New Age Islam News Bureau
27 Jan 2016
Photo: A US Navy warship on Wednesday morning received a serious warning from several Iranian destroyers to keep away from their drill zone near the Strait of Hormuz, an incident that can keep frictions high after Iran captured 10 US marines in the Persian Gulf earlier this month.
• Ban Ki-Moon Calls Israeli Settlement Expansion an 'Affront' To the World
• Another Iran-US Showdown in Persian Gulf: US Warship Shooed Away
• Army Underlines Recapturing of Sheikh Meskeen as New Cornerstone of Syria's War on Terrorism
• President: Formation of Terror States Prevented by Iran
• Iran Eager to Cooperate with S. Korea to Construct Small Reactors, Large N. Power Plants
• Kuwait, Iraq say Opec will not cut output alone
• ISIL Executes Own Several senior Commanders in Iraq's Kirkuk
• ISIL Leader Al-Baghdadi Returns to Iraq
• Syria: 30 ISIL Members Killed In Deir Ezzur
• Mass Grave Unearthed in Iraq's Ramadi
• Yemen's fugitive President, Mansour Hadi Planning to Leave Aden Again
• Militant Strongholds Hit Hard By Syrian Missiles, Warplanes North Of Dara'a
• Militants Retreat from More Territories North Of Syria's Hama
• Militants Suffer Major Losses in Syrian Air, Ground Raids across Idlib
• Syrian Armed Forces Inflict Major Losses on Terrorists in Damascus
• Yemeni Forces Destroy Saudi-Led Coalition's Arms Depot in Ta'iz Province
• Afghan President Vows to ‘Bury’ Islamic State Group's Affiliate in His Country
• Leader of Tajik Terrorist Movement Jamaat Ansarullah Killed In Afghanistan
• Seven Daesh terrorists arrested in Nangarhar
• NDS seizes arms cache of Taliban in Maidan Wardak
• NDS busted six terrorist groups in past two weeks
• Taliban cut power supply cables as military offensive intensifies in Baghlan
• Afghanistan among three corrupt countries of 2015
• 26/11 Mumbai Attacks: Pakistan Court Refuses Voice Samples of Suspects
• Afghan Soil Used For BKU Attack, Envoy Told
• Security Forces Recover Huge Cache of Weapons in Peshawar Raids
• Opposition sees no major progress on NAP
• Pakistan blocks over 400,000 porn sites
• Magnitude 4.1 quake felt in parts of Punjab
• Pakistan only Saarc country to improve Corruption Perceptions Index score: TI
• Fresh Bid by India to Corner JeM Chief Masood Azhar as a Global Terrorist Likely
• Indian Cricketer’s Pakistani Fan Arrested for Hoisting Tri-Colour on His Home
• Dargah diplomacy: Pakistan PM's Brother Cancels Visit to Nizamuddin Auliya
• IAF fighter shoots down suspicious object in Rajasthan near Pakistan Border
• India-Pakistan foreign secretaries may meet in early February
• Kenyan Troops Pull Out of Somali Towns after Deadly Attack
• Libya Peace Deal Could Be 'Changed'
• More Than 1,200 Boat Migrants Rescued Off Libya
• Libya: Growing Human Rights Crisis
• New Libya unity government to be proposed 'within 10 days'
Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau
Ban Ki-Moon Calls Israeli Settlement Expansion an 'Affront' To the World
Tuesday 26 January 2016
Israel’s Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, has accused UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, of giving a “tailwind to terror” after the UN head criticised Israel for continuing to build settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories and describing it as an affront to the Palestinian people and the international community.
In unusually strong language, Ban also questioned Israel’s commitment to a two-state solution, claiming Palestinian violence was the result of “frustration”.
“Palestinian frustration is growing under the weight of a half-century of occupation and the paralysis of the peace process,” Ban told a UN security council meeting on Tuesday. He called the settlement building “an affront to the Palestinian people and to the international community”.
He also rejected the prospect of Israeli security measures on the West Bank bringing an end to the latest cycle of violence, which began in October.
“Security measures alone will not stop the violence. They cannot address the profound sense of alienation and despair driving some Palestinians – especially young people.”
Ban’s comments triggered the latest in a recent series of diplomatic spats between Netanyahu and various foreign leaders and organisations.
In recent weeks Netanyahu and his right-wing coalition have been embroiled in fierce exchanges with the EU, the Swedish foreign minister, Margot Wallström, and with the US ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, who have all made critical comments.
Ban attracted Israeli ire over remarks about the current violence between Israelis and Palestinians he made ahead of a UN Security Council debate on the Middle East, including the Palestinian question, when he condemned attacks but added: “It is human nature to react to occupation, which often serves as a potent incubator of hate and extremism.”
The Israeli government claims the violence is the result of Palestinian incitement.
Responding to Ban’s remarks, Netanyahu said: “The secretary general’s remarks provide a tailwind for terror. There is no justification for terror. Those Palestinians who murder do not want to build a state, they want to destroy a state, and they say this openly.”
“They want to murder Jews for being Jews and they say this openly. They do not murder for peace and they do not murder for human rights.”
Netanyahu added: “The UN has long lost its neutrality and moral power; these comments by the secretary general do little to improve its standing.” Ban’s comments were also criticised by other Israeli political figures.
The latest row comes amid warnings from diplomats – and some Israeli analysts – that Israel is becoming increasingly isolated on the diplomatic stage.
The Palestinians want an independent state in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, which Israel captured in the 1967 war. The last round of peace talks broke down in April 2014, and Israeli-Palestinian violence has surged in recent months.
Israel recently confirmed that it would appropriate a large tract of fertile land in the occupied West Bank. The land is near Jordan, in an area where Israel already has many illegal settlement farms built on land Palestinians seek for a state.
Ban said he was “deeply troubled” by reports that the Israeli government had approved plans for more than 150 new homes in “illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank”.
“These provocative acts are bound to increase the growth of settler populations, further heighten tensions and undermine any prospects for a political road ahead,” Ban told a United Nations Security Council meeting on the Middle East.
Samantha Power, US ambassador to the United Nations, said Washington also strongly opposed settlement activity.
“Steps aimed at advancing the Israeli settlement programme … are fundamentally incompatible with the two-state solution and raise legitimate questions about Israel’s long-term intentions,” Power told the council.
About 550,000 Jewish settlers live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, according to Israeli government and think-tank statistics. About 350,000 Palestinians live in East Jerusalem and 2.7 million in the West Bank.
Riyad Mansour, the chief Palestinian delegate at the United Nations, called on the Security Council take action against Israeli settlements.
“It must involve measures by all states and go beyond not rendering aid or assistance to holding Israel accountable for its actions,” Mansour said.
Another Iran-US Showdown in Persian Gulf: US Warship Shooed Away
January 27th, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- A US Navy warship on Wednesday morning received a serious warning from several Iranian destroyers to keep away from their drill zone near the Strait of Hormuz, an incident that can keep frictions high after Iran captured 10 US marines in the Persian Gulf earlier this month.
Iran is running major naval wargames in its waters in the Persian Gulf. The high-profile Velayat exercises by the Iranian Navy is an annual event and all shipping lines and Naval vessels in the region are informed of the area of the drills according to international maritime and naval standards that require all foreign ships and vessels to keep some 5 nautical miles away from the wargames zone.
The warship was sailing near the Strait of Hormuz where the Iranian forces were staging the main phase of the Velayat 94 massive wargames along the country's Southeastern Makran seashores on the rims of the Persian Gulf on Wednesday.
According to the Iranian Army, the US warship left the region immediately after receiving the warning.
On January 12, nine men and one woman from the US Navy strayed into the Iranian territorial waters near the Farsi Island in the Persian Gulf. They were immediately captured by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).
Their boats were equipped with 50mm caliber machine guns and other light and semi-heavy weapons. Many regional analysts have also praised the IRGC's brave reaction to the US aggression.
The IRGC freed the 10 a day later and after it was proved that the US marines had strayed into Iranian waters only due to the failure of their navigation devices and equipment.
Army Underlines Recapturing of Sheikh Meskeen as New Cornerstone of Syria's War on Terrorism
January 27th, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Armed Forces' General Command underscored that restoring security and stability to Sheikh Meskeen city North of Dara'a province has strengthened the pro-government forces' combat morale in their battle against terrorism and extremism.
"Establishing control over the city, located in the northern countryside of Dara'a province, has dealt a major blow to the terrorist groups and their foreign supporters," the General Command said in a statement.
"The importance of this achievement comes from the strategic location of Sheikh Meskeen city as it links Dara'a city and the Northern, Eastern and Western territories of Dara'a, in addition to the fact that it overlooks a number of strategic points and hills," the statement added.
"Controlling Sheikh Meskeen helps cut off the terrorists’ supply lines on several directions and enhances the security of the area surrounding the international highway between Damascus and Dara'a," the Army Command pointed out.
On Tuesday, the Syrian army alongside the popular forces, backed up by the Russian and Syrian fighter jets, drove the militant groups back from the entire districts of the strategic city of Sheikh Meskeen following hours of heavy battles.
"The Syrian army troops and the National Defense Forces continued to advance against the militants in Sheikh Meskeen and took full control over the strategic city after killing and wounding scores of the terrorists," the army said.
"The Russian and Syrian fighter jets, in a series of join operations, targeted the militant groups in various districts of the city and paved the way for the rapid advances of the pro-government force," the army further added.
President: Formation of Terror States Prevented by Iran
January 27th, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- President Hassan Rouhani said Iran's regional efforts have helped stop foreign-backed extremist outfits from establishing terror states in the Middle East.
"Iran is at the forefront of the fight against terrorism and extremism," Rouhani said Tuesday night, addressing an Iranian-Italian forum in Rome.
Rouhani said if it had not been for Iran's active role in fighting terrorism, "we would have probably witnessed by now terror states and not terrorist groups threatening global peace and security".
"The world now acknowledges the fact that Iran is playing a key role in global affairs. Global powers also admit they cannot resolve regional issues in the absence of Iran," he added.
Rouhani arrived in Rome on Monday at the head of a delegation of more than 100 businessmen and ministers. He met with Italian President Sergio Mattarella, the country's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and Pope Francis.
During the meeting with President Rouhani in Vatican on Tuesday, Pope Francis underlined the need for Iran to play a leading role in campaign against terrorism.
Also in a joint press conference with President Rouhani in Rome on Monday, Renzi said that it will be easier to win the War on Terror in cooperation with Iran.
"We should fight terrorism all together, with the presence of Iran at the negotiating table at the international fora," he said.
Renzi went on to state that “Iran plays a fundamental role in the stability of the Middle East region which is struggling with years of extremism and terrorism”.
Iran Eager to Cooperate with S. Korea to Construct Small Reactors, Large N. Power Plants
January 27th, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi underlined his country's enthusiasm for the further expansion of ties and cooperation with South Korea in building small reactors and large nuclear power plants.
"We are interested in the development of cooperation to construct small reactors and big nuclear power plants," Salehi said in a meeting with South Korean Ambassador to Tehran Kim Sung-ho on Tuesday.
He added that Iran also seeks to broaden relations with Seoul in manufacturing advanced nuclear medicine equipment and other fields of peaceful nuclear technology.
Sung-ho, for his part, stressed that the July nuclear deal has opened a new chapter in mutual cooperation, and said, "Nuclear energy can be an engine for a leap in bilateral ties."
During the meeting, the two officials also underscored the necessity for deepening the bilateral relations and cooperation in industrial, nuclear and other arenas with the capacity to expand.
Last July, after Iran reached a deal with the five permanent United Nations Security Council members plus Germany, South Korea announced that it will actively support local companies' inroads into the Iranian market following the landmark agreement reached over the country's nuclear program.
Seoul said that it will also seek to sign shipping-related agreements, expand bilateral customs cooperation for increased trade, and help small and medium-sized enterprises forge ties with their Iranian counterparts.
Kuwait, Iraq say Opec will not cut output alone
January 27th, 2016
KUWAIT CITY: The Kuwaiti and Iraqi oil ministers said on Tuesday that Opec will not cut production unless producers outside the cartel do the same, despite the plunge in crude prices.
“Opec cannot cut its production unless there is a similar reduction by producers outside Opec,” Kuwait’s acting oil minister, Anas al-Saleh, told reporters on the sidelines of an oil conference.
“I don’t see any logic in Opec cutting production while non-Opec (countries) don’t cut,” Saleh said.
Iraqi Oil Minister Adel Abdulmahdi said Baghdad was “ready to cooperate” on cutting production to raise oil prices, but only if non-Opec producers did so as well.
The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) has refused to cut production despite a drop in oil prices to 13-year lows.
Led by Gulf producers, the cartel is refusing to reduce crude output as it seeks to drive less competitive players, including US shale producers, out of the market.
Oil prices rose above $30 a barrel on Tuesday after a brief dip as the market was beset with worries about the global supply glut.
The Iraqi minister told the conference that at the current crude price, the majority of producers are selling oil at lower than the cost price.
He warned that if the energy crisis continues for a long time, prices could rebound strongly.
“If the energy crisis continues for a long period and investments drop, the price rebound will be sudden and strong,” Abdulmahdi said.
“The problem will become that of demand rather than oversupply.”
The minister said that the price of oil is expected to rise gradually to around $50 a barrel in the second half of this year.
Nizar al-Adsani, CEO of national oil firm Kuwait Petroleum Corp, said investment in global exploration and production dropped 20 per cent in 2015 from $850bn the previous year.
It is projected to drop 18pc more this year, Adsani said.
ISIL Executes Own Several senior Commanders in Iraq's Kirkuk
Jan 27, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- Several senior commanders of the ISIL terrorist group were executed by their own comrades in the city of Kirkuk in Northern Iraq, media reports said.
Four senior ISIL commanders, including Abu Saeid al-Araqi, were executed along with three other militants in Tal Kasiba region in the Northern part of Salahuddin province, the Arabic-language Sumeria news channel quoted Iraqi popular forces' commander Jabar al-Ma'amouri as saying on Tuesday.
Al-Araqi was a notorious ISIL commander in the Northern part of al-Meqdadiya region before Iraqi troops took it back on January 25.
Al-Ma'amouri noted that the ISIL is trying to compensate for its recent defeats against the Iraqi forces by executing its own commanders who have lost the ground to the government troops.
In a relevant move in late December, the ISIL Takfiri terrorist group killed at least 50 of its own militants in the city of Ramadi after they disobeyed orders to wear suicide belt and prepare for fatal attacks.
"The ISIL has buried the bodies of its disobedient members in different parts of Ramadi city," senior army commander in Anbar province Colonel Walid al-Dulaimi said.
He reiterated that the ISIL terrorists are committing barbaric crimes as the Iraqi forces are advancing in Ramadi city and they are going to lose the ground.
Other sources had informed FNA that the ISIL had executed many of its own members in Ramadi on charges of refusing suicide attacks in the battle against the Iraqi forces.
The Iraqi popular forces of Hashd al-Shaabi confirmed that the ISIL executed 50 of its own fighters because they refused to carry out suicide missions against the Iraqi armed forces.
ISIL Leader Al-Baghdadi Returns to Iraq
Jan 27, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- Head of Iraq's Badr Organization Hadi al-Ameri said the leader of the ISIL terrorist group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is now hiding in Iraq.
"Al-Baghdadi is in Iraq," Ameri said on Wednesday.
Earlier reports said in November that al-Baghdadi had moved from the Syrian city of Albu Kamal to the Iraqi city of Mosul in Nineveh province.
Later reports in December said he had moved to the Libyan town of Sirte after he was wounded in an Iraqi airstrike.
"Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as moved from Turkey to Libya to escape the hunt operation of the Baghdad Intelligence Sharing Center after he was traced down and allegedly targeted a number of times in Iraq and the Syria," sources said on December 8.
Sources in Libya said al-Baghdadi has arrived in Sirte, the hometown of the slain Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, which is under the control of the Takfiri groups.
The ISIL Leader is running a secret life as his life is at stake more than anyone in the world now. Al-Baghdad's terrorist group is under massive airstrike by the Syrian, Russian and Iraqi Air Forces all throughout the Western Iraq and Eastern Syria.
Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941107001073
Syria: 30 ISIL Members Killed in Deir Ezzur
Jan 27, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army, backed up by Russian air support, managed to hunt tens of ISIL Takfiri militants in the Western parts of Deir Ezzur province.
The Syrian army killed 30 ISIL members during a battle against the terrorists at Ayyash warehouses, Baqaliyeh.
The Syrian army is engaged in fierce clashes with ISIL militants in the Western countryside of Deir Ezzur province now.
Other Syrian army units also clashed with the Wahhabi-Takfiri terrorists, in al-Rushdiye neighborhood in Deir Ezzur city, inflicting heavy losses on them.
In the course of the current week, the Syrian army also imposed huge damage on terrorists' hardware, and destroyed their weapons and munitions during clashes in several Deir Ezzur city's neighborhoods.
The Syrian army also foiled several attempts by the ISIL terrorists to capture the hilltops overlooking the coastal area of Baqaliyeh town in Deir Ezzur province, inflicting heavy losses on the militants.
Mass Grave Unearthed in Iraq's Ramadi
January 27th, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- A mass grave containing bodies of Iraqi citizens and security forces who had been executed by the ISIL has been discovered in the Eastern part of Mosul province, media reports said.
"The mass grave containing 40 bodies was discovered in Ramadi city," the Arabic-language service of Russia Today quoted Iraqi Interior Ministry Spokesman Sa'ad Ma'an as saying on Wednesday.
He noted that most of the discovered dead bodies belonged to the Iraqi security forces and civilians who were captured last May when the ISIL took control of the city.
The ISIL Takfiri terrorists currently control shrinking swathes of Syria and Iraq. They have threatened all communities, including Shiites, Sunnis, Kurds, Christians, Ezadi Kurds and others, as they continue their atrocities in Iraq.
Senior Iraqi officials have blamed Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and some Persian Gulf Arab states for the growing terrorism in their country.
The ISIL has links with Saudi intelligence and is believed to be indirectly supported by the Israeli regime.
Yemen's fugitive President, Mansour Hadi Planning to Leave Aden Again
Jan 27, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- Yemen's fugitive President Mansour Hadi is planning to leave the city of Aden for Riyadh in the coming days again, media reports said.
"Hadi will travel to Riyadh to meet Saudi King Salman and review the latest battlefield conditions in the war," the Arabic-language Okaz newspaper quoted Hadi's press secretary Mokhtar al-Rahbi as saying on Wednesday.
This is the third time that Hadi leaves Aden for Riyadh over past few months.
In a relevant development in late December, the Hadi's palace in Aden became under the siege of his opponent forces and he was most likely to flee Yemen.
A newly-formed militant group calling itself 'Southern Yemen's Resistance Forces' have besieged Hadi's place of residence in Aden, Arab media outlets reported on December 23.
Political analysts speculate that the siege of Hadi's palace has taken place with the greenlight of the United Arab Emirates as a result of a row between the UAE and Saudi Arabia over Hadi and his Prime Minister Khaled Bahah.
Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941107001081
Militant Strongholds Hit Hard by Syrian Missiles, Warplanes North of Dara'a
January 27th, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army missiles units, for the second day in a row, shelled the militant groups' positions along the road between the newly-liberated city of Sheikh Meskeen and Nawa, killing or wounding several terrorists, FNA dispatches said Wednesday.
The militants, who had fled the battlefield of Sheikh Meskeen to evade more casualties, sustained a heavy death toll after the Syrian missiles targeted them on their new positions.
In the meantime, the Syrian fighter jets bombed the militant groups' sites near the town al-Swara in the Southern province, which destroyed the site's infrastructures.
In relevant developments in the Southern battlefronts of the country on Tuesday, Syria's armed forces, in coordination with the popular defense forces, pounded terrorists' position in Dara'a city in heavy artillery attacks.
During the special operations against the Takfiri terrorists gatherings in Dara'a al-Mahatta and Dara'a al-Balad neighborhoods, Syrian pro-government forces destroyed the militants' fortifications, hideouts and vehicles, killing scores of the militants.
Syrian soldiers, in separate developments in al-Abbasiyeh neighborhood, al-Bajabja area and the surroundings of Um al-Daraj well in Dara'a al-Balad, annihilated militants' vehicles and hardware, killing scores of al-Nusra members and fighters of other Takfiri terrorist groups.
Militants Retreat from More Territories North of Syria's Hama
January 27th, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army announced on Wednesday that its soldiers and popular forces drove the militant groups back from more territories in the Northern part of Hama.
"The Syrian army troops, the National Defense Forces (NDF) and Kataebat al-Ba’ath (Al-Ba’ath Battalions) launched a surprise assault on the village of Abu al-Ghar, striking the defensive positions of Ahrar al-Sham and Ajnad al-Sham, while the Syrian Air Force bombarded the Hama-Idlib border in order to prevent any reinforcements from coming to Hama province to help the terrorist groups," the army said.
"Following a long battle with the militant groups that lasted almost 8 hours, the Syrian army men and their allies seized all of the military posts leading to Abu al-Ghar from the strategic village of al-Sa’an in the Northern part of Hama," the army added.
Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941107000773
Syrian Armed Forces Inflict Major Losses on Terrorists in Damascus
January 27th, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- Scores of militants were killed or wounded in the Syrian Army and Air Forces' offensives across Eastern and Western Ghouta in Damascus province, the army said Wednesday.
"The Syrian fighter jets, in a fresh round of combat sorties, targeted the militant groups' defense lines near the town of Douma in Eastern Ghouta, which left several terrorists dead and several more wounded," the army said.
"In the meantime, the Syrian army's artillery units shelled the terrorist groups' strongholds in Jobar, Zamalka and Douma in Eastern Ghouta and Darayya in Western Ghouta, which ended in the killing or wounding of tens of the militants," the army went on to say.
"Also, the Syrian army raided the militant groups' centers in al-Bilaliyeh in Eastern Ghouta and destroyed their military hardware in large scale," the army said.
Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941107000604
Militants Suffer Major Losses in Syrian Air, Ground Raids across Idlib
January 27th, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army and Air Force continued to target the militant groups' gathering centers in the Southern territories of Idlib province on Wednesday, and inflicted a heavy death toll on the terrorists.
The Syrian fighter jets carried out several combat sorties over the militant groups' concentration centers near the town of Ariha, and the cities of Saraqib and Tamanna and the village of Jarjnaz in the Southern part of the province, which ended in the killing and wounding of many militants and destruction of their military hardware.
In the meantime, the Syrian army stormed the militant groups' fortified strongholds of Ahrar al-Sham near Jarjnaz, killed four terrorists and injured several others.
Also on Tuesday, the Syrian fighter jets, in two separate air raids, targeted the militant groups' positions near the border of Hama and Idlib provinces.
The militant groups' strongholds near the town of Tamanna in the Southern part of Idlib province and in Kafr Zita in the Northern territories of Hama province were massively bombed by the Syrian air fleet.
The militant sites in both Tamanna and Kafr Zita sustained heavy losses, and in the meantime, the attacks inflicted a heavy death toll on the terrorists too.
Yemeni Forces Destroy Saudi-Led Coalition's Arms Depot in Ta'iz Province
January 27th, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Yemeni army and volunteer forces destroyed an arms depot of the Saudi-led coalition in Ta'iz province.
"The Saudi forces' logistical and arms depot was destroyed in the Yemeni forces' missile attacks in Al-Ahyouq region in Ta'iz province," a Yemeni military official told FNA on Wednesday.
He said that a large column of smoke could be seen after the Yemeni missiles hit the Saudi arms depot.
Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941107000625
Afghan President Vows to ‘Bury’ Islamic State Group's Affiliate In His Country
AFP | Jan 25, 2016
KABUL: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has vowed to "bury" the Islamic State group's affiliate in his country, a report said, after Washington granted the US military legal authority to strike the jihadists in the country.
The group, which controls territory across Syria and Iraq, has made alarming inroads in Afghanistan's eastern Nangarhar province, as the country grapples with a resurgent Taliban insurgency.
ISIS jihadists claimed responsibility for a deadly gun and bomb siege targeting the Pakistani consulate in eastern Jalalabad city on January 13, the group's first major attack in an Afghan city. In recent months Afghan forces backed by US drones launched a scorched earth offensive to beat back ISIS in Nangarhar, where the group's rein of terror has displaced thousands of people.
Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Afghan-president-vows-to-bury-Islamic-State-franchise/articleshow/50719118.cms
Leader of Tajik terrorist movement Jamaat Ansarullah killed in Afghanistan
Jan 27 2016
Tajikistan says Mullah Amriddin, the leader of banned Tajik movement of Jamaat Ansarullah has been killed in Afghanistan, Interfax news agency reports.
The country’s Interior Minister Ramazon Rahimzoda told a press conference on Monday that Mullah Amriddin was killed during a special operation.
“The fate of Mullah Amriddin is already decided. He was killed in Afghanistan, approximately six months ago. He was killed during a special operation,” according to Interfax, Rahimzoda said during the Monday press conference.
Amriddin Tabarov, also known as Mullah Amriddin, was a field commander from the United Tajik Opposition front during the 1992-97 civil war in Tajikistan.
Full report at: khaama.com/leader-of-tajik-terrorist-movement-jamaat-ansarullah-killed-in-afghansitan-4518
Seven Daesh terrorists arrested in Nangarhar
Wed Jan 27 2016
Nangarhar police have arrested seven terrorists belonging to Islamic State (IS) which is locally known as Daesh.
A statement released by the Police headquarters of Nangarhar province states that the terrorists were rounded up during separate raids in Achin, Kot and Rodat districts.
They are identified as Mohammad Yaqoub and Khal Murad, both residents of Dara-e-Sof District of Samangan province, Aslam a resident of Sangin District of Helmand province, Bilal a resident of Spin Boldak District of Kandahar, Abdul Noor a resident of Tarin Kot District of Urozgan province, Qari Zakir a resident of Pachi District and Haris a resident of Rodat District.
The statement further states that the arrested terrorists were busy in terrorist activities in Achin Kot and Haska Mina districts.
January has been one of the awful months for Daesh in Nangarhar province.
The group lost hundreds of fighters in military operations, airstrikes and in clashes with Taliban. Dozens of other fighters of the group have been arrested and sent to prison.
NDS seizes arms cache of Taliban in Maidan Wardak
Jan 27 2016
The National Directorate of Security (NDS) – Afghanistan’s intelligence agency has seized an arms cache of Taliban militants in Jalriz District of central Maidan Wardak province.
A statement released by NDS on Wednesday states that explosive materials and rounds of different types of heavy and light weapons were hidden in the cache.
“Terrorists planned to target vehicles with these materials on Kabul-Ghazni highway but luckily the cache was seized and several terrorist activities prevented,” the statement adds.
Although, the press release does not contain exact date of the achievement but it is normal that NDS release statements after recent activities.
NDS busted six terrorist groups in past two weeks
By Khaama Press - Tue Jan 26 2016
The National Directorate of Security (NDS) – Afghanistan’s intelligence agency has busted six terrorist groups in past two weeks.
According to a statement released by NDS on Tuesday, the groups were busted in Logar, Helmand, Kandahar, Takhar, Paktika and Faryab province.
“The terrorists planned to kill people and carry out other terrorist and destructive activities in the mentioned provinces,” the statement adds.
According to the information released, two of the 23 terrorists detained were planning to carry out suicide attacks.
NDS press release further states that three huge depots weapons belonging to the terrorists were also discovered during the past two weeks in which several different types of heavy and lights weapons, ammunition and bombs were found.
Taliban cut power supply cables as military offensive intensifies in Baghlan
By Khaama Press - Wed Jan 27 2016
Taliban militants have cut cables supplying power to Kabul amid a heavy crackdown against them by the security forces in parts of northern Baghlan province.
More than two dozen insurgents have been reportedly killed and wounded during the crackdown since Tuesday.
Two commanders of the group Qari Bashir and Qari Juma Gul are among the over 15 militants killed in the operation.
Local officials say Taliban have retreated from many areas and the operation still continues near the provincial capital Pul-i-Khumri. More than 2,000 troops are part of the operation.
Full report at: khaama.com/taliban-cut-power-supply-cables-as-military-offensive-intensifies-in-baghlan-4520
Afghanistan among three corrupt countries of 2015
Wed Jan 27 2016
Afghanistan has been listed third after Somalia and North Korea in the Corruption Perceptions Index 2015 of Transparency International.
In Afghanistan, millions of dollars that should have gone on reconstruction have been reportedly wasted or stolen, seriously undermining efforts to sustain peace, the report states.
It adds that child labour remains a sad reality in environment where citizens are trapped in poverty and corrupt officials can be paid off.
Other causes of the devastation fuelled by corruption include human trafficking, child mortality, poor education standards, environmental destruction and terrorism.
Full report at: khaama.com/afghanistan-third-corrupt-country-in-2015-4518
26/11 Mumbai attacks: Pakistan court refuses voice samples of suspects
PTI | Jan 27, 2016
ISLAMABAD: In a fresh setback to the Mumbai attack trial, a Pakistani court has dismissed the government's petition seeking voices samples of 26/11 mastermind Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and six other suspects in the case.
The prosecution had filed an application in the Islamabad high court seeking voice samples of the suspects to compare it with the communication intercepted by Indian intelligence and then present it before the anti-terrorism court (ATC) as evidence against the seven suspects in the Mumbai attack case.
The Islamabad high court on Monday dismissed the petition.
In 2011 and 2015, the issue of obtaining voice samples of Lakhvi had been dismissed by the trial court on the grounds that "no such law exists that allows obtaining of voice sample of an accused".
Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/26/11-Mumbai-attacks-Pakistan-court-refuses-voice-samples-of-suspects/articleshow/50740282.cms?
Afghan soil used for BKU attack, envoy told
January 26, 2016
ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office on Monday summoned the Afghan Charge d'Affaires, Syed Abdul Nasir Yousafi, to convey Pakistan's concern regarding the use of Afghan soil by terrorist elements in the Bacha Khan University attack, said a statement issued from the FO.
At the FO, Afghan envoy Yousafi was told that the university attack investigations had established that the mastermind, planners and handlers had used Afghan soil and telecommunication network for executing the deadly strike.
The statement further said relevant evidence had also been shared with the Afghan diplomat. It was conveyed to the Afghan government that they must take action against the perpetrators of the terrorist attack and extend cooperation to Pakistani authorities in order to bring them to justice, it added.
Full report at: dawn.com/news/1235516/afghan-soil-used-for-bku-attack-envoy-told
Security forces recover huge cache of weapons in Peshawar raids
ALI AKBAR, Jan 27, 2016
PESHAWAR: A joint team comprising police and intelligence officials on Wednesday recovered a huge cache of weapons and ammunition from different areas of Peshawar.
An official part of the joint team told DawnNews that raids were conducted at warehouses on GT road and Kohat road on prior intelligence.
Officials claim militants wanted to carry out a major act of terrorism in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's capital city, for which they were dumping dangerous weapons at the locations raided.
Full report at: dawn.com/news/1235733/security-forces-recover-huge-cache-of-weapons-in-peshawar-raids
Opposition sees no major progress on NAP
SYED IRFAN RAZA
ISLAMABAD, January 27th, 2016: Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khurshid Shah on Tuesday expressed concern over what he called ‘non-implementation’ of the National Action Plan.
Talking to reporters in his chamber at the parliament house, he called for a judicial probe into terrorist attacks in Peshawar’s Army Public School and Bacha Khan University in Charsadda.
He said people wanted to know who was responsible for the two attacks.
“I ask the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to conduct a judicial investigation into the two tragedies,” the PPP leader said.
“We do not know what actually happened in the Army Public School and Charsadda university and what is the outcome of any investigation carried out so far?”
Full report at: dawn.com/news/1235701/shah-sees-no-major-progress-on-nap
Pakistan to block over 400,000 porn websites
January 26, 2016
KARACHI: Pakistan is preparing to launch a major crackdown on internet pornography after its telecom regulator ordered internet service providers on Monday to block access to more than 400,000 adult websites.
Acess to sites featuring smut and pornographic material will be restricted at the domain level, sources familiar with the development confirmed this to The Express Tribune. Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has asked (ISPs) across Pakistan to block over 400,000 ‘pornographic websites’.
Bill proposes harsher penalty for child abuse, pornography
The directive was issued by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).
The move apparently follows a recent order by the Supreme Court wherein the telecom sector’s regulatory body had been asked to “take remedial steps to quantify the nefarious phenomenon of obscenity and pornography that has an imminent role to corrupt and vitiate the youth of Pakistan”.
Full report at: tribune.com.pk/story/1034224/objectionable-content-isps-ordered-to-block-400000-pornographic-websites/
Magnitude 4.1 quake felt in parts of Punjab
January 26, 2016
LAHORE: Quake tremors shook Lahore, Faisalabad, Nankana Sahib, Sargodha, Sialkot, Sheikhupura and other parts of Punjab on Wednesday.
The 4.1 magnitude quake was recorded at a focal depth of 10 kilometres, the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) said, with its epicentre near Nankana Sahib. The PMD earlier estimated the magnitude of the quake at 4.0.
Television footage showed electronic fixtures inside buildings shaking. The tremors caused fear and panic to spread among residents who vacated buildings and headed for open spaces.
Over a dozen small quakes have been felt in the region since 2016 began.
"[Our country is located] on an earthquake-prone belt, but this does not mean that things are dangerous for Pakistan all the time," Director General Met Dr Ghulam Rasul, the country’s top meteorologist, said earlier in January.
Full report at: dawn.com/news/1235717/magnitude-41-quake-felt-in-parts-of-punjab
Pakistan only Saarc country to improve Corruption Perceptions Index score: TI
January 27th, 2016
ISLAMABAD: The Transparency International (TI) maintained on Tuesday that Pakistan was the only country among the five Saarc countries that improved its Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) score.
The other four countries scored the same or less points as compared to the score in 2014, the TI said in its report on CPI 2015, to be formally launched on Wednesday.
TI Pakistan Chairman Sohail Muzaffar said in a statement that the CPI score for Pakistan had again increased by one point to 30, and the country’s rank had improved by three.
“Pakistan should have performed better, which can be achieved by having on-ground measures for the implementation of zero tolerance to corruption,” he added.
Full report at: dawn.com/news/1235708/pakistan-only-saarc-country-to-improve-corruption-perceptions-index-score-ti
Fresh Bid by India to Corner JeM Chief Masood Azhar as a Global Terrorist Likely
TNN | Jan 27, 2016
NEW DELHI: India could make a fresh bid to tag Jaish-e-Muhammad chief Masood Azhar, the alleged mastermind of the Pathankot attack, as a global terrorist. The move will also serve as a test for China, which had blocked an earlier Indian proposal to this effect at the United Nations Security Council in 2010 at the behest of Pakistan.
The government is considering reviving the request as it feels the current situation - where the evidence points to Jaish's hand in the terror strike, and with Pakistan itself detaining some members of the outfit - will make it difficult for China to oppose India's demand.
Given the strategic interests that bind China and Pakistan, including their militaries, Beijing will find it difficult to go against Pakistan's interests. But at the same time, China has condemned the attack on the Indian airbase, and is having to deal with Islamic extremists radicalised and trained in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Fresh-bid-to-corner-JeM-boss-likely/articleshow/50735370.cms?
Indian Cricketer’s Pakistani Fan Arrested for Hoisting Tri-Colour on His Home
PTI | Jan 27, 2016
LAHORE: A Pakistani die-hard fan of swashbuckling Indian batsman Virat Kohli has been arrested for hoisting the Indian tri-colour atop his home in Punjab Province which he had done to show his love for the cricketer.
Umar Draz, from Okara district of Punjab province, about 200 km from Lahore, was arrested on a complaint that he hoisted the Indian flag on the rooftop of his house as police raided his home on Tuesday.
Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/off-the-field/Virat-Kohlis-Pakistani-fan-arrested-for-hoisting-tri-colour/articleshow/50739794.cms
Dargah diplomacy: Pakistan PM's Brother Cancels Visit to Nizamuddin Auliya
Sachin Parashar | TNN | Jan 26, 2016
While the government will welcome Pakistani visitors to the Urs (death anniversary) of Nizamuddin Auliya later this week, missing among the guests will be Pakistan Punjab CM and PM Nawaz Sharif's brother Shehbaz Sharif.
Shehbaz had been invited for the urs and after briefly discussing the possibility of a meeting between him and PM Narendra Modi; both sides seem to have given up on his visit.
A visit by Shehbaz could have helped provide an impetus to religious tourism, or 'dargah diplomacy' as it has come to be known, which both sides are seeking to facilitate after they decided to resume the composite dialogue process last month under the new name of comprehensive bilateral dialogue.
As reported by TOI on December 20, Shehbaz had been invited for the Urs by the chief Khadim of Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah Tahir Nizami. "The response was very positive initially but now it seems he is not coming," said Nizami. After Modi dropping by in Lahore on Christmas, a visit by Shehbaz, both sides felt, could have further contributed to the optics of India's re-engagement with Pakistan.
Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Dargah-diplomacy-Pakistan-PMs-brother-Shehbaz-cancels-visit-to-Nizamuddin/articleshow/50732676.cms
IAF fighter shoots down suspicious object in Rajasthan near Pakistan Border
Rajat Pandit | TNN | Jan 26, 2016
NEW DELHI: A Sukhoi-30MKI fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force on Tuesday shot down a balloon-like suspicious object in Rajasthan.
IAF officials said the object was flying in from the western sector (implying Pakistani side) and was shot down on Tuesday morning.
"Between 10:3am and 11am today, an unidentified balloon shaped object was picked up by IAF radar. An IAF fighter was launched which intercepted the object and brought it down. Further investigation is underway," an IAF spokesperson said.
No one was hurt nor was any damage caused to the property in the area, IAF spokesman said in Jaipur.
Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/IAF-fighter-shoots-down-suspicious-object-in-Rajasthan/articleshow/50730664.cms
India-Pakistan foreign secretaries may meet in early February
Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury | ET Bureau | Jan 27, 2016
NEW DELHI: Foreign Secretaries of India and Pakistan who were earlier scheduled to meet in Islamabad on January 15-16 to finalise the modalities for Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue but postponed it following the Pathankot terror strikes are now exploring the possibility of holding their meeting towards end of first week or in the second week of February.
Officials from both sides have been in touch with each other for rescheduling the meeting, government sources informed ET. The two sides are trying to schedule the meeting keeping in mind other preoccupations of both Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and his Pakistani counterpart Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry.
Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-Pakistan-foreign-secretaries-may-meet-in-early-February/articleshow/50737547.cms
Kenyan Troops Pull Out of Somali Towns After Deadly Attack
January 26, 2016
MOGADISHU, SOMALIA — Kenyan forces pulled out of two towns in southern Somalia on Tuesday and Islamic extremists quickly moved into one of them, residents said.
The Kenyans' withdrawal came after an attack by Islamic extremists who claimed to have killed many Kenyan peacekeepers recently, residents said Tuesday.
The town of El-Ade, where the January 15 attack happened, is “no man's land now'' after Kenyan troops started withdrawing early Tuesday and heading toward the Kenyan border, said resident Ahmed Hassan. He said many residents started returning to their homes after the Kenyans left.
Full report at: voanews.com/content/kenyan-troops-pull-out-somali-deadly-attacks/3163236.html
Libya peace deal could be 'changed'
By Naziru Mikailu and Farouk Chothia
January 26, 2016
Libya's peace deal could be changed after the internationally recognised parliament rejected a clause which would strip a powerful army chief of his post, UN envoy Martin Kobler has said, the Associated Press news agency reports.
Mr Kobler said there was a "mechanism" within the Libya Political Agreement for amendments to be made in apparent contradiction to earlier warnings against making changes to the deal.
On Monday, Libya's House of Representatives also rejected the unity government proposed under the peace deal, giving rivals ten days to come up with a new, smaller cabinet.
The agreement was reached after nearly a year of talks between the Islamist-backed parliament in Tripoli and the internationally recognised administration in the eastern city of Tobruk.
Libya has been in chaos since the 2011 overthrow of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.
More than 1,200 boat migrants rescued off Libya
Jan 27, 2016
ROME - Italy’s coast guard said on Tuesday it had coordinated the rescue of 1,271 migrants from rubber and wooden boats in several operations off the coast of Libya.
Italy was long at the frontier of sea-borne migration from North Africa, but most of the hundreds of thousands of people arriving in Europe on rickety boats last year took a less risky route to Greece.
Vessels from the Italian navy and coast guard and a Slovenian military ship working as part of the European Union naval operation Eunavfor Med conducted the rescues.
Full report at: ewn.co.za/2016/01/27/More-than-1200-boat-migrants-rescued-off-Libya-on-Tuesday--Italian-coast-guard
Libya: Growing Human Rights Crisis
Jan 27, 2016
(Beirut) – Human rights conditions in Libya further deteriorated during 2015, as militias and forces on all sides of the conflict carried out war crimes and crimes against humanity with impunity, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2016. Armed conflict has engulfed the country since July 2014, resulting in the formation of two governments competing for legitimacy, one in the east and one in the west.
The hostilities have led to the displacement of 400,000 people, a breakdown in law and order, paralysis of the justice system, an increase in kidnappings for ransom and enforced disappearances, and the spread of extremist groups such as the Islamic State (also known as ISIS). Tens of thousands of migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers transited through Libya on their way toward Europe, facing perilous sea journeys. On December 17, 2015, the United Nations brokered a political deal between some Libyan factions with a view to forming a government of national accord. A presidential council operating from Tunisia has come into being, while a cabinet of 32 ministries proposed by the council on January 19 awaits endorsement by the House of Representatives.
Full report at: https://hrw.org/news/2016/01/27/libya-growing-human-rights-crisis
New Libya unity government to be proposed 'within 10 days'
AFP By Mohamad Ali Harissi
Jan 27, 2016
Tripoli (AFP) - A revamped Libyan unity government will be proposed within 10 days, an official said Tuesday, after the internationally recognised parliament rejected an initial lineup in a major setback to peace efforts.
world powers have urged Libya's warring factions to endorse the unity government formed last week under a UN-brokered deal aimed at ending political paralysis that has fuelled the rise of jihadists.
On Tuesday, European sources said the 28-member European Union was considering sanctions against those seen as "spoiling" efforts to forge a unity government.
An asset freeze and a travel ban could be imposed on leaders of the heads of the Tripoli-based parliament and government as well as on Aguila Saleh, who heads the internationally recognised legislature.
Full report at: news.yahoo.com/libya-unity-government-proposed-within-10-days-005506715.html
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