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Islamic World News ( 15 Jun 2012, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Car Bomb in Iraq Kills 14 on Shiite Pilgrimage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arab World

Car Bomb in Iraq Kills 14 on Shiite Pilgrimage

The hard-line Saudi interior minister Crown Prince Nayef dead

More than 1,000 families besieged in Syria’s Homs: NGO

Stark choice for Egypt in presidential poll

Egypt army aims to keep central role in politics

A fork in the road for Egypt's political forces: Who will they choose?

U.N. Team in Syria Is Imperilled, Leader Says

 

India

Ishrat Jahan Encounter Case: “Startling revelations” of Sheikh’s wife under lens

Pak cancels flag meet without assigning reasons: Army

Tension in JK district after desecration of holy book

NC leader's killing shows militants' frustration: Omar

Abdul Kalam should not contest President poll: Omar Abdullah

 

Pakistan

'Desecration of Holy Quran': 2 children killed, S P Injured, in Quetta protest

Media in the dock in Pakistan

Pak general in 2001: Can nuke India in 8 seconds

Musharraf was behind nuclear strike warning against India: Report

After brother’s suicide, teenager has no faith in education system

Wine shops on the horns of dilemma in Karachi

Gilani ‘can perform Pak PM’s role even as prisoner’

25 killed in car bomb blast in market in northwest Pakistan

11 more gunned down in Karachi target killings

 

South Asia

Journalist stabbed to death in Bangladesh

Hamid Karzai picks up threads of reconciliation with Taliban

50 dead since start of Myanmar unrest: state media

 

Mideast Asia

Yemen army captures third Islamist stronghold

Palestinian negotiator to meet Hillary Clinton next week

Exemption from Iranian oil sanctions for 180 days: U.S.

Formerly Captive Israeli Soldier Now a Sports Columnist

 

North America

Obama Acknowledges U.S. Is Fighting Groups Tied to Al Qaeda in Somalia and Yemen

US, Russian leaders to work on Syria 'disagreements'

US warns Russia over Syria policy

U.S. “troubled” by dismissal of parliament polls in Egypt

US expert says drones will not influence Afghan settlement outcome

Ramadan 2012 Date Calculated By Prominent Islamic Group

 

Africa

Bosnia jails soldiers for 142 years over massacre of Muslims

Tunisia Lifts Curfew Imposed Following Riots

Suicide Blast Hits Somali Base Outside Capital

 

Europe

U.N. Isn't Ready to Back Military Intervention in Mali

Russia Sending Missile Systems to Shield Syria

The victim of a Islamophobic attack awaits the verdict of a Versailles appeal court

Renowned French Muslim thinker Roger Garaudy passes away

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

Photo: The hard-line Saudi interior minister Crown Prince Nayef dead

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/car-bomb-in-iraq-kills-14-on-shiite-pilgrimage/d/7645

 

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Arab World

 

Car Bomb in Iraq Kills 14 on Shiite Pilgrimage

 June 16, 2012

BAGHDAD (AP) — A car bomb targeting a religious procession in Iraq killed at least 14 people on Saturday, the last day of a Shiite pilgrimage already hit three times in some of the deadliest violence since American troops withdrew, police said.

The latest attack came after a wave of 22 coordinated explosions killed 72 pilgrims on Wednesday. Al-Qaida's affiliate in Iraq on Saturday claimed responsibility for those bombings, which mostly hit processions of hundreds of thousands of Shiites walking to a Baghdad shrine commemorating an eighth-century imam.

Saturday's car bomb exploded just after noon near a throng of pilgrims streaming through the Shiite neighborhood of Shula in northern Baghdad, killing 14 people, including two policemen. A police official said 46 people were wounded.

The bomb was hidden in a taxi parked among a group of other taxis waiting along the procession route to take pilgrims back to their home cities once Saturday's ceremonies were over, the police official said. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information. A hospital worker confirmed the death toll, also speaking on condition of anonymity for the same reason.

Al-Qaida has been unleashing attacks every few weeks, trying to weaken the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and spark another round of the sectarian violence that brought Iraq to the brink of civil war only a few years ago. While fighting between Sunni and Shiite Muslims has eased off in recent years, al-Maliki's government has been plagued by sectarian tension since before the last American troops withdrew six months ago.

Despite the latest violence, Saturday's ceremonies continued to commemorate Moussa al-Kadhim, a revered imam who was the Prophet Muhammad's great-grandson.

Massive crowds carried symbolic coffins through the streets and pilgrims beat their chests as a sign of mourning as they streamed through Baghdad on Saturday to the Imam Moussa al-Kadhim mosque, where the saint is believed buried. On the sidelines, people used hoses to spray water on the crowds to relieve scorching summer heat that reached 47 degrees Celsius (117 degrees Fahrenheit).

"The terrorists will not discourage us," vowed a song played over the mosque loudspeakers, promising to keep the centuries-old pilgrimage alive "even if they cut off our bodies into pieces.

The mosque opened its doors to the pilgrims Saturday, allowing them to enter and pray at al-Kadhim's shrine before filing out of another exit.

The al-Kadhim procession was struck by tragedy in 2005, when thousands of Shiite pilgrims panicked by rumors of a suicide bomber broke into a stampede on a bridge, leaving some 1,000 of them dead. Police later said no explosives were found on the bridge, and poor crowd control and the climate of fear in Iraq appeared largely to blame.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2012/06/16/world/middleeast/ap-ml-iraq-.html?ref=global-home

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The hard-line Saudi interior minister Crown Prince Nayef dead

 Jun 16 2012

Riyadh: The Saudi royal family says Crown Prince Nayef has died in a U.S. hospital. He was in his late 70s.

Saturday's statement from King Abdullah says the prince will be buried Sunday but gave no more details.

Nayef was the hard-line interior minister who spearheaded Saudi Arabia's fierce crackdown crushing al-Qaida's branch in the country and then rose to become next in line to the throne.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/962833/

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More than 1,000 families besieged in Syria’s Homs: NGO

 June 16, 2012

BEIRUT: More than 1,000 families were trapped on Saturday in several neighbourhoods of the central city of Homs and under bombardment by regime forces, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

“More than 1,000 families, including women and children,” are trapped in the Khalidiyeh, Jourat al-Shiah, Qarabees, old Homs and Qusour areas.

“They have no food and no medical equipment,” the watchdog’s Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.

In a statement, the Observatory sent out an “urgent call” to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon “and all those with a sense of humanity to intervene immediately, in order to put a stop to the continuous shelling.”

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/06/16/more-than-1000-families-besieged-in-syrias-homs-ngo/

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Stark choice for Egypt in presidential poll

Jun 16, 2012

CAIRO: Egyptians queued to choose a new leader on Saturday in the first free presidential election in their history, facing a stark choice between a conservative Islamist and a former military officer who served ousted autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

Reeling from a court order two days ago to dissolve a new parliament dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood, many question whether the wealthy generals who pushed aside their fellow officer Mubarak last year to appease the pro-democracy protests of the Arab Spring will honour a pledge to let civilians rule.

With neither a parliament nor a new constitution in place to define the president's powers, voting on Saturday and Sunday will not settle the matter, leaving 82 million Egyptians, foreign investors and allies in the United States and Europe unsure what kind of state the most populous Arab nation will be.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Stark-choice-for-Egypt-in-presidential-poll/articleshow/14179055.cms

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Egypt army aims to keep central role in politics

Jun 15, 2012

CAIRO: A controversial court decision on the eve of Egypt's second round presidential vote gives the nation's army the means to keep its key political role and challenge the Muslim Brotherhood, analysts say.

The constitutional court's decision on Thursday to invalidate parliament on the grounds that a third of its members were elected illegally was a blow for Islamists, who currently dominate the house but stand to lose ground in any new election.

The court also cleared the way for the presidential candidacy of Ahmed Shafiq, the last prime minister to serve under ousted president Hosni Mubarak.

Shafiq, a former air force general, is reportedly close to the military's ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.

"After the verdict of the constitutional court, we are facing a constitutional coup" which strengthens the army's position, said Abdullah al-Sinawy, an Egyptian writer and political commentator.

"If the Muslim Brotherhood candidate fails to win the presidency, the loss for the Islamists will be all the harder because they are also being weakened on the parliamentary front," he said.

If Shafiq is elected, the military council leading the country is likely to transfer power as promised, without much reluctance.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Egypt-army-aims-to-keep-central-role-in-politics/articleshow/14152517.cms

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A fork in the road for Egypt's political forces: Who will they choose?

Amid widespread political confusion and significant disillusionment, the choice of who to vote for in the second round run-off of Egypt's presidential elections has not been easy for many, especially for revolutionaries

Yasmine Wali, Friday 15 Jun 2012

On the eve of the historic Egyptian presidential elections run-off vote — slated for 16 and 17 June — political parties, revolutionary groups, and activists each have different postures towards the poll. While some have decided to boycott the run-off, refusing to vote either for Mohamed Mursi, the Muslim Brotherhood's candidate, or Ahmed Shafiq, the last prime minister under deposed president Hosni Mubarak, others have announced endorsing one or the other.

While many fear Shafiq, who makes no secret of his admiration of Mubarak, would seek to resurrect the policies of the old regime should he win the presidential elections, others are concerned that Mursi in power would enable the Brotherhood to tighten its grip on the political arena, with the group’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) boasting nearly half the seats in parliament, and consequently implement a strict version of Islamic Sharia law.

For these reasons, some will vote for one or the other candidate simply so his opponent does not win.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/36/122/44682/Presidential-elections

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U.N. Team in Syria Is Imperilled, Leader Says

By NEIL MacFARQUHAR

 June 16, 2012

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Maj. Gen. Robert Mood, the head of the United Nations observer mission in Syria, presented a gloomy assessment of its prospects on Friday, even as the government and its opposition accused each other of fomenting bloodshed around the weekly Muslim prayer services.

“Violence over the past 10 days has been intensifying willingly by both parties, with losses on both sides and significant risks to our observers,” General Mood, the Norwegian head of the unarmed observers, said at a news conference in Damascus.

His remarks came two months after the Security Council authorized the deployment of the monitoring group for 90 days, and he warned that the looming assessment on whether to continue could well be negative. The cease-fire is considered the first goal in a six-point peace plan designed to lead to a political dialogue between the government of President Bashar al-Assad and his opponents.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/16/world/middleeast/russia-denies-shipping-new-

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India

 

Ishrat Jahan Encounter Case: “Startling revelations” of Sheikh’s wife under lens

Ujjwala Nayudu

Jun 16 2012

The CBI is keenly looking at the revelations that the wife of Javed Sheikh alias Pranesh Pillai had made before the SIT that investigated the encounters of Ishrat Jahan and three others before the central agency took over the case.

Sources in the CBI said Sheikh’s wife Sajida had made “startling revelations” on her husband before the Gujarat High Court-appointed SIT.

The most startling part in Sajida’s statement, according to sources, is where she has reportedly said that Javed was shown photographs and videos of the 2002 riots on one of his visits to the Middle East in 2003-04. Javed used to go to Saudi Arabia often for his perfume business, they said.

Sajida had reportedly given a lengthy statement to the SIT that she was aware of Javed and Ishrat’s whereabouts whenever the two were “together”.

Sajida, who had claimed before the police of Ahmedabad (in 2005), Pune and Mumbai that she had never seen Ishrat, had told the SIT that Javed used to take Ishrat to various places in Maharashtra and even Uttar Pradesh before they were killed, sources said, adding, she confirmed that Javed used to run a perfume business in Pune where Ishrat was an accountant-cum-secretary.

A senior CBI officer said, “Sajida’s statements have opened more loopholes in the case. It is really strange for a wife to give such statements to the police about her husband (Javed) having connections in Gulf countries where he was shown provocative videos and he is believed to have met some notorious elements too. She has also claimed that Javed did have cases of criminal offenses against him.”

The CBI team, which has finished investigations in Mumbai, Pune, Kerela and Ibrahimpur (UP), is likely to visit Pune again to verify Sajida’s statements.

Sources said Sajida’s statements create more doubts about the circumstances under which she gave the statements and their authenticity, because she had first refused to talk to the police saying she knew nothing. Interestingly, SIT chairman RR Verma’s final report before the HC had no mention of her statements.

The SIT had established that the encounter was “not genuine”, said sources, on the basis of ballistics, forensics, old records, statements of their families and suspects, but it couldn’t ascertain who Ishrat and Javed really were.

CBI officials said Sajida’s statements had been a bone of contention in the SIT that had left the most crucial point of investigations, i.e., establishing identities of the deceased, incomplete.

SIT’s Verma, IPS officer Satish Verma and Mohan Jha had gone to Pune last year to record Sajida’s statements after she repeatedly refused to come to Gujarat.

“Sajida’s statements could be out of anger or frustration or even revenge. But if that was the case she wouldn’t have been playing the hide and seek with SIT for long. She had taken a clear stand that she knew nothing about Ishrat but said all these in the last stages of investigation,” added the CBI officer.

Sajida had married Javed in 1994.

Ishrat, Javed and two alleged Pakistani nationals, Amjad Ali Rana and Jishan Johar, were killed in an “encounter” with police on June 15, 2004 in Ahmedabad.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/962713/

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Pak cancels flag meet without assigning reasons: Army

 Jun 16 2012

Jammu : A flag meet, scheduled for today, between Indian and Pakistani Army on ceasefire violations and cross-LoC firing in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch district was cancelled by Pakistani Army without assigning any reason.

"Pakistani Army has cancelled today's scheduled flag meeting on ceasefire violations and cross-LoC firing in Poonch sector," Ministry of Defence Public Relation Officer Col R K Palta said.

"They have neither assigned any reason for the abrupt cancellation nor given any fresh dates for the flag meet," he said.

The flag meeting was scheduled for today at 1100 hours at Chakan-Da-Bagh cross-LoC travel and trade point on Indo-Pak border in Poonch to lodge protest with Pakistani army over heavy firing on Indian posts and ceasefire violations by them.

Army has lodged a strong protest with its Pakistani counterpart through hot-line contact over firing on Indian posts along the line of control in Poonch sector since June 13.

Pakistani troops indulged in unprovoked and heavy arms firing on the post along LoC in Krishna Ghati sector on June 13, leaving a jawan dead and three others injured. They also fired on Indian posts in the same area on June 14.

Palta said a message was passed through hotline to Pakistan to exercise restraint for de-escalating the situation.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/962827/

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Tension in JK district after desecration of holy book

Jun 16 2012

Srinagar: Tension gripped parts of Bandipora district, including Gurez valley, of north Kashmir today following desecration of a holy book by unidentified persons, official sources said.

Groups of people took to streets in Dawar and staged a peaceful demonstration against the alleged desecration of a holy book kept inside a place of worship, the sources said.

However, the protestors dispersed peacefully after police assured them that stern action would be taken against the culprits, they said.

The protests spread to Bandipora town also where markets were closed and residents sat on dharna, they said, adding, the situation in the area was tense but under control.

A police spokesman, confirming the desecration of a holy book in Tragbal village, said a case had been registered under section 295 Ranbir Panel Code and investigations were on.

“Senior officers are monitoring the situation which is so far under control,” the spokesman said.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/962834/

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NC leader's killing shows militants' frustration: Omar

Jun 16 2012

Srinagar : Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today said the killing of National Conference leader in the city was evident of mounting frustration among militants.

"The influence of militancy (in the state) has waned... Militants' growing frustration is evident in the fact that they are hitting at soft targets...We will make all effort to finish militancy from the state," he told reporters here.

National Conference block president Abdul Rehman Ganie was shot dead yesterday by two motorcycle-borne militants while he was leaving home to offer Friday prayers at Natipora in the suburbs of the city.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/962832/

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Abdul Kalam should not contest President poll: Omar Abdullah

Jun 16 2012

Srinagar : Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today said A P J Abdul Kalam should not contest the Presidential poll as election of Pranab Mukherjee was almost certain.

"Kalam has been a very successful President and has won hearts of the people as the President. It does not befit him to contest the elections when his chances of winning are almost next to zero," Omar told reporters here.

The NC leader said Finance Minister and UPA nominee Pranab Mukherjee was well on course to be the next President.

"The way support is pouring in for Mukherjee, his victory is almost certain," he said.

In a tweet yesterday, Omar congratulated Mukherjee on his nomination as the UPA candidate and expressed hope that he would make an excellent President.

Omar has already pledged support of his National Conference, which has five MPs and 28 MLAs in the state Assembly, to the UPA nominee for the July 19 presidential election.

The Chief Minister said his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee should support Mukherjee as Trinamool Congress was part of the ruling alliance at the Centre.

"I am no one to advise Mamata ji what she should do or what she should not... But she should support the UPA nominee as she is part of the alliance," he said.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/962814/

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Pakistan

 

'Desecration of Holy Quran': 2 children killed, S P Injured, in Quetta protest

 June 16, 2012

QUETTA: A protest against alleged desecration of the Holy Quran left two children dead and around 15 injured in the Kuchlak area of Quetta on Saturday, reported Express News. The injured include SP Saddar Malik Irshad.

A mob of angry protesters barged into a police station where the case against the alleged desecration was registered, and demanded for the arrest of the accused. The police, in an effort to disperse the protesters, resorted to aerial firing, while the protesters pelted stones in return.

The encounter left two children dead, after which a heavy contingent of police was summoned in the area.

The protesters also blocked the Quetta Chaman Highway and set cars on fire.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/394633/desecration-of-holy-quran-2-children-killed-in-quetta-protest/

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Media in the dock in Pakistan

ANITA JOSHUA

 June 16, 2012

Even as Pakistan grappled with various names for its latest scandal — CJgate, family gate or Bahriagate — the raging debate over allegations against the Chief Justice's son took another turn on Thursday that put the media in the dock; opening up a ‘mediagate' to the scam that from day-one threatened to open a can of worms affecting all institutions.

The media became the story of the day as the Supreme Court on Friday took cognizance of an off-air conversation between two television anchorpersons and the property tycoon, Malik Riaz, who has accused Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry's son, Arsalan Iftikhar, of taking huge sums of money from him on the promise of influencing cases involving his business.

On Wednesday night, Dunya TV had carried a detailed interview of Mr. Riaz. Several hours later, a video of what transpired among the three during the commercial breaks in the programme was uploaded on YouTube and went viral by Thursday evening. In this 30-minute video, the anchorpersons are seen getting directions to allow Mr. Riaz uninterrupted say during the programme.

The identity of the person who made the calls to the two anchorpersons is unknown but another caller is said to be Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani's son Abdul Qadir Gilani. Though there is no confirmation as to whether it was really Gilani Jr., the anchorperson who received the call is shown identifying him as such while handing over his telephone to Mr. Riaz who then addresses the caller as ‘Bunny'.

Later, the second anchorperson gets a text message from former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's daughter, Maryam, clarifying that her cousin Hamza Shahbaz Sharif had refused to accept a bulletproof car offered by Mr. Riaz. Also, time and again, during the breaks, the property tycoon is seen priming the anchorpersons to ask him certain questions that would allow him to hold forth on issues he wanted to be highlighted.

The video went viral round about the time another list of journalists alleged to be on the take from Mr. Riaz began circulating online.

This was a longer list than the first which had eight leading names on it. Both have been rejected by Bahria Town, Mr. Riaz's property company. Nonetheless, the two lists have had anchorpersons air their personal rivalries against each other in public with some dragging their rivals to court.

The recording was screened during the full court meeting convened on Friday afternoon by Mr. Justice Chaudhry to take stock of the situation arising out the allegations and a committee has been set up to investigate the matter and see whether there is a conspiracy to malign the courts given the telephone calls received by the anchorpersons.

On Thursday while instructing the Attorney General to act against Mr. Arsalan and Mr. Riaz, the Supreme Court had in its order commented at length on media ethics as it was the decision of some television anchors to talk about the “whispering campaign” about the Chief Justice's son that made the Court take suo motu notice last week. “Requisite due diligence prima facie appears not to have been undertaken” before reporting on the matter, the Court noted.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article3533380.ece

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Pak general in 2001: Can nuke India in 8 seconds

Jun 16, 2012

LONDON: Pakistan could launch a nuclear strike on India within eight seconds, claimed an army general in Islamabad in 2001, a warning that is described in the latest volume of diaries by a key aide of the UK's former Prime Minister Tony Blair.

The general asked Blair's former communications director, Alistair Campbell, to remind India of Pakistan's nuclear capability amid fears that Delhi was "determined to take them out". Britain became so concerned about the threat that Blair's senior foreign policy adviser, Sir David Manning, warned in a paper that Pakistan was prepared to "go nuclear".

The warnings are relayed by Campbell in his latest diaries, 'The Burden of Power', which are being serialized in the Guardian on Saturday and Monday.

The warnings came during a visit by Blair to the Indian subcontinent after the 9/11 attacks in 2001. Campbell was told about the eight-second threat over a dinner in Islamabad on October 5, 2001 hosted by Pervez Musharraf, then Pakistan's president.

Campbell writes, "At dinner I was between two five-star generals who spent most of the time listing atrocities for which they held the Indians responsible, killing their own people and trying to blame 'freedom fighters'. When the time came to leave, the livelier of the two asked me to remind the Indians, 'It takes us eight seconds to get the missiles over'."

Blair visited Pakistan as Britain and the US attempted to shore up support in Islamabad before the bombing of Afghanistan, which started in October, 2001.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/uk/Pak-general-in-2001-Can-nuke-India-in-8-seconds/articleshow/14167812.cms

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Musharraf was behind nuclear strike warning against India: Report

Jun 16, 2012

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistani warning of a nuclear strike on India within eight seconds, as reported in a British daily, was actually made at the behest of former president Pervez Musharraf, according to Daily Times.

The news report published on Friday by The Guardian said Pakistan could launch a nuclear strike on India within eight seconds, an army general boasted in 2001 in Islamabad.

The warning has been described in the latest volume of former British communications director Alastair Campbells' diaries, The Burden of Power, it said.

On Saturday, writing in the Daily Times from London, Asif Mehmood said it was Musharraf who conveyed the n-strike threat through his generals to assert that it could be possible if India did not "stop killing of its own people" and putting the blame on "freedom fighters".

Campbell was told about the eight-second threat over a dinner in Islamabad Oct 5, 2001, hosted by Musharraf.

In his diaries, Alistair Campbell writes: "At dinner I was between two five-star generals who spent most of the time listing atrocities for which they held the Indians responsible, killing their own people and trying to blame 'freedom fighters'.

"They were pretty convinced that one day there would be a nuclear war because India, despite its vast population and despite being seven times bigger, was unstable and determined to take them out."

"When the time came to leave, the livelier of the two generals asked me to remind the Indians that 'it takes us eight seconds to get the missiles over', then flashed a huge toothy grin," he added.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Musharraf-was-behind-nuclear-strike-warning-against-India-Report/articleshow/14183895.cms

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After brother’s suicide, teenager has no faith in education system

By Mureeb Mohmand

Published: June 16, 2012

SHABQADAR: Saleem Khan came first among his peers in intermediate exams, but despite this achievement the teenager has little hope for his future. His younger brother’s suicide seems to have taken away his faith in the education system.

In April this year, Saleem’s 12-year-old brother, Kamran, immolated himself when his mother could not afford to buy him a new school uniform that he asked for after securing a second position in school. The tragedy has left the family shaken.

The family’s financial constraints have not gotten any better in the past two months. “I have passed my exams but now what? I don’t have any money so I can’t study further unless someone helps me,” he told The Express Tribune, adding “The education system in Pakistan hast has varying standards which creates disparity in society.”

“Today I have achieved success in my exams but I don’t have a brother with whom I can share this joy,” said Saleem. “It was very difficult for me to study after his death, which is why I only got 42 out of 65 in my Chemistry exam,” the boy added.

Saleem wants to be a medical officer but fears that he will not be able to afford a good college. His father Ijaz Gul works outside Pakistan but living as an illegal immigrant, he is not financially stable.

The teenager says that if he succeeds in life he will help the needy as much as he can, especially in the field of education, so that more people do not lose their lives like Kamran did.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/394631/after-brothers-suicide-teenager-has-no-faith-in-education-system/

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Wine shops on the horns of dilemma in Karachi

By Saad Hasan

 June 16, 2012

KARACHI: From the small window of a shop in a dingy neighbourhood of the city, a salesman can’t keep up with the rush of customers clamouring for his attention.

It’s a week day and the commodity on sale is liquor. Men hurry in and out of the shop, slipping in money across a cage-like counter and slipping out with their purchases wrapped in brown paper bags.

But inside the dimly-lit store, the shop owner is counting the weeks it will take him to sell his stock. Around him, crate upon crate of unsold alcoholic beverages is piled up against a 10-foot high wall. The problem is simple: One brand that is popular sells like hot cakes, another, which is not that popular, remains unsold. Shop owners say that they are being pressurised to sell the brand that no one wants to buy. That too by the government

“No one is ready to buy these products,” says the store owner, pointing at the beer and vodka manufactured by a local company. “But we still have to stock it because that’s the only way we could keep this business going.”

Wine shops in Sindh are being forced to stock products of Indus Distillery and Brewery Limited, a company owned by a senator of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Hari Ram Kishorilal.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/394512/wine-shops-on-the-horns-of-dilemma/

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Gilani ‘can perform Pak PM’s role even as prisoner’

Jun 16 2012

Islamabad : Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan has said that Gilani could be the chief executive of the country, even from a prison cell.

The political turmoil around Gilani’s conviction in the contempt case took a humorous turn, as the Supreme Court (SC) questioned whether a convicted person could perform as the role of country’s PM.

Ahsan, the premier’s counsel, answered with an emphatic “yes”, saying the trial bench’s verdict did not amount to disqualification, The Express Tribune reports.

According to the report, Aitzaz said that one could question the moral and political status of a member of parliament who was convicted under moral turpitude like committing corruption, but there was no constitutional bar in this regard.

Aitzaz, citing Constitution articles, said that Gilani could continue performing his functions as the premier from a jail cell wearing a prisoner’s uniform.

He pointed out that as per the Constitution an MP shall be disqualified if he or she has been, on conviction for any offence involving moral turpitude, sentenced to imprisonment for a term of not less than two years.

The focus of the proceedings, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, was on a question raised in identical petitions filed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz on National Assembly Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza’s ruling in the case regarding the premier’s disqualification.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/962780/

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25 killed in car bomb blast in market in northwest Pakistan

Jun 16, 2012

PESHAWAR: A car bomb ripped through a market area in a northwest Pakistan tribal town near the Afghan border on Saturday, killing 25 people including three children, officials said.

"The death toll is 25," from the blast in the main bazaar of Landi Kotal in Khyber tribal district, local administration chief Mutahir Zeb said, adding more than 50 people were injured, some of them seriously.

Hospital officials confirmed the toll.

Zeb said there were 18 bodies at the Landi Kotal hospital while seven victims had died while being taken for treatment in Peshawar, the main town in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

The dead included three children aged nine, 10 and 12, he added.

Motor mechanic Sajidullah Khan, who was wounded in the leg, forearms and face, told AFP: "I was checking a car when I heard a huge blast nearby. I knew nothing afterwards and came to in the hospital."

Shakoor Jan, an electrician, said he was sitting in his shop when the blast rocked the whole area. "There was fire in several shops," he said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility but Islamist militants have carried out several attacks in the area.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/25-killed-in-car-bomb-blast-in-market-in-northwest-Pakistan/articleshow/14180610.cms

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11 more gunned down in Karachi target killings

By Atif Raza

 June 16, 2012

KARACHI: Although the government has given a freehand to law enforcement agencies, including the Rangers and police, to control and curb the incidents of target killings in the city, the agencies and paramilitary forces seem to have failed to curb the ongoing wave of killings, as at least 11 more people were gunned down and two others wounded in different parts of the city.

In an important incident of target killing in the PIB Colony police station jurisdiction on Friday evening, at least four to six armed men attacked a man, Pir Dad, near his house in Baloch Para. Police officials said the culprits used Kalashnikovs and pistols in their swift attack and later they easily managed to escape. As a result, the victim sustained bullet injuries in his head and leg and was taken to a nearby hospital on Stadium Road, where he succumbed to injuries. Later, his body was taken to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre for medico-legal formalities.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\06\16\story_16-6-2012_pg7_1

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South Asia

 

Journalist stabbed to death in Bangladesh

 June 16, 2012

Bangladeshi police say that unidentified men have stabbed a journalist to death apparently for his reports on the illegal drug trade in south-western Bangladesh.

Local police chief A.K.M. Faruk Hossain said Saturday that the attack on Zamal Uddin took place late Friday at Kashipur Bazar in Jessore district bordering India. The area is 140 kilometres west of the capital, Dhaka.

Uddin worked for the Bengali-language daily Gramer Kagoj.

The police chief says Uddin had recently filed a complaint with police seeking security after he was threatened for his articles on the illicit drug trade.

Local journalists will demonstrate Saturday to protest his slaying.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article3536081.ece

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Hamid Karzai picks up threads of reconciliation with Taliban

Jun 15, 2012

NEW DELHI: Afghan president Hamid Karzai has restarted the reconciliation process with the Taliban, by announcing that Salahuddin Rabbani, head of Afghanistan's High Peace Council would visit Saudi Arabia and Pakistan to seek assistance. This announcement, made at the end of this week's Kabul conference is a sign that Karzai is picking up the threads of a political process that was shattered when the Taliban, with help from Pakistan's ISI, had assassinated the former council chief. Salahuddin is the son of the former chief, Burhanuddin Rabbani.

The first ministerial conference to focus on Afghanistan's development and future included, among others, foreign ministers of Russia, Pakistan, U.K., Germany, Iran, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Denmark. The US was represented by deputy secretary of State William Burns. Salman Khurshid, law minister, represented India, standing in for Pranab Mukherjee, who has been named the presidential candidate of the UPA government.

The conference adopted a declaration to start political consultations between Afghanistan and its neighbours, as well as implement CBMs identified during the previous meeting in Istanbul. Sources said, it was largely as a result of Indian efforts that the preamble to the declaration included a reference to "dismantling of terrorist sanctuaries and safe havens", a thinly veiled reference to Pakistan's support to Taliban and other terrorist groups. India will host the next investors' meeting on Afghanistan on June 28.

Speaking at the conference, Khurshid said, "economic progress among the region can create a political dynamic that would discourage external interference aimed at destabilising Afghanistan... we also see it as a means to pull together the various parallel strands of dialogue about Afghanistan ... we see the 28th June event as a critical link between today's meeting and the Tokyo Conference of 8th July. A situation where companies from the region and beyond have invested their resources in Afghanistan is also the best way to ensure that we work together as stakeholders with a vested interest in peace and stability in Afghanistan."

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Hamid-Karzai-picks-up-threads-of-reconciliation-with-Taliban/articleshow/14151220.cms

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50 dead since start of Myanmar unrest: state media

Jun 16 2012

Yangon : Fifty people have been killed and scores wounded in communal clashes in western Myanmar, state media said today, raising the toll from riots that have displaced more than 30,000 people.

According to state mouthpiece the New Light of Myanmar, 50 people have died, with 54 injured between May 28 and June 14 in Rakhine state, which has been rocked by violence between local Buddhists and Muslim Rohingya.

The report did not say whether the updated toll includes 10 Muslims beaten to death on June 3 by a Rakhine Buddhist mob in apparent revenge for the rape and murder of a woman, which sparked the violence.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/962776/

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Mideast Asia

 

Yemen army captures third Islamist stronghold

 June 16, 2012

The Yemeni army has recaptured a stronghold that had been seized by Islamist militants, its third such success this week.

Shuqra, in the restive southern province of Abyan, fell to the Yemeni army as part of a US-backed offensive against Ansar al-Sharia - an offshoot of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

Seventeen militants were killed in heavy fighting, officials said.

Earlier this week the army retook the towns of Zinjibar and Jaar.

Several towns in Abyan have been under the control of Ansar al-Sharia for more than a year.

During 2011, Yemen was the scene of numerous anti-government protests which eventually toppled former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Separatist unrest and al-Qaeda-linked militants have blighted the country's south for years.

Last year, empowered by the uprisings against Mr Saleh, Islamists consolidated their control over Abyan.

Mr Saleh's successor, Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, has increased cooperation with Washington in its fight against al-Qaeda.

In May he launched a US-backed military offensive to retake the towns.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-18457518

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Palestinian negotiator to meet Hillary Clinton next week

Jun 16, 2012

WASHINGTON: Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat will meet here next week with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a bid to try to breathe new life into stalled peace talks, a US official said on Friday.

Clinton had already met with Israeli negotiator Yitzhak Molho and "she'll see Erakat next week," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.

The top US diplomat had also talked two days ago with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and separately with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.

"All of this is further to encouraging them to build on the exchange of letters and continue to take the next step toward the table," Nuland told journalists.

"We're trying to improve the atmosphere so that we can make progress and get them back to the table."

While direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians remain in deep freeze, top officials from both sides have been holding a quiet dialogue on a range of issues, including an exchange of letters between Netanyahu and Abbas.

Envoys from the Middle East Quartet met in Brussels on Friday amid calls from the Palestinians to step up action to halt continuing Israeli settlement activity.

Officials from the United States, United Nations, European Union and Russia gathered "to consult as they routinely do over the phone as well", said a spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Palestinian-negotiator-to-meet-Hillary-Clinton-next-week/articleshow/14164097.cms

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Exemption from Iranian oil sanctions for 180 days: U.S.

 June 16, 2012

Clarifying that the exemption from the sanctions imposed on Iran, given to seven countries, including India, by the United States, is valid for only six months, a senior U.S. official has hoped that these countries would continue to reduce their dependence on Iranian oil.

The clarification came days after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton noted that these countries have “significantly” reduced their dependence on Iranian oil.

“This is something that we're asking of all of our partners around the world. This is not something that's focused on India. But the current exceptions that have been granted apply for a period of 180 days — so for a period of six months,” Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Robert Blake told reporters here.

“So we're asking all of our friends and all countries around the world to continue to reduce their imports of oil from Iran and to discontinue transactions with the Central Bank of Iran ,” Mr. Blake said.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article3533840.ece

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Formerly Captive Israeli Soldier Now a Sports Columnist

By ISABEL KERSHNER

 June 16, 2012

JERUSALEM — In his most expansive public comments since he was released eight months ago, Gilad Shalit revealed how his love for sports had kept him going through five years of captivity in Gaza, while providing some personal connection with his captors from the Islamic militant group Hamas.

Mr. Shalit made his remarks Friday in an article published in the weekend supplement of the popular Yediot Aharonot newspaper, where he will be working as a sportswriter.

“I drew a lot of strength from doing sports activity, despite the conditions I was under there,” wrote Mr. Shalit, a soccer and basketball fan. He said that he was able to follow major games of Israel’s national soccer and basketball teams on the radio, once he was given access to one, and that he learned to follow the European leagues on Arabic television channels when his captors allowed him. “I watched a lot of tennis,” he said.

Yediot billed the article, co-written with a well-known Israeli television producer, Arik Henig, as Mr. Shalit’s debut. The newspaper said the duo would pen a regular joint sports column and that the two were setting out this week to cover the NBA Finals in Miami. From there, the paper said, they would continue to the Ukrainian capital of Kiev to write their impressions of the European Championships soccer final.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/16/world/middleeast/israeli-soldier-gilad-shalit-formerly-

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North America

 

Obama Acknowledges U.S. Is Fighting Groups Tied to Al Qaeda in Somalia and Yemen

By PETER BAKER

 June 16, 2012

WASHINGTON — Opening the window just a little further into his secret war on terrorists, President Obama publicly acknowledged for the first time on Friday that United States military forces had taken “direct action” against groups affiliated with Al Qaeda in Somalia and Yemen.

In a letter to Congress, Mr. Obama said American forces had engaged in “a limited number” of operations against members of the Shabab in Somalia and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in Yemen, arguing that both posed a terrorist threat to “the United States and our interests.”

He gave no further details in the unclassified letter, which accompanied the latest update to lawmakers under the War Powers Act about military operations around the world. More details about the scope of the operations were included in the classified section of the report, administration officials said.

The disclosure formally confirmed what had long been known here and abroad, that the American war on Al Qaeda has spread far from the borders of Afghanistan and Pakistan, where it began more than a decade ago. In the past, officials acknowledged helping Somalia and Yemen battle extremists without confirming that American forces were sometimes involved in the fight.

“In all cases, we are focused on those Al Qaeda members and affiliates who pose a direct threat to the United States and to our national interests,” George Little, the Pentagon press secretary, said Friday in a statement. “This report contains information about these operations owing to their growing significance in our overall counterterrorism effort.

“Going forward,” Mr. Little added, “the American people should know that we will do what is necessary to defend our country against those who would threaten us.”

Advocates who have been pressing the government in and out of court to be more open about its use of force overseas called the acknowledgment a small step toward transparency.

“While any voluntary disclosure is welcome, this is not much of a breakthrough,” said Steven Aftergood, who heads the government secrecy project at the Federation of American Scientists. “The age of secret wars is over. They were never a secret to those on the receiving end.”

Mr. Aftergood added, “As in the case of C.I.A. drone operations and other widely reported acts, the only question has been how much reality is the U.S. government willing to acknowledge?”

The administration has been taking halting steps toward more public discussion of long-secret elements of the war. Mr. Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser, John O. Brennan, recently gave a speech publicly acknowledging and defending the use of unmanned drone strikes.

The declassification of the Yemen and Somalia actions in Friday’s letter had the strong support of Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who argued that the military needed to be open when it could about operations, an administration official said.

Still, the letter said nothing not already known from news accounts, and the government continues to fight efforts to reveal more about actions overseas, including the legal justification for killing Americans affiliated with Al Qaeda. The administration has overseen more prosecutions for leaks than all of its predecessors.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/16/world/obama-admits-us-fight-of-al-qaeda-has-extended-to-somalia-and-yemen.html?ref=world

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US, Russian leaders to work on Syria 'disagreements'

 Jun 16, 2012

WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin will discuss differences over what to do about the conflict in Syria at a G20 summit next week, a top US official said on Friday.

"Obviously, disagreements persist with regard to Syria, but it will be a good opportunity for the presidents to meet and work it through," said State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland, referring to the Mexico talks.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov denied that Moscow has been discussing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's departure with Western nations, seemingly hoping to quash reports about a shift in its approach to Syria.

"No such discussions" about political transition in Syria had taken place, he said, after Nuland spoke Thursday of a "constructive conversation" with the Russians in Kabul on a transition plan modeled on Yemen.

Nuland said Friday she had not meant "to imply any positions on their part."

But she added: "We were talking about the general direction that we want to see Syria go, the general principles that the secretary has outlined for a post-Assad transition.

"With regard to our dialogue with the Russians, we are talking about the full spectrum of issues," she told journalists.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/US-Russian-leaders-to-work-on-Syria-disagreements/articleshow/14169072.cms

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US warns Russia over Syria policy

Jun 15, 2012

WASHINGTON: US secretary of state Hillary Clinton has warned Russia that its support for the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will have negative consequences.

"The situation is spiralling towards civil war, and it's now time for everyone in the international community, including Russia and all Security Council members, to speak to Assad with a unified voice and insist that the violence stop, and come together with Kofi Annan to plan a political transition going forward," Clinton said Wednesday at a joint press conference with Indian Foreign Minister SM Krishna.

"It is something that we believe is in everyone's interests, most particularly the Syrian people. And Russia says it wants peace and stability restored. It says it has no particular love lost for Assad. And it also claims to have vital interests in the region and relationships that it wants to continue to keep. They put all of that at risk if they do not move more constructively right now," she said.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/US-warns-Russia-over-Syria-policy/articleshow/14150192.cms

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U.S. “troubled” by dismissal of parliament polls in Egypt

 June 16, 2012

The United States on Friday said it was “troubled” by the Egyptian top court ruling that declared invalid parliamentary elections and allowed Hosni Mubarak’s last premier to compete in the presidential election run-off on Sunday.

“We’re looking closely at the decisions that were made yesterday and their full implications,” said U.S. State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland.

She said it appeared the implications of the ruling were “not exactly clear to Egyptians themselves”. “If in fact the conclusion is that there need to be new parliamentary elections, our hope is that they could happen swiftly and that they reflect the will of the Egyptian people,” she said.

Ms. Nuland said the United States was “troubled by this court ruling,” but respected the independence of the Egyptian judiciary.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article3535508.ece

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US expert says drones will not influence Afghan settlement outcome

 June 16, 2012

WASHINGTON: The US drone strikes against suspected militant hideouts in tribal areas will ultimately fail to influence the outcome of an Afghan settlement but they have already severely tarnished America’s image in Pakistan, an American expert stressed in a newspaper opinion piece.

Michael Krepon, who is Director South Asian Program at the Stimson Center, noted in The Washington Post that Afghanistan’s future matters more critically to Pakistan than to the United States.

“Afghanistan’s future matters much more to Pakistan than to the United States. This elemental truth is forgotten in US deliberations about how best to leverage Pakistan to achieve a political settlement in Afghanistan,” he remarked.

About the unmanned predator drone strikes that the US regularly carries out against militant sanctuaries, the expert notes they have succeeded in casting the US in more negative light than even longtime rival India in that country.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/06/16/us-expert-says-drones-will-not-influence-afghan-settlement-outcome/

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Ramadan 2012 Date Calculated By Prominent Islamic Group

Posted: 06/15/2012

A prominent group of Muslim scholars has announced that Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting, will begin on July 20.

The Fiqh Council of North America, a U.S.-based group affiliated with the Islamic Society of North America, made the announcement on Friday after using scientific calculations to determine July's new moon. The organization regularly makes rulings on Sharia, or Islamic law, such as its annual ruling on the dates of Ramadan.

The Islamic calendar follows a lunar cycle and the dates of Ramadan, the holiest Islamic month when Muslims fast during the daylight hours, change each year. While the Fiqh Council of North America is well-known among North American Muslims, its ruling on the beginning of the Islamic holy month is not binding nor followed by all Muslims.

Full report at:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/15/ramadan-2012-begins-july-20_n_1601609.html

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Africa

 

Bosnia jails soldiers for 142 years over massacre of Muslims

15 June 2012

SARAJEVO: Four former Bosnian Serb soldiers were jailed for a total of 142 years yesterday for their roles in the mass execution of hundreds of Bosnian Muslims from Srebrenica during Europe’s worst atrocity since World War II.

The killings of about 800 people, including children, at a farm were part of the systematic slaughter of 8,000 Muslim men and boys after Bosnian Serb forces captured the UN-protected enclave in July 1995.

The jail terms given to the four soldiers for crimes against humanity were the longest ever handed down by the Bosnian war crimes court.

“On July 16, 1995, they executed summarily around 800 male civilians, of whom some were under 16 years old and some over 80 years old, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Branjevo farm,” judge Mira Smajlovic said, reading the verdict.

Stanko Kojic was jailed for 43 years, Franc Kos and Zoran Goronja for 40 years each, and Vlastimir Golijan for 19 years because he was under 21 at the time.

The men all shot their victims but the judge said Kojic had carried out the slaughter in a cruel manner than the others and then boasted about the number of people he had killed.

The men served with the Bosnian Serb army’s 10th commando unit. Kos led the unit’s First Bijeljina Platoon, and the other three were regular soldiers.

They were acquitted of genocide charges due to lack of evidence about their intention to commit genocide.

The massacre took place during the 1992-1995 Bosnian War. Bosnian Serb troops, commanded by General Ratko Mladic, attacked Srebrenica and separated men and boys from women.

Many of the men and boys tried to escape through woods but were hunted down, captured and slaughtered at several locations near Srebrenica.

Mladic is being tried at the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague on genocide charges over Srebrenica and the siege of Sarajevo.

http://www.arabnews.com/bosnia-jails-soldiers-142-years-over-massacre-muslims

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Tunisia Lifts Curfew Imposed Following Riots

 June 16, 2012

TUNIS (Reuters) - Tunisia lifted a night time curfew on Friday imposed earlier this week following riots by Salafi Islamists and others over an art exhibition they deemed insulting to Islam.

One man died in the unrest which broke out on Tuesday in Tunis and started spreading to other parts of the country.

There had been fears of further trouble on Friday after Salafi leaders, who follow a puritanical interpretation of Islam, and the ruling moderate Islamist Ennahda party both called for protests in defense of religion.

But the demonstrations were called off at the last minute after the interior ministry refused to issue licenses to the march organizers.

Security forces deployed in large numbers on Friday around the Fateh Mosque, which is dominated by Salafis, but worshippers went home peacefully after prayers.

"After the improvement in the security situation and considering the interests of citizens, the ministry of interior and national defense has decided to end the curfew," the interior ministry later said in a statement on its Facebook page.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2012/06/15/world/africa/15reuters-tunisia-clashes-

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Suicide Blast Hits Somali Base Outside Capital

 June 16, 2012

MOGADISHU (Reuters) - An al Shabaab suicide bomber rammed a vehicle packed with explosives into the gate of a government base in Afgoye outside the Somali capital on Saturday causing casualties, the police and the rebels said.

Government and African Union troops seized Afgoye from al Shabaab rebels at the end of May. The town is about 30 km (19 miles) from Mogadishu on a key road that links the capital with rebel-held regions in the south of country.

"A suicide car bomb rammed into the gate of a government base. There are casualties," Colonel Nur Hayr, a police officer, told Reuters. "Police and national security forces were there. We are investigating further details."

Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack.

"Our fighter managed to enter with his car bomb inside government forces base in Afgoye. We killed dozens," Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, the spokesman for al Shabaab's military operations told Reuters.

"The car was heavily laden with explosives. It is a great victory for al Shabaab," he said.

(Reporting by Abdi Sheikh and Feisal Omar; Editing by David Clarke and Sophie Hares)

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2012/06/16/world/africa/16reuters-somalia-conflict.html?ref=global-home&gwh=4582477E0E55BB8B2FD6DAE16FA7554D

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Europe

 

U.N. Isn't Ready to Back Military Intervention in Mali

 June 16, 2012

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The U.N. Security Council is not ready to agree to an African Union request for endorsement of military intervention in Mali, where rebels and Islamist militants have seized control of much of the country, council diplomats said on Friday.

"It's going to take some time before the Security Council is in a position to approve outside intervention in Mali," a council diplomat told Reuters on condition of anonymity. "It's not that we're opposed, it's just that there are many questions about how it would be done that need to be answered first."

Mali, once regarded as a good example of African democracy, collapsed into chaos after soldiers toppled the president in March, leaving a power vacuum that enabled Tuareg rebels from the north to take control of nearly two-thirds of the country.

The uprising also involved both local and foreign Islamist militants, and Western diplomats talk of the risk of the country turning into a "West African Afghanistan."

The African Union said on Tuesday it had asked the U.N. Security Council for a resolution that would allow military intervention in Mali.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), an umbrella group of 15 countries aimed at promoting regional cooperation, says it is ready to organize military intervention to restore constitutional order in the country, but wants a U.N. Security Council mandate and U.N. support.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2012/06/15/world/africa/15reuters-africa-mali-

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Russia Sending Missile Systems to Shield Syria

By ANDREW E. KRAMER

 June 16, 2012

MOSCOW — Russia’s chief arms exporter said Friday that his company was shipping advanced defensive missile systems to Syria that could be used to shoot down airplanes or sink ships if the United States or other nations try to intervene to halt the country’s spiral of violence.

“I would like to say these mechanisms are really a good means of defense, a reliable defense against attacks from the air or sea,” Anatoly P. Isaykin, the general director of the company, Rosoboronexport, said Friday in an interview. “This is not a threat, but whoever is planning an attack should think about this.”

As the weapons systems are not considered cutting edge, Mr. Isaykin’s disclosures carried greater symbolic import than military significance. They contributed to a cold war chill that has been settling over relations between Washington and Moscow ahead a meeting between President Obama and President Vladimir V. Putin, their first, on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit meeting in the Mexican resort of Los Cabos next week.

Mr. Isaykin’s remarks come just days after Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton raised diplomatic pressure on Russia, Syria’s patron, by criticizing the Kremlin for sending attack helicopters to Damascus, and amid reports that Moscow was preparing to send an amphibious landing vessel and a small company of marines to the Syrian port of Tartus, to provide security for military installations and infrastructure, if it becomes necessary.

George Little, a Defense Department spokesman, declined to comment on Mr. Isaykin’s remarks.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/16/world/europe/russia-sending-air-and-sea-defenses-to-

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The victim of a Islamophobic attack awaits the verdict of a Versailles appeal court

June 16, 2012

The victim of a vicious Islamophobic attack awaits the verdict of a Versailles appeal court after his alleged attackers, one a known violent racist, were acquitted.

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - The victim of a vicious Islamophobic attack awaits the verdict of a Versailles appeal court after his alleged attackers, one a known violent racist, were acquitted.

Nouredine Rachedi and his supporters in the campaign group Justice for Nouredine were in court on 12 June and now anxiously await the verdict.

The case concerns the acquittal of two young men accused by the 34-year-old Frenchman of assaulting him late one night in July 2008.  Nouredine Rachedi was walking home through a public park in Yvelines when he was beaten up by two men who stopped him, asked for a cigarette and then asked him if he was a Muslim, how long he had lived in France (he was born there) and what he thought of Radovan Karadzic, who had just been arrested. Then, telling him they were nazis, they set upon him with fists and feet, kicking him all over his body and in the head. The statistician was off work for three weeks with a collapsed lung and head injuries.

Full report at:

http://www.abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&Id=322540

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Renowned French Muslim thinker Roger Garaudy passes away

 June 16, 2012

Paris, 26 Rajab/16 June (IINA) – World renowned French Muslim thinker Roger Garaudy died on Thursday in theParissuburb of Chennevieres after prolonged illness. He was 99. Garaudy will be laid to rest on Monday inParis.  Formerly a prominent communist author, he converted to Islam and wrote several books which have been controversial due to his anti-Zionist positions and denial of the Holocaust. Widely acclaimed as the most important international Muslim cultural personality of the 20th century, Garaudy was the winner of several prestigious awards, including the King Faisal International Prize for Services to Islam in 1986. His masterpiece – Les Mythes fondateurs de la politique israelienne – was the most controversial because of his boldness to deny the Holocaust by calling it a myth and that it had not taken place.

Full report at:

http://iina.me/wp_en/?p=1009082

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URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/car-bomb-in-iraq-kills-14-on-shiite-pilgrimage/d/7645



 

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