New Age Islam
Fri Aug 14 2020, 06:52 AM

Islamic World News ( 7 Oct 2017, NewAgeIslam.Com)

China Backs Pakistan, Wants US to Recognise Islamabad's Efforts to Combat Terrorism









Photo: People protest against mob lynchings across the country in New Delhi, June 2017.Reuters

 

Over 200 Muslim Families Flee Rajasthan's Danta Village Following Manganiyar Folk Singer's Lynching

Over 90 Taliban Militants Killed In Operation In Southern Afghanistan

Video Shows Desperate Rohingya Muslims Swimming Across River to Escape Violence in Burma

Shia Mps Plan To Sack Kurdish MPs In Baghdad For Voting ‘Yes’ In Kurdistan Referendum

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Pakistan

China Backs Pakistan, Wants US to Recognise Islamabad's Efforts to Combat Terrorism

Pak Responds to US Criticism, Says CPEC Is Development Project

Imran threatens agitation in Islamabad if Nawaz 'destroys order'

'This isn't about accountability, it's about revenge,' Maryam on NAB references

Former ISI chief Lt Gen Rizwan Akhtar takes early retirement from army

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India

Over 200 Muslim Families Flee Rajasthan's Danta Village Following Manganiyar Folk Singer's Lynching

BJP's Abrasive Campaigns on Terrorism And 'Love Jihad' May Backfire In Kerala's Muslim Belt

Pressure up on LeT, Hizbul Mujahideen; Kashmir Valley Braces for Attacks

Privatisation of Air India will impact Haj air operations: Govt panel

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South Asia

Over 90 Taliban Militants Killed In Operation In Southern Afghanistan

'How Did IS Emerge In Afghanistan Under US Watch?' Asks Hamid Karzai

Bangladesh PM Says Government Will Continue To Help Rohingya

Ghani asks Taliban to carefully opt between peace and violence

Taliban chief attempting for cease fire with ISIS group

Certain circles in ANDS ranks have no capability or will to end war, claims Hekmatyar

Deadly airstrike targets Taliban compound in Sar-e-Pul province

Gen. Raziq confirms Taliban chief’s visit to Helmand

NATO commander says Taliban and their supporters will never win

Taliban reacts in panic as Black Hawk helicopters handed over to the Afghan forces

Karzai to ask govt leaders for Loya Jirga regarding new US strategy

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Southeast Asia

Video Shows Desperate Rohingya Muslims Swimming Across River to Escape Violence in Burma

Indonesian Police Arrest 58 Men In Raid On Gay Sauna

Filipino bishops deny trying to undermine Duterte’s government

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Arab World

Shia Mps Plan To Sack Kurdish MPs In Baghdad For Voting ‘Yes’ In Kurdistan Referendum

Syrian Army Has Encircled Islamic State In Al-Mayadin Stronghold, Says Source

Final Assault on Islamic State In Raqqa To Start Soon, Says Field Commander

Bahrain: Number of Detained Children from Diraz Mounts to 4

Turkish Army, Ankara-Backed Militants Preparing to Launch Attacks on SDF in Northern Syria

Syrian Army Retakes Control over Sukhnah-DeirEzzur Highway

Army Repels Al-Nusra Front's Attack on Gov't Positions in Aleppo

Syria: Army Lays Siege on Terrorists in ISIL's Main Stronghold in South-eastern DeirEzzur

Terrorists Withdraw from More Regions in Northern Outskirts of DeirEzzur City

More Civilians Killed, Injured in US Air Assaults in North-eastern Syria

Gunman kills two guards at Saudi royal palace

Abadi Spokesperson: Baghdad Not Committed to Talks between Barzani, Iraqi VPs

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Australia

Gungahlin Mosque Opens after Battling Years Of Delays

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Africa

Nigeria Tries Boko Haram Suspects behind Closed Doors

Libya says remains found of Copts beheaded on beach

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Mideast

Envoy: Iran Seeking to Resolve Rohingya Muslims' Carnage

Turkey-backed rebels in new Syria operation: Erdogan

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Europe

'I Was Just BLOWN Away': Muslim-Convert Surfer Sheikh Who Claims Shaking Hands With Women Is Sexual Harassment Speechless After He Shook A Buddhist Monk's Hand - Only To Discover She Was A Lady

Polish Catholics gather at border for controversial prayer event

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North America

Trump: Netanyahu 'Bigger Problem' in Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/china-backs-pakistan,-wants-us-to-recognise-islamabad-s-efforts-to-combat-terrorism/d/112804

 

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China backs Pakistan, wants US to recognise Islamabad's efforts to combat terrorism

PTI | Oct 7, 2017

BEIJING: Amid mounting US pressure on Pakistan to rein in terror groups, China on Saturday backed its all-weather ally and said Washington should "give full recognition" to Islamabad's "active efforts" to combat terrorism.

"Pakistan is at the forefront of the fight against terrorism," the Chinese foreign ministry said, reacting to Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen Joseph Dunford's remarks that Pakistan's spy agency ISI has connections with terrorist groups and Islamabad should change its behaviour.

Over the years, Pakistan has made active efforts to combat terrorism and made huge sacrifices to combat terrorism, the ministry said in a written response to a question from PTI about Gen Dunford's comments.

US Defence Secretary James Mattis told a House Armed Services Committee that the US has asked Pakistan to change its behaviour and Washington will "try one more time" to work with Islamabad to end its support for terrorists.

Latest reports said US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will visit Pakistan to convey President Donald Trump's tough message to change its policies of backing terrorist groups.

"We believe that the international community should give full recognition to Pakistan's counter-terrorism efforts," the ministry said.

China supports the international community to strengthen international anti-terrorism cooperation and form a concerted effort, it said.

"We hope that the two countries will cooperate in the fight against terrorism on the basis of mutual respect and work together for the security and stability of the region and the world," the ministry added.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/china-backs-pakistan-wants-us-to-recognise-islamabads-efforts-to-combat-terrorism/articleshow/60984464.cms

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Over 200 Muslim families flee Rajasthan's Danta village following Manganiyar folk singer's lynching

October 8, 2017

People protest against mob lynchings across the country in New Delhi, June 2017.Reuters

Two weeks after a Muslim man was lynched to death in Danta village of Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, 20 families belonging to the same community have reportedly fled the village on Friday.

On September 27, 48-year-old Ahmad Khan was allegedly thrashed to death after a minor tiff with the temple priest.

Khan hailed from Manganiyar community of Muslims who are known for their folk songs in praise of Hindu deities. He had been performing in Navratri gatherings in the village temple for nearly a decade.

On the day of the assault, Suthar, the temple priest, had reportedly asked Khan to sing a particular song which is believed to please the Goddess and make her spirit enter the priest's body. 

On observing that nothing happened, the priest blamed Ahmad's poor singing to be the reason for the goddess to 'abandon' him and assaulted the 55-year-old singer.

The assault later led to lynching which happened outside Khan's house. Suthar, along with two of his relatives — Tara Ram and Shyam Ram, dragged Khan out from his house and thrashed him. Khan reportedly succumbed to injuries on the spot.

"My husband was murdered over a petty issue and we were treated like doomed. Danta can no longer be home to us," said Ahmad's widow, Kenku.

His body was found in the temple the next morning. Sources told that Khan's family was threatened and stopped from filing a First Information Report (FIR).

One of Khan's son said, "They threatened us that if we did not leave the village they will kill us."

"After that about 20 families consisting around 200 members have left the village and took shelter at nearby Balad village in our relative's house," Khan's son added.

"He(Suthar) broke Khan's musical instruments and also assaulted him," a local police official was quoted by Hindustan Times as saying.

The Manganiyars residing in the village were also threatened by the priest. Fearing for their lives, Khan's family secretly buried his body.

Autopsy confirms physical assault

However, the family lodged an FIR on October 1, post which the police launched an investigation. A case was registered against the accused under Section 302 for murder and Section 323 ( punishment for voluntarily causing hurt).

Following a complaint by Khan's family, all the 20 Manganiyar families, involving around 200 people, were forced to leave Danta.

The police recovered Khan's body later, and in the post-mortem, it was discovered that Khan succumbed to his injuries caused due to severe thrashing.

The temple priest, who reportedly stands as the main accused, has been arrested by the police. Meanwhile, the other two involved in lynching are on the run.

This was the second lynching incident where an individual from the minority group was thrashed to death in Danta, Rajasthan.

ibtimes.co.in/over-200-muslim-families-flee-rajasthans-danta-village-following-manganiyar-folk-singers-lynching-744829

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Over 90 Taliban militants killed in operation in Southern Afghanistan

October 8, 2017

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Almost a hundred militants from the Taliban terrorist group were reportedly killed in a set of raids held in the southern Afghan province of Helmand.

More than 90 militants from the Taliban terrorist group were killed in a set of raids held in the Gereshk district of the southern Afghan province of Helmand during the last two weeks, local media reported.

The Pajhwok news agency reported Saturday citing the police chief of the district about the Taliban victims in the operation as well as about seized pick-up vehicles, automatic rifles, a machine gun and motorcycles.

The media outlet added that within the framework of the operation five Afghan servicemen were killed and nine more were wounded.

Over the years, Afghanistan has been facing an unstable political and humanitarian situation, which had worsened due to the activities of terrorist groups such as Taliban.

en.abna24.com/news/central-asia-subcontinent/over-90-taliban-militants-killed-in-operation-in-southern-afghanistan_858976.html

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Video shows desperate Rohingya Muslims swimming across river to escape violence in Burma

 

More Rohingya Muslims fleeing violence in Burma streamed toward the border on Friday, despite government assurances that it was stopping the massive exodus of refugees to Bangladesh.

A video showed dozens of Rohingya attempting to swim across the currents of a muddy river, from where it is a more than 12-mile walk through jungles to the border.

Many more people, from young children to old men, stood huddled with their belongings on the riverbank in the footage.

Burma has come under international criticism for failing to stop the violence, and in turn the tide of more than half a million Rohingya who have made the often perilous journey to Bangladesh since late August, the largest refugee crisis to hit Asia in decades.

Fleeing: villagers seen crossing a river towards the Rakhine state that borders Bangladesh (AP)

The Burmese government's information committee said in a statement late on Thursday that it had stopped 17,000 Rohingya from fleeing in just four days last week.

"The Burma authorities in northern Rakhine went to the border areas where thousands of Bengalis await to flee and talked to them," it said.

Drone footage shows scale of humanitarian crisis in Bangladesh

"The local authorities told the Bengalis if they have difficulties with their livelihood, they will provide food and security and to return to their villages.

"The Bengalis agreed to stay."

standard.co.uk/news/world/video-shows-desperate-rohingya-muslims-swimming-across-river-to-escape-violence-in-burma-a3652901.html

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Shia MPs plan to sack Kurdish MPs in Baghdad for voting ‘Yes’ in Kurdistan Referendum

Oct 08, 2017

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – A Kurdish lawmaker on Saturday revealed some Shia members of the Iraqi Parliament had suggested the Parliamentary Speaker put the sacking of Kurdish lawmakers in Baghdad to vote in the next session, in response to the Sep. 25 referendum.

The people of the Kurdistan Region on Sep. 25 held a referendum on independence, and almost 93 percent voted ‘Yes,’ with over 72 percent turnout. The vote was labeled “unconstitutional and illegal” by the Federal Government of Iraq.

“Iraq’s Parliamentary Legal Committee, with the support of the lawmakers close to Maliki [former Prime Minister of Iraq], have suggested voting to remove the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), and Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU) members for voting ‘Yes’ in the referendum,” Shakhawan Abdulla, deputy head of the KDP faction in the Iraqi parliament, told Kurdistan 24.

“These chauvinist lawmakers are trying to dismiss Kurds from Baghdad permanently,” he said.

Abdulla mentioned he had already decided he would leave Baghdad permanently and return to the Kurdistan Region should Parliament chose to hold the vote, stating “I would feel proud to be dismissed for expressing my will.”

On Oct. 3, many Iraqi Shia lawmakers prevented Kurdish lawmakers in Baghdad from attending a Parliamentary session as punishment for their participation in the Sep. 25 referendum.

The Shia coalition collected 100 signatures asking the Iraqi Parliament’s leadership to prevent the Kurdish MPs from attending the session as a response to them publicly voting in favor of the “division of Iraq,” which they claim is a violation of the Constitution.

According to the Shia bloc, the Kurdish MPs should only be allowed to return to Parliament if they publicly renounce their vote and express regret for taking part in the vote.

Since Sep. 25, the Iraqi Federal Government and parliament have taken harsh measures against the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan, including a flight ban, as punishment for the vote.

kurdistan24.net/en/news/c79b917b-f520-480c-80d9-1d1f72139293

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Pakistan

China backs Pakistan, wants US to recognise Islamabad's efforts to combat terrorism

PTI | Oct 7, 2017

BEIJING: Amid mounting US pressure on Pakistan to rein in terror groups, China on Saturday backed its all-weather ally and said Washington should "give full recognition" to Islamabad's "active efforts" to combat terrorism.

"Pakistan is at the forefront of the fight against terrorism," the Chinese foreign ministry said, reacting to Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen Joseph Dunford's remarks that Pakistan's spy agency ISI has connections with terrorist groups and Islamabad should change its behaviour.

Over the years, Pakistan has made active efforts to combat terrorism and made huge sacrifices to combat terrorism, the ministry said in a written response to a question from PTI about Gen Dunford's comments.

US Defence Secretary James Mattis told a House Armed Services Committee that the US has asked Pakistan to change its behaviour and Washington will "try one more time" to work with Islamabad to end its support for terrorists.

Latest reports said US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will visit Pakistan to convey President Donald Trump's tough message to change its policies of backing terrorist groups.

"We believe that the international community should give full recognition to Pakistan's counter-terrorism efforts," the ministry said.

China supports the international community to strengthen international anti-terrorism cooperation and form a concerted effort, it said.

"We hope that the two countries will cooperate in the fight against terrorism on the basis of mutual respect and work together for the security and stability of the region and the world," the ministry added.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/china-backs-pakistan-wants-us-to-recognise-islamabads-efforts-to-combat-terrorism/articleshow/60984464.cms

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Pak responds to US criticism, says CPEC is development project

Oct 07, 2017

Pakistan on Saturday said that the $50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project is for development and it aims at the betterment of the people in the region.

The CPEC is a planned network of roads, railways and energy projects linking southern Pakistan, and the Gwadar Port, to China’s restive Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region.

Foreign Office spokesman said this in response to a query regarding US defence secretary Jim Mattis’ statement on CPEC.

Mattis had said that the Belt and Road Initiative “also goes through disputed territory, and that in itself shows the vulnerability of trying to establish that sort of a dictate”.

In a globalised world, there are many belts and many roads, and no one nation should put itself into a position of dictating ‘One Belt, One Road’ (OBOR), Mattis had told a Senate Armed Services Committee during a Congressional hearing on October 4.

Mattis’ comments were widely interpreted as the US backing India’s stand on OBOR especially related to the $50 billion CPEC which is being built through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

The Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman said CPEC is for the betterment of the people and the region.

“CPEC is a development and connectivity project for the betterment of the people in the region and beyond,” the spokesperson said.

He said as far as the Kashmir is concerned, efforts should be made to implement UN Security Council resolutions in the region.

“The international community should focus on human rights violations and heinous crimes committed in Kashmir,” the spokesman said.

hindustantimes.com/world-news/pak-responds-to-us-criticism-says-cpec-is-development-project/story-qJrYrlCuipW1mzhnLxI19K.html

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Imran threatens agitation in Islamabad if Nawaz 'destroys order'

October 08, 2017

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan at a public gathering in Buner on Sunday accused ousted premier Nawaz Sharif of attempting to provoke the army to "take over".

"He [Nawaz] keeps asking, 'Why was I removed?'," the PTI chief said, referring to the Supreme Court's disqualification of the ex-PM from public office and a court-ordered accountability reference against Sharif and his children in which he is set to be indicted on Oct 9.

"The only reason why Nawaz Sharif and his ministers are attacking the judiciary and army is to hide his money laundering," he claimed.

"Because if Nawaz Sharif is punished for money laundering, then all his money, bank accounts and properties will be frozen. They will be sold and the money will return to Pakistan," he said.

"So he's trying his best to save himself, that's why he's trying his best that the army takes over. He will destroy the country to save himself," the PTI chief told the gathering.

"Get ready," he told the youth of Buner. "If he does this, then the PTI will be on the streets of Islamabad and we will not let him be successful in destroying the order of our country."

Civil-military relations have appeared tense following Sharif's disqualification, as the ex-PM in his 'homecoming' Grand Trunk Road rally railed against a 'conspiracy' to remove him, making repeated allegations against "a few" who had "conspired to overthrow the democratic government".

However, Sharif has been unable to specify exactly who the conspirators are, but alleges that they are against the progress his government was making and the apparent re-election of the PML-N in the 2018 polls.

The strain in ties came to the fore as questions were raised over the deployment of Rangers outside the Federal Judicial Complex in Islamabad last week, where Sharif had presented himself for an accountability hearing.

The paramilitary force did not allow Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal to enter the compound, prompting an outburst from him and a subsequent inquiry into who was responsible for the forces' deployment. Following the probe, the Rangers withdrew its personnel from Parliament House security, saying they required a written order to perform their duties.

The army's media wing, however, claims the armed forces have no plans to impose martial law. Director General Inter-Services Public Relations Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor at a press conference last week said: "Saying that there is going be a martial law should not even be talked about. We are busy in doing our duty as stated in the Constitution."

dawn.com/news/1362482/imran-threatens-agitation-in-islamabad-if-nawaz-destroys-order

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'This isn't about accountability, it's about revenge,' Maryam on NAB references

October 08, 2017

Ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif's daughter Maryam Nawaz on Sunday said that the graft cases against her family have nothing to do with accountability.

Speaking to reporters in London before her departure to Pakistan, she said, "It has been exposed now and the whole world knows that this is not accountability; rather, it has turned into revenge now."

"I do not need to say anything here, the way things have been going on in the past year and a half has revealed the truth to the nation," said Maryam who is expected to appear in front of the accountability court on October 9, in a hearing of the graft cases that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) drafted against the Sharif family as directed by the Supreme Court in its July 28 Panamagate verdict.

"But a politician that has nothing to hide does not shy away from anything, which is why we [Captain Safdar and Maryam] are travelling back to the country to respect the court and the law," she said. "We will still appear in court and try the country's justice system."

Maryam's brothers — Hassan and Hussain Nawaz — are expected to remain in London. PML-N sources close to the family have said that the brothers will look at the outcome of Monday's hearing before making their decision about returning to Pakistan.

On Oct 2, the accountability court, Islamabad, issued non-bailable arrest warrants for Hussain, Hassan and retired Capt Mohammad Safdar for failing to appear in court. The judge, however, did not issue non-bailable warrants for Maryam but repeated the bailable arrest warrants after the counsel for Nawaz Sharif assured the court that she and her spouse would join the proceedings on the next date of hearing set for Oct 9.

Various members of the Sharif family have been in London at different times on and off since Nawaz Sharif's wife Kulsoom Nawaz was first diagnosed with cancer in August.

People close to Nawaz and his wife said the medical interventions had been successful. Doctors familiar with her condition have been reported as saying her cancer is curable.

NAB references

A five-member bench of the Supreme Court on July 28 had directed NAB to file references against Nawaz and his children in six weeks in the accountability court and directed the trial court to decide the references within six months. The Supreme Court also assigned Justice Ijazul Ahsan a supervisory role to monitor the progress of the accountability court proceedings.

The former premier and his sons have been named in all three NAB references, while Maryam and husband Safdar have been named only in the Avenfield reference.

The trial court judge has already decided that in case the children of Nawaz Sharif do not join the proceedings, the court would indict Sharif alone and start his trial separately.

However, sources said that if Maryam and her husband appeared before the accountability court on Monday, they would be handed over a copy of the reference related to London properties along with the relevant details.

The court may fix a date for indictment of Nawaz, his daughter and son-in-law Safdar after supplying them copies of the reference and other material.

In case of non-appearance, the court may initiate proceedings to declare the accused proclaimed offenders and order attachment of their properties.

dawn.com/news/1362478/this-isnt-about-accountability-its-about-revenge-maryam-on-nab-references

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Former ISI chief Lt Gen Rizwan Akhtar takes early retirement from army

October 08, 2017

Former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Lt Gen Rizwan Akhtar on Saturday requested early retirement from the Pakistan Army citing "pressing personal commitments".

Gen Akhtar, in a letter, asked for "premature release" starting Oct 9, 2017, after nearly 35 years of active commissioned service in the armed forces.

"I want everyone [...] to respect my decision and not succumb or resort to speculation in any domain. I shall be available for any service in the army whenever needed," he added.

Akhtar, who was replaced by Lt Gen Naveed Mukhtar as director general (DG) ISI, was posted as president of the National Defence University two weeks after Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar JavedBajwa took oath last year.

Gen Akhtar is a graduate of the Command and Staff College in Quetta, National Defence University and the Army War College, USA. He was commissioned in the Pakistan Army in Frontier Force Regiment in September 1982.

He is from the Frontier Force Regiment and commanded the infantry brigade and infantry division in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata).

Previously as DG Rangers Sindh, Gen Akhtar had been assigned with the task to lead the Karachi operation which began in 2013. But the military had replaced him as DG Rangers Sindh with Maj Gen Bilal Akbar in 2014.

He is considered to have extensive experience of counterinsurgency from a previous posting in the border region of South Waziristan.

dawn.com/news/1362474/former-isi-chief-lt-gen-rizwan-akhtar-takes-early-retirement-from-army

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India

Over 200 Muslim families flee Rajasthan's Danta village following Manganiyar folk singer's lynching

October 8, 2017

People protest against mob lynchings across the country in New Delhi, June 2017.Reuters

Two weeks after a Muslim man was lynched to death in Danta village of Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, 20 families belonging to the same community have reportedly fled the village on Friday.

On September 27, 48-year-old Ahmad Khan was allegedly thrashed to death after a minor tiff with the temple priest.

Khan hailed from Manganiyar community of Muslims who are known for their folk songs in praise of Hindu deities. He had been performing in Navratri gatherings in the village temple for nearly a decade.

On the day of the assault, Suthar, the temple priest, had reportedly asked Khan to sing a particular song which is believed to please the Goddess and make her spirit enter the priest's body. 

On observing that nothing happened, the priest blamed Ahmad's poor singing to be the reason for the goddess to 'abandon' him and assaulted the 55-year-old singer.

The assault later led to lynching which happened outside Khan's house. Suthar, along with two of his relatives — Tara Ram and Shyam Ram, dragged Khan out from his house and thrashed him. Khan reportedly succumbed to injuries on the spot.

"My husband was murdered over a petty issue and we were treated like doomed. Danta can no longer be home to us," said Ahmad's widow, Kenku.

His body was found in the temple the next morning. Sources told that Khan's family was threatened and stopped from filing a First Information Report (FIR).

One of Khan's son said, "They threatened us that if we did not leave the village they will kill us."

"After that about 20 families consisting around 200 members have left the village and took shelter at nearby Balad village in our relative's house," Khan's son added.

"He(Suthar) broke Khan's musical instruments and also assaulted him," a local police official was quoted by Hindustan Times as saying.

The Manganiyars residing in the village were also threatened by the priest. Fearing for their lives, Khan's family secretly buried his body.

Autopsy confirms physical assault

However, the family lodged an FIR on October 1, post which the police launched an investigation. A case was registered against the accused under Section 302 for murder and Section 323 ( punishment for voluntarily causing hurt).

Following a complaint by Khan's family, all the 20 Manganiyar families, involving around 200 people, were forced to leave Danta.

The police recovered Khan's body later, and in the post-mortem, it was discovered that Khan succumbed to his injuries caused due to severe thrashing.

The temple priest, who reportedly stands as the main accused, has been arrested by the police. Meanwhile, the other two involved in lynching are on the run.

This was the second lynching incident where an individual from the minority group was thrashed to death in Danta, Rajasthan.

ibtimes.co.in/over-200-muslim-families-flee-rajasthans-danta-village-following-manganiyar-folk-singers-lynching-744829

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BJP's abrasive campaigns on terrorism and 'love jihad' may backfire in Kerala's Muslim belt

Oct, 08 2017

‘Jihadi terror’ and ‘love jihad’, slogans that the Bharatiya Janata Party coined to woo the Hindus and Christians in the southern Indian state of Kerala, have become a burden for the saffron party in the Muslim belt.

The party is facing the heat of the aggressive campaign it launched against the sensational issues during its Janaraksha Yatra as it wound its way to the election-bound Vengara in Malappuram district.

Though the party chose to skip the communal issue during its campaign for the assembly by-election to be held on 11 October, the echoes of the fire-breathing speeches made by BJP national president Amit Shah and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in the initial phase of the campaign in Kannur district were felt at Vengara.

The party has sought to cool the tempers by fielding Minority Morcha national president Abdul Rasheed Ansari and party spokesman Shanawaz Hussain. While Ansari addressed a morcha convention at Vengara on Friday, Hussain joined the Janaraksha Yatra in the district on Sunday.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is also expected to join the yatra at Vengara in the evening. Fadnavis is the head of a team entrusted with the task of winning 12 Lok Sabha seats from Kerala in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections for the party under a grand plan devised to focus on about 130 winnable Lok Sabha seats, which the BJP had missed in 2014.

Though Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, one of the most prominent Muslim faces in the BJP, was to join the march in Malappuram, his programme was cancelled at the last moment for reasons not known. The party’s critics believe that it may have been cancelled as the yatra had lost its sheen after Amit Shah skipped his second leg at Pinarayi, the home village of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

The march led by BJP state president Kummanam Rajashekharan suffered another jolt on Sunday when the police registered a case against former president V Muralidharan for airing live on Facebook intimidating slogans party workers raised against CPM Kannur district secretary P Jayarajan during the march.

The Koothuparampa police have also booked the BJP workers, who threatened Jayarajan. The CPM leader had lost one of his hands in an attack by RSS men 18 years ago. The BJP workers participating in the yatra had threatened to take his other hand too.

The BJP changed the tone of the yatra after it crossed the Malappuram district boundary in the morning. The leaders switched to a pro-Muslim mould as the yatra waded through the district. Before the entry of the yatra in Malappuram district, BJP general secretary M T Ramesh sought to dispel apprehension in the minds of the Muslims over the ‘Love Jihad’ slogan, saying that the BJP had no intention to mix politics in the issue.

“The BJP is not a party in the Hadiya case. The parties in the case are the parents, who have lost their daughter. We have no intention to bring politics into it," Ramesh said at a press conference at Kozhikode. As regards jihadi terror, he said that the party’s fight was not directed against the Muslims but the extremist organisations promoting it.

The BJP is locked in a close fight for the third position at Vengara with the pro-Muslim Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) focusing their campaign against the Hindutva party’s move to put the community in the dock over terrorism and 'love jihad'.

The BJP, which had secured third position at Vengara in the 2011 Assembly election with a total vote share of 7,055 was relegated to fourth position by the SDPI in the Lok Sabha by-election held in April 2016 with 5,952 votes.

The by-election was necessitated after sitting legislator and senior Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) leader P K Kunhalikutty vacated the seat following his election to the Lok Sabha from Malappuram. Kunhalikutty had won the Assembly seat in the 2016 assembly poll by a margin of over 38,000 votes. The margin in the segment went up to over 40,000 votes in the Lok Sabha by-election.

The BJP, which had fielded a Muslim candidate in the 2016 polls, is experimenting with fielding a Hindu this time. K Janachandran, the party nominee, has been careful not to antagonize the Muslim voters by raising communally sensitive issues. He has also avoided the Janaraksha Yatra slogans.

IUML leaders feel that the BJP may have abandoned the slogans as they have realized that it won’t work in Malappuram, where Hindus have been living in harmony with the minority community for centuries. Youth League state secretary Mujeeb Kaderi said that there has been no friction between the two communities in the district.

He told Firstpost that the BJP’s love jihad slogan would also not make any impact at Vengara as there has not been even a single case of such conversion there. The Hindus know this well and they would reject the false propaganda. The drop in BJP votes in the Lok Sabha by-election is a clear indication that the Hindus in Vengara are not with the BJP.

“Though the majority community constitute nearly 20 percent of the total electorate of 1.70 lakhs at Vengara, the BJP could not muster even 25 per cent of the Hindu votes in any election there. This shows that the Hindus do not trust the communal politics of the BJP,” he added.

Kaderi said that Hindus in Malappuram were aware that IUML as a dominant political force in the district was always in the forefront in promoting communal harmony. The Malappuram district panchayat president is a Dalit. Another Hindu, KP Raman Master, who came to Malappuram after he lost his parents, was adopted by a Muslim and he became a party MLA.

“The Muslims in Malappuram are also in the forefront in helping Hindus in times of their needs. The party mobilized Rs.25 lakhs for the liver transplantation of a Hindu girl living near the house of Kunhalikutty at Vengara. She needed only Rs.15 lakhs for the surgery but we collected Rs.10 lakhs more. The remaining money was used to build a house for the family,” he added.

He said that all madrasas and Muslim organisations in the area had joined hands together in collecting the funds. The local as well as non-resident Muslims working in the Gulf countries also contributed liberally to the fund, said the Youth League leader.

He said that the IUML had not tried to join forces against the BJP over terrorism and love jihad as the party felt that issues affecting the life of common people were more important than these trivial issues. The party, therefore, has been focusing attention on the price rise and other anti-people policies of both the union and state governments.

He is hopeful that this would help the party to improve its winning margin at Vengara.

firstpost.com/politics/bjps-abrasive-campaigns-on-terrorism-and-love-jihad-may-backfire-in-keralas-muslim-belt-4121861.html

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Pressure up on LeT, HizbulMujahideen; Kashmir Valley braces for attacks

Bharti Jain | TNN | Oct 8, 2017

NEW DELHI: Intelligence agencies are apprehending more spectacular strikes by terrorists on security installations in Jammu & Kashmir given the tremendous pressure HizbulMujahideen and Lashker-e-Taiba (LeT) have come under after losing some top commanders in the past few months.

Pakistan-based masterminds are believed to have instructed Jaish, which has around 25 fidayeen in the Valley including remaining members of its Afzal Guru Squad that infiltrated from PoK two months ago, to carry out suicide attacks targeted at Army, paramilitary and police in the coming days.

"The terrorist outfits in Kashmir have seen major reverses at the hands of security forces and J&K police in the recent past. We are expecting at least two to three more terror strikes like the one on the BSF camp adjoining Srinagar airport. A group of Jaishfidayeen, with the suspected assistance of local militant NooraTrali who is known to facilitate foreign terrorists once they cross over from PoK, has been going around in the Valley, having struck first at Pulwama and recently at the BSF camp in Srinagar. Some members of this group are still missing and there is high likelihood that they may execute their fidayeen mission, targeting yet another security camp soon," an intelligence officer told TOI.

"Jaish has been more active in Jammu region as its bases are in the adjoining Punjab province of Pakistan. But with Hizbul and LeT hit by recent reverses, Jaish operatives, who specialise in suicide strikes, have been asked to carry out attacks in the Valley," the officer said.

"Hence, the focus of the security forces has to be on securing their installations and sharpening their response to a likely security breach. For terrorists, the challenge is to respond to pressure caused by reverses by carrying out spectacular strikes on high-value targets such as security camps," said the officer.

Incidentally, a preliminary assessment of Tuesday's attack on the BSF camp has found that its perimeter security was inadequate, with parapets helping terrorists gain entry to the inner premises after cutting the fence wire.

"Terrorists who probably conducted recconnaisance of the airport may have found the fence at BSF camp most breach-prone.

Also, there was little deployment of personnel along the perimeter, despite an adjoining residential area," said an officer.

Counter-terror forces have stepped up surveillance to track the remaining fidayeen of the Afzal Guru Squad still on the prowl in the Valley, as well as NooraTrali who was on parole when he went missing from his home in Tral around two months ago.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/pressure-up-on-let-hizbul-mujahideen-kashmir-valley-braces-for-attacks/articleshow/60989476.cms

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Privatisation of Air India will impact Haj air operations: Govt panel

PTI | Oct 8, 2017

NEW DELHI: A Centre-appointed committee has said privatisation of Air India will have serious consequences on Haj operations and suggested the minority affairs and civil aviation ministries prepare their response in case the proposed disinvestment goes through.

The committee, tasked with proposing the 'Haj Policy 2018-22', has also suggested that the Centre engage with the Saudi Arabia government and try to get the option of undertaking global tenders for Haj air charter operations.

The panel, with former Union secretary Afzal Amanullah as the convener, who has served as the Consul-General of India in Jeddah, has noted that during air charter operations the flights go with pilgrims but return empty.

It would be appropriate for the two ministries to explore the possibility of using empty flights for commercial purposes to bring down the cost, it has said.

The panel has also made suggestions on the food served on the planes. "Food should be non-spicy, and as far as possible, suitable to the palates of the particular region from where the pilgrims are coming."

The food has to be hygienically prepared and packed. It has also recommended random inspections to check its quality by officials, it said.

"Before pilgrims disembark at Jeddah or Medina, the airlines must necessarily give an extra food packet and a bottle of water to each pilgrim," it suggests.

The panel submitted its report to Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi in Mumbai yesterday.

India has a Haj quota of 1.70 lakh pilgrims and besides air, the government is considering the option of ferrying pilgrims via the sea route also from the next year.

"The privatisation of Air India, in case it happens, will have serious consequences on Haj air operations. The ministries and Haj Committee of India have to consider and plan how best to overcome the challenge that would arise in case of such an eventuality," the panel said.

The committee, however, did not specify possible measures should the proposed privatisation of Air India goes through.

The government has decided on strategic disinvestment of Air India and a group of ministers, headed by Finance Minister ArunJaitley, is working out the modalities. The committee has already many rounds of meetings.

The government has also sought applications from investment bankers, law firms and other entities to act as advisers for the strategic stake sale of Air India.

Airlines staff need to be formally trained about the behaviour and attitude expected of them in their dealings with the Haj pilgrims, the committee has said.

It also recommended necessarily having cabin crew knowing at least two Indian languages on each Haj charter flight.

The panel has also proposed reviving the option of ferrying devotees by ship to Saudi Arabia to perform the annual pilgrimage.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/privatisation-of-air-india-will-impact-haj-air-operations-govt-panel/articleshow/60992399.cms

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South Asia

Over 90 Taliban militants killed in operation in Southern Afghanistan

October 8, 2017

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Almost a hundred militants from the Taliban terrorist group were reportedly killed in a set of raids held in the southern Afghan province of Helmand.

More than 90 militants from the Taliban terrorist group were killed in a set of raids held in the Gereshk district of the southern Afghan province of Helmand during the last two weeks, local media reported.

The Pajhwok news agency reported Saturday citing the police chief of the district about the Taliban victims in the operation as well as about seized pick-up vehicles, automatic rifles, a machine gun and motorcycles.

The media outlet added that within the framework of the operation five Afghan servicemen were killed and nine more were wounded.

Over the years, Afghanistan has been facing an unstable political and humanitarian situation, which had worsened due to the activities of terrorist groups such as Taliban.

en.abna24.com/news/central-asia-subcontinent/over-90-taliban-militants-killed-in-operation-in-southern-afghanistan_858976.html

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'How did IS emerge in Afghanistan under US watch?' asks Hamid Karzai

October 08, 2017

During an interview with RT, former Afghan president questions how extremism in Afghanistan has increased even though US came to bring peace, stability to the country.

Former Afghan president Hamid Karzai on Sunday questioned how under the watch of US intelligence and military the militant Islamic State (IS) group emerged in Afghanistan over the past few years.

Karzai, during an interview on RT, also questioned why extremism and violence had increased in Afghanistan when the US had come to the country to bring peace and stability.

"The US came to Afghanistan to bring peace and stability and defeat extremism — [yet] we have more of it today. Why? That is what we should be discussing," Karzai said. "Clearly bombings, killings, prisons and the harassment of people [in Afghanistan] have not worked."

Noting that IS emerged in Afghanistan over the past few years, Karzai asked: "Who did this under the watch of US intelligence and military in Afghanistan and how come?"

"We have the right to ask these questions and the US government must answer."

When asked if he had suspicions that US bases in Afghanistan "were being used", the former president said that he had "more than suspicions", claiming that Afghan people had approached him and told the him that they are being supplied with helicopters.

"[They have told me about] how unmarked, non-military coloured helicopters supply these people in not just one, but many parts of the country," Karzai said, adding that such reports were coming in on a daily basis from the people in Afghanistan and from Afghan government sources.

The interviewer, pointing out that Britain had been supporting de facto IS and Al Qaeda-linked rebels in Syria, asked the president about the contrasting role Britain played in Afghanistan by liberating Helmand province.

"At that time, they did help. We are grateful for what Britain has done in Afghanistan; it was a much, much softer version of what the US did," Karzai said, admitting, however, that Helmand is no longer in control of the Afghan government today; rather, it is under the Taliban.

"How come there is more extremism in spite of millions of dollars and loss of lives?" Karzai asked. When the interviewer followed up with a question about "proof," Karzai added: "The proof is what is happening in Afghanistan."

He said that the questions that are being raised are founded on "fundamental evidence of wrongdoing."

The former president concluded that bombs and military action will not bring peace to Afghanistan. Instead, he said, Afghans must develop a "mechanism of [their] own to reach to everyone, including the Taliban the sons of our soil to seek a settlement."

He added that this process should be supported by everyone, adding that the US must act as a cooperative partner in the region with "big countries, such as China, Russia, Pakistan, Iran and India to bring peace."

When asked about a recent Taliban attack at an airport in Kabul that took place on the same day that US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis arrived in the Afghan capital for talks, Karzai said that the attack was an "indication of how things are wrong."

"17 years on, the Americans can't even keep the airports safe on the day the defence secretary and the Nato chief are visiting Kabul," he said.

Two sides to Afghan-Pak relations

The Afghan president said that there are two sides to Afghanistan's relationship with Pakistan; on one hand, "when we became refugees of Soviet invasion in Afghanistan, Pakistan welcomed us tremendously, like brothers and sisters, and we lived like [we would] in our own homes."

"But then, as backers of the Afghan resistance against the Soviet Union, Pakistan and the Americans did the most horrible activity of trying to weaken the traditional Afghan system [...] weaken our moderation, our tolerant society and turn our religion into an extreme tool," Karzai said, adding that this involvement led to "all other things", including 9/11 and subsequent bloodshed in Afghanistan.

''Pakistan was used by US'

Karzai hoped that Pakistan would "recognise that it was used by the US against a neighbour for a purpose that was not human" at the time of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

He added that now the US, under President Donald Trump's South Asia policy, is doing the same to Pakistan to "prevent integration and economic development in this region."

Announcing his South Asia policy in August, Trump had called for greater troop deployment and Indian involvement in Afghanistan. The US president had also lambasted Pakistan for offering safe havens to “agents of chaos”.

Karzai added that the common point between Pakistan and Afghanistan regarding Trump's policy was that both countries recognise it will not help matters in Afghanistan. "We don't want to be tools in big games where we get stepped on for the objectives of others," Karzai said. "Pakistan did the same to us, but we do not want to do this to Pakistan."

He said that Afghanistan wants to "extend a hand of friendship to Pakistan and join hands with the region to salvage ourselves from this conspiracy."

dawn.com/news/1362481/how-did-is-emerge-in-afghanistan-under-us-watch-asks-hamid-karzai

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Bangladesh PM says government will continue to help Rohingya

October 7

DHAKA, Bangladesh — Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said Saturday that her government would continue to support nearly 1 million Rohingya Muslims who have fled neighboring Myanmar to escape violence.

Hasina said the government was pursuing a plan to build temporary shelters for the Rohingya on an island with the help of international aid agencies whom she praised for their support.

She made the statement at Dhaka airport on her return from New York after attending the U.N. General Assembly session. The U.N. has described the violence in Myanmar as “ethnic cleansing.”

Hasina accused Myanmar of creating tensions at the border, but said she has asked the country’s security forces to deal with the crisis “very carefully.”

“They pretended like they wanted a war,” she said.

More than 500,000 Rohingya Muslims have crossed over to Bangladesh since late August, when Myanmar security forces responded to militant attacks with a broad crackdown that witnesses and rights groups say has included killing and arson. An equal number of Rohingya Muslims have previously fled Myanmar since 1978.

Myanmar doesn’t recognize the Rohingya as an ethnic group, instead insisting they are Bengali migrants from Bangladesh living illegally in the country. Myanmar has come under international criticism for failing to stop the recent violence in its Rakhine state and in turn an exodus that has become the largest refugee crisis to hit Asia in decades.

The Myanmar government’s information committee said late Thursday that it had stopped 17,000 Rohingya from fleeing in just four days last week. Villagers, however, say that Rohingya are still attempting to leave and that many are gathered on the beaches just across the water from Bangladesh waiting for a chance to leave the country.

On Saturday, Hasina reiterated that the settlements for Rohingya Muslims would be temporary until they returned to their homes in Myanmar.

She said her government would continue to support them with food and shelter.

“If needed, we will eat a full meal once a day and share the rest with them,” she said.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/bangladesh-pm-says-government-will-continue-to-help-rohingya/2017/10/07/c53e3a9e-ab25-11e7-9a98-07140d2eed02_story.html?utm_term=.63f176c93767

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Ghani asks Taliban to carefully opt between peace and violence

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Oct 08 2017

Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani once again called on Taliban group to renounce violence and join peace process, insisting that the option lies with the group and therefore they should be specific in their review.

Speaking during a ceremony for the transfer of the UH-60 Black Hawks to the Afghan forces in Kandahar Airfield, President Ghani said the Taliban should forget the perceptions that they can defeat the Afghan security forces.

He said the Taliban are still in a position where options lies with the group and the government extends the hand for peace.

In the other parts of his speech, President Ghani said one of the other objectives of the four year development plan of the security forces is to create an environment where only the national defense and security forces have the authority to use weapons.

President Ghani further added that the government is keen to restrict the activities of the irresponsible armed individuals based on the demands of the people.

He also thanked the officials of the national defense and security forces, the US special inspector general for reconstruction in Afghanistan, NATO Resolute Support commander, and the international allies of Afghanistan for their services and coordination.

President Ghani said the efforts and coordination between the Afghan government institutions and the international allies of the country will take the country towards peace and stability.

khaama.com/ghani-asks-taliban-to-carefully-opt-between-peace-and-violence-03600

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Taliban chief attempting for cease fire with ISIS group

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Oct 08 2017

The Taliban supreme leader Mullah HebatullahAkhundzada has reportedly started efforts to end the conflict with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group.

A source in South of Afghanistan privy of the development has said the leader of the Taliban group has instructed his fighters to end the war with the terror group.

The source further added that the leader of the group has instructed his fighters not to attack the militants of the terror group in a meeting with his commanders during the recent days.

Akhundzada has also told his fighters and commanders that the cause of the Taliban and ISIS-led insurgency are similar and therefore the conflict between the groups should end.

This comes as bloody clashes continue in some parts of the country between the Taliban group and ISIS militants.

The loyalists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group called on the Taliban militants to surrender and join their ranks as soon as they started their operations in Afghanistan some years ago.

However, the Taliban group rejected the call by the ISIS terrorist group, a move which sparked bloody clashes between the two sides.

The ISIS loyalists are claiming that the Taliban group’s insurgency has no religious basis and therefore they should surrender and join the Caliphate ranks.

khaama.com/taliban-chief-attempting-for-seize-fire-with-isis-group-03596

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Certain circles in ANDS ranks have no capability or will to end war, claims Hekmatyar

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Oct 08 2017

The leader of Hezb-e-IslamiGulbuddinHekmatyar has said certain people exist among the security forces ranks who are not having the capabilities or the will to end the war.

Hekmatyar made the remarks during a meeting with the tribal and Jihadi leaders from the northern Parwan province of Afghanistan, according to the media wing of the party.

However, he did not provide any further information regarding his latest claims regarding the security forces ranks.

He said the circles are intentionally and willfully attempting to extend the war in the country.

Hekmatyar called on the tribal and Jihadi elders to step up efforts in a bid to take the responsibility of the security in their own areas.

The leader of Hezb-e-Islami claimed that the government and the foreign forces have remained short to ensure security for the people.

According to Hekmatyar, the ongoing war and violence in the country is against the interests of Islam and Afghanistan as only the Afghan people are paying the price.

In the meantime, he expressed hopes that the peace and stability will return to the country, insisting that the Afghan people should remain optimistic in this regard.

khaama.com/certain-circles-in-ands-ranks-have-no-capability-or-will-to-end-war-claims-hekmatyar-03603

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Deadly airstrike targets Taliban compound in Sar-e-Pul province

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Oct 08 2017

A deadly airstrike targeted a compound of the Taliban insurgents in northern Sar-e-Pul province of Afghanistan, leaving several people dead or wounded.

According to the local security officials, the airstrike was carried out late on Saturday afternoon.

Provincial police chief KhalilullahDastyar confirmed that a compound of the Taliban insurgents was targeted in Dara-e-Alf Safi  area.

He said at least seven Taliban insurgents were killed in the airstrike and at least eleven others were wounded.

Dastyar further added that the airstrike was carried out as the Taliban insurgents were busy training their militants for an attack.

According to the police chief, the Taliban insurgents were using the compound as their main training facility in this province.

The Taliban insurgents have not commented regarding the report so far.

The security situation in Sar-e-Pul province has started to deteriorate during the recent years amid rampant insurgency led by the Taliban and other insurgent groups.

The loyalists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group also conduct insurgency activities in some parts of the province.

However, the security officials are saying that the Afghan security forces are busy conducting counter-terrorism and clearance operations to root out the militants from the province and other parts of the northern Afghanistan.

khaama.com/deadly-airstrike-targets-taliban-compound-in-sar-e-pul-province-03602

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Gen. Raziq confirms Taliban chief’s visit to Helmand

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Oct 08 2017

The provincial police chief of southern Kandahar province Gen. Abdul Raziq confirmed the Taliban supreme leader Mullah HebatullahAkhundzada visited southern Helmand province nearly ten days ago.

Gen. Raziq said a number of the members of the Quetta Council of the Taliban as well as some operatives of the Pakistani intelligence were also accompanying Mullah Hebatullah during his visit.

He said the Taliban chief arrived to Musa Qala district where he summoned a meeting of his local commanders and leaders to discuss the ongoing situation.

According to Gen. Raziq, the Taliban commanders and leaders were summoned from the southern and western provinces of the country for the talks.

The Kandahar police chief believes the main topic discussed during the meeting included the growing pressure, including increased airstrikes that have badly interrupted the operations of the group.

This comes as a source in South of Afghanistan privy of the development has said the leader of the Taliban group has instructed his fighters to end the war with the terror group.

The source further added that the leader of the group has instructed his fighters not to attack the militants of the terror group in a meeting with his commanders during the recent days.

Akhundzada has also told his fighters and commanders that the cause of the Taliban and ISIS-led insurgency are similar and therefore the conflict between the groups should end.

khaama.com/gen-raziq-confirms-taliban-chiefs-visit-to-helmand-03601

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NATO commander says Taliban and their supporters will never win

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Oct 08 2017

The commander of the NATO-led Resolute Support mission and the US forces in Afghanistan General John Nicholson has said the Taliban and their supporters will never win.

Speaking during a ceremony for the transfer of the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters to the Afghan forces, Gen. Nicholson said the war against terrorism is not only the war in Afghanistan and Central Asia and also not against Taliban, Haqqani network, or Al-Qaeda but this is a war against the enemies of the humanity.

He said to the message of the coalition and the security forces to the enemies and their supporters is clear that they will not win.

Gen. Nicholson further added that the size of the Afghan Special Forces has increased to double while the Afghan Air Power has increased three times which shows that the enemies will lose.

The NATO commander also added that it is still not too late for the enemies to refrain from supporting the terrorists and the smugglers of the illicit drugs.

He also added that the Taliban group will not win as the international community, the United States, and NATO have renewed their commitments to support Afghanistan and the Taliban have also failed to turn their dreams into a reality of capturing the provincial capital of the provinces.

khaama.com/nato-commander-says-taliban-and-their-supporters-will-never-win-03599

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Taliban reacts in panic as Black Hawk helicopters handed over to the Afghan forces

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Oct 08 2017

The Taliban group reacted in panic regarding the handover of the first batch of the modern UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters to the Afghan security forces.

The Taliban group spokesman ZabiullahMujahid in a statement said “US commander & Ashraf Ghani must remember that our fight is not based on technology but is an ideologically motivated fight.”

Mujahid further added “When Soviet and Communist government fell, they left 100’s of aircraft in airbases. US also tested 100’s of various aircraft here 16 years ago.”

He went on to claim “Learn from history; your aircraft will strengthen us and shall work for our interests and goals just like your Humvee and Ford Ranger trucks.”

The first batch of the Black Hawks were handed over to the Afghan air force during the a ceremony organized in Kandahar province on Saturday.

President Mohamamd Ashraf Ghani and other senior officials had also participated in the ceremony.

The Afghan Air Force is expecting to receive around 159 Black Hawk helicopters in coming years as part of the ongoing efforts by the international allies of the country for the modernization of the Afghan Air Force in a bid to boost the capabilities of the national defense and security forces.

khaama.com/taliban-reacts-in-panic-as-black-hawk-helicopters-handed-over-to-the-afghan-forces-03598

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Karzai to ask govt leaders for Loya Jirga regarding new US strategy

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Oct 08 2017

The former Afghan President Hamid Karzai is expected to ask the Afghan government to convene a Loya Jirga, grand council of the tribal elders, to discuss the new US strategy for Afghanistan.

In an interview with the BBC Pashto service, Karzai said he will ask the government leaders in coming to call for a loya Jirga.

Karzai further added that the Loya Jirga should review the new US strategy and next steps should be taken based on the decisions of the Afghan people.

He reiterated his previous stance regarding the new US strategy and said he still opposes the strategy of Washington for Afghanistan and South Asia.

According to Karzai, the new US strategy is against the interests of the region and the country.

The former Afghan President also opposes with the involvement of India for the implementation of the new US strategy.

Speaking to reports in London last week, Karzai said India should not be pulled into the US’ approach to Afghanistan, warning that the new US approach was part of a “bigger strategic game” that would not bring peace to the region.

Karzai further added that India should maintain its own and independent approach towards Afghanistan considering the national interests of both the nations.

khaama.com/karzai-to-ask-govt-leaders-for-loya-jirga-regarding-new-us-strategy-03597

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Southeast Asia

Video shows desperate Rohingya Muslims swimming across river to escape violence in Burma

 

More Rohingya Muslims fleeing violence in Burma streamed toward the border on Friday, despite government assurances that it was stopping the massive exodus of refugees to Bangladesh.

A video showed dozens of Rohingya attempting to swim across the currents of a muddy river, from where it is a more than 12-mile walk through jungles to the border.

Many more people, from young children to old men, stood huddled with their belongings on the riverbank in the footage.

Burma has come under international criticism for failing to stop the violence, and in turn the tide of more than half a million Rohingya who have made the often perilous journey to Bangladesh since late August, the largest refugee crisis to hit Asia in decades.

Fleeing: villagers seen crossing a river towards the Rakhine state that borders Bangladesh (AP)

The Burmese government's information committee said in a statement late on Thursday that it had stopped 17,000 Rohingya from fleeing in just four days last week.

"The Burma authorities in northern Rakhine went to the border areas where thousands of Bengalis await to flee and talked to them," it said.

Drone footage shows scale of humanitarian crisis in Bangladesh

"The local authorities told the Bengalis if they have difficulties with their livelihood, they will provide food and security and to return to their villages.

"The Bengalis agreed to stay."

standard.co.uk/news/world/video-shows-desperate-rohingya-muslims-swimming-across-river-to-escape-violence-in-burma-a3652901.html

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Indonesian police arrest 58 men in raid on gay sauna

8 October 2017

Indonesian police have detained 58 men including several foreigners in a raid on a gay sauna, an official said Saturday, the latest sign of a backlash against homosexuals in the Muslim-majority country.

Police late Friday raided a building in the capital Jakarta that houses a sauna and a gym after they received information from the public that it was being used for prostitution.

"We secured 51 and seven employees for allegedly providing pornographic services," Jakarta Police spokesman Argo Yuwono said in a statement.

Six foreigners were among those detained, including four men from China, one from Thailand and one from Holland.

Homosexuality and gay sex are legal everywhere in Indonesia except in conservative Aceh province, but police have used the country's tough anti-pornography laws or drugs charges to criminalise LGBT people in the past.

Yuwono said six of those detained would be charged under Indonesia's anti-pornography law, and could face up to six years in prison.

It is not clear what -- if anything -- the remaining 52 would be charged with.

Friday's raid comes at a time of growing hostility towards Indonesia's small lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

Ministers, hardliners and influential Islamic groups have lined up to make anti-LGBT statements in public recently.

In similar incident in May, 141 men were detained for allegedly taking part in a sex party in Jakarta promoted as "The Wild One".

Andreas Harsono, senior Indonesia researcher at Human Rights Watch, condemned the arrests.

"This is part of the ongoing anti-LGBT campaign in Indonesia that has been going on since January last year," he told AFP.

"Human Rights Watch demands police release them and not make up charges against them."

He said the increase in discrimination towards LGBT Indonesians was related to the rise of conservative Islam.

dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-4958424/Indonesian-police-arrest-58-men-raid-gay-sauna.html

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Filipino bishops deny trying to undermine Duterte’s government

Saturday, 7 Oct 2017

The Church is sheltering several police officers who claim to have knowledge of extrajudicial killings

Catholic bishops are not out to undermine the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte by offering sanctuary to The allegedly linked to drug-related killings, an official of the bishops’ conference said.

Fr Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the public affairs office of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, said Church leaders should not be perceived as plotting against anyone.

“The church is not one to take steps to destabilize the institution (government) or to undermine the president,” he told ucanews.com.

He said some law enforcement officers sought the help and protection of the Church so they could reveal what they know about drug-related killings.

About 3,500 alleged drug dealers and users have been killed in official police operations since Duterte took office following his election in 2016 while thousands more have died in vigilante killings, The Washington Post has reported.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II accused Church leaders of hiding witnesses, hampering the investigations of recent killings, particularly that of three teenagers in the Manila suburb of Caloocan.

Aguirre charged that Church leaders have been trying to obstruct investigations by withholding witnesses.

“Why are you intervening? … Aren’t we all in favor of eliminating police scalawags who kill teenagers who are helpless?” he asked.

National Police Chief Ronald dela Rosa also urged the bishops to turn over police officers who reportedly have information about the killings.

“If it’s true, then present these people. There is no problem,” said dela Rosa. “We are talking about testimonies.”

Dela Rosa said he would not stop police officers seeking the help of bishops, but warned of “sanctions” if they go absent from their duties.

Meanwhile, members of the Philippines Senate who are investigating the killings offered protection to the police officers.

Senator PanfiloLacson, who chairs the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs, appealed to the bishops to allow the police officers to testify in the investigation.

“(The bishops) can bring them to us and we will not shy away from our mandated task to conduct the investigation,” Lacson said.

He added that police officers should issue sworn statements to support their stories.

Senator Grace Poe, vice chair of the Senate panel, lauded the Church for “opening its arms wide to provide sanctuary” to witnesses.

Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan, bishops’ conference president, earlier announced that police officers wanting to reveal information about the drug war have sought Church protection.

“They have expressed their desire to come out in the open about their participation in extrajudicial killings and summary executions,” he said.

The archbishop declined to say how many police officers were prepared to come forward or if they included two officers who earlier testified at a Senate hearing. He said convents and seminaries in the archdiocese could serve as places of refuge for witnesses and their families after an assessment of the accuracy of their accounts.

Fr Secillano, however, said law enforcers should follow a “process” before they are placed under the Church’s protection.

“The initial step is the Church will listen to them,” the priest said. “They won’t be rejected right away. The determination of the truthfulness of what they are saying comes next.”

catholicherald.co.uk/news/2017/10/07/filipino-bishops-deny-trying-to-undermine-dutertes-government/

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Arab World

Shia MPs plan to sack Kurdish MPs in Baghdad for voting ‘Yes’ in Kurdistan Referendum

Oct 08, 2017

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – A Kurdish lawmaker on Saturday revealed some Shia members of the Iraqi Parliament had suggested the Parliamentary Speaker put the sacking of Kurdish lawmakers in Baghdad to vote in the next session, in response to the Sep. 25 referendum.

The people of the Kurdistan Region on Sep. 25 held a referendum on independence, and almost 93 percent voted ‘Yes,’ with over 72 percent turnout. The vote was labeled “unconstitutional and illegal” by the Federal Government of Iraq.

“Iraq’s Parliamentary Legal Committee, with the support of the lawmakers close to Maliki [former Prime Minister of Iraq], have suggested voting to remove the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), and Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU) members for voting ‘Yes’ in the referendum,” Shakhawan Abdulla, deputy head of the KDP faction in the Iraqi parliament, told Kurdistan 24.

“These chauvinist lawmakers are trying to dismiss Kurds from Baghdad permanently,” he said.

Abdulla mentioned he had already decided he would leave Baghdad permanently and return to the Kurdistan Region should Parliament chose to hold the vote, stating “I would feel proud to be dismissed for expressing my will.”

On Oct. 3, many Iraqi Shia lawmakers prevented Kurdish lawmakers in Baghdad from attending a Parliamentary session as punishment for their participation in the Sep. 25 referendum.

The Shia coalition collected 100 signatures asking the Iraqi Parliament’s leadership to prevent the Kurdish MPs from attending the session as a response to them publicly voting in favor of the “division of Iraq,” which they claim is a violation of the Constitution.

According to the Shia bloc, the Kurdish MPs should only be allowed to return to Parliament if they publicly renounce their vote and express regret for taking part in the vote.

Since Sep. 25, the Iraqi Federal Government and parliament have taken harsh measures against the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan, including a flight ban, as punishment for the vote.

kurdistan24.net/en/news/c79b917b-f520-480c-80d9-1d1f72139293

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Syrian army has encircled Islamic State in al-Mayadin stronghold, says source

Oct 08, 2017

Syria’s army and its allies have encircled Islamic State in the city of al-Mayadin, southeast of Deir al-Zor, in eastern Syria, a military source said on Sunday.

Al-Mayadin is one of the last strongholds of Islamic State as it falls back upon the fertile area downstream of Deir al-Zor in the Euphrates valley and launches counter attacks in the central desert after losing swathes of territory this year.

“Units of our armed forces with the allied forces continue their advance on a number of fronts and axes in Deir al-Zor and its countryside... and encircle Daesh terrorists in the city of al-Mayadin,” the military source said.

The army and its allies reached Deir al-Zor in September after a months-long offensive across the Syria desert, and have in recent weeks pushed down the Euphrates towards al-Mayadin.

However, counter attacks by Islamic State in the central desert region have put pressure on the main supply road to Deir al-Zor from western Syria.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is backed in the war by Russia, Iran and Shia militias including Lebanon’s Hezbollah, and its campaign against Islamic State has mostly been on the west bank of the river.

A US-led coalition is also supporting a rival campaign against the jihadists, mostly on the east bank, where it is close to recapturing Raqqa, and has also advanced downstream to hold areas opposite Deir al-Zor.

US officials have previously said that Islamic State had relocated some of its diminished command and propaganda structures to al-Mayadin as it was forced from territory elsewhere.

hindustantimes.com/world-news/syrian-army-has-encircled-islamic-state-in-al-mayadin-stronghold-says-source/story-h3Nbr2lBBylqQ3TLtWbTbP.html

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Final assault on Islamic State in Raqqa to start soon, says field commander

For three years Raqqa was the de facto Syrian capital of Islamic State’s self-declared caliphate.

Oct 08, 2017

A final assault on Islamic State’s last line of defence in its former Syrian capital Raqqa is scheduled to begin on Sunday night, a field commander for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), backed by a US-led coalition, said.

The assault on militants in the centre of Raqqa would focus on the area around the stadium and would attempt to surround it, the field commander, Ardal Raqqa, told Reuters in a western area of the city.

For three years Raqqa was the de facto Syrian capital of Islamic State’s self-declared caliphate, a centre of operations where it oversaw the management of its vast swathes of eastern, central and northern Syria and planned attacks abroad.

Now it is hemmed into a small area in the city centre that includes the stadium, the National Hospital and a roundabout where Islamic State once displayed the heads of its enemies.

Commanders directing the battle have warned that Islamic State fighters have taken civilian hostages and are using sniper fire, booby traps and tunnels to slow the SDF advance.

The SDF, spearheaded by the Kurdish YPG militia, began its campaign to isolate Raqqa early this year, pushing along several fronts to enclose the city against the Euphrates backed by coalition air strikes and special forces.

Its attack on the city itself started in June and the fighting left much of Raqqa in ruins, as intense air strikes and street-to-street battles devastated buildings.

The spokeswoman for the SDF campaign in Raqqa, Jihan Sheikh Ahmad, said in a statement on a website for the campaign that it would announce the liberation of Raqqa “in the coming few days”.

Islamic State has lost swathes of territory to the SDF and to a rival offensive by Syria’s army and allied forces this year, and has fallen back on the fertile Euphrates valley area downstream of Raqqa.

hindustantimes.com/world-news/final-assault-on-islamic-state-in-raqqa-to-start-soon-says-field-commander/story-hJsmRllWg2LdiyynGMfdlJ.html

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Bahrain: Number of Detained Children from Diraz Mounts to 4

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The number of children arrested from Diraz reached 4, after the security authorities arrested Ali Abdullah Joma'a in the village at the center of Manama regime crackdown against the Bahraini people, activists said.

The security authorities had arrested on Monday three children whose ages range between 12 and 13 years. The arrested children are "JassimAbduljalil, Hussein Ali and Ali Hussein". The prosecution decided to arrest him for a week pending investigation, Bahrain Mirror reported.

The nature of charges brought against the 4 children has not been known yet.

The International Center for Supporting Rights and Freedoms condemned this step, stressing that "the International Law bound the state's authorities to treat children according to special measures, as imprisoning a child will negatively affect him on the psychological level and affect his studies as well".

The center further stated that the child will be vulnerable to security pursuits in the future because his name will be registered at the security parties as a person who has been previously convicted and arrested.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960716001198

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Turkish Army, Ankara-Backed Militants Preparing to Launch Attacks on SDF in Northern Syria

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Turkish Army and Ankara-affiliated militants, in a meeting in Northern Aleppo, discussed ways to confront the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), news websites disclosed on Saturday.

News websites affiliated to the militant groups disclosed that officers of the Turkish Army Joint Staff and the Ankara-backed terrorist groups, in a meeting in the town of al-Bab, agreed on ways of kicking off joint operation against the SDF in Northern Aleppo.

The news websites also revealed that commanders of the terrorist groups of Sultan MoradFerqa, al-Hamza Ferqa, Liwa al-Mo'atasem affiliated to the Free Syrian Army and al-ShamiyehFrotn had taken part in the meeting, adding that the joint operation against SDF is aimed at retaking control over the town of Tal Rifat and the towns and villages in its countryside, including Ming and Deir Jamal.

The Kurdish-language Hawar news website reported in mid-August that the Turkish forces launched artillery and missile attacks on the villages of Qastal, Jandou, Baflouneh and Marimin in Afrin.

The artillery and missile units of the Turkish army also pounded Tal Rafat region and the villages of Sheikh Issa, Harbal, Um Housh, Hasiyeh, Hariseh and EinDaqneh in al-Shahba region in Northern Aleppo.

The Turkish army also flew its spy planes over the region.

In response, the SDF launched offensive against the positions of pro-Ankara militants in al-Shahba region.  

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960715000685

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Syrian Army Retakes Control over Sukhnah-DeirEzzur Highway

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army forces pushed ISIL back from a long chuck of an international highway that connects the town of al-Sukhnah in Eastern Homs to DeirEzzur city on Sunday, restoring full security to the region.

The army men continued to hunt ISIL terrorists from Harbisheh region up to Panorama square to restore security to the highway to DeirEzzur, killing a large number of terrorists that had penetrated into the region.

The army units further seized full control over al-Sukhnah-DeirEzzur highway.   

Relevant reports said on Saturday that Palmyra-Sukhnah Highway in Eastern Homs was reopened after the army soldiers successfully expelled the ISIL terrorists from the Al-Hayl Gas Field that is located South of al-Sukhnah.

Field sources also said that the army forces were attempting to clear the remaining points under the ISIL's control along the al-Sukhnah-DeirEzzur Highway.

They added that the army would need to retake the key town of al-Shoulah located directly West of DeirEzzur city, to reopen the highway to Eastern Syria.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960716000397

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Army Repels Al-Nusra Front's Attack on Gov't Positions in Aleppo

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army soldiers repelled terrorists' attack on their positions in Aleppo province after hours of clashes, inflicting major losses on them.

The Al-Nusra Front (Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at or the Levant Liberation Board) terrorists' attack to capture the government forces' positions in Northern Aleppo was fended off by the strong defense of the Syrian military men.

Meantime, the Syrian army and popular forces continued their military advances in other parts of Syria, including Damascus and Homs, over the past 24 hours.

Tens of terrorists were killed and dozens more were injured during the Syrian army's operations in other provinces across Syria.

Aleppo

The Syrian Army's heavy artillery fire repelled an offensive by the Al-Nusra Front (Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at or the Levant Liberation Board) in Northern Aleppo on Saturday, killing and wounding several terrorists.

Artillery units of the Syrian pro-government popular committees, deployed in the towns of Nubl and al-Zahra, shelled heavily the movements of a group of Al-Nusra terrorists and repelled their attack on their defense lines in Bayanoun from the al-Ma'amel region, killing two gunmen and wounding several more.

The artillery units also pounded the positions of another group of Al-Nusra terrorists in al-Tamoureh, killing four gunmen and injuring several more.

Damascus

The Syrian Army troops continued their operations in the Southwestern territories of Damascus province and managed to take control over a main supply route of the Al-Nusra Front (Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at or the Levant Liberation Board) on Saturday.

The army soldiers captured Lesan al-Sakhar height and the strategic al-Zaba'a hill, and managed to impose control over a key road connecting BeirTima to Kafr Hour towards Beit Jinn farms.

The road was one of the main supply lines of Al-Nusra in the region.

DeirEzzur

The Syrian Army troops continued their anti-ISIL operation in the Northern outskirts of DeirEzzur city on Saturday, driving terrorists out of more districts.

The army soldiers engaged in fierce clashes with the ISIL and imposed control over more areas near the village of HatlahFowqani.

A field source said that if the army men capture the villages of HatlahFowqani and HatlahTahtani, the only supply line of the ISIL to al-Siasiyehbridge that connects Huweija Sakar region to the Northern outskirts of DeirEzzur city will be cut off and the Northern districts of the city will fall to the government forces.

The ISIL's terrorist front is collapsing and the militants are accusing each other of betrayal after the rapid advances of the army units in the region.

Field sources confirmed earlier on Saturday that the army troops took control over the first defense lines of the terrorists in the key town of al-Mayadeen.

The army men advanced against ISIL from al-Thardahmountain along the old road connecting DeirEzzur city to al-Mayadeen and entered the town from the Western direction, taking control over automatic furnace area and the wheat silos.

The army men further captured al-Rahba citadel and livestock market.

In the meantime, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) confirmed that the army forces have entered al-Mayadeen, adding that if the army captures the town, the ISIL will come under siege on the Western bank of the Euphrates River and will have no way out but crossing the river.

Homs

The Syrian Army troops pushed ISIL back from more positions in Eastern Homs on Saturday and reopened a chunk of the highway that connects Palmyra (Tadmur) city to the town of al-Sukhnah after a week of clashes.

The Palmyra-Sukhnah Highway was reopened after the army soldiers successfully expelled the ISIL terrorists from the Al-Hayl Gas Field that is located South of al-Sukhnah.

Field sources also said that the army forces are now attempting to clear the remaining points under the ISIL's control along the al-Sukhnah-DeirEzzur Highway.

They added that the army will need to retake the key town of al-Shoulah, which is located directly West of DeirEzzur city, to reopen the highway to Eastern Syria.

Idlib

Local sources in the NorthwesternIdlib province reported on Saturday that scores of gunmen were killed in a fresh round of clashes among terrorists groups.

The sources said that Al-Nusra Front engaged in fierce clashes with the terrorists deployed in the town of KafrTakharim which left five Al-Nusra terrorists injured.

The sources said that the clashes erupted among the terrorists after the gunmen in the town prevented Al-Nusra fighters' movement through the region towards Armanaz.

In the meantime, some of the members of Jund al-Aqsa in the town of Sarmin in Eastern Idlib stormed Al-Nusra's command posts in the region.

Reports said tens of militants have been killed or wounded in the battle.

The assailants managed to tack control of Al-Nusra' command posts.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960716000274

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Syria: Army Lays Siege on Terrorists in ISIL's Main Stronghold in SoutheasternDeirEzzur

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army troops managed to advance against ISIL in several flanks and completed the siege on the terrorists trapped in the town of al-Mayadeen, field sources said on Sunday.

The sources said that the terrorists in the town of al-Mayadeen have come under siege by the army men after they lost the town of Marat al-Fowqa on the Eastern bank of the Euphrates River to the government forces earlier today.

The largest depots of arms and ammunition of the ISIL and its most important command centers are in al-Mayadeen.

The ISIL has brought hundreds of terrorists from Iraq's Raweh and al-Qa'em region and the town of Albu Kamal in SoutheasternDeirEzzur to al-Mayadeen to maintain control over the town.

ISIL has built a long network of tunnels and prepared tens of bomb-laden suicide vehicles in the town.

If the army captures al-Mayadeen, the way will be paved for their access to the border town of Albu Kamal.   

Field sources confirmed on Saturday that the army troops took control over the first defense lines of the terrorists in the key town of al-Mayadeen.

The army men advanced against ISIL from al-Thardahmountain along the old road connecting DeirEzzur city to al-Mayadeen and entered the town from the Western direction, taking control over automatic furnace area and the wheat silos.

The army men further captured al-Rahba citadel and livestock market.

In the meantime, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) confirmed that the army forces have entered al-Mayadeen, adding that if the army captures the town, the ISIL will come under siege on the Western bank of the Euphrates River and will have no way out but crossing the river.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960716000854

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Terrorists Withdraw from More Regions in Northern Outskirts of DeirEzzur City

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army troops continued to drive ISIL out of more regions in the Northern outskirts of DeirEzzur city on Sunday.

The army soldiers managed to advance against ISIL along the road to Hatlah village and captured several positions and a water pumping station.

In the meantime, the army's artillery units and aircraft targeted ISIL's movements and positions in the two villages of al-Janineh and al-Hosseiniye, al-Siasiyeh bridge, the neighborhoods of Sheikh Yasin, al-Orfi, al-Arzi, Kanamat, Khasarat and al-Hamidiyeh in DeirEzzur city, killing a large number of terrorists and destroying their military vehicles and equipment.

Relevant reports said on Saturday that the army soldiers engaged in fierce clashes with the ISIL and imposed control over more areas near the village of HatlahFowqani.

A field source said that if the army men capture the villages of HatlahFowqani and HatlahTahtani, the only supply line of the ISIL to al-Siasiyehbridge that connects Huweija Sakar region to the Northern outskirts of DeirEzzur city will be cut off and the Northern districts of the city will fall to the government forces.

The ISIL's terrorist front is collapsing and the militants are accusing each other of betrayal after the rapid advances of the army units in the region.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960716000530

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More Civilians Killed, Injured in US Air Assaults in Northeastern Syria

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The US Air Force bombed heavily several regions in Southern Hasaka, killing 15 civilians and wounding several more, militant-affiliated websites reported on Sunday.

The websites reported that 15 civilians were killed and several more were injured in the fighter jets' raid in the town of Merkadeh in Southern Hasaka.

Relevant reports said on Saturday that eight members of a family, including five children, were killed in the US airstrike on a residential unit in Raqqa city.

In the meantime, the warplanes pounded an apartment complex in al-Badouneighborhood in Raqqa city, killing or wounding tens of civilian, mostly women and children.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960716000638

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Gunman kills two guards at Saudi royal palace

AFP | Oct 8, 2017

RIYADH: A gunman shot dead two Saudi guards and wounded three others at the gate of the royal palace in the Red Sea city of Jeddah, the interior ministry said.

Royal guards killed the gunman, identified by the ministry as a 28-year-old Saudi national armed with a Kalashnikov and three grenades.

"An outpost of the royal guard came under fire by a person who got out of a Hyundai car," the ministry said in a statement on Saturday carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.

"He was immediately dealt with and his cowardly act also resulted in the martyrdom" of two royal guards, it added.

The US embassy in Saudi Arabia had earlier cautioned its citizens over reports of the attack.

"Due to the possibility of ongoing police activity, American citizens are advised to exercise caution when travelling through the area," the embassy said in a brief statement.

The warning comes after the Saudi police raided hideouts of a "terror" cell linked to the Islamic State group this week, killing two people and arresting five others, according to the national security agency.

The State Security Agency said police raided three hideouts in the capital Riyadh and exchanged gunfire at one of them, the SPA news agency reported on Thursday.

Since late 2014, IS has claimed a series of bombings and shootings against Shias and security forces in the Sunni-majority kingdom.

Saudi Arabia is a member of the US-led international coalition that has been battling the Sunni extremist group in Syria and Iraq.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/gunman-kills-two-guards-at-saudi-royal-palace/articleshow/60990050.cms

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Abadi Spokesperson: Baghdad Not Committed to Talks between Barzani, Iraqi VPs

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iraqi government said that it is not necessarily committed to the outcome of the ongoing talks between the Kurdish leadership and two of the Iraqi Vice Presidents that called to cancel the punitive measures taken against Erbil, and for talks between the two sides to begin without any pre conditions.

Saad al-Hadithi, the spokesperson of the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, said that the meeting that took place between the Kurdish President MasoudBarzani and Iraqi Vice Presidents Ayad Allawi and Osama al-Nujaifi is part of “consultations” between various Iraqi and Kurdish parties, Rudaw reported.

He said the meeting “does not necessarily reflect the position of the Iraqi government,” adding that Baghdad’s position is well reflected in the decisions passed by the office of the prime minister, the Iraqi Supreme Court, and the Iraqi parliament, all of whom rejected the Kurdish referendum held on September 25.

He said that any dialogue between the two sides should be under “the framework of the Iraqi constitution” that stipulates protecting the unity and territorial integrity of Iraq.

President Barzani met with Iraqi Vice Presidents Ayad Allawi and Osama al-Nujaifi in Sulaimani on Saturday where they had gathered to attend the funeral of Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani.

Chief of Staff of the Kurdistan Region Presidency, Fuad Hussein, announced that the three agreed on four points, including “the immediate lifting of punishments on the Kurdistan Region.”

The Iraqi government has passed a number of punitive measures, including a ban on international flights to and from the Kurdistan Region, a measure the Kurdistan government has called “collective punishment.”

It has also officially demanded Kurdistan’s neighbors, both Turkey and Iran, close their land borders with the Kurdistan Region and help bring Kurdish oil exports under the control of federal authorities.

Hadithi, the Iraqi spokesperson, refused that the set of “procedures” passed by the federal government against Erbil amounts to “punishment”.

The Iraqi government opposed Kurdistan’s popular vote that took place on September 25 and has called for the vote to be annulled, something rejected by Erbil.

Allawi told reporters before his meeting with Barzani that there were efforts on the national, regional, and international levels to find a solution that best serves the interests of Iraq and preserves its unity.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960716001161

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Australia

Gungahlin Mosque opens after battling years of delays

8 October 2017

Canberra's Islamic community finally has a new place of worship, 17 years after plans were first made.

The building of the long-awaited Gungahlin Mosque was plagued by years of delays after a group fought its development approval through the courts.

The mosque officially opened on Sunday and will service North Canberra's growing Muslim population, which is estimated to be 5000 to 6000 strong.

The community had been using a demountable shed on The Valley Avenue site as a temporary mosque.

Canberra Muslim Community president MainulHaque said the $2 million mosque came after years of hard work.

"There was just a sense of absolute sheer joy and elation when it finally opened," he said.

The only other mosque for Canberra's estimated 10,000 Muslims is in Yarralumla and was built in 1962 and only has a capacity of 300 people.

Planning for the Gungahlin mosque began in 2001 and building approval was granted by the ACT planning authority in 2012.

But that same year Concerned Citizens of Canberra Inc appealed the mosque's building approval. It lost the fight in 2015 and earlier this year was ordered to pay the ACT government's legal fees.

Mr Haque said while there had been some opposition to the mosque, the greater Gungahlin community and both sides of government had been largely supportive.

He said the nearby Uniting Church had been instrumental in its support for the mosque in the face of opposition.

"We just have to realise that you cannot please everybody in life," Mr Haque said.

He said the mosque had been built entirely on community donations and would serve not only as a place of worship but an important community space.

"If anyone has questions please come and visit us we are open, our mosque is open to anybody," Mr Haque said.

"You will see we're just mums and dads and neighbours like everyone else."

The mosque held a community open day to celebrate the opening and encourage the community to come and visit.

"Nothing in Australia happens without a backyard BBQ where you invite friends to spend time," Mr Haque said.

"This is what we wanted to do, to share our mosque with our friends and neighbours and community."

HajiraMohamev, of Belconnen, said it was special for all of Canberra's Islamic community.

"We've been waiting a long time for this and people have been through a lot to get it," she said.

"It's a great way to get different people coming together and chatting and promote Islam in a positive way."

brisbanetimes.com.au/national/act/gungahlin-mosque-opens-after-battling-years-of-delays-20171008-gywj20.html

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Africa

Nigeria tries Boko Haram suspects behind closed doors

By: AFP | Nigeria | Published:October 8, 2017

More than 2,300 suspected members of the jihadist group Boko Haram were expected to appear in court in Nigeria from on Monday in unprecedented mass trials to be held behind closed doors. The defendants have all been picked up and held in detention since the start of the conflict eight years ago, which has left at least 20,000 dead in the country’s remote northeast.

To date, just 13 people have been put on trial and only nine convicted for their links to the Islamist insurgency, according to official figures. The most high-profile current case is that of Khalid Al-Barnawi, a leader of the Boko Haram offshoot Ansaru, who is charged with the abduction and murder of 10 foreign nationals. Nigeria’s justice ministry announced the start of the trials at the end of last month, saying four judges had been assigned and that defendants would have legal representation.

Some 1,670 detainees at a military base in Kainji, in the central state of Niger, will be tried first followed by 651 others held at the Giwa barracks in the capital of the northeastern state of Borno state, Maiduguri. “It’s the first significant trial of Boko Haram suspects,” said Matthew Page, a former US State Department analyst and a specialist on Nigeria.

But he told AFP that while “positive” it was still a “very small step”, as many of the detainees had been held in custody for years, without access to a lawyer or ever having appeared before a judge. How the long-awaited trials will be held also raises questions, particularly about transparency. A justice ministry source said no media would be allowed on security grounds and that although civilian courts, they would be held in military facilities.

Umar Ado, a defence lawyer based in Nigeria’s biggest northern city, Kano, said that was “as good as denying the public the right to know how the trial is carried out”. “It sends the wrong signal that justice is not served or the process is compromised,” he added. There have also been questions about the ability of Nigeria’s justice system to handle so many cases at once and even of simple procedural details such as whether defendants will be tried on their own or together.

The justice ministry itself has already highlighted the potential pitfalls facing judges, such as poor investigation techniques, lack of forensic evidence and “over-reliance on confession-based evidence”. To what extent those on trial are connected to the group will likely come under scrutiny.

“There are good reasons to believe that large numbers of the detainees have very little or no connection at all to the group,” said Matthew Page. Amnesty International said in a damning June 2015 report that more than 20,000 people had been arbitrarily arrested as part of the fight against Boko Haram. It highlighted appalling conditions at military detention facilities and claimed at least 1,200 people had been summarily killed and 7,000 died in custody since 2011.

indianexpress.com/article/world/nigeria-tries-boko-haram-suspects-behind-closed-doors-4880399/

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Libya says remains found of Copts beheaded on beach

7 October 2017

The remains have been unearthed of 21 Coptic Christians beheaded by jihadists on a Libyan beach two years ago, the interior ministry said on Saturday.

"The heads are separated from the bodies clad in orange jumpsuits, hands bound behind the back with plastic wire," said the ministry's unit for fighting organised crime in the city of Misrata.

It said the bodies of 20 Egyptians and a man of unknown African nationality were unearthed from a mass grave south of the one-time jihadist bastion of Sirte, 450 kilometres (280 miles) east of Tripoli.

Friday's find came after confessions by Islamic State group jihadist prisoners, it said in a statement, adding that the remains had been transferred to Misrata for forensic examination.

The unit, which answers to the interior ministry of Libya's internationally recognised Government of National Accord, did not give a date for the possible repatriation of the remains for burial.

IS posted a video on the internet in February 2015 of the beheadings, sparking international condemnation and Egyptian air strikes against jihadist targets in Libya.

Egypt's foreign ministry said Saturday it had been informed about the discovery of the mass grave.

"The Egyptian embassy has been communicating since Friday with the Libyans with coordination with the Egyptian ministry of defence to secure their return to Egypt," a spokesman told AFP.

dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-4958470/Libya-says-remains-Copts-beheaded-beach.html

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Mideast

Envoy: Iran Seeking to Resolve Rohingya Muslims' Carnage

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior diplomat underlined that Iran is resolved to put an end to the genocide of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.

"Iran's official diplomacy in Myanmar has been de-escalation of conflicts between the Buddhists and Muslims," Iran's Accredited Ambassador to Myanmar Mohsen Mohammadi said on Sunday.

He reiterated that Iran has pursued the policy of acting  with a long-term view and beyond the recent crisis in Myanmar.

"Iran has paid special attention to Rohingya Muslims and their miseries and has always taken proper measure, but at the same time has tried that this crisis does not turn into something between the Buddhists and the Muslims," Mohammadi added.

In relevant remarks earlier in October, Deputy Foreign Minister EbrahimRahimpour underlined that Iran is finalizing a comprehensive plan to assist the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.

"Along with a group of other foreign ministry officials in a meeting, the latest developments in Myanmar were discussed and the participants exchanged views on how to create a roadmap for delivering the short- and long-term humanitarian assistance of Iran to Muslim minority there," Rahimpour said.

The Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar have long been subjected to discrimination in Buddhist-majority country, which denies them citizenship.

Myanmar's government regards them as illegal migrants from Bangladesh, even if they have lived in the country for generations.

Refugee camps near Bangladesh's border with Myanmar already had about 300,000 Rohingya before the upsurge in violence last month and are now overwhelmed.

Tens of thousands of new arrivals have nowhere to shelter from monsoon rains.

Those flocking into Bangladesh have given harrowing accounts of killings, rape and arson by Myanmar's army. Myanmar authorities deny any wrongdoing.

Most have walked for days and the UN says many are sick, exhausted and in desperate need of shelter.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960716001003

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Turkey-backed rebels in new Syria operation: Erdogan

October 08, 2017

ISTANBUL: Turkish President RecepTayyip Erdogan on Saturday announced pro-Ankara Syrian rebels were launching a new military operation in Syria’s northwesternIdlib province to push out the jihadists who control the region.

The move comes as Turkey, along with Russia and Iran, prepare to set up a so-called “de-escalation” zone in Idlib in line with accords in peace talks in Astana aimed at ending the Syrian civil war.

Turkish commando units and military vehicles have reportedly massed on the border but are yet to cross, in what will be Ankara’s second major Syria operation after its Euphrates Shield incursion last year.

“We are taking new steps to ensure security in Idlib. Today, a very serious operation is ongoing in Idlib and this will continue,” Erdogan said in a televised speech in the western city of Afyon.

He later told reporters the operation was led by Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels and that the Turkish army was “not yet” operating inside Syria.

Aron Lund, fellow with The Century Foundation think tank, said any Turkish operation “is likely to rely on a mix of Turkish and Syrian forces”.

He said Turkey would contribute special forces, logistics, artillery and tanks but Syria rebels would make up “much of” the ground force.

Idlib is largely controlled by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), a group led by Al Qaeda’s former Syria affiliate, which ousted more moderate rebels in recent months.

HTS is not party to a deal brokered by Russia, Turkey and Iran for the safe zone in the province, one of four such “de-escalation” zones across Syria.

“If Turkey decides to go head to head with HTS, I’m sure they will meet severe resistance,” Lund said.

Ousting HTS forces from the area will be needed to allow the arrival of Iranian, Russian and Turkish forces to implement a de-escalation zone.

“We will absolutely not allow the creation of a terror corridor along our borders,” said Erdogan.

State-run Anadolu news agency said there was a major build up of commando units and military vehicles around the town of Reyhanli bordering Idlib close to the Cilvegozu border crossing.

The Hurriyet daily said ultimately Turkey would ensure security in Idlib city and Russia in the surrounding area.

dawn.com/news/1362426/turkey-backed-rebels-in-new-syria-operation-erdogan

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Europe

'I was just BLOWN away': Muslim-convert surfer sheikh who claims shaking hands with women is sexual harassment speechless after he shook a Buddhist monk's hand - only to discover she was a lady

8 October 2017

A Muslim imam who claims shaking hands with women is sexual harassment has described the awkward moment he mistakenly shook hands with a female Buddhist monk.

Sheikh Zaindaine Johnson, a surfer convert to Islam from Queensland, told a mosque about meeting other religious leaders at Parliament House in Brisbane.

The 44-year-old Sharia law-supporting imam, who now preaches at Logan south of Brisbane, described the 'funny story' of being put into a room.

'You know, I'm a pretty friendly guy. So I start shaking hands with all the religious leaders, talking to them,' he said.

'And then all of a sudden I'm shaking hands with the Buddhist and I said, 'Hi, how are you, sir?'.

Animating his sermon, Sheikh Zainadine impersonated the Buddhist monk's high-pitched voice, evoking laughter from his Friday night audience.

'She says, 'Good thank you.' I'm like, what? It was a lady 'cos she shaves her head and I didn't realise it was a lady. I thought it was a man,' he said.

'I shook the hand and then when she answers, 'Good thank you'.

'I was just blown away. Wow, that just came from left field. I had no idea.'

The revelation he shook hands with a woman comes six weeks after he told a Facebook discussion it was sexual harassment to force Muslim men to shake hands with women.

'Isn't that sexual harassment? I mean really I feel sexually harassed when they try to force me,' he said in August.

'It's my body and I should have the right to decide who can touch and who can't.

'You see it as innocent however there are many men who feel a whack on the bum is innocent . And that is classed as sexual harassment.'

Sheikh Johnson, a red-headed former bass guitarist with Brisbane rock band Grinder, became an imam at the Logan City Mosque in May after being sacked from his post on the Sunshine Coast. 

dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4959298/Muslim-sheikh-blown-core-shaking-hands-female-monk.html#ixzz4uuvjZxHG

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Polish Catholics gather at border for controversial prayer event

Sun 08 Oct 2017

Tens of thousands of Catholics in Poland gathered at locations along the country's 2,000-mile border on Saturday to pray for the salvation of the country and the rest of the world.

While the church leaders who organised the event said it was held for religious reasons, some people felt the national event had anti-Muslim overtones.

The event, "Rosary at the Borders", organised by lay Catholics and endorsed by Polish church authorities, took place in 4,000 makeshift prayer zones and 320 churches, which commemorated the centenary of the apparitions of Fatima, when three shepherd children in Portugal said the Virgin Mary appeared to them.

However, it also commemorated the 1571 naval Battle of Lepanto between Christian fighters, under orders from the Pope, and the Ottoman Empire.

A woman told the BBC: "We come to the border of Poland to pray for the Poles and for the whole world.

"We want our Catholic faith to continue, to keep our children safe, that our brothers from other countries can understand that our faith is unwavering and that we feel safer, not only in Poland but also in the world."

Many elderly braved the cold and criticism to join with their fellow citizens to pray the Rosary. #RozaniecDoGranic 3/ pic.twitter.com/pQDjjpv3uk

12:49 PM - Oct 8, 2017

The Polish broadcaster TVN reported that Poles also prayed in chapels at airports, while Polish soldiers stationed in Afghanistan prayed at Bagram Airfield.

More than 90 percent of Poland's 38 million citizens are Roman Catholic.

Marek Jedraszewski, the archbishop of Krakow in southern Poland, said during his sermon on Saturday morning that people should pray for "Europe to remain Europe".

He added: "Let's pray for other nations of Europe and the world to understand that we need to return to the Christian roots of European culture if we want Europe to remain Europe."

The day of prayer was endorsed by many Polish celebrities, athletes and several politicians from the ruling conservative Law and Justice party.

However, is also drew criticism online.

Krzysztof Luft, a former member of the country’s largest opposition party, the liberal Civic Platform, tweeted: “A ridicule of Christianity on a massive scale. They treat religion as a tool for maintaining backwardness in the Polish backwater.”

Poland refused to take part in an EU deal in 2015 to relocate refugees from Italy and Greece.

Pope Francis urged for greater acceptance of migrants on a visit to Poland last year and Bishops have called for the government to assist selected Syrian refugees, albeit without the backing of politicians.

premierchristianradio.com/News/World/Polish-Catholics-gather-at-border-for-controversial-prayer-event

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North America

Trump: Netanyahu 'Bigger Problem' in Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- US President Donald Trump described Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as the bigger anathema of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Both leaders of Israel and Palestine are problematic; however, Netanyahu is the bigger problem, Trump said in a meeting last month with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, according to seven Western and Israeli sources, who were either present at or briefed on the meeting, Israeli Haaretz newspaper wrote on Friday.

On September 19, Trump had held a 15-minute meeting with Guterres on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York. According to six Western diplomats and one former senior Israeli official, all of whom asked to remain anonymous, at least half of the meeting dealt with the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

Trump, who had met with Netanyahu in New York the previous day, told Guterres his impressions of that meeting and his own views on the peace process.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is very old and needs a legacy to leave behind. Netanyahu, in contrast, understands that he’ll never have a president more understanding of Israel’s security needs, Trump told Guterres, adding that Netanyahu would be the harder one to persuade.

On September 18, Trump met in New York with Netanyahu. There he surprised Netanyahu when, at a joint press event before the meeting, he focused on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In the days before the meeting, Netanyahu and his staff had repeatedly stressed that the meeting would focus on the Iranian nuclear issue.

Netanyahu told Israeli reporters in a post-meeting briefing that despite the prominence Trump gave the Israeli-Palestinian issue in front of the cameras, at the meeting itself it wasn’t a major topic of discussion.

Netanyahu was likely convincing Trump to get tough with Iran and create problems over the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

A few days after he returned from New York, Netanyahu briefed the Israeli regime's security cabinet and the ministers about his meeting with Trump.

“I presented our positions to the president,” Netanyahu told the ministers about his meeting with Trump.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960716001131

 

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/china-backs-pakistan,-wants-us-to-recognise-islamabad-s-efforts-to-combat-terrorism/d/112804

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