Shi'ite leaders discourage self-mutilation and bloodletting,
claiming it has no basis in early religious history.
Objectors to Nawazuddin’s Participation in Ram Leela are
Ignorant of India’s Pluralistic Traditions
My eighty-year-old aunt Rabab Zamin describes the famous,
centuries old Ram Leela in Ramnagar, Varanasi of the 1940s in her book, From
the Depths of Memory: A Family Saga.
“Going down memory lane, I see a decorated elephant
standing before me. I hear the Mahaut saying, “Bibi Ko Salam Karo,” The
elephant lifts its trunk, touches it forehead and kneels down. A ladder is
lowered. I climb up and am comfortably seated in the howdah. The elephant
ambles towards the Ram Leela grounds. I am going instead of Baba and I get all
the preferential treatment Baba would have got. I get all this treatment at age
six or seven.
The Maharaj is in Ajmer studying at Mayo College, the
Eton of India. Baba’s rank is the highest amongst all officials of the state.
Baba may not have come and in his absence his daughter has to be given the same
respect…. Protocol has to be followed; my elephant pushes ahead of every other
elephant. It has to be in the lead. No one can go ahead of the Dewan Saheb’s
elephant. No one can leave the Ram Leela grounds until I have left…. I go there
every day of the festival.”
These are the memories of a young Muslim girl dressed in
her festival best, attending Ram Leela in around 75 years ago in the holiest
city of India – Banares. When I called her recently to talk to her about it,
she became tearful and said though she was too young to recall much, she still
remembers being on the first elephant and the respect given to her by everyone
there despite her tender years.
So when I read that actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui was stopped
by Hindutva activists from acting as Mareech in the Ram Leela in his village
because he was a Muslim, I can only bemoan the lack of understanding of a long
tradition of Muslim participation in this joyous festival.
Years later in 1960s my father was posted in Varanasi and
my youngest sister recalls that she went with my parents to watch the Ram Leela
on the Maharaj’s invitation and their elephant was right next to his elephant.
She was 7 years old and says it was great fun. This was what has been described
as Ganga Jamuni Tehzeeb at its best.
Full report at:thewire.in/72070/objectors-nawazuddins-participation-ram-leela-ignorant-indias-pluralistic-traditions/
Muslim Milkman Donates 60 Litres Milk To Goddess Durga
For Making Of Prasad During Puja
October 9, 2016
Visitors arriving at the La-Touche Road Puja Sangsad
(Jogendra Pathak Road) experienced the "taste" of communal amity on
Saptami (the 7th day of Navratra), with puja organisers using almost 60 litres
of milk supplied by a Muslim milkman to prepare the kheer (rice pudding) being
offered to Goddess Durga.
With the puja celebrations entering its 75th year, the
example of communal bonhomie shown by the puja samiti is certainly a welcome sign.
Organisers feel that this would certainly go a long way in strengthening the
Ganga-Jamuni culture, which is synonymous with Lucknow.
According to Manoj Goswami, a senior office bearer of
puja samiti, "The gesture of Daulat Ali Ghosi offering milk free of cost
to prepare the kheer is certainly a good gesture, and we would treasure this
moment for lifetime." He further stated that Daulat Ali Ghosi had
initially agreed to supply almost 25 litres of milk, which he subsequently
increased to 60 litres and was extensively used in preparing the kheer on the
occasion of Mahasaptami.
General secretary of the puja committee Sudeep Sanyal
along with other office bearers Dilip Chakraborty and Babul Sanyal also
welcomed the gesture of Ghosi to donate 60 litres of milk on the occasion of
Daulat Ali Ghosi, who is heading the Uttar Pradesh unit
of the All India Muslim Ghosi Association (AIMGA), termed his gesture as a
routine one. "I have been donating milk for different religious occasions
across different religions, and this is no different. However, it is perhaps
for the first time, that I am donating milk for the Durga Puja, and I am simply
overwhelmed," Daulat Ali said.
He further stated that the peaceful co-existence of
people from different religions is the real identity of Lucknow's culture.
"If such acts could help to maintain the communal amity of the city, then
I whole-heartedly support this, and feel privileged to be a part of this,"
Showering praises on Daulat Ali Ghosi, Bharat Singh
'Puredarbar', who heads the Mahapurush Smriti Sansthan, said, "Daulat
(bhaai) Ali Ghosi has been working relentlessly to ensure that the delicate
fabric of communal amity of Lucknow remains intact."
Citing an example, Bharat Singh said that in October
2015, Ali had announced the formation of Gau Seva Dal in all the districts of
UP to keep a close watch on cattle which tends to go astray and accidentally
falls into pits or wells.
He further added that the members of AIMGA had also urged
the Uttar Pradesh government to help them in getting collective insurance of
all cows in the state. "The association had already sent a letter in this
regard to the state government, and is hopeful of a positive action,"
Kashmiri youth rescue soldier trapped inside damaged
Srinagar, Oct 9, 2016
Kashmiri youth today rescued a soldier who was trapped
inside a mangled vehicle which had met an accident on Srinagar Bypass road near
Lasjan area of the city, police said.
An army vehicle veered off the road after the driver lost
control at Lasjan and hit a tree, a police official said.
He said one soldier was trapped inside the badly damaged
vehicle and efforts of other army men to evacuate him did not fructify.
"Local Kashmiri youth rushed to the spot and managed
to bring the injured army jawan out by placing a truck next to the damaged army
vehicle," the official said.
Some passersby shot the entire incident on their mobile
The video of the incident has been widely shared on
'youtube' and other social networking sites.
The incident comes amidst the ongoing unrest which has
claimed 84 lives and thousands others injured in clashes between protestors and
In July, local residents of Bijbehara in south Kashmir
Anantnag district defied curfew to rescue over 20 Amarnath pilgrims whose
vehicle had met an accident during the beginning of the current unrest.
Burqa-Clad VHP Leader Caught Harassing Muslim Woman at
Allahabad, Oct 10: A Burqa-clad Vishwa Hindu Parishad
(VHP) leader was thrashed by locals after he was caught harassing a Muslim
woman at a Milaad programme organised to commemorate Muharram. The incident
took place in the trans-Ganga area of Mauaima here late on Saturday. Abhishek
Yadav, said to be the office-bearer of the right-wing group VHP, was allegedly
caught harassing a Muslim woman. The VHP man was wearing a Burqa (veil) when he
was caught red-handed. Locals thrashed him before handing him over to the
A milaad programme was organised to commemorate Muharram
near Imambara in Mani Umarpur village. The devotees were sitting segregated by
gender and listening to the sermons of the Muslim clerics. During the
gathering, a woman complained of harassment by a Burqa-clad person sitting
beside her. When the locals confronted and asked the person to remove the veil,
he refused to do. Other women present at the programme then took off the Burqa
forcefully and found Abhishek Yadav behind it. (ALSO READ: Burqa-clad RSS
activist caught throwing beef at temple? Pictures go viral on Facebook!)
According to a report of Times of India, locals who
identified Abhishek Yadav as a VHP man thrashed him mercilessly. Some elderly
people then intervened and rescued him. Mani Umarpur village head Imtiaz ud Din
registered an FIR with Mauaima police against Abhishek Yadav. An FIR under
sections 296 and 354A has been registered against Abhishek Yadav.
Abhishek Yadav was rushed to Beli (Tej Bahadur Sapru)
hospital where his condition is said to be stable. Abhishek too has lodged a
cross FIR against seven persons for beating him.
Shiv Sena advocates for Uniform Civil Code
Mumbai: The Shiv Sena has said that a uniform civil code
needs to be introduced at the earliest to ensure justice to one and all,
including Muslim women who are bedevilled by the triple talaq system. “It is
very necessary that the uniform civil code is enforced in the country. This
what the Shiv Sena has been demanding and this is also the demand of the BJP.
It should be introduced immediately and we want this
particularly for Muslim women who have been harassed by the triple talaq
system,” Shiv Sena leader Manisha Kayande told ANI.
The need to bring in the uniform civil code has been
growing after women activists sought judicial intervention to ban triple talaq
system and polygamy. The Law Commission on Friday has sought public opinion on
the exercise of reforming family laws of all religions.
The commission has reportedly appealed to members of
religious, minority and social groups, non-government organisations, to present
their views through a questionnaire on a range of issues, including the
practice of triple talaq, the right to property for a woman citizen and
However, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB)
has been defending the triple talaq system and termed the filing of the
affidavit as ‘un-islamic.’ They claim that triple talaq is a personal law and
the Centre has no right to modify it.
Dussehra: Ravan’s effigies bring Hindu, Muslim artisans
Twenty-four artisans from Hindu and Muslim communities
from Agra and Mathura work in tandem to make effigies of Ravana on Dussehra in
Ahmedabad. Muslim-dominated ‘Khanwadi Muslim Basti’ in Ahmedabad’s Ramol area
is the place where this team temporarily settles down for 40 days and prepares
effigies of Ravana, Meghnath and Kumbhkaran for giant infrastructure companies
from across the state. This year, the famous Hare Krishna temple in Wadaj on
the outskirts of Ahmedabad is added to the list of “loyal parties”.
Sharafat Ali Khan (38), the second generation of a Muslim
family in the business, is busy keeping a close watch over a team of men who
are performing their designated tasks as if on an auto mode. Sitting outside a
one-room structure on the roadside, a lean man in his forties is generously
spreading a slimy off-white paste with his bare hands over sheets of brown
paper, successively handing these over to another standing close by. The other
man then pastes these on a near five-foot tall and three-foot wide bamboo
frame, covered with newspapers on the outside. Yet another man is busy giving a
long upward twirl to the mustaches of Ravan’s effigy, with sheets of black
glazing paper cut into a curve.
Similarly, another team of three is busy giving finishing
touches to another effigy, ensuring no inch is left without the golden hue,
using shining paper sheets on a 25-foot headless structure. Next to them, in an
open area right between rows of houses, are stacked more than half a dozen
similar huge golden headless structures, over 50-foot tall, waiting to be
dispatched to areas across the state. “The one standing out in pink is of
Kumbhkaran,” Sharafat points out to the “odd man out”. Their faces are
delivered separately to avoid logistic difficulties of breakage.
A few days back, disappointment loomed over the team as
the city was witnessing sporadic rains and there was no space to store the
already half-prepared effigies. “Places where the concealing sheets came off,
we did them again, working day and night before yesterday,” said Momin Khan, a
member of the team.
“We have been making effigies on orders for companies from
Mundra, Dwarka, Modasa, Nadiad, Vadodara and Ahmedabad. We also make effigies
for people in other states, including Rourkela in Odisha and Jodhpur in
Rajasthan. My father started making Ravan effigies nearly 50 years back. I took
on the legacy from him starting from the age of 15,” he said.
A resident of Kirawali in Agra district, the team that he
brings along from Agra and Mathura is a mix of Hindus and Muslims. “Out of 24,
12 are Hindus and the rest are Muslims. We stay at one place, eat together and
work together. Our food is cooked at one place. We pray at the same place; it
does not have any boundary or demarcation,” says Jeetubhai, another member of
the team, who is associated with Sharafat for the last ten years.
Sharafat’s family (his mother and elder son, who
accompany him each year) says that more than Muslim festivals, they feel
“attached” to Dussehra and cannot think of doing anything else. “All my four
sons are into making effigies for Dussehra. This is what we are known for and
identified with. This is part of our lives,” the 68-year-old mother says,
refusing to share her name. “I do not want to be identified with my name, but
the work we do,” she reasons.
Those accompanying Khan’s family had to leave their
families behind. “Our children are small and go to schools. So, we cannot bring
them along. Also, here we stay together as a family,” says Badshah Khan, one of
the oldest team members from Agra.
Though the earnings, Khan says, are enough to sustain
their families and provide for decent education of their children, he also has
a wedding decorator business running back home.
Unsure if the legacy would be carried on after him as the
eldest of his four sons, Mohsin is keen to complete his post-graduation in
commerce and take up a job. “I have four sons. It is too early to predict the
future of our legacy, but I am hopeful it will have a long life,” he says, even
as he moves aside to attend a call fr
Shadow of terror - `Moideen met Islamic State module
KOCHI: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has found
that Thirunelveli native Subahani Haja Moideen (31) who returned to India after
having fought for the Islamic State (IS) in Syria and Iraq, had met members of
the Kerala module of the terror group.The meetings were held outside Kerala.
NIA officers said that Moideen had met members of the Kerala module -- six of
them were arrested by the agency at Kanakalamal near Panoor in Kannur on
October 2 -- after he returned to India on September 22. "Mobile tower
locations of some of the module members and Moideen were common on several
occasions. They had come under same tower locations outside Kerala. Also, call
record details of Moideen show that he had also contacted them. This means that
Moideen was in the know of their plans," said an NIA officer. NIA suspects
that Moideen was the common link with at least three-IS inspired modules in
Kerala. After his return from Syria, Moideen had travelled to Chennai,
Coimbatore and other places to meet local contacts in the conspiracy, collect
money and procure explosives for terrorist acts as guided by his handlers. He
had also received a payment of Rs 20,000 from the IS in Syria with which he
attempted to source explosives from Sivakasi.
"We are yet to verify whether Moideen tried to
procure explosives for the Kerala module for the terror strikes it had planned.
Meanwhile, the six members of the module have confessed to the conspiracy to
organize terror strikes in the state," added the officer.
The module had held discussions on targeting seven
strategically important places and five prominent personalities -- two judges,
two politicians and an IPS officer -- in the state to show its presence. It had
also planned a `Nice model attack' by driving a truck into a harmony meeting
organized by Jamaat-e-Islami in Kochi last month.
On Sunday , the NIA team led by DSP AP Shoukathali took
Moideen to his house at Market Road near Thodupuzha in Idukki for evidence
Meanwhile, a team of NIA officers is camping in
Coimbatore to interrogate some youths who have suspected links with the module.
One of the six arrested members of the module, Abu Basheer aka Rashid aka
Buccha aka Dalpati aka Ameer (29), hailed from South Ukkadam in Coimbatore.
US drone strike kill 8 ISIS loyalists in East of
At least 20 loyalists of the Islamic State of Iraq and
Syria (ISIS) terrorist group were killed in a drone strike in eastern Nangarhar
province of Afghanistan.
According to the local security officials, the airstrike
was carried out in Nazian and Achin districts of Nangahr.
The officiasl futher added that the first airstrike
targeted the loyalists of the terror group in Nazian district, leaving at least
8 of them dead.
The second airstrike was carried out in Achin district
that killed at least 12 loyalists of the terror group, the officials added.
According to the officials, the local residents in the
mentioned districts did not suffere any casualties in the airstrikes.
The loyalists of the terror group have not commented
regarding the report so far.
This comes as at least 34 loyalists of the terror group
were killed in separate airstrikes in Nazian and Haska Mina districts of
Nangarhar is among the relatively volatile provinces in
eastern Afghanistan where both the Taliban insurgents and militants loyal to
ISIS terrorist group are actively operating.
Both the Afghan forces and the US forces in Afghanistan
are conducting regular raids against the Taliban insurgents and ISIS loyalist
in the districts where they are conducting insurgency activities.
The US forces increased airstrikes against the Taliban
insurgents and ISIS loyalists earlier this year after the Obama administration
granted a broader role to the American forces.
First ISIS deaths reported in Jawzjan province of
Sun Oct 09 2016
The loyalists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)
terrorist group have reported suffered casualties in northern Jawzjan province,
the first report emerging regarding the activities of the terror group from the
Provincial officials said Sunday at least 20 militants
including loyalists of ISIS terrorist group were killed during the latest
The officials further added at least 40 insurgents
including the loyalists of the terror group were wounded during the same
Provincial governor’s spokesman Mohammad Reza Ghafoori
confirmed the reports and said the operations are still underway in parts of
Darzab and Qoshtapa districts where the ISIS and Taliban deaths have been
He said the Afghan forces have managed to control of at
least one village during the clashes so far and operations are still underway
in two other villages.
Ghafoori however did not disclose further information
regarding the possible casualties of the Afghan security forces during the
Reports regarding ISIS deaths in Jawzjan have been rare although
local officials in northern provinces have confirmed the presence of the
loyalists of the terror group in the past.
The acting provincial governor of Balkh province Ata
Mohammad Noor earlier said ISIS loyalists are attempting to establish bases in
this province in a bid to expand activities in the northern provinces.
Taliban terrorist group’s mine making center busted in
The Afghan Intelligence, National Directorate of Security
(NDS), said Monday a mine making center belonging to the Taliban terrorist
group was busted in northeastern Takhar province of Afghanistan.
According to a statement released by NDS, the center was
busted during a special military operation conducted in Khwajah Ghar district.
The statement further added that the intelligence
operatives seized 25 anti-personnel Improvised Explosive Device (IED), 2
anti-armored Improvised Explosive Device (IED), 3 magnetic bombs, 3 roadside
bombs, 5 82 mm mortar fuses, 3 RPG rockets, 3 mortar rounds, 3 remote controls,
100 meters of explosives wire, 16 kgs of explosives, 1 mobile phone set for
landmine detonation, 50 mortar round explosives, 12 military uniforms, 1 box of
Dshk heavy machine gun ammo, and 6 explosives capsules.
NDS said the intelligence operativess thwarted numerous
attacks with the confiscation of the mentioned weapons and explosives belonging
to the Taliban group.
The anti-government armed militant groups including the
Taliban insurgents have not commented regarding the report so far.
Takhar is among the relatively peaceful provinces in
northeastern Afghanistan but the province lies close to the northern Kunduz and
northeastern Badakhshan provinces where insurgency activities led by the
Taliban are frequently reported.
The Taliban militants have launched numerous attacks on
key northern provinces including the strategic Kunduz city during the recent
months in a bid to seize the control of the key areas.
Dostum to launch major clearance operation in Kunduz
The First Vice President General Abdul Rashid Dostum is
expected to launch a major clearance operation in northern Kunduz province of
Afghanistan as the Taliban group launched a coordinated attack on the strategic
Kunduz city last week.
Gen. Dostum made the announcement regarding the launch of
the major operation on Sunday night, emphasizing that there are still security
gaps available in the ongoing operations in Kunduz.
He said the operations will be launched soon after he
will visit the provnce together with the Minister of Interior and deputy
The First Vice President has supervised numerous military
operations in some northern provinces including Jawzjan and Faryab provinces.
He escaped numerous attacks and assassination plot as he
was accompanying the Afghan security forces during the operations in northern
parts of the country.
Gen. Dostum charge of the security operations in Kunduz
last week through the Ministry of Defense Command and Control Center, shortly
after the Taliban launched a coordinated attack on Kunduz city.
The Taliban militants have launched numerous attacks on
Kunduz city since it was retaken by the Afghan Special Operations Forces
earlier in the month of October.
The Taliban insurgents were accused of horrific criminal
activities after they seized control of the city, including target killings,
rape, kidnappings, use of civilians as shields, looting of public and private
The Independent Human Rights Commission of Afghanistan
said at least 50 civilians were killed and over 350 others were wounded.
Afghan army helicopter crashed due to technical issues,
killing 7 on board: MoD
A helicopter of the Afghan National Army (ANA) forces
crashed due to technical issues in northern Baghlan province of Afghanistan,
killing all 7 on board, the Ministry of Defense of Afghanistan (MoD) said.
According to MoD, the Mi-17 helicopter crashed as it was
delivering supplies of the Afghan armed forces along with another Mi-17 in
Qurgahn Tapa area.
MoD further added that the helicopter was delivering
supplies to the armed forces under the militants siege in Qurghan Tapa area.
The statement by MoD comes as the local officials in
Baghlan province earlier said the helicopter was shot down by the Taliban
The Talian group also claimed that its fighters shot down
the helicopter as it was trying to air drop supplies to the Afghan security
The group also shared pictures taken from long distance
which purportedly showed smoke rising from the area of the incident.
The Taliban insurgents have intensified attacks on key
northern provinces during the recent months as the group attempts to expand its
insurgency in north of the country.
Taliban launched a coordinated attack on the strategic
Kunduz city last week but the Afghan forces acted promptly to repulse the
attack although sporadic clashes still continue in the outskirts of the city.
Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump and
Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton (R) listen to a question
from the audience during their presidential town hall debate at Washington
University in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S., October 9, 2016. Saul Loeb/Pool / Reuters
Alabama Police Chief Criticized For Perceived Anti-Muslim
An Islamic American civil rights group is calling for an
Alabama police chief to be investigated after he posted alleged “anti-Muslim
bigotry” on his Facebook page.
On Sept. 23, Gurley Police Chief Barry Pendergraft shared
a picture of a box of ammunition on his personal Facebook account with the
caption: “100 more bacon grease covered bullets in the box! This relaxes me
Four days later, Pendergraft posted a short video of
ammunition being picked up with a similar caption: “Happiness is a couple
thousand rounds in the ammo box! Bacon grease dipped of course!!”
According to the Alabama chapter of the Council on
Islamic-American Relations, the idea of bullets covered in bacon grease refers
to “a theme often used by anti-Muslim bigots because they falsely believe
Muslims cannot enter heaven if they are shot by such ammunition.”
“We call on state and federal authorities to investigate
whether the evident anti-Muslim bigotry expressed by Chief Pendergraft is
acceptable for someone in his position, who is obligated to provide all
citizens, regardless of faith or ethnicity, equal and fair treatment,”
CAIR-Alabama Executive Director Khaula Hadeed said in a statement. CAIR is a
national advocacy group that aims to promote understanding of Islam.
Hadeed told The Washington Post that a few people alerted
her last week to the Facebook posts, which at the time were publicly visible.
“It was extremely disturbing to see that. In the
beginning I didn’t even believe it,” she said. “This is an intimidation tactic.
It’s basically telling us ‘Buddy, I’m getting ready for something.’ What are
you getting ready for? This is the scary part.”
A person who answered the phone for the Gurley Police
Department on Saturday referred all questions to Pendergraft. The police chief
did not respond to inquiries Saturday. As of Friday, his Facebook account was
no longer publicly visible, according to Hadeed.
Located about 15 miles east of Huntsville, Ala., rural
Gurley has a population of about 800 people, according to the 2010 census.
Gurley Mayor Robert Sentell told AL.com on Friday that he did not know about
the Facebook posts until the newspaper called that and would investigate the
[Group says Muslim passenger was removed from American
Airlines flight because of bias]
Hadeed said the chief’s Facebook posts reflect a rise in
Islamophobia nationwide, which she attributed “at least in part to anti-Muslim
bigotry expressed by Donald Trump and other public figures.” Early in his
campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, Trump had called for a
total ban on Muslim immigrants and refugees, though it has been unclear lately
whether Trump still supports such a ban.
Full report at:washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2016/10/09/bacon-grease-bullets-police-chief-criticized-for-perceived-anti-muslim-facebook-posts/
As Donald Trump questioned Muslims, Turnbull and Shorten
did something remarkable
Donald Trump's gloating about sexual assault wasn't the
only lightning rod of Monday's fiery second presidential debate.
Muslims living in America and those seeking to come in as
refugees from conflict in the Middle East also came in for a serve.
Mr Trump - who once called for a shutdown of all Muslim
immigration to the US - said Islamophobia was "a shame" but that
there is an undeniable problem and called on Muslims to report suspicious
At the very same time, a world away, the picture couldn't
have been more different as Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition
Leader Bill Shorten rose in Parliament to back a bipartisan motion calling for
a respectful and unified Australia.
It highlighted Indigenous people, refugees and Muslims,
reaffirming commitment to equal rights, a non-discriminatory immigration
policy, reconciliation, multiculturalism and denouncing racism.
"Accordingly, we rise in this Parliament today - as
John Howard and Kim Beazley did 20 years ago - to speak on this very motion - a
20-year-old unity ticket perhaps - celebrating and reaffirming the Australian
values of a fair go and mutual respect for all regardless of how they look, how
they worship or where they come from," the Prime Minister told the House
"Australia is an immigration nation," Mr
"Today, almost half of us have a parent born
overseas and more than a quarter of Australians were born overseas
He said "everyone sitting in this chamber and every
Australian is a beneficiary of the diversity that is at the heart of our
nation", before turning to Islam specifically.
"Australia and the world faces the threat of
terrorism perpetrated and promoted by extremists who claim to be fighting and
killing for Islam," Mr Turnbull said, arguing terrorists "blaspheme
Islam" and have been condemned by Muslims.
"Now the object of these terrorists is to divide
Islam by driving a wedge of violence between Muslims, between Sunni and Shia
and to turn Muslims against the West and the West against Muslims.
"The resolution of this conflict within Islam will
ultimately depend on Muslims, but in the meantime the Islamist terrorists have
succeeded in raising levels of anxiety about Muslim immigration, about the role
of Islam itself within Australia."
A recent poll found 49 per cent of respondents supported
a ban on Muslim migration to Australia, citing concerns about integration,
divergent values and terrorism.
Mr Shorten recently suggested the motion for racial
tolerance amid rhetoric emanating from One Nation leader Pauline Hanson and Mr
Turnbull's conservative backbench, with Queensland MP George Christensen and
South Australian senator Cory Bernardi calling for a curb on Muslim migration.
Mr Turnbull said Muslim Australians are an integral part
of the country and that those seeking to do harm are a tiny minority.
"The terrorists want the wider Australian community
to turn against Australian Muslims. Their message to Australian Muslims is 'you
are not wanted here, you will never be accepted here, you cannot be
Australian'," he said.
"The most effective weapon against the terrorists is
an inclusive nation."
Mr Shorten said the word "tolerance" was no
longer adequate and said Australians "embrace diversity".
"Diversity is not a minor inconvenience to be
endured, it's not a device of political correctness … it's the collective power
of our nation, of all of us," he said.
"In Australia, we are not being 'swamped' by
anyone," he continued, referencing Senator Hanson's recent speech
"Migrants are not filling our dole queues, or taking
our jobs, or clogging up our highways – or doing all three at the same time.
Migration is not a cost, or a burden.
"It is a powerful force for our continuing economic
growth and future prosperity."
Event celebrates Muslim Americans
“The Other 1%: Muslims in America” will highlight the
experiences of Muslim Americans 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday evening in the University
Ballroom of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.
Hosted by the University Board, the evening will feature
a presentation by storyteller and comedian Aman Ali. It will also include a
calligraphy artist, and traditional foods will be served.
The calligraphy artist will be available in the Bridge
Lounge of the Union throughout the event to teach attendees how to write their
names in Arabic calligraphy.
Starting at 6 p.m., Ali will give a 60-minute
presentation on the challenges he and other Muslims face growing up in America.
Katie Caulkins, cultural arts coordinator for the UB,
said in an email Ali is a storyteller who uses a lot of comedic elements.
“(He) also is very educational as well,” Caulkins said.
According to his website, Ali has appeared on media
outlets such as ABC News, CNN and NPR “to talk about the shenanigans of being
an awkward brown kid from Ohio.”
Foods traditionally found in Islamic cultures will be
served by Panther Dining, including luqaimat, a sweet, crunchy fried dumpling
often served during Ramadan; bourekas, pastries filled with meat or cheese; and
a’tay, a hot green tea made with spearmint leaves.
The event was planned for the UB cultural events
committee’s “Ideas and Issues” segment. Carolyn Davis, graduate assistant
adviser for the Student Life Office, said the segment was formed to encourage
discussion about hot topics going on in the student population.
Members of Eastern’s Muslim Student Association will set
up a table in the University Ballroom to talk with students about Islamic
culture and answer any questions they have, Caulkins said.
Davis said even though many Muslims are born and raised
in the U.S., some are still treated as outsiders.
“We want to bring awareness to a rich culture that is
often judged but not well understood in today’s American society,” Caulkins
The event is free and open to the public.
Trump Suggests US Working with Russia, Allies in Fight
TEHRAN (FNA)- Republican Presidential nominee Donald
Trump said he "disagrees" with his running mate over US intervention
in Syria and suggested US further cooperation with Russia, Iran and the Syrian
government against ISIL.
Democratic Party vice-presidential nominee, Mike Pence
had called for hitting Syrian government targets, but on Sunday the GOP nominee
raised the prospect of working with Russia and its allies against terror group
of ISIL, RT reported.
“He and I haven’t spoken and I disagree,” Trump said
during Sunday's presidential debate, when asked whether he agreed with Pence's
calls for bombing Syria.
During presidential debates on Tuesday Pence had said
that the US should be ready to strike the Syrian army if Russia continues to be
involved in what he called "barbaric actions” in Aleppo.
Both Trump and Clinton were asked what they would do
about the situation in Aleppo, which the question.
Clinton blamed the situation in Aleppo on the Syrian
government and Russia, accusing Moscow of not paying "any attention to ISIL"
but only being "interested in keeping Assad in charge."
"We need some leverage with he Russians because
they’re not going to come to the negotiation table without leverage,"
Clinton said, repeating her calls for establishing a no-fly zone and arming the
Kurds, but acknowledging that sending US troops on the ground would not work.
"I would not use American ground forces in Syria, I
think that would be a very serious mistake," Clinton said.
“She talks rebels, but she doesn’t know who the rebels
are.” Trump replied. “Almost everything she’s done in foreign policy, it’s been
a mistake and it’s been a disaster.”
Trump took issue with Clinton's claim that Russia was not
fighting ISIL and said: “Assad is killing ISIL. Russia is killing ISIL. Iran is
killing ISIL. And those three have now lined up together because of our weak
policy,” he said.
“I think it would be great if we got along with Russia.
We could fight ISIL together,” Trump had said earlier in the evening.
What would happen if Aleppo falls, asked ABC's Martha
“Aleppo… I think that it basically has fallen,” Trump
The Republican nominee also repeated his criticism of the
US military announcing an attack on ISIL in Mosul, thus sacrificing the element
of surprise, ending with declaring that “Generals George Patton and Douglas
McArthur are spinning in their graves at our stupidity in the Middle East.”
ISIL Terrorists Fleeing Nineveh to Turkey
TEHRAN (FNA)- A media source disclosed that a group of
ISIL terrorists who had been sent to Hammam al-Alil region in Southern Nineveh
have fled to Turkey in anticipation of Iraqi troops' imminent massive
operations to free Mosul.
According to the source, the group included 8 militants
and the ISIL came to realize their disappearance after that they had fled to
Gaziantep in Turkey.
The source also disclosed that 4 important ISIL security
officials also plan to flee to Turkey, adding that the terrorists first escape
to Mosul and then to Turkey with the help of traffickers.
Among the fugitive ISIL elements mention can be made of
Mohammad Hamreh who has fled to Turkey, the source said, adding that he was
responsible for detaining and executing women in Mosul and killed 48 Iraqi
The ISIL executes all members who refuse to fight against
the military and popular forces in Iraq and Syria.
In a relevant development in May, the ISIL terrorist
group executed five of its own fighters for escaping the battlefront in
Fallujah, local activists said.
“They have left their post at the battlefront in the
Northeastern suburb of Fallujah without permission from their leadership, which
ISIL deems as a treason,” media activist Salwan Rashidi said at the time.
The five fighters were arrested inside the city of
Fallujah, and the Sharia Court decided to execute them publicly on charges of
“They were shot dead in Central Fallujah after an ISIL
officer read a statement, vowing that any fighter who would desert his fighting
position will face the same punishment,” the source reported.
Yemen's Supreme Council Rejects Talks with UN before
Cease of 'Massacre'
TEHRAN (FNA)- A member of Yemen's Supreme Political
Council said the war-torn country is under the siege "from land, air and
sea" while the United Nations is failing to address the situation, and the
council will not participate in any talks with UN until the ongoing violence
"Ansarullah refuses to take part in any negotiation
process under the auspices of the United Nations until the ongoing massacre in
Yemen stops," said the member of
Yemen's Supreme Political Council Khaled Saeed, Sputnik reported.
"We will not have a dialogue while our people are
being killed, we will not have a dialogue with the UN special envoy for Yemen
while the massacre continues,” Saeed said.
The official referred to the weekend's Saudi-led
airstrike that hit a funeral ceremony in Sana'a on Saturday. More than 213
people were killed and over 534 wounded in the attack, when the Saudi warplnes
hit a community hall in Southern Sana’a, where a funeral for the father of
Interior Minister Jalal al-Roweishan was being held.
The Saudi missiles tore through the hall with hundreds of
body parts left strewn in and outside the building.
The death toll was one of the largest in a single
incident since March 2015, when the Riyadh regime began its deadly campaign
Sana’a Mayor Abdel Qader Hilal was reported to be among
the victims of Saturday’s assault.
According to Saeed, the airstrike “crossed the boundaries
of morality and humanity.”
Yemen is under the siege "from land, air and
sea" while the United Nations is failing to address the situation, he
Last peace talks between the Ansarullah and Saudi-backed
delegation, which took place in Kuwait in August, failed.
The delegation of Ansarullah has been stuck since then in
Oman after the Saudi-led coalition blocked the aircraft with the delegation
trying to return to Yemen.
Syria Condemns 'Deliberate Criminal' Saudi Attack in
TEHRAN (FNA)- Syria condemned in the strongest terms the
criminal attack carried out by the Saudi killing machine which deliberately
targeted a funeral gathering in the Yemeni capital, Sana'a.
An official source at the Foreign and Expatriates
Ministry said in a statement that this heinous crime represents the destructive
role of the Saudi regime against the Yemeni nation, as well as in Iraq, Syria
and other areas with the aim of weakening them and destroying the Arab
countries to serve the US-Israeli scheme to impose hegemony on the region, SANA
The source also offered Damascus' condolence to the
families of the attack's victims and expressed Syria’s full solidarity with the
people of Yemen.
"Syria reiterates that the aggression will vanish
and the steadfast people of Syria and Yemen will triumph over the powers of
hegemony and conspiracy and their tools as the Saud regime," the source
Over 700 people were killed or wounded in Saturday's
massive air raids by the Saudi-led coalition warplanes over Yemeni Capital,
Sana'a. The airstrikes targeted a hall where people were paying their last
respects to the father of Yemen's Interior Minister Jalal Al-Rouyshan who is
also the chief of staff of former President Ali Abdullah Salih.
A second strike hit exactly the same region as people
rushed to aid those injured in the first round of air assault.
Also, the Saudi warplanes staged massive airstrikes on a
ceremony on the house of Sheikh Abu Shwareb, inflicting tens of casualties on
the civilians who had gathered for a ceremony at his residence.
The airstrikes killed at least 213 people, and wounded
Saudi Arabia has been striking Yemen since March 2015 to
restore power to fugitive president Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh. The Saudi-led
aggression has so far killed at least 11,300 Yemenis, including hundreds of
women and children.
Despite Riyadh's claims that it is bombing the positions
of the Ansarullah fighters, Saudi bombers are flattening residential areas and
According to reports, the Saudi-led air campaign against
Yemen has drove the impoverished country towards humanitarian disaster.
Syrian Military Forces Continue to Hunt Terrorists in Aleppo
TEHRAN (FNA)- The latest reports from Northern Syria said
on Monday that Army troops and popular forces continue to inflict major
casualties on Jeish al-Fatah, beating back the terrorist group from the
Northeastern and Southwestern districts of Aleppo.
After hours of fierce clashes with Sultan Murad and
Faylaq al-Sham terrorist groups, the Syrian government forces captured fresh
building blocks in Bostan al-Pasha, bringing under their control over half of
City sources said that the Syrian army is resolved to
seize al-Sakhour square from Fatah al-Sham Front (the newly-formed
al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group previously known as the al-Nusra Front).
"More buildings near Khalid Bin Walid in Salahuddin
district in Southwestern Aleppo have been captured by the Syrian army,"
the sources said, adding, "Army soldiers have intensified their attacks on
terrorists' centers in Ba'aeidin square from al-Oweijeh neighborhood."
Reports said on Sunday that Syrian soldiers and popular
forces continue to advance from the Northern districts of Aleppo towards the
Eastern and Northeastern neighborhoods, driving Jeish al-Fatah out of the city
position by position.
"Liberation of al-Oweijeh in the Northern outskirt
of Aleppo city has paved the way for the government forces to move faster
towards Bostan al-Pasha from its Northern side," the sources said.
"After seizing back a chunk of the highway in the
Northern part of Aleppo city, the Syrian army soldiers and popular fighters
have come much close to the Eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo," they added.
Syrian Gov't Forces About to Win Full Control over
Another Key District in Aleppo
TEHRAN (FNA)- Syrian Army troops and their Iraqi allies
are engaged in tough street-battle with Nouralddeen al-Zinki and Fatah al-Sham
Front (the al-Nusra Front) in the Southern neighborhoods of Aleppo city and are
very close to wining back the entire district, field sources said.
"Nouralddeen al-Zinki and Fatah al-Sham Front have
suffered a heavy death toll in clashes with the Syrian soldiers and the Iraqi
al-Nujaba movement in and outside Sheikh Saeed districts," the sources
"Syrian government forces have gained the upper-hand
in Sheikh Saeed and are pushing back the terrorists out of the district,"
"Eight terrorists have been captured and more than
30 militants have been killed in al-Nujaba's attacks on terrorists' centers in
Sheikh Saeed," the sources went on to say.
Sheikh Saeed heights overlook al-Ameriyeh and
al-Sakariyeh regions North of Aleppo cement factory.
Yesterday, Syrian and Russian warplanes carried out over
35 combat flights over the concentration centers of Jeish al-Fatah in the
Southern districts of Aleppo, inflicting major loss and heavy casualties on the
Syrian and Russian fighter jets, in over 35 airstrikes,
bombed heavily terrorist targets in Sheikh Saeed and Housing Project 1070,
killing at least 14 Takfiri militants in Project 1070 and destroying an arms
depot in Sheikh Saeed.
The air raids paved the ground for the Syrian army troops
to continue advance in Sheikh Saeed district and recapture the remaining
building blocks in Project 1070.
Yemen's Long-Range Ballistic Missile Hits Saudi Arabia's
Airbase in Ta'if City
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Yemeni army and popular forces pounded
a Saudi airbase in the Southern part of the kingdom with a ballistic missile on
Monday, inflicting heavy losses on Riyadh government troops.
Saudi Arabia's King Fahad Airbase in the city of Ta'if in
Southern Saudi Arabia was hit by Yemen's Borkan-1 (Volcano-1) ballistic
There is still no report on the number of casualties, but
Yemen's missile attacks usually inflict large casualties on the Saudis.
The Yemeni attacks came in response to Saudi Arabia's
continued air raids on the civilian population across the impoverished nation.
Borkan-1 has a range of 800 kilometers and is a new
generation of Yemen's domestically-made missiles.
The warhead of Borkan-1 missile has been designed to
destroy the Saudi military base structure with respect to the materials used in
In early September, the Yemeni army and popular forces
pounded an industrial zone in the Southern part of Saudi Arabia with as a scud
The Saudi industrial area comprising a power plant and a
desalination plant in al-Shaqiq region of Jizan province came under Yemen's
Scud missile attack.
The Yemeni ballistic missile precisely hit its target in
Jizan Industrial zone, the army reported.
S. Arabia Sends National Guard Forces to Najran
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Saudi National Guard troops arrived in the
province of Najran on Monday to secure the Kingdom’s borders against Yemen's
retaliatory attacks after Riyadh killed hundreds of civilians in airstrikes on
Sana'a two days ago.
Saudi Arabia's al-Akhbariah news channel broadcasted the
footages of military equipment sent to the country's forces in Najran, and
reported that fresh military units of the Saudi National Guard have arrived in
"These forces are equipped with state-of-the-art
weapons and they have been sent to support the Saudi border guards," it
Reports from Yemen's capital said on Saturday that over
700 people were killed or wounded in massive air raids by the Saudi-led
The airstrikes targeted a hall where people were paying
their last respects to the father of Yemen's Interior Minister Jalal
Al-Rouyshan who is also the chief of staff of former President Ali Abdullah
Saudi Arabia has been striking Yemen since March 2015 to
restore power to fugitive president Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh. The
Saudi-led aggression has so far killed at least 11,300 Yemenis, including
hundreds of women and children.
According to several reports, the Saudi-led air campaign
against Yemen has driven the impoverished country towards humanitarian
Iran Asks UN Help to Send Humanitarian Aid to Yemen
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal
and International Affairs Seyed Abbas Araqchi called for the United Nation's
assistance to facilitate dispatch of humanitarian aid to the Yemeni people,
specially following the massacre of mourning civilians by the Saudi warplanes
"The UN Secretary-General should facilitate this
task and guarantee its security," Araqchi said on Monday.
He condemned the Saudi fighter jets' airstrikes against
civilian targets in Sana'a, and underlined Iran's preparedness to send
humanitarian aid and medicine to the Yemeni people.
Araqchi also said that Iran is ready to transfer the
wounded Yemeni people to the country's hospitals for treatment.
Also, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi
on Sunday called for putting an immediate end the siege of Yemen and opening of
a safe air corridor for sending relief aid to the injured civilians of the
Saturday Saudi airstrikes on mourners in the Yemeni capital of Sana'a.
"We demand the removal of the air siege imposed on
Sana'a and supply of immediate aid to the people wounded in Saudi Arabia's
inhumane crimes in Sana'a," Qassemi said.
He reiterated that Iran is ready to send humanitarian
aid, including medical team, food and medicine to those injured in the
The airstrikes killed at least 213 people, and wounded
more than 534.
Rouhani Calls for Broadening of Economic Cooperation
among Asian Countries
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called for
the further expansion of economic and trade cooperation among the Asian states.
"We must open our Markets, engage in greater
economic interaction, start domestic structural reform and move towards greater
transparency in a bid to take long strides to improve the quality of life for
out citizens and uphold the Asia's status in the world," President Rouhani
said, addressing the Second Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) on Monday.
He reiterated that the global issues need close
cooperation of the Asian states.
"Asia plays a pivotal role in global efforts aimed
at resolving such major issues as climate change, environmental crisis, social
problems, including refugees, illiteracy and poverty; and the role of Asian
states in promoting collective security is indispensable," the Iranian
The following is the full text of President Rouhani's
speech in the Second Asia Cooperation Dialogue:
Your Excellency, Mr. Prayut Chan-o-cha,
Distinguished Prime Minster of the Kingdom of Thailand
Distinguished Heads of State or Government
Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the outset, I would like to thank the Government of
the Kingdom of Thailand for hosting the Second Summit of the Asia Cooperation
Dialogue (ACD) as well as for the warm and cordial hospitality extended to my
delegation and me. I hope that our constructive discussions and exchange of
views could lead to further strengthening and promotion of this forum as one of
the most important Asian fora.
I am pleased to speak in a forum, which is able to put
our ancient continent on a path of increased success under the theme, “One
Asia, Diverse Strengths” and work towards building an Asian community on the
basis of the ACD Vision for Asia Cooperation 2030 as the common goal of all its
members. It will be able to achieve this goal by collectively pursuing its
overarching objectives of dialogue for cooperation in Asia, empowering
communities through enhancing security, expanding education, reducing poverty,
decreasing inflation, promoting the role of women in managerial positions and
addressing environmental issues throughout Asia in an effective and extensive
Today, all acknowledge that no global issues could be
addressed without close cooperation of Asian powers. Asia plays a pivotal role
in global efforts aimed at resolving such major issues as climate change,
environmental crisis, social problems, including refugees, illiteracy and
poverty; and the role of Asian states in promoting collective security is
Asia’s power is dependent on self-confidence and a shared
will for convergence. We must open our markets, engage in greater economic
interaction, start domestic structural reform, move towards greater
transparency and engage in extensive coordination on setting policy; and by
doing so, take long strides to improve the quality of life for our citizens and
elevate the standing of Asia on the world stage.
Full report at:en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950719000631
Hamas Seeking to Strengthen Ties with Iran
TEHRAN (FNA)- Senior Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahar
underlined that the Palestinian resistance group is seeking to reinvigorate
relations with Iran.
"Relations with Iran are acceptable but they should
further enhance and develop," al-Zahar told FNA on Monday.
Elsewhere, he referred to Israel's recent aggression
against the Gaza Strip, and said, "If the regime is after a new war
against the region, (it should know that) the Palestinian resistance, more than
what they imagine, is ready to enter a real battle and the Zionists have
understood this reality well."
In relevant remarks in March, al-Zahar underlined that
the Palestinian resistance movement is determined to continue its good
relations with Iran.
"The movement is trying to improve its relations
with Iran," the Arabic-language Al-Arabi TV quoted Al-Zahar as saying.
Also, in February 2015, senior Hamas official Osama
Hamdan stressed that the Palestinian movement would growingly cement ties with
"Hamas is looking for the expansion of mutual
cooperation with Arab and Muslims states as well as those interested in the
Palestinian cause across the world, including Iran," Palestine Online news
website quoted Hamdan who is in charge of Hamas foreign relations as saying.
He noted that Hamas was trying to improve its relations
with Iran, and said, "Hamas has age-old relations with Iran and we want to
have constant bilateral ties with Tehran."
Madinah to become ‘Capital of Islamic Tourism’
Madinah is witnessing a flurry of activities in
preparation for hosting the most important event at the beginning of the next
year, “Madinah, the capital of Islamic Tourism 2017”.
Madinah was selected for the honor at the end of a
meeting held by tourism ministers of the member countries of the Organization
of Islamic Cooperation on Dec. 23, 2015, in the Niger capital of Niamey.
Madinah is home to more than 200 sites and tourist
places, including historical buildings and archaeological sites of religious
importance, such as the Prophet’s Mosque and mosques from the time of Prophet
Muhammad (peace be upon him), as well as historic buildings such as Urwah ibn
Zubayr Palace, Castle of Quba and the Hejaz Railway Museum.
Specialized committees were formed to decide on the
activities. They are still working to develop ideas to be implemented on the
The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage
(SCTNH) announced Thursday that it will launch a program on Monday to look
after the historic mosques, together with the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Call
and Guidance and Al-Turath Charity Foundation.
Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of the SCTNH, and
Madinah Gov. Prince Faisal bin Salman are supporting the program. The governor
has approved the plan for “Madinah, the Capital of Islamic Tourism 2017”.
The SCTNH said that the aim of the program, which will be
launched next week at Sultana Palace, is to preserve, restore and rehabilitate
the historic mosques in the Kingdom.
Local media reported that more than 300 events will be
held at over 40 destinations, presenting interesting and attractive cultural
and tourist programs.
The activities were planned by the supreme committee and
they are expected to enable people to get acquainted with Islamic and tourist
sites in the city of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
The activities are also aimed at presenting cultural and
archaeological treasures, and highlight religious landmarks through cultural
They will also shed light on Madinah through cultural
activities that will continue throughout the year to justify the choice of
Madinah for this title.
Madinah will be the “Capital of Islamic Tourism” for
2017. The Iranian city of Tabriz will be bestowed the honor in 2018, as per the
decision of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
Cities that vied for the title for 2017 were Madinah
(Saudi Arabia), Tabriz and Yazd (Iran), Taiping (Malaysia), Sylhet (Bangladesh)
Turkey kills 38 ISIL militants, rebels advance in Syria
Some 38 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)
militants were killed in northern Syria over the last 24 hours, the Turkish
military said on Oct. 9, marking an escalation of conflict in the area where
Syrian rebels, backed by Ankara, are fighting the jihadists.
Supported by Turkish tanks and air strikes, rebels have
been pushing towards the Islamic State (IS) stronghold of Dabiq in an operation
launched in late August.
Fourteen of the ISIL militants were killed as they
attempted to enter the rebel-controlled villages of Akhtarin and Turkmen Bareh,
three kilometers east of Dabiq, a key target of Turkey’s Euphrates Operaiton,
the Turkish military said in a statement.
The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights
said on Octb 8 that ISIL fighters had captured those villages in a counter
attack near the Turkish border, but the Turkish military statement contradicted
Another 17 ISIL militants were killed in air strikes by
U.S.-led coalition warplanes in the same areas, the military said in its daily
round-up on the Euphrates Shield.
Turkish warplanes later launched their own air strikes
against ISIL targets in northern Syria on Sunday morning, killing seven
militants and destroying five buildings which they were using, the army said in
a subsequent statement.
The military also said two Syrian rebels had been killed
and 19 wounded in the latest fighting against ISIL.
The operation has also targeted a Kurdish militia whose
presence along its border Turkey sees as a threat.
18 killed in PKK suicide bomb attack in Turkey’s Hakkari
Ten soldiers and eight civilians were killed on Oct. 9 in
an outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) suicide bomb attack targeting a
military road checkpoint in the Şemdinli district of the eastern province of
Hakkari, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has announced.
Speaking ahead of a ruling Justice and Development Party
(AKP) consultation meeting in Istanbul, Yıldırım said 10 soldiers and eight
civilians were killed in the suicide attack when a PKK bomber blew himself up
inside a bomb-laden pickup that drove into the Durak gendarmerie road
checkpoint in the district.
Yıldırım said five tons of explosives were used in the
attack, which created a six-meter deep hole at the scene and damaged buildings
Two of the killed soldiers were identified as Pvt. Eyüp
Hacıoğlu and Gendarmerie Specialized Sgt. Hasan Aydoğdu.
In addition, the Hakkari Governor’s Office also stated
that 27 people, including 11 soldiers, were wounded in the attack and were
transferred to hospitals with a military helicopter.
It detailed that the bomb-laden pickup disobeyed stop
warnings while other PKK militants opened harassment fire to distract
attention. The pickup was later detonated.
Meanwhile, the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) announced that
a wide-scale air-supported operation was being conducted in the region.
Turkey’s media watchdog, RTÜK, also imposed a customary
gag order following the attack.
The latest series of security operations in rural areas
of the region had seriously limited the power and abilities of the PKK, making
them attempt to stage suicide attacks, according to Yıldırım.
The premier voiced determination in the country’s fight
against the PKK, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) jihadist group
and all kinds of terror organizations.
The attack on Oct. 9 also drew condemnations from a
number of political figures and leaders from around the world.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan strongly condemned the
attack in a written statement, saying the government was determined to obstruct
PKK attacks together with the nation and take all kinds of political,
diplomatic and military precautions both at home and abroad in the interests of
a more secure and peaceful future.
Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said in a tweet
that the country would never surrender to terror organizations, vowing that all
who conducted such attacks would pay the price.
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader
Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu also condemned the attack, saying the executive authorities
should act with prudence and responsibility to ease the nation’s pain and
The CHP leader said the country’s rulers should not
forget that they hold the power to solve problems and should not be
Development Minister Lütfi Elvan also said security
forces’ latest operations had disturbed the organization, while vowing to root
out all terror organizations.
Meanwhile, the U.S. also condemned the attack “in the
National Security Council spokesman Ned Price said in a
statement that the attack on military checkpoint is the latest “in the deeply
concerning trend of increasing violence by the PKK.”
“We also condemn the senseless motorcycle bomb attack
near a police station in Istanbul on Thursday that was claimed by the Kurdistan
Freedom Falcons [TAK], the PKK's urban terrorist unit,” the spokesman
Price reiterated Washington's commitment to Turkey “to
defeat all forms of terrorism.”
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini condemned the
attack and said in a statement that the EU and Turkey stood "united"
against all kinds of terrorism.
"The dangerous spiral of violence in the southeast
of Turkey must come to an end, arms must be laid down and a political process
based on a genuine dialogue needs to start. The EU is ready to accompany this
process," the statement said.
President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of
Europe Pedro Agramunt expressed solidarity with the Turkish people after the
“Once again, it appears that terrorism strikes one of our
member states Turkey. I strongly condemn the car bomb attack," the
In addition, the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) also
announced that a total of 387 PKK militants have been killed in operations in
the province since Aug. 4.
Turkish warplanes conducted an air operation in the rural
areas of Çukurca district, killing one PKK militant and destroying gun
positions belonging to the organization.
ISIL drone attacks Turkish troops in Bashiqa camp
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants
attacked Turkish troops in the Bashiqa military camp in northern Iraq with
artillery fire and an unmanned drone on Oct. 9.
Turkish howitzers responded to the attack with fire and
destroyed ISIL targets, while the drone was downed with a Stringer rocket.
ISIL seized the drone from the Iraqi military, security
officials speaking anonymously told daily Hürriyet.
Meanwhile, in the first stage Ankara is reportedly not
considering a land operation into Mosul as part of a planned offensive against
ISIL, instead preparing to open its airbases to coalition forces and providing
support with the Turkish Air Forces.
Turkish troops in the Bashiqa camp could lend support to
the Mosul offensive with Fırtına howitzers, sources said, adding that the U.S.
did not object to artillery support by Turkish troops in Bashiqa.
After the liberation of Mosul, the closure of the Bashiqa
military camp is an option, they said, adding that Ankara is pushing for the nearly
3,000 Sunni fighters trained in the Bashiqa camp to take part in the offensive.
Talks on a military operation in Tel Afar are still ongoing, sources said.
An unspecified number of Turkish troops in the Bashiqa
camp outside ISIL-controlled Mosul in northern Iraq are involved in training
Iraqi fighters who plan to recapture the city.
Baghdad has demanded the immediate withdrawal of the
forces, which it said Turkey had “illegally” sent into Iraq
Governor’s office revises death toll in PKK suicide
attack in Hakkari to 15
Ten soldiers and five civilians were killed on Oct. 9 in
an outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) suicide bomb attack targeting a
military road checkpoint in the Şemdinli district of the eastern province of
Hakkari, the Hakkari Governor’s Office has announced, revising the previous
civilian death toll to five.
The governor’s office stated that Infantry Lt. Ömer
Baydıllı, Gendarmerie Specialized Sgt. Mustafa Bodur, Gendarmerie Specialized
Sgt. Ertan Bayraktar, Gendarmerie Specialized Sgt. Bayram Aksu, Gendarmerie
Pvt. Evren Kara, Gendarmerie Pvt. Eyüp Hacıoğlu, Gendarmerie Pvt. Erkan
Özdemir, Gendarmerie Pvt. Latif Aşik Muslu, Infantry Pvt. Hasan Aydoğdu and
Infantry Pvt. Özkan Altınoku were killed in the attack.
It added that according to initial examinations, eight
civilians had been killed in the suicide attack but revised the civilian death
toll to five, including an Iranian citizen, after scanning records in
The office said Iranian citizen Shemsettin Resai, born in
1966; Bahri Fırat, born in 1987; Oğuz Uysal, born in 1992; Sinan Erbaş, born in
2000; and Selami Çevik, born in 1985, were killed in the attack.
According to the statement, the treatment of eight
soldiers and 12 civilians is continuing, with one in critical condition, in
hospitals in Hakkari and Van.
Five soldiers and one civilian have been discharged from
hospital, it added.
Earlier, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım had stated that
10 soldiers and eight civilians were killed in the attack in which a PKK bomber
blew himself up inside a bomb-laden pickup that drove into the Durak
gendarmerie road checkpoint in the district.
Israeli minister due in Turkey for first post-crisis
A senior Israeli government minister is due to visit
Turkey this week in the first such trip since the the two countries normalized
relations after a six-year crisis over Israel’s deadly storming of a Gaza-bound
ship, an official said.
Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz will attend the
World Energy Congress in Istanbul on Oct. 13, an official from the Israeli
embassy told AFP on Oct. 10.
The official said it was “not certain” yet if the Israeli
minister would meet with his Turkish counterpart, Berat Albayrak, on the
sidelines of the congress.
Israel and Turkey signed a deal in June to restore ties
which hit an all-time low after the 2010 raid by Israeli commandos on a
Gaza-bound aid ship that killed 10 Turks.
Israel has paid Turkey $20 million in compensation for
the deadly storming - an amount which Turkish authorities said has been
transferred to the account of the Justice Ministry. The Turkish government was
due to pass on the money to the victims’ families who lodged cases at Turkish
In addition to the compensation, Israel has also made an
apology and agreed to ease the blockade on the Gaza Strip.
The blockade remains in place but Israel has allowed
Turkish aid to reach Gaza through Israeli ports under the deal.
Turkey and Israel are now set to restore full diplomatic
relations, including the exchange of ambassadors who were pulled out in
respective capitals after the crisis.
Turkey probes 500,000 digital documents to find more
evidence for Gülen extradition
Turkey is in the process of probing and analyzing around
half a million digital documents seized during the July 15 coup investigation,
the justice minister has said, emphasizing that the inquiry would leave no
doubts that the putsch was carried out under Fethullah Gülen’s direction.
According to Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ, who will meet
with United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Oct. 26 and 27, Washington
has not yet positively or negatively responded to a Turkish request for the
temporary arrest of Fethullah Gülen even though the dossier was sent on Sept.
“There are around 500,000 digital documents: Computer
records, flash drives, smart phone records, camera records as well as countless
written documents that were seized during the operations [against Gülenists]. I
know so many questions will find answers after all these documents are analyzed
and assessed,” Bozdağ told a small group of Ankara bureau chiefs on Oct. 9 in
The Justice Ministry is in the process of increasing its
capacity to better probe digital documents, with some technical assistance to
also be used while analyzing the documents, Bozdağ said. “I am sure many things
will be revealed out of this probe. We perfectly know that the extradition
process is a legal one, something we also abide by on extradition requests made
by other countries. Even the current content of the dossier we have sent to the
U.S. leaves no doubt in mind that this coup attempt was planned and carried out
by Fethullah Gülen.”
Noting that there was a comprehensive meeting between
Turkish and U.S. officials on Gülen’s case in mid-September, Bozdağ said, “We
made it clear that the future of the relationship between Turkey and the United
States will be shaped by their decision on Gülen’s extradition.”
‘Nothing will be the same’
Bozdağ said his demand for an appointment from his
counterpart in the U.S. had received a positive response.
“Most probably, we’ll go to the U.S. at the end of
October to talk about FETÖ [Fethullahist Terror Organization].”
One of the issues the justice minister will raise to his
counterpart is Ankara’s disturbance at the U.S. reluctance to implement a
bilateral judicial cooperation agreement that stipulates the temporary
detention of persons of interest.
“We have an agreement on extraditions. The ninth article
of it requires the detention of the person as soon as necessary documents have
been sent to the other party. They cite Article 7 of the agreement but this
article is not a pre-condition for the implementation of Article 9,” Bozdağ
said. “Thank God, we can understand what we read.”
Article 7 of the agreement obliges Turkey to provide
necessary evidence on the person whose extradition is sought from the U.S. “We
sent our request for the detention on Sept. 10. Since then, we have not
received any response, either positive or negative.”
Gülen’s or Turkey’s friendship?
Hinting that the U.S. seems reluctant to hand over Gülen
to Turkey, Bozdağ said turning down Turkey’s request would mean that Washington
favored the self-exiled cleric’s friendship to that of its longstanding NATO
In the event of a negative response to Turkey’s demand,
the ties between the two countries will be severely affected, Bozdağ said. “I
cannot say what exactly we’ll do, but it’s pretty sure that nothing will be
same in our ties. This is very clear. Whatever al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden
means for the American people, Fethullah Gülen means the same for the Turkish
people. Everybody should understand this.”
Bozdağ stressed that extradition issues were very
sensitive cases and that courts act in line with the political will in many
parts of the world, including the United States and Europe. “There will be no
negative decision from the court if the U.S. administration displays its will
for an extradition. This also applies to Europe. Otherwise, I don’t know
anything,” he said.
Turkey to hold international law conference
In an effort to inform international legal circles on the
Gülenist network and seek further cooperation with them, Turkey will hold an
international conference in Istanbul between Oct. 17 and 19, Bozdağ said.
“This conference will set an important venue to discuss
differences between the legal systems of countries and to ensure the better
implementation of judicial cooperation between our countries,” Bozdağ said, referring
to a campaign launched by Turkey against the Gülenist presence in more than 170
countries in the world.
Some 171 participants from 51 countries will be present
at the conference that will include justice ministers from 15 countries and
presidents of constitutional courts from 16, Bozdağ said.
The conference will be opened by a speech of President
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and will be held at Çırağan Palace.
Visa liberalization with Turkey possible after ‘dust
There is no chance of Turkey being granted visa-free
access to the EU before the end of the month, but liberalization could come
when the present storm in the country calms down, according to an adviser to
the EU’s foreign policy chief. Turks might be able to travel by early 2017,
Nathalie Tocci says.
The current political climate in Turkey precludes any
visa liberalization for citizens wishing to travel to the Schengen Zone, but it
could occur by January 2017 when the “dust settles” in the wake of the July 15
coup attempt, according to special EU foreign adviser Nathalie Tocci.
“There is nothing that doesn’t make me think that if the
storm calms down and if Turkey does not continue excesses in terms of the way
it is carrying out the purge, nothing makes me think that visa liberalization
will not be given in January or early next year,” she recently told the
Hürriyet Daily News.
Where are we currently in terms of the European Union’s
approach to the coup and the aftermath of the coup?
The very first reaction that night and a few days
afterwards was a lot of skepticism. I
don’t think the depth of the crisis was appreciated in Europe. There were
assumptions that this was a scam and immediately, the focus was on the reaction
of the government, the suspension of academics and the journalists in jail.
The mood started to change when there was a mass
demonstration in Istanbul with over 1 million, including members of the
At that point, many in Europe started to think, maybe
there is something here. From the end of July through to mid-September, there
was the general sense of “we have to do something to patch up the relationship
and maybe we messed up a bit by not going immediately.”
Now what you are seeing is a gradual switch back into
saying “Obviously there was a real problem to be dealt with. But isn’t the
government overreaching now? Isn’t the government using it basically to fight
all political opponents?”
So there were three phases; we are at a stage in which
there is appreciation of the depth of the problem that needs to be resolved but
growing skepticism on the way it is being handled.
How do you think Europe should approach Turkey?
The EU’s line has to be, on the one hand, deep empathy
for Turkey for what it went through and support in trying to help Turkey get
out of it. Basically [it needs to] appreciate that there is an existential
threat to Turkish democracy which has to be eradicated somehow.
But on the other hand, [it has to] remain firm on the
fact that this has to take place within the compliance of the law. The question
is how you make sure that this position has an effect.
Full report at:hurriyetdailynews.com/visa-liberalization-with-turkey-possible-after-dust-settles.aspx?pageID=238&nID=104768&NewsCatID=351
Turkish Stream deal may be signed during Putin’s Istanbul
visit: Russian minister
Turkey and Russia may sign a final agreement for the
Turkish Stream project during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to
Istanbul on Oct. 10, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak has signaled.
Putin will be in Istanbul to attend the 23rd World Energy
Congress upon the invitation of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The two leaders
will hold a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the congress with the
participation of related ministers.
Questioned whether there is a possibility of signing the
main Turkish Stream deal during Putin’s visit, Novak said: “The project is at a high degree of readiness
inter-governmentally. Of course, we are making every effort in the remaining
time to carry out all the necessary procedures, both in Russia and Turkey, to
sign the agreement in the near future. I think there is such a possibility,” he
Russia’s Gazprom and Turkey’s BOTAŞ in 2014 signed a
memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the construction of the Turkish Stream
gas pipeline, with a capacity of 63 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas per year
from Russia to Turkey across the Black Sea.
Novak noted that the Turkish Stream and the Akkuyu
nuclear power plant, which will be Turkey’s first, are key to further reviving
the countries’ bilateral ties in a normalization process after the jet crisis.
“Turkey is our neighbor and a partner that is important
to us. Our trade volume surged to $35 billion in 2014, but it decreased almost
40 percent in the first eight months of 2016 compared to the same period of
2015 due to the diplomatic crisis … In the normalization process, energy is one
of the key areas. Both the Turkish Stream and the Akkuyu power plant are
crucial projects that will revive our ties,” he said.
“If we want to boost our trade and economic ties, both of
these projects need to be completed and become operational,” he added.
Novak said that the first phase of the Turkish Stream,
which is based on the build-operate-transfer (BOT) model, is comprised of the
paving of two pipes.
Some 15.75 bcm of Turkey’s annual gas needs will be met
through the first of these pipes, while the same amount of gas will be carried
to Europe via the second pipe, Novak said. He added that both the Russian and
Turkish energy ministries had established working groups to give a final form
to the intergovernmental agreement for the Turkish Stream.
“Turkey has even made some changes in its laws to enable
the construction to start immediately. As soon as the project is completed it
will add value to the Turkish economy,” said Novak, adding that for this reason
Turkey is doing its best to accelerate the Akkuyu power plant project.
He also said negotiations over gas prices have resumed.
“I believe both sides will find a common path. There is,
however, a reality here: Turkey’s BOTAŞ has taken the issue to the arbitration
court and the first trial is due in 2017. I think that Russia’s Gazprom Export
and BOTAŞ can resolve the issue before this date,” Novak said.
Gazprom Export sells gas to a number of private players
in Turkey, which makes setting gas prices particularly complicated, he added.
“All parts of the issue must be taken into consideration
in an integrated approach while seeking a resolution,” Novak said.
Full report at:hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-stream-deal-may-be-signed-during-putins-istanbul-visit-russian-minister.aspx?pageID=238&nID=104756&NewsCatID=348
Police asked to trace 102 missing militants
RAWALPINDI: Expressing concerns over the disappearance of
over 100 militants placed on the watch list and the possibility of their
joining disruptive activities in Muharram, the Punjab home department has
directed the police across the province to make arrangements to avoid the
repeat of the 2013 Ashura violence in Raja Bazaar in which 13 people were
“As many as 102 militants placed on the Fourth Schedule
of the Anti-Terrorism Act have been missing from their homes. They mostly
belonged to Bahawalpur, Faisalabad, Multan, Rawalpindi and Dera Ghazi Khan
Divisions. The possibility of their taking part in disruptive activities in
Muharram cannot be ruled out,” the directive issued to the police stated.
The home department also directed the law enforcement
agencies to trace the missing militants besides keeping an eye on elements
recently released from jails and obtain surety bonds from them.
Home dept fears that fourth schedulers may take part in
disruptive activities during Muharram
The law authorities concerned were also directed to beef
up security around high-profile detainees in various jails and monitor the
movement of those placed on the Fourth Schedule and activists of the defunct banned
When asked if there was any specific terror threat to
Rawalpindi and what steps were being taken to avoid the repeat of Ashura 2013
violence, City Police Officer (CPO) Israr Ahmed Abbasi told Dawn: “At the
moment there is no specific terror threat to Rawalpindi from any militant group
but we are taking no chances.”
He added: “However, we have learnt a lesson from the Raja
Bazaar sectarian violence of 2013 and mistakes committed by the then
administration and police command will not be repeated.”
The CPO said all the mistakes committed by the then
police command were kept in mind while chalking out a security plan for
Muharram this year.
He said it would be ensured that all the senior police
officers remained on duty to command the force and the ban on the use of
loudspeaker is strictly implemented. Besides, Rangers and elite force personnel
would be deployed at all the sensitive places, he added.
Based on past experience and intelligence reports, the
home department has asked the divisional police chiefs to strictly enforce the
SOP of security to avoid the repeat of the sectarian violence in Rawalpindi.
On the basis of intelligence reports, more than 60
vulnerable points have been identified in Rawalpindi, the second highest on the
list of sensitive regions after Faisalabad where 69 points were declared as
Besides, banning the inter-district movement of some
activists, speakers and gagging of several others had been suggested.
Full report at:dawn.com/news/1289135/police-asked-to-trace-102-missing-militants
Cleric vows to stop WCLA from running Badshahi Mosque
LAHORE: If the government hands over administrative and
building control of the Badshahi Mosque to the Walled City of Lahore Authority
(WCLA), mosque’s caretaker Maulana Abdul Khabir Azad says he along with his
colleagues will resist it.
He was reacting to government’s reported plans to
handover administrative and conservation control of the mosque to the WCLA. The
authority is already looking after tourism, conservation and administration of
the Walled City, Lahore Fort and food streets.
A government committee is in talks with mosque’s
administration, headed by Maulana Azad and supervised by the Auqaf and
Religious Affairs Department.
Official sources say that in a recent meeting of the
committee, Mr Azad warned WCLA Director General Kamran Lashari that they would
not accept any such decision.
“Finally, he (Maulana) left the meeting,” said a senior
official quoting one of the participants in the meeting.
The official, who preferred anonymity, said the the WCLA
and the mosque administration had been sticking to their stance.
A senior WCLA official told Dawn the government would
soon hand over mosque’s tourism and conservation control to the authority.
“The WCLA will also have a role in the control of a
museum being constructed in the Greater Iqbal Park Project. So, how can the
Badshahi Mosque be left with the existing custodians since the WCLA is being
empowered to deal with such issues?” the official said.
He said the administrative or functional control of the
mosque would remain with the Maulana-led administration while the WCLA would be
responsible for mosque’s conservation, maintenance, cleanliness and tourism.
Maulana Azad said he would only allow the WCLA to repair,
maintain and conserve the mosque.
“(Giving) tourism control to the authority means handing
over administrative control to the WCLA,” he told Dawn.
He said the existing set up had been performing tourism
functions without any complaint. Whenever national and international
dignitaries visited the mosque, we provided them tourism facilities, he added.
He said he had clearly told Mr Lashari that he along with
his colleagues would never hand over mosque’s control to the WCLA.
“We will resist if the government takes any such
decision,” he warned.
Full report at:dawn.com/news/1289219/cleric-vows-to-stop-wcla-from-running-badshahi-mosque
Dar has burdened country with debt: JI
LAHORE: Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) chief Sirajul Haq said
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has been declared most successful finance minister
of Asia while ‘burdening his country with mountains of debt’.
Addressing the central executive board of the Pakistan
Engineering Forum at Mansoora here on Sunday, he said in spite of vast resources
the country had been burdened under huge foreign and domestic loans.
The meeting urged the government to ensure jobs for young
engineers and approve service structure and special allowances for them.
Haq claimed every Pakistani was under a debt of Rs100,000.
He said the government’s activities had created doubts regarding the
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor as there were contradictions in the statements
and actions of rulers.
He also said the JI’s drive against corruption would
continue and the judiciary hold the rulers accountable and recover looted money
JI Secretary General Liaquat Baloch said the absence of
the prime minister and most federal ministers as well as the Pakistan
Tehreek-i-Insaf’s boycott from the joint session of parliament convened to
discuss Kashmir showed a “non-serious attitude”.
He said the situation in Kashmir called for practical
measures not mere speeches and resolutions.
Full report at:dawn.com/news/1289212/dar-has-burdened-country-with-debt-ji
Balochistan will be major beneficiary of CPEC, says PM
ISLAMABAD: In what appeared to be an attempt to set aside
reservations of smaller provinces over the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor
(CPEC), Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday said Balochistan would be a major
beneficiary of the $51.5 billion, Radio Pakistan reported.
Chairing a meeting of PML-N's central executive committee
in he capital, the premier said that the government was striving hard to
overcome all challenges including terrorism and energy shortfall.
The PM's statements come days after opposition lawmakers
raised concerns that smaller provinces were being neglected under the CPEC
during a joint session of parliament.
The premier claimed that more than 10,000 MegaWatt (MW)
of electricity would be added to the national grid by 2018 and briefed the
meeting on various power initiatives being undertaken.
He said that land had been acquired for the Diamer-Bhasha
dam, a power project that has been 30 years in the making. The government, he
said, has also started working on the development of coal-fired power in Thar.
"Mining has started in Thar and coal-based power plants are being
A subsidy would be provided for the installation of solar
tubewells in Balochistan, the prime minister told the meeting, adding that the
government would compensate farmers for losses they have suffered due to the
low price of agricultural goods in the international market.
The PM also announced that motorways and highways worth
Rs1 trillion are being constructed in the country. "We are also working on
social sector development, and hospitals in different cities will be built
within the next 18 months," he said.
The prime minister added that economy has been
strengthened because of effective policies.
He added that the Karachi operation was initiated with
the consultation of all the stakeholders and is yielding positive results.
Nawaz Sharif said Pakistan is committed to the Kashmir
cause. "No power in the world can stop us from supporting the freedom struggle
of Kashmiris," he said."India is mistaken if it considers that a
freedom fight can be equated with terrorism."
Full report at:dawn.com/news/1289249/balochistan-will-be-major-beneficiary-of-cpec-says-pm-nawaz
Interior minister, KP CM to be nominated in APS attack
ISLAMABAD: Parents of the children who were killed in the
attack on Army Public School (APS) Peshawar will be filing an application with
the police in order to amend in the FIR for the incident.
Just after the attack on the school, conducted by the
Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) on December 16, 2014, in which 150 people,
including 132 students were killed, an FIR was registered in the Gharbi police
station in Peshawar, in which no one was nominated.
“Parents of the children who were killed in the attack
met on Friday, October 7 and decided on filing an application to amend the FIR
in order to nominate some people, including Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar
Ali Khan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak, school
administration and concerned KP ministers,” said Sher Nawaz, the father of
Yasir Iqbal, a second year student killed in the attack.
Parents of the children who were killed have been
demanding that a judicial commission be formed to fix responsibility and
punishing concerned officials.
“We have been demanding action against those responsible,
but no one has bothered to do anything, which is why we will be going to
Islamabad again on October 17,” Mr Nawaz said.
About 60 family members of the slain children had come to
Islamabad on Sept 1 this year, demanding to meet with the prime minister, but
were not allowed to enter the Red Zone. They had said they would hold a sit-in
in front of Prime Minister House if they were not allowed to meet the prime
Federal Minister for the Capital Administration and
Development Division Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry had then assured them that he
would arrange a meeting of them with the prime minister in a week, a promise
that has not been fulfilled over a month later.
The parents have not been contacted by anyone in
Islamabad in the month since, said Ajoon Khan, the father of Asfand Khan, who
was also killed in the APS attack.
“No one has even bothered to make a telephone call. We
don’t have any other option and have to hold a sit-in in Islamabad. My son and
I were very close because he was my eldest. Instead of taking action against
those responsible, the government has just named a school in Islamabad after
him,” he said.
An advocate of the Supreme Court who specializes in
criminal cases, Riasat Ali Azad told Dawn the FIR cannot be amended via an
“However, the parents can file a ‘Subsequent Statement’
in which they can nominate the suspects, saying that they have come to know
that the suspects were responsible and should be investigated. The police will
attach the statement with the FIR and the suspects can be arrested on the basis
of this statement,” he explained.
Advocate Azad said that previous judgments – including
those of Supreme Court justices Deedar Hussein and Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry,
and Islamabad High Court justices Shahid Hameed Dar and Shaukat Siddiqui – have
maintained that the ‘Subsequent Statements’ prove police incompetence.
“The judgments also say that the police use these
statements to make arrests and that therefore, they do not have any value,” he
Full report at:dawn.com/news/1289124/interior-minister-kp-cm-to-be-nominated-in-aps-attack-fir
Pakistan not interested in joining talks ‘for the heck of
it’, says Basit
NEW DELHI: Even as he underlined the significance of
talks with India, Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit has said
Islamabad doesn’t want dialogue with New Delhi “just for the heck of it”.
He said it was high time the two countries moved from symbolism
In an interview to the Times of India, he also said that
while Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was firmly in charge, the Pakistan Army had
an important role to play in Islamabad’s India policy. In response to a
question about an impasse in talks between Pakistan and India, Mr Basit said:
“We do not have any impasse as far as the framework for dialogue is concerned.
“The two countries agreed in December 2015, when Sushma
Swaraj sahiba travelled to Islamabad for the Heart of Asia conference, on the
framework. That is a balanced and comprehensive framework.... Now the question
is how to start the process.
“Whenever that dialogue process begins, it has to be on
the basis of the agreement we were able to have in December last year.”
See: Pakistan and India's 2015 journey: From nightmare to
Mr Basit said that in matters concerning India,
Afghanistan and other security-related issues “obviously our army or military
has an important role to play. It has important inputs to give”.
“So to expect that it will not have any role in
Pakistan’s India policy or Afghanistan policy and other such issues is
incorrect,” he said. “The fact of the matter is that PM Nawaz Sharif is the
elected head of the government. Period. He is in the driving seat. The rest is
our decision-making process.
“Do you believe India can have a Pakistan policy without
consulting its armed forces or the US can have a Pakistan or Afghanistan policy
without consulting Pentagon?”
Asked if Pakistan and India were moving towards a
full-blown conflict, the diplomat said he would not like to think along those
lines.... “I would never entertain such thoughts.”
In reply to a question about the “surgical strikes” that
the Indian forces claimed to have carried out in Azad Kashmir, he denied them
and said: “I can assure you that had there been any surgical strike, Pakistan
would have responded immediately and proportionately. And we do not need time
But he said he tended to agree with the analysts who were
asking for “such serious terms to be not used so loosely because of the
inherent dangers in doing that”.
Asked why Pakistan was “reluctant” to investigate the
evidence on the Uri attack in India-held Kashmir that New Delhi was willing to
provide to Islamabad, Mr Basit said: “We have already suggested an
international probe to ensure we have conclusive and irrefutable findings. Our
offer is still there... because we need to get out of this blame game.”
When he was asked to name the reasons why Prime Minister
Sharif called militant leader Burhan Wani a martyr, Mr Basit said: “Are you
suggesting that the hundreds of thousands who came out for his funeral were
supporting a terrorist? Over 100 people have been killed, more than 14,000
injured since July 9. Were they also terrorists?
“If you look at the Kashmiri struggle through the prism
of terrorism, you would arrive at the wrong conclusion. Do you want to declare
all people of J&K terrorists? This is an indigenous movement as has been
proved time and again.
"Both the countries have agreed since 1947... from
the UN resolutions to December 2015 joint statement, that this is a dispute, or
core dispute, which needs to be resolved.”
He said Pakistan found it difficult to understand why
India was not serious in addressing the dispute. “Even the Simla Agreement
mentions that this dispute has to be resolved. But how can we resolve the issue
Full report at:dawn.com/news/1289198/pakistan-not-interested-in-joining-talks-for-the-heck-of-it-says-basit
Pak Army chief visits LoC, praises operational
preparedness of troops
Islamabad [Pakistan]: Pakistan Army Chief General Raheel
Sharif visited the Haji Pir sector of the Line of Control (LoC) on Sunday and
interacted with the troops deployed there, lauding them for their vigilance and
The Express Tribune quoted the military’s media wing as
saying that Chief of Staff expressed his complete satisfaction over high state
of morale, operational preparedness and vigil being maintained by Pakistan Army
personnel along the LoC.
Detailed briefing was given to the Army chief by the
local formation commander on operational preparedness of the units and
formation of the troops, the statement added.
Full report at:siasat.com/news/pak-army-chief-visits-loc-praises-operational-preparedness-troops-1038426/
PM Voices Concern Over Islamic State Presence in Somalia
Monday 10 October 2016
Somalia is due to hold elections in October and November
that are seen as a vital stepping stone in restoring governance and rebuilding
a state plagued by war and insurgency for 25 years. Twelve years after the
formation of its current transitional federal government, and 25 years after
the overthrow of Siad Barre plunged the country into chaos, Somalia is holding
limited elections, which have been delayed several times.
An electorate of around 14,000 selected by tribal elders
will choose MPs who will in turn select a president to lead the country until
2020. Ahead of the elections, Newsweek spoke exclusively with Omar Abdirashid
Ali Sharmarke, Somalia's current prime minister and a presidential candidate,
about why he wants to lead the country.
Why do you want to be president of Somalia?
I have twice been the prime minister of this country
[from 2009-2010 and December 2014-present]. I have a lot of experience and
knowledge of what this country is going through and exactly the issues that we
need to deal with and deal with quickly in the next Somalia.
This country needs reconciliation, the people must get
out of the experience that the country has gone through in the last 20 or so
years of internal conflict. We need to build the trust and interdependency of
our society and the relation between the states and the center.
There's a lot of things that we were not able to finish
in this year-and-a-half that I was prime minister. So I think that I provide
political stability that will be key to have a working security sector, to have
a regional interdependency that is really advancing and an economy that can
sustain a large sector of our youth who are now unemployed and wary about their
Do you think that Al-Shabab will try to disrupt the
I'm very confident that the elections will move forward
safely. Definitely, we will keep an eye on the attempts that Al-Shabab will
make [to disrupt] the status quo [and cause] chaos. But we plan to have a very
secure environment in which elections can take place.
We are going for Al-Shabab in their own heart. We have
eliminated most of their leadership. We are continuing to go after them in any
areas that we think they are assembling or coming together. But nonetheless,
although we are doing all these kind of [efforts] containing and defeating
Al-Shabab, often whenever we defeat them conventionally, they resort to an act
of terrorism, targeting innocent civilian and soft targets. We keep preventing
a lot of things every day but nonetheless we accept that they are going to try
and disrupt, [but] it will not be feasible to do so.
What would you do to tackle Al-Shabab, if you were elected?
The important thing is to take care of our own security.
It is not only Al-Shabab that is the problem. I think Al-Shabab is going to be
defeated eventually. Now, Al-Shabab controls only one autonomous region's
capital [out of 18 regions in Somalia] in the Lower Juba area, and we are
preparing Operation Juba Corridor that we hope will [remove it from] their
We need to have an integrated national force that can
really build the confidence and trust of our society. So that is the main
priority, to make sure that there is no vacuum, not only for Al-Shabab. There
is a lot happening in our neighborhood--there is the Yemen conflict going on,
ISIS, Al-Qaeda--everybody will be eyeing Somalia in case there is a vacuum
here, so we really want to close all these vacuums before these guys come or
try to enter Somalia.
How much of a threat does ISIS pose to Somalia? Some
factions of Al-Shabab have reportedly pledged allegiance to ISIS.
If it's not dealt with, it's the tip that will be the
reality of tomorrow... We keep an eye on that end, these small factions [of
Al-Shabab] that have pledged allegiance to ISIS, they are now in the upper
north [of Somalia], in the Golis mountains in Puntland state. [Al-Shabab is
traditionally aligned with Al-Qaeda.] We are trying to make sure that these
guys are taken care of and totally defeated.
How can Somalia accommodate hundreds of thousands of
returning refugees from the Dadaab camps in Kenya?
I want to make it clear that we want our people back; how
[they should return] is the issue that we are discussing now.
We really want to bring our refugees back to their areas
of origin or to a place they choose in which they feel they can have a more
productive life. We believe that they are going to really enhance our economy,
but also they are going to enhance their own political situation.
Most of these refugees have been staying there for 25
years or so, their kids have all grown up there, have studied, some of them are
teachers. I think they can really make a huge contribution in their own
country, but nonetheless we have to be careful of forcing them to be dumped on
the Somali side. That will create a lot of discontent.
Full report at:allafrica.com/stories/201610100329.html
Muslim extremist jailed for raising £3,000 for ISIS-linked
terror group 'QUITS job as a Sainsbury's delivery driver after failing to
An extremist jailed for raising thousands of pounds to
help an ISIS-linked terror group train jihadis with AK-47s has left his job as
a Sainsbury's delivery driver hours after his previous conviction was revealed.
Father-of-three Mohammed Shabir Ali, 29, of Tower
Hamlets, east London, was jailed for three years in 2012 after raising £3,000
for al-Shabaab training camps in Somalia.
Since being freed from jail, he landed himself a job
working as a home delivery driver for Sainsbury's – working out of a depot in
east London and dropping off online food orders to customers' homes while
It is believed he did not disclose his previous
conviction when applying for the job.
According to Sainsbury's policy, anyone with a previous
conviction must declare it on their application form, and if a
terrorism-related offence was disclosed that would end the application process
Sainsbury's said it does not comment on individual
employees but confirmed Shabir no longer worked for the company and it is
understood he quit the firm.
A spokesman confirmed the supermarket chain has launched
an internal investigation into the case, including a review of CRB checks that
all delivery drivers undergo.
Shabir, along with his identical twin brother Shafiq Ali,
posed as charity collectors to raise the money which they funnelled back to the
As a result of their crimes, he was placed on a terror
watchlist for 10 years and sent to Belmarsh prison.
A reporter for MailOnline attended what is believed to be
Shabir's home address today and approached his family but was threatened.
A woman said: 'Just f*** off, all you are doing is
writing lies', before she was heard shouting 'aggressively' in a foreign
His employment outraged MPs and shoppers, who claim it is
'scandalous' he is working in a one-to-one customer role, which sees him take
groceries inside homes.
One Sainsbury's customer told The Sun: 'He's a convicted
terrorist. How can Sainsbury's let him do this?
'He is entering people's homes, sometimes vulnerable
people of different faiths.'
Tory MP Andrew Rosindell added: 'If someone has been
convicted for funding terrorism the employer and more importantly the customers
should be made aware.'
Shabir's trial in August 2012 heard how he and his
brother imitated legitimate fundraisers on street stalls collecting money for
Palestinians and the world's poor.
But instead of giving the cash to good causes, they wired
it to their elder brother Shamim, then aged 29, after he travelled to Somalia
to join the Islamic insurgency.
Shamim had flown to Somalia via Nairobi and Dubai in
August 2008 to train alongside other jihadists in weapons, combat and survival.
Several weeks later he boasted in a telephone call about
how he was prepared to die.
Mohammed Shabir Ali, along with his identical twin
brother Shafiq Ali (pictured), posed as a charity collector to raise cash which
they funnelled back to help jihadis
The brothers kept the phone conversation as a final
memento of their elder sibling but it led to their arrest after counter
terrorism police raided their home and discovered the digital recording.
Officers also uncovered extremist literature at the
property, including a pamphlet by Anwar Al-Awlaki, entitled '44 Ways To Support
Sentencing them at the Old Bailey to three years in
prison, Mr Justice Fulford said the men sent at least £3,000 to the Horn of
He said their brother was determined to sacrifice his
life alongside others fighting to create an 'Islamic Emirate of Somalia'.
The brothers had been inspired by Al-Qaeda hate preacher
Al-Awlaki, the mastermind behind a series of bombings before he was killed in a
The judge added: 'Both defendants worked to help somebody
who was contributing to terrorist activities in a war-torn country in Africa.
'The court must reflect the seriousness of offences of
this kind in sentences given that they were intended to support terrorism.'
Shamim, who left Britain with two other men, has not been
heard from since and the return parts of the trio's air tickets have never been
Shabir's wife said Sainsbury's was well aware of her
husband's past, claiming 'they know all about what happened'.
Full report at:dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3829882/Al-shabaab-carry-Muslim-extremist-jailed-raising-3-000-ISIS-linked-terror-group-works-Sainsbury-s-delivery-driver.html
Germany's Merkel pledges help for 'troubled' Mali
10 October 2016
The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, on her first visit
to Mali, has pledged to help the country fight terrorism, saying the situation
there is still troubled.
She said Germany is concerned that a peace deal signed
between the government of Mali and armed factions in the north of the country
is yet to be fully implemented.
Germany currently has 430 military personnel in the
country as part of the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali (MINUSMA).
Mrs Merkel said her country will further support Mali on
security, the fight against terrorism and the control of illegal migration.
The German chancellor arrived in Niger this morning on
the second leg of her three-country tour, which she finish in Ethiopia, where a
six-month state of emergency has just been declared.
Full report at:bbc.com/news/live/world-africa-37390807
Nigerian state orders arrest of banned Shiite group’s
KANO – A northern Nigerian state on Sunday ordered the
arrest of a spokesman of a pro-Iran Shiite group banned two days ago as a
Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) spokesman Ibrahim Musa
"owned up to being the spokesperson of an unlawful society", the
governor of Kaduna state said in a statement.
"This is deemed as a deliberate and determined
affront... and the law has to take its course," it said, calling for
security forces to work "vigorously" to arrest Musa.
Kaduna governor Nasir El-Rufai had on Friday banned the
IMN, saying it was a threat to Nigeria and warned that members of the group
could face up to seven years in jail for violating the ban.
But Musa had dismissed the ban as illegal, vowing the
group would challenge it through all "legitimate means".
Musa told AFP he is "in touch with his lawyers"
about the arrest order.
"Meanwhile I'll not submit myself to the authorities
as they requested," he said.
Clashes between the Nigerian military and IMN supporters
led to over 300 deaths in December last year.
Two days of violence began on December 12, when
supporters of the pro-Iranian cleric and IMN head, Ibrahim Zakzaky, refused to
allow the chief of army staff's convoy to pass through the northern city of
Zaria in Kaduna state.
Rights group Amnesty International later accused
Nigeria's military of shooting dead more than 300 Shiite Muslims, burying them
in mass graves and destroying evidence of the crime.
IMN leader Zakzaky, who lost an eye and was left partly
paralysed in the violence, has been held in custody since December, with fears
the military crackdown could result in a violent uprising similar to the
devastating Boko Haram insurgency.
Full report at:enca.com/africa/nigerian-state-orders-arrest-of-banned-shiite-group%E2%80%99s-spokesman
Myanmar sends troops into Muslim-majority region after
YANGON, Oct 10 (Reuters) - Myanmar has stepped up
security in a Muslim-majority region near its border with Bangladesh, officials
said on Monday, as authorities hunt for attackers who killed at least nine
Officials believe that members of the Muslim Rohingya
ethnic minority launched three separate attacks in the early hours of Sunday,
in which dozens of weapons and more than 10,000 rounds of ammunition were
seized from border police.
Nine policemen were killed, one was missing and five were
wounded. Eight attackers were killed and two captured, police said.
The Rohingya, who are mostly stateless and are subject to
severe restrictions on their movements, make up the majority of the population
in the northern part of Rakhine State.
Authorities in the township of Maungdaw on Sunday
announced the extension of an existing order banning gatherings of five or more
people and imposing a 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew.
State media said the military - known as the Tatmadaw -
had moved troops into the area by helicopter. Photographs on social media
showed trucks full of infantry purportedly being deployed in the area.
No detailed information has been released about the
operation in the area near a border guard office at Kyiganbyin village, where
as many as 90 assailants seized weapons and fled into the hills.
"The Tatmadaw, the police force and the Ministry of
Border Affairs are working together to ensure security and restore law and
order," said Min Aung, a minister in the Rakhine State government, who
declined to disclose the size of the force sent to the area.
Human rights advocates raised concerns that civilians may
be caught up in the sweep. Unverified reports posted online by advocates for
the Rohingya suggested that a violent crackdown may be underway.
Ye Htut, administrator for Maungdaw, said he was not
aware of the situation around Kyiganbyin village, which is under the control of
Muslim residents of Maungdaw town closed their shops amid
the heightened security presence, he said.
"All of the security forces are deployed in
Maungdaw, so we are not worried about security. Everything is fine," Ye
BANGLADESH DEPLOYS BORDER GUARDS
Matthew Smith, founder of campaign group Fortify Rights,
said restrictions on the Muslim population already in place made northern
Rakhine State "a police state, an apartheid state".
"Human rights violations in the context of
counterinsurgency in northern Rakhine State are not new," Smith said.
"The authorities routinely accuse average Rohingya
of involvement with armed extremists."
Authorities routinely dismiss accusations of rights
Sunday was the bloodiest day in the state since 2012,
when more than 100 people were killed in clashes between Rohingya and ethnic
Rakhine Buddhists. Some 125,000 people, the majority Rohingya, remain
Myanmar's state counsellor and foreign minister Aung San
Suu Kyi - who in August appointed former U.N. chief Kofi Annan to head an
advisory commission into the situation in Rakhine State - discussed the attacks
with security officials in an emergency meeting on Sunday, said foreign
ministry official Kyaw Tin.
"The state counsellor instructed us to handle this
issue cautiously in accordance with the law," Kyaw Tin told reporters.
Officials in Bangladesh said Myanmar had closed the
border after the attacks.
Bangladesh deployed additional border guards, said
Mohammad Tanvir Alam Khan, a Border Guard Bangladesh commander.
Myanmar police chief Zaw Win has said his force was
investigating possible links between the attackers and rebel groups.
Full report at:dailymail.co.uk/wires/reuters/article-3830482/Myanmar-sends-troops-Muslim-majority-region-deadly-attacks.html
Malaysia’s secular versus religious divide
10 OCTOBER 2016
The uneasy co-existence of civil and Shariah law in
Malaysia and the polarising ethnic and religious divides within its population
could be improved by establishing an independent mediation committee, Saleena
In late August Prime Minister Najib Razak announced a proposed
amendment to Malaysia’s Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976. The
proposal is an attempt to resolve the recurring problem of highly-publicised
custody battles over unilateral conversions of children by spouses who
converted to Islam. Several such court disputes, framed around religious
freedom, have been pursued in Malaysia’s dual-track legal system of civil and
Shariah (Islamic law) courts in the past decade.
Amid the growing religiosity of the majority ethnic
group, the Malays, who increasingly choose to identify themselves by religion
and are calling for wider implementation of Islamic codes and laws, laws that
negatively and disproportionately affect non-Muslims serve as ominous evidence
of how secularity is being eroded within the Malaysian polity, especially for
This dynamic not only leads to increased inter-ethnic
tension between the Malay Muslim-majority and the non-Muslim minorities, it
also creates tension between the religious and the areligious within the ethnic
Malay majority populace. Increasingly, we see societal tensions in Malaysia
being expressed in a polarising socio-political discourse that pits the secular
against the religious.
However, Najib’s amendments, if enacted (a similar
governmental proposal in 2009 was stymied by the Malaysian Conference of
Rulers), will not resolve all the outstanding jurisdictional questions because
existing Shariah enactments in various states allow for unilateral conversions
by one Muslim parent.
Two factors, acting in concert to contribute to the
secular-versus-religious divide in Malaysian society today, will make it
exceedingly difficult for the problematic Shariah enactments to be modified
The first is the rise, since the late 1990s, of ‘new
politics’ – an attempt to transcend the ethnic politics of the past, but one
that has presented fresh electoral challenges for the ruling UMNO party. This
has been aggravated by an accompanying spread of pro-democracy ideals promoted
by opposition political parties and secular-oriented civil society
More on this:Religion China How religion is unofficially
The discernable shift of non-Malay voters to opposition
parties in the 2008 and 2013 general elections feeds into the perception that
the UMNO-led government’s political compact with minority ethnic-based
political parties, of which ketuanan Melayu (Malay dominance) is a central
component, is being threatened by the advance of ‘new politics’. Najib has
warned that any failure by Malays to support the UMNO at the next general
election would place the country’s Malays and Muslims in the hands of a
Chinese-dominated opposition coalition that is ‘anti-Islam and anti-Malay’.
This perpetuates the undercurrent of inter-ethnic (Malay versus non-Malay) tension
The second is the government’s promotion of Islam since
the 1970s, which has strengthened the influence of state religious officials,
expanded state-led religious administration and given greater autonomy to
Islamic courts. However, the increase in contentious court disputes over
religious freedoms in the last decade, together with secular-liberal activists’
high-profile responses to Shariah court judgments that occurred in tandem with
the UMNO’s electoral struggles, reinforce the perception among Islamic
conservative forces that the position of Malays, and by extension Islam’s
position, is under threat from the spread of secular-liberal values in society.
These Islamic conservatives, including state religious officials, religious
leaders within the UMNO and PAS, and Islamic-oriented civil society
organisations, have coalesced to defend the autonomy of the Shariah courts from
While there is little incentive on the political front to
confront such issues in a substantive way, continued inaction will only deepen
the polarising division and risk the public debate being dominated by extreme
groups on both sides of the secular-religious divide. One possible method to
build consensus between political, religious and civil society actors on a
mediating discourse could be to explore alternative mechanisms for managing
tensions in the body politic caused by jurisdictional conflicts.
An independent mediation committee set up in the
Federation’s different states might be helpful in this regard. In legal terms,
mediation is a voluntary and non-binding process to handle a dispute before it
enters the court system. Mediation involves a mediator (or group of mediators)
who would help facilitate communication between the disputing parties, with the
aim of reaching a mutually amicable settlement.
The main rationale for mediation is to de-escalate
disputes that are known to cause societal tensions and contribute to the
secular-versus-religious polarising dynamic. It should be emphasised to the parties
in a dispute that participation is voluntary. The mediators who perform these
duties should also do so without any vested interest in the outcome. The
independent mediation committee could ideally comprise a multitude of
professionals from the secular and religious fields, such as counsellors,
lawyers and inter-faith religious scholars with the goal of dispute resolution.
The mediation process could help provide an educative
function for Malaysian society too. Positive resolutions from such an arrangement
could do much to promote a broader mediating socio-political discourse – one
that is based on fairness, justice, equality and harmony. This would be a step
in the right direction enabling the state to build on the political and social
will generated to address fundamental conflicts between the two court
jurisdictions in a meaningful manner.
Full report at:policyforum.net/malaysias-secular-versus-religious-divide/
Myanmar Muslims on trial for illegally importing 90 cows
for Eid al-Adha
Yangon: Three Muslim men went on trial in Myanmar Monday
for illegally importing nearly 100 cows that have spent the last month under
police protection, in a case Islamic leaders say targets their religion.
The cows were intended to be ritually slaughtered for the
Islamic festival of Eid al-Adha last month, an event that has become a
flashpoint for Myanmar’s Buddhist nationalists.
Hardline monks, including firebrand Wirathu from the Ma
Ba Tha movement, have railed against the practice and pressured local
authorities to ban it.
Police took possession of 92 cattle last month when a
local monk, Pa Mouk Kha, complained they had been brought into the country
They have been keeping the animals in a football ground
north of Yangon for just under a month at a cost of some $300 a day — spending
more than $8,000 so far. Two cows have since died.
The monks have drawn derision from social media users,
who have called the case a waste of public resources in a country where one in
four lives below the poverty line.
On Monday, the three defendants appeared before the
court, charged with illegal trading for allegedly importing the cows without
the proper paperwork.
One of them, Myo Myint, in his 60s, has heart disease and
had to be supported by police as he approached the courtroom.
His son, Ye Zarni Tun We, said he was “sure” the animals
were bought in Myanmar, adding: “We have documents for purchasing the cows.”
The men were remanded in custody until their next
hearing, while police are still looking for more than 30 other people linked to
the case. The cows will soon be auctioned off.
Kyaw Nyein, leader of local Muslim group Ulama Islam,
said the case amounted to religious persecution.
“They did not act illegally,” he said. “I am not sure
whether they technically broke the rules or not, but I think this case is
concerned with religious affairs.”
Islamophobic sentiment has grown in Myanmar, especially
since deadly communal violence erupted between Buddhists and stateless Rohingya
Muslims in western Rakhine state in 2012.
Tensions flared on Sunday when nine police officers were
killed in a series of attacks on three border posts, which local officials said
were carried out by Rohingya.
Burmese Muslims also complain of being treated as
second-class citizens in their own country, told they are foreigners and
legally restricted from marrying Buddhist women.
While Ma Ba Tha has lost prominence since Aung San Suu
Kyi’s democratically elected party took power in March, it remains a powerful
political force among Myanmar’s devout Buddhists.
Full report at:siasat.com/news/myanmar-muslims-trial-illegally-importing-90-cows-eid-al-adha-1038745/
Jakarta police probe mosque vandalism amid tension ahead
10 October, 2016
Indonesian police on Monday urged Muslims to stay calm
and not be "provoked" by the vandalism of a mosque in the capital,
aiming to dispel fears of growing ethnic tension in the run-up to next year's
election for the governor of Jakarta.
Over the weekend, white Christian crosses were found
spray-painted at several locations, including on the green gates of the Al
Falah Mosque in Jakarta, the largest city in the world's most populous
The incident risks fueling already simmering tension
ahead of February's election, which pits the Christian and ethnic Chinese
incumbent, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, against Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono, a son of
former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, and the previous education minister,
Yudhoyono and Baswedan are both Muslim in a nation where
about 90 percent of the 250-million population follows Islam.
Indonesia also has a sizeable ethnic Chinese minority,
many of whom are Buddhist. The country has a history of anti-Chinese violence,
most sharply in the late 1990s amid the political and economic crisis that
brought down authoritarian ruler Suharto.
Police were still looking for the vandal, Jakarta police
spokesman Awi Setiyono said, adding that it was uncertain whether the act was
linked to the election. "We urge the public not to be influenced and to
Purnama, better known by his nickname "Ahok",
became Jakarta's first ethnic Chinese governor in 2014, after then-governor
Joko Widodo stepped down to successfully run for president.
Hardline Muslim groups had opposed his rise to power.
Purnama has a reputation as a tough reformer, but he has
recently come under attack from several Muslim groups for allegedly insulting
the religion's holy book, the Koran.
Muhammadiyah, one of the country's biggest Muslim
organizations, had asked the police to investigate Purnama for alleged
During a visit to an Indonesian island last month,
Purnama referred to a verse from the Koran that seemed to suggest it was
unIslamic to vote for a leader of a different religion, according to a video
circulated on social media.
"Insulting a religion and spreading hatred among
Muslims is a criminal case," Pedri Kasman, an official at Muhammadiyah's
youth wing, which filed the police report, told Reuters.
Purnama's words were taken out of context and incorrectly
linked to religious defamation, said Mohamad Guntur Romli, an official of his
election campaign. Political opponents had been fanning tension ahead of the
election, he added.
While most Indonesians are rational and will choose a
leader based on merit, some camps would still vote along racial or religious
lines, said Irine Gayatri, a political analyst at government body the
Indonesian Institute of Sciences.
"Race and religion are a convenient tool that can
easily be exploited by political opponents," she added.
Full report at:in.reuters.com/article/indonesia-crime-election-idINKCN12A10B
Russia Plans Permanent Naval Facility in Syrian Port of
TEHRAN (FNA)- Russia's deputy defense minister said the
Russian military plans to expand its supply base in Syrian port of Tartus into
a fully-fledged permanent naval base.
“We are going to have a permanent Navy base in Tartus. We
have prepared the paperwork, which is now being reviewed by other government
agencies. The documents are pretty much ready, so we hope to submit them to you
for ratification soon,” General Nikolay Pankov, deputy defense minister
responsible for communication with other parts of the Russian government, told
the Russia's Federation Council, RT reported.
The Russian facility in Tartus has long been used to
resupply Russian warships during Mediterranean Sea missions. The facility has
been in place since 1977, and after the collapse of the Soviet Union it was
used to resupply and repair Russian warships deployed to missions in the
Mediterranean Sea, but did not serve as a permanent base for any of them.
Last week Russia confirmed delivery of an advanced
anti-aircraft missile system to Tartus to protect the port facility and mooring
warships from potential airstrikes and missile attacks.
The delivery came amid media reports that the Pentagon
planned a massive cruise missile attack on Syrian airfields, which would
dismantle Damascus’ aerial capabilities.
The US accuses Syria and Russia of perpetrating war
crimes in Syria over the offensive operation against militant forces in Eastern
Russia says the operation followed US failure to deliver
on its promise to separate the so-called militants form terrorist groups in
Aleppo and that Washington is playing the blame game to draw attention away
from its failures.
Full report at:en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950719000759
German police detain Syrian man wanted in alleged bomb
BERLIN — German police said early Monday that they have
detained a 22-year-old Syrian man who was the subject of a nationwide hunt and
is believed to have been preparing a bomb attack.
Jaber Albakr was detained overnight in the eastern city
of Leipzig, police in the eastern state of Saxony tweeted. They were not
immediately reachable for further details.
Albakr, from the Damascus area of Syria, escaped the
authorities Saturday during a raid of his apartment in nearby Chemnitz.
Investigators said they found "several hundred grams" of a volatile
explosive hidden in the apartment, enough to cause significant damage.
The weekend raid came after Saxony police were given a
tip from Germany's domestic intelligence service that Albakr may be planning an
attack. He had been on the agency's radar, but police said over the weekend
that it was not clear for how long.
On Saturday morning, as police prepared to raid the
apartment building, Albakr was observed leaving the premises. Police fired a
warning shot but were unable to stop him.
Experts are trying to determine whether the explosives
they found in the apartment were the same ones used in the deadly Nov. 13
attacks in Paris and the March 22 attacks in Brussels. The explosives used in
those attacks are known as TATP, or triacetone triperoxide.
TATP has been used in many attacks over the years, and is
favored by violent extremists because it's fairly easy to make and detonate.
The explosives were destroyed Saturday in a controlled
detonation by bomb squad experts in a pit dug outside the five-story apartment
building because they were considered too dangerous to transport.
German media have reported that Albakr is believed to be
connected to Islamic extremist groups, but Saxony police have not commented on
his possible motive or the bomb plot's target.
Germany has been on edge since two attacks this summer
claimed by the Islamic State group in which multiple people were injured and
both assailants died. Two other attacks unrelated to Islamic extremism,
including a deadly mall shooting in Munich, have also contributed to fears.
During the manhunt, federal police had increased security
around the country, particularly around "critical infrastructure"
like train stations and airports.
The authorities said that Albakr had come to Germany in
the flood of 890,000 migrants who entered the country in 2015 and had been
An Anti-Muslim Vigilante Group Is Roaming The Melbourne
CBD Pledging To “Keep Our Streets Safe”
A pack of anti-Islam, anti-immigration “patriots” are
operating “safety patrols” in inner-city Melbourne, in response to a perceived
uptick in violent gang-related crime. But despite being motivated by race,
they’re totally not racists you guys. No way, no how.
Soldiers of Odin Australia is an offshoot of the
far-right Finnish organisation of the same name. According to their Melbourne
Facebook page, which is riddled with nauseating memes and Islamophobic rhetoric
including a video that refers to gangs of Muslims who “systematically raped and
abused thousands of young girls” in Europe, the group is opposed to “mass
uncivilised immigration” and stands for “mateship and community”.
The page also insists that the Soldiers of Odin is
definitely not “a racist group”, “a National Socialist group”, “a drug gang” or
“a criminal organisation”. How very reassuring. “We’re fed up and our
communities are fed up,” national president Jay B Moore told The Age. “We’re
going where Apex and other gangs are popping up and causing trouble.”
“Our main goal is to make and keep our streets safe,” he
said, adding that the group believes in “old-school Aussie values.”
Members of the Solider of Odin wear leather jackets
emblazoned with a Viking helmet and an Australian flag. They are reportedly
patrolling the area around Federation Square, Birrarung Marr and Bourke Street
Mall in the Melbourne CBD, as well as outer suburbs including Werribee,
Ringwood and Frankston.
The group claims to have more than 100 members around the
country, with divisions operating in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and
Adelaide. The Age reports that they prefer the description “patriotic social
club” to “vigilantes”.
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