New Age Islam
Wed Aug 12 2020, 11:15 AM

Islamic World News ( 13 Nov 2015, NewAgeIslam.Com)

French President Francois Hollande Says Paris Attacks Were 'Act of War'; IS Claims Responsibility

















A man pays tribute to victims of attacks in Paris, in Kiev. (Reuters)

 

Europe

French President Francois Hollande Says Paris Attacks Were 'Act of War'; IS Claims Responsibility

ISIS Claims Responsibility, Calling Attacks ‘First of the Storm’

Paris Terror Attacks Could Herald A Dramatic Change In Tactics By ISIS

Disbelief, panic as Paris struck a second time

Islamic State video threatens France a day after Paris bloodshed

'Far better' if Jihadi John faced trial than killed: Corbyn

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Mideast

Top Al-Azhar Sunni Muslim Cleric Condemns ‘Hateful’ Paris Attacks

3 Soldiers, 1 Civilian and 11 PKK Terrorists Killed In Southeast Turkey

ISIS 'On the Run', Kurdish Fighters Seize Sinjar

Israel razes homes of four Palestinian ‘attackers’

Iran’s Rouhani cancels visit to Italy and France over Paris attacks

Iraqi Forces Win Back 2 Strategic Regions in Fallujah

Armed man storms bank in western Turkey, takes staff hostage

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Arab World

At Least 63 ISIL Terrorists Killed in Deir Ezzur

Syrian Forces Kill Many ISIL Militants in Mop-Up Operations near Kuweires

Large Numbers of Nusra Militants Killed in Street Battle with Army in Syria's Aleppo

Rebels Have CIA Weapons Capable of Downing Planes Flying Above 10Km Range

ISIL Perplexed after Freedom of al-Houl Village by Syrian Forces

Syrian Forces Win Back New Area near Maheen in Homs Province

Paris attacks a ‘violation of all religions’, says Saudi minister

Massive Explosions Reported in Militants' Munitions Depot West of Aleppo

Syrian Army Storms ISIL Positions in Aleppo, Kills Dozens of Militants

Army Gains More Ground in Western Syria

Syrian Troops Defeat Jeish Al-Islam Militants in Damascus

Saudi Arabia seizes 48,000 cans of beer disguised as Pepsi

'Deep breaths' for tough new Syria talks in Vienna

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India

Diversity Is India’s Pride and Strength, Says PM Narendra Modi At Wembley Stadium

Won't Be Long Before There's British-Indian PM: David Cameron

High alert across India; security in foreign missions tightened

Meet Imran Khan, the man PM Modi hailed in Wembley

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North America

New York, Other US Cities Beef Up Security after Paris Attacks

Obama Calls Paris Attacks ’Outrageous Attempt To Terrorize’ Civilians

How Muslim-Americans Can Break the Stereotypes

Muslims are facing a civil rights crisis in America, and it’s the media’s fault

4 Things American Muslims Want the Next President to Know

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Pakistan

Lal Masjid Brigade Back Again

US Urged To Revive India-Pakistan Talks

Pakistan, Tajikistan agree to revive talks on trade pact

Kabul offered meaningful re-engagement

Security a major concern for Pakistani players in India: Shaharyar

Dar claims he didn’t accept IMF demand for 18pc GST

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South Asia

Prince Aga Khan Rejects ‘Clash Of Civilizations’ Between Muslim World And West

65 Soldiers of Afghan National Army Join Taliban In Helmand

Two security posts fall to Taliban in Faryab’s Pashtun Kot District, 10 policemen missing

Afghanistan condemns terrorist attacks in Paris

Ethnic Affiliation is Less Likely to Tolerate Inhumanity

NDS detains Taliban shadow district governor in Nangahrar

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Southeast Asia

Myanmar's Persecuted Rohingya See Glimmer of Hope in Suu Kyi Victory

Singapore raises alert level after Paris attacks

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Africa

Nigeria’s Worrisome Humanitarian Situation Demands More Attention

Pope Central African trip on despite France’s security fears, Vatican says

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL:  http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/french-president-francois-hollande-says-paris-attacks-were--act-of-war-;-is-claims-responsibility/d/105276

 

 

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Europe

French President Francois Hollande says Paris attacks were 'act of war'; IS claims responsibility

Reuters | Nov 14, 2015

PARIS: French President Francois Hollande said on Saturday the deadly attacks in Paris that killed 127 people were "an act of war" organised from abroad by Islamic State with internal help.

He said he would address parliament on Monday in an extraordinary meeting and the country would observe three days of official mourning.

Terror group Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attacks. In an official statement the group said its fighters strapped with suicide bombing belts and carrying machine guns carried out the attacks in various locations in the heart of Paris which were carefully studied.

IS had earlier released an undated video in which a militant said France would not live peacefully as long it took part in US-led bombing raids against its fighters.

A Paris city hall official said four gunmen systematically slaughtered at least 87 young people at a rock concert at the Bataclan concert hall. Anti-terrorist commandos launched an assault on the building. The gunmen detonated explosive belts and dozens of shocked survivors were rescued, while bodies were still being removed on Saturday morning.

Some 40 more people were killed in five other attacks in the Paris region, the official said, including an apparent double suicide bombing outside the Stade de France national stadium, where Hollande and the German foreign minister were watching a friendly soccer international. Some 200 people were injured.

The coordinated assault came as France, a founder member of the US-led coalition waging air strikes against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, was on high alert for terrorist attacks ahead of a global climate conference due to open later this month.

It was the worst such attack in Europe since the Madrid train bombings of 2004, in which 191 died.

Hollande said the death toll stood at 127. Officials said eight assailants had died, seven of whom had blown themselves up with explosive belts at various locations, while one had been shot dead by police. It was not clear if all the attackers were accounted for.

"The terrorists, the murderers raked several cafe terraces with machine-gun fire before entering (the concert hall). There were many victims in terrible, atrocious conditions in several places," police prefect Michel Cadot told reporters.

After being whisked from the stadium near the blasts, Hollande declared a national state of emergency - the first since World War Two. Border controls were temporarily reimposed to stop perpetrators escaping.

Local sports events were suspended, the rock band U2 cancelled a concert, the Paris metro railway was closed and schools, universities and municipal buildings were ordered to stay shut on Saturday. However some rail and air services were expected to run.

"This is a horror," the visibly shaken president said in a midnight television address to the nation before chairing an emergency cabinet meeting.

He later went to the scene of the bloodiest attack, the Bataclan music hall, and vowed that the government would wage a "merciless" fight against terrorism.

Sylvestre, a young man who was at the Stade de France when bombs went off there, said he was saved by his cellphone, which he was holding to his ear when debris hit it.

"This is the cell phone that took the hit, it's what saved me," he said. "Otherwise my head would have been blown to bits," he said, showing the phone with its screen smashed.

French newspapers spoke of "carnage" and "horror". Le Figaro's headline said: "War in the heart of Paris" on a black background with a picture of people on stretchers.

Emergency services were mobilised, police leave was cancelled, 1,500 army reinforcements were drafted into the Paris region and hospitals recalled staff to cope with the casualties.

Radio stations warned Parisians to stay at home and urged residents to give shelter to anyone caught out in the street. The hashtag #porteouverte (open door) started up on Twitter to offer people a place to stay.

The deadliest attack was on the Bataclan, a popular concert venue where the Californian rock group Eagles of Death Metal was performing. The hall is near the former offices of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, target of a deadly attack by Islamist gunmen in January.

Some witnesses in the hall said they heard the gunmen shout Islamic chants and slogans condemning France's role in Syria.

HIGH ALERT

France has been on high alert ever since the attacks on the Charlie Hebdo newspaper and a kosher supermarket in Paris in January killed 18 people.

Those attacks briefly united France in defence of freedom of speech, with a mass demonstration of more than a million people. But that unity has since broken down, with far-right populist Marine Le Pen gaining on both mainstream parties by blaming immigration and Islam for France's security problems.

A man pays tribute to victims of attacks in Paris, in Kiev. (Reuters)

It was not clear what political impact the latest attacks would have less than a month before regional elections in which Le Pen's National Front is set to make further advances.

The governing Socialist Party and the National Front suspended their election campaigns.

Hollande cancelled plans to travel to Turkey at the weekend for a G20 summit.

U.S. President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel led a global chorus of solidarity with France. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the "despicable attacks" while the Vatican called the killings "mad terrorist violence".

Italy tightened security measures.

Julien Pearce, a journalist from Europe 1 radio, was inside the concert hall when the shooting began. In an eyewitness report posted on the station's website, Pearce said several very young individuals, who were not wearing masks, entered the hall during the concert, armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles and started "blindly shooting at the crowd".

"There were bodies everywhere," he said.

The gunmen shot their victims in the back, finishing some off at point-blank range before reloading their guns and firing again, Pearce said, after escaping into the street by a stage door, carrying a wounded girl on his shoulder.

Toon, a 22-year-old messenger who lives near the Bataclan, was going into the concert hall with two friends at around 10.30 p.m. (2130 GMT) when he saw three young men dressed in black and armed with machine guns. He stayed outside.

One of the gunmen began firing into the crowd. "People were falling like dominoes," he told Reuters. He saw people shot in the leg, shoulder and back, with several lying on the floor, apparently dead.

There was no immediate verifiable claim of responsibility but supporters of Islamic State said in Twitter messages that the group carried them out.

"The State of the caliphate hit the house of the cross," one tweet said.

Two explosions were heard near the Stade de France in the northern suburb of Saint-Denis, where the France-Germany soccer match was being played. A witness said one of the detonations blew people into the air outside a McDonald's restaurant opposite the stadium.

The match continued until the end, but panic broke out in the crowd as rumours of the attack spread, and spectators who were held in the stadium assembled on the pitch.

Police helicopters circled the stadium as Hollande was rushed back to the interior ministry to deal with the situation.

In central Paris, shooting erupted in mid-evening outside a Cambodian restaurant in the capital's 10th district.

Eighteen people were killed when a gunman opened fire on Friday night diners sitting at outdoor terraces in the popular Charonne area nearby in the 11th district.

The prosecutor mentioned five locations in close proximity where shootings took place around the same time.

The Paris carnage came within days of attacks claimed by Islamic State militants on a Shi'ite Muslim district of southern Beirut, and a Russian tourist aircraft which crashed in Egypt.

Earlier on Friday, Kurdish fighters retook the Iraqi town of Sinjar from Islamic State and the United States and Britain launched an air strike on a British Islamic State militant known as "Jihadi John", but it was not certain if he had been killed.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/French-President-Francois-Hollande-says-Paris-attacks-were-act-of-war-IS-claims-responsibility/articleshow/49780724.cms?

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ISIS Claims Responsibility, Calling Attacks ‘First of the Storm’

By RUKMINI CALLIMACHINOV. 14, 2015

SINONE, Iraq — The Islamic State claimed responsibility on Saturday for the catastrophic attacks in the French capital, calling them “the first of the storm” and mocking France as a “capital of prostitution and obscenity,” according to statements released in multiple languages on one of the terror group’s encrypted messaging accounts.

The remarks came in a communiqué published in Arabic, English and French on the Islamic State’s Telegram account and then distributed via their supporters on Twitter, according to a transcript provided by the SITE Intelligence Group, which tracks jihadist propaganda.

An earlier statement was released but was deemed unlikely to be authentic because of anomalies in the language used, as well as an error in a date provided, according to experts on jihadist propaganda.

From left, Dave Catching, Jesse Hughes, Josh Homme and Matt McJunkins of Eagles of Death Metal performing at the Teragram Ballroom in Los Angeles last month.Eagles of Death Metal, a Band Known for Wit, Now Mired in TragedyNOV. 13, 2015

The statement was released on the same Telegram channel that was used to claim responsibility for the crash of a Russian jet over the Sinai Peninsula two weeks ago, killing 224 people. As in that case, it made the announcement in multiple languages and audio recordings.

President François Hollande of France said on Saturday that the Islamic State was responsible Analysts said that the nature of the attacks was more in keeping with actions of the Islamic State than with those of Al Qaeda, and the timing and extent of the celebration expressed online by the group’s supporters added weight to the claim.

“Eight brothers, wrapped in explosive belts and armed with machine rifles, targeted sites that were accurately chosen in the heart of the capital of France,” the group said in the statement, “including the Stade de France during the match between the Crusader German and French teams, where the fool of France, François Hollande, was present.”

“Let France and those who walk in its path know that they will remain on the top of the list of targets of the Islamic State,” the statement added, referring to the attacks at the Bataclan concert hall and several districts in Paris.

The style of the attack was in line with the Islamic State’s tactic of indiscriminate killings and goes against Al Qaeda’s guidelines. In a 2013 directive, the leader of Al Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahri, stated that Qaeda operatives should avoid attacks that could inadvertently cause the death of Muslim civilians and noncombatant women or children.

He argued that targeting markets, for example, was unadvisable because innocent Muslims might accidentally be killed.

Although Qaeda branches have deviated from these guidelines on numerous occasions, their attacks reflect more carefully defined targeting, as was the case in the killings at the Charlie Hebdo office in Paris in January, when cartoonists were singled out and defined as legitimate targets because of what the group considered to be blasphemy against the Prophet Muhammad.

A Dutch fighter for Al Qaeda’s branch in Syria commented on the distinction in a series of posts on Twitter.

“Al-Qaeda focuses mostly on political & military targets instead of civilians. That’s why this could be an IS attack,” wrote the fighter, who goes by the nom de guerre Abu Saeed Al-Halabi.

In addition to the claim of responsibility, the celebrations by Islamic State supporters online were such that the SITE monitoring group, said it could suggest the Islamic State’s’s involvement.

“The extent of the celebration far exceeded past online rallying by I.S. supporters,” SITE said in an analysis. “The way I.S. supporters have embraced this attack appears much more coordinated at a much earlier stage than massive reactions to past attacks.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/15/world/europe/isis-claims-responsibility-for-paris-attacks-calling-them-miracles.html

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Paris terror attacks could herald a dramatic change in tactics by ISIS

Charlie Cooper | The Independent | Nov 14, 2015

PARIS: The multiple attacks in Paris marked the return of terror to the city, only 10 months after the Charlie Hebdo shootings that left 17 people dead.

It was unclear who was responsible for the killings, which were on a far greater scale and more indiscriminate than January's attacks. Investigations will centre on whether the perpetrators were, like the French-Algerian Kouachi brothers who carried out the Charlie Hebdo shootings, inspired or supported by jihadist groups.

The gunmen in January identified themselves as belonging to al-Qaeda in Yemen. However, suspicion now will inevitably fall upon the far more powerful Isis. Since January, Isis has grown in strength.

Experts have said that, if indications that the group or its affiliates were responsible for the downing of a Russian A321 Airbus over the Sinai desert last month are proven correct, it may have marked a major shift in strategy for the group, to demonstrate its international reach beyond the lawless regions of Iraq and Syria where it has its strongholds.

If Isis is shown to be behind the Paris attacks, there will be dramatic consequences for security in Europe and further afield.

France has been part of the US-led coalition against Isis in Syria, launching its first air strikes in September.

Some of the attackers took hostages, in a repeat of tactics deployed after the Charlie Hebdo shooting.

Those shootings on 7 January marked the beginning of three days of fear, as the Kouachi brothers and their accomplices evaded police, carrying out further attacks, before being cornered and killed by police. Twelve were killed in the initial attack on the satirical magazine, which was targeted for portraying the Prophet Mohamed on its front cover. The next day a gunman took hostages at a Kosher supermarket near the Porte de Vincennes. On the same day, police tracked the Kouachi brothers to an industrial estate in Dammartin-en-Goele, where they too had taken a hostage.

Police conducted simultaneous raids in Dammartin and at Porte de Vincennes and three terrorists were killed, along with four hostages who died in the Vincennes supermarket before the intervention; some other hostages were injured. Those attacks were the deadliest acts of terrorism in France since the 1961 Vitry-Le-Francois train bombing.

In the wake of those attacks, France increased security and surveillance and has co-operated in European-wide crackdowns on suspected terrorist cells. In June authorities launched a terrorism investigation after police found a decapitated body in a gas factory in the south-eastern city of Lyon.

And two months later three Americans and one Briton were awarded medals for bravery after they overpowered a heavily armed gunman on a train in France.

That attack on 21 August 2015 occurred on board a train passing through Oignies, Pas-de-Calais, France. The train was traveling from Amsterdam to Paris via Brussels when the perpetrator carrying an assault rifle, opened fire, before being subdued by passengers, one of whom he stabbed.

The attack was foiled by the actions of passengers, including an off-duty American soldier.

The perpetrator was Ayoub El Khazzani, a 25-year-old man from Morocco. He is known to have travelled to Turkey, a possible route to Syria.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/Paris-terror-attacks-could-herald-a-dramatic-change-in-tactics-by-ISIS/articleshow/49779297.cms

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Disbelief, panic as Paris struck a second time

Reuters | Nov 14, 2015

PARIS: It should have been a Friday night like any other in central Paris, with locals and visitors alike watching a show, enjoying a meal or shrugging off the cares of the week over a drink.

But for the second time in less than a year, France and the world are asking how carnage could strike at the heart of this much-loved city, including at a concert hall barely a few hundred steps from January's deadly attack on the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.

"As we went to our car we saw dozens of people running out of the Bataclan," local resident Caterina Giardino, an Italian national, said of the 19th century theatre-turned-music venue where gunman clad in black systematically killed nearly 100.

"Many of them were covered with blood, people were screaming," she added, sitting on a bench with a friend as she recalled how one young man emerged from the concert hall with the bloody imprint of a hand on his shirt.

The exact sequence of gun and bomb assaults on the concert hall, a sports stadium and restaurants in the French capital that left at least 120 dead is still unclear.

The first blast was heard at 9.17 p.m. (2017 GMT) outside the Stade de France national sports stadium, where France and Germany were playing a friendly soccer international in the presence of President Francois Hollande. Spectators distinctly heard a second detonation about two minutes later.

No claim of responsibility has been made so far, but witnesses at the Bataclan music venue heard the killers shout Islamic slogans and condemn France's role in the U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State in Syria.

Inside the hall, California-based rock band Eagles of Death Metal were on stage promoting their fourth album when the audience began to notice something was not right.

"I turned round and I saw one of these attackers, he was very young, barely 20, with a small beard," Julien Pearce, a reporter for Europe 1 radio who was in the theatre said.

"At first we thought it was part of the show, pyrotechnics or whatever. But when I turned round and saw him with his assault rifle and saw flames coming from his barrel, I understood it was no joke," he added.

As the gunman paused to reload, Pearce managed to sneak round the side of the stage and out through an exit. But witnesses described how others were not so lucky.

"People were falling like dominoes," said a 22-year-old message-runner who gave his name as Toon. He had walked through the doors of the theatre just as three gunmen began shooting indiscriminately at those inside.

"One of the guys had a big hat. They were all dressed in black," he said, adding that he turned on his heels and fled.

Early indications were that members of the band, formed in the late 1990s by lifelong friends Jesse Hughes and Josh Homme, were safe. Hughes' mother, Jo Ellen Hughes, told a Reuters reporter outside her home in Palm Desert, California, that she had spoken to her son by telephone after the attack and that he was unhurt but "very upset and shaken."

Outside the venue, there was panic. Paris police chief Michel Cadot told local television the gunman had sprayed the terraces of several nearby cafes with bullets before entering the hall.

One witness saw a man racing down a street outside screaming "War's broken out!" A young Parisian said he and 60 others hid for an hour in the cellar of a bar on a street behind the theatre.

Emergency services were by now in full swing. Dozens of ambulances were racing to the Bataclan. Soldiers in camouflage fatigues were gathering on the nearby Bastille Square.

Shortly after midnight Paris time, a handful of loud bangs were heard coming from the theatre, not long after Hollande had issued a statement saying operations were under way to free those still in the theatre.

"The police assault was extremely difficult. The terrorists who locked themselves in one of the floor had explosives belts which they detonated, and the four were killed during the assault," said Cadot.

Hollande was quick to declare a state of emergency after what he called a terrorist attack of unprecedented scale on French soil. The Interior Ministry declined to say whether there were further gunmen on the loose.

For his government, as for the French, the coming days are likely to raise as many questions as answers.

If the attack was linked to France's role in Syria, why was it yet again targeted above other members of the US-led coalition?

Could the authorities, who already had the country on a heightened level of security and had promised improved surveillance after the Charlie Hebdo attacks, have done more to prevent this new assaults?

And will the French, who in January defiantly came out on the streets in their hundreds of thousands to mourn the Charlie Hebdo victims, have the courage to overcome their growing security fears and do the same a second time?

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/Disbelief-panic-as-Paris-struck-a-second-time/articleshow/49778244.cms

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Islamic State video threatens France a day after Paris bloodshed

Reuters | Nov 14, 2015

CAIRO: The Islamic State released an undated video on Saturday threatening to attack France if bombings of its fighters continue, a day after gunmen and bombers killed at least 120 people in Paris.

The group's foreign media arm, Al-Hayat Media Centre, made the threat through a militant who called on French Muslims to carry out attacks.

"As long as you keep bombing you will not live in peace. You will even fear traveling to the market," said the bearded Arabic-speaking militant, flanked by other fighters.

Gunmen and bombers attacked restaurants, a concert hall and a sports stadium at locations across Paris on Friday, killing at least 120 people in a deadly rampage that a shaken President Francois Hollande called an unprecedented terrorist attack.

A Paris city hall official said four gunmen systematically slaughtered at least 87 young people at a rock concert at the Bataclan concert hall. Anti-terrorist commandos eventually launched an assault on the building. The gunmen detonated explosive belts and dozens of shocked survivors were rescued, while bodies were still being removed on Saturday morning.

The coordinated assault came as France, a founder member of the US-led coalition waging air strikes against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, was on high alert for terrorist attacks ahead of a global climate conference due to open later this month.

Paris public prosecutor Francois Molins said the death toll was at least 120. His spokeswoman said eight assailants had also died, seven of whom had blown themselves up with explosive belts at various locations, while one had been shot dead by police. It was not clear if all the attackers were accounted for.

"The terrorists, the murderers raked several cafe terraces with machine-gun fire before entering (the concert hall). There were many victims in terrible, atrocious conditions in several places," police prefect Michel Cadot told reporters.

After being whisked from the stadium near the blasts, Hollande declared a national state of emergency — the first since World War II. Border controls were temporarily re-imposed to stop perpetrators escaping.

The Paris metro railway was closed and schools, universities and municipal buildings were ordered to stay shut on Saturday. However some rail and air services are expected to run.

"This is a horror," the visibly shaken president said in a midnight television address to the nation before chairing an emergency cabinet meeting.

He later went to the scene of the bloodiest attack, the Bataclan music hall, and vowed that the government would wage a "merciless" fight against terrorism.

Sylvestre, a young man who was at the Stade de France when bombs went off there, said he was saved by his cellphone, which he was holding to his ear when debris hit it.

"Everything was blown to bits and I felt stuff flying around," he said. "This is the cell phone that took the hit, it's what saved me. Otherwise my head would have been blown to bits," he said, showing the phone with its screen smashed.

French newspapers spoke of "carnage" and "horror". Le Figaro's headline said: "The war in the heart of Paris" on a black background with a picture of people being evacuated on stretchers.

Emergency services were mobilised, police leave was cancelled, 1,500 army reinforcements were drafted into the Paris region and hospitals recalled staff to cope with the casualties.

Radio stations warned Parisians to stay at home and urged residents to give shelter to anyone caught out in the street. The hashtag #porteouverte (open door) started up on Twitter to offer people a place to stay.

The deadliest attack was on the Bataclan, a popular concert venue where the Californian rock group Eagles of Death Metal was performing. The hall is near the former offices of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, target of a deadly attack by Islamist gunmen in January.

Some witnesses in the hall said they heard the gunmen shout Islamic chants and slogans condemning France's role in Syria.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/Islamic-State-video-threatens-France-a-day-after-Paris-bloodshed/articleshow/49780232.cms

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'Far better' if Jihadi John faced trial than killed: Corbyn

PTI | Nov 13, 2015

LONDON: With Islamic State executioner Jihadi John reportedly killed in a drone strike, UK's leader of opposition Jeremy Corbyn today said it would have been "far better" if he had been held to account in a court of law.

The American military was 99 per cent certain that Mohammed Emwazi, known as Jihadi John, had been killed in a drone strike in Syria.

Downing Street and UK Ministry of Defence sources were marginally less certain in their response to the reports of his death than US sources, but added there was a "high degree of certainty that he has been killed".

Reacting to the reports, Labour Party leader Corbyn said, "We await identification of the person targeted in last night's US air attack in Syria. It appears Mohammed Emwazi has been held to account for his callous and brutal crimes."

"However, it would have been far better for us all if he had been held to account in a court of law. These events only underline the necessity of accelerating international efforts, under the auspices of the UN, to bring an end to the Syrian conflict as part of a comprehensive regional settlement," he was quoted as saying by The Independent.

Emwazi, who speaks English and is believed to be born in Kuwait, was frequently seen in hooded hostage videos carrying out violent beheadings, including that of Britons. The UK government was notified of the operation and notified families whose kin was executed by Emwazi.

Corbyn in the past has come under fire for his statements.

He faced criticism for saying it was a "tragedy" that Osama bin Laden was killed by the United States rather than being put on trial.

He had made the remarks shortly after the special forces raid on the al-Qaeda chief's Pakistan compound in 2011.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/uk/Far-better-if-Jihadi-John-faced-trial-than-killed-Corbyn/articleshow/49771013.cms

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Mideast

Top Al-Azhar Sunni Muslim Cleric Condemns ‘Hateful’ Paris Attacks

14 November 2015

Flowers are offered as tribute to victims of Friday's attacks in Paris, in front of the French embassy in Berlin, Germany, today. The head of Sunni Islam's leading seat of learning, Cairo's Al-Azhar, today condemned "hateful" attacks in Paris that killed more than 120 people and urged global unity against extremism.

"We denounce this hateful incident," Ahmed al-Tayyeb told a conference in comments broadcast by Egyptian state television. "The time has come for the world to unite to confront this monster.

"Such acts are contrary to all religious, humanitarian and civilised principles," Tayyeb said at the opening of the conference in the southern city of Luxor focused on combating "extremist thought".

A state of emergency has been declared across France in the aftermath yesterday night's coordinated shootings and bombings on Paris streets. – AFP, November 14, 2015.

www.themalaysianinsider.com/world/article/top-sunni-muslim-cleric-condemns-hateful-paris-attacks

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3 soldiers, 1 civilian and 11 PKK terrorists killed in Southeast Turkey

November 13, 2015

People gather in front of the Erciş State Hospital where soldiers injured in clashes in Erciş were taken to for treatment. (Photo: DHA)

Three Turkish soldiers were killed on Friday in the mainly Kurdish Southeast of the country, the latest casualties in a tide of violence engulfing the region since the breakdown of a cease-fire between security forces and militants late in July, while in separate attacks, a civilian woman was killed in a Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) attack in the Silopi district of Şırnak province and security forces killed 11 PKK terrorists in Şırnak on Thursday.

Two of the soldiers died when their vehicle hit a buried explosive in the Lice district of Diyarbakır province, the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) said in a statement on Friday. A third was killed and three more wounded in clashes in the Erciş district of Van province during a dawn operation by security forces acting on a tip-off that militants were holed up in a house, the TSK stated on its website.

The Doğan news agency reported that the injured soldiers were taken to hospital and an operation was launched in the area to find the perpetrators of the attack in Van.

Authorities also said security forces had killed 11 PKK militants on Thursday in clashes in the southeastern towns of Cizre and Silopi, near Turkey's borders with Syria and Iraq. A round-the-clock curfew remained in force in three neighborhoods in the town of Silvan for an 11th consecutive day, even after security forces regained full control of the areas after operations targeted PKK terrorists, security sources said.

A civilian woman named Fatma Yiğit was killed after a bomb was exploded in Silvan's Şehit Harun neighborhood on Thursday night. Pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Şırnak deputy Ferhat Encü told reporters that members of the Turkish security forces threw the bomb that killed Yiğit. Encü said that five others were also injured in the explosion.

On Thursday, police fired tear gas at a group of HDP lawmakers in Silvan who wanted to enter the districts under police lockdown amid concerns over food shortages. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu dismissed criticism of the operations on Friday, saying all "humanitarian measures" were in place and vowing to continue the operation until "every street is safe.”

Ever since a suicide bombing in Suruç in Şanlıurfa province on July 20 killed 33 activists and injured 100 more, there has been a large increase in clashes involving the PKK. Two police officers were killed by PKK members on July 22 in retaliation for the Turkish authorities' perceived failure to prevent the Suruç attack. The violence and PKK-led attacks further escalated when Turkey carried out airstrikes on PKK bases in neighboring Iraq.

The violence has effectively shelved a settlement process with the PKK that began in late 2012 and the accompanying cease-fire. More than 150 members of the security forces have been killed in the conflict with the PKK or in attacks committed by the terrorist group since the resumption of violence.

http://www.todayszaman.com/national_3-soldiers-1-civilian-and-11-pkk-terrorists-killed-in-southeast-turkey_404152.html

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ISIS 'on the run', Kurdish fighters seize Sinjar

Alexander Sehmer | The Independent | Nov 13, 2015

A major Kurdish offensive, dubbed Operation Free Sinjar, was launched on Thursday. (Picture from Getty Images)A major Kurdish offensive, dubbed Operation Free Sinjar, was launched on Thursday. (Picture from Getty Images)

Kurdish fighters have seized the centre of the strategic Iraqi town of Sinjar from ISIS fighters, according to witnesses.

The Associated Press said peshmerga fighters had raised a Kurdish flag after defeating militants from ISIS - also known as ISIL - in the centre of town on Friday morning, and reported celebratory gunfire.

"ISIL defeated and on the run," the Kurdistan regional security council said in a tweet.

Reuters reported gunfire from inside the town, which is in Mosul province, and quoted a witness as saying fighters had filed down the hill overlooking the town from the north, some with rocket-propelled grenades on their shoulders.

Soon afterwards a video posted on Twitter purported to show Yazidi soldiers taking down ISIS flags.

The reports follow the launch of a major Kurdish offensive, dubbed 'Operation Free Sinjar' and supported by US-led coalition airstrikes.

Peshmerga Major Ghazi Ali, who oversees one of the units involved in offensive, said thousands of Kurdish fighters entered the town from three directions Friday morning.

The fighters encountered minimal resistance during Friday's push, he said.

He described the situation in the city as still dangerous, however, and warned that it was too soon to declare victory.

An earlier attempt to retake Sinjar, at the foot of Sinjar Mountain about 50km from the Syrian border, stalled in December and militants have since been reinforcing their ranks.

ISIS fighters overran Sinjar in August 2014, leading to the killing, enslavement and flight of thousands of people from the minority Yazidi community.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/ISIS-on-the-run-Kurdish-fighters-seize-Sinjar/articleshow/49770207.cms

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Israel razes homes of four Palestinian ‘attackers’

14 November 2015

Palestinian protesters run away from tear gas fired by Israeli troops during clashes near the Jewish settlement of Bet El, near the West Bank city of Ramallah yesterday. – Reuters pic, November 14, 2015. Palestinian protesters run away from tear gas fired by Israeli troops during clashes near the Jewish settlement of Bet El, near the West Bank city of Ramallah yesterday. – Reuters pic, November 14, 2015.

Israel razed the homes in the occupied West Bank of four Palestinians blamed for attacking Israelis, the army said today, its latest punitive demolitions after weeks of deadly unrest.

The demolitions came hours after an Israeli father and son were shot dead in an apparent ambush near the flashpoint West Bank city of Hebron yesterday in the most serious attack on Israelis in nearly a month.

In Nablus in the northern West Bank, troops destroyed the homes of three Palestinians accused of killing an Israeli settler couple on October 1 at the start of the latest flare-up of violence, the army said.

In Silwad, northeast of Ramallah, they razed the home of a Palestinian accused of killing an Israeli on a West Bank road in June, it added.

The demolitions prompted clashes between Palestinian protesters and the Israeli army in which nine suffered minor injuries, Palestinian medical sources said.

Last month, the Israeli government ordered an intensification of punitive home demolitions in response to a wave of stabbing and shooting attacks and other deadly unrest.

It says the controversial policy acts as a deterrent but critics say the main victims of such demolitions are relatives forced to pay for another person's actions.

The wave of violence that erupted on October 1 has shown no letup. Friday also saw three Palestinians die after being shot by Israeli soldiers.

Since the start of last month, the violence has killed 81 people on the Palestinian side – including one Israeli Arab – and 12 Israelis.

Many of the Palestinians killed have been alleged attackers. – AFP, November 14, 2015.

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/world/article/israel-razes-homes-of-four-palestinian-attackers

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Iran’s Rouhani cancels visit to Italy and France over Paris attacks

14 November 2015

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani today cancelled a visit to Italy and France following deadly attacks in Paris, while the foreign minister decided to attend Vienna talks on Syria to address threats of extremism.

Gunmen and bombers attacked restaurants, a concert hall and a sports stadium at locations across Paris yesterday, killing at least 120 people in a deadly rampage that a shaken President Francois Hollande called an unprecedented terrorist attack.

"Due to the terrorist incidents in Paris and in coordination with the hosts, the Iranian president postponed his visit to Italy, Vatican and France to a more convenient time," Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, told state television, according to state news agency IRNA.

Zarif, who had been due to accompany Rouhani on his European tour, left Tehran for Vienna this morning.

World and regional powers meet in Vienna today in a bid to step up diplomatic efforts to the end the four-year-old conflict.

"We are hopeful that in negotiation with other foreign ministers we can find ways to fight against Islamic State and extremism threats and stop incidents like this," Zarif added.

Zarif said the Paris attacks showed the threat of extremism was not limited to the Middle East, so the fight against it should not be limited to the region either.

In a statement carried by IRNA, Rouhani condemned the Paris attacks as an "inhumane crime". – AFP, November 14, 2015.

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/world/article/irans-rouhani-cancels-visit-to-italy-and-france-over-paris-attacks

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Iraqi Forces Win Back 2 Strategic Regions in Fallujah

Nov 14, 2015

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iraqi army and air force managed to push back the ISIL Takfiri terrorists from two strategic areas in the city of Fallujah in Anbar province on Saturday.

The regions of Albu Manahi and Albu Daij in Fallujah's Ameriya region were seized backed.

The operations to take control of the Albu Manahi and Albu Daij districts were jointly conducted by the 8th Division of the Iraqi Army and with the backup of the Iraqi air force.

On October 12, the Iraqi army and volunteer forces discovered US-made military hardware and ammunition, including anti-armor missiles, in terrorists' positions and trenches captured during the operations in the Fallujah region in Al-Anbar province.

The Iraqi forces found a huge volume of advanced TOW-II missiles from the Takfiri terrorists in al-Karama city of Fallujah.

The missiles were brand new and the ISIL had transferred them to Fallujah to use them against the Iraqi army's armored units.

Iraqi officials have on different occasions blasted the US and its allies for supplying the ISIL in Syria with arms and ammunition under the pretext of fighting the Takfiri terrorist group.

On Friday, the Iraqi joint forces started new round of operations from three different directions to take full control over the city of al-Ramadi in Anbar province.

The Iraqi army and the popular forces launched new offensives from the West, Southwest and North against the terrorists' positions in the center of the city of Ramadi.

The Iraqi forces, meantime, purged terrorists from several areas in the Western suburban areas of Ramadi city.

The Iraqi army and popular forces entered Ramadi after seizing back Al-Warar military base near the city.

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940823000812

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Armed man storms bank in western Turkey, takes staff hostage

November 13, 2015

An armed man has taken staff hostage at a branch of a Turkish bank in the Gölcük district of Kocaeli on Friday. (Photo: DHA)

A man armed with a gun has taken staff hostage at a branch of a Turkish bank in the Gölcük district of Kocaeli, reports say.

The man, who is wearing a chador, took bank staff hostage after throwing threats at them. He locked them in a room while police is still trying to persuade the assailant.

http://www.todayszaman.com/national_armed-man-storms-bank-in-western-turkey-takes-staff-hostage_404269.html

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Arab World

At Least 63 ISIL Terrorists Killed in Deir Ezzur

Nov 14, 2015

TEHRAN (FNA)- At least 63 ISIL terrorists were killed in Syrian air raids on a military gathering of ISIL commanders in the province of Deir Ezzur.

Syrian warplanes targeted the ISIL position in Hatla town in Deir Ezzur countryside, and killed at least 63 Takfiri terrorists.

On Friday, at least 60 ISIL terrorists, including several senior commanders, were killed by the Syrian defenders of Deir Ezzur airbase, East of the country, sources said.

The lead commander of operations at the Deir Ezzur airbase, Abu Hamza Al-Tounisi (Tunisian), was reportedly killed by the Syrian Army’s 104th Airborne Brigade of the Republican Guard after he attempted to lead the charge on the latter’s defensive positions at the airbase, the sources said.

Not much is known about Abu Hamza Al-Tounisi; however, according to Syrian military intelligence, he was one of the ISIL’s most trusted commanders and a dear friend of Ibrahim Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (ISIL leader).

The death of Abu Hamza Al-Tounisi wasn’t the only commander that the ISIL lamented on Thursday: Abu Mohammad Al-Hamwi and Abu Umar Al-Baghdadi (Iraqi) were also killed by the Syrian army’s 104th Brigade at the Deir Ezzur airbase after their failed infiltration attempt.

Thursday marked the bloodiest day this week in Deir Ezzur, as the ISIL suffered over 60 casualties during their failed bid to infiltrate into the Deir Ezzur Military Airport and the Sina’a district of the provincial capital.

Three other important ISIL members were killed on Thursday, including ISIL’s Chief Spokesman in Deir Ezzor Abu Khattab Al-Shami, and two foreign field commanders “Abu Umar Al-Tajiki” (Tajikistani) and “Abu Mahrous Al-Jabari” (Saudi).

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940823000692

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Large Numbers of Nusra Militants Killed in Street Battle with Army in Syria's Aleppo

Nov 14, 2015

TEHRAN (FNA)- Two main neighborhoods of Aleppo city witnessed heavy clashes between the Syrian Army and militants of the al-Nusra Front, local sources said on Saturday, adding that scores of the terrorists were killed or wounded in the army offensives.

The Syrian army troops stormed the concentration centers of al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front in al-Amryeh and Sheikh Saeed neighborhoods in the Southern part of Aleppo city, and killed tens of them.

On Friday, Syrian army, popular forces and Hezbollah fighters stormed the ISIL defense lines in the Southwestern part of the Northern city of Aleppo and retook full control over four new areas.

The Syrian army, National Defense Forces (NDF) and Hezbollah pushed back the ISIL militant from Tal Bajer, Tleilat, Maryouda and Khirbet al-Kousa and restored security to the newly-liberated areas.

The terrorist group suffered heavy losses in personnel and equipment in the abovementioned battlefields.

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940823000422

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Rebels Have CIA Weapons Capable of Downing Planes Flying Above 10Km Range

Nov 14, 2015

TEHRAN (FNA)- The CIA urged Turkey and Saudi Arabia to provide certain Syrian rebels with anti-aircraft weapons capable of shooting down airplanes, including high-flying passenger jets, Hildegard von Hessen am Rhein said.

The fact that Syrian rebels fighting against Bashar al-Assad, a Russian ally, had CIA-sponsored weapons capable of downing a commercial airliner flying above 10,000 meters, makes a very uncomfortable situation for the US government amid the crash of the Airbus A321 operated by the Russian airliner Kogalymavia on October 31, Hildegard von Hessen am Rhein wrote for Boulevard Voltaire.

"I really wonder how John Kerry can still look Sergei Lavrov straight in the eye during the [upcoming] talks on Syrian reconciliation in Vienna," Hildegard said, according to Boulevard Voltaire, adding that the United States treats Russia as if it was Honduras or Grenada.

The main question is could these rebels shoot down the Russian Airbus A321 in the Sinai Peninsula using a weapon that Turkey or Saudi Arabia provided as per CIA orders?

Shoulder-launched man-portable air-defense systems (MANPADs) were delivered to Syrian opposition forces to fight against the Syrian Army, loyal to President al-Assad. Although the US government says that these lethal weapons were only given to certain "moderate" Syrian rebels, there isn't a guarantee that one of these weapons might have ended up in the hands of more radical jihadists.

There are documented cases of US-weapons provided to "moderate" rebels that then ended up being used by ISIL and the al-Nusra Front. The CIA also delivered anti-tank TOW missiles and new Toyota jeeps to transport jihadists.

Even if the Airbus A321 wasn't downed by a CIA-sponsored MANPAD, Russian fighter jets currently bombing ISIL targets in Syria might fall in danger of being shot down by these weapons. For that matter any airplane from any country, whether a military or civil, that happens to fly within the firing range of a terrorist group with a MANPAD becomes a potential target.

On October 31, the Airbus А321, operated by the Russian airline Kogalymavia en route from the Egyptian resort of Sharm El-Sheikh to St. Petersburg, crashed in the Sinai Peninsula, killing all 224 people on board. The tragedy is the largest civil aviation disaster in Russian history.

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940822000748

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ISIL Perplexed after Freedom of al-Houl Village by Syrian Forces

Nov 14, 2015

TEHRAN (FNA)- The ISIL terrorists are reported to be making confused moves after the recapture of the strategic village of al-Houl in Eastern countryside of Hasaka province by the Syrian forces.

"The Democratic Syrian Forces attacked the terrorists from the Eastern parts of al-Houl and regained its control after surrounding the village from three dimensions," field sources told FNA on Saturday.

The Syrian forces' offensive bewildered the terrorists and they started setting fire to al-Houl residents' houses for their disobedience to their orders, the sources said, adding that the ISIL has also kidnapped several residents and transferred them to al-Shadadi region.

The sources said that clashes still continue around the village.

The Syrian forces and the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) started purging the Eastern and Southern parts of Hasaka province of Takfiri terrorists on Monday after seizing back a large number of regions that included several villages.

The joint Syrian forces attacked the terrorists' positions along al-Shadadi-Hasaka road and purged terrorists from the villages of Tal Seren and Rajm al-Seyran in the Southern parts of the Hasaka province.

Heavy clashes are underway in the Southern parts of Hasaka province as the army is advancing and seizing back more regions.

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940823000570

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Syrian Forces Win Back New Area near Maheen in Homs Province

Nov 14, 2015

TEHRAN (FNA)- Syrian Army and popular forces pushed back ISIL terrorists from areas surrounding the militant-held town of Maheen and captured the vitally important Tal Hazim al-Thalatha region on Saturday.

Joint operation of the Syrian army and National Defense Forces (NDF) against the defense lines of the ISIL militants in the outskirts of Maheen ended in liberation of the strategic hilltop of Tal Hazim al-Thalatha.

The pro-government forces killed many terrorists and destroyed their military grid in their operation.

On Friday, Syrian bombers targeted the ISIL militants' position in three key areas in the Central Homs province, military sources said, and added that the terrorist group sustained heavy death toll in the air raids.

The ISIL fortified positions in in Maheen, al-Quayratayn and Khneifis came under massive air attacks of the Syrian air force, which ended in the killing or wounding of many militants.

The militants' military equipment also sustained heavy damage. 

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940823000627

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Paris attacks a ‘violation of all religions’, says Saudi minister

14 November 2015

A man gestures as he places a candle at a makeshift memorial outside the Consulate General of France to pay tribute to the victims of the terror attack in Paris, in San Francisco, California yesterday. – Reuters pic, November 14, 2015.A man gestures as he places a candle at a makeshift memorial outside the Consulate General of France to pay tribute to the victims of the terror attack in Paris, in San Francisco, California yesterday. – Reuters pic, November 14, 2015.

The "heinous" Paris attacks are a violation of all religions and underline the need to intensify efforts against "terrorism", Saudi Arabia's foreign minister said today as he arrived in Vienna for talks on ending Syria's civil war.

Full report at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/world/article/paris-attacks-a-violation-of-all-religions-says-saudi-minister

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Massive Explosions Reported in Militants' Munitions Depot West of Aleppo

Nov 14, 2015

TEHRAN (FNA)- Several loud blasts were reported as the Syrian army said it has targeted and destroyed a large ammunition depot of al-Nusra Front in the Western countryside of Aleppo.

A large munitions depot of al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front in al-Mansoura came under massive attack of the Syrian army, in which all the weapons and light and heavy ammunition were exploded.

Many of the Nusra combatants were also killed in the explosions.

Full report at: http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940823000346

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Syrian Army Storms ISIL Positions in Aleppo, Kills Dozens of Militants

Nov 14, 2015

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army and popular forces hit the ISIL terrorists' concentration centers hard in two areas near the Northern city of Aleppo and killed scores of them.

The ISIL gathering centers in Tal Istabl and al-Salehiyeh were raided by the Syrian army and the country's National Defense Forces (NDF).

The ISIL militants suffered heavy death toll in the army attacks which also inflicted large damage on their military hardware.

Sources said on Friday, The Syrian army and Hezbollah fighters are carrying out mop up operations in the Eastern countryside of Aleppo, pushing back more ISIL terrorists from the strategic province.

The ISIL terrorists’ positions near the villages of Jib al-Safa, Ain al-Jamajma, Wadiaa, Um Arkila, al-Madyouneh, Tal Abu Danneh and al-Bab city in the Eastern and Northeastern countryside of Aleppo came under joint offensive of the Syrian army and Hezbollah fighters, sources said, and added that scores of the militants have been killed in the army attacks.

Full report at: http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940823000209

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Army Gains More Ground in Western Syria

Nov 14, 2015

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army and popular defense groups took al-Karoura Mount and Talat Hassouna between Lattakia and Hama provinces back from the Takfiri militants following heavy clashes.

The Syria forces killed scores of non-Syrian terrorists and destroyed their weaponry and munitions during the military operations, a military source said Friday.

On Thursday, two top commanders of the terrorist groups in Hama province were killed as the Syrian army prevails over terrorists' positions at a striking pace in neighboring Aleppo province disconnecting the militants' link to Turkey and to other terrorist groups.

"Emir Abu Al-Qa'qa, a commander of Jund al-Aqsa was killed by the Syrian army at Morek in Hama province," a military source told FNA Thursday evening.

He further added that Al-Qa'qa was killed along with almost all his fighters who formed a group of 42, adding that only one driver escaped the battle scene in his vehicle and at the beginning of the clashes.

Full report at: http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940823000482

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Syrian Troops Defeat Jeish Al-Islam Militants in Damascus

Nov 14, 2015

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army destroyed several positions and strongholds of terrorists of Jeish al-Islam, and regained control of several buildings in Damascus countryside.

On Friday, the Syrian army targeted positions of Jeish al-Islam South of Harasta highway, and took full control over al-Azem building and a number of buildings next to the highway.

The army also regained control of several farms, East of the Medical Services School and Nour al-Cham School.

Militants' barricades, fortifications, tunnels, and ditches were destroyed during the military operations.

Also on Friday, the Syrian fighter jets intensified the airstrikes on positions of ISIL terrorists in Damascus countryside.

The Syrian airstrikes hit ISIL positions in al-Zamrani valley in the Northern part of al-Qalamoun area in Damascus Countryside on Friday, a military source said.

The source further said the air attacks destroyed the terrorists' fortified sites, vehicles and military equipment.

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940823000424

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Saudi Arabia seizes 48,000 cans of beer disguised as Pepsi

AP | Nov 13, 2015

DUBAI (United Arab Emirates): Customs officials in Saudi Arabia say they've cracked a case - and then some - of smugglers trying to bring illicit cans of beer through the kingdom by disguising them as Pepsi.

In a statement, customs officials say they intercepted 48,000 cans of beer moving through the al-Batha border crossing with the United Arab Emirates.

In video posted on Wednesday on Twitter, the customs officials show an officer using a box cutter to open a wrapped 24-pack of the fake Pepsi only to find the green-and-white Heineken cans beneath it.

Drinking or possessing alcohol is a criminal offense in the ultra-conservative Sunni kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Saudi-Arabia-seizes-48000-cans-of-beer-disguised-as-Pepsi/articleshow/49768866.cms

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'Deep breaths' for tough new Syria talks in Vienna

AFP — Nov 14, 2015

VIENNA: Some 20 countries and international bodies meet in Vienna again Saturday groping for a way out of Syria's horrific civil war, with deep divisions over President Bashar al-Assad's future and which rebel groups to back.

The second such gathering in two weeks comes as Islamist rebels suffer a number of setbacks in Syria and Iraq at the hands of Assad's army helped by Russian air strikes, and Kurdish forces backed by the US.

Before leaving for Vienna, US Secretary of State John Kerry warned that a quick breakthrough was unlikely in the talks which bring together key players like Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and UN special envoy Steffan de Mistura.

“I cannot say... that we are on the threshold of a comprehensive agreement, no,” said Kerry, who arrived in the Austrian capital on Friday afternoon for preliminary talks with his Saudi, Turkish and UN counterparts.

“The walls of mistrust within Syria, within the region, within the international community are thick and they are high.”

Full report at: http://www.dawn.com/news/1219649/deep-breaths-for-tough-new-syria-talks-in-vienna

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India

Diversity is India’s pride and strength, says PM Narendra Modi at Wembley Stadium

Reuters | Nov 14, 2015

LONDON: Prime Minister Narendra Modi's political problems in New Delhi seemed a long way away on Friday as he addressed an adoring crowd in a stadium daubed in the saffron, white and green of his country's flag. They were 4,168 miles away, to be exact.

The stadium was England's national soccer ground, Wembley, and the dancing, cheering, flag-waving crowd was made up of 62,000 members of the Indian diaspora. They had braved a cold London evening to witness the first official visit by an Indian Prime Minister to Britain in nearly a decade.

Courting the gathered crowd with rock star-style tour on the second day of his three-day visit, PM Modi got a rapturous welcome when he reached the Wembley stadium. He was introduced to the gathering by British Prime Minister David Cameron, whose wife Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Diversity-is-Indias-pride-and-strength-says-PM-Narendra-Modi-at-Wembley-Stadium/articleshow/49775053.cms

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Won't be long before there's British-Indian PM: David Cameron

IANS | Nov 14, 2015

LONDON: British Prime Minister David Cameron on Friday said a time will soon come when there will be a British-Indian prime minister.

Addressing 60,000 wildly cheering British-Indians awaiting to listen to visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Cameron began with an Indian style of greeting: "Namaste Wembley!"

"It won't be long before there is a British-Indian prime minister in 10, Downing Street," Cameron said citing the contributions of British-Indians in various fields.

He said that "India-UK ties are about people and about prosperity".

"PM Modi and I govern in challenging times but we are united by the scale of our ambition," he said.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Wont-be-long-before-theres-British-Indian-PM-David-Cameron/articleshow/49774243.cms

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High alert across India; security in foreign missions tightened

PTI | Nov 14, 2015

NEW DELHI: India was put on high alert on Saturday following a series of terror attacks in France in which at least 120 people were killed and police and state governments have been asked to beef up security including at all foreign embassies and consulates.

Official sources said police had been asked to increase vigil and post additional police personnel outside all embassies and high commissions here and consulates in different cities across the country.

Security forces were also asked to keep a tight vigil at airports, railway stations, bus terminus, markets and religious places.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/High-alert-across-India-security-in-foreign-missions-tightened/articleshow/49780223.cms

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Meet Imran Khan, the man PM Modi hailed in Wembley

ANI | Nov 14, 2015

ALWAR: Imran Khan, a 34-year-old mathematics teacher, who shot into the limelight after Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed him in his Wembley address on Friday for distributing 52 education apps for free, thanked the latter and said that it was a small step taken by him as a teacher.

"It was a small step taken by me as a teacher. It is a big thing for me that our Prime Minister has praised me," he said.

Khan, a teacher at a government Sanskrit senior secondary school here in Rajasthan, insisted that softwares should be provided in the regional languages if we want to spread the Digital Indian Mission to the rural areas as well.

"As a part of Digital India mission, we should provide tablets, computers and other IT tools to the rural areas. The softwares installed in those gadgets should be available in the regional languages. Many good types of software are available in English but to extend their reach to the villages, they should be provided in regional languages like Hindi, etc as well," he added.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Meet-Imran-Khan-the-man-PM-Modi-hailed-in-Wembley/articleshow/49779827.cms

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North America

New York, other US cities beef up security after Paris attacks

Reuters | Nov 14, 2015

NEW YORK: New York, Boston and other cities in the United States bolstered security on Friday night after deadly gun and bomb attacks on civilians in Paris, but law enforcement officials said the beefed-up police presence was precautionary rather than a response to any specific threats.

The New York Police Department said officers from its Counterterrorism Response Command and other special units were deployed in areas frequented by tourists, and at the French Consulate in Manhattan.

"Teams have been dispatched to crowded areas around the city out of an abundance of caution to provide police presence and public reassurance as we follow the developing situation overseas," the NYPD said in a statement.

New York, the site of the Sept. 11, 2001, hijacked plane attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people and destroyed the World Trade Center's twin towers, is considered a top target for potential attacks by Islamist militants. The top of the Empire State Building and the spire at One World Trade Center were lit up Friday night with blue, white and red, the colors of the French flag.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/New-York-other-US-cities-beef-up-security-after-Paris-attacks/articleshow/49778311.cms

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Obama calls Paris attacks ’outrageous attempt to terrorize’ civilians

November 14, 2015

US President Barack Obama pledged his government's support to France on Friday after a series of attacks in Paris, but said he did not yet know the details of what had happened and that the situation was still unfolding.

"Once again we've seen an outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians," Obama told reporters at the White House.

"We stand prepared and ready to provide whatever assistance that the government and the people of France need," he said, and pledged to "bring these terrorists to justice and go after any terrorist networks" involved.

"Those who think that they can terrorize the people of France or the values that they stand for are wrong," Obama said.

http://www.todayszaman.com/world_obama-calls-paris-attacks-outrageous-attempt-to-terrorize-civilians_404273.html

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How Muslim-Americans Can Break the Stereotypes

November 14, 2015

Muslim-Americans must become more involved in politics in order to break the ugly stereotypes aimed at the group, advocates say. But at a panel discussion in Washington designed to focus their growing political clout, journalist Haroon Moghul succinctly outlined the dilemma facing the 2.6 million American Muslims like himself ahead of the 2016 election.

"We are the only demographic that has been publicly excluded from high office by a leading presidential candidate," he told an audience at the New America Foundation on Tuesday, referring to Republican front-runner Ben Carson's distrust of a U.S. president who believes in Islam. Muslims, Moghul continued, are the only demographic whose identity "is shorthand for terrorist" and is questioned on its compatibility "with American values or identity."

That prejudice, he deadpanned, comes "despite the fact that we are late in the second term of a Muslim president."

The humor took the edge off a weighty issue: How Americans who believe in Islam can engage in the 2016 election – and push back against stereotypes of them as dangerous jihadists.

Full report at: http://www.usnews.com/news/the-report/articles/2015/11/13/how-muslim-americans-can-break-the-stereotypes

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Muslims are facing a civil rights crisis in America, and it’s the media’s fault

By Evelyn Alsultany November 11

Muslims hold a candlelight vigil at the Islamic Center of Southern California in Los Angeles in February for the three Muslim students who were fatally shot in North Carolina. The families of three Muslim students shot dead by a white neighbor have reiterated calls for the killings to be treated as a hate crime. (Mark Ralston/Agence France-Presse via Getty Images)

Each week, In Theory takes on a big idea in the news and explores it from a range of perspectives. This week we’re talking about “othering” and the Middle East. Need a primer? Catch up here.

Evelyn Alsultany is associate professor in the Department of American Culture and director of Arab and Muslim American Studies at the University of Michigan.

Sut Jhally of the Media Education Foundation likens Orientalism to a pair of glasses that distort our perception of other cultures. Through these lenses, Arabs, Muslims and the Middle East come into view as backwards, threatening, unfree and undemocratic — polar opposites of the United States and American values.

Edward Said, who coined the term, claimed that Orientalism is more than simply skewed perception or stereotypical imagery. He argued that how we view “the other” impacts policy and subsequently the lives of Arab and Muslim peoples. Orientalism may seem like an anachronism today, a relic of 18th and 19th century Europe. But distorted views of diverse peoples are still very much alive, right here in the United States.

Before 9/11, it was common to encounter one-dimensional Arab or Muslim characters on television and film (think of the terrorist chieftain in the Schwarzenegger vehicle “True Lies”). Men were rich sheikhs or terrorists, women were harem girls or oppressed by the veil.

There appeared to be progress after 9/11: more sympathetic portrayals appeared, usually in the form of a patriotic Arab or Muslim American character, as did more complex characters and story lines about terrorism (consider the Muslim CIA analyst, Fara Sherazi on the show “Homeland”). Yet these weren’t enough to erase years of anti-Arab sentiment.

Even as representations of Arab and Muslim Americans appeared to be improving, their real lives told a different story. Hate crimes, workplace discrimination, airline discrimination and mosque vandalism have all increased exponentially. According to the FBI, Muslim Americans are five times more likely to be the victim of a hate crime today than before 9/11.  A 2012 survey by the Arab American Institute found that 55 percent of Arab American Muslims have experienced discrimination and 71 percent fear future discrimination.

Full report at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/in-theory/wp/2015/11/11/muslims-are-facing-a-civil-rights-crisis-in-america/

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4 Things American Muslims Want the Next President to Know

November 12, 2015

Each month, Next America visits a different community to explore how it is responding to changing demography.

Muslim-bash­ing has long been a strategy some Re­pub­lic­an pres­id­en­tial can­did­ates have used to ap­peal to their right-wing core. But it’s get­ting harder and harder for politi­cians to get away with that.

In re­cent months, civil-rights ad­voc­ates have con­demned anti-Muslim com­ments by both Re­pub­lic­an front-run­ners, Ben Car­son and Don­ald Trump.

Though the per­cent­age of Muslims liv­ing in the United States is still re­l­at­ively small (about 1 per­cent), their share of the pop­u­la­tion nearly doubled in the past sev­en years, ac­cord­ing to the Pew Re­search Cen­ter. From 2000 to 2010, the num­ber of Muslims liv­ing in the United States in­creased by about 1 mil­lion to 2.6 mil­lion, based on es­tim­ates from the As­so­ci­ation of Re­li­gion Data Archives.

Most of these Muslims are U.S cit­izens, too, which means they are a vot­ing bloc. Their po­ten­tial in­flu­ence in the 2016 elec­tions was a key top­ic dur­ing a con­fer­ence or­gan­ized this week by the Muslim Pub­lic Af­fairs Coun­cil, a civil-rights and ad­vocacy group based in Wash­ing­ton.

Full report at: http://www.nationaljournal.com/next-america/society/latino-tuskegee-airman-discovered-dominican-studies-institute?mref=scroll

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Pakistan

Lal Masjid brigade back again

Kalbe Ali | Munawer Azeem

November 14th, 2015

ISLAMABAD: The burqa brigade of Jamia Hafsa and slogans calling for ‘Jihad’ are back in the capital.

Lal Masjid cleric Maulana Abdul Aziz came out of the mosque along with his wife, a daughter and well-wishers after Friday prayers during which he announced that a ‘campaign for the implementation of Sharia in the country’ will be launched.

This was the second Friday that the cleric led prayers in the mosque after an absence of 10 months.

Maulana Abdul Aziz says that he will launch movement for Sharia

In his Friday sermon, Maulana Aziz said he had been asked by the authorities not to take out any rally.

On the other hand, the capital police and administration had warned the cleric that action would be taken against him if he was found involved in creating unrest in the city. The cleric has already been included in the police watch list under the Fourth Schedule of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) 1997.

Full report at: http://www.dawn.com/news/1219589/lal-masjid-brigade-back-again

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US urged to revive India-Pakistan talks

Anwar Iqbal — November 14th, 2015

WASHINGTON: Ahead of Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif’s visit, a top US think-tank urged the Obama administration on Friday to persuade India to resume talks with Pakistan for reducing tensions in South Asia.

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) also urged the US to keep its forces in Afghanistan till 2017 to redress India’s concerns.

“To reduce the chances of conflict that could delay or hinder India’s global rise, the United States should encourage India to improve its relationship with Pakistan—as an investment in its own rise—particularly, at least to start, through greater trade connectivity,” said a CFR report.

Full report at: http://www.dawn.com/news/1219620/us-urged-to-revive-india-pakistan-talks

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Pakistan, Tajikistan agree to revive talks on trade pact

Mubarak Zeb Khan — November 14th, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has once again conveyed its willingness to Tajikistan for early conclusion of a trilateral transit trade agreement which would help exchange of goods with the landlocked country via Afghanistan, a senior official told Dawn on Friday.

The talks on the agreement were suspended in April this year after Afghanistan’s assertion to include India.

Pakistan’s stance was conveyed on Friday in a Pakistani and Tajik business community gathering co-chaired by Commerce Minister Khurram Dastagir Khan and Tajik Foreign Minister Sirojiddin Aslov.

The official, who was privy to the meeting, told Dawn that Pakistan has also offered to support the case of Tajikistan for joining a quadrilateral transit trade agreement including Pakistan, China, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. “We will support the inclusion of Tajikistan in the treaty,” Dastagir said.

Full report at: http://www.dawn.com/news/1219501/pakistan-tajikistan-agree-to-revive-talks-on-trade-pact

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Kabul offered meaningful re-engagement

November 14th, 2015

ISLAMABAD: The government on Friday signalled its willingness to ‘meaningfully’ re-engage with Afghanistan after a brief breakdown in ties, but conditioned its help for resumption of Afghan peace talks to Kabul’s explicit request for such a role.

This was conveyed to UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan Nicholas Haysom, who met Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz for discussions on relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan; and the prospects for resumption of the reconciliation process specially in the context of the role other regional players could play.

“Pakistan wished to constructively and meaningfully engage with Afghanistan in all spheres of bilateral relations,” Mr Aziz told Mr Haysom.

He further said that “Pakistan would facilitate the resumption of peace process, if approached by the Afghan government”.

Full report at: http://www.dawn.com/news/1219615/kabul-offered-meaningful-re-engagement

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Security a major concern for Pakistani players in India: Shaharyar

Dawn Sport — Nov 14, 2015

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan says he will not compromise on the safety of Pakistani players after BCCI chief Shashank Manohar formally put forth a proposal to host a limited over series in India.

In a telephonic conversation, the BCCI chief also discussed the possibility of compensating Pakistan for any loss of revenue that the PCB may incur if it were to play its 'home' series in India, Khan revealed in a press conference in Lahore on Saturday.

“The BCCI chief told me that India was to ready to play the series and had been cleared by the government. But I found it very disturbing that they want us to travel to India for our home series,” Khan said.

Full report at: http://www.dawn.com/news/1219667/security-a-major-concern-for-pakistani-players-in-india-shaharyar

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Dar claims he didn’t accept IMF demand for 18pc GST

Iftikhar A. Khan — November 14th, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minis­ter Ishaq Dar said in the Senate on Friday that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) wanted Pakistan to increase general sales tax (GST) to 18 per cent but he did not let it happen.

“We have been fighting with the IMF. They have not come from the heaven. (Woh Asmaan Se Nahin Utre) I know how competent they are,” he said.

The minister was responding to remarks made by senators during the debate on an adjournment motion about debt accumulation to a level where Pakistan would need $6.7 billion this year for debt servicing.

Members questioned the logic of bolstering foreign exchange reserves and meeting fiscal deficit by more borrowing and warned that it would have dangerous consequences for the economy.

Full report at: http://www.dawn.com/news/1219611/dar-claims-he-didnt-accept-imf-demand-for-18pc-gst

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South Asia

Prince Aga Khan rejects ‘clash of civilizations’ between Muslim World and West

Fri Nov 13 2015

Prince Aga Khan The spiritual leader of Shia Ismaili Muslims Prince Shah Karim Al Hussaini Aga Khan called for greater cultural understanding between the Muslim World and the West, rejecting the notion of a fundamental ‘clash of civilizations’.

In his speech at Harvard University, Prince Aga Khan once again insisted on pluralism and said the society must strive to be more ‘pluralist’ and ‘cosmopolitan’.

His remarks were apparently aimed at searching for the difference and diversity by the people who should learn it.

Addressing a packed audience at Memorial Church, Prince Aga Khan said globalization should not mean the creation of a single, homogenized society where all differences are erased, rather it means people should seek out diversity and learn from it.

Insisting on mutual respect regarding what we have in common and what makes us different, Prince Aga Khan said “In my view, the deeper problem behind any prospective clash of civilizations is a profound clash of ignorance. And, in that struggle, education will be an indispensable weapon.”

Full report at: http://www.khaama.com/prince-aga-khan-rejects-clash-of-civilizations-between-muslim-world-and-west-1688

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65 Soldiers Of Afghan National Army Join Taliban In Helmand

Sat Nov 14 2015

Helmand-Provincial police headquarters65 soldiers of Afghan National Army (ANA) have jointed Taliban in southern Helmand province of Afghanistan.

Governor of Helmand province said these soldiers were deployed to a military installation in Sangin District who joined the enemies after handing over the installation to them on Friday.

Mirza Khan Rahimi added that an investigation has been initiated to find out why these soldiers went to Taliban.

Taliban also confirms the report.

Their spokesperson Qari Mohammad Yousuf Ahmadi has written in a post on the group’s website that 65 soldiers joined the “Mujahideen” with their weapons in Sangin District.

Helmand is one of the volatile provinces in the southern part of the country, neighboring Kandahar-the birthplace of Taliban.

Taliban have a strong presence in this province and most recently Daesh also begun functioning there.

http://www.khaama.com/65-soldiers-join-taliban-in-helmand-4112

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Two security posts fall to Taliban in Faryab’s Pashtun Kot District, 10 policemen missing

Sat Nov 14 2015

Farah-Pashtunkot DistrictTwo security posts have fell to Taliban militants in Pashtun Kot District of northern Faryab province, an official said on Saturday.

Governor of Pashtun Kot District said five security posts were surrounded by Taliban since one week.

He said Taliban seized two of the five posts last night and 10 policemen who were on duty there have been missing with their belongings.

The district governor warned if reinforcement does not reach in Pashtun Kot District three more posts would fall to Taliban and endanger the lives of about 40 policemen.

Farah which was comparatively a safe province in the northern part of the country witnessed severe insecurity this year.

Several deadly clashes took place between militants and security forces in this province.

Last month, Taliban attacked the province’s Ghormach District and controlled it for several days.

They also captured the district’s police chief with 12 other policemen and later martyred them.

http://www.khaama.com/two-security-posts-fall-to-taliban-in-faryabs-pashtun-kot-district-4109

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Afghanistan condemns terrorist attacks in Paris

By Zabihullah Moosakhail

Sat Nov 14 2015

President Ghani has written in a post on his official twitter account to French President:”President @fhollande, I sympathize with you & your people;Afghanistan stands with France with resolve to tackle terrorism as a common enemy.”

“Afghanistan condemn d terrorist attacks that killed innocent people in #Paris. Our hearts & prayers go 2 families & friends of the victims, We condole and sympathize with the government and people of #France. We pray soonest recoveries for those injured in these #attacks.” states two posts on the official twitter account of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abdullah Abdullah.

Full report at: http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-condemns-terrorist-attacks-in-paris-4110

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Ethnic Affiliation is Less Likely to Tolerate Inhumanity

Sat Nov 14 2015

Kabul ProtestWednesday, November 11th 2015 is one of the most remarkable days in the modern history of Afghanistan. Tens and thousands of protesters from all walks of life marched towards the presidential palace to demand justice for the brutal incident that occurred on November 9th , when seven civilian hostages were abducted and beheaded by IS in Arghandab district.  Through a persistent rain, the protesters carried the coffins of seven beheaded Afghan hostages six miles from the west of Kabul to the Presidential palace demanding security and an end to targeted violence.

killing

Though, Shokria, a beautiful 9-year-old girl along with her six other blessed souls left us in mourning, her pain and strength woke humanity to stand united, not only for her violated right, but everyone else’s right to life, security, and liberty. The brutal pain that the seven civilian hostages went through is not the pain of a single person, family, or ethnicity; rather it is a national pain and grief, as it has been more than a decade that people from different ethnicities of Afghanistan have been targeted by insurgent groups. The recent attack on Kunduz province, the inhuman stoning of Rokhshana in Ghor, and a number of attacks in almost all provinces of Afghanistan that have left countless dead, are clear examples that terrorists are waiting to seize opportunities to violate humanity, whether it be Hazara, Pashtun, Tajik, Uzbek, or other ethnic groups.

Full report at: http://www.khaama.com/ethnic-affiliation-is-less-likely-to-tolerate-inhumanity-4111

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NDS detains Taliban shadow district governor in Nangahrar

Sat Nov 14 2015

NDSThe National Directorate of Security (NDS) Afghanistan’s intelligence agency has detained a shadow district governor of Taliban group in eastern Nangarhar province.

A statement released by the agency on Saturday states that Ajmal S/O Shamshir Taliban appointed governor for Koz Kunar District was arrested during a special raid.

The statement adds that Ajmal is an original resident of Shagay village of Koz Kunar District but he was currently residing in Board area of Peshawar city.

NDS press release further states that three more militants, one of them member of Daesh, were arrested during separate raids from the jurisdiction of Nangarhar province.

Full report at: http://www.khaama.com/nds-detains-taliban-shadow-district-governor-in-nangahrar-4113

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Southeast Asia

Myanmar's persecuted Rohingya see glimmer of hope in Suu Kyi victory

Reuters | Nov 13, 2015

SITTWE, Myanmar: Noor Bagum would have liked to have voted for Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) but, like the majority of Myanmar's persecuted Rohingya Muslim minority, she took no part in the historic election the Nobel laureate won by a landslide.

Stripped of their right to cast ballots by the current government, many Rohingya now hope that, with the NLD able to rule largely on its own, a Suu Kyi-led government will work to restore their lives and many of the rights they have lost.

"I hope that things will get a little bit better," said Noor Bagum, a 28-year-old mother-of-five, whose village was destroyed during violence between Buddhists and Muslims that swept through Myanmar's western Rakhine State in 2012.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Myanmars-persecuted-Rohingya-see-glimmer-of-hope-in-Suu-Kyi-victory/articleshow/49770008.cms

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Singapore raises alert level after Paris attacks

AFP | Nov 14, 2015

SINGAPORE: Singapore on Saturday raised its security alert level following a wave of bombings and shootings in Paris that left at least 120 people dead, the interior minister said.

"These attacks show that no country is immune, even when there is a state of heightened security," Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam said in a statement.

"In Singapore, today, we have raised our alert level. We have stepped up security measures, border checks and vigilance," he said in a statement.

"Together, everyone plays a part to keep Singapore safe and secure. We encourage everyone to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activities or persons to the authorities."

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Singapore-raises-alert-level-after-Paris-attacks/articleshow/49779678.cms

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Africa

Nigeria’s worrisome humanitarian situation demands more attention

By Karen Attiah November 13

A crowd gathers on Oct. 14 outside a church in Bazza, in Northern Adamawa, Nigeria, waiting to receive food aid from the Adamawa Peace Initiative. (Karen Attiah/The Washington Post)

At this time last year, Boko Haram seemed ready to deliver on its promise to establish a caliphate in northeastern Nigeria.

Full report at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2015/11/13/nigerias-worrisome-humanitarian-situation-demands-more-attention/

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Pope Central African trip on despite France’s security fears, Vatican says

By Agencies, Citizen Digital

Published on  14 November 2015

POPE FRANCIS

Pope Francis’ trip to Central African Republic, which has been rocked by strife between Christians and Muslims, is still scheduled to go ahead despite warnings from France of major security risks, Vatican sources said on Friday.

The former French colony descended into inter-religious violence two and a half years ago after mainly Muslim Seleka rebels seized power, sparking reprisal killings by Christian anti-balaka militias.

The pope is due to visit the country on Nov. 28-29 despite intensifying violence that has killed dozens in the capital Bangui since late September. His trip is scheduled to include a visit to a mosque in one of Bangui’s most dangerous districts.

French officials have said the pope and those who turn out to see him would be in danger and have hinted that the Vatican should consider scrapping the trip or scaling it back.

“We’ve informed the Vatican authorities that Pope Francis’ visit carries risks for himself and for hundreds of thousands believers who could be there to see him,” a defence ministry source said in Paris.

Full report at: https://citizentv.co.ke/news/pope-central-african-trip-on-despite-frances-security-fears-vatican-says-106207/

 

URL:  http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/french-president-francois-hollande-says-paris-attacks-were--act-of-war-;-is-claims-responsibility/d/105276

 

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