New Age Islam
Sat Oct 31 2020, 04:28 PM

Islamic World News ( 18 Aug 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

First Ramzan Suicide Blast In Pakistan Mosque 'Kills 53'

Four policemen among 21 dead in Karachi

Taliban attack UK office in Kabul on Independence Day, kill 10

Syrian forces kill 34 despite Assad pledge

Pope alarmed at 'xenophobic ideology' after Norway massacre

Iraq agrees to extend US military role: Leon Panetta

US govt report cites Pak ‘ terror’ in J& K

King Abdullah launches SR80 billion Haram expansion project

Contest aims to project true image of Islam

Pakistan seeks closer links with Xinjiang

Court extends isolation of Norway killer

Libya conflict: Rebels claim Zawiya and Zlitan

Syria protests: 'Deaths in anti-Assad demonstrations'

Suspected Islamists shoot dead policemen in Nigeria

Al Qaeda pall under microscope in Bangladesh

Tarek Fatah: Self-avowed Muslim Marxist Says White House Tied to Muslim Brotherhood

Norway gunman ‘prepared another bigger bomb’

US lawmaker terms killings in drone strikes as ‘extra-judicial’

RIYADH: ‘Grease devil’ haunts Sri Lankan women

JEDDAH: Mother of eight saved from execution gets own home

Prominent Republicans distance themselves from anti-Islam rhetoric

Target India: Pak-based terror groups active in Kashmir, says US

Economist article on Bangladesh was funded by jihadists, says Minister

Jihadi threat to cut off Letterman’s tongue

Rebels reopen Libyan mission in Washington

Bhopal: Slain RTI activist's father expects no justice

UN urges Pakistan to probe journalist killings

Six killed, five injured in Kabul attack

DAMMAM: Woman disables anti-Islam websites

Drone strike kills at least two in South Waziristan

Taliban commander among four killed in Khyber

JEDDAH: Kidney donor paid in full

Renegade commander says he has formed a new Muslim rebel group in Philippines

The political economy of the Boko Haram crisis

Iran’s Supreme Leader Terms Economic Jihad Effective Weapon against Sanctions

Taseer’s “Noon” probes the question of his identity

Egypt: Military court sentences 5 to death for murder, 2 to six months for insulting army     

British Council attackers 'all dead'

Omar dares Mufti Mohd Sayeed to be 'Anna' first

Australia law proposal: Muslims must remove veils

‘Assad slaughtering his own people... must go’

HC notice to Modi govt over Lokayukta’s appointment

MQM chief asks PM to protect innocent Karachiites

Indonesia says Patek could face death penalty

US demands safe recovery of kidnapped American

Terrorists threatening relations between PPP, MQM: Haroon

Pakistan can bring Haqqani to peace talks: official

Egypt military pardons blogger after criticism

Syria may have committed crimes against humanity — UN

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/first-ramzan-suicide-blast-in-pakistan-mosque--kills-53-/d/5282

 

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First Ramzan Suicide Blast In Pakistan Mosque 'Kills 53'

Aug 20, 2011

Peshawar : At least 53 people were killed and 123 injured when a teenage suicide bomber blew himself up in a mosque packed with hundreds of worshippers on the third Friday of the holy fasting month of Ramzan in Pakistan's restive tribal belt, the deadliest attack in the country in three months.

The attack, which targetted the Jamia Masjid in Jamrud area of Khyber tribal agency, 25 kms from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province's capital Peshawar, took place as people were leaving after Friday prayers.

Quoting locals and sources from social welfare organisation Edhi Foundation, the Express Tribune reported that 53 bodies had been recovered from the mosque.

About 103 of the 123 injured were taken to hospitals in Jamrud and nearby Peshawar city.

Thirty three people were killed instantly by the powerful blast, officials told the media and described the condition of 20 of the injured as serious.

Witnesses and officials told media the attack was carried out by a bomber aged about 15 or 16 years. Over 300 people were present in the mosque at the time of the blast.

A portion of the mosque collapsed and its walls developed large cracks due to the blast.

Local residents dug through the rubble with their hands to pull out the dead and injured. They said some bodies could still be trapped in the debris.

Footage on television showed the walls and ceiling of the mosque were pitted with shrapnel. Part of the ceiling was blackened by the blast and the floor was stained with blood.

A young boy wearing a blue shalwar-kameez broke down and cried as people tried to console him. No group claimed responsibility for the blast.

Such attacks are usually blamed on the Pakistani Taliban. Several militant groups, including the Taliban and Lashkar-e-Islam, are active in Khyber.

Today's blast was the deadliest in Pakistan since May 13 when two suicide bombers killed 98 people outside a police training centre in a town near Peshawar.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/53-killed-in-first-major-terror-attack-in-pak-during-ramzan/834286/

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Four policemen among 21 dead in Karachi

By Imran Ayub & Shamim-ur-Rehman

20 Aug, 2011

KARACHI: Four policemen were killed and more than 25 others injured in a late night ambush on their bus in Korangi, one of several strife-hit areas, on Friday.

The third day of the fresh wave of violence saw 21 more deaths in the city, increasing demands for the army’s intervention from the top business bodies of the country’s commercial capital.

The deadliest episode of the day occurred in Korangi’s Chakra Goth area where armed groups fought a gunbattle after sunset.

An additional police force was called in to handle the situation. The private bus hired by police came under a volley of gunfire by armed men riding 10 motorcycles near Korangi 2½.

The bus was carrying 40 policemen, all in plain clothes.

“We have reports of four policemen dead in the incident and some 20 injured,” said SP Haseeb Baig.

An official at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) said the hospital received total 29 injured, four of them were critical.

Phone calls to television channels from Federal B. Area and North Karachi around midnight spoke of the hijacking of a minibus.

The gunmen told the women and children to get off the bus and sped away with men. However, there was no confirmation of the incident from area police.

Earlier in different incidents, 18 people were either killed in armed attacks or their bullet-riddled bodies were found in different parts of the city.

In the second half of the day families of the four victims whose bullet-riddled and gunny bags-stuffed bodies were found, took to the streets and staged a sit-in outside the Chief Minister’s House and the Karachi Press Club.

Although the authorities once again promised measures against terrorists, their resolve did not translate into action.

The fighting talk even failed to reassure traders and industrialists, who in an unusual move, unanimously called for the army’s intervention.

“Given the grave circumstances where civil law-enforcement agencies have failed in restoring peace in Karachi, which has now become a hub of bloodshed, the Army must be called in as it is, last resort to enforce peace in the city,” said Khalid Tawab, the president of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce (FPCC).

The call was echoed by Saeed Shafique and Siddiq Memon of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), the chairman of Karachi Traders Action Committee (KTAC), a platform for more than 300 retail and wholesale markets.

While terrorists went about their killing rampage in the metropolis, Interior Minister Rahman Malik on Friday again hinted at the possibility of involvement of foreign elements in fomenting the trouble.

Talking to reporters after presiding over a meeting on law and order at the Crisis Management Cell here, he claimed there had been no targeted killing between midnight and Friday prayers and police had apprehended 52 culprits.

In all, police and Rangers personnel had apprehended 100 suspects and all of them would be presented before the media within 48 hours, he said, adding that they would themselves speak about the mastermind behind the bloodshed.

He said the terrorists were trying to give a sectarian or ethnic spin to their gruesome acts to destabilise the city.

The minister sought to play down the enormity of the ‘random killings’.

He said two police stations were being activated in SITE area on the demand of industrialists and youths for combating street crime.

A special force was being created for this purpose, Mr Malik added. He said land mafia had been “eliminated from the city on the directives of President Asif Ali Zardari” and strict action was being taken against extortionists.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/20/four-policemen-among-21-dead-in-karachi.html

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Taliban attack UK office in Kabul on Independence Day, kill 10

Aug 20, 2011

KABUL: Suicide attackers stormed a British compound in the Afghan capital on Friday , killing at least 10 people in a five-hour gunfight on the anniversary of the country's independence from Britain.

A spokesman for the Taliban , Zabiullah Mujahid, claimed responsibility for the attack on the British Council in the western part of Kabul.

The dead included eight Afghan policemen, a security guard whose nationality was not immediately known and an Afghan municipal worker, according to Kabul police official Farooq Asas. Two of four people wounded in the blasts were not Afghans , he said.

The attack started with one suicide bomber detonating an explosives-laden car outside the British Council while another suicide bomber struck inside the compound .

The British Foreign Office in London confirmed that all British nationals were safe.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Taliban-attack-UK-office-in-Kabul-on-I-Day-kill-10/articleshow/9668760.cms

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Syrian forces kill 34 despite Assad pledge

Aug 20 2011

Amman : Syrian forces killed dozens of protesters on Friday despite assurances by President Bashar al-Assad that a crackdown was over, and thousands of people rallied across the Arab nation with renewed vigour demanding political freedoms.

Activists said at least 34 people, including four children, were shot dead by Assad's forces in the southern province of Deraa, where the uprising against Assad erupted in March, the city of Homs, 165 km (100 miles) north of Damascus, suburbs of the capital and in the ancient desert city of Palmyra.

"Bye-bye Bashar. See you in The Hague," chanted protesters in Homs, referring to the Dutch-based international war crimes tribunal. They also shook shoes in the air in a gesture of contempt.

"We want revenge against Maher and Bashar," shouted others, referring to the Syrian leader and his powerful brother -- a military commander accused by diplomats and residents of attacking cities and cracking down on pro-democracy protests.

Encouraged by growing global pressure on Assad, the Syrian opposition in exile said it would set up a National Council in Turkey on Sunday to support the uprising and help fill any power vacuum should the protests succeed in ousting Assad.

Similar initiatives in the past have failed to produce a robust umbrella group to unite the opposition, fragmented by 41 years of Assad's harsh rule.

Assad, from the minority Alawite sect in the mostly Sunni Muslim nation, told U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon this week that military and police operations had stopped. But activists say his forces are still shooting at protesters.

The violent repression prompted coordinated calls from the United States and European Union on Thursday for Assad to step down and Washington imposed sweeping new sanctions on Syria, which borders Israel, Lebanon and Iraq and is an ally of Iran.

On Friday, European Union states agreed to expand the number of Syrian officials and institutions targeted by EU sanctions and laid out plans for a possible oil embargo. Syria exports over a third of its 385,000 barrels per day output to Europe.

KILLINGS

Activists said five people were killed and 15 wounded in the ancient desert city of Palmyra, when Assad's forces opened fire during a demonstration.

"The people want the execution of the president," shouted a crowd in the northern Idlib province. Some carried banners with slogans proclaiming "Signs of Victory".

Local activist Abdallah Aba Zaid said 18 people were killed in Deraa province, including eight in the town of Ghabaghab, five in Hirak, four in Inkhil and one in Nawa. Dozens of people were wounded, he said.

State television blamed the deaths in Ghabaghab on gunmen who attacked a police post, killing a policeman and a civilian and wounding two. It said two members of the security forces and one gunman were killed in a clash in Harasta, near Damascus.

Syria has expelled most independent media since the unrest began, making it difficult to verify events on the ground. The United Nations says 2,000 civilians have been killed. Authorities blame "armed terrorist groups" and Islamists for the bloodshed and say 500 soldiers and police have been killed.

SNIPERS ON ROOF

Internet footage of Friday's protests suggested that, although widespread, they were smaller than at their peak in July, before Assad sent tanks and troops into several cities.

But activists say protests have spread to more cities and become more frequent despite assaults that have intensified since the beginning of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

A doctor in Zabadani, 30 km (20 miles) northeast of Damascus, said army vehicles were in the town and snipers were on rooftops to prevent crowds marching.

Protesters from the Sunni majority resent the power and wealth amassed by some Alawites, who adhere to an offshoot of Shi'ite Islam, and the near monopoly of the sect on the security apparatus. They want Assad to quit, the dismantling of the police state and a transition to democracy.

US President Barack Obama froze Syrian state assets in the United States, banned US citizens from operating or investing in Syria and prohibited US imports of Syrian oil products.

Adding to international pressure, U.N. investigators said Assad's forces had committed violations that may amount to crimes against humanity. The United Nations plans to send a team to Syria on Saturday to assess the humanitarian situation.

The United States, Britain and European allies say they will draft a U.N. Security Council sanctions resolution on Syria.

Despite the dramatic sharpening of Western rhetoric, there is no threat of Western military action like that against Libya's Muammar Gaddafi, meaning Assad's conflict with his opponents seems likely to grind on in the streets.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/syrian-forces-kill-34-despite-assad-pledge/834640/

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Pope alarmed at 'xenophobic ideology' after Norway massacre

Aug 20, 2011

MADRID: Pope Benedict XVI and Spain's prime minister on Friday voiced concern at the "rise of xenophobic ideology" in Europe following the mass shooting in Norway.

The pontiff, in Madrid for the Catholic World Youth Festival, held talks with Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero on wide range of issues, including the international economic situation, the humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa and the uprisings in the Arab world, the premier's office said.

The two discussed "various current issues, such as the recent events in Norway and both were concerned about the rise of a xenophobic ideology that threatens the values of religious freedom and coexistence characteristic of European society," it said in a statement.

In Norway's worst peace-time massacre, rightwing extremist Behring Breivik allegedly shot and killed 69 mainly young people in a rampage on the island of Utoeya on July 22.

Breivik, 32, chose the island for his shooting rampage because it was hosting a summer camp for members of the youth wing of Norway's ruling Labour Party.

A further eight people were killed by a massive bomb that he detonated outside government offices in Oslo.

During his previous visit to Spain in November, Benedict railed against social reforms introduced by Zapatero such as same-sex marriage and easier access to abortion, prompting the prime minister to defend the measures.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/Pope-alarmed-at-xenophobic-ideology-after-Norway-massacre/articleshow/9667178.cms

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Iraq agrees to extend US military role: Leon Panetta

Aug 20, 2011

WASHINGTON: The United States said on Friday Iraq had agreed to keeping US troops in the country beyond a year-end deadline for withdrawal, but Baghdad insisted the issue is still under negotiation.

In an interview with two US newspapers, defense secretary Leon Panetta said that the Iraqis had made up their mind to extend the presence of American troops.

"My view is that they finally did say, 'Yes,'" Panetta was quoted as saying by Stars and Stripes.

Iraqi political leaders announced on August 3 that they would open talks with the United States over a possible training mission after 2011 but have yet to say definitively if some American troops would remain.

Under the terms of a 2008 security agreement, all of the roughly 46,000 US troops still in Iraq must pull out by the end of the year unless both countries forge a new deal.

In Baghdad, the Iraqi premier's office promptly rejected Panetta's account.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Iraq-agrees-to-extend-US-military-role-Leon-Panetta/articleshow/9667720.cms

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US govt report cites Pak ‘ terror’ in J& K

By Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury

20 August 2011

A US GOVERNMENT report has vindicated India’s stand on cross- border terrorism in Jammu & Kashmir terming the infiltrations across the Line of Control ( LoC) from Pakistan a serious concern for the government.

A document titled ‘ Country Reports on Terrorism for 2010’ released on Thursday by the US state department describes India as one of the world’s most terrorism- afflicted countries, despite a fall in the number of deaths because of terrorism.

“… The loss of nearly 1,900 lives ( civilian, security forces, and terrorists) still made India one of the world’s most terrorism- afflicted countries. Sustained violence in Kashmir over a six- month period and attempted infiltrations from Pakistan across the LoC remained serious concerns for the Indian government,” the report said.

This is the first such report from the US or the Western world in recent years that has acknowledged India’s concerns over infiltration into Jammu & Kashmir from Pakistan. Similar thoughts were expressed by visiting US Senator and former Republican candidate John McCain on Thursday. “ There is no doubt about incursions by individuals in Kashmir who want to indulge in terror attacks,” McCain said following a two- day visit to Jammu & Kashmir where he met the governor and the chief minister.

Full report at: Mail Today

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King Abdullah launches SR80 billion Haram expansion project

Aug 20, 2011

MAKKAH: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah on Friday launched the largest expansion of the Grand Mosque in history, which will increase the mosque's capacity to more than 2.5 million worshippers and cost SR80 billion.

Before laying the foundation for the new expansion, King Abdullah inspected models of the expansion project as well as other development projects implemented in Makkah and other holy sites.

King Abdullah dedicated the new expansion to the Islamic world.

Finance Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf announced the new expansion project would cost SR80 billion, which would include the money required to pay compensation to owners of real estates appropriated for the project.

Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal commended King Abdullah’s endeavors to develop the two holy mosques and said Muslims all over the Islamic world appreciate these efforts and holds the king in high esteem.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article491057.ece

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Contest aims to project true image of Islam

Aug 20, 2011

JEDDAH: The World Wide Association for Introducing Islam (WWAII), a subsidiary of the Muslim World League (MWL), received 20 research papers to participate in a contest organized by  “This Is Islam” project in Madinah.

The project was launched by Madinah Gov. Prince Abdul Aziz bin Majed recently.

The contest seeks to prepare a research paper highlighting the basic principles of Islam capable of removing any misunderstanding about the religion among people of other faiths.

“The contest is part of a project to prepare a brief but self-contained introductory material written in an attractive and impressive style. It should also be suitable for preparing audio and video presentations that can be used by Muslim preachers the world over,” Director of the WWAII branch in Makkah province, Abdullah Al-Yahya Al-Ghamdi, said.

“This Is Islam” project’s plans include the publication of an encyclopedia with the same name, Al-Ghamdi said.

WWAII has requested 260 universities in different parts of the world to participate in the preparation of research documents to familiarize Islam to the modern world. The papers should be supported by scientific facts and could be used as references by preachers. It should also be appropriate and easy for translation into all languages.

The Madinah-based WWAII, an independent organization with branches in Riyadh and Jeddah, undertakes the task of presenting the true image of Islam in a way appealing to the modern world, he said.

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article490907.ece

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Pakistan seeks closer links with Xinjiang

ANANTH KRISHNAN

20 August 2011

Pakistan has sought closer economic links with China's far-western Xinjiang region and has pledged to assuage the country's security fears in the wake of recent attacks which Chinese officials have blamed on Pakistan-based terror groups.

Pakistan was working towards “integrated border management” with China and in creating a trans-regional economic zone with rail linkages between the disputed Gilgit-Baltistan region in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) and neighbouring Xinjiang, said its Ambassador to China Masood Khan here on Friday.

Mr. Khan said China's plans to build a Special Economic Zone in the border city of Kashgar would bring the two countries closer by strengthening trade links, and pledged support to addressing security concerns that some Chinese analysts fear may impact cross-border trade ties. While Chinese officials hope Kashgar's development into an SEZ will raise incomes in Xinjiang's south, a region seen as the source of unrest, authorities have also expressed increasing concern over growing cross-border terror linkages, blaming recent tensions on local Uighurs in southern Xinjiang who had reportedly travelled to terror camps in Pakistan.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article2373637.ece

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Court extends isolation of Norway killer

20 August 2011

A court on Friday extended the isolation detention of the man who confessed to the killings of 77 people in Norway by four more weeks.

The Oslo District Court said Anders Behring Breivik must be kept in complete isolation by police partly for fear he would tamper with evidence and contact possible accomplices.

Mr. Breivik had appeared at a closed hearing under heavy police protection. His earlier request to wear a long black tuxedo to the session had been rejected by the Oslo District Court, which described it as “unnecessarily disturbing and provocative.”

The 32-year-old right-wing extremist has admitted killing eight people when he exploded a truck bomb outside government offices in Oslo, then fatally shooting 69 people at a youth camp on Utoya island nearby.

The hearing came as survivors, relatives and close friends of the victims were visiting Utoya on Friday and Saturday to grieve at the island massacre site. Some 1,500 people were expected on the island.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article2373340.ece

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Libya conflict: Rebels claim Zawiya and Zlitan

20 Aug, 2011

Libyan rebels fighting to overthrow Col Muammar Gaddafi are claiming to have captured two strategic coastal cities as they close in on Tripoli.

They say they have seized Zlitan, 160km (100 miles) east of the capital, and Zawiya, about 30km west of Tripoli, following fierce battles on Friday.

The government denies the rebel claims, saying the army is in control in both cities, Reuters news agency reports.

Meanwhile, plans are being made to evacuate many foreigners from Tripoli.

'Big celebration'

"The fighters have liberated Zlitan and they are fighting west of the city," Munir Ramzi of the opposition Misrata Military Council was quoted as saying by the Associated Press news agency.

Thirty-one rebels were killed and 120 wounded in heavy fighting which lasted for much of Friday, he said.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-14599156

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Syria protests: 'Deaths in anti-Assad demonstrations'

20 Aug, 2011

At least 20 people are reported to have been killed and dozens injured in Syria as army and police opened fire on anti-government protesters.

Activists said most of the deaths were in southern Deraa province, but there were also reports of shootings in Homs.

On Thursday, the US led unprecedented calls for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down.

Earlier, Mr Assad told the United Nations that police and army operations against civilians had halted.

Russia rejected the US calls for President Assad to go, saying he should be given more time to enact reforms.

And Syria's UN envoy accused the US of trying to instigate insurrection.

All the signs, at least from activist accounts and many internet video postings, are that nothing much has changed, following President Assad's announcement late on Wednesday that army and police operations against civilians had stopped.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-14586004

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Suspected Islamists shoot dead policemen in Nigeria

20 Aug, 2011

Suspected Islamists have killed three police officers and a civilian in north-eastern Nigeria, officials say.

They say gunmen burst into the house of one of the policemen who was watching TV with his friends in the city of Maiduguri and shot everyone dead.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the shootings.

But police blame the attack on Boko Haram, a sect that has carried out a series of attacks against security forces, local leaders and clerics.

The gunmen fled the scene after Friday's shootings.

Earlier in the week, police said they killed a man who tried to carry out a car bomb attack on the police headquarters in the city.

Thousands of people have fled the area in recent weeks as fighting between soldiers and sect members around Maiduguri, Borno state, has intensified.

The group, whose name roughly translates as "Western education is forbidden", is fighting to topple the government and create an Islamic state.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-14599919

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Al Qaeda pall under microscope in Bangladesh

Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury

August 19, 2011

Finally Bangladeshi law enforcing agencies have started investigating possible connections of radical clergy Mufti Fazlul Haque Amini, who has been mobilizing thousands of his followers in the country to turn Bangladesh into a 'Taliban State'.

The government took the initiatives following an order passed by High Court bench comprising Justice AHM Shamsuddin Chowdhury Manik and Justice Gobinda Chandra Thakur, who directed the government to form a high-powered committee immediately to investigate allegations of Mufti Fazlul Haque Amini's involvement in militancy and links to Al Qaeda, Taliban and other jihadist networks.

The High Court bench also gave historic directives to the government to ensure hoisting of national flag in the madrassas run by Mufti Amini as well as performance of national anthem. It may be mentioned here that, Koranic madrassas in Bangladesh refrain from hoisting national flags as well as singing the national songs everyday prior to beginning classes.

Full report at:

http://www.weeklyblitz.net/1666/al-qaeda-pall-under-microscope-in-bangladesh

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Tarek Fatah: Self-avowed Muslim Marxist Says White House Tied to Muslim Brotherhood

RAVEN CLABOUGH

19 Aug, 2011

Tarek Fatah — a self-described devout Muslim Marxist — has issued a strong warning that there is a Muslim Brotherhood influence at the White House. Fatah, a Canadian, delivered this caution back in June at Canada’s annual “Premier Meeting of the Minds” function; however, his announcement was all but ignored.

At the conference, Fatah expressed his own viewpoints on mainstream and radical Islam, including the Muslim Brotherhood. He asserted, “The religion of Islam is being used as a tool by a fascist force.”

He then moved on to discuss what he views as the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood at the highest level of the federal government. “Instead of bringing victory over the fascist forces of the Muslim Brotherhood, we now recognize that their infiltration is right up to the American White House, but we can’t say that,” he said.

According to Cal Thomas of the Washington Examiner, Fatah may be onto something, as it has been a longtime goal of the Muslim Brotherhood to infiltrate the leadership ranks of the United States. He wrote:

Full report at:

http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/politics/8656-self-avowed-muslim-marxist-says-

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Norway gunman ‘prepared another bigger bomb’

19 Aug, 2011

Norwegian gunman Anders Behring Breivik, had prepared a second bomb bigger than the one that exploded in Oslo, it has emerged.

Military sources revealed that a bomb discovered at the farm Breivik had rented, nearly 85 miles north of Oslo, weighed up to 1.5 tonnes and was ready to use, the Telegraph reports.

In comparison, the bomb he set off outside government officers in Oslo, killing eight, weighed an estimated 0.95 tonnes, the military sources said.

On July 27, police said they had found and destroyed explosives stored at the isolated farm.

They, however, did not provide any details on the quantity or what condition they were in when they were discovered.

32-year-old Breivik set off the bomb in Oslo, before going on a shooting rampage on the nearby island of Utoya, killing 69 more people on July 22.

http://www.asianage.com/international/norway-gunman-prepared-another-bigger-bomb-

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US lawmaker terms killings in drone strikes as ‘extra-judicial’

19 Aug, 2011

ISLAMABAD: US Congressman Dennis J Kucinich has strongly criticised drone strikes by the United States against militants in Pakistan and elsewhere, terming these as “summary executions” and “extra-judicial killings”.

Kucinich, the Representative from Ohio’s 10th District, who is known for voicing his concerns over America’s war policies, says challenging the legality of drone strikes in Pakistan and bringing to light their “indiscriminate nature” is vital. In his article titled ‘Drones Direct Hit Upon Rule of Law’ published in the US daily Huffington Post, the congressman said the dangerous precedent could allow international law and the laws of war to be stretched to justify strikes elsewhere. “The legal justification for their [drones] use in Pakistan can and will be used to justify their use in other countries,” he said, and added that under such legal framework, the battlefield could be stretched to anywhere in the world. Kucinich mentioned a recent report by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism that estimates that at least 2,292 people have been killed by US drone strikes in Pakistan since 2004, including 350 civilians.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\08\19\story_19-8-2011_pg7_4

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RIYADH: ‘Grease devil’ haunts Sri Lankan women

19 Aug, 2011

RIYADH: Sri Lankan women in the Kingdom who want to go home for their Eid holidays are panicking over recent incidents in the country caused by night prowlers dubbed "grease devils."

A grease devil is a thief who wears only underwear and covers his body in grease to make himself hard to grab if pursued.

Panic over midnight assaults by the alleged grease devils is rising across rural Sri Lanka, leading to the deaths of at least three people last week. This has prompted women to stay indoors and men to arm themselves, police and local media said.

At least seven were wounded fighting with police outside the navy base in Kinniya after hundreds of mainly Muslim residents in the eastern coastal area demanded soldiers hand over two men who tried to abduct a 28-year-old Muslim woman the night before. The incidents are happening mainly in areas where there is a concentration of minority communities such as Muslims and Tamils.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/world/article490064.ece

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JEDDAH: Mother of eight saved from execution gets own home

19 Aug, 2011

JEDDAH: A charity that paid the blood money to save a Saudi woman from being executed for murdering her husband has given her a furnished house to live in, the Shams newspaper reported.

The Southern Women Charitable Society in Abha stepped in to secure the woman’s release after she was sentenced to death.

“The woman was very happy as she was able to reunite with her eight children who were living with various relatives and she was also pleased with her house,” said Muna Al-Barek, head of the charity’s woman’s wing.

Al-Barek said her organization constructed a house for the woman with the financial support of a philanthropist who had requested anonymity.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article490517.ece

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Prominent Republicans distance themselves from anti-Islam rhetoric

By Sal Gentile

19 Aug, 2011

As the Republican presidential campaign takes shape, the race has been noted so far for its decidedly hostile tone toward Islam. Some candidates have criticized the perceived influence of Islamic culture on American laws and customs; others have proposed restrictions on Muslim participation in politics. As we’ve reported, much of that sentiment is rooted in the rhetoric of the so-called “counter-Jihad” movement, which seems particularly obsessed with the alleged encroachment of Shariah law on American life. The shift in Republican attitudes toward Islam is especially surprising given that former President George W. Bush made a concerted effort to cultivate warm relations with the Muslim community.

Not all Republicans, however, have embraced the anti-Islam rhetoric that has colored the GOP primary. Last week, for example, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, seen as a leading contender for president in either 2012 or 2016, offered a forceful and widely praised defense of a Muslim judge, Sohail Mohammed, whom he had appointed to a state judicial post. “The folks who criticize my appointment of Sohail Mohammed are ignorant,” Christie said. “They’re criticizing him because he’s a Muslim-American.” Of the anti-Shariah movement, Christie added: “This Shariah law business is crap. It’s just crazy. And I’m tired of dealing with the crazies.”

Full report at:

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/need-to-know/the-daily-need/prominent-republicans-distance-

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Target India: Pak-based terror groups active in Kashmir, says US

Aug 19 2011

Washington : Several outlawed Pakistan-based terror groups remain active in Kashmir and continue to target and plan attacks on India, a US report on global terrorism said.

Prominent among these terrorist groups are Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and Harkat ul-Mujahideen (HuM), which are having hundreds of armed supporters in Kashmir.

LeT, designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation in 2001, is one of the largest and most proficient of the traditionally Kashmir-focused militant groups.

"It has the ability to severely disrupt already delicate regional relation," said the State Department in its annual report on terrorism.

The actual size of LeT is unknown, but it has several thousand members in Pakistan occupied Kashmir, Pakistan's Punjab Pakistan and in southern Jammu, Kashmir, and Doda regions.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/target-india-pakbased-terror-groups-active-in-kashmir-says-us/834198/

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Economist article on Bangladesh was funded by jihadists, says Minister

19 Aug, 2011

A senior minister in Bangladeshi cabinet, Ms. Motia Chowdhury said London-based the Economist article on Bangladesh was funded by jihadists as well as drug and arms dealers. She said, "Today or tomorrow" the same newspaper will publish an apology note stating their comment on Bangladesh was wrong. She added saying "what was reported with the financial supports of militant outfits must be resisted by the government".

Bangladeshi minister said, in 2008 the Economist published a report stating "daughter of Bangabandhu, Sheikh Hasina has achieved huge victory through a free and fair election."

Matia Chowdhury said, "the same newspaper now claims that we were elected with finance from India. For publishing two types of comments in the same newspaper, now they are liable to publish apology of either of the two."

She said, "A peaceful situation is prevalent in Bangladesh and the political situation has not turned poisonous."

Full report at:

http://www.weeklyblitz.net/1646/the-economist-blamed-to-be-funded-by-jihadists

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Jihadi threat to cut off Lettermans tongue

19 Aug, 2011

New York: A frequent contributor to a jihadist website has threatened TVs David Letterman,urging Muslim followers to cut the tongue of the latenight host because of a joke the comic made on his CBS show.

The site monitoring service,a private intelligence organization that watches online activity,said the threat was posted on the shumukh al-Islam forum,a popular Internet destination for radical Muslims.

The contributor,who identified himself as Umar al-Basrawi,was reacting to what he said Letterman did after the US announced that a drone strike had killed al-Qaida leader Ilyas Kashmiri.

Al-Basrawi wrote that Letterman had made reference to both Osama bin Laden and Kashmiri and said that Letterman had put his hand on his neck and demonstrated the way of slaughter.

Is there not among you a Sayyid Nosair al-Mairi ... to cut the tongue of this lowly Jew and shut it forever

Al-Basrawi wrote,referring to El Sayyid Nosair,who was convicted of killing Jewish Defense League founder Meir Kahane.Letterman is not Jewish.

Times of India

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Rebels reopen Libyan mission in Washington

August 19, 2011

A Libyan diplomat representing rebels fighting strongman Muammar Gadaffi has formally reopened Libya’s mission in Washington and expressed hope for the release soon of billions of dollars in frozen assets.

“For the first time in 42 years, this embassy represents a free Libya,” the envoy, Ali Aujali, told dozens of cheering supporters who waved Libyan flags outside the de facto embassy’s offices in the Watergate Hotel. “We’re born again and we are confident that Libya is very close to (being) liberated and very close to (joining) the international community as a democratic free country,” he told journalists later.

Aujali, who served as Gadaffi’s ambassador in Washington until he defected from his regime in February, was again accredited the envoy by Washington last week.

The United States two weeks ago transferred the Libyan embassy in Washington to the opposition National Transitional Council (NTC), which Washington has recognized as Libya’s de facto Government. Aujali said “diplomatic recognition is not an end in itself but rather an important step” toward promoting greater cooperation between the NTC and the United States.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/361885/Rebels-reopen-Libyan-mission-in-Washington.html

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Bhopal: Slain RTI activist's father expects no justice

19 Aug, 2011

Bhopal : On Thursday, Sultan Masood, the father of slain RTI activist Shehla Masood, said that he did not expect justice for his daughter, because as a lower-middle class person, he was powerless to have an effective probe.

He also alleged that in January this year, Shehla had filed a complaint with the Lokayukta that she feared threat to life from IPS officer Pawan Shrivastava.

The way the police were handling the probe created suspicion about their sincerity, he said.

Shehla was found shot dead inside her car in front of her house in the Koh-e-Fiza locality here on August 16.

Sultan said, “We belong to a lower middle class and lack the power to purchase or to influence a top politician or an official. We expect no justice.”

Sultan, a retired government officer, said he wanted a CBI inquiry.

After the murder, reports appeared in the local media that it could be a suicide, he pointed out and expressed suspicion that these reports could be based on the information given by the police. His daughter could not have taken her own life, he asserted.

He said no weapon was found on the spot yet media speculated about it being a suicide and that she was scheduled to go to the United States in the first week of September and had booked tickets. Suicide, against this background, was improbable, he said.

Also, Islam considers it utterly wrong to take one's own life that too in the holy month of Ramadan, he said.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/bhopal-slain-rti-activists-father-expects-no-justice/833886/

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UN urges Pakistan to probe journalist killings

19 Aug, 2011

GENEVA: The office of the UN’s human rights commissioner urged Pakistan on Friday to investigate a recent spate of killings and disappearances of journalists.

“In the past eight days alone, we have received reports on the killing of one journalist, Munir Shakir, in Balochistan on 14 August, 2011, and the disappearance of another journalist, Rehmatullah Darpakhel, three days earlier in North Waziristan on 11 August,” OHCHR spokesman Rupert Coleville said.

“We call on all responsible parties to immediately stop such violations of human rights, and we urge the government to take immediate steps to independently investigate these cases,” he said.

Coleville explained that these were far from being isolated incidents.

“Pakistan is cited by various journalist groups as one of the most dangerous if not the most dangerous place for journalists” in the world, he said.

Citing figures from the non-profit Committee to Protect Journalists, Coleville said that 16 reporters were killed in 2010 and nine journalists had died so far in 2011.

“But two journalists in eight days is quite intense,” he said.

“We’ve already raised it this year…and we wanted to highlight that nothing has changed since then, and if anything it is getting worse,” he warned.

“None of the cases have been fully or satisfactorily investigated,” Coleville added.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/19/un-urges-pakistan-to-probe-journalist-killings.html

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Six killed, five injured in Kabul attack

August 19, 2011

Six people, including two police officers, were killed and five others were injured Friday in two suicide bombings and a shootout near the house of Afghanistan's First Vice President Mohammad Qasim Fahim in Kabul, Xinhua reported.

The first explosion occurred around 5.30 a.m. followed by another one 20 minutes later. One of the attackers blew up his explosives-laden car, while the second one detonated his suicide vest, killing two police officers and the bombers, a police officer told Xinhua requesting anonymity.

Two more attackers were shot dead, the officer added. A police officer and four foreign nationals were injured.

Fahim's house is close to the office of United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, the Indian consulate and the Kabul Intercontinental Hotel, which was the target of a deadly terror attack on June 28 in which scores of people were killed and injured.

http://dailypioneer.com/361890/Six-killed-five-injured-in-Kabul-attack.html

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DAMMAM: Woman disables anti-Islam websites

19 Aug, 2011

DAMMAM: An Alkhobar woman studying in the United States is taking credit for destroying 23 Danish websites that denigrated the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), Al-Madinah newspaper reported on Thursday.

Nouf Rashid told the Arabic newspaper she was hacking into Danish websites having references to cartoons of the Prophet along with other sites that had questionable content in her view.

She said she had also destroyed a number of pornographic sites and hacked into the computer systems of young men who had tried to blackmail girls by threatening to publish their private photos. She gained expertise in the field out of a desire to learn new things in the IT field.

Nouf said she entered the hacking world to save a girl who was being blackmailed by a young man who wanted to marry her and had obtained a private photo of her. The victim’s friend had requested Nouf to look for a hacker in the US to save her from the man.

“In fact, I contacted some of my hacker friends at university and I learned from them the art of hacking,” she said.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article490510.ece

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Drone strike kills at least two in South Waziristan

19 Aug, 2011

MIRAMSHAH: A US drone strike in the South Waziristan tribal region on Friday killed at least two people, DawnNews reported.

The unmanned aircraft fired two missiles, hitting a house in the Shin Warsak area of the tribal region, wounding two other people, security officials told AFP.

South Waziristan was largely under the control of the Pakistani Taliban until October 2009, when the Pakistani army launched an operation there.

However, militant activity is still occasionally reported in the region.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/19/drone-strike-kills-four-in-south-waziristan.html

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Taliban commander among four killed in Khyber

19 Aug, 2011

LANDI KOTAL, Aug 18: Two militants and as many children were killed while at least five houses were set ablaze in different incidents in Bara and Tirah valley of Khyber Agency on Thursday.

Sources said that bullet-riddled body of a Taliban commander, Ali Akbar alias Skarwata, was found in fields in Akkakhel area on Thursday morning.

In another incident in the same area, two children were killed and eight people received injuries when a stray mortar shell hit a house. The injured included children and women.

Security forces demolished a sanctuary of banned militant organisation Lashkar-i-Islam in the same locality. More than a dozen government schools and almost half a dozen link bridges have been destroyed in the area during the last few months.

Sources said that Taliban beheaded a Lashkar-i-Islam supporter, belonging to Qmbarkhel tribe, in Tirah valley. They said that Taliban put on fire at least five houses of their opponents in Kukikhel dominated areas of Mehraban Kallay and Zarmanza. The residence of a former Lashkar-i-Islam sympathiser, Haji Shala Baz, who was killed by his own group on charges of assisting its opponents, was also among the torched houses. There were also reports about fierce gun-battle between Taliban and LI in Mehraban Kallay, Malikdin khel and Qambarkhel areas of Tirah. However, no casualties were reported from these areas. In Jamrud, a blast by a time device partially damaged a Nato container and also caused minor injuries to the cleaner of the vehicle

http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/19/taliban-commander-among-four-killed-in-khyber.html

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JEDDAH: Kidney donor paid in full

19 Aug, 2011

JEDDAH: A Saudi man who was forced to sell his kidney because of abject poverty has been paid SR50,000 after a delay, informed sources said.

“Payments to kidney donors are seldom delayed. The unfortunate delay in the case of Walid Al-Ghamdi, the kidney donor, is related to some bureaucratic formalities,” a medical official from the King Fahd Hospital in Jeddah told Arab News on condition of anonymity.

The official denied any negligence from medical staff at the hospital caused the delayed payment.

The official added that the payment to a kidney donor is, technically speaking, not the price for the organ but a charitable grant as a token of gratitude.

The sum was paid to Al-Ghamdi by a charity organization in the city. “The approval for the grant of SR50,000 was in line with a government order following a proposal from the Prince Fahd bin Salman Charity Society for Renal Failure in October 2006,” the official said.

The government is paying special attention to kidney failure patients as the number of those needed treatment for the condition is on the increase, he said.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article490070.ece

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Renegade commander says he has formed a new Muslim rebel group in Philippines

By Associated Press

Aug 19 2011

MANILA, Philippines — A renegade commander said Thursday he has split from the Philippines’ largest Muslim rebel group and formed a new group with hundreds of fighters to wage a war for a separate homeland.

Ameril Umbra Kato told The Associated Press in a cellphone interview from his jungle hide-out in southern Maguindanao province that he would not return to the main Moro Islamic Liberation Front, which has threatened to expel him after he led a mutiny in December.

Kato denied allegations by Philippine security officials that he has links with al-Qaida-linked militants in the country’s volatile south and was involved in deadly bombings and terrorist attacks.

He said his new group would be known as the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Front. Its guerrilla wing, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, was organized in January, a month after he broke off from the main Muslim guerrilla force over differences with insurgent leaders.

Full report at:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia-pacific/ap-interview-renegade-commander-

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The political economy of the Boko Haram crisis

Saleh Marimaina

19 Aug, 2011

Until a little over two years ago, Borno State used to be described as the Home of Peace. However, since the emergence of an insurgency by a radical Islamic sect, Jammatis Sunnah Lilda’awat Wal Jihad, mischievously tagged Boko Haram, Borno State has been anything, but the home of peace. Indeed, as at today, the state, particularly its capital, Maiduguri, is literally a theatre of war, where militants of the Islamic sect, and probably, other faceless groups are engaged in a violent confrontation against the Nigerian State, leading to a military operation that has so far claimed hundreds, perhaps thousands, of lives of innocent people.

Despite the persistent denial by the military authorities over alleged killing of innocent persons by members of the Joint Task Force (JIF) in Maiduguri, the fact remains that people are dying in circumstances that point at actions or inactions of the security agencies that flooded the city since the crisis resurfaced three months ago. Suffice to state that Borno is now in an unofficial state of emergency, as nearly half of the population have fled the city. Whether the ongoing military operation in Maiduguri is the right response to the Boko Haram crisis, however remains another matter.

Full report at:

http://www.tribune.com.ng/index.php/opinion/26827-the-political-economy-of-the-boko-

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Iran’s Supreme Leader Terms Economic Jihad Effective Weapon against Sanctions

19 Aug, 2011

TEHRAN (FNA)- Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei downplayed the impacts of international and unilateral sanctions against Iran, and called 'Economic Jihad' as an effective weapon against such embargoes.

Ayatollah Khamenei made the remarks in a meeting with the public and private sector activists, managers of economic, industrial, agricultural, banking, IT sectors, and representatives of trade syndicates Wednesday during which they exchanged viewpoints on economic issues.

Ayatollah Khamenei in the meeting emphasized the need for spending hard efforts, thinking wisely, and acting more rapidly in a bid to meet the objectives of the Country's Twenty Year Perspective Documents.

"The enemy, resorting to the ineffective weapon of sanctions, has aimed at beating the Iranian nation and the Islamic system, but that objective out of their animosity will remain ineffective thanks to the economic Jihad of the officials and the people, and the great Iranian nation would full of hope achieve its deserved position," he added.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=9005270195

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Taseer’s Noon probes the question of his identity

Shreya Mukherjee

19 Aug, 2011

WRITER Aatish Taseer seemed to be prepared for the first question that was asked of him after he finished reading from his new novel, Noon ( HarperCollins India; ` 499).

“ Which of your two identities do you feel closer to — Pakistani or Indian?”, asked a young boy at the book launch on Thursday evening at The Park. Taseer answered: “ My Punjabi one,” and added with a smile: “ That pretty much covers it all.” There you have it — the essence of Noon , the story of a young man who grows up trying to create an identity that transcends the one divided across India and Pakistan.

A writer and journalist, Taseer is the son of newspaper columnist Tavleen Singh and the assassinated former governor of Pakistan’s Punjab province, Salman Taseer.

His first book, Stranger to History: A Son’s Journey Through Islamic Lands ( 2009), gives readers insights into his uneasy relationship with his late father, whom he never got to see when he was growing up.

Full report at: Mail Today

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Egypt: Military court sentences 5 to death for murder, 2 to six months for insulting army

19 Aug, 2011

CAIRO: Egypt's military on Wednesday sentenced five men to death for robbery and murder and sentenced two men to six months in prison for chanting anti-military slogans.

One of the men, 18-year-old activist Hassan Said, was arrested in a central Cairo square on Aug. 2, a day after soldiers and police violently dispersed a weeks-long sit in by activists demanding faster reforms.

The second man was identified as 23-year-old Karim Sayid but no further details about when he was arrested were available.

The military, in power since a popular revolt ousted president Hosni Mubarak in February, has promised to hand over government to civilians after a yet unscheduled presidential election.

A growing chorus of rights groups have condemned it for prosecuting activists over such charges as insulting the ruling generals.

They say the military is not impartial in judging these cases, because it is also the plaintiff. The charges may lead to sentences of up to three years in prison.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailynewsegypt.com/human-a-civil-rights/military-court-sentences-5-to-

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British Council attackers 'all dead'

Aug 19, 2011

KABUL: Nine people were killed as a wave of suicide explosions rocked a British cultural centre in Kabul Friday, a public holiday marking Afghanistan's independence from Britain in 1919.

Five blasts, claimed by the Taliban, struck the British Council offices in Kabul amid bursts of heavy gunfire that began in the early morning and were ongoing four hours later. A fresh explosion hit the area at 10:00am (0530 GMT).

The British Council is an official organisation part-funded by London that promotes cultural relations in offices around the world.

Police said at least the first two blasts were the work of suicide bombers.

"Eight people, mostly police, are killed and 10 others injured," said interior ministry spokesman Siddiq Siddiqui. "There's one person, one of the attackers who is still alive and resisting. The area has not yet been cleared."

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Eight-dead-in-attack-on-British-

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Omar dares Mufti Mohd Sayeed to be 'Anna' first

19 Aug, 2011

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Thursday dared PDP patron Mufti Mohd Sayeed to first become ‘Anna’ himself than lecturing others to follow in the foot prints of ‘anti-corruption crusader’.

Omar was reacting to the statement of PDP Patron Mufti Mohd Sayeed where he had stated 'Kashmir needs Anna Hazare from every house hold to fight the menace of corruption in the State'.

Interestingly, an internationally acclaimed corruption watchdog agency had rated Jammu and Kashmir as the second most corrupt state in the country during the regime of Mufti Mohd Sayeed.

Taking a jibe at the former Chief Minister for his 'unsavoury' comments Omar Abdullah told media persons at his official residence, "If Mufti Sahib is so keen to have Anna Hazare from every house hold in Kashmir i would suggest him to start from his own house first".

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/361740/Omar-dares-Mufti-Mohd-Sayeed-to-be-Anna-

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Australia law proposal: Muslims must remove veils

Aug 19 2011

Sydney : Muslim women would have to remove their veils and show their faces to police on request or risk going to prison under proposed new laws in Australia's most populous state to be introduced to parliament next week.

The New South Wales state government said today that under the law, police would be able to require anyone to remove a face covering for identification purposes including a burqa, niqab, helmet or mask.

Penalties for those who refuse would include a year in prison.

State Premier Barry O'Farrell said those who want to be identified privately for cultural and religious reasons would be able to go to a police station.

The legislation has been condemned by many as an overreaction to a traffic case involving a Muslim woman driver in a "niqab," or a veil that reveals only the eyes.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/australia-law-proposal-muslims-must-remove-

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‘Assad slaughtering his own people... must go’

Aug 19 2011

Washington : US President Barack Obama, the leaders of UK, France and Germany and the European Union joined Thursday to demand that Syrian President Bashar Assad resign, saying his brutal suppression of his people had made him unfit to lead.

The coordinated messages were accompanied by a UN recommendation that Syria be referred to the International Criminal Court for investigation of atrocities and by new US sanctions freezing all Syrian government assets in the US and targeting the country’s lucrative energy sector.

The resignation calls were the first explicit demands from the US for Assad to step down although condemnation of his actions had been mounting for weeks since the regime ordered a sustained assault on its opponents.

In a statement by the White House, Obama said Assad had lost all credibility as a leader and had to go. “His calls for dialogue and reform have rung hollow while he is imprisoning, torturing, and slaughtering his own people,” Obama said. “We have consistently said that Assad must lead a democratic transition or get out of the way. He has not led. For the sake of the Syrian people, the time has come for President Assad to step aside.”

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/assad-slaughtering-his-own-people...-must-go/833989/

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HC notice to Modi govt over Lokayukta’s appointment

19 Aug, 2011

THE GUJARAT High Court on Thursday issued a notice to the Narendra Modi government, seeking an explanation on why no Lokayukta had been appointed in the state.

The notice came a day after the state government set up a commission to probe into the allegations of corruption brought against it by the Congress.

A division bench comprising Justice Akil Qureshi and Justice Sonia Gokani asked the state’s chief secretary to file an affidavit on the status of appointment of a Lokayukta.

The notice was issued on a PIL filed on Wednesday by Bhikha Jethawa, the father of Right to Information activist Amit Jethawa, who was shot dead in front of the high court in July last year. The court asked the government to file its reply by August 29.

Jethawa said the non- appointment of Lokayukta be held illegal and unconstitutional and sought the court’s direction to the government to appoint a person to the post within a stipulated period of time in accordance with the Gujarat Lokayukta Act, 1986.

The previous Lokayukta, retired high court judge S. M. Soni, was appointed way back in 1998 by Modi’s predecessor Keshubhai Patel and stepped down from his position in 2003.

Full report at: Mail Today

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MQM chief asks PM to protect innocent Karachiites

19 Aug, 2011

KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain on Thursday telephoned Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and conveyed his deep concerns over the abduction and killing of innocent people in Karachi.

He informed the prime minister that the terrorists of the gang war were kidnapping and killing passengers of buses and other vehicles. He informed him that dozens of people had fallen victim to butchery of the terrorists.

Hussain asked Gilani to play his role to protect the life and property of innocent citizens and take action against the terrorists. The prime minister strongly condemned the killing of innocent people in Karachi and termed them a tyranny.

He said that he was grieved at the situation in Karachi. He said: “Certain people do not want the Pakistan people’s Party and the MQM to work together, however, the government would not let their conspiracies to succeed.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\08\19\story_19-8-2011_pg7_21

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Indonesia says Patek could face death penalty

19 Aug, 2011

JAKARTA: Indonesian police said on Thursday they will charge Bali bomb suspect Umar Patek under the anti-terrorism law as well as with premeditated murder, either of which could see him executed if convicted.

National police spokesman Anton Bachrul Alam said the 41-year-old who was arrested in Pakistan earlier this year had breached the 2003 anti-terror law by smuggling weapons and concealing information about a terrorist training camp.

He would be charged under the criminal code with premeditated murder in relation to the 202 people killed in bombings of tourist night spots on Bali island in 2002.

Police said, Patek has confessed to assembling the bombs used in the Bali attacks, as well as to carrying out a series of church bombings in Indonesia on Christmas Eve 2000.

As the last Bali mastermind still on the run, Patek was one of Asia’s most wanted terror suspects and had a $1 million bounty on his head under the US rewards for justice programme. He was arrested in Pakistan early this year in the town where Osama bin Laden was subsequently killed by US commandos.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\08\19\story_19-8-2011_pg7_27

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US demands safe recovery of kidnapped American

19 Aug, 2011

ISLAMABAD: The United States asked Pakistan authorities on Thursday to ensure safe and early recovery of abducted US development specialist Warren Weinstein.

According to diplomatic sources, the demand was made in a telephone call by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hina Rabbani Khar.

Even as the FO release said the conversation between the two ministers was about “carrying forward the trajectory of bilateral relations”, Ms Khar’s meeting with the prime minister after Ms Clinton’s call followed by Interior Minister Rahman Malik’s meeting with Mr Gilani, added to speculations that Washington was ratcheting up pressure for getting Mr Weinstein released.

Secretary Clinton and Ms Khar also discussed Mr Gilani’s expected meeting with Ms Clinton on the sidelines of UN General Assembly session next month.

The flurry of meetings on Thursday was preceded by Ambassador Cameron Munter’s meeting with Ms Khar a day earlier.

The meetings coincided with a statement by Punjab Home Minister Rana Sanaullah that Mr Weinstein was engaged in mysterious activities like those of CIA contractor Raymond Davis. The statement is said to have sent alarm bells ringing in Washington.

Police also released a sketch on Thursday of  Mr Weinstein’s possible  abductor.

The American was abducted from his residence in Lahore last weekend by gunmen.

So far there has been no lead in the case as abductors haven’t made any demands as yet.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/19/us-demands-safe-recovery-of-kidnapped-american.html

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Terrorists threatening relations between PPP, MQM: Haroon

19 Aug, 2011

KARACHI: “Terrorists from the Aman Committee’s moral had reached a point where they were threatening relations between the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).”

MQM Coordination Committee member Raza Haroon, while addressing a press conference at Khursheed Hall Secretariat, Nine-Zero, here on Thursday, stated this. He said they (terrorists) were using the modern weapons and the fight between terrorists had nothing to do with political parties. The MQM decision to join the government would be made with the national interest in mind, he added.

Haroon informed the media that the majority of those kidnapped and killed during the last two days were Urdu-speaking people and demanded that PPP leaders ‘who were supervising these terrorists be stopped immediately’. He appealed to the international community to use its influence to stop the mass killings.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\08\19\story_19-8-2011_pg7_20

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Pakistan can bring Haqqani to peace talks: official

19 Aug, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s military says it can bring the Haqqani militant network, considered one of the most lethal threats against US-led coalition troops in Afghanistan, to the negotiation table.

Instead, Washington is pushing Pakistan to carry out military assaults against Haqqani hideouts in the tribal regions.

The network is affiliated with the Taliban and al Qaeda and blamed for most of the major attacks in Afghanistan, particularly the brazen assaults on Kabul. It has been described as the glue that binds together the militant groups allegedly operating in North Waziristan. “The Haqqani network has been more important to the development and sustainment of al Qaeda and the global jihad than any other single actor or group,” a study released earlier this month by West Point’s Combating Terrorism Centre said.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\08\19\story_19-8-2011_pg1_6

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Egypt military pardons blogger after criticism

19 August 2011

CAIRO — Egypt’s military said on Thursday it has dropped charges against prominent blogger Asmaa Mahfouz of insulting the country’s ruling generals after a wave of criticism from rights groups.

The military, in a statement on its Facebook page, said it also decided to drop charges against another activist, Loai Nagati, who also faced trial by a military court for insulting the generals.

After a meeting between a general and Egyptian intellectuals who demanded that the charges be dropped, military ruler Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi decided to “drop the complaints against Loai Nagati and Asmaa Mahfouz,” the statement said.

Mahfouz was charged over statements she made on Twitter and Facebook.

The statement called on Egyptians to be “responsible” in their criticism of the armed forces, which have ruled the country since a popular revolt ousted president Hosni Mubarak in February.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/August/

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Syria may have committed crimes against humanity — UN

By STEPHANIE NEBEHAY

19 Aug, 2011

GENEVA: Syria’s crackdown on anti-government protesters may constitute crimes against humanity, a UN investigative team said, adding it had evidence implicating 50 people at various levels of government who could be prosecuted.

Syrian forces fired on peaceful protesters throughout the country, often at short range and without warning, killing at least 1,900 civilians, including children, investigators said in a report. Their wounds were “consistent with an apparent shoot-to-kill policy,” it said.

Some were reportedly finished off with knives.

Tanks, grenades, snipers, heavy machine guns and helicopters have been used in the assault aimed at quashing opposition to the rule of President Bashar Al-Assad, they said in a report to the UN Human Rights Council. The 47-member Geneva forum is to hold a special session on Syria on Monday.

“The mission found a pattern of human rights violations that constitutes widespread or systematic attacks against the civilian population, which may amount to crimes against humanity,” it said, specifically citing the Rome Statutes of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article490300.ece

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/first-ramzan-suicide-blast-in-pakistan-mosque--kills-53-/d/5282


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