New Age Islam
Sun Nov 29 2020, 02:48 PM

Islamic World News ( 14 March 2014, NewAgeIslam.Com)

From His Pakistan Hideout, Uighur Leader Vows Revenge On China

 

 

 

 

 

 

U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pakistan

From his Pakistan hideout, Uighur leader vows revenge on China

TTP willing to hold direct talks with govt committee: Sami

Protest erupt after Muslims stopped church construction

At least 18 tribesmen abducted from Peshawar's outskirts

Pakistan, UK to enhance strategic ties

Karachi operation to continue until peace restored: Nawaz

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Arab World

Seven dead in Baghdad bombing attacks

Gunmen kill six army police officers in attack near Cairo

Syria chemical weapons 'could go in a month'

Lebanese gov't agrees to new policy allowing citizens to 'resist' Israel

New law paves way for re-election of Syria’s Assad

KSA demands Qatar shut down Al-Jazeera

Doha Hosts Conference on Islamic Ethics

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Southeast Asia

S. Korea Band Removes Qur’an after Uproar

Disappearance of Malaysian jet appears 'deliberate': Malaysian PM

Government will enforce death penalty, declares President Yameen

Dr Asri: Raja Bomoh Can Sue All He Wants

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South Asia

Hamid Karzai says war ‘imposed’ on Afghanistan

Liberation War minister: Jamaat to be banned by June

For Myanmar Muslim Minority, No Escape from Brutality

Afghan council says it hasn't met Taliban released in Pakistan

Kabul irked at release of Taliban by Pakistan

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Europe

Bishkek Named Capital of Islamic Culture

French strike 'kills Mali rebel commander'

Sudan demo slams France military intervention in CAR

BBC Free Speech Show Stops Gay Debate after Muslim Objections

Dutch politician faces wrap for anti-Moroccan remarks

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Africa

Youth gangs watch over troubled Central African capital

Boko Haram attacks military, frees ‘dozens’ of inmates

Somali and African troops capture town from rebels

Nigerian forces accused of rights abuses

Dozens of prisoners escape in Nigeria attack

Sudan isolation grows as major banks pull out

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North America

New organization unites American Muslims in one coalition

Lawyer: American Muslim won't test government no-fly list after alleged torture at FBI behest

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India

India’s role in Afghanistan very critical: Gen Dunford

To catch one chain-snatcher, 80 Muslims held in Mumbai

Mumbai’s Muslim community leaders feel cheated post AAP rally

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Mideast

Iran faces ‘tough decisions’ at nuclear talks: Kerry

A savage journey to the heart of the Turkish nightmare

Iran: Einstein was a Shiite Muslim!

Israeli airstrikes persist; Mahmoud leaves for US

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/from-his-pakistan-hideout,-uighur-leader-vows-revenge-on-china/d/56158

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Pakistan

 

From his Pakistan hideout, Uighur leader vows revenge on China

BY SAUD MEHSUD AND MARIA GOLOVNINA

Mar 14, 2014

Entrenched in secret mountain bases on Pakistan's border with Afghanistan, Uighur fighters are gearing up for retribution against China to avenge the deaths of comrades in Beijing's crackdown on a separatist movement, their leader told Reuters.

China, Pakistan's only major ally in the region, has long urged Islamabad to weed out what it says are militants from its western region of Xinjiang, who are holed up in a lawless tribal belt, home to a lethal mix of militant groups, including the Taliban and al Qaeda.

A mass stabbing at a train station in the Chinese city of Kunming two weeks ago, in which at least 29 people were killed, has put a new spotlight on the largely Muslim Uighur ethnic minority from Xinjiang, where Beijing says armed groups seek to establish an independent state called East Turkestan.

Beijing has called the Kunming bloodshed a "terrorist attack" carried out by militants, and says separatists operate training camps across the rugged border which abuts Pakistan and Afghanistan.

In a rare but brief interview, Abdullah Mansour, leader of the rebel Turkestan Islamic Party, said it was his holy duty to fight the Chinese.

"The fight against China is our Islamic responsibility and we have to fulfill it," he said from an undisclosed location.

"China is not only our enemy, but it is the enemy of all Muslims ... We have plans for many attacks in China," he said, speaking in the Uighur language through an interpreter.

"We have a message to China that East Turkestan people and other Muslims have woken up. They cannot suppress us and Islam any more. Muslims will take revenge."

Mansour spoke on a crackly line using a mobile phone with an Afghan SIM card in a brief statement which gave Reuters no chance to ask about the Kunming attack.

The separatists hide mainly in the troubled North Waziristan region, where they are treated by their Pakistani Taliban hosts as guests of honor, militant and Pakistani intelligence sources say.

The Turkestan Islamic Party, which China equates with the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), keeps a low profile in Pakistan. Unlike the Taliban, it almost never posts videos promoting its activities or ideology. Its exact size is unknown and some experts dispute its ability to orchestrate attacks in China, or that is exists at all as a cohesive group.

Getting hold of leaders such as Mansour is almost impossible and interviews are usually very brief and conducted from undisclosed locations through a Pashto-speaking translator.

Pakistani intelligence sources say they number about 400 fighters, and are clustered around the remote Mir Ali area, sharing bases with other foreign insurgents, particularly Uzbeks, who speak a similar language.

In Afghanistan, two security reports sent to expatriates working there this year warned of attacks on a Chinese hotel, Chinese companies and other targets in Kabul. There have been no attacks so far.

According to Afghan Taliban sources, there are about 250 Uighur militants in Afghanistan's Nuristan and Kunar provinces.

"They live here with us but are always concerned about their people and mission in China. They are nice people, good Muslims and the best fighters," a senior Taliban commander said.

He added that Uighur militants were not fond of guns, and resorted mostly to knives and daggers.

China has stepped up security in Xinjiang after a vehicle ploughed into tourists on the edge of Beijing's Tiananmen Square in October, killing the three people in the car and two bystanders. China labeled it a suicide attack by militants from the region.

Mansour released a Uighur-language video weeks after the Tiananmen incident, calling it a "jihadi operation" by its holy warriors.

CRUCIAL ALLY

For Pakistan, China is a valued friend in a region it views as potentially hostile. It is keen to demonstrate a commitment to weeding out what Beijing calls separatists, but its security forces are already stretched fighting Pakistani Taliban militants.

Rehman Malik, Pakistan's former interior minister, said that about 20 Uighur militants were captured and handed over to China on his watch in 2008-2013.

"Pakistan and China are great friends. There are no secrets between us. When I took over as interior minister, I took on this subject in close association with my partners in China," he said. "The present government is also aware of the whole thing."

Many Uighurs in the energy-rich Xinjiang region which borders ex-Soviet Central Asia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, accuse Han Chinese of stifling their culture and religion. More than 100 people there have been killed in unrest in the past year, according to Chinese state media reports.

But the Chinese government has provided little evidence that the Kunming killings or any other incidents that Beijing has labeled terrorist attacks have been linked to outside forces.

Some experts have suggested that the low-tech nature of the weapons the assailants used in Kunming and the location of the attack point to a lack of external backing and weakly organized revenge killings as opposed to coordinated international terrorism.

The Kunming attack has put China on edge and prompted concerns over rising discrimination against Uighurs across the country.

Exiled Uighur groups have repeatedly called for transparent investigations into such incidents and say they should not be used as excuses for further repressive policies on Uighur communities.

Hundreds of Uighurs migrated to the lawless areas of Pakistan about five years ago after they were squeezed out of their homeland by a Chinese crackdown, Pakistani security sources say. Their numbers are believed to be much smaller now.

"The Chinese militants in the tribal areas are mostly clerics and fighters. They have their families here and are mostly focused on Afghanistan," said one Pakistani Taliban commander.

Saifullah Mahsud, head of the Pakistani think tank FATA Research Center, which has extensive sources in Pakistan's tribal areas, agreed their power and capacity to carry out major attacks are exaggerated by China.

"It's survival, basically. They can't go back," he said. "This is the only place where they are welcome."

But attempts by Taliban insurgents to carve out new hideouts in northern areas of Pakistan near China's border have helped create a new corridor for Uighurs leading into their homeland.

"In the last couple of years, Taliban militants have got nearer and nearer to the Chinese border," said Mahsud. "There has been a lot of movement there. Perhaps that gives them the logistical support that they require to cross over into China."

(Additional reporting by Jibran Ahmed in PESHAWAR, Jessica Donati in KABUL and Michael Martina in BEIJING; Writing by Maria Golovnina in ISLAMABAD; Editing by John Chalmers, Ben Blanchard and Nick Macfie)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/14/us-pakistan-uighurs-idUSBREA2D0PF20140314

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TTP willing to hold direct talks with govt committee: Sami

March 15, 2014

SAID ALAM KHAN

 PESHAWAR - Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is willing to hold face-to-face talks with recently formed government peace committee and it is a big development to take the peace process forward, Taliban negotiation team chief and JUI-S Ameer Maulana Samiul Haq said Friday. "It is a high time to bring the government committee and Taliban at dialogue table to hold direct talks," he said this while briefing the media at Akora Khattak, Nowshera soon after the arrival of TTP's negotiation team comprising coordinator Maulana Yousaf Shah and Professor Mohammad Ibrahim Khan.

A day before, the TTP committee has gone to Miranshah, North Waziristan Agency, where it held important meetings with TTP political shura to decide modalities, agenda, venue for holding next meeting and also discussed the so far progress in talks between government and Taliban.

On Thursday morning, the TTP negotiation team left for North Waziristan through a special helicopter from Peshawar and after having one-night stay there, they on next day held final round of talks with TTP leadership at an undisclosed location and remained there till Friday afternoon.

The committee stayed for some 27 hours in North Waziristan and Taliban Shura gave full traditional tribal hospitality to its members. After concluding the meetings, the TTP peace talks committee reached Miranshah from that undisclosed place. However, the committee members have to stay with the political administration of North Wazirisan Agency for sometime, as there was bad weather and the helicopter was not in a position to fly up and after clearing weather they left for Peshawar and reached here late afternoon.

It has been learnt that during talks with Taliban committee, the TTP political shura was represented by Sheikh Khalid Haqqani, Qari Shakeel, Azam Tariq, Shahidullah Shahid, Sajid Mohmand and Ihsanullah Ihsan.

On their arrival, the TTP negotiation committee coordinator Maulana Yousaf Shah and Prof. Mohammad Ibrahim Khan addressed a news briefing along with chief of the committee Maulana Samiul Haq at Akora Khattak, his hometown in district Nowshera.

Only on the first day of talks between Taliban committee and TTP political shura members, a US drone reportedly flew above the area while on the second day (Friday) there was no drone as there were clouds in the sky and the unmanned vehicles could not fly in such situation.

Maulana Samiul Haq said that the committee held constructive talks with TTP and Taliban leaders would now hold direct talks with government peace committee.  He informed that Taliban have proposed a venue for the talks that would be shared with the government team.

Before addressing the news conference, Prof. Ibrahim briefed Maulana Samiul Haq about committee talks with the Taliban leaders. Maulana Samiul Haq said that next meeting between government and their committee was expected to take place on Saturday or Sunday.

Regarding Taliban committee meeting with TTP political shura, he said that both members of the committee have returned satisfied after the meeting. He further said that they would soon arrange a meeting of government's peace negotiating committee with Taliban Shura. He said that they would facilitate the direct talks between government committee and Taliban and results would be presented before the parliament also.

He said that the next phase of talks would commence once a venue and date were decided and that is why there is a need to hold a meeting with the government committee. Lauding government, he said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was himself monitoring the whole process. Responding to a query, Maulana Samiul Haq asked for extending the month-long ceasefire, adding that Taliban's final decision in this regard would be made after a formal meeting of the Shura in coming days.

He said that their first priority would be to get the release of imprisoned children and women as demanded by the Taliban leadership. About bomb blasts, he said that the Friday's blasts in Peshawar and Quetta were part of a conspiracy being hatched to derail the peace process.

On this occasion, member Taliban committee Prof Ibrahim Khan said that their meeting with the political Shura of the TTP was positive. He said that the government committee would be taken to North Waziristan for direct talks with TTP Shura, adding that the Taliban nominated team will also be part of it on the occasion. "During the meeting, the Taliban would present their demands before the government negotiating team," he added. Apart from, he said that they had held detailed discussion with Taliban leadership and informed them of the newly formed government committee. He said that they would take the peace process to its logical conclusion. He said the Taliban had nothing to do with Friday's terrorist incidents in Peshawar and Quetta.

The JUI-S chief said that Pakistan needed peace and there is a chance for the government and Taliban to resolve lingering issues peacefully. He said that the members of newly formed government committee were experienced and they were aware of tribal norms.

The government had formed a new committee on March 12, 2014, to hold direct talks with the TTP as part of efforts to end years of violence that has plagued the country. Secretary Sports Habibullah Khattak will lead the committee while its other members are FATA Additional Secretary Arbab Arif, Secretary to Prime Minister Office Fawad Hassan Fawad and former diplomat Rustam Shah Mohmand, who was in the previous negotiating team as well.

http://www.nation.com.pk/national/15-Mar-2014/ttp-willing-to-hold-direct-talks-with-govt-committee-sami

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Protest erupt after Muslims stopped church construction

March 15, 2014

ISLAMABAD: March 11, 2014. (By Shamim Masih) Protest sparked against the restriction of the construction a church in Okara, Pakistan, demanding the government to take stringent measure for the security of the minorities

. In Okara city, Pakistan Christian Congress - PCC, Christian rights and civil rights bodies held rallies and protest demonstrations expressing their angst over the inhuman act, terming it criminal negligence on the part of the provincial government.

Protest rally started from City Church Okara and ended at Press Club, Okara. Protesters holding banners and play card demanding to provide safe and secure place for Pakistani minorities.

PCC chief Dr. Nazir S Bhatti said Christian have been living in fear for a long while in Pakistan this incident shows that the state has failed to provide the minorities the right to live. He said that all Christians be sent to the Christian majority countries if you don’t allow them to construct their worship places.

Addressing on the occasion, PPC representatives said that police neither provided them with security nor they took adequate arrangements for their protection. They said the Christian community and its worship places in Pakistan have become unsafe due to the acts of a few fanatics.

Basharat Khokher, Christian rights activist said that it is state responsibility to safeguard human lives and under article 25 of the constitution all citizen are equal. He demanded that government should apprehend those responsible for this act and called for protection of the rights of the Christians.

Sohail John, chairman Sharing Life Ministries said that the state has failed to provide human shelters to the minorities in Pakistan. He said this is beyond doubt that this is our war and we will need to not only openly fight it but own it instead of living in denial.

The Christians appealed to the federal and provincial government to provide them with foolproof security. They demanded end to terrorist activities.

http://www.pakistanchristianpost.com/viewnews.php?newsid=1942

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At least 18 tribesmen abducted from Peshawar's outskirts

ZAHIR SHAH SHERAZI

2014-03-15

PESHAWAR: At least 18 tribesmen were kidnapped by armed gunmen from Badhber area on the outskirts of Peshawar, the capital of restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

The incident took place on Saturday at 2 am.

Official sources said that about 60 to 70 armed gunmen raided Faqeer Kalley in Mashokhel area of Badbher, some one kilometres away from the main city and kidnapped 18 people from the village.

The local people and the police said the kidnapped people belonged to the Shinwari tribe of Afridis.

Badhber police have registered a case against three commanders of the banned religious outfit Lashkar-e-Islam for kidnapping of eleven tribesmen. Commanders Khalid, Sherkhel and Izzat have been nominated in the FIR.

One of the kidnapped persons has managed to escape from the kidnappers and has reached back home who phoned the police that the Khyber Agency-based Lashkar-e-Islam kidnapped the tribesmen.

Peshawar lies on the edge of Pakistan's tribal areas which have been labelled by Washington as the main sanctuary for Al Qaeda and Taliban militants in the country.

The city has seen frequent attacks by militants in the past few years, with targets ranging from civilians to policemen and other law enforcement personnel.

Separately, the political administration of Khyber Agency has also suspended the polio vaccination drive scheduled to begin on March 17 due to the law and order situation.

http://www.dawn.com/news/1093320/at-least-18-tribesmen-abducted-from-peshawars-outskirts

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Pakistan, UK to enhance strategic ties

2014-03-15

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and the United Kingdom agreed on Friday to enhance bilateral strategic relations.

A joint statement issued after a meeting in London between Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz and British Foreign Secretary William Hague said the two sides reviewed progress on bilateral commitments and discussed future plans to develop a deeper dialogue, strengthen friendship and promote mutual interests.

Mr Aziz and Mr Hague discussed priority areas of bilateral relationship, including renewing commitment to increase trade to three billion pounds by 2015, enhancing Pakistan’s EU trade access recently secured with the UK support and Britain’s commitment to stand alongside Pakistan to tackle militancy, terrorism and extremism while acknowledging huge sacrifices made by the Pakistani nation.

The two sides agreed to review the whole spectrum of the enhanced strategic dialogue during Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s forthcoming visit to the UK.

After the meeting, Mr Hague said Pakistan and the UK shared longstanding ties and he was pleased to have this opportunity to discuss plans to reframe the strategic dialogue into a deeper and more focused agreement between the two countries, which strengthens “our partnership and promotes our mutual interests”.

This dialogue represented a continuing, long-term commitment by both countries to work together to create conditions necessary for greater security and prosperity, he added.

Sartaj Aziz emphasised the importance of greater international recognition of Pakistan’s security concerns and said it was agreed to intensify efforts to achieve meaningful and mutually beneficial progress in a holistic manner under the framework of the enhanced strategic dialogue.

The dialogue was signed in 2011 and set out the UK and Pakistan’s strategic partnership in five areas, including trade and business relations; financial, macro-economic stabilisation and development cooperation; education and health; consultations on defence and security; and cultural cooperation.—APP

http://www.dawn.com/news/1093310/pakistan-uk-to-enhance-strategic-ties

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Karachi operation to continue until peace restored: Nawaz

March 15, 2014

KARACHI: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Friday that the operation in Karachi will continue and that he would himself monitor it.

Chairing a high-level meeting to review the law and order situation in Karachi the prime minister directed that the ban on recruitment in the civil armed forces be lifted. The meeting was attended by Sindh Governor Dr Eshratul Ibad, Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Commerce Minister Khurram Dastagir, Sindh chief secretary, Sindh inspector general of police and Intelligence Bureau director general.

On the recommendation of Rangers director general, Prime Minister Nawaz directed that, in order to ensure merit and transparency, army recruitment centres be engaged to facilitate recruitment in police. “Recruitment should be purely on merit, without any favouritism,” he emphasised. Keeping in view the protection of witnesses, investigators, prosecutors and judges, the prime minister directed shifting of anti-terrorism courts to Malir Cantonment.

He directed the Sindh government to expedite the establishment of isolated high security prisons in Sindh for internment of terrorists. The meeting agreed in principle that additional police stations would be established in Lyari. The prime minister directed the Interior Ministry to expedite the blocking of illegal mobile phone SIMs and use of biometrics system for issuance of SIMs in the future. He also directed the Sindh government and Rangers to take action against land mafia, which is illegal occupation of state lands.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/sindh/15-Mar-2014/karachi-operation-to-continue-until-peace-restored-nawaz

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Arab World

 

Seven dead in Baghdad bombing attacks

15 March 2014

BAGHDAD: Bombings in and around Baghdad on Friday, including blasts near two markets, killed seven people, the latest in a year-long surge in violence that authorities have failed to quell.

The bloodshed, at its highest level since 2008, came a day after a suicide car bomb went off in the middle of a wedding party convoy in the western town of Rawa, killing 15 people, including women and children.

The unrest, which comes barely six weeks before parliamentary elections, is driven principally by widespread discontent among Iraq’s Sunni Arab minority and by the civil war in neighboring Syria.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/news/540201

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Gunmen kill six army police officers in attack near Cairo

03/15/2014

CAIRO - Unidentified gunmen opened fire on an army police checkpoint on the outskirts of Cairo on Saturday, killing six officers, Egyptian state TV reported.

A senior security source told state TV that two bombs found near the checkpoint had also been deactivated. The army blamed the attack on ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood group, according to a military statement.

The Brotherhood was not immediately available to comment.

There have been several militant attacks on security forces since the army overthrew Morsi last July and about 300 security officers have been killed.

Analysts expect attacks on security forces to increase in the coming months when a presidential vote is due to take place and is expected to be won by army Field Marshal chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Full report at:

http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Gunmen-kill-six-army-police-officers-in-attack-near-Cairo-345430

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Syria chemical weapons 'could go in a month'

14 Mar 2014

Syria's chemical weapons that should be destroyed outside the country could be removed by April 13, a Russian Foreign Ministry official has said, adding there was no need to adjust the timeframe.

"If there are no difficulties then in a month, on April 13, the removal will be practically finished," Mikhail Ulyanov, head of the Foreign Ministry's security and disarmament department, was quoted as saying by RIA news agency on Friday.

Ulyanov added that Syria would present the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons with a new plan to destroy its chemical weapons production facilities at the end of March, accoridng to the Reuters news agency.

Syria declared 12 production facilities to the OPCW and had until March 15 to destroy them under the deal. Damascus has already missed several deadlines laid out in the agreement.

The US-Russia deal was aimed at heading off US military strikes against President Bashar al-Assad's government after hundreds of people were killed last August in a chemical weapons attack outside Damascus.

Damascus agreed last year to destroy all chemical weapons facilities and surrender 1,300 metric tonnes of toxic agents to a joint OPCW/United Nations mission. It has until June 30 to eliminate its chemical weapons programme completely.

Full report at:

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2014/03/syria-chemical-weapons-could-go-month-201431452653715794.html

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Lebanese gov't agrees to new policy allowing citizens to 'resist' Israel

03/15/2014

Lebanon's new government agreed to a compromise policy statement on Friday that fell short of explicitly enshrining the militant group Hezbollah's role in confronting Israel but which would give all citizens the right to resist Israeli occupation or attacks.

The agreement on the compromise language came after weeks of dispute brought the government to the verge of collapse, and now paves the way for Prime Minister Tammam Salam to put his government to a vote of confidence.

Information Minister Ramzi Jreij told reporters that most ministers had agreed on a compromise statement that declares Lebanese citizens have the right to "resist Israeli occupation" and repel any Israeli attack.

The deal was reached a few hours after the IDF said it fired tank rounds and artillery into southern Lebanon in retaliation for a bomb that targeted its soldiers patrolling the border. No injuries were reported on either side.

The Israel-Lebanon border has been mostly quiet since Israel and Hezbollah fought an inconclusive war in 2006, but Israeli forces still hold at least three pockets of occupied territory which are claimed by Lebanon.

"Based on the state's responsibility to preserve Lebanon's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity and the security of its citizens, the government affirms the duty of the state and its efforts to liberate the Shebaa Farms and Kfar Shouba Hills and the Lebanese part of Ghajar through all legitimate means," the government statement said.

It also "affirms the right of Lebanese citizens to resist Israeli occupation and repel aggressions and recover occupied territory".

Full report at:

http://www.jpost.com/Defense/Lebanese-govt-agrees-to-new-policy-allowing-citizens-to-resist-Israel-345415

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New law paves way for re-election of Syria’s Assad

March 15, 2014

DAMASCUS: Syria’s exiled opposition will be barred from a presidential vote to be held before July, virtually ensuring Bashar al-Assad’s re-election three years into an uprising against his family’s four-decade rule.

Saturday marks the third anniversary of the revolt, which began as peaceful protests calling for democratic change but deteriorated into an insurgency and then civil war after the regime brutally cracked down on dissent.

Assad has remained in power despite fighting that has killed more than 146,000 people and driven millions from their homes, while rebels have seized large swathes of the country.

The opposition has repeatedly insisted that Assad must step down as part of any peace agreement, most recently in two rounds of failed talks earlier this year.

In keeping with a constitution adopted in 2012, the election will be open for the first time to multiple candidates, including from outside the ruling Baath party.

Assad has not announced his candidacy but is widely expected to seek another seven-year term.

A new electoral law approved by parliament Thursday says any candidate must have lived in Syria for the past 10 years and not hold any other nationality. That effectively bars any member of the Istanbul-based National Coalition, an umbrella opposition group.

The only other candidates who appear eligible would be those from the tolerated opposition in Damascus, who have little popular support and no connection to the rebels.

The election must be called 60 to 90 days before the end of Assad’s term on July 17.

Previous elections have been referendums to confirm the candidate chosen by the Baath party, whose power was entrenched in a 1973 constitution.

Hafez al-Assad came to power in 1970. When he died in 2000 his son Bashar took over.

In the devastated city of Homs, hailed as the “capital of the revolution” when it was the scene of mass rallies in 2011, some residents in government-held neighbourhoods have begun hanging posters calling on Assad to run again.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/foreign/15-Mar-2014/new-law-paves-way-for-re-election-of-syria-s-assad

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KSA demands Qatar shut down Al-Jazeera

March 15, 2014

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia demanded that Qatar shut down Al-Jazeera and two think tanks during a recent meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council, a source close to someone who attended the talks told AFP Friday.

Riyadh demanded the closure of the pan-Arab broadcaster as well as the Brookings Doha Center and the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies, the source said on condition of anonymity.

After the reportedly heated March 5 GCC meeting, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates recalled their ambassadors from fellow member Qatar, which they accuse of interfering in their internal affairs and supporting the Muslim Brotherhood.

The source said Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal had demanded three things of Doha – “to close the (Qatari-owned) Al-Jazeera network, which stirs sedition; close the research centres in Doha, and turn over all outlaws” on its territory.

Doha’s foreign minister replied that the demand constituted “interference in Qatar’s internal affairs,” the same source said.

Full report at:

http://www.nation.com.pk/international/15-Mar-2014/ksa-demands-qatar-shut-down-al-jazeera

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Doha Hosts Conference on Islamic Ethics

14 March 2014

The Research Center for Islamic Legislation and Ethics (CILE), a member of Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies (QFIS), will be hosting its second annual international conference on ‘Ethics in a Changing World: Contemporary Perspectives’ this weekend.

“We are pleased to introduce the program of CILE’s second annual international conference on “Ethics in a Changing World: Contemporary Perspectives,” CILE website said in a statement released on Thursday, March 13.

The conference will be held on 15th and 16th March at the Auditorium of Georgetown University in Qatar.

Full report at:

http://www.onislam.net/english/news/middle-east/470253-doha-hosts-conference-on-islamic-ethics.html

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Southeast Asia

 

S. Korea Band Removes Qur’an after Uproar

14 March 2014

A South Korean girl band has removed a verse from the Noble Qur’an from the lyrics of a track in its latest album after facing Muslim anger who considered it blasphemous to use the Qur'an for purposes other than worship.

"I'm glad that YG decided to remove the offensive part," Victoria Quinn wrote on YouTube, KpopStarz website reported on Thursday, March 13.

"People shouldn't overreact and call Muslims oversensitive because of this. If you aren't Muslim (which I also am not) you have no right to dictate what is and what isn't offensive to them. The same goes for any race or religion for that matter."

Controversy erupted after girls’ band 2NE1 uploaded a YouTube video on its official channel showing a live performance of its latest song "MTBD".

The video drew heavy attention because observers could realize verses from 32-34 of the 78th chapter in the Qur'an.

The Korea Muslim Federation on Wednesday demanded that the band apologize for the misuse of the Qur’anic verses and revise the song lyrics.

"Muslims find this song to be a severe insult and are demanding for the agency to take action including quickly removing it or editing the entire song, and apologizing to Muslims," says a formal complaint from the Korea Muslim Federation.

"In the case that they don't comply to the demand, we will take action with the Muslims around the world who find this to be a serious matter."

Full report at:

http://www.onislam.net/english/news/asia-pacific/470249-s-korea-band-removes-quran-after-uproar.html

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Disappearance of Malaysian jet appears 'deliberate': Malaysian PM

2014-03-15

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's leader Saturday said communications aboard a missing jet were switched off and its course deliberately changed by someone on board before the aircraft disappeared a week ago, but stopped short of saying it had been hijacked.

Final satellite communication with the Boeing 777 flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing came more than six-and-a-half hours after it vanished from civilian radar at 1:30 am on March 8, Prime Minister Najib Razak told a nationally televised press conference. The movement of the plane in the interim period, during which it changed direction and passed back over the Malaysian peninsula towards the Indian Ocean, was “consistent with deliberate action by someone on the plane,” Najib said.

“Despite media reports that the plane was hijacked, I wish to be very clear: we are still investigating all possibilities as to what caused MH370 to deviate from its original flight path,” he added.

Najib said his announcement was based on new information from satellite contact with the plane and military radar data.

The combined data suggested “with a high degree of certainty” that the plane's two automated communications systems — Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) and its transponder — were “switched off” one after the other before it reached the point over the South China Sea where it dropped out of civilian radar contact.

It then turned back and flew in a westerly direction back over peninsular Malaysia before turning northwest.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1093322/disappearance-of-malaysian-jet-appears-deliberate-pm

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Government will enforce death penalty, declares President Yameenn

By Ahmed Naish

March 14th, 2014

President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom has declared that the Progressive Party of Maldives-led (PPM) coalition government will implement the death penalty despite international pressure.

Speaking at a campaign event for PPM MP Ahmed Mahloof in Male’ last night, President Yameen said his administration’s decision to enforce the death penalty was a “historic day” in the Maldives’ democracy.

“Enforcing the death penalty is not something I will do because I want to. This is a very difficult thing. This is not an easy thing to do for any president or [public] servant. But our society cannot bear the loss of a life as well as the opportunity for further loss of life as a result of not respecting [the value of a human life],” he said.

“For that reason, no matter how much I don’t want to do it or how difficult it is, I have to do this on behalf of the people as they have placed that trust in me.”

President Yameen revealed that the government had formulated regulations implementing capital punishment on Thursday, based on the advice of the cabinet.

The government decided to enforce the regulations to ensure the safety and security of the community, he said, adding that the public wished to see action taken to stop the “slaughter of innocent citizens.”

Moreover, a majority of the Maldivian people were in favour of introducing the death penalty despite opposition from international partners, Yameen contended.

He stressed that a convict would only be put to death in accordance with Islamic Shariah following due process through the courts.

At the final stage, he explained, the Supreme Court would decide whether capital punishment was warranted as qisas (retaliation).

Full report at:

http://minivannews.com/politics/goverment-will-enforce-death-penalty-declares-president-yameen-79929

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Dr Asri: Raja Bomoh Can Sue All He Wants

14 March 2014

'RAJA BOMOH' can go ahead and sue anyone who said his ritual at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) recently is against the teachings of Islam, said former Perlis Mufti Datuk Dr Mohd Asri Zainal Abidin responding to Ibrahim Mat Zin's threat.

He can sue as many people as he wants too, Asri told Ibrahim.

Asri said Ibrahim has every right to sue anyone, but he should know that the community of Malaysia slams his actions that is seen as a big humiliation for the country.

"What does he want to prove? What he did was just foolish superstitions. He is promoting Malaysia as a country that believes in witchcraft and this is so embarrassing!" he stressed.

He added that what Ibrahim did was as if he was mocking the Muslim community.

"It is impossible for us to accept what he did as logical and right," said the UniversitI Sains Malaysia's lecturer.

Meanwhile, independent speaker Datuk Daud Che Ngah also welcomes Ibrahim's intention of suing those who ridiculed his practice.

The Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) has already decreed that Ibrahim's method and rituals are against Islam as they contain elements of shirk (syirik), superstitions and fraud.

Full report at:

http://www.malaysiandigest.com/news/493111-go-ahead-and-sue-dr-asri.html

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South Asia

 

Hamid Karzai says war ‘imposed’ on Afghanistan

Mar 15, 2014

KABUL: Afghan President Hamid Karzai has said that the last 12 years of war were "imposed" on Afghans, a reference to the US-led invasion that ousted the Taliban.

In a last address to Parliament on Saturday, Karzai also said his armed forces, now responsible for 93 per cent of the country, were ready to take over entirely after the final withdrawal of US and Nato troops later this year.

Karzai was named as head of state by an international agreement, and subsequently by a council of Afghan notables, in the aftermath of the invasion. His final term in office expires with presidential elections next month.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Hamid-Karzai-says-war-imposed-on-Afghanistan/articleshow/32069414.cms

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Liberation War minister: Jamaat to be banned by June

March 15, 2014

'No matter what the final verdict comes, the Jamaat-e-Islami will be banned because of its war crimes. We hope to declare that by this June'

The government would take initiatives to ban Jamaat-e-Islami by June this year for the latter’s involvement in crimes against humanity and massacre during the country’s independence war, said Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Huq yesterday.

“There is no plan to ban religion-based political parties, but we have certainly a plan to impose ban on Jamaat’s politics on the grounds that it committed crimes against humanity,” he said.

Full report at:

http://www.dhakatribune.com/politics/2014/mar/15/liberation-war-minister-jamaat-be-banned-june

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For Myanmar Muslim Minority, No Escape From Brutality

By JANE PERLEZ

MARCH 14, 2014

HAT YAI, Thailand — He had already endured a treacherous journey down the Bay of Bengal, squeezed in the belly of a fishing trawler, then squashed in a pickup truck as it hurtled down Thailand’s southern coast. Malaysia, his final destination, was tantalizingly close.

But under the towering trees of a rubber plantation, the smuggler who had brought Abdul Musid, a 30-year-old from Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim minority, this far made a new demand: Pay more or be left behind. When Mr. Musid pleaded that he had no more money, the smuggler kicked him in the groin and left him for dead.

A villager found Mr. Musid and brought him to the hospital here for treatment, doctors said, after the other captives in the smugglers’ camp, also Rohingya men from Myanmar, fled with their jailers before a raid by the Thai authorities.

Violence by the Rakhine ethnic group, driven by an extreme Buddhist ideology, has led tens of thousands of Rohingya to flee in the last 18 months through smuggling rings that pledge to take them to Malaysia, a Muslim country that quietly accepts the desperate newcomers.

Continue reading the main story

Thailand is the way station where the Rohingya, denied citizenship in Myanmar by national law, arrive on fishing boats converted to human cargo vessels. If they have money to pay unscrupulous brokers, they leave quickly for neighboring Malaysia.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/15/world/asia/trapped-between-home-and-refuge-burmese-muslims-are-brutalized.html?gwh=C81952EB27456814A43CC553DFB43180&gwt=pay

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Afghan council says it hasn't met Taliban released in Pakistan

2014-03-15

KABUL: Afghanistan's High Peace Council, set up to oversee peace talks with the Taliban, has had no formal meetings with any of the 46 Taliban prisoners released in neighbouring Pakistan, an official said on Friday, despite pleas to be present when they are freed.

Pakistan began releasing small batches of Afghan Taliban prisoners in 2012 at the request of Kabul which wants to use the men as interlocutors to pursue peace talks with the insurgents, who are ramping up attacks as Nato troops withdraw and the country prepares for April 5 elections.

The Afghans wanted a delegation present at each release. But they complained that Pakistan does not tell them before prisoners are freed, raising question about Pakistan's sincerity in wanting to help bring an end to the war.

Afghanistan has long accused Pakistan, which faces a Taliban insurgency of its own, of backing the hardline Afghan Taliban, in power from 1996 to 2001 and seeking to oust foreign forces and set up an Islamic state.

The Afghan Taliban said on Monday the elections were being manipulated by the United States and threatened to attack anyone taking part.

“We want all prisoners to be given into Afghan custody,” said a high-ranking member of the council.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1093318/afghan-council-says-it-hasnt-met-taliban-released-in-pakistan

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Kabul irked at release of Taliban by Pakistan

March 15, 2014

KABUL - Afghanistan’s High Peace Council, set up to oversee peace talks with the Taliban, has had no formal meetings with any of the 46 Taliban prisoners released in neighbouring Pakistan, an official said on Friday, despite pleas to be present when they are freed.

Pakistan began releasing small batches of Afghan Taliban prisoners in 2012 at the request of Kabul which wants to use the men as interlocutors to pursue peace talks with the insurgents, who are ramping up attacks as Nato troops withdraw and the country prepares for April 5 elections.

The Afghans wanted a delegation present at each release. But they complained that Pakistan does not tell them before prisoners are freed, raising question about Pakistan’s sincerity in wanting to help bring an end to the war.

The Afghan Taliban said on Monday the elections were being manipulated by the United States and threatened to attack anyone taking part. “We want all prisoners to be given into Afghan custody,” said a high-ranking member of the council. “Members of the High Peace Council should have a chance to see them and talk to them and say look, we have been asking for your release, now you have been released, it would be better for us to cooperate to bring peace and stability to Afghanistan.”

Full report at:

http://www.nation.com.pk/international/15-Mar-2014/kabul-irked-at-release-of-taliban-by-pakistan

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Europe

 

Bishkek Named Capital of Islamic Culture

14 March 2014

Bishkek, the capital city of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan, has been declared the capital of Islamic culture in 2014, hosting five month activities to mark the event.

The announcement was made last Wednesday when Kyrgyzstan's deputy prime minister, Kamila Taliyeva, hosted a meeting to arrange events held between May 20 and October 19, World Bulletin website reported on Thursday, March 13.

The events include art exhibitions, film festivals, workshops, conferences and a trade fair.

After the meeting, a government press statement said that the activities would be aimed at promoting and developing Islamic culture as well as strengthening cultural ties between the countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

Bishkek has several historical buildings and museums, and boasts vast expansions of natural heritage.

Full report at:

http://www.onislam.net/english/news/asia-pacific/470251-bishkek-named-capital-of-islamic-culture.html

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French strike 'kills Mali rebel commander'

14 Mar 2014

French air strikes in the mountains of northern Mali have killed Oumar Ould Hamaha, a rebel fighter known as Red Beard who was the subject of a $3m US bounty, a Malian military source said.

"Omar Ould Hamaha, the terrorist of Malian nationality, is one of 10 terrorists killed last week by French planes," the officer told AFP late on Thursday.

He died "with weapons in hand", the source said.

The French defence minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, said last week as many as 12 al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghrib (AQIM) fighters had been killed in a counter-terrorism operation by French forces between March 4 and 5.

The AQIM fighters were spotted in the Amettetai Valley, in the Kidal region, by French forces operating the US-made Reaper drones, Drian said.

'Red Beard'

Hamaha, known as 'Red Beard' because of his use of henna on his facial hair, became a leading figure in the rebel coalition that seized control of northern Mali in April 2012.

A French-led military offensive launched in January 2013 broke the grip of the al Qaeda-linked fighters over northern Mali, but small pockets of rebels have continued to operate in the vast desert region.

Full report at:

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2014/03/french-strike-kills-mali-rebel-commander-201431413942769651.html

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Sudan demo slams France military intervention in CAR

Mar 15, 2014

Sudanese protesters have demonstrated for the second consecutive week against the French military intervention in the Central African Republic and the killing of Muslims in their neighboring country.

Protesters gathered near the presidential palace in the capital, Khartoum, on Friday.

The demonstrators burned the French flag and chanted slogans against the French government as well as the United States.

They also slammed the United Nations for failing to stop the carnage in the Central African Republic, which has been dealing with sectarian violence since Christian armed groups launched coordinated attacks on the mostly Muslim Seleka group, which toppled the government last March.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/03/15/354759/sudan-demo-slams-france-over-car/

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BBC Free Speech Show Stops Gay Debate After Muslim Objections

Mar 15, 2014

BBC Three’s Free Speech programme was broadcast from Birmingham Central Mosque last night, and one of the topics set to be debated was homosexuality and Islam.

A short clip was broadcast, featuring Asifa Lahore, Britain’s “first and only” gay Muslim drag queen. The topic had “the most comments on the audience questions page”, but this was still not enough for the BBC ‘Free Speech’ programme to force the issue with its venue hosts, the Birmingham Central Mosque.

Full report at:

http://www.frontpagemag.com/2014/dgreenfield/bbc-free-speech-show-stops-gay-debate-after-muslim-objections/

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Dutch politician faces wrap for anti-Moroccan remarks

14 March 2014

Dutch anti-immigration politician Geert Wilders was referred to prosecutors on Thursday after making anti-Moroccan remarks at a campaign rally.

Wilders, whose hard-right, euro-sceptic Freedom Party (PVV) leads opinion polls before municipal elections next week, told supporters in The Hague he wanted fewer Moroccans there.

The PVV is competing in two municipalities in the March 19 poll, The Hague and Almere. It is expected to emerge on top in the Netherlands in elections for the European Parliament in May.

The most recent opinion poll, published last weekend, indicated the PVV would be the single largest party in the Dutch parliament if national elections were held now.

Wilders told supporters on Wednesday they should vote "for a city with fewer problems, and if it's at all possible, a few fewer Moroccans", according to the ANP news agency.

A public anti-discrimination watchdog said it had received three complaints and passed them on to public prosecutors. The prosecutors confirmed they would consider the matter.

In a later interview with broadcaster RTL Z, Wilders said "Moroccan scum" should leave the Netherlands, and that Moroccans were over-represented in crime statistics and in the number of people receiving social benefit.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/muslim-world/131058/dutch-politician-faces-wrap-for-anti-moroccan-remarks

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Africa

 

Youth gangs watch over troubled Central African capital

March 15, 2014

BANGUI: Small bands of youths have taken up stations on the roads into their home districts of the violence-ridden Central African capital Bangui, ready to warn residents of the arrival of looters and armed gangs.

The young men are unarmed and accept the authority of community leaders in a city largely devoid of functioning security forces. Looting has long been an almost daily plague, along with brutal ethno-religious killings that have driven scores of thousands to flee.

The latest “self-defence groups” drawn from the population itself have spread rapidly from one district to the next, each consisting of volunteers, mostly unemployed and ready to do any odd jobs in exchange for their next meal. Each member receives a little pay and is ordered to alert their part of town to a range of threats, including armed bandits, thieves and the mainly Christian “anti-balaka” militia that emerged to wreak revenge for attacks by the mostly Muslim fighters of the Seleka alliance that seized power for 10 months in March last year.

Foreign soldiers deployed to the perennially unstable Central African Republic are seeking to disarm the rival forces, but numerous weapons are still at large in Bangui, including assault rifles and hand grenades as well as knives and machetes.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/foreign/15-Mar-2014/youth-gangs-watch-over-troubled-central-african-capital

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Boko Haram attacks military, frees ‘dozens’ of inmates

15 March 2014

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria: Boko Haram militants attacked a military base in the northeast Nigerian city of Maiduguri on Friday and freed dozens of insurgents from custody, the military said of the latest raid in the embattled city.

Before storming the Giwa barracks, a notorious prison for Nigerian rebels, the gunmen opened fire in a residential neighborhood and razed many homes, witnesses said.

The attack is another blow to the military’s campaign against the militant group, which has been blamed for thousands of killings since 2009 in Africa’s most populous country and top oil producer.

An AFP reporter near the Giwa barracks said the shooting there started shortly after 7 a.m. local time.

Gunmen hurled explosives into the compound, causing several buildings to catch fire, witnesses said.

A military source who requested anonymity told AFP that the insurgents forced their way inside the barracks prison and “freed dozens of their members.”

Asked about the report, defense spokesman Chris Olukolade told AFP that “many insurgents are in flight. Whether they were those who staged the attack or those who were held prisoner is not yet known.”

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/news/540261

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Somali and African troops capture town from rebels

March 15, 2014

MOGADISHU: Somali government forces backed by African Union troops captured a sixth settlement in the latest advance in their renewed offensive against al Qaeda-linked Shebab fighters, a spokesman said Friday.

Shebab gunmen are reported to have fled ahead of the assault on Thursday on the small town of Buula Burde, in the southern Hiran region bordering Ethiopia, Ali Houmed said, spokesman of the African Union’s AMISOM force.

“There was some fighting at the entrance to the town as the Shebab tried to ambushes and attack our forces, but they did not last long,” Houmed told AFP.

“Their forces disappeared as we advanced to secure the town,” he added.

Hardline Shebab insurgents once controlled most of southern and central Somalia but withdrew from fixed positions in Mogadishu two years ago.

However, guerrilla units stage regular deadly attacks in the capital Mogadishu, and claimed responsibility for last year’s deadly attack in neighbouring Kenya, when commandos stormed the upmarket Westgate mall, shooting shoppers and hurling grenades.

Government and AU troops have also come under repeated hit and run attacks in rural areas surrounding the settlements they capture.

AMISOM chief Mahamat Saleh Annadif boasted that the capture of Buula Burde was “a major victory”, in a statement released late Thursday, calling the dusty settlement a “supply nerve centre” for the Shebab.

After a series of sweeping victories in 2012, AMSIOM had remained largely static, hampered by limited troops and air power to advance again.

But the UN-mandated force launched a new offensive earlier this month against the Islamist fighters, after Ethiopian soldiers joined to push troop numbers to some 22,000.

The UN reports that thousands of civilians are fleeing to escape expected fighting, warning that the offensive is expected to “directly affect scores of districts and regions” where some three million people live.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/foreign/15-Mar-2014/somali-and-african-troops-capture-town-from-rebels

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Nigerian forces accused of rights abuses

March 15, 2014

ABUJA: Nigerian security forces have committed human rights abuses as they fight a near five year insurgency by the Boko Haram sect, a UN official said on Friday.

Boko Haram has killed thousands in its effort to carve out an Islamic state in a religiously mixed country of around 170 million people. Rights groups say the military carries out extra-judicial killings, torture and illegally detains suspects.

“Many people I have met with during this visit openly acknowledge human rights violations have been committed by the security forces,” the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, told reporters in Abuja.

“These have served to alienate communities, and create fertile ground for Boko Haram to cultivate new recruits,” she added.

Full report at:

http://www.nation.com.pk/international/15-Mar-2014/nigerian-forces-accused-of-rights-abuses

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Dozens of prisoners escape in Nigeria attack

15 Mar 2014

Suspected Boko Haram fighters attacked a military base in the northeast Nigerian city of Maiduguri and freed dozens of prisoners from custody, Nigerian military said.

An anonymous military source said on Friday that the rebels forced their way inside the barracks prison and "freed dozens of their members".

Asked about the report, defence spokesman Chris Olukolade told the AFP news agency that "many insurgents are in flight. Whether they were those who staged the attack or those who were held prisoner is not yet known."

In a separate statement, Olukolade said Boko Haram attacked the barracks "to boost their depleted stock of fighters" after being hit hard in recent weeks by military bombardments.

The army has used Giwa to detain hundreds of people suspected of belonging to the Boko Haram.The barracks is the headquarters of a 10-month-old government offensive against the group in northeast Nigeria.

Full report at:

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2014/03/dozens-prisoners-freed-nigeria-attack-201431414836883425.html

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Sudan isolation grows as major banks pull out

14 Mar 2014

Major European and Saudi banks have stopped dealing with Sudan, diplomatic and other sources say, adding to the sanctions-hit country's isolation and further straining its indebted, cash-starved economy.

While Khartoum blames increased "pressure" from a US trade embargo first imposed 17 years ago, a US official said there had been no change in policy from Washington, according to the AFP news agency.

The move by the European banks appears to reflect an increasingly cautious attitude by financial institutions which do not want to risk being found in violation of US sanctions, a Western diplomat said.

"I think this is something actually mushrooming," he said of the risk aversion.

Germany's Commerzbank was the latest to sever its Sudan connection, according to diplomats.

The bank had no comment when reached by AFP.

In 2012, the British banks HSBC and Standard Chartered were fined $1.92bn and $667m respectively for violations that included sanction breaches with Iran and Sudan.

That same year, Dutch bank ING agreed to pay $619m to settle US government accusations that it conducted banned transactions involving Sudan and other countries.

In 2010, Wikileaks published secret US diplomatic cables that recounted conversations with the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, accusing President Omar al-Bashir of stashing up to $9bn in UK bank accounts.

"Ocampo reported Lloyds bank in London may be holding or knowledgeable of the whereabouts of his money," a US official in the cable says. "Ocampo suggested exposing Bashir had illegal accounts would be enough to turn the Sudanese against him."

Full report at:

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2014/03/sudan-isolation-grows-as-major-banks-pull-out-201431410522391481.html

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North America

 

New organization unites American Muslims in one coalition

By Amanda Murphy

March 14, 2014

WASHINGTON — Seeking to make a bigger impact in American politics and to better protect their civil rights, 10 Muslim groups have banded together under a new umbrella group: the U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations.

Many of the leaders of the new organization called the campaign for increased unity among Muslims an unprecedented step for the community, and one that could help weave Muslims more tightly into the fabric of American life.

“This is the dream of every American Muslim, to unify the approach, agenda and vision of the Muslim community,” said Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, at a Wednesday (March 12) announcement at the National Press Club.

“In the past, many people have tried to unite on a limited agenda, but this is a broad agenda for the American Muslim community.”

The council plans to advocate for issues important to American Muslims and to boost their voter registration. The idea is to give Muslims a bigger political platform in elections and society, and to leverage the community’s purchasing power.

Full report at:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/religion/new-organization-unites-american-muslims-in-one-coalition/2014/03/14/5a041a2a-abb3-11e3-b8ca-197ef3568958_story.html

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Lawyer: American Muslim won't test government no-fly list after alleged torture at FBI behest

 MARCH 14, 2014

PORTLAND, Ore. - An attorney for an American man who claims he was tortured in the United Arab Emirates at the behest of the U.S. government said Friday that his client is too afraid to try to travel back home.

The contention came at a hearing involving a lawsuit filed by Yonas Fikre alleging the FBI and State Department demanded that he spy on a Portland mosque in 2011 then had him abused in a UAE prison when he refused.

The federal agencies have declined to comment on the allegations, citing the ongoing litigation.

Fikre remains in Sweden, where he sought asylum after saying he was told by FBI agents that he was on the no-fly list. He also said a person who attempted to use his ticket to obtain a boarding pass in UAE was told Fikre could not fly.

At the hearing Friday in U.S. District Court, government attorneys said Fikre couldn't claim that he suffered harm from placement on the government's no-fly list because he hasn't tried to fly home.

"What is missing in this claim for injunctive relief is any legitimate effort to travel to the U.S.," said U.S. Department of Justice attorney Brigham Bowen. "This is best described as a rush to court."

Full report at:

http://www.theprovince.com/news/Lawyer+American+Muslim+wont+test+government+nofly+list+after/9619990/story.html

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India

 

India’s role in Afghanistan very critical: Gen Dunford

March 14, 2014

India has a critical role to play in Afghanistan as it is the most important partner of the war-torn country in the region, the commander of the US-Nato forces in Kabul has said.

“I think India’s role in Afghanistan is critical. India is a very close partner to Afghanistan, and from an economic perspective and from a trade perspective, probably their most important partner in the region right now,” General Joseph Dunford.

“They (India) are not providing lethal aid to Afghanistan, as a result of the dynamics in the region. Pakistan would certainly be concerned with that,” Dunford said in response to a question during a Congressional hearing on Afghanistan.

Dunford said India can play a very important role, diplomatically and economically in particular.

“In fact they are doing that. They have a very close relationship with the Afghan people and even with the Afghan security forces,” he said.

“They have assisted in the sense of providing some nonlethal support, helicopters and parts, and some training that will help our efforts to grow Afghan security forces. So I think India is a very important partner in that regard,” Dunford said.

Dunford also said the relationship between Afghanistan and Pakistan is going to be important for the US to achieve American ends.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/world/neighbours/indias-role-in-afghanistan-very-critical-gen-dunford/

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To catch one chain-snatcher, 80 Muslims held in Mumbai

By Sukanya Shantha

March 15, 2014

In an unprecedented “combing operation” launched by Thane police in the wee hours of March 13, more than 80 Muslim males, including several minors, were detained at the Mumbra police station for over four hours, apparently to nab chain-snatchers.

But those who were detained, all residents of Rashid Compound in the Kausa area of Mumbra, alleged it was done to instigate them and stoke communal feelings. Mumbra is 30 km from Mumbai and 80 per cent of its 9 lakh people are Muslim.

“Police kept abusing us and screamed aatankwadion ko bahar nikalo (terrorists, come out). We stood there dumbfounded, unable to comprehend anything,” said Shamshad Nasir Pawaskar, one of those detained.

Angry residents have filed a complaint, based on which Thane Police Commissioner Vijay Kamble has ordered an inquiry. “The residents have complained of police excesses and highhandedness. But it is too premature to comment,” Kamble told The Indian Express.

Sameena Khan, who lives in Akbar Apartments from where 45 people were detained, said, “I was fast asleep. My husband, who is recuperating from typhoid, was discharged from hospital the same night. The police came screaming at our doors, dragged my husband out, shoved him inside the van and drove away. They did not even let him change his clothes.”

She claimed policemen were waving batons at those who resisted and used bolt-cutters to break into a few houses.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/to-catch-one-chain-snatcher-80-muslims-held-in-mumbai/

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Mumbai’s Muslim community leaders feel cheated post AAP rally

13 March 2014

The Aam Aadmi Party’s rally on Wednesday was held amid cheers from fans and party workers alike, but not everyone was happy. Arvind Kejriwal’s apparent snubbing of Muslim leaders at one venue left them fuming.

Kejriwal, during his rally across Mumbai, was supposed to meet various Muslim Leaders at Khilafat house and talk to them about the issues they face, an event they were specifically invited for. But the AAP leader made his appearance for only 10 minutes and left without meeting them, an affront the community leaders are finding hard to swallow.

“We were called here but he didn’t even listen to us. We had so many community issues to present to him, but we are being neglected. This is the same way the Congress and BJP treated us,” said Farid Batatawalla, Muslim Front President.

Full report at:

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-mumbai-s-muslim-community-leaders-feel-cheated-post-aap-rally-1968952

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Mideast

 

Iran faces ‘tough decisions’ at nuclear talks: Kerry

March 15, 2014

WASHINGTON: Iran has to take some “tough decisions” as world powers seek to hammer out a nuclear deal, US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Thursday with negotiations due to resume next week.

His comments came as he was grilled by US lawmakers over the talks between Iran and the so-called P5+1 group, which are due to start up again in Vienna on Monday. Under a six-month interim deal, Iran agreed to freeze its uranium enrichment program in return for sanctions relief worth some $6-7 billion, including the transfer of some $4.2 billion in frozen overseas funds.

Kerry insisted during a hearing of the Senate appropriations committee that Washington was testing whether the new Iranian leadership of President Hassan Rouhani was serious in reining in its nuclear program, which the West believes is a covert grab for an atomic bomb.

“We believe we’re heading in the right direction. I can’t tell you where it’s going to finally land, we don’t know,” Kerry said of the negotiations due to last for the next six months towards a comprehensive deal.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/region/15-Mar-2014/iran-faces-tough-decisions-at-nuclear-talks-kerry

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A savage journey to the heart of the Turkish nightmare

March/15/2014

Last June, I was in Istanbul with 30 MBA students from Boston when the protests began. What started with the protests of an opulent shopping mall being built in Istanbul’s Gezi Park has become Turkey’s reaction to an increasingly autocratic regime intervening in citizens’ private lives by imposing conservative rules and religious imperatives.

At the end of last December, some pro-government religious youth groups in Turkey were planning to protest Christmas at an event advertised by a poster depicting a young Muslim punching Santa. Instead, on Christmas Day, the Turkish nation woke up to the resignation of three ministers of the “mildly Islamic” Turkish government, one of them declaring the prime minister responsible for the ongoing corruption cases and inviting him to resign as well.

Since then, there have been many corruption allegations backed up by phone recordings uploaded to YouTube. Along the allegations: The prime minister, his son, daughter, several ministers, and media bosses, along with others are heard negotiating, scheming, and engaging in shady dealings and power grabs that make “House of Cards” look like child’s play.

Prime Minster Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s defiant response follows the extreme hardline he has adopted since the Gezi protests. He is threatening the media and all opposition with a major crackdown after the local elections scheduled for later this month. He is also targeting social media directly with threats of closing down Facebook, YouTube and Twitter entirely.

There is every indication that if Erdogan’s party wins a victory in the coming local elections, he would see this result as a “mandate to dictate.” Many see the local elections as a vote of confidence for the current government. A movement toward an even more oppressive ruling style would also declare the clear failure of Turkey’s “Islamic democracy” model, once praised as a role model for other Muslim countries in the Middle East.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/a-savage-journey-to-the-heart-of-the-turkish-nightmare.aspx?pageID=238&nID=63603&NewsCatID=396

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Iran: Einstein was a Shiite Muslim!

March 13, 2014

One of Iran’s leading Muslim clerics has been recorded claiming that Albert Einstein, the world-famous German-Jewish physicist, was actually a Shiite Muslim!

Ayatollah Mahdavi Kani is a member of Iran’s elite “Assembly of Expert,” the same body that selects the next “Supreme Leader” when the current one passes away. Additionally, Mahdavi Kani is also head of the Imam Sadeq University.

According to this scholarly leader, “Einstein wrote something in which he said he had converted to Islam.”

Full report at:

http://www.israeltoday.co.il/NewsItem/tabid/178/nid/24498/Default.aspx?hp=more_news

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/from-his-pakistan-hideout,-uighur-leader-vows-revenge-on-china/d/56158

 

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